back to article BOFH: Darn Windows 7. It's totally why we need a £1k graphics card for a business computer

BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns "How bad is it really?" the Boss asks. "It's bad." the PFY whispers with some urgency. "It's like the Y2K thing times 10!" And given that the Y2K thing was a big fat zero, the PFY is technically correct. "What are we looking at?" the Director asks. "Well I don't think it's at the …

  1. Admiral Grace Hopper

    "And given that the Y2K thing was a big fat zero,"

    It's rare that I question BoFH's judgement, but the Y2K thing was the biggest driver for tech refresh I have seen in my career and if he missed the opportunity to suck on the teat of the Y2K budget then he dropped a massive clanger.

    1. Ordinary Donkey

      Re: "And given that the Y2K thing was a big fat zero,"

      Did you have to get the guard dogs Y2K tested at your place?

      1. Korev Silver badge

        Re: "And given that the Y2K thing was a big fat zero,"

        It was mad, they were barking

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "And given that the Y2K thing was a big fat zero,"

        I recall having to Y2K test a bunch of analogue wall clocks that had no date function. This isn't as unlikely as it sounds.

    2. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: "And given that the Y2K thing was a big fat zero,"

      The zero most people think fondly about is the extra zeroes in their paycheck thanks to knowing COBOL and BBC BASIC and their ugly grandfather Microsoft BASIC. Granted most finance stuff wasn't made in a variant of BASIC but any place that had keep they old machines was running some program made in some form of BASIC that they wanted to be Y2K compatible.

      BASIC knowledge bought you lunch and maybe a TV if you were lucky, COBOL got you new cars.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: "And given that the Y2K thing was a big fat zero,"

        I do seem to remember the BoFH making not a small sum from Y2K

        1. StargateSg7

          Re: "And given that the Y2K thing was a big fat zero,"

          I do remember an older boffin friend of mine in Toronto in 1998 who starting his 4 year contract with a combined group of large financial institutions in Canada that required his COBOL expertise to convert ALL of their active 1950's/1960's/1970's/1980's era COBOL code over to C++. Since he was already about 50 years old, this assignment was basically the icing on the cake for an already illustrious coding and systems analyst career!

          The beautiful thing was that the original IBM-specific COBOL banking software was so well written and so well documented in those days, that they were simply able to use the C++ compiler's preprocessor (I think it was Borland C++) to change all the COBOL specific comparison code, declarative and iterative statement and function-like declarations over to C++ functions in mere months using bucket loads of IFDEF and DEFINE statements to get COBOL looking like C++.

          They had some young Assembler wizard write an x86 interceptor function which took the C++ preprocessor output and redirected it/converted it to final C++ code source files which was perused and edited by my boffin friend and then sent out to various team members for final user interface re-design and compiling. An ingenious solution I do must say!

          The end result was that the Canadian financial systems had VERY FEW HICCUPS compared to the U.S. financial companies when it came to glitches happening just before and after Y2K. While Y2K could have been much more serious on both side of the USA/Canada border, it was mostly a non-event! The KEY thing was that Canada prepared earlier and had better results in the end.

          I also remember that after all the bonuses and overtime he did in order to make sure the Y2K re-writes were implemented properly and worked for at least two years after Y2K, that he was able to retire in 2003 being able to buy a very nice 3000+ square foot (278 square metres) custom built log home in the Southern Ontario Cottage Country/Thousand Lakes region, a 26 foot touring power boat, two large touring motorcycles that fit into their large 5th Wheel RV trailer (i.e. a very large pulled caravan) and for the last 17 years him and his wife have done nothing BUT tour all over North America and continue their series of yearly pilgrimages allowing him and the wife to live in Ontario Cottage Country in the summer and live in south Florida in the Winter! In Spring and Fall they still have enough money to travel to multiple countries around the world enjoying fine hotels, fine views and very fine food and wine! (i.e. mostly to Italy, South France, Greece and Spain these days!)

          Since he is now in his early 70's and still in very good health, he now has combined his very generous bank employer and government pension (CPP) plans after living off the money he made in his early 50's doing Y2K work. I can say he is doing very well and will continue to do well for the rest of his life.

          SOME PEOPLE were very well equipped to take advantage of Y2K spending and in some cases over a 4-to-5 year period, became actual net-worth millionaires from that event and it's aftermath alone!



          Lucky Bastard!

          Arrghhhhh!!!!! --- I'm sooooo envious today at his lifestyle while i'm slaving over 1987'era MS-DOS batch code that is STILL being used to convert in 2020 huuuuuuuge Aero/Hydro/Plasma-dynamic scientific visualization spreadsheet data sets over to SQL-RDBMS entries and then into animated 4K/8K video files!


      2. ZenCoder

        Re: "And given that the Y2K thing was a big fat zero,"

        In college maybe 96 or 97, I bought my first suit and went to a job fair looking for a summer internship, and this guy recruiter is really pushing doing COBOL programming at financial institutions ... I wanted to be an academic and do research.

        And the Engineers used to make fun of the Business majors.

    3. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: "And given that the Y2K thing was a big fat zero,"

      Ohh, the BOFH made out like a bandit on Y2K. Not that anything he did actually required doing (And the things that did require doing were someone elses problem or fault).

    4. N2

      Re: "And given that the Y2K thing was a big fat zero,"


      The testing was one thing but alongside that ran 'the other project' to silently update critical infrastructure that had been ignored.

  2. chivo243 Silver badge

    flux capacitor decoupling

    Hey that's my JOB!

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: flux capacitor decoupling

      It's on my to-do list too. I'm going to do it 3 weeks ago...

      1. Ordinary Donkey

        Re: flux capacitor decoupling

        Me too. Just waiting on the lightning.

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: flux capacitor decoupling

          I have a couple of barrels of Plutonium in the garage, if you are interested.

          But you'll need to be quick, I think the Libyans are on to me.

          1. chivo243 Silver badge

            Re: flux capacitor decoupling

            what about 1.21 gigawats? Where can I source it??

            p.s. don't forget that bullet proof vest!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: flux capacitor decoupling

              1+ gigawatts, BOFH speccing out a new ultra persuasive cattle prod....?

            2. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: flux capacitor decoupling

              The professor actually said 1.21 jigowatts....

              Short piece here about the BTTF's use of jigowatt in the scripts:


        2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

          Re: flux capacitor decoupling

          I'm lazy, I already did it in 3 weeks time.

    2. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: flux capacitor decoupling

      That was risky, the PHB is actually old enough to have seen Back To The Future in a Drive Tru cinema. Then again he was probably a bit distracted because you didn't actually use those to see the movies.

  3. Locky

    Hardware drivers, BIOS handshaking, flux capacitor decoupling

    That exactly the point we're at in our W10 project too

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Hardware drivers, BIOS handshaking, flux capacitor decoupling

      I am the point of having one or three hairs left... it looks horrible!

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Hardware drivers, BIOS handshaking, flux capacitor decoupling

        >I am the point of having one or three hairs left... it looks horrible!

        Well on the way to becoming a zed then...

        [ ]

  4. Stumpy

    "Yes, but how would we know that you didn't pick up a couple of dusty old relics at a car boot sale?" the Boss asks.

    "Just tell your wife and sister-in-law not to go car-boot-sale-ing that weekend," the PFY chips in.

    Bollocks. New keyboard time.

    Now, where did I put that requisition order for a nice shiny Steelseries Apex Pro?

    1. Maverick

      same coffee through nose here

      also "a couple of 3ft beancounters at the bottom of a lift shaft with knees where their hips should be..."


      1. azander

        This might be a good thing. Industry leaders call it downsizing.

    2. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Ahh keyboards..

      It amazes me that people will spend a lot of money getting the fastest CPU, as much RAM as they can buy, the fastest (and largest) permanent storage and the fastest gfx card, then plug in a cheap keyboard and mouse. The keyboard and mouse are probably the things most people use most on the computer. You don't need the full LED colour changing some gamers keyboards and mice offer, but you do need a comfortable keyboard and mouse, and some backlighting might also be good, particularly on the keyboard.

      1. DJV Silver badge

        Re: Keyboards

        Indeed. I'm still using a Microsoft Internet Keyboard Pro that's at least 20 years old (proving that Microsoft can actually make something decent once in a while). The hand rest at the front is worn smooth, the cursor keys no longer have markings on them, and the left shift key and space bar have had depressions worn into them. It gets ripped into pieces every 2 or 3 years for a thorough clean and degunk, and it's seen off at least 5 PCs and is still going strong. Thank goodness it has both a PS2 and USB connection as it comes from a time when PS2 was predominant.

        I will be extremely sad when it finally bites the dust.

        1. FeRDNYC

          Re: Keyboards

          Almost every piece of M$-branded peripheral hardware is actually really well made. All the ones I've encountered, anyway. Their hardware group is definitely not their software group. (Though there's a lot of variation even among the software groups, really.)

          They went down some wacky roads with the whole "Natural" keyboard thing, but even the most preposterous of those were well-constructed, stupidly-laid-out keyboards... and they still make variations on the split/vee models today, so "Some people like 'em, I guess."

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Keyboards

            Hmm. My experience was the opposite. I got a Microsoft wireless keyboard and mouse set. The keyboard was ok, but the mouse scroll wheel was busted out of the box. They sent me a replacement SET, and didn't ask for the old one back, so I popped open the mouse, realized the scroll wheel was sitting just a *hair* too far down, applied a couple layers of Scotch tape, and it worked ok. Ended up selling one set used - not sure which one!

            A year or so later, though, the left-click microswitch got flaky. Grr. Back to Logitech.

            1. Terje

              Re: Keyboards

              Mouse button microswitches always get crap, no matter who make the mouse, fortunately they are usually quite easy to replace with new ones.

              1. imanidiot Silver badge

                Re: Keyboards

                Still using my Logitech MX-1000 after (at least) 13 years. Still going strong, microswitch wise. Did have to replace the battery and strip the rubber "tire" off the scroll wheel (it had swelled and become sticky), so gave it a thorough cleaning while doing that. That was 3 years ago.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Keyboards

                  I'm using a Logitech MX-500 mouse I bought at a run out sale circa 2001 I's older than my kids and still going strong.

              2. Stoneshop Silver badge

                Mouse button microswitches always get crap

                Let's see. I bought a Logitech Trackman Marble FX, somewhere in the 1990's. So it's at least 20 years old, and it's quite likely over 25. No microswitch problems at all.

                1. Roland6 Silver badge

                  Re: Mouse button microswitches always get crap

                  >I bought a Logitech Trackman Marble FX, somewhere in the 1990's. ... No microswitch problems at all.

                  Given the prices they command on ebay, your experience is typical.

                  I wonder whether any of the more recent Logitech Trackman have similar build qualities...

                  1. Stoneshop Silver badge

                    Re: Mouse button microswitches always get crap

                    Given the prices they command on ebay, your experience is typical.

                    I got five of them, all from before their prices went through the roof. One is used at work, with the added benefit that no-one wants to sit at my desk when I'm not in.

                    There are a few more Trackmen around here: a couple Trackman Marble/Marble Wheel (non-FX); same vintage probably, one even older model that clips to the side of your laptop (probably used only rarely), and a moderately recent wireless model. Which I got off Marktplaats for a piddling amount because "one of the microswitches was flaky", though that appears to have been a software problem as I've not seen it under Linux. But I've no idea of how much that one was used.

            2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

              Re: Keyboards


              *Covers his 14 year old Intellimouses buttons*

              1. David Robinson 1

                Re: Keyboards

                16 years and still going for my Intellimouse. Sure there are spots where the silver has worn off, but no need to replace it.

                1. Terje

                  Re: Keyboards

                  I tend to hang on to my mice as long as I can as well they are like a well worn set of trousers, best just before they fall apart, luckily I I have managed to keep my current one going for a good while now, had to replace the microswitches in it (ok, only the lmb switch was bad but might as well replace both when you have it apart) and have another set of fitting switches and replacement glide surfaces on standby when / if they decide to give up the ghost again.

                2. Donn Bly

                  Re: Keyboards

                  I'm not quite sure how many years my once-beige and silver Intellimouse has on it, as both it and the Microsoft media keyboard I'm typing on are definitely older than the 13 years I've lived in this apartment.

                  My office setup has the identical keyboard (just as old) but a slightly newer mouse with a blue laser instead of a red one. Sure, the paint has rubbed off here and there and you have to be a touch typist in order to use the keyboard, but while I've looked I've never found a better keyboard.

                  I latched on to a new-old-stock keyboard still in the box a couple of years ago just so that I will have another should one of these somehow die.

                  1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

                    Re: Keyboards

                    I got rid of my corded Intellimeeses some time ago & in recent years have salvaged quite a few Logitech wireless ones (& more importantly the dongles) including a rather nice MX Anywhere from returned equipment for disposal.

            3. quxinot

              Re: Keyboards

              Microsoft products with no firmware nor software to speak of are generally excellent.

              That kinda says something ugly about a software company. ...

            4. veti Silver badge

              Re: Keyboards

              Yeah, the keyboards may be OK, but the mice? feckin' hamsters, more like. Hairy and smelly and prone to wander off at random whenever you don't watch closely enough.

          2. hittitezombie

            Re: Keyboards

            Agree - I'm a massive MS hater, their software stinks.

            But dam, MS Ergo keyboards are beautifuly done. Their ergonomic mice were also exceedingly good.

            If you're suffering from RSI, definitely buy a Microsoft Ergonomic 4000 keyboard. They are technically well built as well, just the coffee-proofing is not that good (as I have demonstrated many times).

            1. quxinot

              Re: Keyboards

              Beer destroys them in short order as well. They're surprisingly easy to rip to bits and run the keycaps and other bits through the dishwasher, though (don't run a cycle with extra heat, and use the area as far from a heating element as possible).

          3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Keyboards

            "Almost every piece of M$-branded peripheral hardware is actually really well made."

            They probably have to withstand people trying to smash them up in frustration at the software.

          4. Mark #255

            Re: Keyboards

            I got a Natural keyboard with a work PC, and found it was really good. When I left (4 years later), I was allowed to take it with me ('cos no one else wanted to use it), and it did sterling service for many years at home, until some arsehole spilt orange squash into it.

            But yes, for a long time, Intellimice were the absolute cats' pyjamas.

          5. GFK1

            Re: Keyboards

            You can prise my MS Natural keyboard from my cold, dead hands.

          6. HelpfulJohn

            Re: Keyboards

            " (Though there's a lot of variation even among the software groups, really.)"

            The SysInternals guys did some really solid work. Their 'wares are still useful.

            Meanwhile, just as contrast, there are the Office "ribbon" and "Clippy" among other horrors.

            Wouldn't it be lovely were all Microsoft 'wares as good as their SySInternals and hardware?

        2. Jay 2

          Re: Keyboards

          At home both my iMac and RasPi have some fairly old school (and now somewhat yellowed) MS mice attached. Come to think of it the keyboard on the RasPi is also MS.

          So another agreement that every now and again MS can make something good (and hardware too!). A special shout also goes out to their Sidewinder joysticks, also quite long lasting and not crap.

          1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

            Re: Keyboards

            My keyboards lifetimes can be measured in BOFH publication dates.....

            3 foot beancounters heh

          2. Will Godfrey Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Keyboards

            Also got an MS mouse. No idea where it came from actually, but it's still fine, although again, somewhat yellowed. However, it's no longer on my 'office' machine, but my DAW instead.

        3. ChrisC Silver badge

          Re: Keyboards

          Back in the days when mice still had balls, the MS Intellimouse range was the bees knees - had one on my PC at uni, which then encouraged me to buy one for my PC at home, which then encouraged me to buy a newer one for my PC at home so I could take the old one into work to replace the brick on a string masquerading as a pointing device on my PC there...

          I do however recall their early attempts at optical mice were less than stellar, which is what prompted me to jump ship and see if Logitech were as good as everyone was suggesting - the MX510 I bought as a result is *still* going strong.

        4. tlhonmey

          Re: Keyboards

          My favorite trackball is still an old Kraft from like 1989. Connects via serial port, so it takes some finagling these days, but the sensors and switches still work beautifully. Only problem is the lack of a scroll wheel. But I haven't found a good replacement. All the modern ones have too much damping on the movement so you can't just flick the ball to move the cursor to the other side of the screen.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Keyboards

            "All the modern ones have too much damping on the movement so you can't just flick the ball to move the cursor to the other side of the screen."

            Can't you play with speed and acceleration settings in the driver screen?

            1. DiViDeD

              Re: Keyboards

              All the modern ones have too much damping on the movement so you can't just flick the ball to move the cursor to the other side of the screen.

              The Logitech MX series I bought to use at work has a nifty thumb wheel on the side (more of a roller really) that lets you flit from side to side (or to another monitor) with simple up/down flicks.

              And it also has a button for the scroll wheel that let's you switch off the scroll wheel ratchet and plummet down the current document at several times the speed of dark.

      2. ChrisC Silver badge

        This x1000, along with the monitor(s). Penny-pinch on the stuff you physically interact with every single time you use the system, and you'll regret it forever.

      3. jonathan keith

        Mouse, keyboard, and don't forget the monitor. The three parts of a computer that you actually interact with. And people are still using 1366x728 panels. Makes me want to weep, it really does.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "1366x728 panels"

          1920x1080 here but only 15.3".

          Why is it that laptop makers seem to assume that if you want that resolution in 17.3" you must be wanting to pay stupid money for something they call a gaming laptop. No, I just want to be able to read multiple documents side by side. And I want a DVD drive in it as well.

          1. Waseem Alkurdi

            You can get a workstation laptop. Like business laptops but with 17.3" panels.

            HP's line is called ZBook, and Lenovo's is ThinkPad W series, and both can be found for dirt-cheap used on eBay.

            1. SuperGeek

              Dell Precision M6600 here, beautiful 17.3" screen, and a pre-chiclet backlit keyboard. Use it for video editing, Photoshop and photoshoot editing, DAW with FL Studio, the odd bit of GTA 4, and general Windozy stuff. 16GB RAM, two hard drive bays, external eSATA, and 1.8" MSATA 250GB boot drive, all for just under £250. Custom added my own slim Blu-ray burner for backing up music compositions and photoshoots.

              Not the newest i7 but she boots in 4 seconds from MSATA SSD, so good enough if boot time is anything to go by, still got 5+ years in her yet, maybe 10 :). The day Hell freezes will be the day I use a laptop with Chiclet Scrabble keys crap, which is most of the modern ones!

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              But not down the road at PC Specialist or CCL. And I'm not going to replace my old, used laptop with somebody else's old, used laptop.

              1. Waseem Alkurdi

                Of course not. These are not disposable consumer models, but business models built to be in one piece for at least one corporate refresh cycle, the warranty of which starts at three years instead of one year for consumer models. If you want to buy these new, you'd order them directly on the OEM's website.

                After the "unboxing the new toy"* rush ends, believe me, new vs. used becomes very irrelevant.

                I'd gladly take {$500,$1000} off the retail price of a {one-,two-}year-old $2000 mobile workstation in exchange for a year in processor tech (which has really stagnated between 2013's Ivybridge and 2017's Kabylake, only showing meaningful progress in 2018, before stagnating again in 2019). Heck, one year old models have two years left in the warranty (assuming quality business-grade stuff), so you should be as safe as if you bought it new. (Used laptops have the risk of previous owner damage or shipping damage, new laptops have the risk of factory or shipping damage, so it's all the same, you're simply swapping in one risk for another.)

                Linux support is better for older hardware, where the devs had taken enough time to code and fix their drivers.

                Personally, whether I've bought laptop X for $1600 new or $160 used after two years, I'm ending up with the same laptop in either case. Except that in the first case, I would have wasted $1440 for a temporary "new toy feeling". This is especially true in your case (as you explained in the post above). You simply wanted a 17.3" panel to view two documents at once, which suggests that you aren't doing anything that requires a really beefy setup (where one is better off with a desktop anyhow). A $250 ZBook from 2015 would do just fine for that.

                But to each his own, I guess.

                * The "new toy feeling" can also come from a used gadget as well. In my case, at least.

      4. hmv

        Backlighting on a keyboard? What for? I don't look down there - freaks the shit out of people who walk up and ask questions whilst I'm still typing away. Worth the time spent learning to touch type for just that alone.

        But yes, a decent keyboard is definitely on the list of essentials - you spend so much time fingering them. Unicomp UB40B5A (that's the 122 key 5250 keyboard) wired up with a Soarer adaptor to connect PS/2 to USB (and gives me keyboard mapping/macros).

      5. Jess--

        Running an IBM Model M keyboard (still with manufacturing label 1986 on the back) and it's still solid. A few keys have lost some of their texture (but not the lettering), it gets stripped every year or so and the keycaps take a trip through the washing machine & dryer (tied in an old football sock).

        when it finally dies I will have to replace it with one of my 1987 ones.

        the only downsides are that it can sound like a machine gun and there are no windows keys for various shortcuts.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "the only downsides are that it can sound like a machine gun and there are no windows keys for various shortcuts."

          I can't try this as I don't have a Windows PC handy right now, but CTRL-ESC works to bring up the Windows start menu. Maybe CTRL-ESC-R will work as, for example, WIN-R. Anyone care to try and confirm?

          1. Jess--

            Ctrl-Esc : Start Menu

            Ctrl-Shift-Esc : Task Manager

            Ctrl-Esc-R : Nothing

            Ctrl-Shift-R : Refresh browser (and have to retype this post)

      6. DiViDeD

        You don't need the full LED colour changing some gamers keyboards and mice offer

        Oh you do - you really do. The flashier the better. Since finally retiring my IBM Model M, I've discovered that these modern young people still remember the importance of good old fashioned engineering married to unnecessary, in your face bling.

        I love my proper mechanical Black Widow Elite (coupled with a Lancehead mouse), both for the clicky mechanical feedback and the "WTF is that?" pulsing light displays.

        Yes, I'm a child, a 64 year old child - why do you ask?

      7. LauraW070

        I totally agree with you. Nowadays people are looking for cheapest mouse and keyboard or buying it with useless options (LED, additional sinkers and so on). I used to use some gaming mouse and i can't say that it was really helpful in games (maybe i was bad at this, of caurse). It was like a common mouse. But i can say that wireless mice are better for me. It's really handy not to hitching on the wires (so if someone interested in wireless mice you can read more in my review here

    3. Zarno

      Oooh, all the shiny in that one!

      I have a Model M 13 clone. Sounds like war when I get typing. It wasn't expensed, because it will never leave me.

      Also have an MX Master 3 that went on expenses, because mice tend to not last till the heat death of the universe.

  5. WallMeerkat

    Virus 10

    A virus:

    "a piece of code which is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data."

    MS pushed Windows 10 onto my Windows 7 machine.

    Had a detrimental effect in corrupting my system such that some of my drivers for legacy (yes go out and buy new shiny shiny toys, I know) peripherals no longer worked.

    Destroyed data in that my XP Mode VM and all it's contents and applications was suddenly wiped, couldn't find it anywhere, and the built in executables sol.exe and winmine.exe were long gone, to be replaced by ad driven freemium 'adventure' games.

    (If I wanted to play freemium games I'd load my mobile full of crap like candy crush, which seemed to be installed, unwantedly, by windows 10)

    Also added unwanted Adware to my start menu, what was previously an operating system control for launching applications was now telling me to go buy an Xbox or to subscribe to the weather channel, alerts telling me to buy subscriptions to Office and Skype premium. Urging me to use their Cortina spyware, and "BING!!" search engine.

    I was half expecting the Bonzi Buddy to pop up.

    1. DJV Silver badge


      Before doing any future upgrades you might want to look into the term "backups" - apparently, such things are quite popular with people who have common sense!

      By the way, one question - why was an old Ford car spying on you?

      1. FeRDNYC

        Re: Hint

        The rich Corinthian leather makes them nosy.

      2. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Hint

        Cortina is Spanish for curtain, so I guess someone is hiding behind the Microsoft curtain.

        1. terrythetech

          Re: Hint

          I always thought Windows ought to have a curtain option.

          1. DJV Silver badge

            "a curtain option"

            Or blinds, maybe. It often drives me into a blind rage!

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: "a curtain option"

              Blinds have been an option since XP...


              Surprisingly, Stardock do a version for W10 - I wonder if it can put an XP skin on W10...

    2. John70

      Re: Virus 10

      A virus:

      "a piece of code which is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data."

      Blizzard Entertainment has already done that with Warcraft 3 - Reforged...

      Now retitled Warcraft 3 - Refunded

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Plan it right...

    So we got extra budget to remove any remaining windows 7, which was helpful as we don't have any windows 7 devices left. We did have 20 VM's running windows 7 for the developers to test things with, but they had been off for months. So we all got a weekend overtime and a new coffee machine for the office.

  7. Andy Non

    Best laugh of the day so far

    and a couple of 3ft beancounters at the bottom of a lift shaft with knees where their hips should be

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Best laugh of the day so far

      Beancounter reduction is never a bad thing.

      The knee ankle length one...

  8. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    Brilliant episode!!

    "Computer Assistance Service Helpline"

    Must remember that. Could come in useful

  9. Jedit Silver badge
    IT Angle

    BMS on Win7 - nope

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure one of our BMS systems is still running on XP. It's definitely the only analogue phone left in the building, because the antique modems can't talk to Skype - or at least that's the explanation I've been given.

    (No, I don't know where the IT angle is in two tin cans and a piece of string.)

  10. Chris G Silver badge

    Need a link

    Where does Simon purchase his MSDs (Manglement Sedation Device)?

    I have a use for at least one.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Need a link

      Only 1? Lucky bastard!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Need a link

      You can get some inexpensive ones off of Amazon without a license. I bought a couple to keep my son in law (who tried to think of himself as an entrepreneur) in line. Whenever he got off-topic and wouldn't shut up the arcing of the taser probes definitely got his attention. I even gave one to his personal assistant.

      Sadly, I didn't use it enough.

  11. A K Stiles

    Canny director?

    This one seems to be too smart to have reached those levels of manglement.

    Well, right up until the liberal application of sedatives anyway!

    Mmmmmm, sedatives...

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Canny director?

      You don't put "gaming keyboard" on the purchase order, you put "ruggadised illuminated keyboard". Then it sounds totally like the sort of thing you would have for working in the dark down a lift shaft.

      1. baud

        Re: Canny director?

        And ruggedised kit can be used as a (l)user attitude correction tool in a pinch. Not as well as a cattle prod, but can still do the job.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Canny director?

          I've got an IBM model M keyboard with a nail in it - and I'm not afraid to use it.

          1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

            Re: Canny director?

            ...and after it has been used to "adjust" the Luser, you can go right back to typing on it.

            In a pinch, the cord can be used to strangle.

        2. FeRDNYC

          Re: Canny director?

          That's Luser Attitude Readjustment Tool — LART for short.

          1. baud

            Re: Canny director?

            Thank you. I wasn't sure about the exact wording of this one. I guess I'll have to re read some of the BOFH this afternoon.

  12. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Excellent one.

  13. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "the cheque he'll want made out to "Computer Assistance Service Helpline"

    Definitely one of the best.

  14. BebopWeBop

    And after a few days of very long days, we are off to the pub - great way to end the week.

  15. DenonDJ DN-2500F

    So glad I kept 3 brand new Microsoft Trackball Optical when I had the chance after an office clear out - especially now they seem to be worth about £150 each.

    1. Blade

      I had two but, unfortunately, had to sell one due to a very tight financial times. The one I kept is still functional except, the two little metal balls at the base of the trackball cavity are worn flat from use. So, now the trackball wont move smoothly but, basically "shudders". Recently purchased tools may let me turn the little metal balls 180 degrees and get it working again.

      150 pounds? that would work out to be around $300 each down here in Oz.

  16. earl grey

    the ozone smell

    seems to me i recall ozone being a byproduct of electrical discharge. well played, well played.

    1. Morrie Wyatt

      Re: the ozone smell

      Indeed. All that was missing was the accompanying KZERT as the sedation was administered.

      Damn. No lightning bolt or LART icon when you need one.

  17. Plest Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Ghostbusters reference sneaked in there!

    Bull Murry's line about cats and dogs, classic!

  18. Aussie Doc


    "...a couple of 3ft beancounters at the bottom of a lift shaft with knees where their hips should be..."

    He says that as if it's a bad thing.

    I'm self-employed so it's beer O' clock here in Ozzie Outback ™.

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