BOFH > More stories

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BOFH: Licensing model

Episode 14 So the Boss had sensed a touch of animosity between us and one of our main software vendors after a recent bill and decided to grab the bull by the horns and invite them in to press-the-flesh and explain the new charging model they applied to us - without notice. Apparently, their reasoning ends up being that the new licensing …
Simon Travaglia, 18 Apr 2008
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BOFH: Lift laughs

Episode 13 "You HAD to push the button, didn't you?" the PFY snaps angrily at the Boss in the dark of the elevator. "I only just TOUCHED it!" the Boss snivels. "It's not like I actually PRESSED it!" "Now, now," I say. "No use crying over fried control panels. We need to take a look at how bad it is before we start getting upset. And …
Simon Travaglia, 11 Apr 2008
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BOFH: The London Underground vending machine conspiracy

Episode 12 >crash!< >stomp< >stomp< >stomp< >stomp< >clump< "Nice trip in then?" I ask the PFY as the Boss looks on warily. "Straight through was it, no stopping every ten seconds then?" "The tube was fine," the PFY snaps back. "Something else the matter then?" I ask. "Did someone get up on the wrong side of the traffic island?" "I …
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BOFH: Fun with automatic doors

Episode 11 "Really, I thought they'd be right up your alley!" the Boss sniffs disappointedly. "They're just sliding doors!" I comment. "Yes, but they're intelligent sliding doors – they've got scanners and a computer interface and everything!" "That's as may be, but they're not secure doors." "Yes they are, they use face recognition …
Simon Travaglia, 28 Mar 2008

BOFH: Impatience

Episode 10 "You’re not listening to me!" the Boss snaps. "Hmm?" "You’re not listening to me!" "Course I am," I say distractedly. "What did I say then?" "The users are unhappy." "I… What about?" the Boss asks, temporarily foiled by my Geller-like guesswork. "Some user thing or the other – their stupidity, the computer doing what …
Simon Travaglia, 21 Mar 2008

BOFH: On the brink

Episode 9 “You don’t have to do this,” I say calmly to the PFY as the wind and rain washes and whistles around us on the roof of the building. “I do!” the PFY says. “I have to!” “You don’t – it’s not... necessary” I say. “It IS!” the PFY counters urgently. “I must!” “Let's just think about this clearly,” I say, speaking quietly so …
Simon Travaglia, 14 Mar 2008
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BOFH: The secret gentlemen's club

Episode 8 It's mid afternoon and the PFY and I are sneaking around the building in pursuit of the IT director because he's acting funny... [READER: DEGAUSS NOW FOR FLASHBACK REALISM!] ...10 minutes ago... "Right, so you just want this signed then?" the director asks, scribbling blindly at the bottom of the page. "Okay, now if you'll …

BOFH: Vampires!

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 …
Simon Travaglia, 29 Feb 2008

BOFH: Insecurity complex

Episode 6 It’s Mission Control late one morning and we’re giving the Boss a damn good listening to... “...and I’ve been talking to Jim from P.R and he says that we can probably do a little better on our machine maintenance because when he was working in a former company he managed to get a 48 per cent reduction in price by presenting …
Simon Travaglia, 22 Feb 2008

BOFH: The Silence of the Servers

Episode 5 "Ah the long, dark reaches of intrigue!" I say faux-casually in the dark, scaring the Boss half to death. "What the hell are you doing here?" he cries when he's collected himself, no doubt readjusting his underpants in response to the recent extra loading. "It's a computer room, I belong here," I say, getting up from the …
Simon Travaglia, 15 Feb 2008

BOFH: Carbon neutrality

Episode 4 "What're they for?" the PFY asks as the Boss rolls in a trolley load of brightly coloured plastic bins. "They're for our recycling initiative," the Boss responds. "Red for plastic, white for paper, yellow for cardboard and blue for polystyrene." "What about glass?" the PFY asks. "Glass is to be sorted by colour into bins in …

BOFH: What GPS is for

Episode 3 The good thing about sales reps is that they're never too busy to come on site and explain a couple of their products to you if there's a potential sale in it. Better still when the IT consumables company replaces the grizzled veteran of "over a million 8 inch floppies sold" with Susan, a lovely young woman with a pleasant …
Simon Travaglia, 26 Jan 2008
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BOFH: Defusing the enthusiast

Episode 2 Isn't it always the way that at the beginning of the year, when your enthusiasm for work is at an ebb, that the Boss decides it's a good time to get someone in to talk about some piece of software that you just don't want to use? And isn't it also always the case that when you get someone in to talk to you they're not only an …
Simon Travaglia, 18 Jan 2008

BOFH 2007: Road trip

BOFH plays Pass the Password Episode 1 Resolution time BOFH: It's a funny old world isn't it? Episode 2 Adventure time! BOFH: The mystery of the vandalised office Episode 3 Sherlockian BOFH: Immortalised in print Episode 4 A little white lie never hurt anyone... The Bastard guide to work from work Episode 5 Like working from …
Team Register, 14 Jan 2008
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BOFH: Memory short circuit

Episode 1 There must be something in the water. I've got a shocking case of nominal amnesia which I can't shake and the PFY just isn't helping. True, being locked in a lift for several hours (until I'd fed sufficient pound notes through the doors to the PFY) just prior to the holidays didn't help, but I'm never really any good at getting …
Simon Travaglia, 11 Jan 2008

BOFH: Beancounter bashing

Episode 44 "You know what your probblim is?" one of the Beancounters slurs, using the ISO certified phrase to indicate that the speaker's had too much to drink "...you're out of touch!" "Really?" the PFY says, tipping back his drink with one hand while setting his modified cattle prod to 'stir-fry' with the other. "How's that then …
Simon Travaglia, 28 Dec 2007
bofh_sidey

BOFH: The trivia quiz

Episode 43 BOFH: The Trivia Quiz Yes! It's time for the Bastard Trivia Quiz! Test your skill! Place your bets! General Knowledge 1. You're in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike. Where do you go? A. N B. S C. E D. W E. To lunch 2. Network utilisation figures are reaching an all time high for no apparent reason. This probably …
Simon Travaglia, 21 Dec 2007
bofh_sidey

BOFH: Balancing the budget...

Episode 42 "Got a bit of work on I see," the Boss says, peering around the large mound of cartons clogging up Mission Control. "No, no, things are very quiet at the moment." "So what's all this then?" "This," I say, tapping on a carton. "is a... laptop, one of a batch of... nine, while this >tap< is a top-of-the-line workstation, one …
Simon Travaglia, 14 Dec 2007
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BOFH: Xmas party: Get a wriggle on

Episode 41 "Get a jiggle on," I tell the PFY as I clamber into the work vehicle, "or we'll be late." "Take it easy," the PFY responds calmly. "Stacks of time. The place doesn't even open for another hour." "Yeah, but it'll take us that long to get there!" I snap. "I'm sure we'll be ok," the Boss says, clambering into the back seat. "It …
bofh_sidey

BOFH: Friday madness

Episode 40 It's a Friday afternoon and the clock has stopped. All the clocks have stopped. It's been 2:15pm for the past two hours, I'm sure of it. "COME OOOOONNN!" the PFY whines. "It's no use," I say. "The seconds hand is moving but the minutes hand has just stopped!" "I want the pub," the PFY gasps. "I NEED the pub!" "Me too," I …
Simon Travaglia, 30 Nov 2007

BOFH: Spreading the festive cheer

Episode 39 "Ahhhhhh," I sigh cheerfully. "Smell that?" "You mean the whiff of cardboard, seasonal green and red ink and just a hint of glitter?" the PFY responds. "MMmmmm," I mumble. "Well, it's Christmas season again, isn't it?" the PFY concurs. "No... It's Christmas CARD season again," I say. "For the next three weeks we can expect …
Simon Travaglia, 23 Nov 2007
bofh_sidey

BOFH: Workplace accidents = 0

Episode 38 "Excellent," the new Boss burbles as the PFY updates the 'days since last workplace accident' sign (put there since the last IT decimation). "Ten days since the last accident." "I think you'll find that's a binary number," the PFY says. "Still... 10 days," the Boss counters to much rolling of eyes. "And that's only because …
Simon Travaglia, 16 Nov 2007

BOFH: How dangerous are your users?

BOFH Userometer Simon is resting this week. So we are republishing a quiz from 2004, this time with added interactive mojo. An online sysadmins resource Sure, your users may look about as likely to rebel as the pack of mindless sheep that they are - but can they be trusted? Are your users reading forbidden literature? Are they trying to climb …

BOFH: Budget cuts

Episode 37 Things are dire in Mission Control. Our plans for company IT domination have backfired on us like a baked bean vindaloo with a boiled cabbage chaser followed by a double helping of pickled onion ice-cream. And 10 pints of fizzy lager... "So you're saying that we have no operating budget?" I ask. "None," the head Beancounter …
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BOFH: A foray into HR

Episode 36 "It’s a somewhat unique situation," the HR droid says to the PFY and me as we meet in the IT director's office. "You see we've never replaced an entire department at one time and as such we need to be sure that due diligence takes place." "Due diligence?" the PFY asks. "Well yes. From a company standpoint we want to ensure …
Simon Travaglia, 26 Oct 2007
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BOFH: The bastard wants to know

Episode 35½ IT is a complex business and let's face it, hard to keep up with. At some stage in your career you're going to pass the point of no return where the next technological leap means as much to you as human rights to a defence contractor. But have you passed this point already? Are you just pretending to be the IT expert that you …
Simon Travaglia, 19 Oct 2007

BOFH: A tragic accident

Episode 35 It's an exceptionally quiet morning at Mission Control and the PFY and I are killing time by rifling through the director's PA's drawers to see if she left anything good behind when she departed the company. "Ah... excuse me?" a voice asks haltingly from behind the partition. "Yep?" the PFY asks, always willing to help out …
Simon Travaglia, 12 Oct 2007

BOFH: Skip diplomacy

Episode 34 "Hurry up and get the door open!" I gasp as the PFY fumbles with his swipe card at the back door of the building. "Ok, ok," the PFY whispers back. "I'm working as fast as I can! >swip< Got it!" >bip< >bip< >bip< >bip< >bip< >click< "Right, I'll hold the door, you pick up that lot." "Okay," the PFY says, hefting up a bunch …
bofh_sidey

BOFH: You think you know a guy...

Episode 33 "He seemed..." the PFY says, gazing out the window sadly. "...So normal." "I know," I respond. "But you never can tell what's going on in someone's head." "But he was such a good bloke!" "I know," I say again. "You think you know someone, then something like this happens..." "Something like what?" the Boss asks, entering …
Simon Travaglia, 28 Sep 2007
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BOFH: In search of the lazy atom

Episode 32 "That's that stuffed then," the PFY sighs, looking up from his screen. "What, OpenOffice?" I ask, having read the recent blue whale news. "No, no, an experiment I was doing." "What's that then?" I ask, peering over his shoulder. "... Actually what IS that?" "This is a view down an electron microscope." "At what?" "All …
Simon Travaglia, 21 Sep 2007

BOFH: Building changes

Episode 31 "Just before you go," the Boss cries, waving some building plans at me as I'm ducking out to lunch. "Can you just take a look at this?" "What is it?" "We're just looking at making a few small alterations on the third floor," he responds. "And I'd like to get your thoughts on them." "Didn't we make some 'small' alterations …
Simon Travaglia, 14 Sep 2007

BOFH: Chilling the bearings

Episode 30 "So what are we looking at here?" the PFY says as the Boss humps a desktop machine into Mission Control. "It's dead," the Boss says, tapping the cover of the machine gently. "Dead as in DEAD or dead as in it's not booting properly?" "I... it's not booting properly." "Right then, slap her on the desk and I'll have a gander …
Simon Travaglia, 31 Aug 2007

BOFH: New toys

Episode 29 "What's the timeframe on the install of that videoconferencing device?" the Boss asks, bowling into Mission Control, dressed, as the saying goes, like a pox doctor's clerk. "Yeah, good," the PFY says looking up from the assorted pieces of hardware on his desk. "No, I wanted the timeframe till it's in place, not a status." " …
Simon Travaglia, 17 Aug 2007

BOFH: Damsels in distress

Episode 28 So the PFY and I are both on a quick junket to Paris and have managed to score seats in business class thanks to the combination of the Boss' short sightedness and the PFY accidentally stepping on his glasses until the lenses broke. "So what's this junket about then?" I ask the PFY while making the exact amount of eye contact …
Simon Travaglia, 10 Aug 2007

BOFH: Dodging the auditors

Episode 27 "Oops," the PFY says, looking away from his screen guiltily. "What?" "I think I've just dropped the indexes from the financials database." "Ok," I say. "No need to panic, we can probably recreate the indexes on the fly from the table data." "Yeah, no." "No?" "I dropped the tables as well." "So what you meant to say when …
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BOFH: Moving faster than blame

Episode 26 >clickety< >clickety< >tip< >tap< “ >clickety< >tap< >clickety< >clickety< >tap< >clic..< >tap< >tap!< >TAP< >TAP!< >TAP!< "Financials server's not responding again!" the PFY says, looking up from his monitor. "Hmmm. >click< ping test says it's up - must be just the app." >clickety< >tap< >clickety< >tap< "Yep, I can …
Simon Travaglia, 27 Jul 2007

BOFH: Operation bean the beancounter

Episode 25 "Okay, so where are we at?" I ask the PFY as I review plan 32 beta. "Right then," the PFY responds with the ruthless efficiency of a seasoned professional. "32 Beta is a GO! At oh seven thirty and I printed 12 copies of >shuffle< this >shuffle< picture to various printers around the building." "Ah," I say distastefully. " …
Simon Travaglia, 20 Jul 2007

BOFH: A question of urgency

Episode 24 "How's that job going?" the Boss asks hurriedly, ducking into Mission Control. "Which job?" I ask. "The installation," he responds, obviously believing that I have some idea of what he's talking about. "The installation?" I ask. "The server installation." "What server installation?" I ask, beginning to wonder if the …
Simon Travaglia, 13 Jul 2007

BOFH: Computer room deluge

Episode 23 "Water!" the PFY gasps, entering Mission Control from the computer room. "Where?" I ask, to which the PFY responds with an urgent wave to his entry point. "F%**" I say moments later as I survey the steady stream of water coming down the computer room wall. "Where's it coming from?" "Dunno," the PFY says, shaking his head …

BOFH: Printer cartridge? What printer cartridge?

Episode 22 "Simon, Stephen, this is David and uhh... " the Boss says, petering out as his memory fails. "Carl," David says. "Carl. And they'll be running the new Multifunction Printing Device rollout." "I... What multifunction printing device rollout?" the PFY asks. "The Multifunction Printing Device Project? There was a whole …
Simon Travaglia, 22 Jun 2007

BOFH: Talking to tradesmen

Episode 21 "You're stuffed," our friendly Sparky says, stepping back from our switchboard and putting his clamp meter away. "Stuffed - and that's a technical term?" the Boss asks sarcastically. "Yep!" the Sparky replies. "So what does it mean then?" the Boss continues. "It MEANS," the PFY says, "that there's no more capacity in the …
Simon Travaglia, 15 Jun 2007
bofh_sidey

BOFH: PFY rescue mission

Episode 20 The world is full of great duos focused on a common goal - Hillary and Norgay, Armstrong and Aldrin, Sooty and Sweep - and so is the world of computing. There's nothing like having a good backup guy, and for me the PFY was that man. My go-to guy, the PFY could be trusted to know what I was looking for almost before I did …