back to article BOFH: The Mandelboat virus

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 …


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  1. Ferry Boat

    I give it

    about 13 minutes before the wikipedia entry exists.

  2. Austin Denyer

    Pure Poetry

    Title says it all.

  3. twat

    Been there-done that

    One of the most essential job requirements of a systems admin is to be able to cover their tracks when they make a cock-up. Some years ago when repairing a crashed Netware server I accidently trashed the email router PC. After fixing the server I waited for the first user to say "The email is not working". So I came up with the explanation that when the server crashed it corrupted the email router.

    No-one ever suspected the truth.

  4. Jeff
    Thumb Up


    ""What did you do?" I sigh, fully expecting to hear that some poor user now has a vast amount of space available where their files used to be. "

    Epic! I'll use that quote more than once from now on ;-)

    Further more, your insight on how to abuse Wiki... how sad it is that it's the truth...

    Thanks! It was a long wait, but a wait worth while!

    PS: Would like to note the PFY seemed a little off... more like a new PFY who doesn't now how the wheels work yet, in stead of the wintered through PFY we all know and love...

  5. Kevin Fields

    Another Laugh Out Loud Moment!

    BRILLIANT! The BOFH always gets a chuckle out of me, but it's been awhile since I've laughed so loud that it woke my wife up in the middle of the night. Thank, Simon!

  6. Chris


    Fín hilarious and brilliant! Poor users who are left at the PFY and Simon's mercy... But it makes great reading!

    Have a good weekend lads and ladies!

  7. bmuckknock
    Thumb Up

    Very much like real-life

    i mean it

    and it really made me laugh :-)

  8. jubtastic1
    Thumb Up

    Story Rings a bell

    One of the best, you've inspired me to try bigger and greater things next time there's an assisted titsup

  9. Scott

    happens to the worst of us.

    The new techie guy keeps clicking shut down when hes logged onto a terminal, not popular with some users round here at the moment what with lose 2 hours work :)

    I think the third time i hit him round the back of the head with my newspaper hes getting the message, i told him the forth time he does it hes cleaning out the IT store room.

  10. David Haig
    Thumb Up

    Thank you Simon ...

    ... Another great episode - and we've all been in BOFH / PFY's position

  11. Ryan

    My new fave BOFH ever

    I'm prepared to believe this one is fact, not fiction!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Re: I give it

    Well done Mr Boat -- according to my reckoning it only took you 7 minutes!! I'm impressed :-)

  13. Paul Murphy
    Coat open

    Yep - the entry is there now.

    he he - I hope I don't get the mandlebota virus,

    err Mondlebat, Mangletoad, err torblednam.

    mines the one with the pretty pattern (like a terradactyl on fire) on the back.


  14. Paul

    Not only

    is there a Wiki entry, but rather than deleting it, someone has marked it as "The truthfulness of this article has been questioned."

    I think the phrase is "LMFAO"

  15. Paul Murphy


    ------- taken from page header ---------------

    This page may meet Wikipedia’s criteria for speedy deletion as an article or other page which is unsalvageably incoherent with no meaningful content or history; it is patent nonsense. This does not include poor writing, vandalism, material not in English, badly translated material, hoaxes, etc. See CSD G1.Patent nonsense(CSD G1)G1

    If this page does not meet the criteria for speedy deletion, or you intend to fix it, please remove this notice, but do not remove this notice from pages that you have created yourself. If you created this page and you disagree with its proposed speedy deletion, please add:


    directly below this tag, and then explain why you believe this article should not be deleted on its talk page. This will alert administrators to permit you the time to write your explanation. See help writing your first article.

    Administrators: check links, history (last), and logs before deletion. Consider checking Google.

    Please consider placing the template:

    {{subst:nonsensepage|Mandelboozer|header=1}} ~~~~

    on the talk page of the author.

    ------- / taken from page header ---------------

    I think they are onto you Simon,


  16. Niall


    So true. A long loud stream of explicitives indicates a browser tab has been closed accidently, a quiet little oops means I've dropped the database(again).

  17. Mike Hartley

    Absolute Genius - Definitely one of THE best ever!

    I have tears streaming down my face and coffee all over my keyboard after reading that - as well as seriously aching sides and a distinct lack of breath.

    One of the truly great episodes in the BOFH legacy.

  18. Chris Bone

    wikki entry.....

    now re-directs to BOFH entry - fame at last!

  19. Anonymous Coward

    A Classic

    No more to say!

  20. Anonymous Coward


    It should be know as the Mandelson Virus.

    Mine's the one with the plain brown envelope in the pocket.

  21. Rick Giles
    Thumb Up

    Must be the day after pay day...

    cause the BOFH/PFY are in good form.

  22. Fluffykins Silver badge

    Stuff a Wikipedia entry?

    Who d'you think you are? Phorm or something?

  23. Wilberforce
    Thumb Up

    Friday's complete now.

    I was grinning at "Oopsy", giggling at "Chutney" and "Ferret" was up to laughter... I've long since learned not to read Bastard with food / drink nearby.

    One of the best for a while, I feel

  24. John Grasett

    Yuppers - it's official!

    Mines the one with the hanky in the pocket, for wiping the laughter-tears away.

    The entry indeed does exist. Have ot add it to my watchlist to make sure no wiki-good-two-shes tries to get it deleted.

    Farkin hilarious chapter too - hence the jacket.

  25. Working Grunt

    An ear in Gordon's Office?

    Return of the Mandelboat virus - appears to have infected the UK Cabinet also

  26. Anonymous Coward

    You suck.

    In a nutshell - this demonstrates why most IT administrators suck. The article is about a couple of jackas$es who screw up something big, and instead of having the balls to admit their mistakes, they would rather roll back everyone's work from an old backup? What part of that is funny?

  27. Anonymous Coward

    It is now officially friday

    And my world is a little brighter, cheers Simon. A top notch entry and reminds me of times when I've done more or the less the same stuff to cover the inevitable "oops".

  28. Dalen

    As an additional note

    Thank you, Simon, for ruining what otherwise may have been a productive day at work. Now I can't concentrate because of the funny.

  29. Dave

    For really big mistakes...

    For really big mistakes, you don't need to ask what happened. For example, last week, I was running a multi-hour software test session on a machine when the techie in the next cubical mutters "Oppsie!". Immediately, the terminal on the system I'm using says "System going down for halt NOW". Pretty obvious that he'd shutdown the wrong system.


  30. Dalen
    Thumb Up

    Everything I learned about system administrating, I learned from reading BOFH

    Nuff said. The Wikipedia part just killed me. Which one of you guys created the page?

  31. sean


    i love it! one of the best episodes in a while but the comments & wikipedia just add to it.

    top work simon, and all you lot above this comment also.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    The Wikipedia entry...

    Rather amusing to trawl through the history of the wiki entry

  33. Anonymous Coward


    that's all.

    @ac - you need to get a sense of humour; take the weekend off; get a couple pints...something...anything!

  34. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Onwards and upwared

    The wikipedia entry was pure genius

  35. mittfh

    It's back!

    Still being considered for deletion, but not a speedy deletion any more. (20:05), courtesy of "PhilKnight".

    Meanwhile, "Parsonsa123" was the first off the starting blocks, at 11:58

    The article's talk page states: "Original post is factually accurate. Modifications since have been inaccurate. Consider reverting rather than deleting" (crafty - IP somewhere in BT's range but no rDNS)

    The articles for deletion page:

    Notability concerns - lack of significant coverage in reliable sources independent of the subject. PhilKnight (talk) 17:55, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

    * Merge to Bastard Operator From Hell - article's creation appears to have been a forum joke, perhaps it deserves a mention in the BOFH article, otherwise just delete. --GW_SimulationsUser Page | Talk 18:30, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

  36. Anonymous Coward

    56 minutes...

    Best conjunction of BOFH and Wikifiddling ever...

  37. Andrew

    @ you suck


  38. Chris Gregory


  39. David S

    @ jubtastic1

    For the record, I'm planning to borrow "assisted titsup" in the future. It's genius. I hope you won't mind.

  40. David Yellope

    Sorry, boyos..

    no more fun with memes :)

  41. Dave
    Thumb Up


    Not only was the story a good one, but going to Wikipedia and reviewing all the edits and the apparent sense-of-humour failure of the admin staff there made it even better. Well done whoever pointed out:

    "If this article is deleted or merged, then every article on a movie/soap/play/novel/cartoon character or place or plot device should be deleted or merged too. Which I believe would destroy roughly half Wikipedia in terms of article number, and 80% in terms of views."

  42. Anonymous Coward

    Spoil sports, they have deleted it and that link now points to the BOFH entry

    @ac- you suck..... We need this persons name and address (Register, leave their details in a unmarked brown envelope in the server room and I am sure the necessary will be done) clearly an infiltrator who needs to “visit” a tall dark lift shaft late at night and should never have been reading the Register in the first place.

  43. Taters

    Love it

    Nothing like waking up and seeing a new bofh, lets me know my day is going to be good :)

  44. RW

    @ Paul Murphy: terradactyl?

    DYM earth-fingered or third-planet-from-sun-fingered?

    Or DYM teradactyl? You have 10^12 fingers?

    Oh! YM pterodactyl!

  45. Ken Hagan Gold badge
    Black Helicopters


    ...that a virus which reverts changes should have a wikipedia page that had to be reverted to its original text. Does that mean wikipedia IS the Mentalbrute virus?

  46. Jeremy
    Thumb Down


    No fair! Someone make Mandelboat, ...Bank and ...Boober

    It's been referenced in the popular press so why not?

  47. Tails
    Thumb Up


    The BOFH from Mobius gives his approval.

  48. Rosuav

    Hehe. Domain registered on Oct 3rd. Chris Gregory, is that yours?

  49. Andy H

    Prime example of the problems of Wikipedia

    Last 'admin' comment

    SirFozzie (Talk | contribs) m (Protected Mandelboozer: To keep Reg readers from un-redirecting the latest BOFH excuse *waves* ([edit=autoconfirmed] (indefinite) [move=autoconfirmed] (indefinite)))

    " The latest BOFH excuse *waves* " And they try to make out they are an authoritative information repository

  50. mittfh

    Anyone up for adding it to the main BOFH page?

    Since we can't reinstate the Mandelboozer page, how about adding it somewhere within the main BOFH article, including a mention of the page uptime...

    From looking at the history, here are the timespans the article was alive:

    11:58 --> 13:27 (1 hr 29 min)

    (Redirected for 23 min)

    13:50 --> 01:15 (11 hrs 25 min)

    So from creation to final deletion was 13 hrs 17 min. Take away the redirect time and it was alive for 12 hrs 54 min.

    Look, it's lunchtime and I'm bored, but my linguistic skills aren't up to giving Mandelboozer a quality airing in the main BOFH article - hence I did the maths instead :)

  51. Chris Gregory


    Not me unfortunately!

  52. Duckorange
    Thumb Up

    Ah, happy days...

    ...changing folder names for laughs and blaming a virus.

    "But why is my folder now called 'Vinegar Tits'?"

    "Who can tell how these people work"

  53. Michael

    @ AC 16:24

    >>>What part of that is funny?

    The part where it's fiction...

  54. Chronos


    Of course. We would never alter the Squid box to 307 his top five sites to some rather nasty dwarf on contortionist pr0n then "accidentally" find his browser cache and get him the "cardboard box and security escort" treatment, would we? It's just not in our nature to take an active role in disillusioning them of the notion that we're there to serve them by fixing their home computer (which is infested beyond all redemption due to little Jimmy, the CFO's son, being addicted to Limewire and the CFO himself having the clue-level of a cane toad that has just met the Australian national cricket team at a new bat testing session) on our lunch break while they fuck off to the pub with the other bean-counters, is it?

    Rule #1: Never tell the lusers it's not real.

    Rule #2: Never tell the lusers it's not real. I know that's technically rule 1 again, but it seemed so important that I felt mentioning it twice was warranted.

  55. CTG
    Thumb Up

    One of the best ever...

    I larfed and larfed. This is also one of the most realistic episodes ever.

    Odd though that the PFY has a kiwi accent (hint: "Ay?" is usually spelt "Eh?" in the UK, Simon).

  56. Anonymous Coward

    re: Anyone up for adding it to the main BOFH page?


    Joke alert, except it's not a joke.

  57. gr1bb

    Frakin great

    one of the best in a month or so

  58. Jon Beck
    Thumb Up

    And now for something completely different!

    You have to love it when reality and imagery collide like this..

    Now if we could only make some of these lusers gain a bit of humor, we'd have the best of both worlds!

    My hat's off to all of you!

  59. Sridhar Ayengar


    If this new techie guy of yours worked here, he'd get a newspaper across the back of his head the first time he did it. The second time, he'd get called to the carpet. The third time, he'd be out on his ass.

  60. Anonymous Coward


    "Eh" is misspelled universally - nothing new there.

    Either way, 'Ay' is not used in the same context as a kiwi would - that'd be more like:

    "I think I may have changed everyone's address book surname to 'Chutney' ay"

  61. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @CTG

    Sigh. I'm changing it. This is arse.

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