When Does Case Matter?

July 31, 2009

Anyone who can read or write knows that a letter can be in upper case or lower case. A computer actually sees upper case letters and lower case letters as seperate things. For example, an uppercase ‘A’ is ASCII code 65 while a lower case ‘a’ is ASCII code 97. Computer software, however, can be written so that case doesn’t matter.

So how do you know when case matters? There are no hard and fast rules for every piece of software. It just depends on how the software is written. But there are some standards. First off, passwords are always case sensitive. A good password should have a mix of upper case letters, lower case letters, and at least one number.

Login ID’s are usually not case sensitive, but sometimes they are on some websites.

Email addresses are not case sensitive. JOE@NOSPAM.COM is the same as joe@nospam.com.

Captcha’s are the funny looking letters that websites often make you type to make sure you are human and not a computer program. These are not case sensitive.

Website addresses, however, are a little tricky. A website address like www.google.com or www.ct-cp.com is not case sensitive so you can enter it in upper case, lower case, or a mixture. However, if the web address you are going to has a slash (/) and then more stuff after that, that part is usually case sensitive.

For example, if you went to our website at www.ct-cp.com and clicked on the Newsletter link, you would get the page of our website that allows people to subscribe to this newsletter. If you look up at the address bar on your web browser, you would see that when you are on that part of our web page, the address is http://www.ct-cp.com/?page_id=72. This is a direct link to the Newsletter Subscription page of our website. The first part of it, http://www.ct-cp.com is not case sensitive. Th e part after that is. so the /?page_id=72 is case sensitive.

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