Bastard Operator From Hell

Bastard Operator From Hell (BOFH)I’m going to show my age on this one, I can tell. I remember first reading about the BOFH (Bastard Operator From Hell) back in the early mid 90’s while browsing through the posts on the good old Usenet. At first I didn’t quite know what to think, was this just some sys admin that was venting his spleen in creative way? Turn out, I was right:

The Bastard Operator From Hell (BOFH), a fictional character created by Simon Travaglia, is a rogue system administrator who takes out his anger on lusers (his colleagues, bosses and anyone who gets in his way).

The BOFH stories were originally posted in 1992 to Usenet by Travaglia, with some being reprinted in Datamation. They were published weekly from 1995 to 1999 in Network Week and from 2000 they have been published most weeks in The Register. They were also published in PC Plus magazine for a short time, and several books of the stories have also been released.

As someone in a similar position I have been reading them ever since. The Register has the current archive but you can find older ones at Simons personal page.
And while your at it, make sure you check out the DIY excuse board. I’m sure it will be very handy the next time someone calls and asks why the file they had been working on all morning (and didn’t save) is gone after the power glitch and can’t be recovered from the previous nights tape  backup.

Archive of BOFH
Current BOFH on the Register
Bastard Operator From Hell – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Take The Blasphemy Challenge

Humm, all you have to do is upload a clip of yourself saying that you don’t believe in god and you get swag. Not a bad proposition, eh? It’s like saying that you have a firm disbelief in unicorns, lepercons, and free lunches. Pretty safe. I encourage everyone to go and have a look at the challenge site (god fearing hackers need not) and come to the only conclusion that a rational mind can.

[via neatorama]
The Blasphemy Challenge

Vista Home Basic is a Lemon?

Microsoft Vista

Ok, so I’m asking myself how is this news? I mean, what do you expect from a company like Microsoft? If you don’t pay for the gold you only get brass. It’s like if you buy the standard version of Office, you get Word, Excel, Outlook and Power Point. That’s at a suggested retail price of $399. Now what you don’t get is Access, that’s their database application. If you want that you have to buy the pro version and that’s another $100. Life would be so much better if they included Access with their office suite, people do the worst things in Excel just because they don’t have a good (read any) database app. Man! Well, ok this post was about Vista so I had better say a little bit about it. I have a copy (legal, Bill sent it to me himself) of RC1 at work and it runs OK. I don’t have a *&%$ expensive graphics card to power the system so the Pentium 4 3GHz with 1 GB or RAM is only benching at a 2.2. Geeze! That’s some heavy software! The ‘Aero’ components remind me of the transparent Linux windows from about three years ago so nothing big there. The Widgets or Gizmos or whatever the hell they call they desktop cycle wasters are OK but dated. Other than that it’s much like working on my Mac but has more a Windows feeling. That means the OS treats me like child and offers advice and won’t let me see all the goodies until i much with the settings. I’m sticking with XP, I can’t afford paying $200+ for a un-crippled version of Vista.

"The new [Vista] experience you hear of, if you get Basic, you won’t feel it at all. There’s no [Aero] graphics, no Media Center, no remote control."

Vista Home Basic is a lemon

Ipod Nano Battery Life Weirdness

Ipod nanoNot all that long ago, like a month, I bought my wife an iPod Nano 2 GB. Both of us have PCs as our primary computers. I have a Mac but its a heavily upgraded blue and white G3 (now a G4 500 MHz thank you!) so I never expected to use the Nano on it. The Nano was un boxed (nice packaging) and instructions were read. It was charged over night and the next day she used it. The first day she only got three hours of life before it was saying ‘feed me!’. I figured that it needed to be run all the way down and the charged to set the battery life chip in it but the next time she used it it had the same life span. Weird. Ok, we took it back and exchanged it for a different one. We did the same thing with the same results. Three hours of use and then flat. Not finding any info on the web about this i decided to give it a shot on the old Mac. I hooked it up and it did it’s thing. I’ll say this, if you have a Mac the Nano integrates much better with it than the a PC. Not all that amazing but I figure I’d mention it because after I did that I was able to run it for 10 hours before it did an auto shut off. The music was played at 70% volume through the stock headphones with the same music as my wife had originally loaded on it. Did being attached to a Mac somehow jolt the energy management settings into life? Just weird luck? Has anyone else had this problem? Could this be a good reason to return it once again and just wait for the new Nanos to hit the market?

TSA Declares Snow Globes a Threat To America

No snow globesMy wife, who works for an airline, will occasionally go to cities on her day off. It’s a nice perk for working in the airline business. Well today she went to San Francisco with some friends and had a rather annoying run in with the guardians of the airways, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You have to understand that my wife collects snow globes. She loves the things. In recent months she’s been buying one from each city that she visits. As each visit is just one day she just carries her purse. It’s best to travel light you know. Today when she was going back home the TSA stops her and tells her that her snow globe is not to be allowed on the plane. The liquid inside of it might be some deadly weapon that just happens to have little bits of glitter floating around in it. She shows them her employee badge and tried common sense on them. She’s dealt with officials before and she should have known that this was an exercise in futility. She asked why couldn’t she bring the show globe on board? If someone was going to mess with the aircraft wouldn’t they stash whatever it was in the luggage and just use a transmitter? I’ll give her this, she has guts. That’s why I love her. I wouldn’t have even begin to think of stating the obvious to someone that could chuck me in a secure room for hours and hours. The guard said that she could bring it on board if she was wearing her uniform or, get this, if she were to ask an employee to carry it through for her. Huh? If she gets a uniformed employee to walk the  snow globe through security it goes from being a device that might kill hundreds back to it’s natural state of a fancy dust catcher? Needless to say she didn’t have her uniform on her (it was, after all, her day off) and she didn’t see any airline employees that she knew. Gee, I wonder why? Maybe it’s because San Fran isn’t her home base? Wow…
I will have to side with the TSA drones decision to not allow the snow globe on the aircraft. It does after all contain liquid. And as we all know all non-life essential liquids are strictly forbidden. (Remember to chuck the bottle of water you just bought from the cafe right next to your gate in the trash before you get on the plane. You’ed think there would be a sign in the shops reminding passengers of this.) But why can this written in stone rule be broken if you just hand the liquid to a uniformed employee? She had all her badges with her, they have her photos all over them. She has all sorts of security endorsements on them and everything, it’s quite impressive. Anyway, she lost her snow globe and has decided to bring her lunch box with her next time so she can check it in and have it ride in the hold.
I can’t wait until the next plot is uncovered so we can lose granola bars, pens, and pocket combs

The End of SciFi is Near – Speak Out!

What will the idiots do next?In light of my recent post about the SciFi channel (a channel supposedly devoted to science fiction programming) deciding on showing "an alternative brand of wrestling suited to fit the SCI FI Channel’s commitment to fuel the imagination", a friend of mine reminded me that you can send feedback to SciFi and tell them what you think about their programming. The page is and the email address you want is Send them an email telling them that wrestling isn’t related to science fiction (unless its Godzilla doing the Tokyo stomp with a fellow monster) and you don’t want to see in their line up. Tell them you want science fiction programming, not stuff about ghost hunting or C rated movies about killer moths or black holes. Be polite and make sure you mention ECW so they don’t get confused, after all this might be read by a programming executive.