Feeds

BOFH: Drunken Time Lord

Glass lift, laxatives, untraceable banknotes ... oh my

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Episode 9

"It's only 1:30pm!" the PFY grumbles, looking up from his cellphone clock.

"I know," I say. "It's that variable viscosity of time again."

"The what now?" the PFY asks

"The variable viscosity of time. You know, how the viscosity of time is inversely proportional to what you'd like the viscosity to be."

"You’ve lost me."

"Okay," I sigh, opening an Excel chart. "Here, on a Monday morning, when there's lots of interesting stuff happening, time flows reasonably well. Friday afternoons however, time flows like road tar on a cold morning."

"What's that then?" the PFY asks, pointing at another section of the graph.

"Ah, that was Wednesday evening."

"And?"

"And I was having a couple of drinks with that nice woman from the inkjet company."

"And time flowed..."

"Like water out a firehose."

"I take it she didn’t know that we don’t have any inkjet printers at that stage?"

"Correct. You can see the rapid incline of the graph at >this< point when she found out. A section I like to call 'the long walk home'."

"And yet it's still wasn’t as bad as Friday afternoons?"

"Yes, well-spotted. It seems that alcohol reduces the viscosity of time."

"So time flows faster when you're drinking?"

"Exactly. So while in real time the walk home took three hours plus kebab stops, to my mind it was five minutes and someone stuffed a kebab wrapper in my letterbox."

"So it really does speed things up?"

"It does. I checked today by spending lunchtime at the pub. Eight minutes."

"You were gone for two hours!"

"I know!"

"So were you at a pub in the morning about five weeks back?"

"No, why?"

"The graph says you were!"

"No, the graph says that time was flowing fast."

"And the difference is?"

"The difference is that was the time I was using my wireless mouse on the Boss' machine to quit without saving every time he tried to send an email."

"I see. And... two mornings ago?"

"That was when the Boss was trapped in the glass-walled lift of the atrium after unknowingly consuming several pieces of laxative chocolate."

"So time was moving slowly for him?"

"Exactly. And this is the interesting thing – and where I think my thesis will shine out – in 'The general theory of relativity of the viscosity of time'."

"?"

"The viscosity of time is relative to each person. Much like Einstein's work, an observer sees time flow differently than perhaps the subject being observed."

"Ah – so while for the Boss, trapped in the elevator, time was travelling excruciatingly slowly, for you..."

"...watching the Boss crap his strides rather than be seen dropping a grogan in a glass-wall lift, it was all over too soon. Which leads me to believe that the viscosity of time is affected by several things: Alcohol, Romance, the presence of large sums in untraceable five-pound notes and witnessing the misfortune of someone who truly deserves it – especially someone who has crossed you in the recent past."

"Really?" the PFY says dubiously...

"Really. And to prove it I've organised a very simple demonstration."

"Uh-oh."

"No, this doesn't involve you. Well, not as the subject anyway. I have here a suitcase full of unmarked five-pound notes, a table reserved at the pub and a get-to-know-you drink or 10 organised with the new women from the bookshop across the road."

"How's that relative?"

"You'll have to wait till we get to the pub..."

Half an hour, three pints and the arrival of our guests later...

"And how's it relative?" the PFY asks.

"Right. This >twiddle< is the receiver for a remote camera generally strapped to the underside of a model aeroplane to tape flights. This camera, however, is taped to the front of the Boss's rear-view mirror. Now watch very carefully as I trigger the swapping of the digital inputs of his accelerator and brake pedals..."

>click<

"Nothing happened," The PFY says.

"And yet the pub is empty, it's dark outside, our dates and money are gone and it's 12:15am."

"Incredible!"

"I know."

"And you can't slow it down any?"

"Not exactly. I have been experimenting with operating systems."

"Operating systems?"

"Yes, Windows ME and Vista mainly."

"And they slow time down?"

"Well, time certainly seems slower."

"So you could install Vista on your workplace machine and it would cancel out the effects of time speeding up when you're enjoying yourself?"

"Except that you would no longer be enjoying yourself..."

"So time would slow down even more than if it were normal time. OS/2?"

"Yes – Remember the last episode of Sapphire and Steel where they’re trapped in the box in the middle of space... That would be an OS/2 user – where every day is like the last and every little thing we tried to do would take a millennium."

"Wow, you could do that to someone?"

"Yes, like the bloke from Security who wheel-clamped me this morning who had an Operating System 'upgrade' this morning. Now before I switch to camera 2 remember that, with the relativity of the viscosity of time the victim would experience time flowing slowly, but to us, the observer, it would travel extremely fast."

"So the first thing we knew..."

"The terminators would be stalking humans, yes."

"But still, they're computers and we could reason with them..."

"Yes, I suppose you’re right, it's worth a crack."

>Click< ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC
Support for PCoIP protocol means zero clients can run cloudy desktops
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.