BSOD

Slow news day.

Engadget says this is a subway in South Korea. (More.)

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28 Responses:

  1. ralesk says:

    Hahahah, I love it!

  2. phenyx says:

    I want one for my serial console.

  3. Nothing makes me happier than when the Windows machines running SEPTA(Philadelphia)'s schedule monitors crash. Everytime I see something like this, it makes me want to shoot myself.

    • What's key to this is that they're spreading a single display across two CRTs in hardware (at least, at 30th Street). So bluescreens are a two-rail-schedule event. With the MS bullshit split in the middle.

    • relaxing says:

      At the new IKEA on Delaware Ave, the video screen for "calling the next number" at large items pickup consists of a Microsoft Word window into which text is manually typed and erased.

      Those crazy Swedes.

    • relaxing says:

      Also, I would love to see crazy error messages printed on the big mechanical Amtrak ticker but alas, that system dates back to the era of reliable embedded systems.

  4. dormando says:

    I've seen some of the mahattan subway tickers reboot/BSOD ... Didn't have a camera handy though. They mumbled something about the serial port address, chunked for a moment, then proudly declared that all 32k of its ram was in order.

    • Noticed that the MTA kiosks that take your money are running a regular userland app (with lots of goopy graphics) atop NT 4? Not some WinCE embedded thing, full-on OS. (I've seen one open for servicing.) Kill me now...

  5. aquitone says:

    I saw a BSOD on the big display outside of Toys 'R' Us in Times Square...

  6. Must have taken some quick response time to get the camera out so fast. That screen with the drives isn't up for very long.

  7. recrea33 says:

    desktop? what desktop!

  8. lproven says:

    slow news day

    Is it? Oh. Over here, people are rioting in the streets and storming the government building to defend their alleged right to torture the country's second-largest carnivore to death, on account of it being "traditional".

    Good photo, tho' - but surely it's faked. I don't believe the machine would be outputting its console to the LED. That takes, like, extra hardware and planning. Easier to run a generic Windows box driving some LED controller, in this day & age...

    • hawke666 says:

      Of course, that assumes that the subway advert system in question is from "this day and age" though, it /is/ a 20-gb drive.
      Perhaps the computer is just a drop-in for an older one?

      • lproven says:

        True enough. The display systems on Britain's busiest railway station, Clapham Junction, are powered by Acorn BBC Micros. If I were even sadder than I am, I could identifty which model from the ROM and DFS version numbers that occasionally appear when one fails to boot...

        • ding_0_ says:

          Awww man! I loved using the Acorn in middle school. The access to the sound librarys you had through the built in basic was so much better than the Apple ][e. I think the TI-99a might have beat it if the schools got the expasnion board.

          • lproven says:

            BBC BASIC *rocked.* It was just about the best 8-bit one there ever was. Considering the time it came out - about 1982 - and the speed of the interpreter, which was faster than many compilers - it's an all-time classic.

    • supersat says:

      If it's fake, it's a damn good one. The reflection of the display on the ceiling looks very real.

    • jlindquist says:


      I believe it, having seen a crashed sign in Las Vegas showing a piece of a Windows desktop. These signs are just another raster scan device, very similar to a CRT. There's off-the-shelf equipment for carrying VGA signals long (off-desktop) distances. If you're going to build a custom card to drive your sign with a PC anyways, why not use an industry-standard protocol, and save yourself the trouble of developing your own long-distance cabling solution.

      • lproven says:

        Ooh, yeah. Neat!

        But that's just a low-res full colour LCD. To drive it as a device would require colour graphics drivers - relatively complex.

        A 4-line dot-matrix LCD isn't quite the same thing. It's just a few lines of text and you probably feed it ASCII.

        Of course, all this is airy unsupported hypothesis on my part... I am no expert on embedded display design. :-)

  9. baconmonkey says:

    why are fettish personal ads being displayed in the subway?

    Muni uses windows systems to display a train location map in the Market St Terminals. I've never seen the BSOD, but I did see one proudly announce that it's virus definitions had been updated, and was asaiting a user to click "ok".

  10. zkzkz says:

    Well at least it's just the subway's GUI and the actual train scheduling isn't being handled by a $500 PC running an unreliable OS. Right? RIGHT?!?

  11. Reminded me of when I saw BSOD all over Heathrow's airline arrival screens.