The Reg vulture, meaning of BOFH and spam

More letters from our bulging email bag

A different angle on a dangerous PR approach

[Andrew 'Which alias shall I use today?' Thomas was surprised to find an email from Union PR apologising for a previous email. He had no idea what this previous missive was about (having never received it) but awarded Tanya Ferris PR bunny of the weekfor her courage. A reader had a different idea about it all.]

The reason you "have no idea what Tania's on about" is that the email is a generic spam designed to make people confirm their email address by replying and asking to be removed from her database.

You can be absolutely certain that you will not be removed if you reply... more likely you'll receive an absolute shitload of fresh new spams from her. Hope you didn't reply

just fyi
Have fun ... you biased bastards ;-)

Register's popularity hits new depths

[We rewarded Ed Ross with the coveted and fictitious award for Reader of the decade because of his decision to set up a Register Reader's Web ring. We weren't too sure about it but got back to him to find out how popular The Reg really was.]

There are four sites on the ring. The ring page itself, The Agent LaunchPad, and two others. This is ok with me *at the moment*, as I am meant to be revising for my A-levels, not running a webring. After those though, I wouldn't mind it if more sites wanted to join. Should The Register itself be added?


Ed Ross

We launch new hand-holding service

[For some reason, quite a few readers seem to think we are an extension of PC World. We like the idea of a close reader relationship, but there are limits. If you want advice on what to buy and think sarcastic abuse would help, but all means email. Otherwise go to your local IT shop (oh, and flattery is good but it won't work). (Neither does emotional blackmail.)]

Dear Register,

You are the best computer news site on the Internet bar-none! Your presence has been a blessing and I thank you so, so much for the fact that you are here. Your news and scoops have helped me tremendously. But now I need some serious help and I think you, and only you have the ability to help me.

I am a young guy needing to get his web design business up and running and need a new computer. I working with a few other guys and I will be doing a lot of content creation and graphics. I was going to buy a computer today, a 733 CuMine from ABS computer systems for an incredible price, but have a feeling that something is brewing inside Intel and AMD. After seeing your McKinley article, I am in quite a quandary.

I can wait about 2-3 and half months more to get a new PC and would like to know that if you were in my shoes would you get a computer now, or wait a few months and see what happens in relation to price drops and new processors by Intel and AMD? Please reply you don't know how many hours I've spent mulling things over and it's stressing me out, and for me stress is real bad as I just got surgery and am recuperating. You guys are the best, god dammit, and I trust you more than anyone. Ya know, if you guys weren't here my computer decisions would be much, much easier, but thank god fer ya anyways. Oh yah, also I'm located in USA and not the UK.

Eli Klein, A loyal reader in dire need!

The history of the Reg vulture and BOFH

[In the early days, there were mutterings we were a cult site. It turned out this was no more than a misunderstanding in a loud pub atmosphere. It was intended to be a term of abuse. But, we do occasionally get people inquiring as to our makeup.]

I am trying to track down the secret source of the vulture logo. I seem to recall a pair of turkey buzzards who occasionally appeared in early Warner Bros cartoons. One might have been named Clyde. Would you please ask your model if this is related? The other might have been named Heathcliff. Or is the source really that buzzard who lurked in the Peanuts cartoons many years ago? The world wants to know.

Would you consider adopting 'Vulture Culture' by [no free PR on the letters page, I'm afraid] as your theme and stream midi or digital sound with your home page? I am currently developing right hand strains for [and again]. It is all The Register's fault for mentioning this game some days ago. For shame.

Nils Dahl
central Connecticut
the former colonies

[Well, the current vulture logo was designed by Jim Morgan at Third Wave, a design agency in Birmingham. Apparently it is a representation of the smallest African vulture - we can't remember its name. It wasn't our first vulture - there have been two previous incarnations, courtesy of a clip art compilation and a freelance designer called Fraser, Check out their contributions below.]

Hello, I just started to read your article, and find it quite entertaining and informative, but I just keep wondering, what does BOFH mean?

Los Angeles, CA

Maybe I haven't spent enough time getting my irc chat skills up to par. Maybe I use my instant messenger with the right folks. Maybe I am just a clueless. What does BOFH mean?

Andrew Nordin

McCarthyite response Despite the display of such poor detective skills, we can reliably inform you that the tales of BOFH are those of the Bastard Operator From Hell. His sidekick, PFY, is a Pimply Faced Youth. They are the creation and copyright of Simon Travaglia, the esteemed Register columnist.

How not to get The Reg on your side

We received the following mail a few days after a dotcom launch party that we attended.

The FairMarket Team UK would like to extend our thanks to you for joining us at our launch party, and really immersing yourself in the FairMarket Experience!

We hope you enjoyed yourself as much as we did, and that you'll be coming to some of our future events…

Looking forward to working with you in the future.

Adam Dorrell

McCarthyite response Unfortunately, the launch itself has to rank among one of the worst we have ever been to. Having hired out "fashionable" Sugar Reef bar in Soho and hired a load of lasers and TVs, FlatMarket didn't seem to have any cash left - not a bright impression for a dotcom to give.

Being subjected to cheesy images of the company's staff was bad enough, giving a long, cheesy presentation didn't help, filling the place with dotcu*ts - the new millennium's equivalent to the 80s equally obnoxious yuppies - wasn't clever either. But shutting down the free bar at 7.30pm (we'd only arrived at 7.15) was tantamount to suicide. We left very shortly after.

Want to join in? If it's good - we may even publish your empurpled prose. If it's crap - we may publish it, too. Email us at Is that the best you can do for a reader's editor? ®

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