back to article Micros~1? ClippyZilla? BSOD Bob? There can be only one winner. Or maybe two

The Register needed a Regism for our favourite blue screen merchant and we were heartened by the response. But as Connor MacLeod might say: "There can be only one." Such was the volume of entries that we had to apply some totally arbitrary rules to our decision-making process. Anything that substituted the S for a $ was deemed …

  1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Missed "Crash Gordon" in the original comments. Definitely has a ring to it, but I can see it didn't make the shortlist (in this highly competitive field)

    1. J. Cook Silver badge

      And now I have the opening theme to the Rocky Horror Picture Show running in my head.

      But then, it's friday, it's payday, so I guess I'll make a jump to the left... then a step to the right.

    2. Dave K

      Agreed, I quite liked that one. I'm also fond of Microsoft (not responding) due to how many times bloody Outlook does that with me.

    3. Phones Sheridan Silver badge

      Missed "Crash Gordon" in the original comments

      Might be showing my age, but maybe Crash Corrigan!

    4. Anon


      Too close to—what became—a Macromedia product FutureSplash, and we can all guess what name came from cutting out most of the middle letters of that.

    5. Psmo

      Gordon's alive?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I voted for "The Ribbon Factory" but cntl-alt-delete spans the years of so may reboots. Maybe some variation of that?






      reboot factory?

  2. steamnut

    In keeping

    As we already have ChipZilla for one half of the Wintel conspiracy then I guess you know what my vote was.....

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: In keeping

      I agree, but Clippy's getting a bit long in the tooth now. How about SlurpZilla?

      1. Jon 37

        Re: In keeping

        Too vague - could be MS, Google, Facebook, ....

    2. Martin Gregorie

      Re: In keeping

      The obvious, to me anyway, omission from the list, was Clipzilla. Clippyzilla is just a bit too friendly to MicroSlurp to float my boat.

      1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: In keeping

        Just Clippy would do, surely? But I voted "The Ribbon Factory".

        Picking on "Bob" reminds me of comedians The Two Ronnies telling us that Cliff Richard wanted people to stop asking about his sex life - "It was no more than an isolated incident which took place more than twenty years ago."

      2. druck Silver badge

        Re: In keeping

        I'd have gone for Bloatzilla, if I'd been out of bed in time.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    It is simply the name of the company. Only the display format has changed and that according to their own rules.


    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

      Re: Micros~1

      I thought Micro~1 was Microshaft and Micro~2 was Microsoft ???

    2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: Micros~1

      My memories of this were that, whenever I was in the situation of resorting to typing that in, my uk keyboard would not oblige, and I'd have to do keyb uk to get the tilde.

      Which brings me to: how does one pronounce this? Presumably micros tilde one?

      1. GrumpenKraut

        Re: Micros~1

        > how does one pronounce this?

        "The company that brought edlin to you."

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Micros~1

        It's not usually pronounced. It's been a print-only visual jargon pun for just over 25 years.

        (I first saw it on Usenet back when Win95 was still in Beta. Sadly, I can't remember who came up with it, and sadly the gookids have buggered up the irreplaceable DejaNews archive, so whoever it was has probably been lost to history. It is possible that it was a collective "ah-hah!" moment invented by several people nearly simultaneously.)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    While I love the Micros~1 idea, will the younger ones get it? I've not seen an 8.3 filename for ages.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: 8.3

      They patented generating shortened names from the full one and used it go after people who implemented their own fat32 - I think we should keep reminding the young-uns

    2. tony72

      Re: 8.3

      It was relevant for a much larger period of Microsoft's history than most of the other suggestions, and you can always tell the whipper-snappers to try typing "dir /x".

      1. Anonymous South African Coward Bronze badge

        Re: 8.3

        by gum, it shows the abbreviated filenames in 8.3 format....

        flashbacks to a bygone era where you struggled to make sense of micros~1 and micros~2 when trying to recover documents etc from a FUBAR'd Win95/98 install....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 8.3

          "flashbacks to a bygone era "

          lol, rofl etc. Now try to get to grips with punchcards as programming. A lace doily is not just something your grandmother puts on the table to avoid your tea cup spoiling the varnish on her mahogany in a decorative way. You still spill and fuck up anyway.

          ... anyway a lacie is also a punch card, fully punched. It can bring a punch card operated system to its knees. lol, rofl etc

          1. Fred Bernal

            Re: 8.3

            Do you mean LaCie, purveyors of expensive external storage devices?

            1. buster LXVI

              Re: 8.3

              Not really.

              "Lace cards" or "lacies" refers to punched cards that had had too many holes punched in them. This made the card mechanically weak, and liable to jam the punch-card reader. Malfunctions like this kept the nice man from <hardware supplier> in beer money.

              Along with punched tape, punched provided a means of off-line storage for data over your sysadmins' generous quota of ~ 32 kilobytes.

    3. BigOrangeHelpdesk

      Re: 8.3

      A particular piece of software I "lovingly" support still requires 8.3 filenames

      1. Jolyon Ralph

        Re: 8.3

        Also, Micros~1 is 8.0 not 8.3

        Micros~1.exe or might be more effective.

        Oh hell, forget that, just VOTE TEAM CLIPPY!

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: 8.3

          > Also, Micros~1 is 8.0 not 8.3

          > Micros~1.exe or might be more effective.

          That's the beauty of it: if the story is about .NET then it's Micros~1.NET, if about Office then it's Micros~1.DOC and if about security then .NOT

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: 8.3

        I'm pretty happy supporting some old legacy stuff that requires 8.3 ... at least it's honest, and doesn't try to hide what it's doing from the user. Nor does it make you jump through various hoops to do the obvious. Nor does it require 8 gigs of RAM just to boot the OS ...

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: 8.3

      Even BETTER!

    5. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: 8.3

      Gosh, yes.

      If only there were some sort of global network where they could connect to all the world's information, with a search interface on it so they could look this sort of thing up.

      We should definitely have that.

    6. jake Silver badge

      Re: 8.3

      "Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it."

      But are the younger set willing to listen ...

  5. jonathan keith

    Runners and riders

    They're hardly out of the gate and already it looks like we have a winner here, Dave. Surely this one's Micros~1's to lose?

    That's right, Jim, but Micros-1 has form for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory with new projects. This could well go all the way to the line.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    What the frak ?

    You didn't include Borkzilla ?

    What's wrong with you people ?

    1. buster LXVI

      Re: What the frak ?

      What's Borkzilla? A Swedish Browser?

  7. Phones Sheridan Silver badge

    Micros~1 for some reason reminds me of when Lindows renamed itself Lin---s (pronounced Lindash) after being sued by MS, and MS sued again anyway because Lin was 66% similar to Win, or some other such stupidity.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Micros~1 lost the case. So they sued again, and then offered to settle, supposedly paying $20million for the Lindows name. The company formerly known as Lindows changed it's name to Linspire, Inc.

  8. BenDwire Silver badge

    BobZilla ?

    BobZilla popped into my head as I was reading that piece - it's a pity that I'm always late to the party ...

    But regardless of what name is chosen, the kids won't understand at all as they didn't have to go though all the pain in real time. Thankfully my pills are working.

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: BobZilla ?

      I think the "House of Bob" is also not the best in that direction. "The house that Bob built" would be better. Or for kid's TV, Bob the BSODer?

      Bobzilla would have been good.

  9. Nano nano

    None of the above ...

    Nope, was hoping one of the submissions would trounce my

    "Blue Azure Cult"

    But none succeeded.

    1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

      Re: None of the above ...

      Not even MOAR COWBELL is gonna' fix anything "BAC" has caused, especially fevers.

      (But I'd like to see y'all in Blighty forget the NHS driveway-clapping and try more cowbell just for the heck of it. Is it worth the headache if it cures the fever?)

  10. chroot


    I just read Blue Screen Merchant and it is hilarious. Since it is not among the options, I voted for Micros~1. Brilliant.

    1. Nunyabiznes

      Re: Hilarious


      Also Blue Death Screen Merchant for the BDSM win would have tickled my fancy.

  11. DemeterLast

    I like "Monopolist Formally Known as Evil" as it neatly sums up Microsoft from its founding to today, and also because the initialism MFKE sounds like a Microsoft technology. "Microsoft Foundation Kernel Extensions" or something similar.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I liked it too, except for the implicit assertion that Microsoft is no longer evil.

      1. Reg Reader 1

        I thought the evil portion was covered by Monopolist.

    2. a_yank_lurker

      They are still are evil, just more devious.

  12. folbec

    Honestly the Reg could rotate thru the first 3 or 5, they are all good

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too late for mine: PriapicPenguin

    1. BenDwire Silver badge

      Isn't that a Ubuntu release?

      1. buster LXVI

        Not if the Moral Majority have anything to say about it.

        @Ubuntu: the solution to "that" annual problem

  14. Steve K

    New Bob - SaganWorks?

    Am I alone in thinking "Microsoft Bob" when I read this one:


  15. Dvon of Edzore

    You don't need to call them

    because the Redmonster is already there, eating your brains, your cash, your screen, your soul...

    1. s36e175

      Re: You don't need to call them

      Redmonster should definitely have been on that list. It was a pretty lame list.

  16. Mike 16

    Bob's your _what_?

    I'm surprised no mention was made of Bob's mom, Melinda.

  17. Celeste Reinard


    O dear, I missed out on that one... Not in the habit of calling names, even when it comes to the Evil Emipre from Redmond, I usualy refer to screw-ups (like last fall when I was back in France since 13 years, about to show my work to the indigenous people from Nullepart, and then found out that upon arrival my Win10 had to finish its update, (wait... wait...), before I found out the update had borked my cursor, turning me into one...) as microflop. ... And that's it, mostly. ... It's not Apple, or Linux. So. Or else, just Satan. But then I refer to myself as Satan as well, so that's not much of a help either. So, nothing. ... Mind you, I have tried over the years, but that's all I have to show for 20-odd years of wasted time & sleep. Hey, I even have used drugs - still nothing. ... Maybe it's some sort of Stockholm syndrome - it keeps on slapping me in the face and giving nightmares & bruises on the soul, and I still keep hoping it will get better, one day. Maybe 'Nightmare' comes close. Micromare? Microsad? Micro de Sade? ... Microsof (a sof being a failure (in Jiddish, now I check it (always good for great words telling what's it all about, like armageddon being another ... evergreen))).

  18. Psmo

    No MicroMite?

    Shame, most of the others sound like contributions from unimaginative forum posts rather than the wit for which The Register is justly renowned.

    Still, I only managed my half-measure today so how can I tell?

  19. sictransit

    Bing bong


    The BadaBing

  20. jls.nob


  21. StorageBuddhist

    Would have gone for 'Team BSOD' if it had been there, but 'Micros~1' it is.

  22. JeffRuk

    I can’t believe this wasn’t in the list


  23. Skribblez

    Yeah, no. Really needs something like Blue Screen Purveyor or Blue Screen Monopolist.

    Micros~1 is just Microsoft’s own name for Windows in 8.3 characters, and the rest of the choices don’t show The Register’s usual wit.

    Did you ask whoever writes your subheadings?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, Micros~1 is old hat. As tired as micro$ft.

      How come that's leading? :-(

      1. s36e175

        Because the list was lame.

      2. jake Silver badge

        How come that's leading?

        Because it's what we've been calling the company in print since some wag first posted it to Usenet before Win95 was even out of Beta would be my guess.

    2. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

      Blue Death Screen Monopolist abbreviates better.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    vote bob!

  25. CujoDeSoque

    BSOD Bob for the win(dows)!

    Says it all.

  26. UBF

    I voted for The Ribbon Factory because in my language we have an expression for inaccurate claims: "he sells seaweed as silk ribbons". I am hoping similar expressions exist in other languages too.

  27. Scott Marshall

    Wats-in a name?

    As a "Superman" fan, I rather like the idea of "General BSOD" (after "General Zod") which also hearkens back to the old "General Protection Fault" messages we used to see.

    However, given El Reg's predilection to "zilla" suffixes, I think "BSODzilla" is the way to go.

    Another consideration is that given Windows' propensity towards crashes, or "bingles", "Binglezilla" also works!

    Unfortunately, due to work getting in the way, I never got around to submitting these options.

    1. Darth Gizka

      Re: Wats-in a name?

      I think Scott hit the nail on the head. Many of the choices in the survey or discussed here have some merit but - apart from 'Micros~1' (which has other drawbacks) - they lack oomph and do not offer the immediate recognition and egg-on-face-ishness that we are looking for here. Some come close - like 'BSOD Bob' - but are quite cryptic.

      Of the choices offered in the survey, only 'House of Bob' has the right combination of epicness and egg-on-face. However, its drawback is that you have to be mighty old to recognise the 'Bob' meme. How many Reg readers were even born in the Age of Bob (1995), let alone steeped in computer lore?

      So I'd go with Scott's BSOD meme as universal indicator for the dogfood flogger, of which 'House of BSOD' and 'BSODzilla' are two excellent incarnations.

      1. Skribblez

        Re: Wats-in a name?

        BSODzilla! Pronounced SODzilla with a silent B, so it rolls off the tongue and shows the speaker’s true feelings for Microsoft?

        I like BSODzilla.

  28. Anguilla

    We'll see you on Monday, in the [Insert Name Here] roundup. ®

    Mind you, IF it arrived here in a timely manner, I'd perhaps had added to the hilarity. But since it didn't arrive till MONDAY morning, my humor would be received far too late!

  29. Captain Scarlet

    We won't be doing the renaming every year

    Yeah sorry its every 2 to 3 years.

  30. buster LXVI

    My write-ins

    pico squish

    Redmond Quality Software

    General Failure

    $&%(*&^ Microsoft

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