In the beginning...
In January 1997, while working as a Systems Administrator for the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, I came up with the idea of doing a spoof of the monologue from the start of the film Trainspotting, with the words changed to have a BOFHish theme.
Knowing this, Bethany, my girlfriend at that time, bought me a copy of the Trainspotting poster, and so on 28th January 1997, Adminspotting was born.
Post and be damned
Newsgroups: alt.sysadmin.recovery Subject: ADMINSPOTTING Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> From: email@example.com (Gary Barnes) Date: 28 Jan 1997 14:49:18 -0000 Organization: Ripoffs R Us X-No-Archive: Yes Choose no life. Choose sysadminning. Choose no career. ***** Choose no family. Choose a fucking big computer, choose hard * * disks the size of washing machines, old cars, CD ROM writers * A * and electrical coffee makers. Choose no sleep, high caffeine * D * and mental insurance. Choose fixed interest car loans. Choose * M * a rented shoebox. Choose no friends. Choose black jeans and * I * matching combat boots. Choose a swivel chair for your office * N * in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose NNTP and wondering why * S * the fuck you're logged on on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting * P * in that chair looking at mind-numbing, spirit-crushing web * O * sites, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose * T * rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last on some * T * miserable newsgroup, nothing more than an embarrassment to * I * the selfish, fucked up lusers Gates spawned to replace the * N * computer-literate. * G * Choose your future. * * Choose sysadmining. ***** Gaz  It might fuck you up a little less than heroin.  ObFootnote. -- /\./\ firstname.lastname@example.org (Gary "Wolf" Barnes) ( - - ) "Do not ask any lady to take wine, until you \ " / see she has finished her fish or soup." ~~~ - Hints on Etiquette and the Usages of Society
Within a couple of weeks Jonathan H N Chin, with help from peeps on the ASRLon mailing list, improved the wording somewhat, mainly by removing my admining/sysadminning clumsiness, and offered it as a T-shirt design.
The T-shirt proved a major success, becoming the must-have item of clothing for the Busy BOFH. The spoof was redistributed widely, even at one point appearing in a sanitised version (whoever wrote that really missed the fucking point).
More recently, Adminspotting's been Slashdotted three times (19980915, 19990301, 19990630), and I shamelessly got NTK to mention this site in the run up to my T-shirt print run in mid-2000.
May 2001 saw contracts signed to allow the aforementioned NTK to produce Adminspotting T-Shirts under licence.
I sent the BOFH one, and it was mentioned in BOFH: Cardiac Arrest or Cancer?
May 2005 saw the licence expire. Dave Green of NTK didn't pay Jonathan's nominated charity or me for the last quarter's sales. T-Shirts are no longer available.
It's over ten years since I posted the original Adminspotting spoof, and I still read references to it. I never imagined that it'd prove that popular when I first posted it, but I'm proud that it has.
An earlier spoof by me was ``The Tank Girl Guide To Sysadminning''.
Pictures of several Google StreetView cars at rest.
I'd again like to thank Jonathan and the ASRLon contributors for making me more notorious.Updated: 4th July 2011 email@example.com