back to article Shift-work: Keyboards heaped in a field push North Yorks council's fly-tipping buttons

A cache of keyboards has been dumped in a field in North Yorkshire, England, leading to speculation that the person responsible for Deleting them from the face of the Earth didn't want to put in another Shift. The local authority with Ctrl over the Space where the plastic word-pianos were fly-tipped, Craven District Council, …

  1. }{amis}{ Silver badge
    Pint

    ARRRG the Punnage!

    Have one of these =>

    1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: ARRRG the Punnage!

      Yes, just like El Reg to "Insert" puns in to any random article. A "return" to form, you might say. If they keep it you, we all may well end up seeing *'s!

      </coat>

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: ARRRG the Punnage!

        Guys I really think we need to take a Pause/Break. We can't just keep dropping puns on this Page Down here. Someone might End up getting fed up and go Home.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: ARRRG the Punnage!

          If all the keyboards are removed, the next time the field is re-booted, will the crop grow in the form of an error message? Keyboard missing. Press F1 to continue.

        2. paulf Silver badge
          Alert

          Re: ARRRG the Punnage!

          I have a SUN keyboard on my Win box so I'm going to use "Stop" then "Help" to recover from all the Punnage.

        3. steviebuk Silver badge

          Re: ARRRG the Punnage!

          Or RETURN another day.

        4. fobobob

          Re: ARRRG the Punnage!

          These are the puns I was expecting... I guess they left some for us all to enjoy :) They've probably all been used by now, but hey, who's keeping Tabs?

  2. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Joke

    Identifying the original owners...

    There's bound to be a password still stuck to the bottom of one or two of them - just publicise and see if anyone recognises 'their' password.

    1. IDoNotThinkSo
      Holmes

      Re: Identifying the original owners...

      Password123?

      That's mine!

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Identifying the original owners...

        Mine's Password123, and so's my wife's.

        1. mosw

          Re: Identifying the original owners...

          "Mine's Password123, and so's my wife's."

          Are you sure you're not confusing a password with a safe word?

      2. Adam 1 Silver badge

        Re: Identifying the original owners...

        No. I'm Password123

    2. mosw

      Re: Identifying the original owners...

      Just look for the Fn Ctrl freaks.

  3. chivo243 Silver badge
    Windows

    Just google a few serial numbers

    and off you go... Note to self, remove or obscure all serial numbers on old keyboards, wink, nudge!

    1. Ragarath

      Re: Just google a few serial numbers

      Or as this is obviously a business due to the amount. Just pay the few quid it costs to have it disposed of properly.

      On the other hand all Councils now actively encourage fly tipping IMO because they charge twice. First in your tax and then when you take stuff to the tip. Reap what you sow and all that.

      1. dave 81

        Re: Just google a few serial numbers

        If only Gordon Brown hadn't spent all the money during is 13 year reign, the councils would not be squeezed for funds.

        1. YetAnotherLocksmith

          Re: Just google a few serial numbers

          If only, after 8 years of cuts,the central government idiots could figure out that taking 20% off the top each time means there's f all left in the council's budgets. And no police to catch the fly tippers either.

          That you're still blaming a government that left the national debt in far better condition than it is right now, 2 (3?) general elections later, tells us something important about your ability with a budget.

  4. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Give ‘em a swipe with the alternative light source and see if anyone wrote “Property of Widdling Town Council” on anybof them in Dr Who Invisible Secret ink.

  5. Thoguht Silver badge

    Shifting old keyboards?

    Sounds like a job for Del boy.

    1. Crisp Silver badge

      Re: Shifting old keyboards?

      He probably wouldn't have the space.

      The shady characters that dumped them have no self-Ctrl.

    2. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: Shifting old keyboards?

      I'm pretty sure that even old keyboards have specific buttons when you want to shift them.

    3. Dave559 Bronze badge

      Re: Del Boy

      You should deserve an extra upvote for double punnery there!

  6. The Original Steve

    Possibly the best article I've read on El Reg

    See title

  7. Spanners Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Examine them

    How many?

    Are they all the same type?

    What make?

    Standard KB or with extras? (EG mine has a smartcard reader)

    Anything other than food under the keys? Such as brick dust, fibres, plant bits and so on.

    The crud in there says a lot about the user...

    1. DJV Silver badge

      Re: Examine them

      The crud in there says a lot about the user...

      ...and so would the inevitable DNA that's very likely to be present as well.

      1. DavCrav Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Examine them

        "and so would the inevitable DNA that's very likely to be present as well."

        That'll be helpful if the keyboards come from the local prison, but most people's DNA isn't on file with the authorities at the moment. This isn't Iceland, for God's sake.

      2. mark 120

        Re: Examine them

        No use to anyone though. If the keyboards are second hand, it only tells you who used them at some point in the past, not who dumped them. Even then, it only identifies that pool if their DNA is already on file, unless you're going to have a dragnet and sample everybody with at least one arm within 50 miles of Craven

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Examine them

      You missed this icon -->

  8. Warm Braw Silver badge

    I’m sure there’s a Fn + key combination that will help clear that

    See what happens when you press "Home"...

  9. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    Some white ones visible on the pictures

    I wonder if there is an original IBM keyboard somewhere among this scrap.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: Some white ones visible on the pictures

      The white ones I see have curved sides or rounded corners, so no worthwhile IBM keyboards.

      There's one with colour-coded keycaps, which looks to be a bit special.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Some white ones visible on the pictures

        Nobody is going to fly tip IBM model M's. Firstly, the resale value is so high that only an idiot would do it.

        Secondly, anybody trying to lift a stack of them would have collapsed with a hernia. The Model M is not exactly what you might call lightweight.

        1. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: Some white ones visible on the pictures

          The Model M is not the only worthwhile IBM keyboard. They all share the same characteristics though: clicky, heavy and robust. Bash some luser's head in and just run it through the dishwasher before using again robust.

          They also had some very average plasticy spongy ones that came with the PS/2s and such.

        2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

          Re: Some white ones visible on the pictures

          The model M should be the litteral weapon of choice for any self respecting techy.. though I remember Dell did a close running second for a while.

        3. Luiz Abdala
          Joke

          Re: Some white ones visible on the pictures

          In fact, if a single Model M had been dumped by mistake, it could be used to recycle the Apple ones quite easily. And type the report of the proper recycling afterwards.

          Like a hammer among nails.

          With a Brazzers logo on the corner.

        4. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Some white ones visible on the pictures

          Nobody is going to fly tip IBM model M's. Firstly, the resale value is so high that only an idiot would do it.

          I got my model-m from keyboardco.com ~10 years ago for £24. If you want one now (I spilt sugary milky tea over mine, and it never properly cleaned, even after going through the dishwasher, hard to use it without R,D,F or G), you're looking for easily £100 - more if its a proper one made in the 80s (the late 90s one are _definitely_ not as good).

          Bought a daskeyboard 4 to replace it, also cost ~£100, nowhere near as good (keys keep repeating).

      2. }{amis}{ Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Some white ones visible on the pictures

        I'm going to guess this lot came from somewhere that has some form of teaching going on the colorful one in the pic looks like the type they use to teach touch typing in schools like : LessonBoard

        My bet would be on a local collage or maby prison had a refit done and somebody skimped on the disposal costs.

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          Re: Some white ones visible on the pictures

          Its only one though, lots of HP Microsoft and Dell keyboards in there. So basically it can come from any office in the UK.

  10. Josco

    V.amusing but...

    There's a cost here in removing them for proper disposal, this cost has now passed to me through the taxes I pay.

    1. Hero Protagonist

      Re: V.amusing but...

      Yes, we must put an End to this practice. Can Any thing be done?

      (What, your keyboard doesn’t have an Any key?)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: V.amusing but...

        NEVER explain the joke.

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: V.amusing but...

          (What, your keyboard doesn’t have an Any key?)

          As you should explain to any user having trouble with this, the "any" key is the large unmarked key in the middle of the bottom row, also known as the "space" key.

          This has the positive effect of the user ending the call happy with IT, and thinking that they have learned something few other people know. They then spread that around with their friends, which as people tend to hang out with similar people tends to eliminate calls from their social circle too.

          It also has a slight chance that it might come out in the pub with their friends that they called the IT department asking which key was the "any key", leading to their friends saying to them what we want to say.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: V.amusing but...

            "the "any" key is the large unmarked key in the middle of the bottom row"

            Actually, the Any key is usually on the underside of the keybr0ad. Don't believe me? Next time you see that message, take a look! I'll bet you a nickle you will have pressed it.

            1. Toni the terrible
              Coffee/keyboard

              Re: V.amusing but...

              I can't believe that this joke has continued for so many years; a bit like the idea of typists putting correction fluid on their monitors or like tartan paint and buckets of sparks.

              However, there is often a 'reset' on the bottom of laptops - so I looked at the base of my PC's Redragon keyboard, much against my common sense, and of course found nothing. My laptop hoowever has several things to press on its underside, so.....

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: V.amusing but...

      "There's a cost here in removing them for proper disposal, this cost has now passed to me through the taxes I pay."

      Sort of. Shoving them in the back of a Council van is quick, and surely WEEE directives still apply, so the manufacturer is responsible. Or does that only apply to consumers?

    3. DougS Silver badge
      Trollface

      Perhaps

      They were dumped in a field one town over, and the people that found them didn't want to end up paying for disposal in their taxes so they re-dumped them in your town?

      1. Kernel

        Re: Perhaps

        "They were dumped in a field one town over, and the people that found them didn't want to end up paying for disposal in their taxes so they re-dumped them in your town?"

        I believe there is precedent for this , dating back to the 11th century.

        The Norman invaders of England, in an attempt to reduce the numbers of dead Normans blotting the landscape, apparently passed a law that, in theory at least, would result in a significant fine for the Saxon village nearest to said dead Norman.

        I have read that what was actually achieved was a lot of late night re-dumping of dead Normans on some other villages patch in an attempt to mitigate the cost to the local taxpayers.

  11. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    simples - query word piano dealers to see if somebody recently ordered a shedload of new word pianos.

    On second thoughts, could be the local BOFH getting rid of those word pianos in order to install a lager disposal unit (aka bar) in the basement.

  12. Dippywood

    Missed one!

    Upon Cursor-y examination...

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Missed one!

      Maybe they could Insert that at the End?

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Missed one!

        Someone was just having a clear out to get backspace.

        1. FrogsAndChips Bronze badge

          Re: Missed one!

          Will the culprits incur CAPital punishment for this crime?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Missed one!

            CAPSital punishment, shurely?

  13. doublelayer Silver badge

    Why

    How difficult is it to recycle keyboards? It would seem that these would be relatively easy to drop off at a recycling center. If you really want to violate the law, they'd also be really easy to drop illegally in a convenient trash bin. These aren't those massive printer/scanner monstrosities that probably require fork lifts just to get to the recycling center; at least that would make sense as a thing left in a field.

    I have a lead. Look for the laziest lawbreakers available. It's probably them.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Why

      Drop them off at the local "mixing-the-bins-together centre"? Are you mad?

      That would require a fee.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Why

        You can't take business waste to your local recycling centre, you have to pay. I work from home, but still remove all company related address labels before anything goes in the bin or for recycling. Otherwise there are some nasty fines.

        Sadly, when the government introduces business charges for disposal of waste, they haven't got the sense to realise that it just increases fly tipping.

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: Why

          You can't take business waste to your local recycling centre, you have to pay.

          True. I took some rubbish to my local centre last week. They happily accepted the remains of two flat pack wardrobes, and metal frames from deck chairs but wanted to charge me £2 for two broken slats from a garden fence.

          So I took the slats back home and put them in my general waste bin. Hey ho.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Why

            "wanted to charge me £2 for two broken slats from a garden fence."

            Were they pressure treated wood? That would be hazmat.

            "So I took the slats back home and put them in my general waste bin."

            Illegal disposal of hazmat can be a far heftier fine than two quid.

            1. AndrueC Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: Why

              I don't know if they were pressure treated as they were very old (might have been from previous property owner for all I know) but they probably were. I would never put them in the recycling bin but I had no idea they were classed as hazardous material. Turns out they are. Thank you for pointing that out.

              1. jake Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: Why

                One of a zillion things that you learn as you renovate other people's mistakes used property. Have one on me. It helps sometimes.

            2. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            Re: Why

            "but wanted to charge me £2 for two broken slats from a garden fence."

            It never ceases to amaze me what will come out of the mouths of the cavemen working there based on there interpretation of the batshit crazy rules the council have written down for them.

            wtf is trade waste? if i get a builder in to fit a new sink , and he takes it away - he will have to pay

            If i fit my own new sink and take old one to tip - will i have to pay?

            What about if the builder fits the sink , but asks me to dispose of my own old sink?

            And why are they charging to receive all this valuable hardcore anyway?

            1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

              Re: What about if the builder fits the sink

              I'm not sure about sinks, but if it was a toilet being disposed of then it should fall under the WEEE directive.

  14. .tiln
    Pint

    Superbly minted and crafted puns oh my.

    Hello Rebecca,

    My sincere thanks for minting such a joyous kludge of puns. In this spastic world you made my day. Also, you owe me a slightly used keyboard.

    Takk,

    Maerc

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Superbly minted and crafted puns oh my.

      Also, you owe me a slightly used keyboard.

      Takk,

      Maerc

      The article points out where you can find a large pile of keyboards...

  15. Coofer Cat

    I'm sure there's a way to get QWERkY into this...

  16. BigSLitleP
    Holmes

    Smoking jacket and pipe time....

    So on closer inspection, most of them are the dell / hp keyboards that tend to come with new PCs. You're looking for a decent sized company that has access to vans in the local area, not too far as they are obviously pretty lazy and know the local area. They will almost certainly have had a rollout of new computers recently.

    Quick google maps check: There is a Tarmac site not far south of the drop off area. Anybody want to give them a call and see if they've recently had some new IT kit delivered.....?

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Re: Smoking jacket and pipe time....

      Yeah, it looks like the cops should be keeping TABs on that lot.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Smoking jacket and pipe time....

      "Quick google maps check: There is a Tarmac site not far south of the drop off area. Anybody want to give them a call and see if they've recently had some new IT kit delivered.....?"

      If they've been anywhere near a Tarmac site they would be seized solid. I worked with some guys contracted to service some comms kit for Tarmac. Inevitably the kit got located under a conveyor belt carrying the dry cement mix, the fans hoovered up the dust and after a damp spell the fans seized and the kit died of heatstroke. The kit couldn't be repaired, it was now just another piece of reinforced concrete, so it got replaced. The guy who negotiated the contract had got his bonus and was not interested in telling them to be a little more careful with the kit and all that could be done was to bill them full price of the replacement plus the engineer's time at 'dirty rate' plus a hefty 'handling fee' for disposal... until finally someone at Tarmac queried the large bills and terminated the contract (hooray!)

  17. MJI Silver badge

    What sort?

    Those horrible new ones with horrible keys and too small.

    Or proper older easier to use ones.

    1. WallMeerkat Bronze badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: What sort?

      Horrible new keyboards.

      The sort that corporate types expect people to try and actually use.

      (Usually you can BYOK, but some places are worried about keyloggers and the sorts and insist you use their equipment.)

      Where did it all go wrong? Up until about the mid-late 90s keyboards were a joy to use, then they became spongy low keyed horrible to use. My theory is that the old keyboards were designed for typists, with long key travel and feedback, but modern ones are designed for people that have never used a typewriter and think that crappy keyboards are normal.

      1. Ol'Peculier

        Re: What sort?

        This is very true. I work with somebody that thinks his Apple keyboard, which is about the size of two beer mats, is far superior to anything else. Unfortunately, he's never had the fortune to use a Model M or similar.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This sounds like it is of a pressing concern.

  19. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Put them on eBay

    There'll be a buyer, council makes some money.

    Unless form 4412-B needs to be filled in in triplicate and there's no designated product code for this, of course.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Unless form 4412-B needs to be filled in in triplicate

      "And here's your receipt for our receipt"

  20. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge
    Pint

    "I’m sure there’s a Fn + key combination that will help"

    Well, the Council is asking the public for F1...

    The Vulture hacks had to Pause and Home in on it to Insert this into the article, but they didn't...

    A pint for the fun story, in any case.

  21. royprime

    Stuck keys?

    Looks like laggy software to me, CTRL + C and then CTRL + V hammered a few hundred times.

  22. The First Dave

    Even a keyboard typically has a serial number - the manufacturer may be able to point the finger if enough of them match.

  23. David Pearce

    Business computer keyboards often have asset record numbers stuck on them by the finance people. They just love asking worthless things like a three year old keyboard during internal audits.

  24. TRT Silver badge

    If they aren't too badly damaged...

    they may FUNCTION again.

  25. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Coat

    Fingering the suspects

    It's a shame there's no way to obtain any fingerprints which might help the plod determine where they'd come from.

    1. TRT Silver badge
  26. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    At least ...

    they had the balls to dump them in a field.

    When they nicked our Commodore Pets years ago it was only a few days before the gits tipped them back on our doorstep! :-)

  27. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Police are looking for a Shifty Character

    Tut tut. You lot's reputation is slipping. Loads of puns but you've missed this one..

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. Efer Brick

    Someone needs to take a Pause/Break

  30. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    Not surprising

    There was quite a decent programme on Radio 4 last Sunday about waste crime. It's easy to look legit and provide the relevant paperwork, then just dump the waste in the countryside.

    Should be able to at least trace the origin of the keyboards as there is the colour coded one there. The disposal company have probably long gone..

  31. AIBailey

    Won't someone take Ctrl of this thread, (Num) Lock the comments and put a stop to (or at least Pause) these jokes? It's almost the End of the day and I want to Esc the office and Return Home.

  32. Alister Silver badge

    Craven District Council

    Wouldn't it be funny if the keyboards turned out to be from the Council Offices...

    1. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Re: Craven District Council

      Would it kill ElReg to be more specific? I mean, there are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of craven councils in the world. I can think of three within 32kM of me, and I'm not even in the U.K.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Craven District Council

        From the article, it's in North Yorkshire. That should narrow it down a bit. If not, try this "dumped at the side of the B6479 between Horton In Ribblesdale and Selside.", also from the article. (B6479 is a road number, Google maps should locate it for you, especially given the two village name)

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: Craven District Council

          @John Brown

          Whoooooosh!

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Craven District Council

            Oh, riiiight! I just spotted he said "craven", not Craven. Well done that man :-)

  33. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge
    Holmes

    Scroll-lock Homes

    ...would he have deduced these are from some ancient installation, and why?

    Well, if you're going to replace the keyboard you will probably get a new mouse too. So there is either a similar infestation of mice somewhere, or this is a dump of dumb terminal keyboards or rentokit have disposed of the mice.

    If they were from dumb terminals then it is quite appropriate that they should end up filling a field.

  34. Colonel Mad

    Cor, that was funny!

  35. The Nazz Silver badge

    Late to the party, as ever ...

    but, if i'd been the one having a dump in the field, i'd also have had a Slash at the same time. A forward slash is recommended, unless it's into a headwind.

    Anyways, where are the 28 8x10 Glossy colour photographs,with circles and arrows and a paragraph written on the back of each one?

    1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: Late to the party, as ever ...

      Make sure the headwind isn't too strong else you'll need to keep your capslocked on.

      =-D

      *Runs like hell*

  36. jake Silver badge

    Day late, but what the hell ...

    My sys req(uests) that you lot carry on.

  37. Arachnoid

    Quite wicked electronic tipping Yobos

    Damn vandals often ruin areas ,knuckleheads.Needs extra observation, criminals often leave evidence, maybe a klue.

  38. Making Bacon
    Coffee/keyboard

    Mines the one ...

    With the multi-coloured keytops!

  39. Vinyl-Junkie
    WTF?

    It might just be...

    ...extremely poor resolution on the cameraphone that took the picture, but I can't see a single cable coming out the back of any of those keyboards! If that is the case then either it's a very large load of wireless keyboards (unlikely!) or whoever disposed of them carefully cut off all the cables first. In which case: WTF?

    1. harmjschoonhoven
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: It might just be...

      Obvious: All the cables cut from the keyboards were used to knit a body armour vest.

    2. OldCrow

      Re: It might just be...

      The cables were sold. Thin margins in the recycling business.

      The cords can be re-headed. The result is a USB A-to-Micro-C charging cable.

      There's a few shops in China that do this.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: It might just be...

        Likewise, it might be worth it just for the copper,

  40. Herring`

    Fly tipping

    Is much harder than cow tipping.

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: Fly tipping

      But boat tipping tops them all... especially if it comes complete with a captain's log.

  41. Geekpride
    Joke

    How were they dumped?

    It's safe to assume they were taken to that location in some kind of vehicle, but did they stop and open a door or just push them out the Windows?

    Sadly, even if the culprits are caught, the law won't allow an attempt to Insert the dumped items rectally.

  42. Dabooka Silver badge

    Top punnage

    That mutli coloured keyed keyboard front and centre has got be a clue for someone surely. Hopefully someone will recognise it and tip off the rozzers

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are they

    IBM Model F? If so, I'll come and get them

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