back to article BOFH: No, the Fabinocci sequence

"I'm just here to do the audit," a weedy bloke says, poking his head nervously into Mission Control. "What audit?" the PFY says, reading my mind. "The safety audit – surely they told you about it?" "No, nothing," the PFY responds. "Ah," the Weed says. "Well, I've got a checklist of all the accidents that have occurred in …


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  1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    'T is a death trap!

    for auditors, certainly

    Neat episode

  2. Isendel Steel


    Opaque glass - so the boss was the only one whop couldn't see it coming.

    1. Stuart Elliott

      Obviously made from..

      .. the same stuff they make Zaphods Peril Sensitive Sunglasses from.

  3. Brett Weaver

    Good But I am awaiting Robots

    If only the BOFH's in firms I do work with did it deliberately..

  4. Mike Wood

    Back on Form

    Long time since we have seen the halon dischare, welcome back!

  5. nichomach


    Can we have one about PAT testerst oo, please?

    Icon to demonstrate effect of PAT tester on network...

    1. Captain Scarlet

      Yes please

      I always find myself going around and moaning why have the PAT testers put PAT labels over air vents again

      1. nichomach

        "Well, that all looks fine...

        ...but I'll just put a surge through the system to be on the safe side...". Genuine quote from genuine PAT-tester, as reported to me by our FM department. Followed by genuine dead server. I should note that the guy had stated that he was finished with the server room, swore blind there was nothing else to do there and then surged it AFTER I'd left the building. Cnut.

      2. PatientOne

        PAT testers aren't much brighter than Health and Safety inspectors in my experience.

        PAT tester: Put the labels on the desks... and had a master key to the server room from the estates department... but not for very long.

        H&S drone: Told us to replace our rather expensive surge protection sockets within IT with their approved sockets (Metal, no surge protection, but they don't melt if there's an inferno in the office...). Yes, I asked if we could have surge protection on ours. His reply was 'Why do you need that?'.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Portable Appliance Testing

      We had a guy who wanted to pat test a Mass Spectrometer, weighing approximately 1+1/2 tons and wired into the wall on 3 phase.

      I don't know what is portable about that one ... we laughed so hard!

  6. John I'm only dancing


    Death to the oppressors. Another belter.

  7. Sleepy 1
    Thumb Up

    Weed's fate was sealed fairly early though

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. mittfh

    Elfin Safety

    I'm sure I remember reading somewhere about an organisation that had reported 3,000 workplace accidents within the course of a year.

    The organisation? The Health and Safety Executive.

    So H&S inspectors falling victim to "accidents" at the BOFH's workplace doesn't surprise me in the slightest. It's also deliciously ironic since the inspector claimed the workplace was a "deathtrap to the uninitiated" yet conclusively proved that for all his words, he was uninitiated himself.

    Of course, when there's only one halon release left, they'll presumably entice The Boss down into the server room, so creating another vacancy for the managerial equivalent of a redshirt...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      There'll always be a vacancy 'in potentia'

      They'll never run out of Halon, there must be tons of it out there that needs 'safely' disposing of and I bet there's a healthy profit in disposing of it for other conscientious companies.

  10. stucs201

    Hmmm 'Joo Janta' glass

    I'm sure theres potential for that to make further appearances.

    (Goggles? Zaphod's sunglasses...)

  11. maclovinz


    I am now happy.

    Pints all around!!!

  12. Dave Bell


    Halon itself isn't significantly toxic. You need the fire to produce the interesting chemicals such as Phosgene.

    If I were the H&S bod, I'd explain how I have a cousin who sells the sorts of respirator needed for protection, and advise the BofH/PFY to get the gear and go on a proper training course.

    Win-win situation.

    1. Ty Cobb

      Halon 1211 is corrosive when exposed to water, you know, like what is swimming around your eyeballs. Have always wondered if other varieties of Halon are the same.

    2. Vincent Ballard

      Isn't the point that the halon floods out the oxygen in the room? You don't need to poison someone if you stop them respiring.

      1. stucs201

        re: Vincent Ballard

        Yes 'dramatic' halon as used the BOFH probably does that. 'Real' halon doesn't however, part of the point of it is its less detrimental to people in the area than alternatives such as CO2.

      2. Remy Redert

        @Vincent Ballard

        No. This is not in fact how a Halon system works. What you're describing is a CO2, Nitrogen or similar noble gas system. Halon works by chemically binding the free radicals as they occur inside the fire, similar to how oxygen reacts with them. This effectively poisons a fire while (in a properly designed system) remaining far below immediately toxic levels.

        Halon 1211 is typically only used in hand extinguishers because of its higher toxicity compared to Halon 1301, which is used in room flooding systems. Toxicity of the latter is almost exclusively caused by reactions at very high temperatures which shouldn't occur in your typical server room fire because the Halon system will put the fire out before it gets that hot. Breathing gear is only required when reentering the room because of the combustion products and the side effects of the halon 1301 (Which include giddiness and impaired perception. Not things you want when inspecting fire damages, especially not if there might still be a risk of reignition)

        So staying in a room when the halon flood system activates, while disorienting, is unlikely to actually be very hazardous to your health. That said, the BofH's system is probably dumping enough halon in there to flood out the oxygen. Never trust a system designed and operated by the BofH and his PFY.

  13. John G Imrie

    I think the BOFH acted too quickly

    He could have had mission control shut down for two weeks, while he and the PFY work from the Bahama's on double pay + expenses + exceptional hours payments due to the time zone differences.

    Then he gets all the fun of ordering shiny new deathtraps to replace the existing one's.

  14. Jeff Wojciechowski

    "Having fire-based emergencies is the cheapest way to get rid of Halon, yes."

    Love it!

  15. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    3-finger salute?

    When did the PFY start going easy on misbehaving boxen? You only need one finger to flip the power switch (hence the "one-finger salute". Or so I'm told.). Something here smells fishier than Shepherds Bush at night.

    Or was that his personal torrent-dedicated box?

    1. KrisMac


      The 3-finger salute is something you traditionally give to a WINDOWS(tm) box not a Linux box which prefers the more graceful 'shutdown -r'...

      ... although in the PFY's case I suspect he would spend q few enjoyable hours repeatedly running 'shutdown -k' on the accounts server and watching the drones scramble to save their precioussess...

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

        Re: ...also...

        "Graceful"? Go wash your mouth with soap, young man! 'Tis the PFY we're talking about!

      2. DRendar

        "The 3-finger salute is something you traditionally give to a WINDOWS(tm) box not a Linux box "

        Actually it's a generic PC thing - 3 finger salute works during POST too you know - it wasn't invented by M$

        Every Linux box I've used for the past 10 Years+ has had CTRL-ALT-DEL mapped to either "shutdown -h now" or "shutdown -r now"

        Saves you having to logon see.

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