back to article Hayfever in Haymarket, or has Windows sneezed out a BSOD?

Sometimes we all need a reminder of just how borked the world is at the moment, and what better way to discourage people from using public transport than a Blue Screen of Death hanging over the entrance? Snapped by Register reader Stephen Grantham, a member of the UK National Health Service's hardworking IT team, the BSOD was …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Well it was doing a fine job of advertising just how great Windows is...


    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      But that is no joke, my friend, it's the truth.

  2. Mr Dogshit

    I just don't understand why this is supposed to be hilarious

    "Operating system behaves as per design". Not funny, is it?

    When a crash occurs in Kernel Mode, the operating system's task is to preserve your data. Unlike a crash in Application Mode, it can't recover and continue.

    Therefore, it dumps memory to disk using a cut-down device driver and displays a message. What do you expect?

    And since writing device drivers is very difficult, yes, they sometimes crash. And often these are drivers not written by Microsoft.

    Linux and VMware aren't immune to Kernel Mode crashes, and neither was the Amiga. So where's the joke? I don't get it.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I just don't understand why this is supposed to be hilarious

      The Amiga although ahead of its time was a product of its time and didn't have memory management. Nowadays it should be possible to produce a crash-proof kernel. After all, it's just one device driver, it could be unloaded and loaded again. Your screen might flicker, your sound might stop, a file written to a hard drive might be lost, but the whole system should be able to carry on.

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: I just don't understand why this is supposed to be hilarious

      Possibly because Microsoft holds themselves to be the be-all and end-all of personal computing, and that they're reliable 24x7x365 with 99.999% uptime.

      So basically this is "you're not" and "you're too full of yourself"

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: I just don't understand why this is supposed to be hilarious

      OK this is the joke: a sign has an OS failure report on it instead of the usual content

      (and windows is infamous for this happening too often on our personal computers)

      It's a bit like The 3 Stooges, but I laugh at them, too. And if I shave my head and beard, I look like Curly. Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk Woobwoobwoobwoob...

      icon for irony

    4. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: I just don't understand why this is supposed to be hilarious

      "And since writing device drivers is very difficult"

      No, writing device drivers is very easy if you understand the hardware. Far easier than most coding. I mean tying ropes is very difficult if you don't know knots, but if you don't know knots then don't tie ropes for a living.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Much like the inside then...

    There are a number of digital advertising screens inside the station that haven't worked in years, and just sit blank. I think they only actually worked for about 12-18 months after the station was re-opened.

    The network also has new LCD/plasma screen arrivals boards here and at Newcastle Central that often go blank or BSOD too. And the traditional LED ones everywhere else are locally well known for their content being mostly a work of fantasy.

    And we'll not even get started on the regions attempt at smart ticketing...

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Much like the inside then...

      And we'll not even get started on the regions attempt at smart ticketing...

      When the Metro first opened, there was an integrated, zonal ticketing system that worked across metro, buses and ferry (and the trains from Blaydon to Sunderland). That was all demolished as part of Thatcherite bus deregulation. The now-private bus companies compete with the Metro for passengers and there is no incentive for any real smart-ticketing system unless the transport operators are providing complementary rather than competitive services. I live on a bus route where different services operate at different times of day: sometimes you can get a through ticket to your destination, at others you have to buy two tickets and travel on a connecting service at a significantly higher price. And that's with the same bus company - they really have no interest in serving passengers.

      Nexus (the PTE legacy body) tried to bring in a London-like system where bus companies operated under contract, but this was shot down by legal challenges from the bus companies. Boris has promised to give local areas more freedom to regulate and commission bus services, but the words "Boris has promised" render anything that follows meaningless.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Much like the inside then...

        There's a bit more to it than that...

        The QCS proposal that Nexus put together under the instruction of the local authorities failed to meet the 5 "public interest tests" which are outlined in the relevant legislation - it wasn't the legal challenges from bus companies that ended it ( What it ultimately came down to was that the bid from Nexus was lacking in some areas, and the legislation had never been tested in what was at the time roughly 10 years of its existence – all other PTEs opted to approach the issue with partnership agreements instead.

        The fact of the matter is that without some seriously draconian legislation, for a public body such as a PTE or combined authority to effectively seize multiple private businesses across a region, there has to be a tighter than watertight business case for doing so, along with a set of seriously compelling and demonstratable social justifications.

        This then lead to various voluntary partnerships being considered, and we now have a situation where the Pop smart card system is able to be used on all operators, and there is increasingly better cooperation between local authorities and bus companies.

        Following deregulation we were also left with the current multi-modal ticketing system (now called Network One) which still to this day works well for many people, though hasn’t gone “smart” just yet.

        My criticism above of Pop isn’t in terms of the business arrangements, though those could use improving – it’s that even the underlying technology isn’t fit for purpose in many ways.

        Things such as defective smartcard validators being left for weeks at a time, ticket machines not working as they should (failing to load products but charging passengers was at one point commonplace), online fare purchases being utterly cumbersome and often unreliable, needing a separate card for season and pay-as-you-go tickets, the lack of ability to report a defective smartcard, a total lack of integration into the gates and readers at National Rail stations (which was promised as one of the objectives of the project), and many, many more issues. It took them roughly 5 years just to introduce the ability to buy a single/return journey add-on for a 1 or 2 zone season ticket – the solution was that you break your journey at the zone boundary and purchase the appropriate ticket for the remainder of your journey there!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Much like the inside then...

          Except Pop cards (a bloody stupid name imo) STILL don't support network rail. You need to get A HANDWRITTEN CARD to go with the pop to show its valid on the right zones to cover a Newcastle/Sunderland commute. As far as I can tell I can't get an annual rail ticket to tyne and wear zones (I live 5 minutes from LV426). I can get one from Sunderland to london all zones ffs.

          I could get one ticket in 1988 that would work on buses, trains, metro and the fucking shields ferry. It was even digital, using the ubiquitous stripe on some cardboard.

          Fucking hell thats not progress is it?

  4. boltar Silver badge

    Another win for Microsofts reliable OS

    "24/7/265? Wossat mean?" as they say in Seattle.

    1. MCMLXV

      Re: Another win for Microsofts reliable OS


      That sounds about right for Windows...

  5. Danny 2 Silver badge


    There are LED type signs on the M8 just as you enter Edinburgh. They have various useful advice, such as 'Don't drink and drive' or 'Don't drive aggressively' or 'Don't drive if you are tired' or 'Check your tyre pressure'.

    Dude, you should be telling folk this before they go onto the motorway, not when they are leaving it.

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