back to article Well bork me sideways: A railway ticket machine lies down for a little Windoze

Today's addition to the encyclopaedia of borkage comes courtesy of some digital signage sat next to ticket machines in the fair city of Southampton, UK. Southampton ticket machine BSOD Click to enlarge It is a return to form for our old friend, the blue screen of death (BSOD), although in sideways form. Either the screen is …

  1. Captain Scarlet
    Paris Hilton

    Why not set to auto reboot?

    Seems odd a sign would not attempt an auto reboot, obviously if it fails to boot multiple times the repair menu normally comes up.

  2. Chris G

    There are amazing railway stations from the Victorian and Edwardian eras all over the world.

    They are a testament to the huge contribution that the railways made to both trade and freedom of movement.

    Just the cast iron work in some of the structures, in terms of size and decoration, couldn't be made economically even with modern technology.

    1. MrMerrymaker

      Amazing railway stations

      Amazing history captured in an iconic building

      Amazing lack of sense to fill these places with Windows machines

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Some of the modern ones are amazing too - Gare de Lyon and Berlin Hauptbahnhof. Milan for all of its inherent fascist architecture is simply breathtaking.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        The TV Series 'The Architecture that the Railways gave us'

        or something like that is well worth watching. Seeing the inside of the clock tower at Kings Cross Station was well worth it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The TV Series 'The Architecture that the Railways gave us'

          I'm not sure his his claim of "the most famous clock in London" stacks up... it's just a clock high up above the station that few people even realise is there (or that it was working)

          Famous London clocks... Big Ben, Fortnum & Mason, 'Little Ben', "under the clock at Charing Cross"... and,erm...

          1. 6491wm

            Re: The TV Series 'The Architecture that the Railways gave us'

            Big Ben?

            Do you mean the Great Clock of Westminster ;o)

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        How can architecture be fascist?

        1. jake Silver badge

          "How can architecture be fascist?"

          The same way a church can be Gothic, or a loft can be Industrial, or a chain pub can be Charming.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Oh great, here's Jake to lecture us. Again.

        2. paduan

          The architect of the Milan station was apparently somewhat enamoured of a certain Italian dictator who had a penchant for statement architecture that sang the praises of his political opinions.

          The station's architect is by no means as infamous as Albert Speer (obviously, in that his name escaped me only moments after it was mentioned on the documentary), but clearly there were similarities in style and purpose.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don't think you've been to Southampton station since the forties.

    4. alexlawriewood

      The phenomenal Antwerp Central station, for example. Even more impressive since they recently added all the underground track levels.

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

      "There are amazing railway stations from the Victorian and Edwardian eras all over the world."

      Not to mention some of the Moscow underground stations.

    6. Precordial thump Silver badge

      Recently made the journey from Singapore to Penang by rail. All of the stations were purely functional modern architecture except Kuala Lumpur. While the main KL Sentral was a cavernous concrete and steel multi level thing, the original Kuala Lumpur station, I think Edwardian vintage, is a fascinating pseudo-Indian Mughal architecture, combined with the KTMB (Malaysian Railways) headquarters across the road, quite astonishing.

  3. MrMerrymaker

    Dodgy memory

    That error code could well mean the memory's faulty

    As is the memory of anyone who trusts rail travel these days...

  4. Roger Kynaston

    I feel rather sad

    I clocked that the picture was Southampton before reading the article even though I generally only go there once a year. In Paddington they have ticket machines with very large touch screens and one of those had a BSOD though I didn't have the presence of mind to photo it.

  5. coconuthead

    Art Deco

    "Old fashoned"? Clicking through reveals a rather nice Art Deco façade. Those unit pavers out the front don't look period-correct though,

    Back in the 1930s, they didn't have advertising kiosks running Windows, but they did tend to have advertising posters using nice graphic design.

    1. hmv

      Re: Art Deco

      The outside isn't so bad although it just isn't big enough to be a "Transport Palace" but the inside is a bit "meh" - a bit cramped (especially during an incident with large numbers of passengers dumped on the platform).

  6. Zog_but_not_the_first

    Victorian computing

    Did you know that Isambard Kingdom Brunel developed an operating system for station signage based on Babbage's engine and powered by cast iron flakes and leather shavings?

    Actually, he didn't.

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: Victorian computing

      Given train operators' attitude towards punctuality, presumably such a device would be known as an Indifference Engine.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Victorian computing

        and it would run on 'Swindon Time' if Brunel had anything to do with it.

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Victorian computing

      Actually it was John Saxby in 1856 that was granted the first patent for a system of interlocking railway signalling to ensure the correct sequence of operation and prevention of conflicting route setting. Although as early as 1843 a system of mechanical points interlocking was operating at Bricklayers Arms Junction in England. I suppose one could view such mechanical computers as the first programmable railway infrastructure. There was also a complex system of electrical communication between signal boxes and even between stations by way of coded bells, and all train movements and communications used to be logged in massive ledgers in the signal boxes. It's a fascinating insight into process... there were special bells for direction, line, the class of train (goods, passenger express, special service etc.), destination... and it was all signalled downstream ahead of the arrival of the train itself, like a virtual representation of the train travelling ahead of and parallel to it. A Victorian version of a hybrid circuit/packet switched network.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Victorian computing

        That's called out of band signalling. A hybrid circuit is something else entirely.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Victorian computing

          The signalling might be thought of as that... but it's the railway itself I was referring to, with the information about the train being considered as an analogy to header information and the train as the payload. There's an element of the whole route of the train being known in advance, akin to circuit switching, but during the journey the route is set block by block in response to information "carried" by the train, akin to packet switching. Though the train is not broken up and arrivies at its destination in one pieces rather than needing to be reassembled... apart from the old system of slip coaching of course which sounds like a horrendous idea.

        2. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Victorian computing

          And the word circuit wasn't attached to hybrid. Hybrid was attached to the distinction between circuit switching and packet switching, and suggesting an intermediate situation where circuits where switched to convey traffic from one routing point to the next routing point rather than being established end-to-end, used, then torn-down. One might say that packet switching does similar, but the ROUTE is not laid down or pre-defined in packet switching, whereas with railway switching it is.

    3. Francis Boyle

      I knew you were joking

      the thought of Brunel using anything other than steam-powered Babbage machines is of course absurd.

    4. Dave559

      Re: Victorian computing

      If railway signalling wasn't an early form of communications internet of sorts, then I don't know what is…

  7. Kubla Cant

    Still, it did manage to at least complete a physical memory dump

    Does anybody ever look at Windows memory dumps?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Only when cleaning up.

    2. jake Silver badge

      I did in the early 1990s, with the advent of MSDN and WinNT ... For some reason, I pushed my native cynicism aside and developed the rather mistaken impression that Microsoft actually gave a shit about how their code was working (or not) out in the RealWorld.

  8. uccsoundman

    Train Station?

    American here, and I read stories like this with amusement. Outside of a few coastal cities, most people live their entire lives without seeing an active train station. If you want to see one, it is likely a museum, and you have to get into your car... sorry big gigantic SUV... and drive 100 miles to see it.

    1. MattPi

      Re: Train Station?

      Trains were a goner in the US for passenger travel as soon as air took hold. The sheer size of the US means cross-country travel takes days. For example, *driving* Brighton to New Caste is around 6 hours (according to Google), where 6 hours from Philadelphia gets me to Pittsburgh, and I haven't even left the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

      Then, the US built a tremendous network of roads and auto companies bought up train operators and put them out of business. It's little wonder trains didn't take hold here.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Train Station?

        Worse, regulations slow trains down to a crawl. A little quick research shows it is about 2430 train-miles (3910km, or 177925 brontosauruses) from San Diego to New York. It's real passenger service, in that there are 9 trains leaving SD for NY per day. The fastest makes the trip in just over 72 hours on a good day (or three). That's an average of about 33.7 MPH (54 KPH, or 0.0005% of the maximum velocity of a sheep in a vacuum) ... I can drive cross country faster than taking the train. And for two or more people, it's cheaper to drive. Sad, that.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: Train Station?

          It occurs to me that ElReg needs a couple of units of length that are slightly longer than a London bus or a brontosaurus.

          May I suggest a pair of units, the Bars[0] (at 3.4km, 155ish Brontosauruses) and the Hadrian (at 117.5km, or 839285.7143 Linguini (obviously)).

          For a unit of negative measurement, perhaps the Trump (93 miles (150 km, or 2338 Devon fatbergs) of unnecessary replacement, no actual new wall to date) would be appropriate.

          [0] Not bar, Bars. See: York. And have a homebrew while you think about it, not that that has anything to do with it ... but it can't hurt.

      2. dajames

        Re: Train Station?

        Trains were a goner in the US for passenger travel as soon as air took hold.

        I haven't been a frequent visitor to the USA, but I have had the opportunity to sample the rail services on a couple of occasions.

        In 1984 (I think it was) I travelled from Philadelphia to Washington DC by train -- no sorry, it wasn't a train it was a "Metroliner", which was slightly more expensive, made the same journey slightly faster, and (more important to me, at the time) was leaving in only 15 minutes. That was OK -- a bit like an Intercity train in the UK. As I recall the main booking hall of Philadelphia Station was quite magnificent -- I rather wished I had more time to enjoy it.

        More recently (but still around a couple of decades ago) SWMBO and I travelled from Boston (not in Lincolnshire) to New York by train. That worked, too, though we rather got the impression that this was not regarded as the prestigious way to travel. Cost more than flying, but only about the same as taxis to and from the respective airports would have done, and the stations were conveniently placed.

    2. NATTtrash

      Re: Train Station?

      Come on, you're selling yourself a bit short here. Can remember "your" Chicago Grand Central on my way to Minneapolis. The main hall was pretty grand TBH. And while we're on the subject anyway, what about NY Grand Central? I mean, if you want a good example of art deco, there you are. Talking about clocks: nice clock on the info stand BTW. When I was there, there were a lot of people in that museum who seemed to be going somewhere...

      1. uccsoundman

        Re: Train Station?

        I'm in metro-Cincinnati. There is a beautiful Art-Deco train station 15 minutes drive from me. But it is now a big museum. I could be the victim of old information but the last I heard there was one Amtrack train a week stopping there, and it arrived at 2am. That train station is in a neighborhood that you do NOT want to be in at 2am.

  9. bazza Silver badge

    Chris Hadfield on Soyuz

    I've just listened to an episode of BBC Radio 4's "The Infinite Monkey Cage", which featured Chris Hadfield and a number of astronauts dating back to Apollo. It was an excellent program in general, but the point relevant to Borkage was when the Soyuz needed rebooting on the launchpad prior to take-off. Chris Hadfield described how all three of them were laid there, waiting, things not going well, being asked to press the relevant button.

    Some moments later, the Windows XP just-booted jingle sounded out inside the capsule. A most notable sound to hear, in a rocket, with hundreds of tons of rocket fuel just below one's seat, about to be lit...

    Happily all went well thereafter.

    Not the ideal place to see a Blue Screen of Death. Soyuz is fairly old, but it has been upgraded in all that time, to some extent. I also wondered if they used a retail or OEM licensed version...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Chris Hadfield on Soyuz

      "Not the ideal place to see a Blue Screen of Death. Soyuz is fairly old, but it has been upgraded in all that time, to some extent. I also wondered if they used a retail or OEM licensed version..."

      You missed option c) A pirate copy.

      1. bazza Silver badge

        Re: Chris Hadfield on Soyuz

        Ha! You owe me a new keyboard!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Leaves on the Comms lines

    All change, reboot, upgrade

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like