back to article BOFH: So you want to have your computer switched out for something faster? It's time to learn from the master

BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns "It's just … so slow," my user complains. "Slow, or comparatively slow?" I ask. "What do you mean?" "Slow's when your machine is just slow, whereas COMPARATIVELY slow is when it's slow in comparison to other people's machines – or your fancy new home machine." "I don't have a new home …

  1. Aladdin Sane

    That developer's going places. Possibly wrapped in a roll of carpet.

    1. Snafu1

      On a related note, there's been a surprising lack of carpet-related incidents over the last couple of years; perhaps COVID incidentally reduced the local supply of quicklime?

  2. veti Silver badge

    Simon is mellowing in his old age. That was positively helpful.

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Well, the new desktop will have some air-ware installed when it comes past Simon's desk.

      It will still be much faster than what the user expects.

      1. Shalghar

        Well i expect...

        If i believe that thing was not thrown put merely pushed over the edge, the velocity should be something across building height/window height from place of impact multiplied with the usual acceleration of 9.81m/sec if i remember correctly. Any effects from air resistance should be negligible.

        If its faster then the starting velocity has been "augmented".

    2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

      My thoughts exactly. It might have been the fact that the user in question wasn't blatantly lying that may have exempted him from a database normalisation warning

    3. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

      Of course Simon will be helpful. Otherwise the employer wouldn't be buying the chap a new machine from BOFH PCs Ltd at a huge markup.

    4. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      And you're sure he hasn't made a copy of the security camera footage for future blackmail?

  3. Danny 5
    Thumb Up

    "Dirt, Dandruff and Donkey porn"

    I once had to repair the machine of my brother in law, he's reasonably tech savvy, but he had not remembered to delete his browsing history and such. I made a backup of his stuff, but forgot to delete it afterwards. Quite some time later I found myself looking for old videos that I had saved, so I did a search on AVI files and landed on the stuff he had been watching. Turns out he has a certain kink that I did NOT expect (nothing horrible). I laughed my ass off and proceeded to delete the stuff. Small hint, he'll only get more attracted to my sister as they age XD

    I'm not going to hold it against him, I won't even mention it, but I thought it was absolutely hilarious.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: "Dirt, Dandruff and Donkey porn"

      I spat my coffee at the 3D's. Vintage BOFH.

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: "Dirt, Dandruff and Donkey porn"

      I laughed my ass off

      We are back to the donkeys again, aren't we?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Dirt, Dandruff and Donkey porn"

        I miss the Danes.

    3. Totally not a Cylon Silver badge

      Re: "Dirt, Dandruff and Donkey porn"

      Strangely enough this is the second time I've heard that kink mentioned....

      Do you know an Evil Gnome Overlord?

  4. chris street

    This story is not over....

    Simon will shortly be "persuading" another luser to push the first luser off a balcony into a waiting roll of carpet

    Possibly in the boot of an annoying late model Mercedes that so far remains undamaged and grinding paste free...

    1. Hazmoid

      Or better still, onto the roof of said Mercedes, from a great height.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        We still have to find out who's Mercedes it is?

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Does it matter? If they're driving a Merc, they're fair game.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            As the owner of several Mercedes over the years I have to dispute that point. Mercedes drivers tend to buy the car from a reliability and functional point of view. Mercedes Drivers, without exception are polite and courteous, allowing other drivers to exit sideways, always merging in turn etc.

            Now those BMW drivers deserve everything that's coming to them.

            1. Tim99 Silver badge

              The older lady or gentleman, who has reached sufficient gravitas may well be an OK Mercedes driver. I notice that our local "wealthy" suburbs are infested with young women who seem to enjoy driving their shiny new low-end Mercedes saloons aggressively, and without skill. Yes, I’m an old fart, I have had a Mercedes, but these days prefer to drive a bog-standard 7.5 Golf - Now I’ve thought about it, it’s my 4th Golf in 40+ years; and I probably have a soft spot for them, as the first was also my first new car (a 1.5 LS with the original "proper" steel bumpers). Yes younger drivers of BMWs and Audis can be even worse.

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                Here it's "N" plated Lambos

              2. FeRDNYC

                Don't leave out all the Snaabs who reliably infest such communities.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Merc rhymes with?

              The self-delusion is strong in this one...

              1. Swarthy Silver badge

                Re: Merc rhymes with?

                Mercshire Hunt?

            3. chivo243 Silver badge

              I'll add the conscientious nature lovers driving the new T brand? ffs, give me a microsecond to get over already... and you can shoot by to get to the next traffic light where we will both be stopped in about 20 seconds.

            4. TeeCee Gold badge

              Funny, I always think of them as selfish. lane-hogging, incompetent c*nts who are way too bloody thick to pair their phone with the car's hands-free system.

              Try driving along the A40 inside the M25, you'll see what I mean.

            5. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Merc drivers used to be like that

              It changed around the time they merged with Chrysler and turned into blingboxes

    2. chivo243 Silver badge

      not by a long shot!

      I foresee 3 maybe 4 episodes coming out of this one. They were way too nice to a user...

      1. Ordinary Donkey

        Re: not by a long shot!

        Once in a while in a story like this you have to demonstrate that an antagonist is actually worth antagonising.

      2. Mintyboy

        Re: not by a long shot!

        Just like a cat playing with a Bird / Mouse they will play before the kill, sorry inevitable end.

        1. Ken Shabby

          Re: not by a long shot!

          I thought they did that to make the bird/mouse shit itself, making the disembowelment slightly less messy and the subsequent meal tastier.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: not by a long shot!

            Adrenaline is apparently a good meat tenderiser, getting your prey suitably scared makes it tastier.

      3. Shalghar

        Re: not by a long shot!

        Once in a while you need to avoid an overflow in the carmic variables. The universe might disintegrate if the evilness factor of any BOFH suddenly flips into the negative.

        Why that carmic variable is not unsigned, remains a mystery, but bad coding is inherent everywhere in this universe.

        Although in this case, i believe the carry flag might carry some carpet roll somewhere remote....

    3. TRT Silver badge

      I see a rather unsympathetic response to the said Merc's owner who has received a vehicle upgrade by way of an embedded IT refresh, albeit through the sun roof.

  5. Grunchy Bronze badge

    I heard/suspected manufacturers can cause computers to slow to a crawl as a function of their age since purchased. I have an inkling this can be done by your own computer building an artificially intelligent dossier on you based on its faithfully relentless surveillance of everything you do online.

    For example, the PC never stops grinding the hard drive back and forth, all day and all night, even if nobody’s been on it for weeks (like for example you leave it running while you nip away to Hawaii for a soak, you come back, and it’s still crunching away). What the hell is the goddamn thing up to all the time?! is what I’d like to know.

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      the PC never stops grinding the hard drive back and forth, all day and all night

      Peer-to-peer distributed RAID array with lots of hee-haw pr0nz, movies and warez... the reason why it's so busy is that it's constantly rebuilding itself as it finds other hosts to infect and take over as a P2P RAID, and rebuilding as other peers get removed/deleted...

    2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

      No, the slowdown is simply that the processor leaks Hertz. It starts off with billions of them, so you don't notice a few at first, but over time more and more escape and you end up with a processor that only has as many Hertz as your old 486DX2 (still 66 million, but not the billions that it started with)

      Of course Intel aren't interested in putting better seals in place to keep them in - people keep insisting on buying new rather than simply refilling their old processors.

      1. ClockworkOwl

        You could run along to your local BOFH and ask:

        "Can I have some Hertz please?"

        I'm sure they'll be happy to oblige...

        1. ChrisC Silver badge

          "Sorry, we only deal with Enterprise clients here..."

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          ypu must make sure you request the right type of Hertz Mhz are not compatible with khz mixing the two could cause a fire

          1. Chris 15


            A true BOFH would proably only work with Hertz in discrete bundles of 50 (60 if they're Leftpondian)

            1. Stoneshop Silver badge

              Re: Well

              Or 100 (120), because he would surely want to fully rectify the lack of Hertz.

            2. imanidiot Silver badge

              Re: Well

              A true BOFH would insist you need to fill in 50 Hertz increments and sell 45 Hertz bundles.

          2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

            Mixing MHz and KHz will give you some heterodynes. Very unlikely to cause a fire.

            1. Stoneshop Silver badge

              Mixing MHz and KHz will give you some heterodynes. Very unlikely to cause a fire.

              You clearly don't know about Agatha.

              1. TranceWarp

                Ah yes. A Genius of the Girl persuasion. She tends to have a spark about her.

    3. Paul Crawford Silver badge


      Q) Is it running windows?

      A1) Yes => There you go

      A2) No => OK, so you have good reason to worry...

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Flowchart

        I'd think A1 is an equally good reason to be worried.

      2. TranceWarp

        Re: Flowchart

        Is it running windows 11?

        A1/No - You partway in the clear.

        A1/Yes - Are you playing on Team Red?

        A2/No - Well, there's your problem.

        A@/Yes - Well, there's more of your problem.

    4. Peter2 Silver badge

      I heard/suspected manufacturers can cause computers to slow to a crawl as a function of their age since purchased.

      We kept hold of a bunch of Core 2 Duo boxes until recently. As midlife upgrades they acquired a Quadro card for multiple monitors, were stuffed full of RAM and acquired an SSD to replace the HDD.

      Towards the end of the planned service life, one of them rolled over and died with a failed SSD. Since we had a spare, I rebuilt the thing from scratch as the pre rolled images for those boxes was long gone. Without any patches, you ought to see the speed of them compared to being fully patched.

      Somebody with a suspicious mind would think that Microsoft deliberately fucks the performance of older PC's with patches that deliberately eat resources to make the latest version of Windows look comparatively better.

      1. Jay 2

        Yeah it's a strange state of affairs where over 2-3 years Windows will gunk itself up and slow down. But as you say a re-install on the same hardware and back to relative zippyness. Not seen anything like it on macOS or Linux boxen.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          MacOS gets obsolete when Safari no longer works with your business critical websites. Which usually takes 36 months or so, despite having sold the Apple premium to beancounters as meaning a 5 year replacement cycle (cf 3yr for Windows) is more realistic for their devices.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Which is complete bullshit, because as of today a Mac released in 2014 will run current macOS. If you only care about supported versions of macOS and not staying on the latest version, you're looking at a typical 10 year life cycle for Mac hardware, at which point it still has secondary market value.

            1. Stoneshop Silver badge

              It's about Safari and business-critical webshites such as those for reporting your hours spent wasted waiting for approval to proceed on those gazillion micro-projects that each took an order of magnitude less time to actually do than the time needed to report that time.

              The current macOS may work on eight years old macs, but Safari from two versions back (because that version has been blessed by the IT overlords) won't work with those pages.

              And in a somewhat similar case we need a truly antediluvial version of Intercrack Exploder to manage some pieces of hardware whose "write once, run anywhere" software clearly has a very unbroad view of "anywhere", namely "anywhere you have IE6 available to poke that hardware." Which caused some fun moments when Security ordered any IE version below 10 smitten, and the platform managers complied.

            2. TRT Silver badge

              Which is complete bullshit because only last week I had to upgrade a 2014 iMac and could only get it up as far as 10.13. Which fixed about 80% of the websites that wouldn't work correctly but of those that still wouldn't most of them were for our corporate intranet. I may have exaggerated the life span in my first post but not that much!

            3. TRT Silver badge

              I also said MacOS not Mac hardware.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              My current desktop is a 2011 iMac that zips along fine; the only reason I might need to replace it is because it can't be upgraded past MacOS10.13 (High Sierra) and Apple stop supporting a MacOS version after three years (which sounds a short period but it is effectively nine years wrt the hardware).

              Even that isn't really a problem as I'm quite happy with the software that I need. Dropped the Adobe suite because they stopped updating Lightroom and Photoshop on 10.13 (but Serif's Affinity app does all I need, for a fraction of the price). The biggest pain is Office365 as MS no longer update it on 10.13, but insists on daily reminders to update (with the occasional banner to update MacOS).

              Safari isn't an issue for me. It works on >99% of the sites I visit (and, together with AdGuard, blocks the majority of clutter) - for the occasional one that I need more, I have a copy of Edge. And where that doesn't work, Firefox on my Ubuntu VM. I'd like to get a new iMac but the latest beast wouldn't do annoying my 10yo one can't. Most apps still start almost instantaneously. Writing a 50 minute video in iMovie would be quicker, but it's not something I have to watch over. Why scrap hardware that still works?

              My 2014 MacBookPro runs Big Sur, so will get at least another two years of updates. If I had one big complaint about Apple it would be that their kit is too darn reliable. No Windows PC in my past ever lasted more than 5 years!

              1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

                5 years?

                You should try buying ThinkPads.

                1. Stoneshop Silver badge

                  Re: 5 years?

                  Indeed. I'm typing this on a X201s, which was manufactured only between March and July 2010, and only the battery has required replacing. The disk has been replaced too, but I could have stuck with the original (which still works) if I could bring myself to move rarely-used stuff to external storage a bit more often. And of course that bigger disk was SSD, so two birds with one stone. I've taken it on my daily commute for a bit over five years, so it hasn't been pampered.

                  And of course there's Linux installed, from the day I bought it, but that doesn't affect the longevity of the hardware, just the usability.

          2. EBG

            Eh ?

            You can download other browsers.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I've had it with MacOS as well, but the cycle is much slower. I have yet to find a reason, but a fresh install tends to zip along a lot better than a 2 year old one (Windows cycle times when I still ran that was more in the 6 month region). Shame it's such a lot of work, but at least an OS reinstall doesn't demand product keys and crud (although some non-App Store sourced app reinstalls do).

          1. Martin an gof Silver badge

            Swapping the HDD on our Mac mini many (many) moons ago I put the new one in an external caddy, did the "restore to disc" or whatever it's called and put the thing in the machine. Instant big speedup - more than could be expected given that both were spinning rust. I just assumed (as not familiar with Macs) that the OS had not done a "clone" but some kind of "copy" which had the side effect of defragmenting / consolidating.

            Point possibly proven a few years later when I swapped to a smaller SSD - the restore process worked just fine on the mismatched discs - a simple clone would have complained about lack of space.

            Over time the machine slowed down though and even though it's very rarely used these days, I'm tempted to do the restore thing again, just to see if that speeds it up.

            In Linux-land I've discovered that running "fstrim" manually has an effect, despite it supposedly being auto enabled these days, and on my BTRFS discs it's amazing the difference made by the btrfs balance command on an SSD that is three years old and had never run that command. Not just a small but appreciable speedup (particularly at boot) but also quite a lot of extra free space!

            And there's me thinking that XP was the last OS I'd need to run "mydefrag" on, on a regular basis...


        3. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          3 years O_O, my OS drive which has been cloned (Norton Ghost and Acronis freebies, from mechanical 512 bytes to mechanical 4k, to numerous SSD's to lots of m.2 which I currently use) and had numerous windows upgrades performed hasn't been formatted since Windows 2000 (Windows 95/98 and ME yes a reinstall was pretty much a requirement). Didn't even reinstall after my last cpu and motherboard swap to a i5 6600k and I'm not going to reinstall when I get around to replacing them again.

          What on earth does everyone install that I don't, I even use AV which is guaranteed to slow everything down (Eset Nod32) and have the Epic bloatstore installed?

        4. Arbuthnot the Magnificent

          I'm typing this from my 2011 Toughbook, long since retired from the NHS as a Windows 7 machine and now happily working with Linux on an SSD. Sure it's a bit chunky but I don't have to worry about it getting knocked about by baggage handlers, or indeed me when I'm "working" in the pub.

      2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Funny you should mention...I have a Latitude E4400 Core2 Duo laptop with (max) 4GB RAM, given to me as a castoff from work. I installed a 500G SSD and Linux Mint 20. It is my personal travel machine, and runs quite well. I like the small profile and (relatively) light weight.

        Quite often, I find that repurposed Windows machines perform even better as Linux machines. And my company is on a 3 year replacement cycle, meaning that old Windows machines are always looking for new homes.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Yes, I found Linux very helpful too in repurposing older machines.

          That said, after 3 years you do end up with some items that might as well be termed consumables such as mice and keyboards. Even if you shake 3 years' worth of accumulated breadcrumbs out of a keyboard it's IMHO still quite suspect from a health perspective. Mice have gotten better, though, since they dropped the round fluff collector in the middle which allowed us to get away with telling users we were going to clean their balls :).

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge

            A 24 hour concentrated bleach soak: a perfect disinfectant

            Even if you shake 3 years' worth of accumulated breadcrumbs out of a keyboard it's IMHO still quite suspect from a health perspective.

            It'll play havoc with the foils that form the contact matrix though, but I care extremely little about that type of keyboard. It's either buckling spring or Cherry Blue.

            Fuming red nitric acid works even better on contaminated keyboards, but is not that easy to come by.

        2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          I could only wish for 3 years, although these days I would prefer not to have my machine replaced as its to much of a ball ache reinstalling anything especially when newer machines are just as fast as my old one for all the corpware we use.

          1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

            Last company I worked for tried to stretch laptops (& anything else) to 7 years as field machines for Agricultural & Heavy Equipment repair techs.

            On a personal note, I have replaced aged machines with a better spec one if I liked the user, given suitable genuine reason to do so when they logged a ticket that strangely required a rebuild\replacement & I had a machine already to go.

        3. VicMortimer

          I can't comprehend why any company would be on a 3 year replacement cycle these days, there just isn't that much improvement from a new machine when the old one is only 3. 5 to 7 years just makes a lot more sense now.

          1. Ghostman

            The desktop I'm typing on now started life as a Win 95 machine, upgraded to Win 98SP, Win 7, and finally to Win 10. When I download programs, pdfs, music, photos, videos, whatever, I transfer it to a 1.5 TB external drive.

            Runs fine, fast, though not as fast as my gaming machine, but good enough to do whatever I need (even video editing).

            I run CCleaner once a week, defrag after that. No buildup of trackers or cookies to slow me down.

        4. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Indeed. I'm writing this on an ex-works Latitude E5550, tricked out with 2T of spinny rust, 16GB of memory, and Mint 20; it's the machine I use for heavy lifting and suits me fine.

          I've just ordered a couple of Latitude 7480s, again ex works, for sofa surfing for me and the missus. It's a bit of a bugger when a 4G machine, even running linux, runs out of memory after a few days of browsing. So these are 8G/500GB SSD; mine might end up with something more spacious.

        5. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Someone hasn't been looking at the date

          And my company is on a 3 year replacement cycle, meaning that old Windows machines are always looking for new homes.

          The previous work laptops followed that schedule but the current one is well past five, closing in on six years now. Not that I mind, its performance is still acceptable though the battery is rather geriatric but I don't have to use it away from the mains and it manages to stay hibernating for the length of my commute (which was half a minute the past 18 months and didn't necessitate moving that laptop anyway). And this model can still sit on a port replicator, so no faffing with cables. Colleagues report the current replacements working okay-ish using USB-C and a dock, driving an auxiliary monitor. Or two. Or none at all, depending on the phase of the moon, the urgency with which you need that extra screen space and several other un-parametrisable factors. The laptop's two native screen outputs are reported to work okay, except that one is still VGA and thus won't play with my 4x2 DVI KVM switch.

          The retplaced laptops are taken in and returned to the leasing company. I wouldn't be interested anyway since they aren't ThinkPads.

        6. swm Silver badge

          When my 20-year-old windows 2000 laptop died 10 years ago I installed linux 10.04. The screen resolution improved and it ran twice as fast and used less memory etc. It is still running perfectly (no updates though).

        7. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "And my company is on a 3 year replacement cycle, meaning that old Windows machines are always looking for new homes."

          Wow! They must have money to burn or some very demanding needs. I've not dealt with a customer in many years still on a 3 year replacement cycle. They all went to 4 and then 5 years quite some while ago. They'd probably go longer now, except the failure rates start rising past 5 years.

          (On the other hand, with COVID and WFH, the failure rate has shot up anyway, what with pets, kids, drinks and food near expensive computers!)

          1. GrumpyKiwi

            3 year cycle

            I run most of my laptop fleet on a 3 year cycle because they are with retail or sales people. Which means I get back a laptop with a cracked screen, keyboard missing 2-5 keys and at least one USB port non operational. Stains/spillage/crumbs are all just bonuses.

            1. jtaylor Bronze badge

              Re: 3 year cycle

              "I run most of my laptop fleet on a 3 year cycle because they are with retail or sales people. Which means I get back a laptop with a cracked screen, keyboard missing 2-5 keys and at least one USB port non operational."

              Equipment really gets beat up "on the road." Laptops get perched on counters, window ledges, car roofs...whatever it might take to close a sale. I've gotten some impressively destroyed laptops, and learned that to a good salesperson, anything can be a business expense.

              That's a tough support role. You have my respect.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            once led backlights became common, longer cycles became easier.

            CCFLs are fading out or going pink and relamping them seriously isn't worth it

      3. Shalghar

        "Somebody with a suspicious mind would think that Microsoft deliberately fucks the performance of older PC's with patches that deliberately eat resources to make the latest version of Windows look comparatively better."

        "Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence" surely applies here.

        Then again, Microsoft is not at all adverse to malice so maybe its both.

    5. perlcat

      Why do that, when you have microsoft patches to install slowness and incompatibility with their competitors' products? You're really overthinking this.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Roll down

    Working in a centrally employed teaching service we were victims of this more than once. (Not just computers btw).

    At one point, many years ago when we were moving towards using computers instead of typewriters,, we made the case for some decent computers,networked because we were working collaboratively, hot-desked ( we were out in schools most of the week and with centralised storage ( we were producing reports and assessments that needed secure saving and backups).

    Instead of some nice Windows 95 PCs and a server, with Office software, they sent us a bunch of obsolete Unix green screen machines that didn't have mice or a recognised Office suite. They were of course a discard from the higher ups. And were totally unusable.

    Another time we pointed out that we had a waiting area for parents who had come in to visit our new on-site unit and needed somewhere for them to sit. Apparently the higher-ups thought that the public only deserved some faded and worn out sofas that were no longer good enough for the Director;s Office. ( I have no idea why the Director of Education would have needed this stuff).

    1. storner
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Roll down

      "some faded and worn out sofas that were no longer good enough for the Director;s Office. ( I have no idea why the Director of Education would have needed this stuff)"

      Ask the secretary of the Director of Education, s/he probably knows.

    2. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: Roll down

      Reminds me of the time when my mother's nursery (yup, a local authority-run honest-to-goodness Nursery School with a (teaching) head, a qualified teacher, two qualified Nursery Nurses, its own cook and part-time secretary) was really beginning to make good use of their shiny BBC Master computer, colour Cub monitor and Concept Keyboard.

      They thought it would be good for the children to be able to print out their work for display.

      Local authority insisted that a nursery school would have no use for a colour printer and that their bog standard 9-pin dot matrix (a Mannesman Tally I think, could be wrong) would be ideal.

      So instead the PTA did a bit of fund raising and managed to buy a four-colour 24-pin (Oki?) dot matrix, which worked with the software they used. Local Authority wouldn't even (as I remember it) supply replacement ribbons.


    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Roll down

      NHS IT bod...

      Same here, CQC get the cash, skim off their cut, buy flash computers and furniture then diviy up the remainder.

      Had a contractor that went to work for them. Need a new PC because yours playing up? Don't bother fixing it - get a new one from the pile!

      We ended up using a lot of their offcasts - some where better than the kit we were using....

  7. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    War has been declared!

    That's all.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Had a colleague forgetting his laptop on top of his car - the pieces were returned by the M40 cleaners.

    Of course 'he forgot', the incident happened approx a day after he complained about its speed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My mother once did similar with a PC in the traditional beige mini tower case, she rested it on the roof of the car while unlocking the doors (no central locking) and then drove 40 miles only to realise when she got out of the car that the computer was still stood on the roof

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

        So shes the one pottering along at 19 MPH causing traffic hold ups.

        On a related note used to drive down a country lane that had become surrounded by houses on the fringe of our new estate, bordered by some council houses leading to the small seaside town I lived in.

        I was rather surprised at going above the speed limit a fraction to be overtaken by a "Red Astra" at 60+mph by a granny.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Old grannies

          There's a TV commercial where an aging red VW Golf (ISTR a II or III) is put up for sale on a car trading site. "Only driven by Old Granny on Sundays" and the ad shows said Golf, clearly well-maintained, from various angles, as they do.

          Flashback to Granny dressed up in her Sunday's best, getting in the car and absolutely hooning the living shit out of it. I think the punchline of the commercial was something like "It's okay, Golfs can handle old grannies."

          1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

            Re: Old grannies

            There's a probably apocryphal tale of some young fellow purchasing a lotus and registering it as his granny's, to make the insurance affordable.

            Certainly, she said, but it'll have to live here so I can drive it.

            No worries, until he came to use it one weekend and she pointed out that it could be a little tail-happy if you hit the roundabout at the bottom of town at more than sixty...

          2. John Geek

            Re: Old grannies

            old VW had the best $@#$@ adverts. IMHO, they started to lose their way by the 90s and instead of light fun to drive cars started trying to go upscale

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My laptop is slow, it only does 70 mph...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chucking tech out window

    That's what I wish I could do with our ancient box tape machines here at the famous smiley box place. They're ancient, knackered and would be so satisfying to throw off the roof. They weigh a ton so would explode! :)

  10. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Feels rather close to home...

    ...but told in a much more entertaining way than I ever could.

    Back in the days of MS-DOS based PCs, computers were capital equipment and were made to last as long as possible, despite the huge advances going on back then in CPU speed/capability and RAM/HDD capacities. When users wanted newer, faster PCs, I always told them to never go off to make a cup of tea or chat with co-workers while waiting for the single tasking PC to finish it's job. Just sit there, looking bored and keeping a record of the time spent waiting for the big spreadsheet to recalculate or the database report to complete. Then match that up with their hourly rate and take it to the boss, clearly demonstrating that their time was more valuable than sitting around waiting for an old, slow PC to do it's work. The sweet spot seemed to be a 12 month payback on the cost of providing a new PC that got the job done without having to wait for it to grind it's gears.

  11. Man inna barrel Bronze badge

    Faster computer needed to cut down on smoking

    This is out of date now, because we are not allowed to smoke in the office, but I think it is quite funny.

    My colleague wrote most of the firmware for the electronic kit we designed. He would write a bit of code, then run the compiler, and automatically pick up his baccy to roll a smoke. He would puff away on that until the compiler finished, then put the fag down in the ash tray, and do some testing. Before long, the ash tray was lined with part-smoked roll-ups. This looked like quite a health issue. The obvious solution was to buy a faster computer, because then my mate would not have time to roll a smoke.

    More seriously, even though CPUs are mostly idle in desktop computing, latency in responding to user input to do some heavy computing can affect work flow. Those few seconds waiting for a result are dead time. Longer dead time might not be so much of a problem, because you can switch to another useful task, such as taking the piss out of Americans on Slashdot. I can't write a decent rant in only seconds.

  12. WonkoTheSane

    I feel seen

    I work in a 4-person 3D CAD (Colouring And Drawing) office.

    Nvidia has this month EOL'd our graphics cards (Quadro K2200) which were installed in our Dell PCs at great expense.

    We got the bean counters to authorise a huge performance upgrade to A4000 cards, but they require extra power cables.

    Guess what our 2018 Optiplex 7050 workstations don't have?

    Now the bean counters are dragging their feet over replacing 4 complete PCs, which would cost around twice as much as the 4 graphics cards alone.

  13. picturethis

    Salesman's yearly laptop upgrade

    I once worked (as a dev) for a startup in the late mid-90's. It was a pretty small startup (30 people or so) and I worked closely with Sales. One time he and I were returning from a sales meeting with a potential customer and after just going through the airport, I commented to him that he shouldn't be so rough on his treatment of his laptop while going through security. He said, "If I did't throw it around so much, it wouldn't need to be replaced every year with a newer one.", smiling. It was his way of getting a yearly upgrade. He was the top Salesman in the company so no one really challanged him on this. After the 2nd round of VC funding that saw my stock options diluted 6-to-1 (the first round had diluted them 3-to-1), I had left the company. Eventually the company was dissolved and the IP was sold off to another company.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Salesman's yearly laptop upgrade

      "He was the top Salesman in the company so no one really challanged him on this"

      He was probably the type of salesman that people buy from to get him out of their office and make a note to never deal with the company again

      A lot of "top salesmen" are like this. What you actually need are "steady salesmen"

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