Excellent one - soon to become a good vintage as well
And now we wait in anticipation for the next episode to find out if Gary managed to pull it off...
...stay tuned to Channel BOFH, where the <KZERRRRRT>
BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns >Ding!< >shudder< "Hi there – it's Gary isn't it?" I ask, stepping into the lift. "One of our new breed of beancounters?" "Who wants to know?" Gary asks, oozing the sort of bravado you only see in action movies – or youth. "I'm Simon. I just thought I'd catch a few words with you …
FWIW the delivery of the dialogue is similar that of Jackson Lamb in the Mick Herron series about "Slough House"; though Lamb swears more and makes overt threats. How does it go? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Hm, maybe Jackson Lamb could make a guest appearance in an episode…
I choose to believe that the BOFH did none of that stuff at all. You think, given the kind of state that beancounter is in, that he's going to go check his credit-card statement first?
Laziness is a virtue in tech, I'm told (along with impatience and hubris). Why bother doing all that when you can spend a full 5 minutes in the lift and have your worries vanish?
Besides, it's not like he can't turn around and do it the next day if his advice goes unheeded...
Building foundations - or somewhere to hide the bodies.
When that big slab of concrete can be used to hide stuff.
This however is true the large Tesco in Peterborough is built on an old cement works which they filled the holes in with flyash there are a few vehicles adding to the foundations which were parked on the flyash and sank, I used to work with an ex surveyor and he said one they started going sinking nothing would get them out.
A few years ago, they were constructing a new office building near mine. When they were getting ready to lay the cement pond - er - foundation, they ran into a major issue: Buried deep under the ground was an object they couldn't identify. It was square, about 2 meters high, 8 meters wide, and 18 meters long. It was too heavy for the cranes to move. So they simply laid the foundation and parking garage around it.
To this day, the parking garage has a large section on the bottom floor which which is walled off.
As a Southerner, "cement pond" is still in somewhat common use, although generally used for hokey effect when a given redneck is trying to prove how "country" he/she is, often followed by tales of red and white corn-cobs, and further tales about the ingestion of various disgusting bits from a pig. Whether the phrase came from the show and was adopted by us rednecks, or was in use before the show, I can't say.
I'm reasonably confident "cement pond" came from the show and has since entered into occasional use by Southern IT folks when we're feigning ignorance about a particular topic.
I'm not quite sure what you're talking about when you say "disgusting bits from a pig" though, because all parts of a pig are in fact quite delicious when properly prepared.
Although its not particularly quick, but certainly disconcerting! Went for a stroll on a beach on the edge of Morcambe bay... leapt over a small creek to a sandbar that looked firm enough... it wasn't!
Got away with it because I jumped back again without too much hanging about for the sand to get over my boots... SWMBO had more difficulty, for various reasons, but also got away with wet feet and a healthy new respect for quicksand!
Used to be on post-pub (Icon) on a Thursday night in Swindon (IICRC), the Aussies version of Tomorrows World.
Michael Fish's worst nightmare struck the UK & the aerial was blown off my rented houses roof, the replacement was re-aligned to the networks for ITV\BBC for Oxfordshire giving us a better quality of channels\programming rather than HTV's offerings.
I believe it's a reference to how Gary's Boss will shortly be finding a very similar key with his fingerprints on the tape stuck behind a picture in his kitchen.
Undoubtedly the paperwork that Gary's Boss will be handling will be delivery receipts.
Both key and document are likely for the very same shed of possibly-explosives that Gary is suddenly very eager to find another owner / scape-goat for.
My guess is that key is another copy to the shed, and that there's a third one hidden in the other guy's house. That way, either of them could be investigated for the purchase. The papers describe the purchase of the fertilizer and what the reports about the purchase will look like. Most likely, the rest of it takes one of two forms:
1. The documents simply indicate that the higher-level guy is going to be investigated, causing him to rush home to search for and hide evidence, thus making more for the investigators who have already started.
2. The BOFH doesn't really want to do the full investigation, and the papers indicate what the guy needs to do to get it shut down and what will happen if he doesn't.
In theory ammonium nitrate is an oxidizing agent and not an explosive in its own right, although very large quantities (many tons) can detonate. Oxidising agents are typically mixed with fuels to create explosive mixtures. Potassium nitrate is the oxidizer in black powder (gunpowder), the fuel is charcoal and sulfur (note correct IUPAC spelling). Other fuels can be, and are, used.
In theory ammonium nitrate is an oxidizing agent and not an explosive in its own right, although very large quantities (many tons) can detonate.
As the residents of Beirut found out one sunny afternoon not too long ago.
A fairly similar chemical, ammonium perchlorate, caused Pepcon to go boom; in both cases the stuff did not ignite by itself but by a minor fire nearby.
... sulfur (note correct IUPAC spelling) ...
Methinks that there is nothing uniquely 'correct' about the spelling approved by IUPAC!
It's accepted US usage, that doesn't make it any more correct than "sulphur". IUPAC officially accepts either "aluminium" or "aluminum" for the spelling of aluminium and should similarly accept either spelling for "sulphur" -- or maybe we should all go back to calling it "brimstone"?
This is an interesting read: World Wide Words: Sulphur.
I’m a Chartered Chemist (Royal Society of Chemistry, by examination), and am probably professionally obliged to use the "f" spelling. I remember back in the 1970s this came up. There was a forthright discussion in 2012 which refers to this; https://my.rsc.org/forums/viewtopic/39/2567
Nature also has an interesting read https://www.nature.com/articles/nchem.301
Although I am also a member of the American Chemical Society, I hope that we can all agree that the (American) "acceptable" IUPAC spelling of aluminum is just wrong and that we should all use the "correct" (UK) IUPAC spelling aluminium. See: https://www.quora.com/Why-does-the-IUPAC-accept-the-American-spellings-for-aluminium-and-caesium-but-not-the-British-spelling-of-sulphur-Could-the-IUPAC-be-biased
Exaclty. Having in "inside man" at beancounter central could be priceless. Willing or otherwise!
After all, better to have someone on the inside to keep thing running the way the BOFH expects and reduce the suspicion aroused by so many beancounters inexplicable leaving, either of their own accord, in pine boxes or just "disappearing".
It's a type of line printer that has a large fast rotating drum with repeating type on it. As the desired character for a column passes correct position a hammer strikes the paper against the ink ribbon and the typeface from behind to imprint the letter.
As the desired character for a column passes correct position a hammer strikes the paper against the ink ribbon and the typeface from behind to imprint the letter.
And when you know the character arrangement on each of the positions you can send lines to be printed that make all hammers fire at once. Few printers manage to withstand that for more than a couple of minutes, although usually it's just a fuse that goes. Impressive banging while it lasts.
Same with band and chain printers, although their racket tends to be just loud, not extremely loud. Chain printers run the risk of the chain breaking under such a test; the relative advantage of a band printer is that while the band has much less mass it's a thin strip of stainless steel going at quite high speeds: and the sharp ends of a break are quite nasty to printer innards and printer technician's fingers.
Back then, "fixed in software" was much less common than "fixed in hardware". When I started at DEC, plopping in a new set of EPROMS was already the way the majority of fixes were done, but I still had to do my share of soldering and changing wire-wraps.
At one point in Uni I got hold of a HP drum printer that had character rings on its drum only every third position. To get all character positions on a line printed the paper was shuffled left and right using a hefty rocker arrangement on the paper feed mechanism. Oh, and the data buffer was built around seven bucket memory ICs, the rest of the electronics were simple TTL or DTL logic and discrete components. And probably a PROM for the character map, can't remember.
 you clock in one bit, and umpteen clock ticks later that bit appears on the output. No addressing, all you can do is count clock ticks and wait for the bit you want to turn up. Somewhat more elegant than mercury delay lines, but not that much.
I vaguely recall one particular line printer model that used a loop of paper tape (probably mylar, more robust) that went with the character set on the drum. No further details; printers tended to be serviced by specialists, although just swapping a board was usually done by anyone available and I've even done the occasional hammer flight time adjustments.
Yup I remember those, and even have one of the drums! I disassembled a couple when we decommissioned them, They were exceptionally loud and fast. The Data General ones we used also had to be monitored to a degree to make sure the prints stacked right. One day I came in and the night operator had left early due to being sick. The paper was still flying vertically up to the ceiling and the printout had blown in the AC to the door of the datacenter as a large drift. I had to carefully push the door open so it didn't crumple or tear much and make my way to the printer to get it to stack again. I think it toon an hour and a half to restack that for the client!
Yes, drum printers can make LOTS of noise. One I worked with had all the characters lined up, so a row of say '$' characters would generate a big THUMP as they were printed (the operating system did this for the trailer page). The capacitor bank for this behemoth as about 1/2 Farad at 35 volts or so, and I'll let someone calculate the energy stored (bazzert is too mild). Eventually we swapped it out for a chain printer, and the line changed to "zing.." which was a bit easier on the ears.
As for punch cards, the reader was blissfully silent compared to the punch. Sometimes one would attempt to punch out "lace cards" and the racket was terrible (if it didn't jam in the process). Thankfully we didn't punch too many cards, except for keypunches (they are loud as well).
Ahhh, my youth.
..but even more useful when exchanged for cash from the scrap merchant. (By the way, those chads are sharp, so don't let them get near anyone's eyes)
At one place I worked a couple of cartons of chads would accompany the cards they had previously been part of.
The Scrap Fund paid for several staff jollies each year, where many icons were consumed without further outlay.
The capacitor bank for this behemoth as about 1/2 Farad at 35 volts or so
I still have the capacitor bank for one of the motors from a scrapped open reel tape drive: two capacitors the size of a 1l beer tin, 68mF 50V each, with two copper bars bolted on top. 150J if you drive those caps up to their working voltage, which today may well result in a mahoosive bang if they even care to store anywhere near their rated capacity in the first place.
To be fair we do have robot dogs, there is even a football tournament for robot dogs. Or at least there was.
And the only reason they don't fetch newspapers is because who still uses paper newspapers? You can make it fech you a tablet or something like that.
I liked the drum printers. Except when I got the task of replacing the ribbon (we'll use that term lightly -- those who have never worked with these printers -- i.e., the younger generation -- can't truly appreciate that ribbon meant something very different...)
Nice thought of having the NIST define the unit of bastard. https://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/reference
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