Monday, December 8, 2014

Computer error messages in public

Often computers display messages when something goes wrong. Usually these are essential for alerting the computer user so they can resolve the problem. However, when computers are used for public purposes, error messages can be embarrassing.

Flickr has a collection of these in the Public Computer Errors group pool.

Many of the local buses have a screen near the front with a map of the route, information about the current and next stops and a scrolling news ticker. On a recent journey we saw raw HTML tags displayed with CSS in the news ticker text.

Recently some of the local train stations have been playing an announcement "The requested file is not found" in English. Most of the regular announcements are in Turkish and tell people to not smoke, eat or drink in the station, not to let children play or cross the train tracks.

Occasionally you might see BIOS or operating system as public screen starts up or has a problem. For example, the local bank's ATM uses a version of Windows XP and the train screens use a version of Linux.