back to article BOFH: Thermo-electric funeral

"So all I need is the data from yesterday and maybe the day before," the Boss says, handing over his pride and joy. "Ooooooh!" the PFY says. "A *ONE GIG* USB stick! Did you get it from a pound shop in a box of 10?" "I paid 85 quid for this when it first came out!" the Boss says proudly, as if owning IT antiquity was one of …

  1. hplasm Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I need a cooling hammer!

    To go with the server mallet and network mace.

    And the LART...

    1. Kevin 6

      Re: I need a cooling hammer!

      The server mallet line reminds me of the 1st place I worked.

      I was looking for something in the IT room, and found a box of mallets asked my boss why we had a box of mallets laying around. His response was THOSE AREN'T MALLETS THEY ARE HIGH PRECISION COMPUTER ALIGNMENT TOOLS!

      I was just like WHAT?

      He proceeded to grab one walk out to one of the work benches, and proceeded to show me how they aligned the towers that were screwed down to the bench by beating the living hell out of the side of one till it was perfectly straight.

      Then he said they were actually multipurpose as they doubled as a tool to increase work output from the workers as he then flung it at a metal cabinet (creating a LOUD bang) near one of my co-workers who was goofing off with his back turned to us, and said NOW GET BACK TO WORK. Guy almost pissed his pants.

      Best boss I've ever had I so missed working for him when they replaced him with someone that had an IQ that rivaled the bosses in the BOFH stories :(

      1. rh587 Silver badge

        Re: I need a cooling hammer!

        THOSE AREN'T MALLETS THEY ARE HIGH PRECISION COMPUTER ALIGNMENT TOOLS!

        That would be what our office refers to as The Universal Adaptor.

        1. The IT Ghost

          Re: I need a cooling hammer!

          A "Manually Operated, Percussion-oriented Adjustment Device". MOPAD. Always have one handy.

      2. Marshalltown

        Ah, yes

        The idiot I used to work for decided to start an ISP, despite the fact that his experience with computers was Wordperfect and surfin the early web and usenet for PRON. We, his otherwise skilled staff, were drafted to set up the new business alongside the existing one, which involved the outdoors, dirt, government agencies and such. So, when we had nothing more pressing to complete we had to rewire the office AND build the servers - he had an actual IT guy hired to manage the system once we built the necessary ... but that guy wanted to actually BUY already built SERVERS with WARRANTIES!! Why waste money on that when you already have guys with screwdrivers to assemble parts - actual in house warranty work, come to think of it. Anyway, "cheap" was a magic word. The hammer actually did help straighten cases that were just not fully formed, but with the worst, cheapest cases, the blanks of sheet metal had not been square in the former when the case was stamped. They assumed a vaguely rhomboidal form upon assembly. Tightened up properly, these often would torque frame and thus the mother boards, creating conditions that would pop networking cards, harddrive interfaces and other cards in the extension slots right out the slots over time and multiple heating and cooling cycles. It also created a distinctive rocking effect when you bumped the house built systems. A bigger hammer was employed to scrap them so that they would never, ever, re-emerge as a problem over the help line. Third bright idea of boss was to have same screwdriver-equipped staff build cheap PCs for the hoi poloi so they would remain loyal to the ISP, AND same staff would "support" this debacle despite the non-isp related work that piled up steadily.

        1. Snafu1

          "A bigger hammer was employed" [...]

          One of my favourite sayings: "This looks complicated; I'll need a bigger hammer.."

          Useful for any situation, pretty much ;)

          1. imanidiot Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: "A bigger hammer was employed" [...]

            If it doesn't fit, you need a bigger hammer.

            If it breaks, it needed replacement anyway!

            --> The one with the 2 pound lump hammer in the pocket please.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: "A bigger hammer was employed" [...]

              We called them "variable pressure applicators" or "impulse generators"

              1. Black Betty

                Re: "A bigger hammer was employed" [...]

                Tapometer.

                Percussive maintenance.

            2. Dave Bell
              Mushroom

              Re: "A bigger hammer was employed" [...]

              This principle isn't quite a joke though the physics is subtle.

              Consider a spike being driven into a solid material. So much of the impact energy goes into elastic deformation, and sometimes into non-elastic deformation. A too-small hammer has insufficient percussive energy to actually drive the spike.

              Or, in layman's terms, do it right and the nail doesn't bend.

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Ah, yes

          "...cases that were just not fully formed, but with the worst, cheapest cases, the blanks of sheet metal had not been square in the former when the case was stamped. "

          The kind of case that left you bleeding from simply picking the device up? (I've run into those)

    2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: I need a cooling hammer!

      How do you work in IT and not have a blunt implement named Margaret (Although due to H&S rules Margaret now has a twin which is a foam bat)

      1. TomPhan

        Re: I need a cooling hammer!

        "How do you work in IT and not have a blunt implement named Margaret?"

        I wonder if there was ever an IT Alan?

        1. Andy A

          Re: I need a cooling hammer!

          At the mainframe site where I started work half a century ago, the site engineers had a claw hammer with the text "CPU REPAIR TOOL" cut into the handle.

          If there was ever an intermittent fault without obvious cause, the back panel was removed from the CPU, then the hammer was run along the exposed board edges. This reseated all the boards in seconds, and all was good for another couple of months.

      2. senrik1

        Re: I need a cooling hammer!

        Ours was a metal table leg from Ikea.

        we called it 'cluebringer'.

    3. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: I need a cooling hammer!

      "To go with the server mallet and network mace."

      And a master key for security-related tasks. Which completely coincidentally looks like a crowbar.

    4. swm Bronze badge

      Re: I need a cooling hammer!

      When I was working with laser printers the optics would get out of alignment and the tech reps were forbidden to touch the optics for safety reasons. We, in research, had no such compunctions and I regularly used what I referred to as an optical sledge hammer to knock things back into alignment.

      Being one of the designers helped a lot though.

  2. oldcoder

    I'm surprised it took that long.

    I was expecting them to "immerse in a glass of water" and plug it in.. glass and all.

    That way EVERYTHING would be stuffed...

    1. tony2heads
      Flame

      Water PAH

      Liquid Nitrogen! Let's suffocate everyone!

      Maybe more fun, liquid oxygen. BURN that titanium case

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      I don't think water will be enough as a drying cycle will call up the undead hardware again. You need add salt to ensure correct electrolytic exchange across the floating gate membranes.

  3. chivo243 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Seen this before

    ...with a usb interface half full of pocket lint." The other half is in the computer's usb slot.

    Buy a damn usb device with a cap! This is the 21st century?

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: Seen this before

      They probably did but lost it within seconds, its odd how its true how people actually still attempt to use Flash drives which clearly are broken and shouldn't even work. Its odd how I've had a few perfect looking ones just go belly up for no reason >_>

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seen this before

        Its odd how I've had a few perfect looking ones just go belly up for no reason

        Always remember that these things don't even support TRIM. Who knows what kind of wear and tear is being applied to the poor Flash drive?

      2. Myvekk

        Re: Seen this before

        Possibly also ESD damage. I had to do a training day on ElectroStatic Discharge and how it affects semiconductors, back when I was an avionics tech. They showed us electron microscope photographs of chips with ESD damage. It looked like the substrate had been impacted by meteorites!

        In some cases the craters took out half or three quarters of a track. Then you get a hot spot that slowly burns out over time. Followed by the exchange...

        Me, "What did you do to it?"

        Them, "Nothing! It just suddenly died!"

        Me, "What did you do to it 6 months ago?"

      3. tedleaf

        Re: Seen this before

        I used to be site gardener on a big it/com's site,I got to know the in house it admin and his crew (useful for advice and freebies,their hardware skip was amazingly productive!!)

        I was given written instructions that when on morning litter pick/site inspection to keep eyes open for Ian sticks etc and if found take them to only one guy in the it crew,it turned out their idiot co-employees kept "finding" Ian sticks etc in car parks etc and then just plugging into anything but their own machines to see what or who's data they had found,the it guy showed me the box that was half full of "compromised" sticks,some of which he reckoned did not contain the kind of malware etc that you would expect to pickt up from even the most "esoteric" porn site,he had a totally UN-connected bodge pc locked in a cupboard,which was used to check the sticks etc,he reckoned it must be one of the most badly infected machines he knew of,even though they used to flash a fresh image back to it every so often,and another box of sticks an bits the crew had removed from machines or folk and the state of some that folk had tried to plug in,usually having bin driven over a few times from the look of them !!

        He reckoned that folk trying things like that had made them so much extra work that they ignored orders not to and blocked every Ian port in they could find in the entire building of three big floors !!2500 + machines,they reckoned to get away with it by pointing out how much money/time would be saved not having to firefight their co-workers idiot behaviours...

  4. Small Furry Animal

    re: I'm surprised it took that long.

    @oldcoder, the BOFH noticed that there was at least an hour to go before beer-o'clock; he needed to while away the time by giving the Boss false hope before flattening it.

  5. Sir Sham Cad

    as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

    Wait, what? It isn't?

    Shit.

    And there's nothing wrong with my 128mb USB stick made out of indestructible military grade bakelite the size of a chocolate bar.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

      Antique? I have still got an 8" floppy disk lying around, with a whole 128 kB of storage (CP/M 2.0 from Digital Research is on it, according to the label).

      128MB USB stick antique! Youth these days

      Erm, .... has anybody got an 8" floppy drive with USB interface lying around?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

        @ Michael H.F. Wilkinson

        I have an 8" floppy but that's going nowhere near a USB socket.

        1. SolidSquid

          Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

          I hear you can get an external interface for that these days

          1. Dave Bell
            Coat

            Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

            The early USB floppies, at least, were an external interface between a standard 3.5 drive and the USB. And 5.25 floppies used an edge connector on the same ribbon cable as a 3.25 used. Dunno about an 8" floppy drive, and there's a power to wonder about too, but it doesn't sound impossible to get the drive connected via USB.

            If the Boss got started on it, some of the critical details could easily be insurmountable. I think USB floppies are a bit different now, for instance. But would he listen? And what does he want an 8" floppy for?

        2. Unicornpiss Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

          I don't have any 8" drives left. I do have a 5 1/4 that must have shrunk in the wash.

      2. PNGuinn
        Thumb Up

        Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

        Somewhere I've still got ... not sure what to call 'em ... magnetic "cards" the size of the old computer punch cards but plastic with a mag coating on. There were fed into a slot which swallowed them. made graunching noises as it read them and if you were lucky spat 'em out again. Part of an ancient word processor built into a large desk I acquired in my youth. Probably lots of someone's ancient data on 'em, but no way to read 'em now ....

        1. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

          magnetic "cards" the size of the old computer punch cards but plastic with a mag coating on

          What, Language Master? Can't say I've ever seen these used for computers, but I don't see why they shouldn't be.

          Which calculator was it that used teeny versions of these for program storage?

          An HP 65?

          M.

          1. Daniel B.

            Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

            TI-59 had the tiny versions. I had one.

            1. Number6

              Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

              I still have a 16MB USB stick. It is in a plastic case, not titanium, it is not bent and it still works. I think it cost me over a £/MB at the time.

              I've also still got a machine with a 5.25" drive on it that still works, having found some disks that fit it the other day and wondered what was on them.

              Oh, and a TI-58 calculator, baby brother of the TI-59 but without the card reader.

              1. Anonymous IV

                Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

                My oldest USB flash drive is a portly silvery-metal thing with a capacity of 28 MB.

                Not even a nominal 32 MB. Can anyone explain this?

          2. SPGoetze

            Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

            TI 59, IIRC...

      3. Valarian

        Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

        Yes - I have numerous 8" floppies, an 8" drive, and a Kryoflux.

      4. Alan W. Rateliff, II
        Paris Hilton

        Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

        8" drive with a KryoFlux should do for you. Getting the power supply sorted for an undocumented connector is fun, too.

        @Valarian -- beat me to it heheheh

      5. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

        I've got some 8" floppies formatted to V7 UNIX UFS standard from 1978 and 1979. We had to use them as overflow storage on a PDP11/34 when I was at university, because there was too little space on the RK07 drive packs!

        1. Dave 32

          Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

          Darned young whippersnappers. What's the use of having a memory device if you can't see the memory bits? So, I keep one of these things around:

          http://pw1.netcom.com/~wa4qal/core.jpg

          For you youngsters that don't recognize it, it's the magnetic core storage plane out of an IBM System/360 model 65 processor, vintage about 1965 or so. Should still have data in it (Probably OS/360).

          But, for when the electricity goes out, and you really need to do computing, I have this device to fall back to:

          http://pw1.netcom.com/~wa4qal/abacus.jpg

          Who says an IBM machine needs electricity to work?

          http://pw1.netcom.com/~wa4qal/abacusfr.jpg

          Dave

          P.S. I don't live totally in the stone-age. I have a USB flash key. I think it holds 16 MB. Oh, and I also have a stack of IBM 5081 devices (Google them if you dare!).

          1. Peter Simpson 1
            Coat

            Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

            Oh, and I also have a stack of IBM 5081 devices (Google them if you dare!).

            No need.

            Face down, 9 edge first.

            // shopping list in the right-hand pocket.

        2. Peter Simpson 1
          Thumb Up

          Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

          ...because there was too little space on the RK07 drive packs!

          I spent two summers in Westfield, Massachusetts, aligning heads and servo systems on the RK06 production line during my grad student days.

          RK07 was the double-density version of RK06. About 1977, IIRC.

      6. Colin Ritchie
        Windows

        Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

        I think I might have one of these lying around:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SuperDisk

        and a box of 10 Superdisks,120mb of mighty diskette for a whole 1GB of usable backup!

    2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

      Is it sat next to a pile of Sony magic gate sticks?

    3. Sid_the_Kid

      Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

      Somewhere in my bits and bobs collection, I've got one of these:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_flash_drive#/media/File:8mb_ibm_disk_on_key.jpg

      I won it in a competition back when they came out and it was *amazing* at the time - but I am easily pleased... ;-)

    4. harmjschoonhoven
      Coat

      Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

      Mine is the one with UNICODE, The Universal Telegraphic Phrase-Book, Cassell and Company, Ltd. London, Paris & Melbourne 1897 in the pocket.

      1. ben kendim

        Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

        What's all this magnetic stuff? Nothing beats the TTY & paper tape I have in the basement...

        The reassuring clackety clack that thing emanates when running at its glorious 110 baud can never be matched by any floppy...

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

          "The reassuring clackety clack that thing emanates when running at its glorious 110 baud"

          My old Creed model 7 ran at 45 baud - entirely mechanical with 2 solenoids for input, running on a 1/10 hp motor.

    5. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

      I think I have one of those 'titanium' USB sticks. It seems to be made from pot metal.

  6. TeeCee Gold badge
    Happy

    Too much effort. I'm surprised they didn't just suggest the old standard of leaving it in the freezer overnight. As in:

    "Catering have a walk-in unit, just take it in there, put it on a shelf somewhere and we'll come back tomorrow."

    SLAM.

    KER-CHUNK.

    Rattle.

    Pub O'clock and come back tomorrow as arranged.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Come on, it is a USB stick, not an Opel/Vauxhall radio for which you have lost the PIN :)

  7. Dave K Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Outstanding! It's been a good few episodes since I laughed out loud at a BOFH.

  8. storner
    Angel

    Not just the Boss'es that do this

    Had a similar experience only a couple of weeks ago. A matcbox-sized, USB-connected *harddisk* sporting a full 2.2 GB, bought at the Copenhagen equivalent of Tesco's went tits-up. Only one problem: It belonged to my SO, not the Boss ... so the usual BOFH remedies for "fixing" it could not be applied.

    Thanks to Linux and ddrescue, I managed to salvage the important bits.

    (Peltier elements?!? Nice ...)

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Not just the Boss'es that do this

      no , not just the bosses.

      I used to have this constantly with students toting floppy disks , and this was in an age when there was zero reason to use a floppy. There were home drives , email , even usb sticks.

      When i finaly confronted one of the "teachers" responsible and asked why they had their only copies of their data on floppies the reply was "its in the syllabus to use a floppy disk".

      Apparently giving all your data more than a 50% chance of survival wasnt on the syllabus.

      1. Number6

        Re: Not just the Boss'es that do this

        A good learning experience for the students on the perils of data loss.

        I know for my final year project I had the document on a floppy disk at home, one at work and used a third to transfer the file from one place to the other. Plus a hard copy print-out updated at intervals so I could at least type it all in again if necessary. I don't think I suffered any disk failures, presumably Murphy was too busy picking off the low-hanging fruit at that point.

  9. Jos V

    Cooling hammer

    I love that! It's how it will be known from now on. Now for my cable continuity tester (a.k.a. a wire cutter), and my soak testing station (aquarium).

    My colleagues, after a while, in a former job knew better than to come to me with stuff they "weren't sure of if it was broken." They always came away very sure it was (where hours spent "fixing" things cost more than a damn spare).

    1. PNGuinn

      Re: Cooling hammer

      Kids today!

      In MY day it was known as an AVO Calibrator.

      Google is your friend ...

      1. n0r0imusha

        Re: Cooling hammer

        if used on fleshware we call it the percussionary readjustment device

        apply it to their thinking appendage and they might start working in a satisfactory manner , or atleast shut up for a while

        1. Swarthy Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Cooling hammer on fleshware

          Ah, a fellow believer in Retro-phrenology.

    2. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: Cooling hammer

      When did I start cutting bad cables in half?

      When I had a boss who would say, "I saw it in the bin, and it still looked good, so I took it out" after testing the same cable a second time.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Cooling hammer

        "I saw it in the bin, and it still looked good, so I took it out"

        Usually after undoing the very tight knots in it (which were put there deliberately so you could tell not to use it)

        Yes. After that I made sure to always carry a sidecutter.

  10. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    Surprising how much thermal mass there is in the cool head of a hammer

    Love it.

    NB: A hammer is a perfectly acceptable tool for reprogramming. I have never encountered any device which, once reprogrammed with a hammer, arbitrarily changed it functionality any further.

    1. Dr. G. Freeman

      Re: Surprising how much thermal mass there is in the cool head of a hammer

      A hammer is a perfectly acceptable tool for fixing anything.

      1. Toltec

        Re: Surprising how much thermal mass there is in the cool head of a hammer

        "A hammer is a perfectly acceptable tool for fixing anything."

        While true I find that, when available, an angle grinder is often superior.

        1. mikecoppicegreen
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Surprising how much thermal mass there is in the cool head of a hammer

          My favourite tool is the Gas Axe - for just about every task - except cooling something. A great data protection device for old hard disks..........

          1. Unicornpiss Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: Surprising how much thermal mass there is in the cool head of a hammer

            But it's such a pain to get it to pair properly with the anvil..

            1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

              Re: Surprising how much thermal mass there is in the cool head of a hammer

              It's an entropy augmentator!

      2. Nick Ryan Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Surprising how much thermal mass there is in the cool head of a hammer

        All tools are hammers.

  11. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Lovely episode. I must say the line:

    "Well the only way we can cool it down quickly will be to bring it into contact with something cool with a dense thermal mass I guess,"

    had me expecting the boss ending up with burn marks on his forehead. The word "dense" must have triggered that mental image, but I suppose the world "cool" would argue against it.

    I do like the notion of a cooling hammer, and my 2.7 lb lump hammer I have lying around the office for demonstration purposes during certain computer vision lectures might be assigned a new role

  12. Rich 11 Silver badge

    +1 for...

    ...the Sabbath reference.

  13. WaveyDavey

    Tools

    I think I need to go down into the stock room and label the "Network Hammer" now.

  14. ZSn

    antique

    In the glass odds and ends jar on my desk is exactly that drive. A 1gb titanium cruzer. It still works (intermittently) - am I that boss?

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: antique

      I've got a 1Gb USB stick given to me by someone who received it as some sort of novelty promotional gimmick many years ago (it's in the shape of a miniature gold bullion bar). Still works, and is the ideal capacity for (minimalist) live Linux distros, albeit a bit slow as it's only USB 1.0 - it's got antiX 16 on it at the moment.

  15. earl grey Silver badge
    Pint

    Have one

    It's nearly weekend time

  16. Smilin' Stan
    Alert

    The only tool you'll ever need...

    In another industry, a hammer is referred to as a "Ford carburetor adjusting tool;" a sledge hammer is a "Ford electronic fuel injection calibrator."

    1. Oblivion62
      Headmaster

      Re: The only tool you'll ever need...

      I lived in Leicester, once. There, sledgehammers were often referred to as "Birmingham screwdrivers."

      I associate percussive maintenance most often with early 1990s Seagate hard disks. But then, I am also ancient enough to remember 8" 160k floppy disks, hard sectors and the days when you could resurrect lost files on CP/M disks with a disk sector editor called du.com.

      And sometimes a razorblade.

      For real precision work.

      Mind you don't slip.

      Oh crap. Pass me another trainee, Dave? Ta.

      1. Laura Kerr

        Birmingham screwdrivers...

        ... are known as Manchester screwdrivers on this side of t'Pennines.

    2. Marshalltown

      Re: The only tool you'll ever need...

      That's in GM shops, in Ford shops they're used on Chevrolets.

  17. Smilin' Stan

    Or, as the Romans were supposed to have said...

    "If it doesn't fit, get a bigger hammer."

    1. tfewster Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Or, as the Romans were supposed to have said...

      Plan B: Use a hammer

      Plan C: Use a sledgehammer

  18. Mark York 3 Silver badge
    Pint

    Vauxhall\Opel Radios

    Easy enough to read the code off of those things (still have the case & breadboard in the bowels of my garage) & a quick dump of the memory. The code itself is somewhere near the bottom IIRC.

  19. TomPhan

    reversed the polarity

    Shirley should be "reversed the polarity of the neutron flow"

  20. Borg.King

    Pint of milk . . .

    Was the de-rigueur addition for cooling and supporting the 16K ZX81 RAM pack. Surprised that did not get a mention.

  21. Mookster
    Boffin

    It's now a hammer, it's a Russian Screwdriver

    In our part of the world the "russian screwdriver" is indispensible

  22. gnufrontier

    Interchangeable part

    These little BOFH writings are obviously fantasy. Any boss worth his salt in America would simply point you to the exit not because you couldn't retrieve the data but because you have an inflated sense of your own worth. Snarky geeks are a dime a dozen, cheaper than the USB stick. This being an English site however it is probably the case that both the boss and you are government employees and so immune to the harsh realities of economic warfare amid the resurgence of the American gilded age.

    1. DocJames

      Re: Interchangeable part

      gnufrontier: Poe's law?

      I genuinely can't tell!

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken
      Holmes

      Re: Interchangeable part

      "These little BOFH writings are obviously fantasy."

      See icon.

    3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Trollface

      Make my BOFH great again!

      the resurgence of the American gilded age

      Obvious fantasy as the great expansion into the plains is over. Clearly the writer is overegging the pudding.

  23. imanidiot Silver badge

    I suspect the boss will soon follow

    The boss might find himself stuffed soon too. Into a roll of carpet, in the back of a white panel van, next to a sack of lime and a shovel.

  24. HieronymusBloggs

    If only...

    ...the Boss had the right file system, his data might have survived:

    https://www.dragonflybsd.org/hammer/

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Titanium

    It's not a very good heat conductor by metal standards. If you really needed to do this in the real world it might be better to get the case off and then submerge the innards, all except the USB port (on a cable, obviously) in a jar of isopropyl alcohol, propylene glycol or if unobtainable vodka.

    I'm not guaranteeing this approach but I do have one of those titanium USB sticks, it did get very hot, and it was subjected to the glycol treatment long enough to get the important file off uncorrupted. YMMV.

  26. kain preacher Silver badge

    I want this .

    http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/10/usb-killer-flash-drive-can-fry-your-computers-innards-in-seconds/

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Just the thing to "forget" on your Boss' desk...

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I prefer the EtherKiller.

    Somebody actually rigged a RJ45 port to feed raw 220V into the Ethernet port. There is also a version for IDE interfaces. So simple, so lethal... so beautiful. Like a sledgehammer applied to the back of one's hand caught stealing in the Blackjack table at Las Vegas.

    Things of beauty. Raw, unadulterated justice to the luser that keeps demanding free repairs and maintenance.

    http://etherkiller.org/img/etherkiller.jpg

    http://www.fiftythree.org/etherkiller/img/idekiller.jpg

    1. Simon Blakely

      Re: I prefer the EtherKiller.

      That was the BOFH ...

      http://www.plig.net/bofh/lastbastard.html

      "I blame the Ethernet Isolation specs. 3KV my backside!"

  28. Anonymous Prime
    Flame

    Peltier CPU cooler

    My first "Mac"-- a Radius 81/110 (back from those brief days when Apple allowed a couple of companies to make Mac clones) had a Peltier device on its CPU. Can't imagine why that didn't catch on.

    (well, besides that whole makes-more-heat-than-it-removes issue.)

  29. Paul Woodhouse

    Since when did an IT professional use the word "Stuffed", the far more correct word in British English is of course "Fucked", "Knackered" would possibly be used if people of delicate disposition like most Americans were present.

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