back to article BOFH: In-depth IT training needs a single-malt distillery

There's a bit of a scramble on. Bastard Junket Watch, a website entirely devoted to plausible-sounding technical events, has sent up the email equivalent of an emergency flare. An event company which knows very little about IT (and cares even less) is hosting a five-day "Service Delivery for Technical Professionals" course in …

  1. James 51

    The title is too long.

    "Imagine what would have happened if I'd not decided to practise on your Ultrabook before starting on the Director's?"

    The PFY is learning... does he fancy a game of Go?

    1. Efros

      Re: The title is too long.

      "A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?"

      - Joshua

  2. chivo243 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    scene in a Turkish prison during stabbing season

    Is this junket taking the Midnight Express or what?

  3. Maverick

    ooh a 2 parter, nice

  4. Alistair

    Islay junket.

    !! Sign me up !!

    And, I'm fairly sure that the manglement wont pay for it it, but damn I'd be going.

    <it *is* supposed to be malt too>

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Islay junket.

      Islay junket, but he's spelled it whiskey.

      So is this Islay, Kentucky we're talking about?

      1. NotBob

        Re: Islay junket.

        Partake of enough and you won't care

  5. Franco

    Pedantic I know, but if it's Scotch it's Whisky and not Whiskey.

    Having toured Islay's distilleries myself a few times, the mind boggles at what the BOFH could get up to there.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Just as long as he has not taken any mint sauce flavoured lube...

  6. Crisp

    Single-malt breakfast headache medicine

    Is what I'll be calling it from now on.

  7. The First Dave

    Why would you use flux when _de-soldering_ something ??

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In SMD fine pitch parts, to get the solder moving. I just don't see any use for the braid, though.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      To help draw the solder into the braid.

    3. Peter Simpson 1

      Damn ROHS lead-free solder. The flux built into the braid can sometimes go off -- happened to me yesterday. Thus the handy bottle of flux to move things along.

      Speaking of which, the PFY is coming along nicely :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Damn ROHS lead-free solder" Full-stop.

        Terrible stuff when compared to 63/37. Pain in the rear to work with, and in reality, no net gain for the environment. Yea, lead is bad, so keep it out of gasoline, don't worry about electronics. But now here we are.

        Fluxing and soldering isn't even the worst part about RoHS. The worst part is trying to maintain bills of material and approved manufacturers lists as parts gain and lose letters to mean RoHS compliant (or at least "lead-free").

        BTW: The poor PFY may have found that a bigger tip iron would have helped, even in soldering the new parts on. Draw the excess to the end of the row, use a bit of braid to remove excess solder to clean up the shorts.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          > Yea, lead is bad, so keep it out of gasoline, don't worry about electronics

          It's one of those EU-special take with one hand, give with the other type things: lead-free solder will result in less harmful lead going to landfill, so they decide to force the adoption of compact fluorescent bulbs in order to increase the amount of harmful mercury going to the landfill instead.

      2. Robert Helpmann??

        You bastard!

        ...the PFY is coming along nicely

        Yes, it wasn't "game in one". Still, he should realize that even if he wins the right to go on the junket, it will not end as well as he might have hoped or imagined. That much is predictable.

        1. Nunyabiznes

          Re: You bastard!

          "Yes, it wasn't "game in one". Still, he should realize that even if he wins the right to go on the junket, it will not end as well as he might have hoped or imagined. That much is predictable."

          Yes, the last time he "won" he had a rather memorable adventure with the Heathrow security bods as I recall.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        coming along strangely

        I haven't seen for a long time any new RAM which can be desoldered with an iron. It's basically all BGA now... perhaps the author meant 'the DRAM'? But if that's actually a DIMM on the mainboard like an interposer, that was permanently attached in some weird way that I've never even heard of (not a TSOP IC with actual legs visible for iron work), carry on. And even then, hot air FTW.

      4. TeeCee Gold badge

        Some of us had the foresight to buy enough lead solder (flux cored and plain) to last until hell freezes over before it became unavailable.

        I'm probably breaking some clipboard wielding twat's daft rule somewhere by using it but, do you know what? Fuck 'em.

        1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

          I believe it's still legal to sell 60/40 solder for specialty uses like repairing older kit. Bought few rolls last year. Although the price seems to be a bit steeper.

        2. DropBear

          a) all hobby-sold solder I've _ever_ seen is still very much leaded (unless you take pains to explicitly order lead-free)

          b) what is this nonsense about _removing_ solder to desolder a chip? You _add_ solder until it's a continuous molten blob that releases all pins at once on one side - then the other (to be honest though - not feeling like lifting pads and burning a hole through the PCB all the way to China? Just use Chipquik...).

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

            Yeah, it's like you still get incadescent lightbulbs "made in Romania" and "only for outdoor use". No problem.

    4. Zarno

      To help remove surface oxides that can cause the solder to "M&M" (think melted coated candy, with a hard shell...), and reduce possible pad damage.

    5. Crazy Operations Guy

      Wouldn't the RAM be soldered on as a BGA part? In which case the PFY would need a hot-air re-work gun.

  8. lawndart


    Boss gets wind of junket destination. Declares he will go and report back all the relevant facts to BOFH and PFY.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: says:

      Boss falls down lift shaft, mobile phone mysteriously fails, ticket-re-printer technology to the rescue...

    2. Grikath

      Re: says:

      Given that they're talking to the Director without a go-between, you can safely assume they are in that Nirvana where HR is desperately trying to find someone mad enough to take those two on, and stupid enough to fail playing tag-team with them.

      Or they've found one with enough intelligence and sense of self-preservation to know when not to interfere.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: says:

      Boss falls into fermentation vat, remains is distilled and turned into Whiskey ("The spirit of Boss", which, when consumed, lowers the IQ and general competence of the drinker enough to set off a top-secret plan for combating a Zombie invasion.

      After hundreds of extra-legal shootings and incinerations of bodies, The Truth is discovered.

      To cover up the scandal, the entire story is incorporated into a popular TV-series about government conspiracies so that no-one will believe it - BOFH gets to write the screenplay and is handsomely rewarded, PFY gets a supporting role as the villain pushing Boss into the vat ...

  9. Farmer Fred

    Wrong approach

    Personally I would have invited the director to join the trip as a bribe to bend the rules and allow the PFY to come along... the bastardry being that I would engineer a situation on day one involving a sedative, the director, three tubs of lard, a goat, a Filipino ladyboy and a smoked salmon... thus providing ample ammunition for future "negotiations"!

    That said, the brown paper bag is one of my favourite tricks - although I prefer the air-bags that tend to be used to protect stuff in transit these days as with the paper bag you have to avoid rustling the paper!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Wrong approach

      "That said, the brown paper bag is one of my favourite tricks"

      2' steel ruler?

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon

        Re: Wrong approach

        "2' steel ruler?"

        I'm gonna regret asking this, but - what would you do with it?

        <shuts eyes, covers ears>

    2. fajensen

      Re: Wrong approach

      Leather belt folded double, then pulling hard on the ends sounds exactly like a High Voltage spark, that brisk "crack" that warns of the coming "BOOM+Fireball".

      Perfect for my line of work and keeping colleagues blood pressure raised - for safety, of course.

  10. Herby


    It ought to be pretty easy to setup a remote connection to BOFH central, then both of them could go.

    Then again, showing off remote capabilities might not be in the best interests, as how else would pub time qualify as being "present"!

  11. Number6

    Management Assistance

    I wouldn't use a soldering iron to remove delicate stuff, I'd use hot air. Of course, the trick there is not to dislodge all the other components around the target device because they'll all be floating in molten solder too and are easily moved...

  12. Dr. G. Freeman

    Ah yes, Technical visit to a distillery. Do quite a few of them with the Royal Society of Chemistry (seeing as unsurprisingly most chemists in the Highlands work in them).

    Can't remember much about the visits mind, after the first few research batches.

  13. unitron

    Chip Quik FTW

    Chip Quik has a bismuth alloy solder with a low melting point that you use, in conjunction with the supplied flux, to melt the solder holding down SMD chips so you can wick it up without scorching the board or lifting traces.

    Comes in handy when an older (up through the first of the Series 3 models) TiVo needs a replacement motherboard but needs to keep the original TiVo Service Number which is contained on the Atmel crypto chip.

    1. Mike Matthews

      Re: Chip Quik FTW

      It also comes in handy when having to remove a discreet component that has been soldered to a large ground plane, aka heat sink on multi layer PCB.

  14. crosenblum

    Another Friday, Another BOFH!!

    Woah, it's like a bit of euphoria, been so long.

    I need, and I mean need my BOFH fix.

    Junket's are important, and the battles are too.

    But I miss the Dr. Bastard Lab episodes, the Cattleprod and lime, and carpet roll ups.

    Those are just classics.

    I don't drink beer, but this root beer is for all of you!!

  15. Gordon 8

    Whisky research

    A bit of 'serious' research done by some drinkers here in Singapore.

    We did send it in to Lester for an April 1st posting on El Reg but it never made it.....

    Cork Adhesion Observed Limit - International Libation Adjusted


    Cork Adhesion as a Factor of Remaining Spirit Volume


    Why you have multiple nearly-empty bottles of Scotch


    Mine is of course the one with the rare bottle of 'Scottish Water' in the pocket.

  16. Chz


    So did anyone else google "Bastard Junket Watch" on the admittedly remote chance that it actually exists?

  17. crosenblum

    The Bofh Archives are down!!

    Try to go to any of the original site with has the first issues of BOFH and they are all down.

    Is there a different domain/ip address to access the original stories?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Bofh Archives are down!!

      In the spirit of the BOFH, the backup was redirected to /device/null a long time ago.

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