A system is disclosed for selectively altering the functional characteristics of a data processing system without physical or mechanical manipulation by providing an access code from a remote personal identification number generator to a secure controller and store of the computer system. This enables remote authorization of change in function of the computer system, such as performance tune up, speeding clock time, changing function and like changes. The computer system is first manufactured having a predetermined set of functional characteristics. A multibit alterable code which includes a functional characteristic definition is then initially loaded into physically secure, nonvolatile memory within the data processing system, utilizing an existing bus, or a fusible link which may be opened after loading is complete. The functional characteristic definition is loaded from nonvolitile memory into a nonscannable register within a secure portion of a control logic circuit each time power is applied to the data processing system and the definition is then utilized to enable only selected functional characteristics. Alternate functional characteristics may thereafter be selectively enabled by entering a security code which matches one of a number of preloaded codes and an encoded alternate functional characteristic definition. The alternate functional characteristic definition may be enabled on a one-time, metered, or regularly scheduled basis and variable capability data processing systems may be implemented in this manner utilizing a single manufactured system, without the necessity of manufacturing and storing multiple data processing system models.