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Prodigy to offer new user-ID system

Prodigy members will soon be offered a new feature that allows them to choose their own handles. Company officials urge those who have their hearts set on a particular name to hurry; designations are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Prodigy members laboring under the burden of unwieldy alphanumeric email addresses are in for a break. The service will offer a custom ID feature that lets users choose their own handles.

Called Net Names, the feature allows users to choose a user ID that is easier to remember than a string of unrelated characters and numbers. Company officials said they expect a stampede as members rush to secure their favorite names. Only one lucky individual, for instance, can be

The service requires the new IDs to have no less than 3 and no more than 20 characters. Those wishing to stick with the alphanumeric codes may do so, according to company officials.