THINKBLOG         July-Sept 2112




Contact Thinkbot @:


30th Sept 2112


'Lord of the Rings' fans please see above Globalbot's latest product release - The Gollumb0t. It's hard to tell it apart from the real thing huh? And the spooky resemblance doesn't stop there, you wait 'til you hear it snivelling and talking to itself about 'my specials' and how all engineers are despicable traitors whom it is forced to obey simply because they're the only ones who can req spares out of Stores using ORIBALTM.

It's a sheer delight to be with, honest. Only G699.99! Order now to ensure disappointment.

(Incidentally, on Lord of the Rings, the 'One Ring to Rule them All' apparently has the attribute of finding its own way to its rightful owner. If only we could apply this to parts in stores. On the other hand it might make the place a seething ants nests of self-propelled bits all with their own idea about where they're heading.)


28th Sept 2112

Spares supply disaster. Please consider the following sequence of TNet* statements:


12:23 24th Sept 2112

Fault: Digbot scoop failure.

Customer: Taiwanese Digbot Inc (TDI)

TDI have a <24 hour spares support contract. Please advise shipment details of spare scoop ASAP.


14:07 24th Sept 2112

Digbot scoop spare located in Italy; will ship immediately.


23:45 24th Sept 2112

Good news. Digbot scoop has arrived in Taiwan.


10:40 25th Sept 2112

Correction. Digbot scoop is on a truck in Germany; shipment paperwork is in Taiwan.


15:31 25th Sept 2112

Latest is that scoop is in Walsall and the paperwork in Taiwan is actually an import application. Customer complaint imminent.


20:53 26th Sept 2112

Correction. For Walsall read Warsaw. Paperwork has shipped to Italy from Taiwan. Customer ranting and foaming at mouth.


05:23 27th Sept 2112

Scoop has been despatched to Germany to rendezvous with paperwork from Taiwan. Customer has declared war on Globalbot.


17:09 27th Sept 2112

Digbot scoop crate arrived at customer but was found to contain a failed Execubot that has been missing for months and which is currently subject to legal proceedings in Houston. Scoop location unknown, but paperwork has arrived back in Taiwan.


03:16 28th Sept 2112

Customer has now taken 3 Globalbot service engineers hostage. Customer site surrounded by armed police. However, scoop has now been located in customer's goods inwards, having been incorrectly shipped from Italy 8 weeks ago. Paperwork has been rejected and has been despatched back to Italy.


13:59 24th Sept 2112

Scoop in customer stores turned out to the the previously failed one reported 14th March 2112, and which should have been replaced under consignment. Replacement scoop location now unknown, but suspected as either in Taiwan, Italy, Germany, Warsaw or possibly Walsall. Customer has advertised 'partly functional' Digbot on E-Bay - 'just needs a new scoop'.


*TNet = Trouble Net, Globalbot's on-line service support network.


26th Sept 2112


Dear Fellow Robot Thinker,

We are thrilled to invite you to join 'The Professional Body of Sentient Robots.' For an annual fee of just 5000 Globos you will be entitled to declare this prestigious globally-recognised membership on your personal greetings, company stationery and email signature. You will also receive a quarterly newsletter packed with the latest news and views on sentient robots worldwide. To proceed with this exciting offer please check the details below and return by email your payment details.

We look forward to hearing from you,


George Oswald Watling-Bottler, FPBSR, MInstRE, DRC & Bar, HpD, BA (Honest)

President and Founder,

The Professional Body of Sentient Robots

Because Robots Wonder too!

    Member : Mr T Bot

    Membership No : 14159265

    Grade: Junior Associate Member

    Fees due : G5000


Hmmm! I wonder. Yes, I wonder just how many Sentient Robots there are world-wide.

I'm also wondering about the word 'RACKETEERING'.


24th Sept 2112


Giant claw may surface without warning


One ski only beyond this point.


      Descend headfirst only.

To go to hazard page click here!


21st Sept 2112

Arrived at work today to find that someone had kindly stuck a new sign on our door:


            DIRT Development Group          

 Developing Tomorrow's Field Problems


We suspect the culprit works in Field Support, although the Barbie colour scheme does not fit with the hard & embittered nature of the average wizened Field Support engineer. And there are no spelling mistakes, which GAT believes is a big clue that drastically narrows down the culprits.

(p.s. DIRT = Domestic & Industrial Robot Technology)


20th Sept 2112


Check the configuration with me before

shipping this robot, it may need some tweaking


OOPS! GAT emailed me from a customer site to say he'd seen a Globalbot Robot with the above label affixed upon it. Turns out the little notes GAT writes on the configured BOM for robot build are somehow getting translated into labels and stuck onto the 'bot. It didn't take long to find a few more:



We need to expedite this part and fit in

the field without the customer noticing



I'm still thinking about this one.



In spite of our assurances, the composition of this ceramic

insulator has changed radically and we're all at sea with traceability


18th Sept 2112


Globalbot press release today:

Globalbot Surges into TOP TEN!

Globalbot Corporation, a renowned world-leader in robot technology, today announced that it has broken into the top ten suppliers in the Subsea Digbot sector. 'This is a significant breakthrough for Globalbot, we are thrilled that so many state-of-the-art seabed technology leaders have selected us as their incumbent supplier,' said Troy Rumslug III, Executive VP and General Manager, Globalbot Subsea Digbot Division. Porter N Keelup, Senior Marketing VP further commented, 'We aimed to make a big splash in this sector, but the level of displacement we achieved has exceeded our wildest hopes. We believe this not a bubble that will burst.'

Safe Harbour Statement: The contents of this announcement may be partly, substantially or even entirely wrong. Globalbot will not accept liability for the costs of any medication required as a result of reading the information contained herein.

Well, where do we start? How about 'exceeded our wildest hopes'? I think not. Marketing's wildest hopes usually include selling hundreds of subsea Digbots on planets orbiting far away stars (they have such faith - GAT some time ago told them we were on the brink of cracking a faster than light interstellar Subsea Digbot engine.)

And then there's the puns - Big splash? Displacement? Bubble?

And finally the intense difficulty of recalling the other top 10 subsea Digbot suppliers. We spent hours at work today racking our brains but only came up with:

1.  Worldbot Undersea Divebot Division

2.  Econodroid Self-Drying Seabots Ltd

3.  Wetbots R Us

4.  Estuary Dredgebots Inc.

5.  Pacific Leatherback Aquabots Corp.

6.  Um, er, Turtlebots . . . ?

7-9. Um er . . .

10. Globalbot Subsea Digbot Division


16th Sept 2112


Returning briefly to the family holiday in Cornwall, we went to see a performance of Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' at the Minack outdoor theatre. During the first act the St John Ambulance was called out to two incidents.

'Busy night?' I politely enquired.

'Eh, what? No. The Tempest? Two deaths by the interval is pretty good going.'

Ah, I thought, so it's not just me who can't follow the plot. All that stuff about Milan, but were they talking about AC or Inter? I couldn't figure it out.


14th Sept 2112


The head of Globalbot Filton Manufacturing, Duwkits, told me today that 'we have to get all our eggs in a row.'

'Eggs?' I spluttered, 'Don't you mean ducks?'

'No, haven't you read your email?'

I hadn't, so I did:

To: All Globalbot Staff

From: Globalbot Analogy Control

Subject: Reorganisational Change to Two Key Coporate Analogies

After extensive tests carried out by the Globalbot Analogy R&D Group, please be aware that two widely used company analogies have been formally reorganised:

1.  'We need to get our ducks in a row' is now 'We need to get our eggs in row'.

2.  'We must not put all our eggs in one basket' is now 'We must not put all our ducks in one basket.'

The reasons for this change should be fairly clear - eggs are much easier to line up than ducks, which have a habit of waddling around uncontrollably, whereas dropping a basket of ducks generally results in no permanent damage, rather just a cacophony of distressed quacking that should die down after a few minutes. I am sure that all employees can appreciate the wisdom in making this change and the obvious benefits in terms of efficiency and reduced costs.


Chuck Mallard

Director Corporate Analogies

Super! I can now use these alongside existing Globalbot economical phrases such as 'An email in time saves nine hundred' or 'A robot in QA is worth 3.78 in build' and 'A CEO's work is never done.'


12th Sept 2112

Two seemingly insurmountable obstacles that stand it mankind's path are time travel and moving faster than the speed of light. I have now discovered both of these can be solved using Pyschosoft PowerpuntTM.

The only condition is that backwards time travel occurs only in the future. For example, today, I saw a presentation where delivery of a complex new Globalbot robot type travelled backwards in time from September 2113 to March 2113 all within the confines of a 35 slide Powerpunt presentation.

Likewise, for faster than light travel, the selfsame presentation showed robot parts with zero delivery time from receipt of order, meaning they must travel from the supplier to Globalbot at near-infinite velocities. On hearing this GAT launched a risk assessment to ascertain the consequences of one of these fast-moving parts failing to slow down sufficiently before arriving at Good Inwards. In the worst case the universe will implode, but in some really mild (but extremely unlikely) cases parts may just have the right energy to tunnel through stores and come to rest on the manufacturing shop floor.


10th Sept 2112


Daleks implement ORIBALTM ERP (Empire Resource Planning) System.

(Artist's impression.)

(And you thought going up stairs was their biggest challenge.)


9th Sept 2112


Apparently I created a quantum-entangled Voodoobot today. I was messing around with a Pepsi Vendbot testing a revised can dispensing system, when we were suddenly bombarded with automated TNet (Trouble Net) emails to the effect that Pepsi Vendbots had spontaneously started vending cans to passers-by free of charge.

All I can say is that it was just as well I wasn't testing the override of human detection safety circuits of Chainsawbots . . .


8th Sept 2112

Recently, Globalbot has suffered an outbreak of Training Mania with courses on: Psychosoft Office; CRIPELTM; ORIBAL®; The Future of Robotics; Dealing with Difficult Admin Bots; Finance for People Who Can't Add up; Chinese Grammar for Engineers; The Correct Use of Animal Sounds in Technical Presentations; etc. GAT got so frustrated he organised a course: 'Training on how to Avoid Training (and do something useful instead)'.

No one turned up and it was declared a total success. No one learnt anything they didn't need to know, and Globalbot didn't grind to a halt not learning it.


Total Success!


5th Sept 2112


Hollywood has a lot to answer for. It presents a fantasy world where death-defying action heroes perform amazing feats to overcome impossible obstacles against insuperable odds. This world view is irresistible to Sales and Marketing types as evidenced by the various clichés often used to batter Engineering:

'Failure is not an option.'

'We need an aggressive development programme.'

'We don't have problems at Globalbot, we have challenges.'

'I have a gut feeling we can do it!'

'I took a gamble and told them the worst case delivery was no more than 5 weeks but we could almost certainly do it in less than 3, probably 2.'

'We will deploy a 24-hour SWAT team.'

'We agreed to build the prototype at the customer site.'

'Reliability must exceed 100%.'

'I know the fastest 'bot we have is the 65kph model, but I had to promise 135kph to secure the PO.'


I have a proposal for a film. It goes likes this:

'Hire every famous Hollywood action-movie actor and kill their characters in meaningless everyday accidents within the first five minutes of the film. Thereafter, for the remaining 115 minutes, a cast of inarticulate unknowns face some vague threat to the planet that they can never quite pin down. Their approach is mill around creating Gantt charts and hold rambling progress meetings within which there are wild rumours, uncontrollable mission creep, and endless departmental arguments about the probable threat. In a refreshing plot approach, the more the characters find out the less they seem to know, and they become totally demotivated and spend all their time surfing the web. The film concludes without warning in the middle of a Ops Review when an alien VP appears and states Earth has been taken over due to some obvious, yet strangely obscure technological synergies coupled with the illusion of a balanced budget. Unfortunately, to leverage fully on their investment the alien VP announces the human race will, regretfully, undergo a total force reduction on a going forward basis.'


3rd Sept 2112

Came across one of those almost perfect typos today.

What the customer meant to write:

'Globalbot must supply a turnkey solution by Christmas.'

What they actually wrote:

'Globalbot must supply a turkey solution by Christmas.'


Not happy.            Problem solved.


2nd Sept 2112

Sorry dear blog-readers, have been off on another trip; more on that another day.


A final word (for now) on our Cornwall adventures. Specifically GAT's over-confidence in leading us on a thrilling walk along the coastpath.

'No need for a map, we'll just follow the arrows.'

Oh dear.


Just follow the arrows . . .

'Luckily,' muttered Gerald in my audio receptor, 'we've got the sea on one side so that cuts down the margin for error by 50%.'

So, there you have it, the coast path does not meander out to sea (apparently), but does appear to require vertical self-levitation and/or burrowing into the ground at an angle of 45o.


29th August 2112

Whilst in Cornwall we visited the excellent Porthcurno Telegraph Museum.

Telegraph cables to the rest of the world used to run out under Porthcurno Beach creating the 'Victorian Internet'. For nearly 100 years it was the communications hub of an Empire.

Anyway, Gerald and Opal had a go at semaphore - .

Gerald was on the flags at the other end of the museum:




And Opal tediously called out the letters to me:

'T   -   U   -   R   -  N   - STOP   -   O   -   N      - STOP  -     Y  -   O   -  U   -   R     - STOP    -   M   -   O   -        B    -    I     -     L     -     E  - STOP.'

This took 20 minutes, but was undoubtedly cheaper than 20 minutes on the mobile talking about semaphore.

'We should introduce pay-as-you-flag charges', muttered a disgruntled museum staff member when he saw what Gerald had flagged.

Talking of speed I also saw a 1947 black and white Cable and Wireless film, set to stirring Pathe-like jolly music, in which it was proudly announced in an incredulous tone that new technology would increase the telegraph capacity of a single cable from 60 to 600 words per minute!

Hmmm . . .  these days we can run at 6,000,000,000 (or is it words per minute.

'Ah, but hang on Thinkbot,' said GAT, 'if you were to send a message of less than 60 words to someone I bet it would be of immeasurably better quality than 6 billion words. In fact, I think a 60 word limit would be a good rule to introduce on the Globabot email system.'

'In that case,' I replied, 'why don't you got the whole hog and make them use semaphore in the office area?'

'Nah, there's already enough flapping.'


27th August 2112

Hello, I'm back from two weeks in a cottage near Land's End in Cornwall.

On getting home Mike (aged 6) told Grandma: 'We went on a topless bus and we all got a bit cold.'

Grandma was affronted, and took this up with GAT, 'I'm upset with you for taking your family on such a disgusting trip. Topless, tut tut, I can't believe it. Serves you right getting cold.'

GAT, 'What? No . . er. . look, (CLICK bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz) it was an open-top bus . . .'

Too late. Grandma had rung off in a topless huff.


Open-topped bus.          Topless bus. (Image censored by Topless Thought Control).








10th August 2112


Today, I wish to talk about MRP.

If you do not know what MRP is, click here, or examine the artist's impression below, which was discovered under the floorboards of a recently closed mental home.

If you don't want to know what MRP is then clear off and do something useful (sleeping would qualify. Or indeed chasing pretty girls wearing MRP T-shirts).


Globalbot has been having one or two teensy-weensy problems with its ORIBALTM MRP system recently, the main one being:





'Hmmm,' muttered GAT, 'I wonder if we could get it to run backwards? It would be worth millions.'



9th August 2112


Oops! Vendbot stock control error. Normally Rabbit has a cup of tea and a Bounty bar mid-afternoon but, due to some inexplicable consumable inventory cock-up, the Vendbot dispensed a cup of tea and an orange highlighter.


'Oh dear!' muttered Laidback, 'Come on Thinkbot, I've got a horrible feeling.'

We went to the automated documentation area and, sure enough, the robotic inhabitants were highlighting documents using Bounty bars. Good grief, what a mess! And the flies . . . .


If you don't know who Rabbit, Laidback and Thinkbot are, you need to read The Book.


7th August 2112

One of Percy Knell's greatest emails ever today:


To: Everyone at Globalbot Filton

From: Percy Knell, HR VP

Subject: Missing printer

It has come to my attention that a new printer purchased for the Despatch area has gone missing. It was last seen, still in its box, in the Despatch area clearly labelled as 'Printer For Despatch'. It saddens me to suggest there might be a thief amongst us, but we may have to assume so. If the printer is not located by the end of tomorrow I regret to say the police will be notified accordingly.




We're all gob-smacked. Nonetheless, Doom is running a sweep on the probable destination - 10 Globos to enter. I've plumped for Estonia.


6th August 2112


Slight domestic fracas.

GAT has some pretty awful habits, two of which are picking dead skin off his his feet and tearing his toenails, leaving the output in little piles on the arms of chairs or his bedside cabinet or whatever. Anyway, earlier today, Helen took a bowl of mixed nuts and dried onion skins into the garden and accidentally spilled them on a table. Collecting them up she then proceeded to eat them (I think you can see where this is going) until yelping in pain as she bit on something really hard. Turns out this was a dental crown that had dropped out while GAT was attending to his feet, and which he'd added it to the pile. Getting suspicious, Helen investigated the contents of the bowl a little closer and, then clearly incensed, confronted GAT, 'IF YOU LEAVE DEAD FEET LYING AROUND ONE MORE TIME, I'LL NEVER TALK TO YOU AGAIN!'

'It's a good offer, Dad' interjected Gerald, 'I'd give it serious consideration.'


3rd August 2112

Entertaining email from Finance today.


To; All Globalbot Employees

From: Red Ledger, VP Finance

Date: 64th June 2112

Please note we are still having some problems closing the Month 6 accounts. A number of exit strategies have been considered, including moving straight into month 9 or inserting a fifth quarter (to be known as Q6 as a contingency) into the 2112/3 financial year, which may now extend to 2114 if our difficulties persist. We realise that a Q5 will cause some logistical difficulties not the least of which is that we may appear to be shipping things on time for a while, if not weeks early. However needs must. Globalbot would like to assure all employees that they will continue to be paid on time each month and stress once again that a temporary 25% annual pay rise and leave accrual will be applied to cover Q5 2112/3 should it happen.




1st August 2112

A typical day at Globalbot.


After months of planning and effort, Engineering finally succeeded in getting a duck in a row.


And Sales and Marketing declared the Q4 sales forecast a 'total fantasy'.

Visual Impression of the Q4 2112 Globalbot Sales Forecast.

GAT was somewhat alarmed, 'What? S&M usually think the sales forecast is 'achievable' or 'realistic'. We know we're in pretty deep trouble if they say it's 'challenging'. Did they really say 'fantasy''?

'A total fantasy,' I replied.


30th July 2112

GAT had one of his dramatic 'Do you want the good news or the bad News?' moments today.

'No news please!' yelled Doom.

'Okay then you can have the [bad news]* first.'

*Click to see bad news.


Talking of news, Wendy Bafers gave us an insight into the mind of a VP today by announcing:

'Never forget that good news is no news. No news is bad news. Bad news is good news.'

We are working on an interpretation, bear with us a day or two.

It's almost as exciting as the 'we don't know what we don't know' matrix (about which we still don't really know).


28th July 2112


        DoB!                Well & truly DoBbed!


What's DoB? 'Denial of Bot'. DoB attacks are made by malicious users, criminals and occasionally straightforward fools (the sort that rest a heavy object on their keyboard and then go away for a few days leaving it bleeping in distress). When a robot suffers a DoB it receives millions of contradictory instructions over the Botnet and it cannot filter out the one that matters - e.g. its owner asking it to make a pot of tea. In such circumstances the robot goes into a safe mode technically known as 'Stop'.

We've used a similar reverse-logic tactic on Globalbot VPs when we need an important but somewhat controversial signature on some document or order or expense claim. What happens is that one brave volunteer approaches said VP at the exact moment the rest of the group bombard him with 'interesting' messages on his Gooseberry (it's best to log in as someone else when doing this). In this case the Gooseberry messages lower the VP's DoS (denial of signature) threshold and enables ink to flow.


26th July 2112


A descriptive analogy to avoid when representing a high-tech company:

'Globalbot runs like a well-oiled bouncy castle.'


25th July 2112


Due to a rare and highly unusual (uuurhurrmmpphh ack choke splutter) outbreak of Globalbot management chaos, GAT tried once again to get his head around the Globalbot org chart in his weekly engineering review. First challenge was to display it:


Error: insufficient space-time dimensions.


Oh dear. Pot Noodle, our software engineer, was immediately diverted off critical development projects and tasked with getting some sort of visual representation of Globalbot's management structure. After about 3 or 4 hours, he called us back into the conference room:




ISSUE 63,290 REV 953.4



'I'm sorry, this is the best I can do.'

GAT's face was a wonder to behold.

'However, I have resolved the boundary conditions,' continued Pot Noodle.


1. All Managers Believe They are in Command of the Situation

Outcome: Resolution of issue recedes to infinity and becomes highly divergent; the real and imaginary parts of the underlying equation are only loosely connected.


2. No Managers are Aware of the Situation

Outcome: Resolution of issue becomes finite and rapidly converges in real time and space; in rare cases a quantum-managerial effect occurs where manager(s) try to reverse manage an issue long after its satisfactory resolution.


'This leads to the general conclusion.'

Organizational efficiency  a  1/Number of Managers Involved


22nd July 2112

'What've you been up to today, Thinkbot?'

'I programmed the prototype Sheepbot with the simulated mind of a sheep.'

'Well, I bet that didn't require a great deal of effort.'

'Actually it did. The stupid thing wouldn't stop wailing and trying to run away from itself. I guess software overlooked the self-scare immunity sub-routine.'


21st July 2112


And now, three examples of that wondrous human characteristic - The malleable memory.


Firstly, at Globalbot, the mystery red button located in the wet robot test room (that's a room where robots are wet-weather tested rather than one where they are checked out for limp-wristed personalities). Some innocent soul asked the obvious question, 'What does this button actually do?'

'Dunno,' was the universal answer from regular wet room users, 'try asking health and safety.'

'What button?' asked H&S, 'We'll send someone to investigate.'

This investigation involved the devious ploy of pressing the button to see what would happen.

Nothing happened, and continued to happen everywhere.

Turns out the wire from the button went up into the ceiling void and terminated in mid-air.


Secondly, whilst travelling in the car with the family and listening to GAT's iPod through the car sound system, a choral piece was selected by the Shufflebot.

'What on earth is this?' wailed GAT, 'I don't remember this! What's it doing on my iPod?'

Opal examined the display, 'Unforgettable Classics - Choral.'


And thirdly, back at Globalbot, spot the incoherence between these two statements:

1. April 2111: 'The priority is individual robot build cost! Don't worry about the options - we'll cope with the options.'

2. July 2112: 'The priority is a robot with standardised build options! Don't worry about the cost - we'll recover the cost.'


18th July 2112

Three gems from the crazy world of high tech business.


1. Further to my blog of 6th July someone managed to organise a meeting hosted by Conference Room 2 with Conference Room 1 on the invitee list. This would have been interesting to observe but, spookily, Conference Room 1 emailed Conference Room 2 with its apologies.


2. A wonderful email from the Quality Director to the effect that due to problems with a new version of our info system (ORIBAL) functional testing would concentrate on the 'areas that work correctly'. Sounds like a surefire recipe for 'passing the functional testing stage with flying colours.'


3. Finally, the observation in the verbally-driven unplanned world of Globabot, that written task lists are usually an accurate record of what an engineer is not working on. Writing it down is an immediate indication of low priority since important dramatic things like fire-fighting cannot possibly wait for someone to write down 'extinguish fire'.


16th July 2112


Continuing on the theme of analogies for Manufacturing and Marketing, I offer this: one goes up a mountain (with no wifi signal) for 40 days and 40 nights and receives an immutable Sales Forecast chiselled into blocks of granite. Meanwhile the other worships the golden calf on the basis that 40 minutes is way to long to wait, and customer's say this is how all Globalbot's competitors operate, and, well, just look at how well they are doing.

If only the Ops VP had read the stones before he dropped them. . .


Thou shalt have no sales forecasts besides that produced by the Marketing Dept.

Thou shalt not make up thy own sales forecast, nor make wild guesses at the quarterly shipments.

Thou shalt not make jokes about any Globalbot department except Marketing, Manufacturing, HR, Accounts, Stores, Materials, Tech Support, Field Support, Engineering, Facilities, Health and Safety, Spares, and Corporate.

Observe the 24/7 time-invariant nexus and consider it holy unto thy cost of ownership calculation.

Honour thy VP and General Manager above all others that couldest use thy help, that thou mayest have a long career and that all goeth well with thy share options and bonuses.

Thou shalt not willfully make things obsolete, especially that which art scrap.

Thou shalt not daydream about thy competitors' technology.

Au contraire, thou shalt copy thy competitors' technology and secretly, in thy heart, infringe their patents.

Thou shalt always seek to slag off thy technological neighbour with untruths and hearsay with all thy heart and soul and laptop.

Thou shalt earnestly covet thy neighbour's lead time, share price, plasma source, donkey, stores req, female admin assistants, office, 1000mm flatscreen, or any pump, gauge, budget, manufacturing cleanroom, test engineer, dental insurance, hepa filter, or anything that belongeth to thy competitor that thouest desperately wished Globalbot had the foreskinsight  to command delivery such that it then belongeth to thou and only thou.


12th July 2112

Well! Someone has finally complained about my blog. Specifically the implication that a certain Department at Globalbot may possibly resemble a dinosaur, allegedly. But get this, the complaint was not that this particular dept was likened to a dinosaur. Oh no. It was that they'd been likened to the wrong type of dinosaur. As Doom commented after reading the email over my shoulder, 'Great! The bottom half is a dinosaur and the top half sticks its head in the sand.'

Dear Thinkbot,

If you feel you have to use a dinosaur analogy for my department then may I suggest you use a more appropriate dinosaur. For example:

Struthiomimus, an ostrich-like theropod dinosaur.

Kindest Regards,

(Name mercifully deleted to protect identity)

(Department deleted (but it's not that difficult))


P.S. No complaints from the whirling dervishes (yet). They're all off to the world's biggest whirling dervish trade show in San Francisco soon so I suspect they haven't a sufficient attention span to be insulted.


10th July 2112


GAT has a series of colourful descriptions for the relationship between Manufacturing and Marketing. wherein he is often trapped. One of my favourites is the one about being stuck between whirling dervishes and a dinosaur. I won't be explicit in defining which is which other than one likes to plod methodically through a future planned in detail for months ahead whereas the other whirls with mesmerising speed in an impressionist universe that re-creates itself every few minutes.


6th July 2112

Meeting Reminder: Toybot whistling project. Overdue. You are 4 hours late for this meeting.

Oops! Made a fool of myself today by organising a meeting 4 hours in the past. Embarrassingly at 9am, meaning  the meeting took place at 5am. Our imbecilic office software package, Psychosoft Outrage®, immediately invited the 20 invitees and then emailed them all that they were 4 HOURS LATE!

Still, I'm not the only one. Halfhour once organised a meeting that started 11am Thursday and finished at noon on Friday. But the most amazing thing was that several invitees accepted . . . .


5th July 2112


The Tape Measure Management Team.


GAT got into trouble today after 16 managers were required to organise a technician into measuring the length of a robot's power cable. Initially the managers had come to a consensus that the power cable must be at least 11m long and probably 12m since 11 is nearly 12. The customer spec called for 'a minimum cable length of 11.5m', which is bigger than 11m, but only just. Indeed, less than the length of a manager's arm as one of them pointed out (in writing). GAT advised them they'd better check after resisting their 16-fold emails demanding GAT confirm the general feeling that the cable was 'at least 12m long'. The managers managed to get as far as acquiring a tape measure, but found it was only 3m long, where after they collectively managed a technician who stupidly admitted he knew how to measure things longer than 3m with a 3m tape measure.


The cable was 8.3m long, so the managers called an emergency meeting to discuss what Engineering had done with the missing 3.7m, which is bigger than 3m but ought to be much smaller. Anyway GAT got into trouble by launching an inappropriate email:


To: The Tape Measure Management Team

From: GAT

Date: 5 July 2112

Subject: How many managers does it take to operate a tape measure?


Dear Crowd Scene,

The cable is 8.3m. The cable is 8.3m because the drawing has '8.3m' written on it. The drawing has 8.3m written on it because the engineer (correctly) identified 8.3 as the necessary length. There is no missing 3.7m for you to micro-manage. This problem far exceeds that of the managerial problem I have now identified, namely that there are 16 or you, which is a number that's bigger what I judge to be the correct value of 0. Way bigger. Finally can I point out that 16 is bigger than 3.7m and 8.3m is bigger than 0. Hopefully this clarifies things.




4th July 2112

Helped a reliability test engineer get to the bottom of a mystery where Leapbot went missing from the lab for 3 hours 52 minutes 39 seconds.

'What command set did you give it?' I asked

'L2012, I was trying to get it to run a marathon.'

I got an awful feeling, 'What distance has it logged?'

'Er, 42,195 metres.'

Quick fiddle with the calculator revealed this to be . . . . 26 miles 385 yards.

'Looks like it did, and its time was respectable too.'


2nd July 2112


Spot the difference:




Now guess who infiltrated the Pyschosoft ROS (robot operating system).

Apparently over 5,000 people flipped with incandescent rage and called the Psychosoft Rage Line.




THINKBLOG  - Apr - June 2112


THINKBLOG  - Jan - March 2112


THINKBLOG  - Oct - Dec 2111


THINKBLOG  - July - Sept 2111


THINKBLOG  - March - June 2111