By some accounts, the names can be changed

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/05/06 10:01 -04:00, original URI:

At the risk of repeating myself, I find that once again I quote a particular releveant bit from Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams, just as I did here and here:

Ford Prefect hit the ground running. The ground was about three inches farther from the ventilation shaft than he remmbered it, so he misjudged the point at which he would hit the ground, started running too soon, stumbled awkwardly and twisted his ankle. Damn! He ran off down the corridor anyway, hobbling slightly.

All over the building, alarms were erupting into their usual frenzy of excitement. He dove for cover behind the usual storage cabinets, glanced around to check that he was unseen and started rapidly to fish around inside his satchel for the usual things he needed.

His ankle, unusually, was hurting like hell.

The ground was not only three inches farther from the ventilation shaft than he remembered it, it was also on a different planet that he remembered, but it was the three inches that caught him by surprise. The offices of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy were quite often shifted at very short notice to another planet, for reasons of local climate, local hostility, power bills or taxes, but they were always reconstructed exactly the same way, almost to the very molecule. For many of the company's executives, the layout of their offices represented the only constant they knew in a severely distorted personal universe.

Something, though, was odd.

This was not in itself surprising, thought Ford as he pulled out his lightweight throwing towel. Virtually everything in his life was, to a greater of lesser extent, odd. It was just that this was odd in a slightly different way than he was used to things being odd, which was, well, strange. He couldn't quite get it into focus immediately.

I'll explain the relevance in a moment. :-)

You know how people like to categorize things right? You know like:

There are two kinds of people: those who group folks into two kinds of people, and those who do not.


There are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary, and those who do not.

Well, I'm going to do a little bit of that right now. Only more substantively. :-)

Because some people who deal with security and accounts under Windows might say:

There are two kinds of accounts/groups in Windows: The ones with well-known Security Identifiers (SIDs), and the ones without them.

and then others divide accounts/groups in Windows differently and say:

There are two kinds of accounts/groups in Windows: The ones with localized/localizable account names, and the ones without them.

But do you want to know something funny?

Those two different ways of dividing up account names in many cases actually define the exact same groups!

And this where the relevance of the quote comes in -- because if you don't have at least one solid unchanging piece then the rest of the object can't change. Something has to remain consistent and not change!

Because the only way for Microsoft to define account names to be localizable (i.e. where a localizer might change the name) is if there is a well-known SID behind.

Otherwise there is no way to really document how to find the account/group ever again. and if you think Administrator vs. Administrateur, et. al. or What's in a name? (once more) describe hard situations, try to add the inability to really find the account/group later and see how the situation looks!

There are some interesting MUI nuances here with group names, even beyond the above articles or the ones I mentioned in If you had gotten there first, you might have staked your claim too! and What's the difference between running a localized version of Windows and running Windows with that user interface language?.

But those will have to wait for another day, and another blog....


This post brought to you by(U+09f9, aka BENGALI CURRENCY DENOMINATOR SIXTEEN)

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