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BOFH: Vampires!

And robots. We're being replaced by robots

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Application security programs and practises

Episode 7

Today's going to be a bad day, I can tell. Not because of the evil machinations of the managing classes, nor the heat seeking stupidity of our users, nor even the Machiavellian plans of our suppliers...

No, today is going to be bad because the PFY has had insomnia for the past week or so. His game playing marathons have upset his body clock so badly that it has no idea of what time it is anywhere.

Ordinarily, your average garden variety geek - like me, or possibly you for that matter - would cure a bout of insomnia with the hard reset of several more days of non stop game playing and vast amounts of lager. When done properly this leads to a coma-like 12 hour sleep marathon sprawled over the keyboard dribbling like a retard. When done improperly it's much the same thing except it's on a Circle Line tube carriage for half of London to see...

Sadly, however, in this case the PFY decided to fight fire with fire and deprive himself of ANY sleep to teach his body a damn good lesson.

...which has lead to the paranoia and the PFY's most recent assertion - that the Boss is planning to replace us with robots. This in turn has lead to the PFY tailing the Boss around the building

"Exiting at level three," the PFY says quietly into his phone. "Going into... the library!"

Damn it! Now I know I'm going to have to go up and take a look - what with the PFY's unnatural fear of librarians and all (which I won't go into in any detail - for your own sanity). Normally the PFY'd shrug this fear off. However, in his current state of mind there's no telling what'll happen if I don't intervene.

It wouldn't be so bad if our library actually HAD a librarian instead of just a large room full of books that noone goes into. Sigh.

Resigned to my fate, I trudge upstairs to meet the PFY.

"He went in there," the PFY whispers, pointing.

"Into the library..."

"Ssh!" the PFY says. "They might hear you!"

"Who might?"

"The librarians."

"We don't HAVE librarians."

"Yes, but one might have got the daylight savings hours wrong and be using our library as a safe harbour till night-time!"

"Yeah," I say, rolling my eyes, knowing what's coming.

"I'm telling you, they're vampires!"

"Of course they are," I sigh, bracing myself for the inevitable diatribe.

"LOOK! The pasty white skin - they never go out in the sun! The heavily diffused lighting which gives them a reason for not having a shadow. There's NEVER a mirror in a library... AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN SEE IT?"

"Quite possibly," I say, realising that the only way through this exercise is to push the PFY through his retinue of proofs till we're out the other side. "But they're hardly offensive are they - they're very quiet."

"YES! QUIET!" he gasps. "They always seem to be able to creep up behind you, yet you turn around and they're gone. And they love the high ceilings!"

"You mean like the ceilings you get in most big libraries?"

"YES! And pipe work - have you ever noticed the pipework they always have on those high ceilings."

"The sprinkler pipes," I sigh. "The ones you'd expect to see in a room full of... paper."

"Oh that's just what they WANT you to think. But at night - they hang from them!"

"Yes, good point. Tell me, did you happen to knock back a couple of flagons of cider on the way to work this morning?"

"What? I... - it's made of apples, it's good for you!"

So the situation is worse than I thought – but I must forge on.

"So tell me," I say, preparing for the final assault. "Surely if they were vampires they'd be found out? Wouldn't their husbands or wives notice?"

"Ah-HAH!" the PFY snaps. "You'd THINK that wouldn't you - but they're only allowed to nest with their own kind!"

"So librarians can only marry other librarians?"

"Pretty much," the PFY nods sagely. "Have you ever met a librarian that wasn't married to another librarian - or someone who behaves like a librarian."

"Yes," I nod. "And their children?"

"Their spawn you mean," the PFY gasps. "The undead. SP-900 sunblock - but it doesn't fool anyone."

"I beg to differ," I say, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. "Surely the same thing could be said about a lot of IT people - pasty white skin, live inside mostly, don't use mirrors. We have pipework in the Computer room too..."

"I..."

"And a lot of geeks pair up with other geeks..." I say gently.

"Ah... I... Really?"

"Really." I say, as the Boss emerges from the library, book in hand.

"So there's nothing to be worried about?"

"Nothing at all," I say.

"And him?" the PFY asks as the Boss walks by, attempting in vain to hide the title of the book he's carrying. "A case study in automation of computing infrastructure."

"Oh he's a vampire," I say, handing the PFY a broom handle.

Who am I to stand in the way of God's work?

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

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