back to article BOFH: Remote access malarkey

"...And so you can just log in to my machine and look at it whenever you like?" our user asks indignantly. "Uh-huh," the PFY says, fixing the user's printer settings while he's talking. "And I don't have to give you permission or anything?" "I'd have assumed that was implied by ringing the helpdesk?" the PFY says. "Yes …


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  1. Khyle Westmoreland


    That thar BOfH evidently be missin' out on International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Ye'd have thought he'd be makin' the scurvy dog boss walk t'plank for talkin' t'him like that!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    A Return to the Bastard of old

    I read this and started reminiscing about the old BOFH stories from last Century! Brings back memories, and warms the cockles of my cold bastard heart!

    Simon! You've done it again!

    Wish we had full remote admin priviledges over our users machines! lol

  3. Jamie
    Paris Hilton

    How true.

    I can surf the net and play games, or access a machine remotely to see what some beancounter has been doing. Honestly, unless the machine is owned by Paris there is not a prayer of the user peaking my interest enough.

  4. hi_robb

    Ah remote access

    Another great BOFH and so true. The number of times in the past I've had users switch off their PC's when I jokingly remark about seeing everything they have been up to, when I've done a bit of servicedesk stuff :-)

    Stupid idiots do not realise that this just makes us all be really interested in having a damned good poke around.

    Mines the one with the MSTSC in the back pocket

  5. Stuart


    Just what was needed on a friday afternoon!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Just polished off a tasty lunchtime pint, and I come back to BOFH... nnnnice!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Remote malarchy

    Reminds me of using netbus at Uni to pop-up browsers to and alike, what fun!

  8. Sam
    Thumb Up

    Ah, The Macallan...

    Obviously a man of taste!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Oh pure genius

    I wondered what the gotcha would be, Simon your a genius!

    The past couple of weeks didn't quite tick the spot, this one is absolute classic, I've not laughed so hard is a long time - please give us more fearless-yet-subtle torment of the users.

  10. Jon Beck

    Back to his old tricks...

    You have to love it when the BOFH gets settled into new digs, and goes back into his comfort zone.

    Deleted files, terrorizing the helldesk, and basically being the true BOFH that he can be.

    Well done Simon!

  11. Anonymous Coward
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    A backup??

    The BOFH's slipping - surely you'd be scheduling a bulk erase of the hard disk instead, that way the luser wouldn't have to worry about people poring over his "private" documents anymore!

    Still - good as ever, and I even managed to find it ok! :-)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Having not long started a remote support role...

    this one strikes a chord... like it.

  13. Richard
    Thumb Up

    So Bloody True....

    ...It never ceases to amaze me how every now and then an otherwise sane user suddenly starts believing that they, their email, and their personal files and instant messages would become so interesting for an administrator that they would forgo .......

    This is so Bloody true.... Why is it that the (L)users never seems to get this? .... even after you´ve taken the time to patiently explain it to them while beating them around the head with a copy of the company IT Usage policy... preferably rapped around a brick!

    As ever the BOFH Rules...

    Role on next Friday!!!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    El Reg frontpage nightmare

    I'm assuming that this superb BOFH is missing from the front page of the site's story feed for a good reason?

    But hey - thumbs up to Simon, reminds me of tech support in a school... some amazing stuff was on user's machines, even though they tried to filter it.... Those where the days...

  15. Clint Sharp
    Paris Hilton


    Reminds me of the days of days gone by when users asked for more space in their home directories..

    Reminiscing with a happy grin on my face or is that the three pints at lunch time..

    Paris, she back.....

  16. Del Merritt


    I liked the Olde Waye of BOFH showing up as a news piece. But I confess that I did see this edition in its new location and guise.

    I don't know - new El Reg and New Facebook in the same week. Next thing that will happen is a new Google. Hmm.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Keep your head down....

    "...because then we start wondering what the hell it is you have that you don't want us to see. And before you know it the administrator concerned has passed you on to someone such as myself whose sole purpose is to keep you talking long enough to fire off a backup of the contents of your hard drive."


  18. Stuart Oram
    Thumb Up


    Love it! Thanks!

  19. Peter Kavanagh


    ... thank God it's Friday!

  20. Josh

    True Classic

    Wow... This just reads like one of the classic BOFHs. Is it just me or does the BOFH slowly go back to his roots?

    More of this, please. And maybe some news about the "Bastard Batcave from Hell" as well. ;p

  21. dervheid


    as usual!

  22. Ben Oldham
    Paris Hilton

    Found it!

    Excellent job Simon - just off for my 3 pints complete with chasers now.

    Oh, and please can we have a link on the front page, for some reason clicking on the word "Sods" is frowned upon here...

    Paris cos i've clicked on enough sodding links to her...

  23. greenmantle
    Thumb Up

    Another classic

    Users definitely create a lot more suspicion when they get ansy about privacy...

    Good episode!

  24. Ash
    Gates Horns


    Is my friend.

  25. Peter D'Hoye
    Thumb Down


    Why isn't this on the front page????

    another thumbs down for the new website layout....

  26. Michael McLean


    lol really like this one, i hate it when people ask for help then moan about RATs

  27. Robert Biebricher


    Will they never learn? You don´t wake a sleeping tiger. Never! Especially on a Friday afternoon after a deliberate amount af Macallan.

    Well, play with fire, get burnt.

  28. Mark York
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    Typical User

    Classic - Love the new BOFH logo.

  29. Daniel Gallacher
    Thumb Up


    A welcome return to BOFH of old!

    User Privacy.... Never heard of it!

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Classic BOFH

    Fantastic - Users need to be kept in line......Always nice to have something to hold against them.

  31. Buford

    Who's machine is it??

    Fix it, but don't touch it. Typical user BS. If I had to get up from my desk to fix every issue, they couldn't afford the mileage charges. When did things change where a user thinks that they have the right to privacy on a machine that they do not own?? If they only ken that we can also connect to their home machines. What morons.

  32. toddmori

    classic BOFH

    and I even like the new section link... after I found it

    -Flames, because I actually said something nice about the new layout....

  33. Bob H


    Where was "del /s *.*"?

    Removing the users account was usually the standard policy..

  34. Rosuav

    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!

  35. TrixyB

    Fooking Top Notch Simon

    I had this very conversation only yesterday! Keep up the brilliant Friday afternoon work. Both down the pub and on El Reg.

  36. Conor

    but I wanna know...

    what the user was doing on his machine that was so important to hide!

  37. Dcope
    IT Angle

    Only those that squark.....

    ... the loudest have the juciest worms, allways loved the shock of users when there mouse started moving after riniging up for support, shame i dont do it much anymore:(

    excelent BOFH user interaction, wonder if he had to break out the emergency LART!

  38. Skinny
    Gates Halo

    Most Amusing

    Seriously though, the advent of easy access remote control has made the life of anyone working in IT, especially support personnel, SO much easier and less stressful.

    I sometimes think back to the bad old days of having to talk a user through repairing their own monitor, when I couldn't see what they could see, and was reliant on them telling me what was going on, which seldom, if ever, seemed to bear any relation to what was actually on the screen.

  39. David Hixson-Ward
    Thumb Up

    Ahhh, remote access

    Absolutely spot on.

    Next person that rings me is in for a treat!

  40. Chris


    Simon, you should be knighted.

    A while back I worked at a place where I was the sole SA.. I always told my users that I was monitoring everything... when in reality I couldn't give a flying fuck what they looked at, I was more interested in reading the reg and something awful!

    But the fear kept them in check. Happy days!

  41. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Said it a million times

    I am not fricking interested in what might be on your desktop/laptop, leave me alone whilst download some more DVDs for the weekend.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Excellent, as usual.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    So true

    ...just so true...

  45. Geoff Kennedy


    Ok.. no one died... I'm hoping ofr a part II where a certain Boss and certain lUser take the high jump.... into a dumpster filled witl glass

  46. Danny
    Gates Horns


    You're not thinking like a true BOFH. Why kill a luser when it's more fun to completely destroy their lives instead.

  47. Name
    Paris Hilton

    So different, so very different from the home life of our own dear queen

    I've had this precise conversation with hapless users- and one in particular, who was a dead ringer for a prototype Nathan Barley. He seemed most offended when I asked what made him imagine that anything he could do, say or know would be of sufficient interest for me to spend time poking through his email, or his machine. I also pointed out that the location of his porn stash was relatively common knowledge, such that you didn't need root-level access to find it anyway.

    Suffice it to say that he performed a deeply splended mime that reminded me of a goldfish, leaving me free to take advantage of the freshly-brewed coffee that someone with an above room-temperature IQ had just prepared to get us through the morning.

    (Paris, because maybe her data might occasionally be interesting)

  48. mittfh

    @Peter D'Hoye

    Not on the front page? Surely any BOFH worth his salt would know how to type in "<CTRL> t" by now? Only takes me 6 seconds - which is noticeably quicker than moving the mouse up to Bookmarks and scrolling down the list...

    I'm also the kind of person that quite often guesses Wikipedia URIs, rather than using the site's built-in search facility.

    Meanwhile, if ye want t' abuse lusers whilst takin' advantage o' "International Speak Like a Sea dog Tide", but cannot master th' linguistic subtleties o' buccanneer-speak, then try headin' o'er t' this link:

  49. Geoff Kennedy


    Isn't it MORE fun to destroy their lives first... then kill them off?

  50. Nick Palmer
    Thumb Up

    Fabulous stuff, well done!

    Classic BOFH - and yes, I've had that little chat too...


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