back to article BOFH: We CAN do that with a Raspberry Pi, but think of the BODIES

BOFH "So what we'd like to do is have the lights turn on in the foyer when people come into the office," the Health and Safety rep says. "Yep, put a PIR+Daylight sensor unit in," I say. "One of the sparkies could do that for about a hundred quid - or £150 if he's got a holiday coming up." "Yes, but what we'd like to do is …

  1. pierce

    raspberry pi is so last year. the beaglebone black is much cooler.

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Soo missed the point

      This is like a Dilbert Story.

      The PFY has fallen into the trap of being Dilbert instead of being Wally.

      The Pi is irrelevant. It could be the Game port on an Apple II in 1979. Story identical

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you're going to worry about their tech selection...

      ...Arduino could do it better. Sounds like they'd only need a handful of input lines, so to be REALLY pedantic, a PIC chip would suffice. No need to throw Linux-running microcomputers at these kinds of problems.

      Back to the topic at hand, glad to see the BOFH! I wondered if it would come out Sat instead of Fri given the change up.

      1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: If you're going to worry about their tech selection...

        Arduino? Just a toy… get a bunch of Siemens PLCs, one for each floor, and wait for Stuxnet and a drone attack. No need for a bulk carpet order.

      2. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: If you're going to worry about their tech selection...

        Sounds like they'd only need a handful of input lines, so to be REALLY pedantic

        a 555 would be all they need. And a diode for each PIR sensor, as a discrete OR gate.

        1. lampbus

          Re: If you're going to worry about their tech selection...

          Yes, except that the 555 is realy not a good choice for longer duration delays. Too much drift on the R or the C.

          I designed some stuff years ago with a similar IC, but it had a built in counter so the timings could be pushed out reliably, but I cant remember the number - it had four digits and one of them may have been a 7.

          Saved using a 4000 series counter bolted on.

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge

            Re: If you're going to worry about their tech selection...

            Yes, except that the 555 is realy not a good choice for longer duration delays. Too much drift on the R or the C.

            You could sell it as an auto-adjusting delay (and auto-adjust the billed development and build cost) to the company's beancounters.

            Seriously, 15 minutes is no problem with decent quality components and the 7555 (CMOS version)

      3. Steve Todd

        Re: If you're going to worry about their tech selection...

        You don't even need a full Arduino, an ATMEGA324 costing about £3, a crystal and a couple of caps is all you need for an embedded application. Heck, for this an ATTINY85 and its internal oscillator will probably do the trick, for less than £1.50

    3. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Mode Execution Ready

      Of course they could of installed what Douglas Adams termed a "Mode Execution Ready" device, alternatively called "Access Standby" or a "on/off switch"

      My good wife was recently telling me that in her office the lights are controlled by a PIR, but only in the main office, not the adjoining conference room. The result is if no-one is in the office, people have to periodically emerge from conferences to reactivate the lights.

      Sorry to rain on the technology parade, but PIR's could only have been invented by someone at Sirius cybernetics and will be 1st against the wall when the revolution....

      1. Myvekk

        Re: Mode Execution Ready

        My good wife was recently telling me that in her office the lights are controlled by a PIR, but only in the main office, not the adjoining conference room. The result is if no-one is in the office, people have to periodically emerge from conferences to reactivate the lights.

        Sorry to rain on the technology parade, but PIR's could only have been invented by someone at Sirius cybernetics and will be 1st against the wall when the revolution....

        Not quite right. They were invented by someone in the tech section, but SOLD to you wife's office as "The Solution" by someone from the Marketing Division of Sirius cybernetics who'll be 1st against the wall when the revolution comes....

        They are perfectly acceptable and function when used within their design parameters.

  2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Blane Bramble

      Re: Get a life, Simon.

      @jake - if you don't like it, simply don't read it - why come to the forums to complain?

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Get a life, Simon.

        ********DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS*******

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Get a life, Simon.

          ::snicker::

          Simon may be an "icon" around here, but he's still just a few bits.

          If you insist on nuking my post, how about nuking the replies to my post, and the "thumbs" involved? Seems only reasonable.

          1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

            Re: Get a life, Simon.

            > If you insist on nuking my post, how about nuking [...] the "thumbs" involved?

            Things Simon has:

            -your IP

            -a bolt cutter.

            Careful with what you ask for.

            1. jake Silver badge

              @ ElReg!comments!Pierre (was: Re: Get a life, Simon.)

              Things Simon doesn't have: Something useful to say.

              I suspect my dawgs would giggle at his imagined bolt cutter, before causing him to piss/shit his pants. Seriously, the entire BOFH thingie is old and tired. Please lose it, ElReg. It hasn't been funny, or useful, for over a decade.

              Side note: Where is Verity Stob? Now THAT is useful content!

              1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

                Re: @ ElReg!comments!Pierre (was: Get a life, Simon.)

                > my dawgs

                A new Big Data project for El Reg WE Edition perhaps? In a fight, who would win, the BOFH or Jake's dawgs?

                > Please lose it, ElReg.

                Alternatively, you not reading it would result in the same overall effect as El Reg not publishing it, with one big upside: it's something that you can realistically make happen.

                I agree on the Verity part, though it was never a reliably regular column.

              2. Marshalltown

                Re: Dawgs

                If your "dawgs" are that nasty, you should see a podiatrist before you get something worse.

            2. TAJW

              Re: Get a life, Simon.

              He also knows where to get a roll of carpet and some duct tape....

              1. CoolKoon

                Re: Get a life, Simon.

                >He also knows where to get a roll of carpet and some duct tape....

                ...and probably a couple bags of cement too......

  3. Tim99 Silver badge
    Pint

    Brilliant

    The first two items to show up on the Weekend edition were Simon and coffee making. Have a free beer >>======>

    Please try to avoid stuff that could be construed as work at the weekend.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Brilliant

      Please try to avoid stuff that could be construed as work at the weekend.

      AFAIK reading BOFH /is/ work, it's part of a continuous self-education scheme. At least, that's how I sell it to management :)

      1. theblackhand

        Re: Brilliant - re:self-education scheme

        "AFAIK reading BOFH /is/ work, it's part of a continuous self-education scheme. At least, that's how I sell it to management :)"

        Which part? Reading BOFH or it's what you tell management as you roll them up in a carpet?

        1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

          Re: Brilliant - re:self-education scheme

          Which part? Reading BOFH or it's what you tell management as you roll them up in a carpet?

          Why choose?

          :)

  4. fearnothing

    I've decided to stop downvoting Jake, no matter what he says, he's just an attention whore. Posting this in the hope that others will follow suit.

    As for BOFH, absolutely right. When people realise that you can do something they want, you'll never get any sleep.

    1. Trygve Henriksen

      Jake who?

      Have anyone seen the carpet I bought last week?

      That, and a roll of duct tape seems to have disappeared from my car...

      Oh well, it was just a cheap IKEA carpet. No big loss.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Was it the one that seemed curiously devoid of fire retarding qualities?

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
          Happy

          And where had my quicklime gone?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            You say attention seeking whore, I say cunt.

            But I guess the effect is much the same.

            I've never up or downvoted him/her. Just thought to myself....cunt.....

            1. perlcat

              I don't call a spade a spade. I call it a BLT -- Beancounter Liberation Tool.

              Id, of course, doesn't liberate the beancounters -- it liberates me from them.

              1. Fatman Silver badge
                Joke

                RE: I don't call a spade a spade. I call it a BLT -- Beancounter Liberation Tool.

                I think I will use the weekend hours to acquire one of those since I have an unappreciative beancounter to deal with next week Tuesday.

                I must admit, it is a perfect double use tool, first to liberate the beancounter from their self afflicted disease (of counting beans), and then second, covering up the evidence of said liberation.

                I think I will put that beancounter under the slab that is being poured for the generator system that the beancounter fought against. ("It will deplete the executive bonus pool!") Perfect karma.

  5. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I really needed this

    I'm working from home today 'cos one of our cuntstomers wants a control system modified on a PLC type I've never seen before, with no code comments and programming software that 'goes funny' on Windows 7.

    ... and can we have it ready by Friday?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      Re: I really needed this

      By "Friday," you must mean yesterday.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I really needed this

        Nah, they didn't specify which Friday. Or which year.

    2. Martin-73 Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: I really needed this

      cuntstomer... C|N>K

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I really needed this

        That's almost exactly an interview question I was recently asked!

  6. Stumpy

    "You could drag a body wrapped in an awkwardly rolled carpet across the foyer inside a minute," I say. "I know that for a fact!"

    Priceless

    1. Steven Raith

      Indeed. The ending particularly pleased me.

      "And who will you turn to?"

      "You," the PFY sighs once more.

      "And what will I turn to?"

      "The roll of carpet."

      -------

      I approve.

  7. Arctic fox
    Thumb Up

    Loved it, howled with laughter.

    See icon.

  8. John Crisp

    Users.... ROFTWIC

    Rolling on The Floor Wrapped In Carpet.

    Class.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm surprised he didn't take the malware angle…

    "Ohh, I'm sorry, it seems someone brought an infected USB stick onto the network and so now our security lights are infected with the Saturday Night Fever virus."

    Meanwhile a shell script runs:

    #!/bin/sh

    while true; do

    echo $(( ${RANDOM} % 2 )) > /sys/class/gpio/gpio123/state

    sleep ${RANDOM} % 5

    done

  10. channel extended
    Joke

    The second way.

    Another way to handle people like that is to tell them that "Yes, it can be done, but will cost (Your annual salary here) per month to implement. When they ask why, tell them it's the maintenace cost. If they pop to the price, pay a PFY to work a light switch every twelve minutes.

  11. davidp231
    Pint

    This

    ...is how weekends are started.

  12. Muskiier

    Regulation and monitoring from all levels

    Then comes the request for the smartphone app for remote control and monitoring. You quickly create one using an open source library for encryption and security. A hacker uses a zero-day exploit to change the code and strobes the lobby lights, inducing mass epileptic seizures which are recorded and posted on social media. They go viral and the ensuing media hyperbole forces the government to strike a commission which hires highly paid consultants to, after many years, recommend that implementation of such devices be regulated and overseen by a new branch of bureaucracy which requires a great deal of paperwork for regular provision of compliance and monitoring data. All corporations must hire an "IOT supervisory officer" to oversee compliance. Once you finish your criminal sentence for having perpetrated "LightGate" a condition of your parole is to provide volunteer services for the department developing the specification for the mandated middleware which will automate monitoring, collection, and submission of this data using series of interconnected sensors. You instead fake your death and flee to a third-world country.

  13. David McCoy

    Simon obviously has more patience than I do .

    if it had been me in his situation the conversation would have ended shortly after

    the Health and Safety gremlin uttered the word

    "computery"

    riiiight

    adopt Grytpype-Thynne voice

    "neddy, close your eyes and say "ow, my bleeding' head"

    thud

    roll of carpet, shovel, bags of lime, white van..

  14. lvm

    BOFH stories usually are so technically correct, but this time I winced. Never ever ever ever in my life I've met a light sensor which won't retrigger when on. Maybe they do exist - everything's possible, but rarer than OS/2 Warp.

    1. Pet Peeve

      Yeah, that would be a horrible design, requiring someone in the room to wave their arms every 12 minutes when the lights go out, even if they're doing calisthenics in the room the entire time.

      I have had a PIR-sensored room go dark while I was in it. Apparently the sensor didn't have a line of sight to my furiously keyboarding fingers, and I was sitting very still for 10 minutes.

      I love PIR lights - running down the hall and hearing breakers CLUNK is just so much fun if you're first into the office. And then there's playing "stealth mission" and seeing how far into a room you can get before the lights go on.

      1. Nelbert Noggins

        For me that seems to be scarily far too regularly.

        I seem to regularly be dead. Some days the touch pads on door locks don't respond to my prodding fingers, PIR lights don't come on and I can walk right up to automatic doors and they don't open, even if I jump around in front of the PIRs.

        Any office, meeting room with them that doesn't have a light switch override is really annoying to try and work in.

        1. pepper

          We got sensors like that where I work, when in the storage room behind a shelve it will turn off(badly placed sensor), so people always jam the door open with a fire extinguisher so that there is atleast light coming in. We also got a similair sensor in the riveting box that doesnt trigger if you are at the far end so it all goes black...

          Wish we just had normal light switches..

  15. Rick Brasche

    ah a teachable moment

    it's so heartening to see when experience is transferred from the master to the student, and seeing the gleam of enlightenment at the moment of comprehension.

    *snif* 'tis a thing of beauty that brings tears to me eyes.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pirloo

    To save money on lighting they put a PIR in the toilet zone, outside of the cubicles, with an apparent period of 6 minutes. Go in sit-down, open the paper, read for 4 minutes whilst multitasking - light off - pitch black - where is the toilet roll? where is your pants, where is the pool of water you avoided on entering and where the hell is the door? ooh there was a sudden desire for cheap floor coverings.

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