BOFH: Power down blues

Averse altruism

Episode 17

So I get into work to find out that one of the cleaners has switched my bloody desktop off overnight, again, in the interests of power saving. No matter how many times I tell them not to the order is countermanded by the head of the cleaning staff, whose extensive and ongoing work with the intricacies of the playstation has equipped him with the technical wherewithal to understand the nuances of leaving a computer on while debugging code to the screen.

So the x application I've been running in window for the better part of 72 hours is gone, which is in itself enough to make me want to strangle someone.

"I'm sure they didn't do it on purpose," the Boss says in calming tones, after I make yet another complaint to him.

My annoyance increases when my screen card pops its clogs at power on. Admittedly, it was bound to happen sooner or later - dangerously overclocked as it was - as the cooling fan had been getting slower and noisier for months as the faint burning odour got worse.

I think calming thoughts and go to look through the spares parts boxes.

...

Only there aren't any spares parts boxes.

"Where are the spares boxes?" I ask the PFY.

"In the Tape room?" the PFY responds.

"No..." I reply.

"Well I don't know where they are - they were there last week when I...borrowed...a disk drive for my home machine."

"The BOSS!" I snap.

...seconds later, in the Boss's office...

"Oh I gave them to my kid's school!" he blurts. "They mentioned in their newsletter that they were looking for unwanted equipment"

"So you just took it?"

"No one was using it!"

"It was spares. Hard drives, memory, and cards. Some of it was new!"

"Really? It didn't look like anyone was using it!"

"It was spares!"

"Well, I can hardly be expected to know the difference can I? I mean do I look like Stephen Bloody Hawking?"

"Not especially."

"Then it can't be helped. Anyway, it was for a good cause. And anyway, we're getting a certificate of their appreciation."

NGGGGGG!!!! I cut my losses and comfort myself by finding the most expensive graphics card on the market, and ordering one of those.

"Isn't that a little.. uh.. expensive for a graphics card?" the Boss asks.

"It would be if it was just a graphics card, but sadly my motherboard won't support the new style PCI-X card, so I had to buy a new motherboard, including processor and RAM. Then the power supply needed upgrading to cope with it all, which in turn meant the case needed to be upgraded.

"So you bought a whole new machine?" the Boss asks.

"No, I kept the DVD writer, floppy, and hard drive from the old one..."

"How about you just buy a screen card from one of the retailers down the street with petty cash?" the Boss suggests with more than a hint of sarcasm.

"I could, but the failure of the old card may have caused some damage to the motherboard which will in turn break the new card."

"Given the price difference, I think I'll take that risk," the Boss replies sarcastically.

...

"It looks like it's been hit with a hammer!" the boss blurts a couple of hours later, after I show him the remnants of the new card.

"Yes, probably a power fluctuation in the motherboard - so replacing that power supply would have been a good idea after all..."

"I suppose you're right," the boss sighs resignedly - realising (in a rare moment of clarity) that it won't take too long for my hammer to work its way through his petty cash budget. "Get the new parts - and we'll give anything that's still working to the school - there's too much crap laying about the place!"

Sigh

...The next morning...

"Ok, where's my office furniture gone?!" the Boss snaps, bursting into Mission Control.

"Oh that! I gave that to a school last night. I had to ring around to find one that wanted the stuff, but in the end one of them leapt at the opportunity."

"IT WAS MY OFFICE FURNITURE!"

"Yes, but it went to a good cause."

"IT...WAS...MINE!"

"Yeah, but it didn't look like you were using it!"

"I WAS USING IT!"

"Well, I can hardly be expected to know that. I mean, do I look like Bruce, the stores guy?"

"Well where are my clothes?"

"Clothes?"

"The two suits hanging behind the door"

"Oh those - well there you're in luck. None of the schools I called needed clothes."

"So where are they?"

"I gave them to a homeless bloke outside the building."

"And that's the good news is it?" the Boss fumes.

"No, the good news is he exchanged them for this half bottle of Gin."

"It's...a bit...yellow, isn't it?" the PFY asks.

"Good point, he exchanged them for this half bottle of pis..."

"GET OUT!"

Ah, well...

Sponsored: How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers