2075: Update Your Address

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Update Your Address
This is my four-digit PIN. It was passed down to me by my father, and someday I will pass it on to you. Unless we figure out how to update it, but that sounds complicated.
Title text: This is my four-digit PIN. It was passed down to me by my father, and someday I will pass it on to you. Unless we figure out how to update it, but that sounds complicated.


In this comic, Cueball is facing several instances where entities asking or confirming his address find that the address they possess is incorrect - each address is progressively more outdated. In the final comic, Cueball gives up and confirms that yes, he is still living in a country that hasn't existed for over a century.

Inaccurate addresses may be a common problem for someone who has moved constantly in their lifetime. Alternatively, Cueball and his family do not find it important to update addresses for those particular businesses / entities.

Austria-Hungary was a European empire that existed between 1867 and 1918, dissolving during World War I. It is possible that Cueball's ancestors hail from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, though it would be even more absurd for that to be used as an address, given that the polity ended a century ago, whereas the earliest programmable computer was created 20 years after the country was dissolved and personal/small business computers approximately 40 years after that.

Ash Tree Lane refers to House of Leaves, a postmodern novel from 2000 in which one of many nested plots involves a house on Ash Tree Lane that is bigger on the inside than on the outside, and in fact contains a labyrinth with a minotaur. The book, and Ash Tree Lane specifically, have previously been referenced in 472: House of Pancakes, 827: My Business Idea, and 886: Craigslist Apartments.

The title text treats bank accounts (and the PIN codes needed to access them) as though they were physical heirlooms passed down generation to generation. The patent for PIN codes was submitted in May 1966, and the first public use of a PIN code was in 1967, when Barclays used them to process cheques at automated teller machines. It would be unusual for Cueball to inherit both an active bank account and the PIN associated with it -- when a person with a bank account dies, the bank usually closes the account altogether and transfers the money to a separate account of whoever is named the beneficiary. Treating the account number and/or its PIN as though they were physical heirlooms plays into the joke of them not changing through the years (due to the perceived difficulty of updating them).


[Cueball is standing and talking on a phone.]
Voice: Do you still live at 342 River St?
Cueball: No, I moved last year.
[Cueball is standing behind a counter with Hairy, whose hands are on a keyboard.]
Hairy: Is 21 Ash Tree Lane still a good address?
Cueball: What? That's my childhood home. How is that even in your system?
[Cueball is talking on a phone again in a borderless panel.]
Voice: The address we have is 205 Second St #2.
Cueball: I... think that's where my parents lived before I was born!?
[Cueball stands behind another counter with Ponytail and a tablet.]
Ponytail: Are you still living in... "The Austro-Hungarian Empire?"
Cueball: You know what, sure.
Ponytail: Austria-Hungary dissolved in 1918.
Cueball: Well, I come from a long line of people who hate updating stuff.

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Just a clarification, the Barclays PIN didn't have anything to do with cheques. You used it to validate a plastic punched card so that the machine would dispense a £20* note in a plastic clip. The card was posted back in a few days. * Ok it might have been £10, a long time ago, even though I was a teenager at the time. BTW in UK we often call ATMs Cashpoints after Lloyds Banks ATM that was the first to use (in UK at least) a returned, Mag stripe card, that contacted the Mainframe in real time : no funds - no cash RIIW - Ponder it (talk) 19:12, 21 November 2018 (UTC)

Living in a town where the core is 30-60th Street and most live on XXXX or XXXXX 10-271 Street/Avenue/Road/Drive/Place has made average US addresses like Cueballs' seem quaint and unscientific.. Also the 5 Main Streets are very minor and not at First or "Zeroth" Street or the center of town. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Queens? 03:51, 27 October 2023 (UTC)

Given that I'm of the generation born in 1970 whose parents were likely to have both debit cards and pin codes (in fact, I remember begging my mother to let me type the pin code into the "Beep-a-deep machine" when I was very young) and many of my friends and even my wife now have deceased parents, inheriting a pin code sounds plausible to me. Inheriting a bank account is harder, but if the child is a joint account owner, it would be relatively easy to just never tell the bank that the other family member died, as you're still legal owner and have access to all the funds within; and thus, yes, might pass down a pin number to successive generations.Seebert (talk) 16:25, 22 November 2018 (UTC)

I find the most remarkable thing about this comic strip that a "4-digit" pin is treated as being completely outdated. I know a bank that requires you to change your pin every 3? 6? 12? months. I know that one bank for a time used a 6-digit pin instead of a 4-digit one. And I know of a person who has talked his bank into accepting 16-digit pins for him causing aprehension on all kinds of cashiers. But by the definition of this comic nearly all pins in the world are outdated.--Gunterkoenigsmann (talk) 07:22, 23 November 2018 (UTC)
I'm betting that bank actually just put a note on his account "use first four digits of PIN" & let him spiel out the 12 unused digits afterwards just to placate him. A bank changing their systems to accept longer PINs would likely be quite expensive for them, while most of their users hate remembering even 4 digits at all. And yeah, 4 digits is not enough security for financial transactions; the PIN system is more about maintaining a perception of security than actual fraud prevention, these days. ProphetZarquon (talk) 17:01, 23 November 2018 (UTC)
I interpreted the title text as a commentary on the difficulty of changing a PIN rather than on them being outdated. Not all banks require their customers to change theirs regularly. 03:51, 27 October 2023 (UTC)
Most banks in Canada (at least all the ones I've used), allow you to set a 6 digit pin on debit cards only but they warn you that doing this means that you can't use the card in the US and recommend a 4 digit pin instead. I think credit cards are limited to 4 digits but I haven't checked. My assumption is that the limitation is set by the card network. Generally Interact for debit cards and Visa or Mastercard for credit cards but some debit cards are co-branded with Interact and Visa or Mastercard. One of my US credit cards doesn't even have a pin, it does chip and signature which is very weird to me. Banking is for sure a case of xkcd 927 Brycemw (talk) 16:17, 22 May 2024 (UTC)