back to article BOFH: Dawn raid on Fort BOFH

bofh_pic You know, sometimes I wish someone just had the balls to say they want a new iPad cos it looks cool. That they have no clue of what the f$*# they’d use it for, but their kids think they’re great and they can’t be stuffed forking out the money themselves for one so they figure the company should just get one and …


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  1. JDX Gold badge

    "Makes you look cool in front of clients" is a valid business use in my book.

    1. Gusty O'Windflap


      when it comes out of my budget it isn't! ;-)

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: not...

        So you're a small-minded parochial IT manager only interested in their own departmental budget, not the company's bottom line?

        1. Steve Knox

          Re: not...

          No, he's a responsible manager who understands that if the primary use for the device is for relationship management (i.e, sales) then it's a sales expense and should be charged back to the sales department.

          If the primary purpose of the device were for managing information flow and security, then it could be an IT expense. But since you've already admitted that the purpose is to look good to clients, it's a sales expense.

          1. BorkedAgain
            Thumb Up

            @Steve Knox - Re: not...

            I only regret that I have but one upvote to give to you.

        2. John Brookes

          Re: not...

          If it's to make you look cool, get marketing or sales to pay for it. Or perhaps marketing and/or sales only care about their departmental budget, rather than the company bottom line....

        3. Daniel B.

          Shiny stuff isn't IT

          So it should come out of the Sales or HR budget. "Looking good" isn't IT-related.

          1. Aaron Em

            '"Looking good" isn't IT-related.'

            Love to hear what Dominic Connor would say about that...

        4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: not...

          @JDX I really like the original line: satirical but true. Why go an spoil it by attacking someone who is obviously lacking a sense of humour.

          1. Asiren

            Re: not...

            @Charlie Clark The follow-up goes to show that the original statement was meant seriously, with a distinct lack of sarcasm...

    2. Anonymous Coward

      "Makes you look like a shallow dick" would be more accurate.

  2. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

    Where's the...

    actual ending... :(

    1. Paul_Murphy

      Re: Where's the...

      Keep up at the back there!

      It's implied re the bus - they _could_ walk the two miles, or they could take the bus, which is a BOFH youth-anism for finding someone to inspect the underside of the bus before they take early retirement.


    2. Gerhard den Hollander

      Re: Where's the...

      you may want to reread the 8th paragraph again. The one about friendly IT staff helping their superiors into dealing with public transportation the right way.

    3. Andy Farley

      Re: Where's the...

      It's DLC, like ME3.

  3. phuzz Silver badge


    I though this was supposed to be satire? The first half is pretty much exactly what happened to us last year with the iPad2...

    Currently about 25% of them are back in the server room, gathering dust.

    1. fandom

      Re: Err

      "Currently about 25% of them are back in the server room, gathering dust."

      That's whay eBay was born for

      1. Jemma

        Re: Err

        Very true, but with one proviso, which my ex-bosses ex-boss found out to his cost.

        Apparently this numty had been replacing 'out of date' or 'terminal hardware fault' equipment slightly more often than he should have been. The company of course, noticed nothing, and assumed all was hunky dory with this, despite a failure rate that would put the first generation SA80 to shame...

        It all came to a head and the Police got involved when this nerk sold a laptop on ebay, that was supposed to be dead and gone without wiping any of the confidential company data and the buyer did the honorable thing (aka the stupid thing, whats the betting the average cop would have had them for receiving) and contacted said Police...

        My boss then turned up for work to see his boss being escorted into a squad car and the rest is history.

        I think they call that a salutory tale - tale of two idiots is more like it.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Err

      This whole thing pretty much sums up my view of the IT world after this week.

    3. Steve Knox


      is based in reality. You start with the facts, highlight the more egregious violations of basic decency, of which we're all guilty in some way or another, and we all have a good laugh.

    4. Lallabalalla
      Thumb Up

      Re: Err

      You can send a few to me if you don't want them. Is 10 cents on the dollar OK?

  4. Rampant Spaniel

    You forgot the box usually contains a canon notejet. That was exec candy 20 years ago.

    1. Frederic Bloggs

      No, no, no!

      It will be an (broken) Epson dot matrix printer.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        I nominate

        SCSI external zip drive, complete with little plastic box of five multicolour zip-disks, only one of which is used, and one of which has the little springy-bit broken.

        1. TeeCee Gold badge

          Re: I nominate

          There's gotta be at least one USB memory stick with a capacity of 512Mb or less.

          If the user's been around any length of time there will be one of those plastic framed antiglare wossanames that used to dangle craply on the front of CRT monitors too.

          1. Chika

            Re: I nominate

            Not to mention half a dozen floppies with crusty labels, all of which are unreadable except for one that reads "DO NOT OVERWRITE".

            And possibly a USB floppy drive with something jammed in the slot.

            1. Morphius

              Re: I nominate

              Wrong way around.... all of the floppy disks readable except the one marked "Rainy Day Plan - keep safe"

              The Media that you dont need or want to work ever again always works... the stuff with juicy photos or blackmail matierial always dies :(

              1. Lallabalalla

                Re: I nominate

                Quite a few sticks of once-expensive RAM that are good for precisely nothing any more.

                1. Nigel 11

                  Re: I nominate

                  Half a dozen power cables. Still perfectly OK, except that the EU has legislated that every piece of new equipment must be shipped with a new power flex. It's cheaper to recycle the old ones and to bin the new ones, because the old ones already have inventory and test record stickers attached and have already passed their PAT test.

                  Half a dozen Ethernet cables mangled and tangled to such an extent that the nearest bin beckons.

                  A pair of fetid trainers and/or socks

                  A Windows ME "Upgrade" kit

                  A charger with a wierd connector, possibly for a long-defunct mobile.

                  A dead mouse (the sort with a ball. Less often, the sort with two).

                  1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

                    Re: I nominate

                    And a book about BASIC for MS-DOS 3.1

                  2. Dr. Mouse

                    Re: I nominate

                    @Nigel 11

                    "A dead mouse (the sort with a ball. Less often, the sort with two)."

                    You mean the sort which *should* have a ball, but no longer does.

                    Pointing-device castration: just say no!

                2. Andrew Yeomans

                  Retirement plan

                  Hey, have you seen the prices of PC133 RAM - that's not made any more? Worth a BOFH's ransom to those companies still running critical business processes on a massive 128MB RAM server.

          2. richard 7

            Re: I nominate

            The USB stick will be supplier branded too. I have a ton of 256Mb Johnson Diversy branded ones in a box somewhere.

            These boxes/bags quite frequently get slung through my door with along with 'recycle this please' and there ia AWLAYS without fail, phone leads in there.

            1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

              Re: I nominate

              You could put Puppy Linux on those sticks (~128Mb) and share them out for use in case of emergency (i.e. laptop hard disk crash) or security (connecting to public wifi hotspots without exposing HD contents).

              1. Andrew Yeomans

                Windows recovery

                Reminds me of the Tomsrtbt floppy I used to have lying around. Labelled "Windows Recovery Disk" of course.

              2. keithpeter Silver badge
                Black Helicopters

                Re: I nominate

                Or if they are 512Mb try Lightweight Portable Security? LPS is a linux distro intended for booting off a USB stick and comes with a windows script to write to a stick. The 'fat' version has OpenOffice and Firefox.

                Looks quite impressive with the USAF logos and all the military jargon on the default Web browser page. One colleague at work thought I was moonlighting.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Epson dot matrix printers don't die!

    2. Andrew Moore

      and a 56k modem (sans power supply). And an original iPaq.

      1. Fatman

        I will nominate a

        slightly used Hayes 1200 external modem without wall wart.

        For good measure, I will throw in a couple of full sized 360K 5-1/4 floppy drives.

        1. Just Thinking

          Failing to distinguish...

          between pointless gadgets and obsolete items.

          Most of my junk boxes are filled with things which saw plenty of use at the time, but have either been replaced by something better (eg a bigger memory stick) or are no longer needed because things have changed (I used my KVM switch every day in my old job because I worked from home. Now things have changed it is no use at all to me).

          But we all make mistakes. Can't imagine why I bought a PDA - and worse still the docking station is still on my desk, plugged in. No idea where the PDA itself is.

  5. b166er

    This way to the bus stop JDX

  6. FunkyEric

    Anyone got a spare Ipad sitting in a cupboard?

    I'll give it a home and promise not to put it in a cupboard.

    Swap it for a beer?

    1. Fatman

      Re: (good use for a) spare Ipad

      Screw it to your refrigerator door, and use it as a message board.

  7. Tony S

    Cynical; moi?

    Just too damned depressed for words.

    I think that someone recorded a conversation I had earlier in the week, and has changed the names to protect the innocent, then put it out as fiction.

    BTW, the box referred to was sat on the corner of the IT workbench this morning; it also contained 2 PS2 extension cables, an HP scanjet scanner missing its power lead, and a couple of floppy disks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cynical; moi?

      Mine had an Iomega zip drive.

      1. Roger Varley

        Re: Cynical; moi?

        Mine had floppies in as well. Not your modern 5.25" jobbies, but your original 8.5" floppies. Just wish I had something to read them with - just for curiosities sake.

        1. mark 63 Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Cynical; moi?

          ' your modern 5.25" jobbies'

          LOL , nice one

        2. TeeCee Gold badge

          Re: Cynical; moi?

          "...but your original 8.5" floppies."

          Hard or soft sectored.....?

        3. Alain

          Re: Cynical; moi?

          8 1/2-inch floppy disk? dont' think they ever existed. That's 8-inch in my memory.

      2. Echowitch

        Re: Cynical; moi?

        Sounds like the box under the bed in the spare bedroom at home. Which also features some hard drives that have been kept "just in case". A couple of old and non-functional USB sticks that the wife won't let me throw out as we "might need them", a selection of unmarked (but tatty looking) floppy disks, CD's. A collection of very old power cables that no one knows what they were ever connected to.

        .....and one iomega zip drive, and a lone of phone cables :)

        ......hmm I sense a trip to the Recycling Centre this weekend hehe :D

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cynical; moi?

      No parallel printer cables?

  8. bobbles31

    Ah, back in the days

    when I worked for an insurance company, where lunch started at about 11 and went on until the landlord at the local drinking establishment could pluck up the courage to tell us that we really should think about leaving because what with last orders having been about 3 hours ago maybe he should close up before the police come around and close him permanently, the CEO of said insurance company would insist on a new top of the range laptop every year. One year, when the companies PFY deposited his new laptop in his office and collected the old laptop he booted the old machine to be greeted by the "Welcome to Windows" wizard that you get when you use windows for the first time.


  9. The New Turtle

    Palm with flat battery (that forgot everything it every stored) anyone? There's usually so power supplies with strange voltages and/or US specific plugs, a PCMCIA modem, half a dozen floppy disks and some kind of drive module that was meant to be swapped out in a laptop so they could read floppies AND play CDs.

    I'm not an IT professional, but I recognise everything there from the last round of being made redundant. That memory makes me express my discontent, and no amount of VP of R&D squishing helps.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some bastard's been looking in my box!

    And before I even open the box, I PREDICT I WILL FIND:

    an HP handheld – probably a Jornada;

    about 10 proprietary interface cables, intertwined with about five telecom cables;

    a PCMCIA modem card with broken connectors;

    a docking station for a laptop he no longer has;

    a set of shite computer speakers;

    a bunch of manuals – at least one of which will be for a 1980s Mac;

    one of those sticks for forcing a CD to eject; and

    an unknown battery pack.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OH thats too familiar!

    Boss: "I need an iPad 3"

    Me: "Hmmm Why?"

    Boss: "Because the Sales Director has one, so I should too"

    Me: "The sales Director has one because he does demos on it and emails etc, you know he actually uses it! Besides you already have an iPad2 you don't use according to the asset register!"

    Boss: "I do?" whilst faking nonchalance..

    Me: "*sigh* yes!"

    Boss: "Well it must has been signed out incorrectly, I don't have it"

    2 days later - entering the bosses office

    Me: "Your new iPad is here, please sign this to say you received it!"

    Boss: "_drool_"

    Hand the offensive item over, set to leave his office and spot the box for his iPad2 so I scoop it up on my way out, return to my office, open box and its still in there, in it original wrapping, the fooking thing hadn't even been opened!

    I checked on his new shiny and so far he has Angry Birds, Temple Run and some music and photos, he hasn't actually asked for his email etc to be setup yet, but apparently there is no money for a new monitor for me or the helldesk guys *sigh*

    NB The sales director is a good guy and actually uses his new shiny ALLOT (he skipped the iPad2 as he was happy with his original iPad, he handed that to his junior upon receipt of his new one) so I cut him the appropriate slack, he has also arranged to get the new screens we need after some serious colluding!

  12. jubtastic1

    Ah, the old box of IT shite

    Could there be any gold in that mass of tangled cables and dusty obsoletia? No, even the patch cables are shorted. What's that you say? Would I like to browse your vintage computer collection? Perhaps take some of it away? No Ta.

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

    The description of the box is spot on, as many have said.

    I still have an old 8" floppy somewhere (staggering 128kB capacity). It's got (or at least had) a legit copy of CP/M 2.0 on it. I sometimes fancy lashing up an old 8" drive with a USB interface (where is that soldering iron), and see if I can "upgrade" someone to CP/M 2.0 running on some Z80 emulation software. Unfortunately, I doubt the drivers will be available.

    Still, a man can dream.

    1. Alain

      Ah... old OSes on big floppies :-)

      A breathe of nostalgia... the last OSes I've booted from these things were:

      - UniFLEX 6809: such a good tiny Unix on a 8-bit processor, don't know if anyone here knows it, it was serving half a dozen ASCII terminals in 512K of memory (OK, when running on faster storage than floppies I have to say)

      - C-CP/M 86 (Concurrent CP/M): the first non-Unix really multitasking O/S I've seen on x86, long before M$ had anything to offer. It had the same kind of virtual consoles Linux has.

  14. earl grey

    Here's the bus....

    You first, mate.

    My box has a CD reader with a serial adapter.

  15. DayDragon
    Thumb Up

    Back on form i think

    I read this and thought 'back on form, Simon'

    "And then there’s the cost. The budget for the company’s 50-odd retail-priced iPads has to come from somewhere... and because everyone from the Boss up feels it’s crucial IT material and so shouldn’t come out of the department’s expense account – and since the Corporate Wasting-Money-on-Pointless-Shit account doesn’t exist – they just raid the IT Budget instead.

    Even this wouldn’t matter if I didn’t know, deep down in my heart of hearts, that I’m going to find half of these devices with about quarter-of-an-hour's worth of use, stuffed into the back of a cupboard with a dead battery three years from now.

    I’ve seen it happen many times. Some crusty from upper management retires, steps in front of a bus (or is helped in front of a bus by a friendly IT professional) and then suddenly a box full of IT detritus turns up in Mission Control in case we "want it for something"."

    Funny because it's true.

  16. Craig Vaughton

    Too long

    Judging by the comments, everyone laughed the contents of that box.

    We've all been doing this too long.....

    ...sod it, its Friday

  17. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    And before I even open the box, I PREDICT I WILL FIND:

    - CD of all the essential company products and policies, shrinkwrap unbroken

    - three very leaky AA batteries

    - a mains adaptor for that Australia trip that never came off

    - a clothes peg (no, I don't know why, but there always is one)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ah yes, here they are...

    PCMCIA adaptor card and wireless dongle

    Webcam with USB connector

    External floppy/DVD/CD drive

    Sub 3M Pixel digital camera

    Some spare ink for a long discarded printer

    Various power adaptors for defunct mobile phones, printer and external disks

    Original OEM CDs for Windows95 and Visual Studio 6.0

    Firewire cables and USB hub

    Mouse and keyboard set with PS2 connectors

    Parallel port cable

    McGraw Hill HMTL 3.0 guide

    Telephone modem cables for laptop (unopened)

    ClipArt collection CDs

    USB cables with connectors that don't seem to connect to anything

    Unopened test sample of photo-paper A6 size

    1. DJ 2

      Re: ah yes, here they are...

      If you were in France, comme moi. You would also have a discarded Minitel terminal, without cables.

  19. mark 63 Silver badge

    "Well I'll need a new one quite quickly - I've got some meetings tomorrow."

    so F******** what ?? You got this far through your life without one , I think you can survive another meeting!

  20. Chris Beattie

    We have a Compaq iPaq with a flat battery, and a Fujitsu Stylistic tablet.

    Ooh, the Stylistic still boots! Now to figure out which iPad-craving manager is going to get this thing delivered to their desk on the first of next month...

  21. mark 63 Silver badge

    I've got one here

    I have one such box under my desk a young girl dropped off some months ago

    it contains:

    2x unknown battery pack

    sealed blank "sony 90 video Hi8" tape

    various bits of an ancient car hands free kit

    there may have been other stuff tha i managed to recycle

  22. jko

    A mystery

    BOFH and the mysterious disappearance of episode 2

    1. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: A mystery

  23. Sulehir

    Am I the only one wondering why this is episode 3?

    I can't see an episode 2 in the archives and don't remember seeing one recently?

  24. Anonymous Coward 15

    Broken iPads shoved in cupboard.

    eBay access obtained through a proxy, or through an exception due to being the BOFH.

    iPad-dismantling tool and aftermarket Hong Kong batteries procured.

    iPads repaired.

    iPads sold on eBay on the sly. Waste taking up space is removed from cupboards, and moar money for the Friday beer fund.

  25. Graham Bartlett

    I've recently moved desks. Never got round to investigating the junk in the desk drawer until now...

    CANcab interface cable

    Bottle of Tippex (who still uses that?)

    Manual for how to use an MS wireless mouse

    1 Swedish krona

    1 US dime and 2 nickels

    Several first-aider badges

    More business cards for the last bloke than you could use in a lifetime

    1. Great Bu

      "Bottle of Tippex (who still uses that?)"

      Gives less of a hangover than a crisp bag full of glue.

  26. Anonymous Coward


    Our own corporate box contained the following:

    - USB External floppy drives (from when Dell stopped shipping PCs with floppy drives and everybody paniced)

    - USB External CD drives (from when everyone suddenly wanted a netbook)

    - Palm Tungsten PDA

    - Alienware laptop (from the sales guy who wanted a top of the range laptop, then got IT to change it as it was to hot and the battery lasted 1/2 an hour)

    - Docking stations for ancient Dell laptops

    - Ancient Dell laptops (mostly broken)

    - Parallel port Zip drive, couple of disks (one of which contains HR from 10 years ago...)

    - Various PS2/serial port mice

    - Various PS2 keyboards

    - PCMCIA modems and wifi cards (from when laptops didn't have wifi built in)

    - Boxes of v1. of the company software from 10 years ago

    - Mousemats with the old company logo on

    - Parallel cables, VGA cables

    - Obscure laptop chargers with PS2-style connectors

    - A conference phone

    - A label printer

    - A KVM switch (3 port, VGA/PS2/Serial)

    - Install CDs for NT workstation 4 / Win2000

    - Floppy disk installers for a Samba client

    - Barcode readers still boxed

    - Monitor bases

    - Those screen things they used to put over CRTs to reduce glare

    - A tamagotchi (presumably unwanted secret santa)

    - A few Windows phones (the old 'Start' menu OS) with styluses missing

    1. Dave Bell

      Re: Box

      If the mouse-mats are in good condition, they might be sort of collector's item. Or frame them and use them as a retirement memento for the old-timers. But they're probably worn out.

  27. MRC1980

    Boxes Pah!

    I've got a pile around 10x10 meters of old and obsolete kit. Boxes of unopened Telecoms kit, A crate of CD's and floppies with old drivers which only work with 1 specific firmware release, about 20 various unused "broken" desktops, some kind of "essential" PBX exchange and 10 years worth of old hard disk and memory. Oh and a few RC helicopters.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't remind me about the box

    I need to sort my own out at home. Some stuff in there is useful (multi-socket power strips), but some isn't (do I really need 6 parallel printer cables?).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't remind me about the box


      The recent loft clearout found "the box":

      - A BBC Master Compact micro

      - A Mac Plus

      - A Toshiba Satellite 486 laptop (from when they were bulletproof - after an initial CMOS hissy fit, it booted up fine!)

      - A few broken laptops

      - My first ever VGA monitor (complete with insulating tape holding the VGA cable at a certain angle such that it would make a connection with the main board)

      - An old desktop case complete with razor sharp edges

      - Some sort of tower PC that I never remembered building...

      - The obligatory Zip drive

      - PCMCIA CD drive (for that old Toshiba laptop)

      - PCMCIA ethernet card (it didn't have ethernet on board)

      - An old BT router. Before that plonker who finds the girls hotspot was on the scene

      - A 2007 organiser brand new in package.

      - Symantec Internet Security 2000-and-something. Binned.

      - Office 97 boxed. Might keep/ebay.

      - A TV card RF/analogue

      - A huge manual for Windows for Workgroups 3.11 / Dos 6.22 / Windows 3.1. Back when MS printed decent manuals.

      1. Admiral Grace Hopper
        Thumb Up

        Re: Don't remind me about the box

        A Toshiba Satellite 486 laptop (from when they were bulletproof ...

        Happy days indeed.

  29. Steve 48


    Add to that a whole pile of "Lightscribe" disks that the MD wanted 'cos paper labels or marker pen are naff, whereas having a unusable for 25 minutes whilst the disk is being titled with "Holiday Pics" is so cool that only 6 out of 350 disks have been used, three of which were me setting up and demonstrating the process!

  30. E.

    Why is it just *a* box

    It's boxes (very plural) here. I think there's a set of NT3.51 install discs in one of them somewhere, still sealed in original bag. At least two of the boxes contain nothing but cables that "might be useful one day".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why is it just *a* box

      Your sealed NT 3.51 would be compatible with my boxed Office 97!

  31. IT Hack

    Old Kit

    What? No JetDirect cards?

    Pint coz it's a Friday.

  32. Keeees

    Has to be an OS/2 Warp set in one of those boxes somewhere, too.

    1. IT Hack

      Also a Token Ring NIC.

      Pint needed when reminiscing.

  33. Nigel 11

    Stick for forcing a CD to eject?

    Do such things really exist? I've always thought you unwound the wide end of a paper-clip and used that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stick for forcing a CD to eject?

      There's a wide end to a paperclip?

  34. Darryl

    You guys are lucky!

    Every box that shows up in my office has almost one full set of install floppies (25-ish) for Lotus SmartSuite 95 and something that sort of resembles a wired handsfree kit for a mobile phone from the same vintage. The optional items include an owner's manual for a CRT monitor and a dried-out replacement ribbon for a vintage dot matrix printer.

    1. IT Hack

      Re: You guys are lucky!

      Oldest bit of kit I have from work was a set of 5 1/4 floppies with some version of DOS (I think Research Machines - picked them up from school in 1983ish) on them circa the big bang era. Hardware wise - a couple of HP J2611 hubs from the ancient times.

      To celebrate the 'good old days'.

  35. Pastafarian

    You forgot to mention...

    Every mobile device, ipaq, mobile phones, etc are ALWAYS missing their PSU/charger! I have a drawer full of mibiles with no chargers.

  36. Dave 32

    Darned youngsters.

    At least my box has:

    14" hard disk platter

    2K-bit core memory plane (e.g., IBM S/360 model 65)

    Clock and I/O register from an IBM 704




    P.S. Did I forget to mention the deck of punch cards containing a FORTRAN program (66 obviously).

    1. Helldesk Dogsbody
      Thumb Up

      Re: Darned youngsters.

      I'm not quite as bad as that but I do have my first hard drive - 4 MB capacity on a full length ISA controller card as well as a couple of ISA NICs with BNC connectors.

      As far as iDevices are concerned the company officially has two for testing purposes and nobody gets one at company expense. You want a shiny iThingie go pay for it yerself!

      1. john bertelsen

        Re: Darned youngsters.

        That would be ARCNet cards more than likely!

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Opens desk draw

    I have had the same pedistal for 11 years

    - 2 laptop hard drives

    - 3 proprietary phone data cables

    - 1 spare phone battery

    - Inumerable <128MB USB memory sticks with various brands

    - A cradle for a nokia 6310i (<sniff> I miss that phone)

    - stack of CD roms with drivers for various hardware

    - Bottle of honey and mustard dressing

    - Pepper mill

    Quiz... Which two of these items have been used since Xmas?

    1. Fr. Ted Crilly Silver badge

      Re: Opens desk draw

      Psst 'ere mate.... ( pvt walker spiv voice) you wanna buy one?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Opens desk draw

      Ahh yes, I have a shiny SGS now, but I still miss my 6310i on occasion....

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    see title

    1. b166er

      Re: *Drawer



    Also, ThinNet...

    I have a wonderful space-station model knocking about on my desk that is made from T-Pieces and Terminators.

    Those 'Dracula' taps from ThickNet pop up from time to time as well.

  40. dozack
    Thumb Up

    You forgot the ubiquitous USB <> PS2 mouse adaptor. I swear those things breed...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And they never seem to be compatible with the good old clattery PS2 keyboards.

  41. Daniel B.

    An HP Jornada

    The one time I had one "assigned" by my employer, was because we got a handful of Jornadas from one of those boxes.

    But hey, that one had useful stuff like:

    - a SCSI PCI card

    - internal SCSI cable

    - DDS4 DAT drive

    - a Palm Tungsten

    some other stuff, but those are the ones that we actually used.

  42. Alien Doctor 1.1

    "Corporate Wasting-Money-on-Pointless-Shit"

    That immediately reminded me of the Onion News Network report "Sony Releases Stupid Piece Of Shit That Doesn't Fucking Work" - a classic.

    Thanks for the memories.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Corporate Wasting-Money-on-Pointless-Shit"

      YEAH over the top!

  43. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    All so true, absolutely. What is more, I bet if you took a look around where you are sitting right now, you'd find your own similar accumulations of crud.

  44. IT Hack

    Zip Drives. Now there was a complete waste of money and time.

    Nothing better than a post pub pint.

  45. Admiral Grace Hopper

    I still keep a reel-to-reel tape kicking around to scare the youngsters with. I used to laugh at the old fart who kept a reel of punch-tape for similar purposes. I am horribly aware of what I have become. And why was there no Centronics lead in the box? Surely everyone has one of those somewhere?

    1. Anonymous IV
      Thumb Up

      It was a card day's night...

      I still have about three trays of unpunched punch cards. They're bound to come in useful for making notes on.

  46. jon 72
    Thumb Up

    Lest we forget..

    All the assorted junk that used to perch on top of the old crt monitors, oh the tears throughout the office when the IT dept upgraded everybody to flat screen and made the sylvanian families homeless. The following morning I was screaming as over two hundred assorted furry critters, gonks and small teddy bears re-appeared in my office with a post-it note asking for asylum. I've still got them lurking in several boxes.

  47. Frumious Bandersnatch

    "turd divination"

    I'm sure there's a word for that. I'm guessing "scatomancy".

    What I'm sincerely hoping for is that there's also an app for that.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    help in front of the buss

    I'd like to help muppets when they are standing near the 3 phase electrical buss!

    sarc... okay okay

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    8 1.5" floppies.

    Every day I use em Bay-Beeeeee!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 8 1.5" floppies.

      Oh I see I fucked up on the de(st/s)(c/r)(u/i)ption 8.5" floppy

      "the program in that photo is called "pagination" is what runs off that particular disc I tooked the photo off of. She runs on the 2x @ dual 8.5" floppy drives (what does that take up 3'?) + the CPU box, iut's a laundrymat of power sucking hell for floppy disk0rz. Wee ha ha.

    2. Decius

      Re: 8 1.5" floppies.

      Security violation! That visitor isn't wearing his badge!

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I work for a WEEE waste/refurbishment company

    so I see a lot of your old junk. We've had half a dozen Mac Classics with failed safety test stickers, an Epson HX-20, couple of CUB monitors for the BBC Micro, a sealed set of Windows 3.11, a boxed set of MS Office 4.2 (somebody actually bought that on eBay), Token Ring cards, a fossil record through the ages of tape backup drives, a PPC640, a Compaq Portable III, a fecking great LED sign panel and of course lots more.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I work for a WEEE waste/refurbishment company

      re: eBay

      You would be surprised from your list of what would go on eBay.

      Certainly the Mac Classics and Cub monitors, once listed as spares/repair would have high interest...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I work for a WEEE waste/refurbishment company

        Me again. We have a member of staff who mostly does eBay- we're getting through it, slowly!

    2. Isendel Steel

      Re: I work for a WEEE waste/refurbishment company

      ....and a cuddly toy.......and a sandwich maker.....

  51. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Emptying the backroom cupboard.

    Well I just finished taking apart a HP laptop with nonfunctional screen, two ACERs about to fall apart and a DELL Inspiron from before the war with fully dead batteries.

    I now have a large bag of metal/pastic/mainboard/cabling/screws trash as well as an assortment of loose CPUs, TFT screens, harddisks [the 20GB IBM Travelstar from the DELL rattles, so I think the heads aren't properly parked], RAM SODIMMs, two WiFi modules and an ATI Rage module of 2001. As well as a Li-Ion battery packs.

    The recycling center beckons.

    Can I do anything useful with the WinXP/Win2K keys?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Emptying the backroom cupboard.

      Not legally (have a look at the Microsoft Registered Refurbisher scheme if you want to sell old machines with genuine Windows), and there are better ways to pirate it (pilfer a genuine volume key from work/school).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Emptying the backroom cupboard.

      You appear to have described my office.

  52. skeptical i

    No SyQuest disks?

    Before Zip, there was SyQuest: 5-3/16ths inch cartridges (the actual disks are ~5.25") that weigh almost a pound each and contained a whopping 44MB of data (they got up to 200MB last I knew, before Zip walked 'em off the portable storage market plank and into the briny deep).

    Also, how about a "mouse" that has the ball under the thumb instead of underneath (Kensingtom, I think)? No potential tendonitis issues there, no sirree.

    "Superfloppies" that could somehow store much more data than the average floppy but required a superfloppy drive else they'd be written upon like a "regular" floppy and any superness removed therefrom.

    Various scanners, from then-top-of-the line Sony beasties with a big fat SCSI connexion to the cheap-jack free-with-a-purchase USB connected ones.

    I don't suppose there's any way to quickly strip old power/ connector cables of their casings and harvest the copper within, is there. Damn.

    Punch cards: my dad always had a stack of 'em on his desk and I always liked making more holes in 'em. Oops.

    1. Andy 115

      Re: No SyQuest disks?

      I don't suppose there's any way to quickly strip old power/ connector cables of their casings and harvest the copper within, is there. Damn.


      A friend was offered a machine only last week for doing just that!

      Apparently it worked on the principal of chopping the cable into very short lengths (approx 0.5mm long) then vibrating (I think) to separate the PVC from the copper, depositing each in a container, copper for weighing in, PVC for making into traffic cones IIRC.

      He was offered it for a couple of grand.

  53. elgeebar

    @skeptical i... "I don't suppose there's any way to quickly strip old power/ connector cables of their casings and harvest the copper within, is there."

    Electricians used to save their scrap cable then have a bonfire before taking it to the scrapie... Obviously frowned upon these days due to the billowing clouds of noxious smoke it creates... most scrapie's I've dealt with recently, will take insulated copper so don't worry about it.

  54. Wombling_Free
    Thumb Up

    So you HAVE met my clients...

    "a rat-eating madman who also publishes horoscopes based on turd divination."

    It's amazing how much money one can make in the turd divination field, especially if you can get a daily column in an Evil-Empire fishwrapper! (don't say his name! he'll buy the reg out!)

  55. Marshalltown
    Thumb Up

    The box

    I built my son's first and second computers out of that box. All I bought new was a case. For an OS I used PC-DOS 3.?, and it worked fine for playing X-wing and TIE Fighter.

  56. Meph

    IT Archaeology

    I see your box of random ancient IT gear, and raise you a matched pair of 512Mb EDO RAM in original packaging, _with_ the original installation instructions no less.

    They were salvaged along with an ancient file server with 8 x 25Gb SCSI disks that had regrettably not survived their mothballing experience.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Whats in The Box?

    Todays box brings forth a brand new in box 1981 HP Barcode Wand.

    Not much of a market for these on fleabay I bet. Might be best kept as an antique.

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