back to article BOFH: Got that syncing feeling, hm? I've looked at your computer and the Outlook isn't great

BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns "You see!" the Boss says. "See what?" I ask. "THERE!" "Where? What are you pointing at?" "My contacts," he says, jabbing at his phone with a chubby finger. "What... about your contacts?" "Look!" he says, moving the stubby digit from his phone screen to an area of his Outlook …

  1. tfewster Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Cheers, Simon!

    ...a pile of lies so high he's getting liars' vertigo.

    1. 2Nick3
      Pint

      Re: Cheers, Simon!

      I have added this to my "unique adages" list.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cheers, Simon!

        I wonder if you lie as much as certain people do, whether you can actually enter the death zone like on Everest. One can only hope!

  2. phuzz Silver badge

    Lies and lying lyers.

    It's always fun goading someone into a lie, and then running with it.

    Ideally you should end up at the point where they have to admit to the lie in front of their boss. Oh, and keeping them guessing as to is your really know they're lying helps keep them on edge.

    Salespeople are my usual marks.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: Lies and lying lyers.

      Doesn't work for me. If I show up a sales guy for the lying liar he is, somehow I end up as the bad guy. I've come to the conclusion that everyone already assumes they're lying, and drawing attention to it is considered bad form.

  3. Dave K Silver badge

    Punishing liars

    "I have to give the Boss a bit of respect for being able to lie on the fly like this, but he's still got to be punished."

    It's great fun seeing just how far someone will dig to try and cover up for one simple, initial lie.

    Great start to a Friday as always :)

    1. Nick Kew

      Re: Punishing liars

      Hmmm. Scenario suggestion: could the BOFH contrive to come up against The Liar himself?

  4. Primus Secundus Tertius

    Human deviousness

    It is depressing for any real techie to read these tales of deviousness and realise how normal it all is.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Human deviousness

      Yes but its kind of fun to hit equipment with hammers and claim you are diagnosing an issue (The baseball bat Margret got confiscated so I now have to use a hammer)

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Human deviousness

        I forgot to mention the baseball bat is foam and the hammer is an inflatable one (I'm not actually going to destroy anything those who downvoted me)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Human deviousness

          The downvotes are probably because you admitted you actually aren't destroying anything - BOFH articles attract a certain type, after all!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Human deviousness

          They're downvoting you for not using a rubber mallet.

          They don't leave any marks, but will destroy HDDs faster than the Monsoon in Thailand...

          Proper tool for the job and all that.

          1. onefang

            Re: Human deviousness

            Perhaps the downvote were for your baseball bat having a female name? I always figured they were kinda male, but I'm no sports fan, so what do I know?

            1. MrDamage

              Re: Human deviousness

              If you think a baseball bat should have a male name, then Lucille would like to have a word with you.

              1. JBFromOZ

                Re: Human deviousness

                Not sure if "I'd Hit That" ever came out of a bat, even when thinking of Lucille Ball....

            2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

              Re: Human deviousness

              Oddly I didn't actually name the bats (There is a male bat called George).

              My Rubber Mallet is lost somewhere under the false floor (Where once the rubber degrades the bastards who stole my server room have a collapsed floor for a meeting room), I would replace it, but I don't think they would kill SSD's very well.

              1. tlhonmey

                Re: Human deviousness

                A Rubber Mallet and a piece of silk will fry an SSD quite nicely if used properly.

          2. Joe_the_geek

            rubber mallet

            I used one to bang on the door of my (insert appropriate adjective here ) neighbor from south of the border when he was broadcasting his (...) music to the whole neighborhood and could not hear me knocking with my fist.Sorry it's out of context.

  5. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Pint

    Here's to us!

  6. Andytug

    Always amazes me just how convinced people can be that they are right, even when proved completely wrong.

    Those who are best at it, of course, go into politics.....

    1. DropBear

      That's what happens when you fix "I must be right" as the primary axiom of immutable truth (a thing most people seem to be doing, even if unconsciously) and derive any and all aspects of reality suitably bent pretzel-like, as needed, to fit that. Pushed far enough, people are willing to deny the very existence of the Sun in the sky even as they are sweating its heat, if it would mean having to admit being wrong. That would be a reduction to an absurdity, implying that the assumption that the Sun exists _must_ be the false one, full stop.

      The key realization here is that arguing with these folks is utterly pointless, because the point you are trying to dislodge is the fulcrum itself - anything is allowed to move except that very point, regardless of how long your intellectual lever is. You're trying to prove false something they _know_ with absolute certainty to be true; not gonna happen, and the more eloquent argument you manage to construct driving home the inescapable truth of your point the worse it ends up being for your blood pressure to see it nonetheless rejected without explanation.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Those who are best at it, of course, go into politics.....

      And you got downvoted for this? I'm shocked. There must be a mole among us that wants us to believe that politicians are honest, hardworking, and saints in disguise.

      1. GIRZiM

        Re: There must be a mole among us

        Haven't you noticed there's a phantom individual who downvotes on every forum?

        Some of the most innocuous replies in a thread get a single downvote and you think to yourself "Why? What on earth could anyone have found to object to about it?"

        I don't think it's anything personal; it's a compulsion, I suspect - I'd be willing to bet good money that if you found out who it was and wrote a complimentary post about them they'd jerk their knee and downvote it themself.

        I'm willing to bet this reply gets one from them but, knowing the commentards here, it's just as likely to get more downvotes than any single post in the entire history of El Reg as everyone downvotes it just for a laugh, so I'll never be absolutely sure - ho hum, such is the way and the lot of the commentard.

        1. onefang

          Re: There must be a mole among us

          "it's just as likely to get more downvotes than any single post in the entire history of El Reg as everyone downvotes it just for a laugh"

          I've upvoted you, but if I notice lots and lots and lots of downvotes, then I reserve the right to jump on that bandwagon and change mine to a downvote. Careful what you wish for.

          1. GIRZiM
            Happy

            Re: Careful what you wish for

            Thanks and be assured I won't take it amiss if you do - if I could, I'd downvote it myself just for a laugh ;-D

            It'd screw up my 'stats', such as they are, but if you take the votes on El Reg seriously, you've either not been reading it long enough or you shouldn't be here in the first place - it's not that people are nasty but, if you can't take a joke, you really shouldn't have joined here.

            1. onefang
              Happy

              Re: Careful what you wish for

              I don't think downvotes actually count for much. Upvotes, sticking around, and posting is what earns you your badges. I'm well on track for skipping straight over the bronze badge and getting silver by Christmas. It'll be El Regs Christmas present to me.

              1. GIRZiM
                Gimp

                Re: Careful what you wish for

                Badgers!?

                I haven't seen a badger icon - how do I get one of those!?

                I'd love a silver (or even bronze) badger icon!

                Don't know what kind of post it'd be useful for but I don't really care; I haven't seen anyone use one before, so they must be really rare, and I'd just use it every time: if you've got it, flaunt it - get a load of my badger!

                [Fanboi icon cos, if you squint really hard, it could be a sort of a badger - one with a (probably unfortunate) deformity]

                Oh ... badges ... not badgers : (

                Well, I suppose the odd girl guide or two might be entertaining of an evening, if I've no-one better to do, but it's not the same at all really, is it?

                I was really looking forward to a badger too *sigh*

                1. onefang

                  Re: Careful what you wish for

                  Maybe if you badger the vulture, you'll get your badger badge.

                  1. GIRZiM
                    Pint

                    Re: Careful what you wish for

                    Nice!

                    [beer, for the obvious reason that you've earned it].

                    1. onefang

                      Re: Careful what you wish for

                      As promised, I changed it to a downvote.

                      1. GIRZiM
                        Happy

                        Re: Careful what you wish for

                        As promised, I changed it to a downvote

                        Heh. Thanks for the laugh : D

                2. MichaelBirks

                  Re: Careful what you wish for

                  If you get (17??) bagder badges, you get a mushroom badge.

                  Two mushroom badges, and some more badgers, and you get a snake badge.

                  Snake? Snake! Ooooh, it's a Snake.

                  1. GIRZiM

                    Re: Careful what you wish for

                    Two mushroom badges, and some more badgers, and you get a snake badge

                    How many more though - one or sixteen?

                    And do I get to keep my badger badges or do I have to exchange them?

                    If I exchange them for.... ooooh ... a snake badge, can I earn more badger badges, or is that it and I'll see no more badgers from then on?

                3. 9Rune5 Silver badge

                  Re: Careful what you wish for

                  Oh great. Now I too want a badger icon.

                  That said, has anyone else noticed how, on imdb, even the greatest movies of all times manage to land a small number of voters (among imdb's top 1000 voters) giving out a score of one?

                  It makes me wonder if they *always* vote like that, or if there is something else sinister going on. No wonder there is war in the world.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: There must be a mole among us

          It’s somewhat arrogant to think that everyone agrees with your point of view on any topic and not a single person would downvote it, especially on a comment that you might think is especially deserving of no downvotes. In fact with an attitude like that you should go into politics, you’d excel, or why not a CEO?

          1. GIRZiM

            Re: There must be a mole among us

            Your projection onto others of what I shall charitably term your 'thinking' on this matter rather gives the lie to the idea that you are, yourself, anything other than remarkably narrowminded and your need to lecture another about their thinking speaks volumes about your overweening self-regard.

            It's supremely arrogant of you to suggest to someone that their being surprised at the difference of opinion about some ideas is evidence of their arrogantly assuming their own opinion on the matter to be the only valid one rather than of their simply being perplexed by others' opinions.

            Not understanding another's point of view does not inexorably lead to the standpoint that others' points of view are invalid, merely to that of wondering what they might be and why.

            You, however, appear unable to differentiate between incomprehension of another's point of view and self-infatuation, indicating that your are very young and/or developmentally arrested - perhaps you should offer your services to medical science; I'm sure the abnormalities in your brain structure would lead to some immensely valuable insights into neurological function.

          2. DiViDeD Silver badge

            Re: There must be a mole among us

            "..arrogant to think that everyone agrees with your point of view on any topic.."

            Ah, but that's where I unleash my secret weapon (no, I don't want to do an evil laugh now - why does everyone assume I want to do an evil laugh?). I simply ensure that I am always, and invariably, right about everything, thus making the downvoters expose their nature by attempting to contradict my awesome truthiness.

            Muhahahahaha! (Ah, there you go)

    3. Scott Marshall
      Devil

      Not politics

      Those who are best at making money from it, of course, go into politics become CEOs of multinational corporations.....

      It's the financially less competent liars that go into politics.

      FTFY (you're welcome)

  7. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Pint

    What great timing

    Classic BOFH! I think I'll have an extra one of these ->

    This showed up just as I was about to pop down to the pub. Incidentally, did the boss transfer from the DWP?

  8. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Pint

    What great timing

    I think I'll have an extra one of these ->

    This showed up just as I was about to pop down to the pub. Incidentally, did the boss transfer from the DWP?

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: What great timing

      Sorry for the spam. What was supposed to be an edit somehow turned into a second post :o

      1. Phil Endecott

        Re: What great timing

        > What was supposed to be an edit somehow turned into a second post

        Really! That’s quite worrying; it could be a bug that’s affecting other users too. Did you post from your phone, or a computer? Whichever it,was I think you’d better hand it over so we can investigate properly.

      2. stiine Silver badge

        Re: What great timing

        So, you're only going to have one pint?

  9. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    It's Friday. On-Call and BOFH perused.

    Luch consumed.

    Now what? Pub o' clock? Too early for that... methinks it is time to have a quick shufty at the NTP controller for our domain and set it forward with a few hours... >clickety<>click<

  10. Herby

    I'm surprised...

    That the boss's phone and desktop weren't "archived" to obtain future blackmail topics. You never know when such jucy items might be useful.

    Of course, the might be, and we don't know it yet.

    Life goes on.

    1. Grikath

      Re: I'm surprised...

      Given that this Boss seems to be different from the last issues, I expect this one to have the life expectancy of a mayfly... So why bother?

  11. Tim 11

    least beleivable storyline ever

    I know BOFH likes to stretch the boundaries of believably, but an outlook sync problem that wasn't caused by crap sync software?? sorry you've lost me there.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Afernie

      Re: least beleivable storyline ever

      We routinely encounter people who accidentally add calendar entries to the calendar profile for a personal account on an iPhone and then insist the system is broken when it fails to materialise on their desktop Outlook. It's entirely believable.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: least beleivable storyline ever

        ... and people who delete stuff on their desktop email and wonder why the deletion wasn't immediately synched over to the phone within 5 nanoseconds, among other things. (ActiveSync is a pig, but it _mostly_ works.)

  12. Alistair
    Windows

    I have something like 3 complete computers lying about my residence in bits and pieces. They have been delivered unto my care by an associate that (once) had some talent in the herding and management of bits and bytes. Now long disassociated, he picks up dirt cheap crap from 'recycling' and 'free' mailing lists, in an effort to find himself and others 'cheap' computers.

    I no longer engage in his attempts to invoke warranty return policies......thus I have lots of electronics to recycle. (he's cooked up some doozies....) And he can't keep his stories straight with the vendors any more --- I rather suspect they've blacklisted him.

    For the record, if someone is 'freecycling' or 'selling' an i7 "real cheap" "because they upgraded" I'm going to pretty much guarantee, they've cooked that sumbitch good.

    Oh, hey, thats BOFH, that means its FRIDAY!!!! YAY!!!

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      There a guy in the next room right now destroying hard drives because "data"

      It does seem a bit of a waste sometimes - and we pay through the nose for it!

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Know the feeling. I am pretty sure I have 3 computers networked into my house somewhere that I am unable to physically locate. I can ping them, ssh into 2 of them and RDP into the third. I’m just buggered if I know where they actually are.

      Must start pulling every cable out of the core router and see what happens.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        "3 computers networked into my house somewhere that I am unable to physically locate"

        If they are windows you could WMI the model possibly .... might trigger a memory ...

        But seriously?? cant find?

        Maybe next door has tapped into your network and its their computers?

        1. macjules Silver badge

          Just bloody lazy. I found the windows one just now - a box I set up 2 years ago as a home media server but never used and the Ubuntu minis are in the garage. One was a TeamPass I set up and the other is a Zabbix monitor I used to use. None important, so all now unplugged.

  13. adam payne

    I have to give the Boss a bit of respect for being able to lie on the fly like this, but he's still got to be punished.

    Lying to an IT person is never a good idea.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Lying to an IT person is never a good idea.

      I was got a new boss. We were chatting soon after he arrived, and he blurted out "I've been warned never to lie to you!" I've often wondered where that came from ....* We did get on really well, though. **

      (* - I didn't even have the fully-charged cattle prod on me at the time, promise.)

      (** - a few years later things went pear-shaped. I was instructed by a C-suite to lie about the status of a project. I declined, kicked him out of my office & resigned a few weeks later.)

  14. Robert Helpmann??
    Childcatcher

    Going down with the syncing ship

    I have been dealing with a sync issue for most of the past two weeks. I kept trying to get the network folks to have a look and they kept telling me it wasn't their problem and closing the tickets, tracert and ping evidence to the contrary. Turned out it was the virtual network within the new AWS setup that was not configured right and no-one had bothered to pass the news on to the AWS people until I escalated the issue. I was very, very close to borrowing a page from the BOFH's book and helping some of the individuals involved become more in sync with their new underwater environment. I understand networking kit can make great ballast in a pinch.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Going down with the syncing ship

      I just avoid all kinds of syncing , its recipe for disater. How does it know which way to sync?

      Same goes for shared spreadsheets - just take turns with it!

      I've managed to stop the server/policy clowns buggering up my home drive by removing its path from AD and mapping it manually. Prior to that it was constantly getting fucked with / being "offline" half the folders unavailable . Something to do with "offline files" - i total fuckup of a solution which is the answer to a question no one ever asked.

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        Re: Going down with the syncing ship

        Do not get me started with the Debacle that is setting up Offline FIles, at least on windows 7. Ugh.

      2. Cavehomme_

        Re: Going down with the syncing ship

        In my experience syncing OneDrive works well. When the software is not sure it will flag the 2+ conflicted files.

        Dropbox is a different story especially when the shared folder owner decides to get a new laptop or moves their local sync folder / drive, doesn’t understand how syncing works and ends up nuking everyone else’s copy in the process because THEY decided it wasn’t a good idea to tick the option (or didn’t see it) for everyone else to keep a local copy. Grrrrrrrr.

    2. stiine Silver badge

      Re: Going down with the syncing ship

      you must have shtty IT people.

  15. caffeine addict

    Off topic

    On that Union Carbide link, there's a picture of a young girl with hearing issues (#24 maybe?).

    Never occurred to me that Indians could have blue eyes. That kid's eyes fecking bore into you. I feel personally responsible for the disaster despite being 8 at the time. And in the UK. And she's smiling. Christ know what would happen if she's angry. Some kind of X-men kind of thing, I assume.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Off topic

      Bhopal. A reminder to the likes of Rees-Mogg about why the EU has stringent health and safety laws, and why we should not only keep them, but strive to have similar practice adopted throughout the world.

      1. Nick Kew

        Re: Off topic

        You see an Agenda when you compare how little Bhopal is remembered - or was discussed at the time - with the comparatively tiny and harmless accident at Chernobyl around the same time.

        In fact, two Agendas. Big up the nuclear, even though it's a drop in the ocean compared to the chemical. And big up the Evil Empire cockup, while turning a blind eye to the US corporation.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. ShortLegs

    Thought this was the new boss, who was kind-of on-side with BOFH an episode or two ago... I'm sure the IS Director would have made a better target ;)

  17. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Happy

    Short circuit...

    "... the PFY took every single nut, bolt and screw out of everything."

    Am I the only one here who read this and thought of that bit in Short Circuit where the guy's car gets taken apart in about ten seconds flat?

  18. earl grey
    Facepalm

    WTF just happened

    I just tried to up-vote a comment and a red error message popped up that said something like:

    Alert the Moderatrix - The coders need to be whipped!

    How old is that?

    1. onefang

      Re: WTF just happened

      It might be an old message, but I bet they are still just as kinky. I wonder if they sometimes use that cattle prod on themselves?

    2. Nick Kew

      Re: WTF just happened

      You must have a very solid 'net connection. You get that message any time you lose the reg connection while trying to interact - so for those of us with domestic-grade connections it's a regular thing.

  19. Zwuramunga

    The Original Lie in the Chain

    Outlook + Phone + Synch.

    Not really the Tech that is the problem.

    It is the Fantasy's dreamed by those who use them. There will NEVER be a time when the technology will "Know What I Mean."

    Some training is involved and your promotion will not you Mutant Powers over technology.

  20. sisk

    I guess this Boss had to do something worthy of punishment sooner or later. I was starting to think Simon liked him too much.

  21. Florida1920
    Coffee/keyboard

    A cab passes.

    A Hemingway moment!

  22. Waseem Alkurdi

    A small question

    Does anybody know how can I contact Simon Travaglia? I have a small question to him, but he seems to be inaccessible via email.

    1. Florida1920
      Joke

      Re: A small question

      Does anybody know how can I contact Simon Travaglia? I have a small question to him, but he seems to be inaccessible via email.
      Have you been reading BOFH long? People who annoy Simon may find themselves on the road. Just before a cab passes.

      1. Waseem Alkurdi

        Re: A small question

        I've spent the last three months (summer break) reading every BOFH episode since '95 (or '88 counting the Striped Irregular Bucket series), so, yep!

        1. Florida1920

          Re: A small question

          I've spent the last three months (summer break) reading every BOFH episode since '95 (or '88 counting the Striped Irregular Bucket series), so, yep!
          My advice is, avoid elevators and windows.

          1. Waseem Alkurdi
            Pint

            Re: A small question

            Have a pint bro!

            I should add: darkened stairwells, raised-floor computer rooms, CRT monitors (especially 22" ones), tape safes, safes in general, router racks, bookshelves, multifunction printers, the basement, and most importantly, my desk in Beancounter Central.

            My coat is the one with the bag with the medical textbooks!

          2. onefang

            Re: A small question

            "My advice is, avoid elevators and windows."

            I try to avoid Windows, but sometimes people pay me to code / sysadmin the things. One of these days I'll go ahead with my threat of "Yeah I normally charge $X, but triple that for Windows". Though since I'm now moving into semi retirement, I might just get a "I don't do Windows." t-shirt made and wear it to job interviews.

            1. Pyrotech72

              Re: A small question

              Loving the

              "I don't do Windows." t-shirt

              thing

    2. stiine Silver badge

      Re: A small question

      I'm sure if you fly to New Zealand, you can barhop and find someone who knows him.

      Or you could post a letter to him in care of The Register.

  23. Shadow Systems

    My dad takes the biscuit...

    He once asked me to troubleshoot why his desktop calendar wasn't in synch with his phone's. After trying to find the calendar on his computer desktop & coming up blank, I asked him where it was... He pointed to the physical calendar on his desk's top near his office phone.

    I left in self defense before I did something rash...

    1. Nick Kew

      Re: My dad takes the biscuit...

      How come your dad failed to pass on his sense of humour?

      I'd be very happy if my dad said that. It would be a good sign that he didn't need me to fix something real, like how he'd got into the "wrong" screen in skype.

  24. Johndoe132

    Where is Dabbsy?

    Fantastic BOFH as always, but where is our usual Friday fest of snark tales and retro 80's videos ala Monsieur Dabbs?

  25. Tom Paine

    the PFY took every single nut, bolt and screw out of everything.

    I've *always* wanted to do that, with the addition of hanging every individual part from the ceiling on lines of black monofibre, so as to make a meatspace version of on e of those exploded views you used to see in kids encyclopedias, Ikea assumbly instructions and the like.

    When I win the lottery and retire, maybe...

    1. onefang

      Extra points if you wave a desoldering iron at the motherboard.

  26. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
    Coat

    See Under Soldering Irons

    Extra points if you wave a desoldering iron holding it by the handle while it's plugged in & aiming for the other side of the motherboard as SMD devices usually use a rework station.

    FTFY - See URL https://starecat.com/content/wp-content/uploads/how-not-to-hold-a-soldering-iron-woman-fail.jpg

    Extra reading - https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/3/2018/06/04/who_me/

    1. onefang

      Re: See Under Soldering Irons

      OUCH!

  27. JimboSER

    Get ready for part 2...

    Failing to find a problem with the PC of the phone, the BOFH must therefore assume that it is an issue with the company servers, possibly a virus! Wait until the Boss comes in to find all of the infrastructure servers in pieces...

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