back to article BOFH: Putting the commitment into committee

I never cease to be amazed by the seemingly endless possibilities for forming a committee to not do something. It's as though whenever there's a critical mass of deadwood in one room they'll end up creating a committee to legitimise themselves, make some decisions to address the ills of whatever they've talked about, issue …

Silver badge

Re: Yes, I used lynx for this

Yes, 80x24 terminals. Just remember that there are 80 columns on a punch card. That is the reason for the number of columns.

There was a treatise about the width of vehicles and the like, culminating with the width of a SRB for the space shuttle.

1
0
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: 80 columns

True but...

The reason for 80 columns on a punch card goes back to typographical design rules (which derive from experience of human perception). On a line of more than around 72 characters your eyes have difficulty tracking back to the start of the next line. Add in the 6 columns at the start used by Fortran for label and continuation fields and two for luck and you get 80.

A standard rule-of-thumb used by printers (the people, not the clackety machines) was "Two and a half alphabets." Because tracking problems don't suddenly happen at the 73rd character but tracking becomes progressively harder after around 65 characters and 72 is really pushing it (but OK if most lines are shorter).

6
0
Silver badge

Re: 80 columns

On a line of more than around 72 characters your eyes have difficulty tracking back to the start of the next line. Add in the 6 columns at the start used by Fortran for label and continuation fields and two for luck and you get 80.

Don't forget that columns 73-80 were sometimes used for card sequence numbers, so you actually only have 66 columns of actual code after the label and continuation at the start.

Card sequence numbers? If you'd ever dropped a deck of a couple of thousand cards and watched them tumble chaotically floorwards you wouldn't ask!

9
0

Re: 80 columns

@dajames

One didn't always enjoy the luxury of card sequence numbers. A diagonal line drawn across the card deck with a marker pen helped in that case.

8
0
Boffin

Re: Yes, I used lynx for this

> There was a treatise about the width of vehicles and the like, culminating with the width of a SRB for the space shuttle.

This could be traced back to the width of the average Roman horse's arse.

3
0
Devil

A new way to keep the number of committees down.

I belong to a social club that has an interesting way to keep the number of committees at a reasonable level: whoever proposes that a committee be formed automatically becomes the chair. You'd be surprised how good a job this does of keeping things under control.

12
0
Silver badge

Re: A new way to keep the number of committees down.

Did you have a committee tocome up with that rule?

4
0
Bronze badge
Pint

Re: A new way to keep the number of committees down.

That is a brilliant idea.

It provides the perfect disincentive against forming a committee for all the wrong reasons (e.g., not taking responsibility for an unpopular decision) without penalising anyone creating one for the right reasons.

Icon, because you deserve one for coming up with it.

3
0
Silver badge

SWMBO's ladies group have a committee meeting every month. Given that the only thing the group as a whole does is have monthly meetings and given that the entire year's meeting programme has to be drawn up and printed in advance I've no idea what they find to talk about in 11 of the meetings. But they do.

2
0
Silver badge
Pint

Yea, but that's a girl thing. Don't even try to understand.

8
1
Silver badge

Pascal, it's a long time since any of them were girls.

4
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

Got this

We have a 'workers forum' where bloody stupid ideas come out.

I could have been part of it except this article is real life.

2
0
Silver badge
Pint

Another term for that manager

"Sexual intellectual" ... otherwise known as a fscking know-it-all.

Outstanding BOFH. Great way to end the week.

2
0
Silver badge

Agency Query

British Omni-Functional Holdings seems to have a high turnover of bosses. Has the agency that supplies replacement bosses not begun to wonder what is happening?

Or is this a cunning plan by the agency to move the people it does not want off its books?

2
0

Re: Agency Query

Of course they don't wonder. They get a commission each time.

The first rule of business management seems to be not to question where the money comes from as long as it keeps coming.

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Can I borrow the BOFH? Or just some carpet and quicklime?

We are being force-fed "Workplace Social Networking" as the panacea for all ills. So far we have been lumbered with SalesForce, Tibbr and now Yammer. All at once, plus Orifice365.

The guv'nors think it is fantastic.

95% of the rest of us are . . . . somewhat less so.

5
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Can I borrow the BOFH? Or just some carpet and quicklime?

At my orkplace we've recently had a Shyte for Business rollout, and they're making horrible noises about Orifice 365.

Then again, if it's all supposed to be web based, maybe I can finally get that Linux laptop - that is of course assuming that 365 is standards-compliant. Knowing my luck, it'll more likely be standards-complaint.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Can I borrow the BOFH? Or just some carpet and quicklime?

Oh good grief! The contagion is spreading! We have Shite for Business deployed, Yammer, Despairpoint and Orifice 365 in progress. Yammer is a particular cause of irritation as I don't use "Social" applications at home, buggered if I want to support them in the office.

1
0
TSM

No need to panic

Just do what we do - roll out a bunch of applications, but keep communicating over email like always.

I think there's only one or two people who have ever contacted me over Lync^H^H^H^HSkype for Business. Our team has a Slack channel which I don't think has been used since the initial test messages. There's a conversations feature in our task tracker, but we don't use it (maybe other teams do).

Meanwhile, email continues to work just fine.

1
0

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018