Regarding changing PINs

We’ve had a couple of requests for change-of-PIN functionality. I accepted these requests, and promised to include this functionality, and for that I apologise, as we do not feel it in the best interest of the service to incorperate this, after much thought, consideration and experimentation.

If you were to change your profile’s PIN, the profile URL also will change. This is an issue that can be overcome by us putting in a “profile moved” page, should anyone visit your old profile address.

But, what if someone else, who you have invariably handed your BlackBerry down to, would like to register a profile with their new (your old) PIN?

One of the main points of pinppl, as I am sure will be reflected once the service expands, is that you can lookup the profile of a friend, so long as you know their PIN. It is about the person that belongs to the PIN, as this is the platform through which you communicate via the BB, and for which pinppl is based.

If you’re in a position where you have a new device, and would like to change the PIN associated with your profile, just manually move that information over to the new profile (copy & paste), and leave a note on your old profile explaining that the PIN is no longer in use. (Or remove that profile entirely, if you wish. It’s all up to you.)

I believe this to be the best solution, and creates benefits such as if someone were no longer able to send you PIN messages, they could lookup your old profile, and see that you changed devices, and PIN.

We really don’t want to make the same mistakes with pinppl that so many other Web services have. To add functionality for a change of PIN, creates a spiral of new issues to be resolved, in ways which can only be confusing and bloated in terms of usability and optionset.

There seems just one pro for this functionality — that being the ability to move your profile information to a new PIN, not doing it manually. But you’re highly unlikely to need to do this very often.

Tell us what you think. This is your guys’ service, your feedback is crucial to the development of pinppl which we hope all BlackBerry users will be able to make much use of at final release.

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5 Comments »

  1. My take on it is that eventually everyone who signs up with PINppl will change their device. So at some point everyone will want to switch PINs.

    Sure you can create a new account and copy over the info but the part you loose (which is the most important bit) is all of the people who you have setup as friends and who have set you up as a friend (i.e. the social networking aspect).

    Your new account will not reflect this and you’ll be a “new” person on PINppl.

    So at that point all usefulness has been lost. I don’t know what the solution is but I think that eventually you’ll have to come up with one because people don’t keep BlackBerrys for more than a year or two before they get a new one (much like cell phones).

  2. Paul said

    @Craig,

    There really doesn’t seem like a simple solution to all of this. If anything, we’ve discovered a flaw in PIN messaging itself, that being that you’re unable to keep your PIN, when moving over to a new device. (But perhaps you are?)

    This fundamentally is problematic, because if you do change devices, all of a sudden you don’t have the same friends on your BlackBerry messenger list, etc. It’s like changing cell phones, and not being able to keep your old number.

    There really isn’t much that can be done about this from our end. If you could retain your PIN, moving over to a new device, that would make much more sense for the BlackBerry, and would pose absolutely no problem for us.

    In a way, pinppl is a benefit to this, though. Because, as I stated, if you do move to a new device, everyone you have not let know of this fact, with whom you communicate via PIN messaging, can check out your profile and see that you’ve switched devices.

    So while PIN messaging leaves no trail as to where you can be located now (which PIN you’re now using), pinppl can, if you want it to.

  3. The PIN is hard coded (like the old MAC addresses on ethernet cards). Not software changable. It dates back (mid-90’s) to when BB’s were on a layer 2 network that was data only and had no IP. This was truly the MAC address for each device on the DataTAC and Mobitex networks.

    So it is true that you loose your contacts in the BB IM client, but you can restore them using the BB DM which is quick.

    Maybe you can switch the PINppl infrastructure to use another entity as the personal URL and index. Instead of PIN, use username or a user-chosen word. Then the PIN can change anytime.

  4. Paul said

    Craig,

    Indeed, you’re right. I had been thinking of allowing the user to pick their own URL since when this issue crept up, which should solve the issue, but some conversion work will need done, redirects put in the old URLs, etc.

    This will be a rather major change in the infrastructure of the service, but not so much in the backend. I’ll work to have this implemented for tomorrow.

  5. My thought on the pin changing is that it should be the users responsibility to update their friends on pinpal of the change in pin. If you compare this to cell phones it would be the same as when I change my cell my friends don’t know unless I tell them. We also have to remember this is a free service and a great one at that I must say. Changing the system to username instead of pin really defeats the purpose of pinpal. What can be done if you are looking for ways to make a pin change easier however with keeping the pin registration intact is to offer and email address to each user for instance blackberrythemes@pinppl.com that way it would make it easier for one who has changed pins to create 1 e-mail and fire it off to all their friends on pinppl as I am not sure if you can send group messages to pin numbers but I can be wrong :).

    Well that is my opinion on the matter.

    Final note to the founder of pinppl keep up the great work.

    Shayne http://www.blackberrythemecentral.com

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