back to article BOFH: Pass the sugar, Asmodeus, and let the meeting of the Fellowship of Bastards … commence

BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns It's the first meeting of the Fellowship of Bastards in more than a year and there are stories to tell and people to meet. It's a real social occasion and we're seeing people we've not seen in many years. "See that guy?" I say to the PFY, pointing out a bloke in the distance. "He's the …

  1. Zenubi

    Superb ( and oddly prophetic).

  2. Sgt_Oddball

    Oh that's a classic

    "That shithead!"

    "I think you mean chairperson."

    "No, I mean shithead."

    "I think you mean chairperson."

    "NO, I MEA- oh, I see what you're doing."

  3. Chris G


    I am looking for funding for the development of a bluetooth device to tell you when a shoelace has come undone. It will connect to your phone, indicate which is the loose lace and an algorithm will show a GIF that will show you how to adjust your stride according to its length, to save you from having to bend down and re-tie the lace.

    I think it will go far.

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Kickstarter

      Brilliant! And with the distraction from the mobile phone's notification you will inevitably and deservedly faceplant.

      1. Marshalltown

        Re: Kickstarter

        Or walk in front of a speeding bicyclist.

    2. dbayly

      Re: Kickstarter

      I'm gonna sue, it didn't work on my buckle up sandals

      1. stiine Silver badge

        Re: Kickstarter

        You didn't read the T&Cs, did you...sandals will be supported in a future release.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Kickstarter

          Don't be silly, you're just wearing them wrong.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Kickstarter

        Down voted for being a sandal wearer

    3. Mike Lewis

      Re: Kickstarter

      Can it tell when one of your feet has gone flat and needs pumped up again?

    4. Geez Money

      Re: Kickstarter

      Don't forget the accompanying smart shoelace that wears itself apart in three weeks and costs $150 to replace. It's all about that recurring revenue.

      1. The_Idiot

        Re: Kickstarter

        But remember - only buy the ones made with solid gold (gold plated is passé) threads! They transmit clearer aud... er, less errors prone traff... er, are more flexible and tie up more 'professionally'!

        1. TeeCee Gold badge

          Re: Kickstarter

          Let me guess, with aglets shaped like little apples?

          1. The_Idiot

            Re: Kickstarter

            ... yes, and nobody else can have i-lets for the laces any more!

  4. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    The weedy bloke

    in the corner just cost me another keyboard..... especially since we use reams of double sided tape and yes it does exactly as described.

    Which leads me on nicely to another comment made which was "Clean yourself you lazy <bleep>" after I offered to swap keyboards with our new PFG, yes I have an apprentice... and its a girl too (get your minds out of the gutter... jeez)

    We had the usual selection of suspects when recruiting, to which the manglement left me to do "The Tour" and a question I asked was "why do you wish to join a team of elite robot wranglers?" some said money, or learn about computering in an industrial enviroment... but the production engineer's niece got on the list of suspects.."I've heard about you" she says "But I want the job so I become not a dark lord of the robots like you, but beautiful and terrible as the storm and the lightning. all shall love me and despair!"

    Needless to say neopotism and my words went far in convincing the manglement.

    Oh and the machine operator who wolf whistled at her during the tour, he's spent the best part of the morning trying to explain to the manglement why his machine says it made 4000 parts this week when its only actually made 2000

    Perhaps it was my fault when I said #3701 when asked "whats the address of the part counter in that machines memory?" yesterday....

    Think maybe I'll not teach her all I know......

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: The weedy bloke

      ... *kzzzrt*

      *scribble* *scribble*

      (don't let her decorate your office chair with christmas tinsel)

    2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: The PFG

      When the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,

      He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.

      But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.

      For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

      -- Rudyard Kipling

    3. Outski

      Re: The weedy bloke

      Think maybe I'll not teach her all I know......

      Think she may be ahead of you... you'll need these --->>>

      1. MrDamage Silver badge

        Re: The weedy bloke

        That's the beauty of dealing with PFY's. Their concentration on the latest and greatest tech leaves them more prone to lower tech "resolutions". Why spend 3 weeks coding something, when 50 quid slid in the hand of a custodian will do the job?

        1. FlippingGerman

          Re: The weedy bloke

          Why spend 50 quid when you can spend three weeks coding it?

    4. packrat

      Re: The weedy bloke

      "But I want the job so I become not a dark lord of the robots like you, but beautiful and terrible as the storm and the lightning. all shall love me and despair!"

      Needless to say neopotism and my words went far in convincing the manglement. (of her worth)

      posted to tumblr...

    5. My-Handle

      Re: The weedy bloke

      We're just about to hire a new PFY. Now I know what question to ask and what kind of answer to look for

    6. Il Midga di Macaroni

      Re: The weedy bloke

      I have trained many, many new PFYs, some male, some female, most green and keen, some healthily cynical. I always start with a brief explanation of the pecking order in the company (me, then the other data sysadmins in my team, then the software sysadmins, then their boss, then sundry bit players like marketing, suppliers, HR, etc). Almost all of them have gone on to happy and productive careers, and those that don't, well, they don't last long. Moral of the story: knowing your job is important, but knowing how to avoid idiots is utterly vital.

      Back on topic: I'd like to nominate the author of SharePoint to this gathering of bastards, with a view to making him/her the chairman when the current one resigns/dies of old age/is helped under a taxi after annoying Simon or Stephen. I've used a countless number of poorly designed software packages over the years (including, I'll admit, several of my own making), and my conclusion is that SharePoint is so wilfully bad that it must have been deliberately designed to be so. Not just designed to "encourage" users onto a more expensive product, like Photoshop Elements, not just hastily put together and in desperate need of some attention, like Stibo Workbench, but actually designed to drive its users over the edge. Who knows, maybe the project manager owns a chain of pubs and wanted to drive people to the bottle. Speaking of which, thanks Simon and have one on me.

      1. Hot Diggity

        Re: The weedy bloke

        I totally agree with you regarding SharePoint. At last count I had 4 different My Documents directories located all over the place and could never find the one I wanted.

        Everything now lives in C:\Diggity.

      2. veti Silver badge

        Re: The weedy bloke

        Preach it. It's always puzzled me how people who are willing to spill their righteous bile over Outlook and Word and Explorer and even Windows itself, always seem to overlook this most counterproductive of all Microsoft solutions.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: The weedy bloke

          You bastards. You just had to mention SharePoint. I thought I'd got over my PTSD. *twitch*

        2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

          Re: The weedy bloke

          It's not weird. No point 'trolling' some software that no-one will defend.

        3. Robert Helpmann??

          Re: The weedy bloke

          ...this most counterproductive of all Microsoft solutions.

          It's a solution to management in much the same way as Holmes' 7% solution was but for admins, it should be disposed of in much the same way as a very low or very high pH solution (or any other toxic mix of garbage).

      3. DiViDeD

        Re: The weedy bloke

        Ah, Sharepoint! It's incessant "yes, I know I said it was on your C:\ drive, but now I come to think about it, it was somewhere else and I didn't bother locking the file, so now I don't know whether someone else might have updated it in the meantime. Tell you what - how about you pick a local folder and put it there for now, then next time I can open it for you, let you work on it for an hour or so, then tell you I opened it read only because I mistook your local drive for a network drive, and could you please save it under a different name in a different folder."

        Sharepoint has been responsible for so many "Ohh look! You know all those files you worked on and saved? I've managed to recover them from versions that were interim saved 6 months ago - would you like me to open them now?" messages when starting up, well, anything.

        But at least I'm not bitter.

    7. Ozan

      Re: The weedy bloke

      She showed her potential at day one. Also, I thought PFY was gender neutral.

    8. Scott 53

      Re: The weedy bloke

      I remember a website delivered by the relative of a senior member of staff. Very soon after it went live I pointed out we were selling a product where it was cheaper to pay in instalments over five years than to pay the full amount up front. It didn't stay up long.

  5. Richard Gray 1

    Icon denotes after effects

    "And here is a mood lamp. This lamp will change colour to denote the secondary user's mood to the primary user."

    I could have done with that about 30 years ago. The lady who ran kebab van we used to go to for lunch would take out her frustrations with her husband on the chilli sauce.

    The conversations went something like :-

    "Hi, one large Donner please... How's your day going??"

    "Sure, Fine. Chilli sauce?"

    "Yes please! load it up!"


    "Hi, one large Donner please... How's your day going??"

    "Sure, Oh that lazy Ba...[mutters]. Chilli sauce?"

    "Just a touch today please."

    1. X5-332960073452

      Re: Icon denotes after effects

      And at what time in the morning did you start drinking? ------------>

  6. chivo243 Silver badge

    I don't care what his name is

    Just bring me his head!!

    "And cross-industry too. That bloke over there is a consultant who co-ordinates power adapter design so that no two adapters are ever the same size, ensuring that not even a Tetris master can plug them into a multi-box without clashes."

    While you're at it, there are a few UI designers I'd like to have a word with... or their heads, which ever is easiest!

    1. Geez Money

      Re: I don't care what his name is

      I'm convinced the creator of material design specifically molded it to maximize anxiety attacks.

    2. quxinot

      Re: I don't care what his name is

      "While you're at it, there are a few UI designers I'd like to have a word with... or their heads, which ever is easiest!"

      The words I'd like to have with them include "HAHAHAHAHAHA" and "WAIT I CANT FIND THE BUTTON TO TURN THE ELECTRICITY OFF!" (the later also combined with manical laughter, yes).

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: I don't care what his name is


        In front of you are 10 identical small black buttons. Each lightly engraved with tiny indistinguishable icons. In black, naturally. Press the correct one in ten seconds, or receive 50,000 volts through your chair. IF you survive, LEARN about usability!

        1. My-Handle

          Re: I don't care what his name is

          And, even if you can make them out, the icons themselves parse to no function known to device or man.

        2. PM from Hell

          Re: I don't care what his name is

          I hope the little black buttons are on a small black box in a cable tray under the desk

  7. Marty McFly Silver badge

    IoUT - Internet of Useless Things

    Did the BOFH just coin a new industry acronym???

    1. Ochib

      Re: IoUT - Internet of Useless Things

    2. zapgadget

      Re: IoUT - Internet of Useless Things

      It's been done. Internet of Shit

  8. Nunyabiznes


    The BOFH was great as usual, but the comments kept the ball rolling today. Bravo lads (and/or lasses).

  9. packrat

    "But I want the job so I become not a dark lord of the robots like you, but beautiful and terrible as the storm and the lightning. all shall love me and despair!"

    Needless to say neopotism and my words went far in convincing the manglement. (of her worth)

    I know a good idea when i steal one. however, a working kludge needs special tending; ie: the AI agent that optimizes your software setting for you when no one's looking.

    being able to work the complier anyway is a noteworth steal.

  10. The Boojum

    And another classic!

    "Yes. He's the one who developed the Windows 10 update process timing to shut down your machine just when you're in the middle of something important."

    "Oh, I'd like to..."

    "Several people have, which is how his teeth got that way."

    Just perfect, Have several icons.

    1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Re: And another classic!

      Late to the party, though, since Firefox was redesigned to update itself, freeze and then crash without offering an opportunity to save work. A "feature" which in Linux can't be disabled without tweaking about:config.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And another classic!

        Eh? What weird Linux distro are you running where Firefox doesn't only get updated when a new version arrives in the repo, and your package updater does its stuff (manually or automatically, depending on preference)?

        Self-updating apps are the sort of crap that only OSes which don't have proper repos (eg, Windows, MacOS) have to introduce as nasty kludges.

    2. Giles C Silver badge

      Re: And another classic!

      On a side note, at a previous job someone put my machine into a policy that rebooted it at 22:30 every night, sitting on site reprogramming the core switch it got to the magic time and promptly told me it was rebooting in 1 minute. Cue frantic saving and note taking of where in the long list of tasks I had got to before I lost everything (and possibly crashed the site off the rest of the network)

      So there is someone worse than the process designer….. the policy editing ad administrator

      1. Remy Redert

        Re: And another classic!

        We have a nightly compile job that starts at 21:00 and would sometimes terminate abruptly at midnight because that is the time the server administrators had chosen to reboot all of our machines.

        This caused several days of lost work for 30+ employees over a period of weeks before our department manager asked the CFO if he could bill other departments for time spent on their behalf. The CFO agreed this was fine and our department manager dropped a bill the size of that server admin's team entirely monthly budget on their desk.

        The next week our build servers were set to reboot after midnight, 5 minutes after the scheduled build task was completed and our problems were resolved.

        Turns out policies that can't be changed can suddenly be changed awfully quickly when the people responsible have to start justifying massive bills from other departments for loss of work.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And another classic!

        Especially if the policy editing admin is the boss' son..... Then you have to use anti-admin software just so you can do your job.

        Don'tSleep is a good one, you can set it to prevent the PC going to sleep, shutdown and screensavers

      3. PM from Hell

        Re: And another classic!

        I was managing a project within the operational business, I was employed by IT but my 13 dev's were funded by the business. We had been based in the IT department but the next phase was a collaborative development with the customer service teams.

        It turned out that when the Service Desk moved the PC's they set them up PC's to revert back to a 'known state' every morning at 6 AM.

        It took a couple of hours to find out what went wrong after we lost a days changes, a quick call to IT to get them taken out of that group and the... the same bloody thing happened the next day. We had to revert to taking out the network cables overnight while I had to work my way up to the head of infrastructure to get the guys machines moved to a developer group. On the bright side that only took 2 weeks and it wasn't like I was trying to manage a business critical project. The joy of the dev who had worked until 10PM on an urgent change then forgot to unplug his PC's network cable was a joy to behold.

  11. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Every word rings true... and that's just from the other commentards

  12. DS999 Silver badge

    Seems more like the Council of Bastards

    Given BOFH's similarity to Rick, and therefore the association with the Council of Ricks

    1. Geez Money

      Re: Seems more like the Council of Bastards

      Surely the BOFHs would be too smart to ever allow a PFY president.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Seems more like the Council of Bastards

        He followed the tried and true political strategy of dividing the enemy. i.e. he turned the Ricks with the crap jobs against the elite Ricks. Surely in an infinite multiverse there would be at least one PFY capable of doing the same by turning BOFHs lower on the totem pole against those at the top.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And I have a business microchipping pet rocks. That way they can be identified and returned to the owner after they have been thrown through or into most of the devices described above.

  14. N Tropez

    Absolutely brilliant - not just for BOFH, but universally. I'll drink to that!

  15. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Notable absence

    Where was the chap who put a big thick wire on the bottom of a big chunky plug-in power adaptor so that it won't fit in the space between the socket and the floor?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Notable absence

      Him? Oh, he won a last-minute Xmas holiday to Kīlauea last December. The real puzzler was how the winning lottery ticket got into his pocket a week before the eruption started.

      1. Geez Money

        Re: Notable absence

        The secret is to rig it from the reward side. There's always a natural disaster /somewhere/.

    2. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Re: Notable absence

      Just turn the socket faceplate over :)

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Notable absence

        And I admit, on the single, no usb, no switch versions of yore I've done that. It's worth the minor irritation of an inverted socket. But not with these newer jobbies.

      2. Giles C Silver badge

        Re: Notable absence

        Doesn’t work if it is going in a floor box, only solution is to go and find an extension cable and plug that into the floor box with the offensive item then connected, but yes why can’t these devices have cables that come out the back I.e. opposite the plug.

    3. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: Notable absence

      He had an accident and wasn't able to go

      According to reports he tripped over the wire from one of his devices and fell against the unlocked window on the 5 th floor, just above where someone had parked a running woodchipper.

      2 men were seen on CCTV rolling the remains up in a carpet and loading it into a company van with no number plates.

  16. MGJ


  17. Denarius Silver badge

    utterly brilliant, accurate

    nearly all my technology hates in one piece. Needs only the utter bu??eration of firefox reader view to be complete

  18. Medixstiff

    We had a Test Lead that decided to change the existing permissions setup we had where you could tick the boxes of the roles, to making new roles named after a persons job description.

    Unfortunately the Dev. team didn't actually sit down with the worker bees, just the Mangelment Team, so inevitably on day one the Help Desks streamed in from staff that could not longer do their jobs.

    Of course when that happened, his response was "They shouldn't have that access" and the Manglers started getting staff asking how were they meant to do such-and-such which the Manglers didn't realize staff did, because all they do is make a few harder decisions and sign stuff, the staff do 95% of the workload after all.

    Anyway after a few days it was decided to push role changes and merges to the Ops team because the Dev. team could see the wave of changes heading their way and didn't want to deal with it.

    Four months later the Team Lead's job was made redundant but we were still feeling the after affects 5 years later until I left in April.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Role Based Permissions

      Role Based Permissions work well where you have a high number of role-holders to roles, I;ve used them extensively in ERP implementations, they do need to be designed along side the business processes to ensure that the right permissions are set up but they have allowed me to implement leaner processes more than once. They can also simplify new starter processes avoiding the situation where roles are copied for new starters and you new employee ends up with access to the directories fo the main board members because the team member they were copied from used to be their PA a decade ago. (yes this really happened and aproximately 50 peopls had the same permissions.)

  19. Al Black

    The Internet of Useless Things

    High on my list is the wired home so that you can adjust the temperature of your fridge from work using an app on your smartphone, or turn your Aircon onto Cool on a Hot day. When you get home you find that a Ukrainian hacker has turned your fridge off, and switched your Aircon to Heat on a hot day. The food is rotten and the house is too hot for human habitation. Why would anyone expose themselves to this risk?

  20. ecofeco Silver badge

    But I thought...

    I thought this was supposed to be fiction? Humorous fiction?

    And did I miss a required IdioT references? Or was it implied?

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