How to choose a screen name -- when your real name is taken.
Unfortunately, this issue does comes up. JavaRanch is a very useful resource, and like other useful resources, it has a lot of users. Name conflicts will occur. And due to the possibility of spoofing, having one user pretend to another user, duplicate names are not allowed. So... if your desired name is taken, what can you do?
1. Use initials for your first name. Instead of "Harry Kennedy", using "H. Kennedy" could be a viable option. The usage of an initial for the last name is not allowed by the naming policy, and hence, not an option here.
2. Add your middle name. Do you have a middle name? If you do, then adding it (or using it) may be an option -- ie. "Harry Jacob Kennedy" or "Jacob Kennedy".
2a. Use initials, along with your middle name, may also be an option -- ie. "Harry J. Kennedy", "H. J. Kennedy", or even "J. Kennedy".
3. Adding an alternative middle name. If you don't have a middle name, then adding one based on other family members may also be an option -- ie. if your son's name is John, then "Harry John Kennedy" may be an option (Be careful with this option, as the naming policy doesn't allow the usage of fake names).
And finally... Contact a moderator.
4. In some cases, the name conflict is caused by users who haven't posted on the ranch for many many years. Or by users with accounts that haven't been confirmed, or has been closed. It is possible for conflicting accounts to be changed (generally by using option 3), in order to free up the name for your use.
4.a. In some cases, the name conflict may be caused by your previous accounts. If you have forgotten your password, and don't have access to your previous email, to recover the password. It may be possible to work with a moderator, to recover your previous account, instead of creating a new account.
What is that? Is that a mongol hoarde? Can we fend them off with this tiny ad?