About

From March 2008 to June 2008 I (Baldeep Birak) have created a CAPTCHA of my own as part of my University degree at Portsmouth University. What I would ask you to do is view my project website and most importantly look at the downloads page. You will understand the purpose of this website better.

Before you continue to look at the rest of the website, I would like to show a few findings from my university project. These include:

What is a CAPTCHA and how did it start off?
CAPTCHA stands for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart". Alan Turing first invented the Turing Test back in 1950 and this was used to see whether a person could distinguish between a computer and a human. Three staff at Carnegie Melon University and another working for IBM (Wikipedia 2004) used the idea of the Turing Test and came up with the concept of the CAPTCHA in the year 2000. This was first publically used by Yahoo.

The developers of the CAPTCHA used the idea of the Turing Test to create an image with text, images and even questions to show to a person and see if they could work out the answer. Some people would say that this is the reverse Turing Test as it is focusing on a human answering the CAPTCHA question rather than a computer (Coates, Fateman and Baird 2001).

Are CAPTCHAs needed?
Yes and no. They serve a purpose by preventing generic form filling bots (automated entry) on your website by verifying the person is a human or not. Where they are not needed is on many registration forms, some news comment pages and so on. There are alternatives you can use and they will be mentioned on the website.

Why Simple CAPTCHAs?
Simple CAPTCHAs are easier to read, faster to answer and keep your target audience. By making the CAPTCHA quick to answer and not fustrating your audience, you won't force them away. After all, the whole point of your websites is to keep the customer base isn't it?

Why SimpleCAPTCHAs.com?
This website is not making the author money. Simple CAPTCHAs only take a couple of days to make and make it easy for others to use. We hope you will be part of the Simple CAPTCHAs COMmunity. We want to make hundreds of CAPTCHAs that suit a wide audience. Some CAPTCHAs support a specific audience. When I made my CAPTCHA I targetted it towards University staff and students. If you know who is going to use it, you can make the questions suit your target audience.

But they are easy to break?
Yes they are, but does that mean give up, it does not. CAPTCHAs are hard to read or answer (see the Rapidshare CAPTCHA). These types of CAPTCHA take a long time to make and it's hard for you or me to know the answer or every single CAPTCHA image. I (Baldeep Birak) propose using lots of simple CAPTCHAs and changing them every week, month or even every year (depending on the popularity of your website). If you don't have a large audience, is a CAPTCHA necessary?

Why Simple ones over Complex ones?
When you make a difficult CAPTCHA it will take you a long time to develop. The source code may be huge and this can lead to higher processing from the server. This is not so good when you have hundreds of users on a daily basis. How long will you keep using the same CAPTCHA before using another one, a month, a year or longer? In relation, a simple CAPTCHA can take a day to make. You can use it for a week and by the time someone has broke it (found an automated solution), you can move onto another. This is where this website comes in. We aim to make lots of CAPTCHAs under the GNU Public License and we will give you the source code ABSOLUTELY FREE. You may not sell the source code for money or any sort of gain.

What about the community?
What we would like is for everyone to contribute. You can help us by making your own Simple CAPTCHAs and sharing the source code on this website. We will accept code in various languages (such as PHP, ASP, .NET, JSP and whatever else you can think of). As this website is in PHP, only CAPTCHA's that will work with APACHE, PHP and MySQL will be demonstrated on this website. When you upload your own CAPTCHA, we will need instructions on it's usage and contact email address for you to troubleshoot any problems with the CAPTCHAs from other members of our community.

Can I donate?
You may share your CAPTCHA source code with the community. Money is not prefered however you can donate by clicking here to donate. Thank you.

How else can I help?
So you cannot script or programme well. Personally I sympathise with you as I'm not good at everything either. At least show some support by linking to us and spreading the word. This is a non profit project that I and hopefully the community will continue past my lifetime. Awareness is key to this project and unlike many projects, there is no deadline.

Final Note . . .
CAPTCHAs have only been around since the year 2000. If we don't make them simple, then it could be the end of CAPTCHAs in the next 8 years. Update, this last note was written in 2008, it's now 2016 and we have a lot of members, downloads and comments. Thank you to all.