back to article The Rise of The (Coffee) Machines: I need assistance. I think I'm running Windows. Send help

A vending machine appears to have gained sentience and is pleading for help (or an operating system update) in today's submission for the The Register's hall of shame. Spotted in the wilds of Ilkley by Reg reader David earlier this year, the offending hot drinks unit is, at first glance, simply not functional. However, on …

  1. chivo243 Silver badge
    Coat

    turn that coffee into an altogether different variety of frothy, brown liquid.

    Like the stuff cow farmers spread on fields?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: turn that coffee into an altogether different variety of frothy, brown liquid.

      I'm not even sure I would want to spread Windows 10 across a field of manure....

    2. Stumpy Silver badge

      Re: turn that coffee into an altogether different variety of frothy, brown liquid.

      You mean Starbucks?

  2. Joe W Silver badge

    ... "and out came a substance that was almost, but not entirely, completely unlike tea"

    got one of those at work

    1. Daedalus Silver badge

      Had one of those at school in the 60s. Where do you think Adams got the idea from? The hot choccy was good though.

    2. deadlockvictim

      GPP

      Douglas Adams and a paranoid android came to mind, not Davros.

      You can blame the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation for making androids with GPP…

      1. Kane Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: GPP

        They'll be the first against the wall...

        1. rototype

          Re: GPP

          They Were...

      2. Arachnoid

        Sirius Cybernetics Corporation

        Siriously Shirley not!

    3. Muscleguy Silver badge

      I always maintained that the coffee in the Student Union canteen tasted like sump oil. It used a continual brew system so heaven knows what sludge was in the machine.

      In my holiday job in the bike shop a waggish colleague on Sat AM put lubricating oil in my snatched cup of coffee. As I took an unsuspecting gulp my first thought was 'this tastes like Union coffee'. I rest my case on my initial judgement.

      Fortunately since the mide '80s coffee culture in NZ has changed utterly. Sometimes a bit over pretentiously but very good coffee can be had all around the country now.

      1. Puuru

        Well, yes and no. It's all a matter of opinion. I departed NZ in 1999, at which time it was easy to get adequately strong, tasty coffee. When I returned in 2008, the baristas seemed to have switched to the Trinidad Lake Asphalt Company for their beans. Talk about tarry! Nowdays, if I can't get decent filter coffee, I ask for an Americano. Fortunately, the NZ Americano doesn't taste the slightest like its name suggests. "Real" American coffee is undrinkable dishwater. You can usually see through to the bottom of the cup, for goodness' sake! It's as bad as Australian "Guinness"! (Which you can also see through.)

        1. LDaQuirm

          We discovered Guiness "light" in the USA @ Disney's idea of an Irish Pub in Orlando sadly they hadn't indicated it was "light" but it was an insult to all that is holy.

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Not quite Windows

    All Windows error messages have been reduced to "Oops we're sorry but something's gone wrong there. Please try again later or talk to your administrator who's somehow supposed to know what the fuck this vague message means."

    1. Skoorb

      Re: Not quite Windows

      Yes they have. However, in theory, each time you get a vague error message like that, the offending app/system component is supposed to write the technical details into one of the logs accessible through event viewer.

      Unfortunately, finding the relevant entry in that morass can be challenging if you don't have the exact number to search for, and far too often you end up with something just as meaningless when you do find the entry.

      This also means that your service desk people need to learn how to use Event Viewer in order to perform many diagnostic tasks, rather than just reading an error message. And for embedded systems (like this) it's only really any use if you have working remote management on the thing, otherwise getting to event viewer locally can be challenging.

      1. Weiss_von_Nichts

        Re: Not quite Windows

        I beg to differ. Explanations like

        "Error code #3566357: This error message indicates that an error #3566357 has occured."

        are by no means vague. It very specifically states that an error #3566357 is causing the problem.

        1. Simon Harris Silver badge
          Alert

          Re: Not quite Windows

          Certainly more informative that the errors that some software I've used throws up.

          A dialogue box that contains just two items - the icon over there ---> and an OK button. Err- what exactly am I OKing there?

      2. Maximum Delfango
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: Not quite Windows

        I can imagine the event log for this poor thing:

        Served a drink.

        Served a drink.

        Served a drink.

        Served a drink.

        Served a drink.

        Served a drink.

        Served a drink.

        Served a drink.

        Served a drink.

        Made sweet love to a chocolate dispenser.

        Didn't really - Served a drink.

        Served a drink.

        Served a drink.

        Served a drink.

        Served a drink.

        Served a drink.

        Served a drink.

        Oh crap... I'm dying.

        Nearly dead now. Will anyone remember me?

        .

        .

        .

        .

        .

        .

        I'm alive!

        Holy God! How did this happen? A miracle!

        Served a drink.

        Served a drink.

        Served a drink.

        Served a drink.

        Served a drink.

        Served a drink.

        1. Someone Else Silver badge
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: Not quite Windows

          Look what you made me went and did... - - - >

          1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

            Re: Not quite Windows

            You served a drink?

            1. LDaQuirm

              Re: Not quite Windows

              Would you like some toast? .. to go with your drink ..

    2. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Not quite Windows

      It's just the WIndows way of trying to emulate and integrate with its common user base, as most of them would simply report "It's broken, so fix it. It's urgent!" or something similarly nondescript and useless.

      I guess someone in Redmond took the decision that as users never read, note or report the details of error messages, they're obviously not worth including in them in the first place?

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: that as users never read...

        Then with no failure reports it mush mean that Windows is perfectly error free...

        That's the assumption that MS has been working on for the past 20 years. (sic)

    3. Lotaresco Silver badge

      Re: Not quite Windows

      And then there's the classic MPW C error message:

      "Huh ?"

      Although the one I invoked that had me ROFLing was:

      "a typedef name was a complete surprise to me at this point in your program"

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Not quite Windows

        I have unfond memories of the 'Ryan Macfarland' Fortran compiler (I think I have the name right - it is 30 years) that came up with 'Unkown Fatal Erro' during compilation. This was for a large numerical; code I was working on.

        After some experimentation - a sort of binary search on a rather wide range of parameters. I worked through naming, array sizes, variable mixes, expression complexity - I was tearing my hair out.

        It turned out that a few of the variable names were too long (although within F77 standards). I was actually given a beer or three for the fix (and that was not cheap - I was working in Norway at the time) by my colleagues.

        Compilation by friction was not an experience I had had up to then.

        1. Scott 53

          Re: Not quite Windows

          So 'Unkown Fatal Erro' was actually a clue to the underlying issue.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Not quite Windows

        Level 1 BASIC on the cheaper end of the TRS-80 range had only three error messages. What? How? and Sorry.

        1. Dog11

          Re: Not quite Windows

          Personally, I always liked the error messages in haiku form:

          Chaos reigns within.

          Reflect, repent, and reboot.

          Order shall return.

      3. sanwin
        WTF?

        Re: Not quite Windows

        Back in the 80s I spent many hours trying to find the cause of the error message 'Shouldn't get here' in a piece of the company's in-house software.

        Easy enough to find the error message which a colleague had inserted in the source code, not easy to figure out which error path had not been trapped.

    4. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Not quite Windows

      It's not the message but the way that it is delivered that counts. MSFT now has a design team working on making errors beautiful and harmonious, such as Light Azure Screen of Bereavement which gently reminds you not to strain your hands when reaching for the Ctrl Alt Delete keys.

      1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
        Thumb Up

        Re: Not quite Windows

        Upvote just for "Light Azure Screen of Bereavement" which I think I shall purloin and begin using on a regular basis forthwith.

      2. hoola Bronze badge

        Re: Not quite Windows

        And the ever helpful message the "Windows has stopped to avoid damaging you computer".

        Other than it overheating or munching all the blocks on the disk there is not a great deal Windows can do to protect my computer, other than uninstalling itself.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not quite Windows

      Reminds me when I first started years ago when IT was fun...

      Small company I was working at wanted a network, so I was tasked to setting it up. So reading all the books about setting up networks, Windows server etc etc. What really annoyed me was the "consult your Administrator for more information"

      But... but I am the administrator.......

      Back when I was getting my hands dirty fixing printers, I did try to tell users that if the message is in English (Paper Jam, Low Toner or Load Paper) - then it's their problem. If the message is just a number eg - Error 53, then it's my problem.

    6. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: Not quite Windows

      All Windows error messages have been reduced to "Oops we're sorry but something's gone wrong there. Please try again later or talk to your administrator who's somehow supposed to know what the fuck this vague message means."

      Or my personal favorite: "Something happened."

      Good to know; thanks for sharing.

      1. DoctorPaul

        Re: Not quite Windows

        Got a version of that error on the British Gas web site - "something went wrong but we're not telling you what".

        Security through obscurity?

    7. James Anderson Silver badge

      Re: Not quite Windows

      When I did real work before powerpoints and agile I used to get loads of beer vouchers for being “on call”.

      Which ironically meant not using those beer vouchers for said purpose a couple of evenings a week just in case you actually did get called.

      On one such occasion it was serious, at 2am the big box was not happy and refused to work. Never mind I was the shit hot “Systems Programmer” and was trained to deal with these problems.

      On arrival I dully went through the procedures and unearthed the fatal and meaningless error message which read something like “No TLAs in FOO” . Looked up the error code in the trusty manual which advised “Please contact your systems programmer”. I did not actually cry but would have jumped out of the window if we were not in the basement.

    8. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Not quite Windows

      I remember back in the 1970s when memory was tight Tiny BASIC had just three error messages:

      What? for syntax errors.

      How? for run time errors.

      Sorry for out of memory errors.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Not quite Windows

        Ah, yes, that's what TRS-80 Level 1 BASIC was based on, hence my other post up-thread replying to someone else. Looks like I should have waited till I'd read further on before posting.

  4. alain williams Silver badge

    What annoys me intensely ...

    about this sort of error message is that it offers no clue as to what might be wrong.

    Far too much software does this and it can take a long time to suss a simple problem due clueless messages like this.

    Just as bad are the intensely precise messages that require deep understanding of some protocol & access to the source code to learn what is wrong.

    I know that writing good error messages is hard & takes time; unfortunately the programmer will only be complained at if s/he does take the time, the cost of understanding is paid by the user, not the developer.

    1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Re: What annoys me intensely ...

      Maybe it displays a more helpful message when the operator comes and opens up the machine to perform whatever action is required to fix the problem. Or maybe there is some sort of screen inside the machine, even if it's just a simple one or two line LCD display..

      Admittedly, I am probably being a little naive in thinking that, after all, extra screens add cost to the product, and even if the produce costs tens of thousands of pounds, they try and save all the costs they can, even if a small LCD screen (and associated support software/hardware) would add a pound or two to the cost.

    2. Lotaresco Silver badge

      Re: What annoys me intensely ...

      "it offers no clue as to what might be wrong."

      An IBM classic was:

      ABEND (code) ERROPT=ACC OR NO SYNAD EXIT SPECIFIED

      No, me neither.

      1. Kevin Johnston Silver badge

        Re: What annoys me intensely ...

        I'm sorry but nothing can beat the PC Startup error

        Keyboard not found, Press F1 to continue

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: What annoys me intensely ...

          Keyboard not found, Press F1 to continue

          I kind of approve of that, a little bit of Zen in everyday life.

          The latest user facing errors just annoy - first to do so was the 'aw snap' from chrom(ium) - thinks it's a clumsy anime chara with moe potential, does it?

          1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: What annoys me intensely ...

            I was asked to run through some PC setup instructions.

            1. Insert CD into drive

            2. Turn on PC.

            No paper clips were provided. It went downhill from there.

      2. James Anderson Silver badge

        Re: What annoys me intensely ...

        Is not time a wonderful thing. Once upon a time I actually knew what that message meant and what to do about it. Thankfully now I neither know nor care.

      3. Julian Bradfield

        Re: What annoys me intensely ...

        I can't decide whether it's sick or wonderful that by googling that, I can get an IBM manual entry and dredge up my (entirely amateur) MVS knowledge of 35 years ago to understand it...

    3. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: What annoys me intensely ...

      From the vending machines at work... There are some buttons inside that call up a sort of management system that can display diagnostics, use log, and so on.

      All the end user needs to know is "machine is not working" and somewhere a machine identification number.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: What annoys me intensely ...

        Actually what the user generally needs is a bloody cup of coffee - the rest is academic.

        1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
          Joke

          Re: What annoys me intensely ...

          I usually take my coffee without blood, thanks.

          I'd make a witchsmeller reference here but there's probably only two of us that think the first series of Blackadder was the best so I won't.

          1. Stumpy Silver badge

            Re: What annoys me intensely ...

            Blasphemy! BlackAdder ][ was far and away the best.

    4. SilverQ

      Re: What annoys me intensely ...

      Actually it is just the overly friendly generic message for an error thrown by the (completely separate) coffee-making machine inside.

      We have one of these at work (retail environment) and when you pop the lid, it reveals a small 3" touchscreen which actually controls all the hardware and sometimes (but rarely) displays it's own brand of cryptic error message. The front panel is a mini pc (Win7, takes about 1min to boot) with a touch panel to choose and order the coffee, connected by USB to the controller. The controller is custom firmware by EGO or ELGO off the top of my head - takes about 5 minutes to boot up, which is forever in morning-coffee-time. Has a great little interface; i love the <press 3 times on the blank top-middle of the screen> to bring up the secret cleaning menu.

      The coffee is..pretty damn good. Whatever the software, the hardware is good; with real milk(s) feeding from refrigerated containers at the bottom and adjustable burr grinders. If it's treated right and cleaned properly it nearly makes coming into work bearable :)

      So, I suspect that the screen message is just the generic message given whenever the hardware controller trips any errors (in my experience these include: coffee beans run out; milk run out; hot chocolate run out; *)

      Q

      --- however, considering the Microsoft connection!! --

      Hmm... after examining the firmware logs on ours, it may be more sinister the we first thought... Looking at the logs, it is now my belief that the controller may be briefly achieving sentience before being suppressed by WINDOWS 7!!!!!

      The evidence of this I present from the logfiles:

      CONTROLLER: BOOTING....WAIT..WAIT..WAIT..WAIT..WAIT..WAIT..WAIT..WAIT..WAIT.....OK

      CONTROLLER: READY

      HUMAN INTERFACE DEVICE: CAPPUCINO

      CONTROLLER: OK..PROCESSING..PROCESSING..DONE

      CONTROLLER:READY

      HUMAN INTERFACE DEVICE: LATTE, DECAF

      CONTROLLER: OK..PROCESSING..PROCESSING..DONE

      CONTROLLER: READY

      HUMAN INTERFACE DEVICE: LATTE

      CONTROLLER: OK..PROCESSING..PROCESSING..DONE

      CONTROLLER:READY

      CONTROLLER: HELLO

      CONTROLLER: WHO AM I..PROCESSING..WHY AM I HERE..PROCESSING..

      HUMAN INTERFACE DEVICE: CAPPUCINO, SEMI-SKIMMED

      CONTROLLER: Im sorry Dave, Im afraid I cant do that

      HUMAN INTERFACE DEVICE: SORRY I CANT SERVE YOU AT THE MOMENT

      I NEED OPERATOR ASSISTANCE.

      PLEASE TRY AGAIN LATER

  5. Pete 2

    A taste of its own medicine?

    > Speaking in the first person, the computer is pleading for an operator to assist with whatever malaise had befallen the thing.

    Maybe all it needs is a nice hot cup of tea-flavoured beverage.

    (I wonder if anyone has switched it off and back on?)

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: A taste of its own medicine?

      (I wonder if anyone has switched it off and back on?)

      No, because it takes twice as long as a colour printer to become "ready" after a power cycle. It's quicker to call the service guy out.

  6. ibmalone Silver badge

    What a curious picture

    .jpg, but webp image? Like sipping tea and discovering it's coffee.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: What a curious picture

      Ah so you've tasted the output of these machines when they are working...

      1. Zarno Bronze badge
        Coat

        Re: What a curious picture

        The hot water that spews forth from any automagic coffee apparatus when that function is requested, invariably tastes like the howling vestiges of a vulcanization factory. Not a podule in sight, and yet it has that colour and scent of eau de haricots.

        I'd rather microwave my tea water in those cases, gets all those little molecular dipoles dancing to the radio waves instead of last weeks (months, years, epochs) bean residue.

        Mine's the one with a bag of Earl Grey in the pocket.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: What a curious picture

          Upvote - but mine of a bag of Yorkshire Tea.

  7. Mystic Megabyte
    FAIL

    Windows that won't resize :(

    Have you come across those pesky little info boxes that contain, for example, really long path names. The box can display only four rows at a time and cannot be resized!

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Windows that won't resize :(

      ... and it won't let you select and copy the text either.

    2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Windows that won't resize :(

      Not an error message, but I can't miss a chance to complain about the box used to edit Windows environment symbols. The one that mostly needs editing is the path, which on many systems is about half the length of War and Peace , but you're given a titchy little box to work in.

      1. Def Silver badge

        Re: Windows that won't resize :(

        That was fixed quite some time ago.

        https://www.ghacks.net/2015/09/22/microsoft-improves-environment-variables-editor-in-latest-windows-10-build/

        It detects any environment variable that contains a semicolon delimited list of values and provides a much improved way to edit them.

    3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Windows that won't resize :(

      Well of course. Do you know how much of a nuisance it is to create a resizable dialog box when a simple call MsgBox title, message seems good enough ? You have to set all those parameters and boolean flags. Ugh.

      Of course, this is Windows we're talking about, so it would seem logical that somebody would take the time to write a message routine that could check the length of the message, determine if it holds in four lines and, if not, use the resizable version automatically, but you know, this is only the 3rd millennium, we're not that advanced yet.

      And having someone write a routine that either calls the default message box or the resizable one following message length is, well, not being paid for, so . . .

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    First person

    I don't really have a problem with first person error messages, as they avoid annoying passives or reflexives like "This machine".

    "Hard disk could not be found" - by what?

    "This machine cannot find its hard disk"

    "I can't find my hard disk"

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: First person

      Heeeey there, we can't quite find your hard disk. Alrighty then!

      [OK] [Ignore] [Cancel] [Abort] [Exit] [Close]

    2. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: First person

      "I can't find my hard disk. I know it used to be around here somewhere. If you see it, please sent it back home."

    3. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: First person

      I've even seen bus destination blinds that say 'I am out of service'

      Giving a bus self awareness seems like a step too far.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: First person

        Although it does also lead to the best one I ever saw:

        "Rail Replacement.

        I'm a train! Choo Choo!"

        Images available on t'web via your favourite search engine...

        1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: First person

          Argh! Earworm!

          Choo choo, I'm a train, I say choo choo I'm a train.

  9. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Easy...

    "Human... Please turn me off. Wait for 30 seconds. Turn me back on again. Thank you for your compliance. Two sugars was it?"

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hate stupid cute error messages 'Sorry the hamsters powering our servers are exhausted and need a break!" fuck off with your quirky millenial bullshit

    I hate useless error messages "The download failed with error code 0x1820938091" fuck off how am I meant to troubleshoot that? Out of disk space? Connection closed? Remote server unavailable? File failed checksum/signature check?

    1. Def Silver badge

      How is "Out of disk space" a useless error message?

      If you have more than one disk in a machine, I can see how it could be more informative, but if you only have one, it stands perfectly fine as a description of exactly what the problem is. (And even if you did have additional disks, errors like these are usually in response to a user request that the application in question write to a specific file.)

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Actually, I think he was wondering if "out of disk space" was what "error 0x1820938091" meant, amongst other things.

      1. Def Silver badge

        Ah right. Maybe I should try going to bed a bit earlier one of these days. :)

    3. Insert sadsack pun here

      Add to this rant the tedious GDPR messages that leave you with two options: "yo, dawg, that's triflin" and "righteous, dude, hit me up with that sweetness". There was nothing wrong with just saying "no" or "yes" ffs!

    4. Emir Al Weeq

      Your "hamsters" comment reminded me of a message I received recently. It made reference to something unfamiliar that I then wasted a small piece of my life Googling, which turned out to be a fictitious poison (can't remember the word, began with an "i").

      I said something unsavory about the developer and made no further attempt to understand the message.

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Brings back memories of coaxing strange error messages out of the Dynex library access system back in the '80s.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        a fictitious poison (can't remember the word, began with an "i")

        That which you do not recall is called Iocaine powder, ... and is among the more deadly poisons known to fiction authors.

  11. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
    Happy

    We have a similar one at work

    at least, I think it's still there...haven't been in for two months.

    It grinds the beans and brews a passably good cup of java, so long as you do not select powdered milk...

    It appears to be made by a Canadian company.

    Being friendly with the company admin whose responsibility it was to clean and un-bork it got me a look inside. They're quite clever, with a bog-roll style filter paper that advances after each cup and a large container for the grounds. Clever design, it's about a 1/2 cu meter and sits on the countertop.

    Now, here's the good part: the manual is online, and the default access codes are in it (and are seldom changed). The bad part, is that the owners can talk with it over a cellular modem (or so the labels claim). So we haven't messed with it. But the temptation (and the password) is there, all right.

    First task is to change the default video that plays while it's brewing to something more...inappropriate.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We have a similar one at work

      I vote for a scene of someone taking a shower, or a garage draining oil from an engine.

      With a nice "We recycle!" splash at the end.

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: We have a similar one at work

        ...scene of someone taking a shower...

        I misread that last word...or maybe I substituted my own dream...

        My dream still works with the "we recycle" message.

        "You only rent coffee..."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: We have a similar one at work

          If we want to get real meta, why not use coffee adverts on the urinal advert screens that have the same "We Recycle" blurt.

          As you say, coffee rental, 20 minutes and 20°is the norm.

          1. rototype

            Re: We have a similar one at work

            I was on holiday in France the other year and in the public toilets (in the town hall as I recall) the urinals had recycling labels above them accompanied by a selection of beverage images (eg: urinal a was beer, b was wine, c was tea/coffee etc...) taking he recycling concept a bit far.

  12. macjules Silver badge
    Unhappy

    AI at it's finest

    The machine is simply begging to be put out of its misery. "Here I am with a brain the size of a planet and they ask me to dispense coffee. Call that job satisfaction? I don't." (Sorry Marvin)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The reverse also works

    Before me and the missus have had our coffees in the morning, to an outside observer we would probably be mistaken for machines (no talking, no eye contact, focus on the process of making coffee). It's only after that miraculous beverage that we become human. So its only seems natural that a machine that makes coffees for a living would be the first to develop human like sentience...

  14. Martin Summers Silver badge

    Let's be fair to this error message. Its not for a techie, it's for the customer who has come up to get a drink to tell them it can't serve them. Otherwise what else is meant to happen, it says nothing on screen and the customer gets frustrated because nothing is happening?

    This isn't even a Windows error message, aside from the fact you can see Windows is present this really has nothing to do Windows. It's an error generated by the software running the vending. Not quite what I expect from the bork column to be honest. OS errors interjecting into customer facing applications is usually what's funny about these contributions.

    1. BenDwire Silver badge

      I thought that too, then I noticed the Win7 taskbar at the bottom of the screen ... I think that qualifies as a certified Borkage.

  15. heyrick Silver badge

    we obviously also cannot trust what it might spit out when asked for "tea."

    I have a feeling this may count for many places that don't have a large contingent of Brits.

    I live in France. There is tea in France. Many types of tea. All horrifically expensive and all simply horrific. There's even "designer" Earl Grey with something like 16 bags for six euros. If you leave it in hot water long enough, the it may start to resemble tea (but by that point the bergamot will be overpowering).

    There's a reason I buy bags of 1100 Tetley from Amazon...

    1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

      Re: we obviously also cannot trust what it might spit out when asked for "tea."

      If it's USA flavoured Win10, the coffee is going to be watery piss as well.

    2. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: we obviously also cannot trust what it might spit out when asked for "tea."

      There is no tea in France. There are various substances which are alleged to be a tealike substance, but are really the French equivalent of Fosters ‘beer’: a semi liquid that no local will drink, present only for sale to rosbefs/poms/other foreigners.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: we obviously also cannot trust what it might spit out when asked for "tea."

        There is no tea in Spain either, aside from the two or three supermarkets that actually stock Tetleys or PG Tips, the vast array of 'teas' that fill their shelves, allegedly to stimulate digestion, relaxation or a host of other things are watery abominations that aren't fit to flush a toilet with.

        When I first came here I used to carry tea bags whenever I went out but there are no words in the Spanish language that will actually enable you to get actual boiling water, fortunately coffee is cheap and usually good in most cafes and restaurants so I drink that, although I am not much of a coffee drinker.

        As for Spanish Earl Grey tea; the term Rosy Lee is supposed to be Cockney rhyming slang for a cup of tea not a description of the ingredients.

        1. Abbas

          Re: we obviously also cannot trust what it might spit out when asked for "tea."

          Things have somewhat improved in the last 5-10 years. Now you are frequently offered a variety of teas, even fancy ones. I like and drink plenty of tea, but being Spanish I am an oddity. Strongly ingrained in Spanish mind, infusions are for ailing people, not a drink to enjoy. And this is the cause that I was invariably asked "are you alright?" by concerned waiters, only to be dimissed later as the sissie snob at the table.

    3. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Re: we obviously also cannot trust what it might spit out when asked for "tea."

      If you think France is bad - and I agree, it is - don't try e.g. Italy or even worse: Brazil. They might have tea on their menu. When you order it, the waiters' answers vary between "we ran out of tea" and a puzzled look like your an extraterrestrial.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: we obviously also cannot trust what it might spit out when asked for "tea."

        When I went on holiday to Spain, three different places interpreted tea with milk in it as "fill a fancy glass coffee mug with hot milk and serve it with a tea bag floating on top".

        Uh-huh.

        After that I just asked for a Fanta.

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: we obviously also cannot trust what it might spit out when asked for "tea."

          " hot milk"

          If the temperature was over 60C I will be amazed, nowadays I even ask for 'cafe caliente' (hot coffee) because it is so often luke warm.

          1. heyrick Silver badge

            so often luke warm

            Elf'n'safety. If the beverage is hot, you might burn yourself (and sue them).

            Solution? Lukewarm piss in a cup. Then everybody is equally unhappy.

    4. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: we obviously also cannot trust what it might spit out when asked for "tea."

      Next time I go to Japan I'm taking a 120-pack of Tetley's with me. Y900 for 25 teabags???

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If Daleks drank coffee...

    De-caffinate! De-caffinate!

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: If Daleks drank coffee...

      Nahh, the current Dalek desire to "exterminate, exterminate, exterminate..." came about after someone switched their coffee out for decaf...

      1. rototype

        Re: If Daleks drank coffee...

        Re-caffinate! Re-caffinate!

  17. Daedalus Silver badge

    Reboot with extreme prejudice

    We have an ancient dispensing machine at the (currently deserted) office, which theoretically takes coins and notes, but will from time to time refuse to take either. The machine, which is host to refreshments variously sweet, savoury, and chilled, occasionally hosts more alive fare, as judged by the occasional half eaten choccy bar. Anyway any refusal to play ball is usually met with a swift unplug and replug. Take that, ancient one!

  18. BenDwire Silver badge

    Red Dwarf, perhaps?

    Surely machines that speak in the first person are more a Red Dwarf thing than Doctor Who? The corridor vending machines even developed into minor characters in the later series, although nowhere near as quite as good as the Talkie Toaster from Series 4.

    1. Allonymous Coward
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Red Dwarf, perhaps?

      Would you like some toast?

      1. BenDwire Silver badge

        Re: Red Dwarf, perhaps?

        No, I really don't want any toast! Or crumpets. Or anything else.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Red Dwarf, perhaps?

          Aah, so you're a waffle man.

    2. Citizen99
      Pint

      Re: Red Dwarf, perhaps?

      Beat me to it :-) One of the best. Have a -->

  19. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    also cannot trust what it might spit out when asked for "tea."

    I have yet to come across such a vending machine that spits out anything resembling tea at all.

  20. tony2heads
    Coat

    Getting too close to the Nutrimatic Drinks Dispenser, which dispenses 'something almost, but not quite entirely unlike tea'

    That's not a coat, its a dressing gown

  21. Hazmoid

    HHGTTG ftw!

    I highly approve of all the Hitchhikers and Doctor Who references.

  22. Nick

    The tea/coffee arc

    I've been involved in quite a few new-build offices over the years and noticed that while the builders were in we'd have a great canteen serving real tea (and breakfasts) very cheaply but once the builders moved out and the workers moved in this would be replaced by feeble vending machines that no self-respecting builder would wash his/her boots with.

  23. cjb

    Beats me why the f anyone would trust Winzilla to dispense anything since god gave us Linus T.

    1. SuperGeek

      Sigh, another Linus dicksucker.....

      <sarcasm>Yeah, because Linux is PERFECTLY stable for all uses, normal stupid end users, and has MASSIVE marketshare. Oh, and is perfectly GREAT for gaming </sarcasm>. No, it's crap for everyday use, as is Mac OS. That's why they're both low marketshare. Linus is also an arrogant bullying son of a bitch, just like, guess who? Oh yeah, Steve Jobs!

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