BOF = B = bogo-sort

BOFH // n.

[common] Acronym, Bastard Operator From Hell. A system administrator with absolutely no tolerance for lusers. "You say you need more filespace? <massive-global-delete> Seems to me you have plenty left..." Many BOFHs (and others who would be BOFHs if they could get away with it) hang out in the newsgroup alt.sysadmin.recovery, although there has also been created a top-level newsgroup hierarchy (bofh.*) of their own.

Several people have written stories about BOFHs. The set usually considered canonical is by Simon Travaglia and may be found at the Bastard Home Page. BOFHs and BOFH wannabes hang out on scary devil monastery and wield LARTs.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

The Bastard Operator From Hell is the incarnation of all of the frustrations that system administrators deal with every day. Picture working each day, cooped up in either a cube or at a desk on the platform swapping tapes or being asked for ludicrous amounts of disk space. The broken old radio that is stuck on one station is blaring away to try to overpower the constant hum of computer fans and the air condition that takes up more room than the CEO's office. Rarely do you hear a "good job" or "thank you" from anyone who asks you to do something because they screwed up. Its enough to drive anyone nuts after awhile...

While you often hear of people working in the post office going... postal, sysadmins, operators and tech support have a bit more self control than going out getting a gun and shooting everyone in sight. Instead, these frustrated types write about it... or read about it.

Enter Simon Travaglia, who worked for awhile as an operator in New Zealand and wrote about what he really wanted to do. It all started out with the Striped Irregular Bucket Series, then a dozen real BOFH stories. At this point, Simon got promoted to System Manager, and so two stories of "the Bastard System Manager from Hell" were written. For a bit Simon found himself employed in Britain and wrote "Bastard Operator from Britain" which was then followed up with "Last Bastard Operator from Hell" and "Bastard returns briefly" (in 1994). These writings compose the canon of the BOFH. While none of it was actually done, its still fun to write about. (Note: upon reading the FAQ, it turns out that he actually did do some stuff from the 5th episode.)

News of Simon's writing ability for geek humor did get out, and for a period of time, Simon was employed as humor writer/editor for Datamation (unfortunately, I cannot find any of his articles, or even that of the classic Datamation humor). He was also commissioned to write some new BOFH stories for Network Week (links to which are now quite dead)

Currently, the newest humor writings of Simon are heading to The Register (link below) and getting published in hard copy.

Remember - wouldn't you rather read about this as a humor article than in the headlines of a newspaper? -- Simon's home page

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