* Posts by Rosuav

49 publicly visible posts • joined 12 May 2007

BOFH: Go on, beancounter, type DROP TABLE asset;

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This is why you should *always* have a transaction open. Oops, something went wrong... hit Ctrl-C, type 'rollback' if the SIGINT doesn't automatically roll you back, start again. If the worst comes to the worst, you just kill your client session and the server will automatically roll its transaction back. Of course, this does assume you're using a sane database engine; I use PostgreSQL, others also work, just avoid MySQL.

The BOFH clearly knows this, hence the explicit 'commit' to seal the assets' (and DBA's) doom.

AWS’ gift to sysadmins: a cloudy command line


Having a recent Python available isn't difficult - many Linux systems already have that (bar Red Hat, which ships 2.4), and on systems that don't (Windows), it's an easy download. Plus, hey! You get Python. :)

BOFH: Cannot terminate PFY instance... ACCESS DENIED


This is why you should use source control instead. Just 'git fetch' and 'git diff master origin/master' to see what's changed. There's no way that you can slip anything past that, so your other end would have to resort to burying the changes in legalese.

Source control FTW.

BOFH: Can't you just ... NO, I JUST CAN'T

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Password security...

I'm in favour of minimum password lengths rather than mandatory {digit, letter, symbol} rules, and strongly recommend that people use XKCD 936 compliant passwords. To people not in the know, it sounds like an internet standard on par with RFC 2822 or IEEE 754. To people who DO know what XKCD is, it's definitely an internet standard.

BOFH: Uninterruptible patsy supply


Re: There's no excuse for IT to bypass UPS issues.

"... essentially a Cinderella technology--they've no idea how the technology works but they take it for granted until the midnight of its failure."

Your post has little to do with a BOFH article, but I do like this line, and I think I may be using it.

BOFH: Hordes unleashed... by a RAM upgrade

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See, they really are sysadmins. RAM available and slots available? Upgrades! They're not _purely_ the sources of evil that amuse us.

BOFH vs PFY: There can be only one (on the exes chit)


Out-BOFH the BOFH?

Unlikely. Nope, the PFY should learn to take his place. In life and in line. And blackmail the boss into arranging that second junket, the instant Simon's back is turned...

BOFH: Little ups and downs


Where's the entirely false 8th floor?

... with the fake room 822, false maid, and false foreign minister? Missed the Get Smart reference by that much!

Good fun. As everyone knows, if you install the hardware, you can always add the software later!

BOFH: The PFY Chronicles


Remember Arty Murray?

There was a previous episode when the PFY narrated.

Boffin calculates pi to 2.7 trillion digits

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Bignums or ReallyBigNums

The article says that bignum systems are "... limited only by the computer system's available memory". Assuming that means virtual memory, that's true of most bignum systems. This guy went beyond that - it would take roughly 1TB of memory to hold the resulting number, and he had "only" 6GB. (And that's without taking into account that calculations at this precision require more than one number of this size.)

Don't tell me he had all that hard disk space as virtual memory, because I will find it hard to believe. To get that sort of performance, he'd almost _have_ to do it himself, rather than relying on the OS to page out the right parts of the number.

Impressive feat. Now let's see it put to some other use, because I'm sure he had one in mind before he started!

BOFH: Slab happy


@Andrew 6

"Soft side .... Inconcievable!"

Andrew, you beat me to it. :)

BOFH: Baitin' switch

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> Sorry, I haven't put anybody off their lunch, have I?

Nah. Anyone who is eating lunch while reading BOFH already knows what they're up for.

But I have to confess. "Two in one day" - I'd be satisfied with two in one fortnight - new episodes, that is. This is the correct standard, though!

BOFH: Weapon of choice

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Three drawers under the desk...

I need drawers like that. Bottom drawer for when I talk to eBay about their stupid API.

Internet junkie detox center claims US first


The price of this place

"Cost of enrollment is a whopping $14,500..."

They should knock $100 off the price for people who use dial-up.

Whoops, I think I just admitted that I need the place...

Oz Firewall still standing after inconclusive filter trial


Shifting boundaries

codemonkey said: "This approach to sucking it and seeing is perfectly acceptable in terms of research. I've done it all my life...find the breaking point, know where the boundaries lie, and know when and how and if you can cross them. Makes 100% sense."

But you have an idea in your head of what the breaking point will look like. (Like, maybe, something actually literally breaking.) You still know beforehand how you'll recognize success/failure.

BOFH: Defiling the profile



Nick said: That was laugh out loud funny - as in it made me actually laugh out loud, not just the "mildly amusing" which people usually mean by "laugh out loud funny".

Nick, your comment was "cackle out loud funny". As in, I read your comment, and I really did cackle. I don't know what anyone who has used that in any other context, and there's only a thousand Google results for "cackle out loud" (quoted), but whatever they mean, I probably didn't mean it.

BOFH: Aspie no questions

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Ahhhhhh life is back to normal again

We have BOFH! I repeat, we have BOFH!

(I went and called my brother from his bed as soon as I saw the new episode. And he got up without any hint of resentment.)

Question: What IS the BOFH's daily lie quota?

BOFH: Blackmail and fine wine


The PFY, with the Tape Safe, in the Back of the Office

I suggest that this is the solution to the death of the Boss. When did he die? In about ten minutes...

BOFH: Taking out a contract


Inverse Square Law


Created as redirect in an attempt to avoid the war over the last one. Have fun!

BOFH: Radiating sincerity

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Dosh? Dosh!

... while making a truckload of dosh on the side. Or in this case, several truckloads. From every possible angle.

BOFH: Fine detective work


Bye bye...

Another boss bites the dust - err, I mean lime and carpet!

Hooray for another episode. I get twitchy when the Friday's episode doesn't come through!

BOFH: The Mandelboat virus



Hehe. Domain registered on Oct 3rd. Chris Gregory, is that yours?

BOFH: Remote access malarkey


As we're all friends here...

... wait, since when was the BOFH anyone's friend? Ah yes, I remember. There was an episode in which that occurred... 2003, the BOFH-father. Yes. Alright, carry on!

Glad to see a new episode. And hey... it STARTS with user paranoia instead of having to CREATE it half-way through!

BOFH: Lock and reload

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Expectations and expectations

One of MY expectations is that a new BOFH will be worth reading. So far, I've yet to be diddled on that one! :)

BOFH: The PFY wants a reference



At last, another BOFH! I've been getting twitchy...

Brilliant stuff. Can't wait to see what happens to the old company if they both leave.

Unpatched Windows PCs own3d in less than four minutes

Gates Horns

USB modems are around

I have a roaming connection that consists of a USB GPRS modem (which sticks by velcro to the back of my laptop's lid). There is no way to install a hardware firewall. Four minutes? The first time I used this connection with a (throw-away) fresh, unpatched XP, it took somewhere between 20 seconds and 20 minutes to be compromised - I didn't time it properly. The second time, it took two minutes. Each time, that system got so infected that I didn't dare do ANYTHING serious with it, but just repartitioned and reformatted the disk as soon as I got home.

A hardware firewall / NAT router is probably 99% of the solution. If you have an unpatched Windows system, though - or even a patched one, though it's less critical there - a personal software firewall is a good way to protect against rogue code from web sites etc, and also helps contain problems if you do get them. It does help.

Yes, all operating systems get updates. If you don't like that idea, I'm sure someone can find you a copy of MS-DOS version 1; or maybe you'd rather go for QDOS? But Windows has a lot of problems that allow external attackers to take control of your system, whereas other operating systems have much less critical faults. I'd like to see anyone try to argue that Linux security holes are as much of a problem as Windows holes.

Obama bloats Vista by 11MB


Couple of corrections

This is undoubtedly Unicode. Bytes per letter: 2. Double your size. (STILL doesn't make up enough space though.)


1) Some of us HAVE developed operating systems. Some of us may not have developed OSes, but we've developed applications that talk to the OS. And just a few of us might happen to know what we're talking about. Windows has a lot of ancient code and ancient backward-compat modes that mean that it really is a pest to work on.

2) 1GB free? That's actually plenty.... as long as you don't have a bloated OS. When I install a new eComStation system, I'll usually partition the disk with 1GB _total_ for the OS, including its default page file (which I move subsequently, but it fits happily into that gig). Usually, there's a whole lot of free space on that volume. I'm looking at a system here where the boot partition is on a dedicated 4GB drive; and there's 3.5GB free.

3) It's not a waste of energy to keep complaining about Windows. Apart from being highly satisfying, word sometimes gets back to the people who decide what OS you'll buy. Windows? Didn't my dev team give me fifty good reasons for not using it? Okay, let's get something else.

56MB is appalling for adding words to the dictionary.

BOFH: The admin gene


The gene... of experience

It's definitely true. I can detect, from some distance away and across many noises, the sound of hard drive activity ceasing (which means the three-hour procedure has finished, yay) even if it's on the quietest drive in the building. Or the sound of a fan changing its note. If my brother's with me, he'll usually detect the same thing at the same time, and we'll both KNOW that the other has sensed it... leading to conversations as bewildering to outsiders as the BOFH/PFY one here. And the more crucial the situation, the less likely that anyone will get any information out of either of us.

And the boss.... fails the test. BAHAHAHAHAHA!

What I learned from a dumb terminal


@ Pooka

"Of course he was going to a gay pr0n site - he wasn't spelling Mail right - and what else would you expect from hotmale.com..."

Good reason not to use Microsoft's mail service. http://male.google.com/ just gives you Google.

BOFH: Shafting the consultants over the new layout

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Stand here, please...

... no not here, same place on the floor below. Yes, with this heavy load of concrete on you. Thanks! Perfect.

BOFH: Dealing with engineers



I'm just wondering what happens when the remains of the guy sent upstairs (remains? Yeah. After he's dealt with Mac people for a while, his brains will be mush) come downstairs again. What suitable demise will be arranged for him?

BOFH: The PFY's comeuppance


Warnings about coffee? Who needs 'em!

> There should be some kind of warning on this column - "Please ensure all comestibles are well finished before reading."

There is. It's abbreviated to "BOFH: " in front of the title.

Great episode!

BOFH: Licensing model

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Best episode in a while!

Laughed loudly enough to wake my brother.

RE: "It almost seems that the BOFH just sat back" - The BOFH and the PFY work as a team. They have a real partnership. A partnership of mutual respect and cooperation, working together toward a common goal. They always work WITH each other, never against each other - you'd never find the PFY stealing the money that the BOFH had hidden under the false bottom of the fire extinguisher, and you'd certainly never find the BOFH stuck in a darkened basement with a laptop as his only source of light AND his only hammer. Nor will you ever EVER find them electrocuting each other with cattle prods. Oh no. This is a genuine partnership.

BOFH: The London Underground vending machine conspiracy


Cars on the north wall

So.... we don't find out that the boss was parked along that north wall? Awww. I was totally expecting the boss to start screaming.

BOFH: Fun with automatic doors

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Thanks Simon, I needed that laugh! Best episode in a while. It's hilarious when you can see something coming, you can predict what the BOFH's going to do... and then he does it - and goes further than you imagined. Brilliant!

BOFH: On the brink


PFY? Girlfriend?

Yeah, the PFY has had love interests at times. He usually loses them to the BOFH's interaction or his own geekiness, and then has periods of time when he's sensible enough not to replace them. I've never yet seen two consecutive BOFHs with one girlfriend across them, at least, not that I remember.

OS/2 lovers already know that eCS is alive and well; SimonT refuses to believe it. Situation normal, comments are as could be expected. :)

BOFH: The secret gentlemen's club

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Let's see. Around here I have one LCD and two CRTs. Yeah, so maybe LCDs are better. But that means nobody wants their old CRTs, so I can pick them up for a song. Helps when you're on a shoestring budget. (Have you ever tried to sing a shoestring?)

BOFH: Vampires!


Ook. Ook!

Sam - what I was referring to was the language, a link to the description of which has kindly been posted by David Ross Smith. (By the way, my title means "read from the keyboard".) Ook! is a Turing-complete language with only three syntax elements: Ook! Ook? and Ook. If you're not interested in esoteric languages, don't go within a mile of Ook! without a complete hazmat suit, lest your brain summarily explode.


Eh? The librarian says Ook?

Oh wait, that was Ook. Still, it's only half a token. How can I parse Ook. without a following token? You have to say Ook twice for each command you want to execute....

Okay, I'm not a Pratchett geek, I'm a programming languages geek. Feel free to return to your regularly scheduled... err um programming.

BOFH: Carbon neutrality


And of course...

... Simon and Steven will have to go around the world to do their unkicking etc. Will they fly? Will they carbon-offset the flight? Except... flying is neutral already, because you balance one takeoff with one landing!

BOFH: What GPS is for

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When will the Boss ever learn...

... not to buy anything that the BOFH recommends? I wonder whether he'd be eligible for a Darwin Award for this.


BOFH: Beancounter bashing


You'd think he'd learn...

... you can't outbastard your own trainee, you taught him too well for that!!

BOFH: Spreading the festive cheer

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Never trust geeks bearing Gateau

Actually, just never trust BOFHs. You never know what he's doing to you, except that if you're an idiot, it will hurt. :)

BOFH: Workplace accidents = 0


Still, 10 days...

I'm just glad it didn't go 10 more days, because the Boss would have become suspicious if the board said 100 already...

BOFH: Budget cuts

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Buy two and retire!

It's amazing what people will do for money, isn't it. Can't wait until next week's episode, in which we find out, quite probably, where the BOFH draws the line!

I draw the line at Yum Yum.

BOFH: A foray into HR


Who are the BOFH and the PFY?

Anonymous Coward: If you don't know what BOFH means, check out http://bofh.ntk.net/ - he is the Bastard Operator From Hell, and he is the ruler of his domain. And all its subdomains. The PFY is his assistant, the Pimply-Faced Youth.

BOFH: The bastard wants to know


Blue pill? Bah!

Sorry, too late, I already took the red pill. And put it in the shredder.

BOFH: The revenge


Ahhhhhhh, that's the ticket!

And as loyal fans look on with smiles of satisfaction, the BOFH proves that he's a BOFH and the PFY proves that he's no less. A brilliant piece of writing... and there's no doubt that Simon will always come out on top.



Next episode?

There will assuredly be a "next episode". In it... who knows. Either the BOFH will have his revenge, or maybe the BOFH engineered it, or maybe even the PFY engineered it. Stay tuned until next week's exciting episode of Bastard Operator From Hell!!