back to article BOFH: Lock and reload

"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 …


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  1. Riscyrich
    Thumb Up

    About bloody time !

    Nuff said....

  2. Vince sanz
    Thumb Up

    The BOFH rides again - this time with CASH in mind

    Awsome... could of used some gratuitus violence but still a classic Trav read

  3. Nemo Metis

    i hate to be pedantic...

    but where's episode 28? or has it vanishe into the ghost server room?

  4. mittfh

    Novel strategy...

    Neat idea - instead of merely setting in motion a chain of events which lead to the Boss having an unfortunate (and usually deadly) "accident", keep him alive but milk him for every £ he's got...

    But always keep the "unfortunate accident" plans handy for if he gains a clue and starts getting suspicious of the off-site hosting company...

  5. Chris
    Paris Hilton

    Oh this one... sure to run and run :-)

    Paris: We'd all like to run and run with this one

  6. Richard
    Thumb Up

    Inspired by...

    ... recent FastHosts lawsuits perchance? (Shirely Shum Mishtake?).

    Quality as always.

    -- Richard

  7. Steve

    Ahh, memories

    Callback buffers, escape sequences, Ctrl_E, and unfiltered email. Those were the days...

  8. Jeff
    Thumb Up

    A real BOFH!

    This one can go in the books as a classic case of BOFH! Absolute genius! Making a rule for yourself to run RELOAD every time you get a cup of coffee, and realizing seven cups later that ít's a lot of coffee... I almost spilled mine :-D

  9. Tony Barnes

    Haha - lovely - but why the wait???

    Been a sad couple of fridays wondering where they'd got to... :(

    Still, back with a bang!

  10. David
    Thumb Up

    Can today get any better?

    Woke up happy

    4 coffees for breakfast

    great dlr journey

    30 mins outta the office for a fire alram

    a great bofh

    and its pub time

  11. Danny
    Thumb Up

    thumbs up

    well, that sure took it's time to be written, good form though, i laughed my arse of.

  12. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: i hate to be pedantic...

    Well, don't be pedantic, then, silly.

    Episode 28 went briefly to hell, decided it was a bit on the mild side, and is now back in its proper place in the archives.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    For a minute there...

    ...i recognized somewhere I used to work!

  14. Rosuav
    Thumb Up

    Expectations and expectations

    One of MY expectations is that a new BOFH will be worth reading. So far, I've yet to be diddled on that one! :)

  15. Bob

    Worth the way

    laughed my ass off :P

  16. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    Does anybody still use...

    ...rs232 terminals, or even TTY emulators, to manage routers? Surely, SNMP, bespoke applications and web-based access rule nowadays. Can you even buy asynchroneus terminals anymore?

    Oh well, must be the recycled stuff from the bin that they managed to re-use and sell back again.

    I need my coat, it's raining here!

  17. Mike Morris

    This page intentionally left blank...

    Could save us a lot of wondering if you'd post a "No BOFH" on the weeks Simon has too much time in at the pub, I mean holiday. I'm off...



  18. Anonymous Coward

    @ Vince sanz

    I think the grammar you're looking for is "... could HAVE used some..." or even "...could've used some..."

    Grrrrr @ the use of the word "of" these days.

  19. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: This page intentionally left blank...

    Ooh yes, because I'd love to have to deal with the angry "what's the point of this? WHERE IS MY BOFH? YOU'RE JUST RUBBING IT IN!" comments.

    Basically, if there isn't a BOFH for the week, you'll know because it isn't there. Seems logical enough. Anyway, there's always the archives which go all the way back to 1979.

  20. Squits

    I love you guys

    You remind me of Amiga Power.

  21. Louis
    Thumb Up

    @ Sarah Bee

    I see Mike's point, it would save a lot of reloading the BOFH page, while waiting on a friday...

    Then again, I see your point. I know I'd have put on an angry comment demanding a new BOFH... After all, Simon is a slave to the BOFH now, and he gave up any right to a personal life as soon as it was added to El Reg... Didn't he?

    Methinks the Moderatrix has been on holiday for the past couple of weeks so he has had a rest from the whipping and chaining and thought he'd just have a break. It's just not cricket, old bean! Mr Travaglia ought to be lashed with the "Cat", then thoroughly beaten with a stick, then made to write the next 10 BOFH's so that if ever he happens to be incapacitated due to the punishment dished out by said Moderatrix, er, I mean on holiday due to overwork *ahem* we don't go without our fix!


    PS Excellent episode... When is the TV serial coming? And*, not really wishing to restart the old debate, but who would play who? I've always thought Adrian Edmunson needs some decent material to get his teeth into, after the Young Ones and Bottom, he's been a bit pants ever since...

    (Indeed, one is aware one should not begin a sentence with a preposition, but language is *organic* and one does so like to play)

  22. Mike Smith

    Re: This page intentionally left blank...

    "Ooh yes, because I'd love to have to deal with the angry "what's the point of this? WHERE IS MY BOFH? YOU'RE JUST RUBBING IT IN!" comments"

    Sarah, Sarah, take a leaf out of the BOFH's book. Leave the complaints to the beancounters and remember - don't get mad, don't get even, get AHEAD.

    For example, you get a "WHERE IS MY BOFH? I WIL NEVR READ EL REGISTRY AGAIN!1! UR ALL LAMERZZ!!!" email from .

    Do you delete it? No.

    Do you reply with, "FOAD?" No.

    Do you reply and say, "very sorry, please keep reading, Simon will be back next week?" Yes.

    Having done that, do you then feel guilty for letting your loyal readers down? No. Do you record the complaint? No.


    (a) clickety-clickety s-u-b-s-c-r-i-b-e w-h-i-n-g-i-n-g-_-l-u-s-e-r-@-h-o-t-m-a-i-l-.-c-o-m l-i-s-t-s-e-r-v-.-b-e-s-t-i-a-l-i-t-y-.-d-o-n-k-e-y-s;

    (b) put into your address book, track him down on MySpace, Bebo and Facebook and ask him to be your friend. You, of course, use the profiles on those sites that you created specially, and which are full of porn, warez and every bit of malware you can find;

    (c) register on, and every website recorded in your little black book that spews out terabytes of marketing information every day;

    (d) register as the owner of an eBay shop selling his unprotected backside for £10 an hour.

    We need a horned telephone icon :-)

  23. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: This page intentionally left blank...

    Heh. If I were to undertake to BOFHinate everyone who crossed me, I'd need an assistant.

  24. Cap'n wotsit

    @sarah Bee

    You know its only a ruse so we can all post messages to you, so you can feel special and wanted ;)

    goes and hides mod poking stick in coat of next poster, and runs to the pub

  25. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @sarah Bee

    Whatever would one do without you, Cap'n.

  26. Mike Smith

    @Sarah Bee

    Assistant? The PFG (Pimply-Faced Girl) perhaps?

  27. Graham Marsden

    @Sarah Bee

    > I'd need an assistant.

    Where do we apply?!

    (The queue starts behind me!)

  28. kenzie

    /me joins the queue

    Sounds like a fun job!

    Excellent episode as always - I <3 Simon =)

  29. Michael

    Stop Refreshing the BOFH Page!

    RSS This.


  30. Ismael
    Thumb Up

    On the queue

    BOFHing people as a job? Where do I sign in?

    By the way, it's good to read BOFH again after all this time. I was almost feeling... strange. A little nicer, gentler and kinder to other people. I was almost giving a crap abou my coworkers feelings!

    But, thanks to Simon, everything is back to normal now. I think I'm gonna push someone down the stairs to celebrate this day.

  31. Mike Smith
    Thumb Up

    TV serial


    "When is the TV serial coming?"

    I'm trying to do exactly that, but it's not as easy as one might think. As I think I've said elsewhere on El Reg, most of BOFH these days is predicated on a dramatic irony that needs a good technical knowledge to appreciate. Having said that, things are slowly taking shape. The tricky part is treading the line between writing mainstream rubbish and calling it BOFH and putting in too much technical stuff.

    I'm putting together a set of scripts for a TV series, plus a Christmas special, all based on the stuff Simon's turned out over the years. If - IF it works and if Simon's happy with it (I wouldn't dream of plagiarising his work) then we'll have the minor challenge of getting the thing made. We can only try :-)

    @Simon (if you're reading): I've got two weeks off work now to concentrate on it. If it looks like it'll work, I'll be in touch towards the end of the month.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Late but worth the wait

    Dead on Simon. This was way to long coming but made my morning as always, cheers.

    Mine is the one with the "insulation tester" in the pocket.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    @Sarah Bee


    oooohhh, really asking for it with that one.

    Think I'll just get me coat and keep on going.

  34. TonyZ


  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Sad, Sad Peter Gathercole

    "...rs232 terminals, or even TTY emulators, to manage routers? "

    Have you ever managed a router? I mean besides that Linksys you reboot almost weekly at home... Real admins don't need GUI's. REAL NOS's & IOS's don't include them either...

    "Surely, SNMP, bespoke applications and web-based access rule nowadays."

    Yup... Write a system any fool can use and only fools will use it.

    "Can you even buy asynchroneus terminals anymore?"

    To the best of my knowledge, no company has EVER sold an asynchroneus terminal. However, Terminal servers in some respect are still making their rounds... Ever use "Remote Desktop" or VNC? if so, WTF do you think you are doing? Where do you think that technology is rooted? Terminal servers are NOT dead...

    I'm willing to bet in 5 years time most corporations will be back on them, what better way to cut IT costs, site power consumption & increase security than removing all DASDs from client workstations?

  36. Marty McFly Silver badge

    @Sarah Bee - old style

    When he was younger, the BOFH did this a lot...

    "Hi Sarah, I will be glad to check on where the current BOFH issue is. What is your user name?"

    -Clickty clack clickty clack-

    "Hmmm.... I cannot seem to find that user name in the system..."

    -Clickty clack-

    "Or even any files or emails with that user name..."

  37. Rhys

    I wonder where his holiday will be

    That he will use all that holiday money for... I bet he won't even have to pay the airfares, It must be junket time again, what convention is currently on in Vegas?

  38. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    NEUKlearer Bombes aWAI ....

    "Heh. If I were to undertake to BOFHinate everyone who crossed me, I'd need an assistant." .... By Sarah Bee Posted Friday 5th September 2008 14:08 GMT

    Semms like El Reg Hosts an AIRmy of XXXXProfessional Volunteers .... True Amateurs ...... Lovers in The Ultimate Craft .....BetaTesting/Master Piloting Space Time Continua Machinery ....... for Virtual TelePortation into Any Known Dimension ........ and there will be as Many as you can Imagine, IT's True.

    Love the TV Series Idea. ....... That's a very Naughty Idea/Gravitational Waves/EMP :-) An In House Styled Master Peace.

    And that is NIRobotIQs Proposal. Something for Holywood to Facilitate and Direct?..... or would Produce to Master Script be Easier with Current Feeds and Established Trusted Sources ...... Life Long Friends and Lovers too, Naturally. :-)

  39. Ben


    Nice to see that the plot was more sophisticated than simply killing all the antagonists. Well done.

  40. Nat C.

    Either amfM is feeling better...

    ...or I am. I've actually been able to understand him for at least a couple of weeks now. Good to see the man back to his old rambling, incoherent self.

    /smiley because there's no *phew* icon

    //if we had as many icons as Reg readers think we need, the comments module would take 5 minutes to load on 10MBps cable.

  41. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Ca Ira.

    "I've actually been able to understand him for at least a couple of weeks now. Good to see the man back to his old rambling, incoherent self." .... By Nat C.

    Posted Saturday 6th September 2008 21:03 GMT

    Welcome to the Beautiful Confusion that is Orderly Control of and in Probably Certifiable Madness in ChaotIQ Alter-Egos .... In Sanity's Total DisRegard of Unnecessary Haste ...... IDSuperEgo

    Just BetaTesting AIdDeeper Waters, Nat C. In Order to See who Swims There too.

    Heavenly Pools In Deed, indeed. Seventh Heaven Safe Havens .... Piloting the Mysteries and Mastering the Programs which Rule with Covens.

    Men are from Mars and Women are the Priceless Source of Infinite Mystery which Drivers/Servers with Them. ....... which would be NEUKlearer White Heat ...XSSXXXXually Transmitted Treatise for AlienContactFusion ....

    For a Brave New World, and NeuReally Virgin, in which to Build and Live in the Future....... and All Simply dDelivered with the Power of Words Shared........ Speech.

    And Nations Shall Speak Peace Unto Nations..... Again.

    Hey Dude, Let IT be ................. Catch ITs Gravitational Wave and Enigmatic EMPulse......... which would be no Less than a Universal HeartBeat and a Breath before Action? :-)

    And I would just wish to draw your attention to the Dali Contention, which I could not Possibly Disagree with ....... "The only difference between a Madman and me, is that I am not Mad." Thus is it to IT a Vulnerability and a Weakness to Process Further So. Such a Conscious and Deliberate Mistake is XXXXStreamly Costly and Would be Punishingly So 42 Compensate with Exemplary Damage and DeConstruction Costs.

  42. Steve

    Re: @Sad, Sad Peter Gathercole

    > To the best of my knowledge, no company has EVER sold an asynchroneus terminal.

    VT52s & 100s? Wyse? Newbury?

    I remember the days when my asynchronous terminal had more processing power (a Z80 in the monitor and another in the keyboard) than the RML380Z it was connected to...

  43. Peter Gathercole Silver badge


    I was only wondering...

    And yes, I have managed routers and terminal servers, but not for about 15 years! And even then, it was mostly telnet and latterly SSH. This is why I asked.

    I probably have as much RS232 terminal experience as anybody, having been in tech. support for 25+ years, and having been SME on terminals whereever I was for much of that time.

    I even wrote a complete (and I mean complete, every function coded as per the DEC documentation) VT52 emulation and a TEK4010/4014 emulation for the Beeb (did not do a VT100, as commercial products like Computer Concepts Communicator and Acorn Termulator came along that did a reasonable, although not perfect job).

    Yes, Newbury, DEC VTxxx (40 through 420 including REGIS graphics), Wyse 50 and 60, HP2394, IBM 3151 (spit, bloody compatibillity [or lack thereof] cartridges), 3152, 3153, Beehives, TTY43, IBM Golfball Selectric typewriter conversions, Tektronix 4010-4125, AT&T 5412, 5620 BLIT and 630s, plus a huge number of compatible and near compatible terminals that I can not even remember. I could go through the BSD Termcap source and tick off having used or seen a significant number of the terminals listed therein!

    And... I am still intrigued as to whether people still use that RS232 port on the back of the router.

    Mine has the 1980 copy of the DEC Terminal hanbook falling apart in the pocket.

  44. Brian McMahon

    "Dumb" terminals...

    Remember seeing somewhere ... the code base for the DEC V420 firmware (rocking little terminals ... dual-screen capable and all ... ) was larger than the code base for UNIX versionj 6...

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