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BOFH: Made of win

Episode 16 “We should enter one of those Innovation in IT awards!” the Boss burbles one day, sidling up to the PFY and myself in a pseudo-ingratiating manner. “We should what now?” the PFY asks. “IT awards. We should enter one – it’s a great way of raising the company’s profile.” “Oh, the company’s going to some awards?” I ask. “No …
Simon Travaglia, 27 Nov 2009

BOFH: Slab happy

Episode 15 Isn’t it annoying when senior management simply has to have access to every door, room, system and application in the enterprise - even if they have no idea what to do with the access once they get it. Like our new IT Director (after the previous Director tragically stepped over the protective railings and into the path of …
Simon Travaglia, 13 Nov 2009
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BOFH: The stupidity criticality

Episode 14 "I just don't understand him!" the PFY snaps. "Yes, well, you've got to remember we’re talking about a new Boss, so we're really looking at one of three types of people," I reply. "A - a grizzled professional who's seen and endured the stupidity of users. B - an idiot with no idea who just keeps his head down and waits till …
Simon Travaglia, 30 Oct 2009

BOFH: Baitin' switch

Episode 13 "OK, let's just take a look then," our recent office addition says, clicking on the network management tool. "Ah, there's your problem - your port is only set to 10 megabits per second, half duplex. If I just change that to auto you'll notice a short outage while your machine's network interface readjusts itself to 100 meg …
Simon Travaglia, 16 Oct 2009

BOFH: Weapon of choice

Episode 12 “...and it turns out that he’d ordered the 157-H43 instead of the 157-H44 unit," one engineer says, walking into Mission Control. "And as we all know...” “...the H43 has the tab on the other side!!!” the other engineer finishes. They both burst out laughing. Good times. The PFY has heard more than his fair share of …
Simon Travaglia, 02 Oct 2009

BOFH: Trussssst in me

Episode 11 Things have taken a strange turn - the Boss is trying to broker some form of peace between us and the Beancounters... "I'm just trying to understand the animosity," the Boss says. "It's historic," I say. "It goes back centuries." "It can hardly go back centuries - computers have only been around for half a century, and you …
Simon Travaglia, 11 Sep 2009
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BOFH: Hammer time!

Episode 10 "Ooooh, watch this!" I gasp happily to the Boss as he and I observe the PFY, from the relative safety of the webcam monitor in Mission Control. "What?" the Boss asks. "He's going to take a look at her PC!" "Isn't that part of his job?" "No this isn't a work machine, this is a home machine!" I snigger. "Still, if it's a …
Simon Travaglia, 24 Jul 2009

BOFH: A spot of bother

Episode 9 It's a bloody Friday afternoon. People should know not to bother us when all we're wanting is a slow glide to the weekend... >ring< "Our system isn't working." "Really," the PFY says, putting his newspaper down with a sigh. "What system is that then?" "The one which does the ticker tape thing at the bottom of my web." " …
Simon Travaglia, 03 Jul 2009
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BOFH: Stick this

Episode 8 "You've got to think of it in terms of sticks and carrots," I say to the PFY, "because users are complex - but stupid - stubborn animals, like donkeys." "Meaning?" "Meaning they respond to both rewards and punishment. So what you've got to do is find a balance between rewarding them for good behaviour - like not calling you …
Simon Travaglia, 12 Jun 2009

BOFH: Snout, meet trough

Episode 7 "How can you be broke?" I ask the PFY as I carry our lunch back to the table in several pint glasses. "I dunno." "But you were only paid yesterday!" "Yes, but I had expenses!" the PFY sniffs. "What could you possibly blow a month's cash on in a day?" "A Home Theatre PC ensemble," the PFY responds defensively. "Ah. OK, I …
Simon Travaglia, 29 May 2009

BOFH: Spontaneous Legal Combustion

Episode 6 The following concludes episodes 4b, 4c and 5b, which are available exclusively to Register Platinum Cookie readers (with access to the content opulent Register Website). For the benefit of general (Lead Cookie) readers, the following flashback snippets have been approved for distribution: Boss: You Bastards! (Episode 4b) …
Simon Travaglia, 01 May 2009

BOFH: Grand Theft Auto

Episode 5 "So what I'd like to know," the Boss seethes, "is what the hell took you so long?" "What do you mean 'so long'?" the PFY asks, sounding a little hurt. "You left here FIVE HOURS AGO to pick up a replacement toner cartridge!" "Yeah but..." "TWO OF YOU! IN MY CAR!" "You offered it!" I add. "But in any case we needed to be …
Simon Travaglia, 17 Apr 2009

BOFH: Defiling the profile

Episode 4 "What do you know about social networking?" the Boss murmurs quietly one morning, as I'm putting the finishing touches on my espresso. "You mean social networking as in 'I and a group of mates would like to be able to publish our outrageous drinking activities'? Or 'The wife and I have recently separated and I'm looking to …
Simon Travaglia, 27 Mar 2009

BOFH: Cable entanglements

Episode 3 "I've been thinking," the Boss says, wandering into Mission Control feigning nonchalance. "Surely with the number of movements in the building at the moment and the increasing copper price and all, we should invest in some data cable. Keep a stock of it on site. Ten boxes or so, what do you think?" "Excellent idea!" the PFY …
Simon Travaglia, 13 Mar 2009

BOFH: Aspie no questions

Episode 2 "It's... it's destroyed!" the Boss sniffles as he tilts the remains of his home computer up for me to see. "True, but then he was just doing what you told him to do." "It told him to go ahead and start the machine up if he thought it was fixed!" "No, you said, 'OK, give it a bash' - a completely different thing altogether …
Simon Travaglia, 20 Feb 2009

BOFH: A safe bet

Episode 1 "It's a Christmas miracle!" the PFY gasps, opening the safe door after our extended Christmas break to find... nothing. "Hardly," I say, reaching down to the floor of the safe to retrieve a business card from amongst the coins and cards than no doubt fell out of the Boss's wallet. "Secure Safe Services. Protected Storage …
Simon Travaglia, 23 Jan 2009

BOFH: Blackmail and fine wine

Episode 40 "So which of you is on call over the break?" the Boss asks. "Why are you asking?" the PFY asks. "Just thought it might be an opportune time to do a bit of housekeeping, you know, security audits... er..." "Our firewall has Intrusion Detection built into it," the PFY explains. "So we're safe then?" "As safe as a domain …
Simon Travaglia, 12 Dec 2008

BOFH: The Christmas party

Episode 39 "...Which leads to the next item - the office Christmas function," the Boss says to the assembled masses of the IT department. "The office function or the building function?" one of the helldesk geeks asks. "Just the office," the Boss says. "The director and I have been talking and he's keen that we all do something …
Simon Travaglia, 05 Dec 2008
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BOFH: The unwanted software compo

Episode 38 "So let me get this straight," the Boss says, looking at his email to the PFY's latest masterpiece. "You're proposing a software... amnesty?" "Yes," the PFY answers. "And what's a software amnesty when it's at home?" "It's a chance for people to turn in software they don't use any more," I explain. "So maybe you bought a …
Simon Travaglia, 21 Nov 2008

BOFH: The paperless cafeteria

Episode 37 "How's that paperless office coming along then?" the Boss asks enthusiastically as he enters Mission Control on his daily constitutional. "Paperless office?" the PFY asks. "Yes, you were saying the other day that we should go to paperless." "No I was saying how our printing and copying contract was extortionate," the PFY …
Simon Travaglia, 14 Nov 2008
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BOFH: Taking out a contract

Episode 36 "But the notes I have say you built a new machine just last year!" the Boss snaps, looking at the PFY's list of parts. "Why do you need a new one so soon?" "It's technical," the PFY says "You wouldn't understand." "Try me," the Boss snaps back. "What do you know about Quad Core Processor Technology?" "Nothing." "L1 and …
Simon Travaglia, 07 Nov 2008

BOFH: Radiating sincerity

Episode 35 When you've got a problem it's always good to have a couple of bastards to call upon in times of trouble. Sadly, Brand and Ross aren't taking calls at the moment, so I have to call upon a fellow IT bastard, Jerry, for his thoughts... "So how big is this pile of monitors?" he asks. "180 last count," the PFY says. "And you …
Simon Travaglia, 31 Oct 2008

BOFH: Fine detective work

Episode 34 "What's this?" the Boss demands, tossing a tattered faux leather-covered book at me. "This?" I say. "It looks like someone's diary." "Your assistant's - but what's inside it?" "I don't know. I'm not in the habit of reading personal stuff," I respond, choking down a chuckle. "I suggest you do!" he snaps. "Why, what am I …
Simon Travaglia, 24 Oct 2008

BOFH: Unfriendly ghosts

Episode 33 "But why can't we visit the site?" the Boss bleats one morning when we shoot his idea of seeing the ghost facility down. "It's a defence site," I lie. "They host defence computers as well as stuff for companies like us. They're probably not allowed to show people through their server rooms." "We should just turn up …
Simon Travaglia, 10 Oct 2008
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BOFH: The Mandelboat virus

Episode 32 If there's one thing a lifetime in computing teaches you, it's how to cover up your mistakes... "Oopsy," the PFY says in a casual tone mid-keypress - the sort of casual tone which, by its very casualness, means it's not casual at all. "What did you do?" I sigh, fully expecting to hear that some poor user now has a vast …
Simon Travaglia, 03 Oct 2008

BOFH: Remote access malarkey

Episode 31 "...And so you can just log in to my machine and look at it whenever you like?" our user asks indignantly. "Uh-huh," the PFY says, fixing the user's printer settings while he's talking. "And I don't have to give you permission or anything?" "I'd have assumed that was implied by ringing the helpdesk?" the PFY says. "Yes …
Simon Travaglia, 19 Sep 2008

BOFH: Back in the saddle

Episode 30 “How are you doing?” I say cheerfully, extending my hand in greeting to the two cabling guys that the beancounters got to shift some data cabling around – without telling us. “Clint and... John isn't it?” “Ay?” One of them says. “I'm Steve and this is Dave.” “My mistake,” I say. “I was obviously thinking of Clint Eastwood …
Simon Travaglia, 12 Sep 2008
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BOFH: Lock and reload

Episode 29 "We should sue!" the PFY snaps angrily, thumping the Boss's desk with vigour. "We can't let them get away with this!" "Really?" the Boss asks. "I'd hardly have thought you'd want to sue a fellow professional?" "PROFESSIONAL!" the PFY gasps. "They're cowboys! What sort of outsourcing company wouldn't put in a redundant …
Simon Travaglia, 05 Sep 2008
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BOFH: Burying the hatchet

Episode 28 There's something about a newly refurbished building that just appeals. Whether it's the contrast of old and new (i.e. the ancient glass fronted axe cases in the stairwell which no-one in their right mind would install these days, versus the almost ubiquitous security cameras which everyone seems to be installing these days) …
Simon Travaglia, 15 Aug 2008

BOFH: Smash + grab

Episode 27 The long-awaited weekend has almost arrived! The migration of the server room to the new site and the transfer of our 'crucial' services to the successful tendering party (ie our ghost facility) is about to commence. "But I still don't see why we need to pay a data transfer fee!" the Boss whinges. "Because they'll need to put …
Simon Travaglia, 08 Aug 2008
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BOFH: Server room secret panels

Episode 26 “It's a little... uh... large, isn't it?” one of our beancounters says as he scans the computer room in the new building during a site visit. “Optical illusion,” the PFY counters. “Machine rooms always look oversized when there's no kit in them. Take my word for it, once we install the racks and the cable trays the place …
Simon Travaglia, 01 Aug 2008

BOFH: The PFY wants a reference

Episode 25 "So let's just get this straight," I say to the PFY as he hovers about my desk. "You want me to write a reference for you lauding you as a veritable workplace IT savant who can leap laser printers in a single bound, bend RFPs in his bare hands and generally manage an IT project with the ease of a veteran?" "Yes." "So you …
Simon Travaglia, 18 Jul 2008

BOFH: The admin gene

Episode 24 "Woah!" the PFY breathes, looking up quickly. "Woah what?" the Boss asks, looking around cautiously, as I re-enter the room from the passage to the server room. "Nope, it'll be OK," I say to the PFY, ignoring the Boss for a moment. "What'll be OK?" "Are you sure?" the PFY asks. "It was quite noticeable." "What was …
Simon Travaglia, 04 Jul 2008

BOFH: The all-clicking, all-whirring Roboboss

Episode 23 I've got a particularly vexing game of multiplayer Enemy Territory on my hands when the new Boss rolls in and spoils everything. I say new Boss, as the previous one that everyone liked left for greener pastures and then his replacement left on medical grounds after accidentally pushing a paperclip into the live pin of a power …
Simon Travaglia, 20 Jun 2008
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BOFH: Shafting the consultants over the new layout

Episode 22 So we've got some external consultants here blundering through the requirements for the new building as a QA thing.. "It's not that we don't trust you," the Boss explains. "Far from it. It's just that senior management would like some assurance that everything you've asked for is a requirement and not just a nice-to-have …
Simon Travaglia, 13 Jun 2008

BOFH: Dealing with engineers

Episode 21 It seems the cunning machinations from last week have come to no avail - someone at the coloured pencil office still wants the PFY to give them a hand installing some macintoshes. "I hate going to see the designers," the PFY whines. "They're a bunch of overfed smelly beatniks who think that buying expensive desktops makes …
Simon Travaglia, 06 Jun 2008

BOFH: Testing the obscenity filters

Episode 20 "Hi, I'd just like some help setting up my Macintosh for access t..." >SLAM< . . . >Ring< "Hello?" the PFY says. "Hi, we must have got cut off, I was ringing for a bit of help setting up my Mac..." >SLAM< . . . >RING< "Is there something wrong with your phone?" the voice asks. "I don't think so," the PFY says. "But …
Simon Travaglia, 30 May 2008
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BOFH: The Batcave

Episode 19 "You know," I say to the PFY as I pore over some building plans. "I don't think the beancounters are as big a set of idiots as we've given them credit for." "How's that then?" the PFY asks. "This building they've bought - I've done some admittedly rough sums based around the floor space and previous sales in the area, and I …
Simon Travaglia, 23 May 2008

BOFH: The PFY's comeuppance

Episode 18 Some things you just don't want to waste half a day doing. Like talking to the company's shrink about whether the PFY should be referred to the authorities or not... "Okay, so my name is Catherine, I'm just gathering some background on what occurred a couple of days ago and would like to ask you some questions about Stephen' …
Simon Travaglia, 16 May 2008

BOFH: Shiny new computer room

Episode 17 "I think I have some good news..." the Boss chirps happily as he skips into Mission Control. "Good news?" the PFY says. "Very good news!" he gushes. "On a scale of one to ten?" "Ten - at least!" "Really," I say. "And what could possibly register as a ten?" "You're going to get a new computer room!" he blurts. "A new …
Simon Travaglia, 09 May 2008

BOFH: The Boss gets Grandpa Simpson syndrome

Episode 16 "...And we used to do pretty much everything from the switches on the front panel – bootstrapping, diagnostics, machine code reprogramming – all on toggle switches!" the Boss burbles happily "...those were the days!" "I'm sure they were," the PFY says dryly, rolling his eyes out of the Boss' view. "Oh, that was just the tip …
Simon Travaglia, 02 May 2008

BOFH: PFY's mum pays a visit

Episode 15 "And this is... uh... where I work >click<" the PFY says, opening the door briefly before closing it again and walking off. Curious... Moments later, the PFY is back and the door opens again briefly with a quick, "Ahh, my desk is the one over there. >click<" Curiouser... A short time later the door reopens once more and …
Simon Travaglia, 25 Apr 2008

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