Feeds

Smear campaign

I don’t know where your fingers have been

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Men as a gender can be a smelly lot. There are cultural reasons underlying some of our questionable standards of personal hygiene but we are also victims of our own DNA. Like stature, baldness and the length of our ah… noses, there are many challenging aspects of our bodily functions that we simply inherited.

For example, I have a natural propensity to perspire at even modest levels of physical effort. Forget walking up the stairs: my face begins to gleam if I so much as sit up in my chair too quickly. During yoga and karate classes, I regularly have to excuse the behaviour of my pores to newcomers who stare at me worriedly, thinking I am about to die - or worse, splash them as I keel over. I tell them I am like this because I am working harder than they are but it's actually all down to a peculiarity in my genes.

In layman's terms, I am a sweaty bastard.

Moments of perspiration

"Trust me, this is normal – it's in my genes"
Source: Paramount Pictures

One thing I am not, though, is a greasy sweaty bastard. As such, I can safely deduce that the revolting finger blobs and disconcerting smears all over my computer screen every morning are the product of someone working the night shift. But these are not your everyday smears and streaks removed with a lens cloth: I need a windscreen ice scraper to shift this gunge. The man responsible (for it could only be a man) must be doing motorcycle maintenance or serving kebabs while sitting at my desk.

This is a far cry from the days when I received my initial desktop publishing training in the late 1980s from a mad woman who told dirty jokes and employed a pair of teenagers to help typeset classified ads for porn magazines. I digress. At one point in her training course, she explained that I should never use my sleeve or a hanky to wipe a screen clean but to always use Windowlene. You may have noticed that my previous sentence rhymed: this is because she used to sing the advice like an advertising jingle. I told you she was mad.

My midnight nemesis would do well to abide by this advice, but hey, why bother when he can just rely on me to do it for him every morning? It's like one of my flatmates back at Uni who said in all seriousness that dirty dishes didn't bother him and he knew that I'd clean them for him eventually, so he had not one but two practical reasons for being a lazy fucker.

It could be that, in a similar fashion to my perspiration problem, the Lard Knight's skin might just be reacting badly to the screen surface. I've noticed this myself with various types of touchscreen device. My newest smartphone has an 'anti-smear coating' which I assumed was mere marketing nonsense until I applied protector films to the front and back to prevent scratches, whereupon the phone became a ghastly smear magnet (figuratively speaking, of course - fingerprints are not renowned for their significant magnetic properties).

Screen wipe

"Swipe all you like, but you're confusing my terminal with the latest Windows 8 hardware"
Source: Embassy International Pictures

Yet what baffles me most of all is why Mr Castrol GTX is groping the display surface at all. It's just an ordinary computer display, not a touchscreen. Is he pointing things out to his night-time colleagues? Surely not. This guy has fingertips like those of an elephant, so no-one would be able to see anything, even after scraping away the inch-thick layer of axle grease he's emitting from his stumpy digits.

Perhaps we've all just become so tactile with our computer devices that it has now become irresistible to touch them even when it's unnecessary to do so. However, I think it's worse than that. The Moonlit Muckspreader is, I believe, marking his territory. It won’t be long before the swivel chair upholstery gets sticky and the desk legs begin to smell of wee. Be warned, dear reader, because this could be happening to a cubicle near you soon. ®

Alistair DabbsAlistair Dabbs is a freelance technology tart, juggling IT journalism, editorial training and digital publishing. He thinks hot-desking is fine as long as the personal heat has time to dissipate before he is expected to sit on the same chair. He shall keep you updated as to the progress or regression of his Phantom of the Slopera.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?