Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/01/13/bofh_2006_episode_2/

BOFH: The Way of the Hammer

Engineers are great!

By Simon Travaglia

Posted in BOFH, 13th January 2006 12:32 GMT

Episode 2

"And if I just >tap< move this >tap< >tap< a fraction of an inch over >tap< I'll be able to >tap< put it >tap< >tap< >Crunch!<..."

"...into the dustbin?" the PFY finishes helpfully.

"Bugger. It almost went, though. It's probably just not made very robustly."

"Yes," the PFY adds thoughtfully. "When will motherboard manufacturers realise that so many engineers are skilled in 'The Way of the Hammer' and strengthen their componentry accordingly?"

"I..."

"After all, the Way of the Hammer is an art passed down from generation to generation."

"It's not like I INTENDED.."

"From grandfather to father, from father to uncoordinated son."

"I hardly think it's..."

"A time-honoured tradition of the passing on of skills - were your chosen career PANELBEATING or DEBT COLLECTION, BUT IT'S NOT, IS IT - IT'S THE REPAIR OF MICROELECTRONIC CIRCUITS!"

"Yes, but it only needed to move a fraction of a mil - I've done it dozens of times!"

"And how many times was it successful?"

"Every time!" the engineer responds, sounding slightly hurt.

"I'm talking about the machine being in a working condition at the end - not the hammer surviving!"

"It's..."

"...a buggered phone charging machine?" the PFY finishes.

... One motherboard replacement later ...

"It's just that these motherboards aren't designed for this particular PCI card - there's no clearance because of the AGP card," the engineer explains as he puts the machine back together and attempts to squeeze the new card in.

"Why not put it in another slot?" the PFY says wincing at the butchery taking place.

"There's no slots free."

"Look, if you moved this card to that slot you could use the vacant slot - with more clearance - for the new card."

"But then I'd have to remove that card."

"To make space, yes."

"But this is just an install job, I can't do modifications - it's not on the work request." he says, flashing his PDA.

"But now it's a motherboard replacement job, too."

"Which I've done."

"So why don't you move the cards around - they were all out anyway."

"No, I couldn't do that - I'd be liable if something went wrong after the move".

"What about if I did the move," the PFY snaps testily.

"If you did the move you'd void the maintenance on the box."

"But, if I'd done the move before you got here, you'd never have known."

"But you didn't."

"What about if, while you were having a cup of coffee, the board suddenly moved."

"Well you'd void your maintenance."

"Why?"

"Because the card had been moved."

"But no-one would know it'd been moved - it's not like you document the card locations of all the machines you maintain is it?"

"No, but I would know it had been moved" the engineer responds, in a life-threateningly pedantic manner.

"How?"

"I'd remember."

"Not if you had Alzheimer's."

"I don't have Alzheimer's!"

"Well maybe not Alzheimer's, but what about a bang on the head?"

"I haven't had a >CLANG!< >thud<"

"You have now... "

. . . 10 minutes later . . .

"...and you must have hit your head on the top of the rack when you stood up," the PFY explains to his groggy victim.

"Oh, really? Right well, nothing broken so I'd best get this card in... .... Wasn't that card in that slot over ther.. >CLANG!< >thud<"

> BOFH EPISODE COMPILER ERROR, RECURSIVE LOOP DETECTED <

... >BOFH EPISODE COMPILER ERROR, CLOCK RESET< minutes later ...

"...so I'd best get this card in. Ah, at least we've got a free slot with some room around it. A lot of the time you have to cram it in against the AGP card which means you sometimes have to give the PCI slot connector a little bit of a tap. And...."

"And?" the PFY asks.

"Do you ever get... Deja Vu?"

"No, but we get most of the other Sky channels."

"Pardon?"

"Did you say something?" the PFY asks innocently.

"I... No. Right, well it all seems to be done. Now if you could just sign here as some of the work I did was chargeable."

">clang< You don't need me to sign there," the PFY says, staring into the engineers eyes intently.

"I don't need you to sign there."

"This isn't the job you're supposed to be at."

"This isn't the job I'm supposed to be at."

"You can go about your business."

"I'll go about my business."

"OK then," the PFY says. "Got all your stuff?"

"Yes, I've got my tools, got the install software and... What's this motherboard off?"

"Oh it's a broken one," the PFY says. "One of our other engineers left it."

"Oh, because it looks like someone tried to move the PCI slot over by ta.. >CLONG!<"

> BOFH EPISODE COMPILER ERROR, RECURSION REENTERED, EPISODE ABORTING < ®