back to article Tesco self-service separates innocent Reg reader from beer after collapsing into heap of Windows dialog boxes

An old favourite returns this week as a Tesco self-service terminal gets a bit forgetful in its operating system's dotage. Spotted in the fair UK town of Basingstoke by Register reader Ian, who told us he had merely popped in to pick up some washing-up liquid ("the beers were entirely accidental"), the cashier replacement in …

  1. chivo243 Silver badge

    Self Check-out

    Windows next Code Name?

    1. Paul Herber Silver badge

      Re: Self Check-out

      Sounds like a euphemism for a Suicide Booth.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: Self Check-out

        let's try for a twofer!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not unusual in retail.

    Worked as a security consultant for major retailers and whilst the high ups want the latest laptops, tablets etc. When you try to explain to them that they their entire Till estate is running obsolete software, can't be patched etc. the usual response is "But it still works OK, so what's the problem?". Of course most of them have now been left so long that a software upgrade would also require hardware and the project costs run to £10-100m's. An of course companies like NCR make a fortune from the additional charges made from supporting older equipment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not unusual in retail.

      "But it still works OK, so what's the problem?"

      And if it wasn't connected to a network in the wider world, they'd be right.

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: Not unusual in retail.

        "It's the thing that tells the till how much to charge your customer for the goods that they've scanned, and you allow compromise of it."

        Networked or not, if you don't see the problem with that, there's really no explaining it to you.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not unusual in retail.

          and you allow compromise of it.

          Who mentioned allowing compromise? Just because it's old and obsolete doesn't mean it's necessarily insecure. Inability to patch only becomes a problem when it can be compromised, at that stage fixing it gets expensive.

  3. Gomez Adams

    Look on the bright side: The smeary screen may be the result of being de-sanitised used a liquid cleaner which leaves a deposit as it dries.

    These days I never use my fingertips on any public touch screen or keyboard but use a knuckle instead then use the de-sanitiser provided as I leave the store (use it on the way in to protect others from me and on the way out to protect me from others).

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Surely touching the screens is what de-sanitises you?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Self service check outs

    Just no

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Self service check outs

      and why?

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Self service check outs

        Have you used one?

        Too bossy!

        Too slow.

        Too annoying.

        No I do not want to put this ONE item in a bag, I just want to pay.

        1. Daniel M

          Re: Self service check outs

          Too bossy:

        2. Simon Harris

          Re: Self service check outs

          And why did the one in Sainsbury’s insist on me waiting for a grown-up to appear and give me the once-over when I was buying zero-alcohol beer* ?

          * not for me, I really was ‘buying for a friend’.

        3. Down not across

          Re: Self service check outs

          Not to mention having to nudge the scales, the bag is on, every so often as it decides something that should be in the bag, isn't or vice versa.

          Sainsbury's *groan* "smart" shop is actually first half decent way to do it. Scan it yourself and bag as you go. Quick, painless. Unless you get the random check of 5 items and any of them happen to be in the bottom of the bag(s). And yes you do need "let us profile you" card, but you don't have to register it...

        4. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: Self service check outs

          The ones we have at work (M&S shop on site) are pretty fast and efficient.

          My only complaint is the noise - they are constantly yelling out at top top volume what is on the screen (for partially sighted people i guess) .

          I just wish the programmers had implemented "If this step is completed - stop yelling it out" code.

          its constantly telling you (and the rest of the shop) what you just did 2 button presses ago!

        5. The Pi Man

          Re: Self service check outs

          Is that the self service checkouts that you’re describing or the checkout assistants? To be honest, could be either...

    2. Clunking Fist

      Re: Self service checks out (FTFY)

      Just if eyed.

  5. Sceptic Tank Silver badge

    Isn't Appu that guy from The Simpsons?

  6. Efer Brick

    Screen smear...

    running "Faeces book"

  7. Someone Else Silver badge


    The offending application might be an emission from POS flinger NCR [...]

    I know that POS is supposed to mean Point Of Sale, but on this side of the pond, we also know it as meaning Piece Of Shit. In this context (regarding both Windows and NCR), that alternative interpretation fits well.

    1. FatGerman

      Re: TLAs

      Oh it's on both sids of the pond, I came here to say the same thing :)

  8. Imhotep

    Frozen Food Aisle

    "that might indicate origins north of the border,"

    I immediately wondered what those crazy Canadians had to do with this.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SCOTs in charge

    I used to repair equipment like this... Its amazing what these retailers expect from 10+ year old equipment. But then again, the 10+ year old equipment often has far less software problems than the current generation stuff. One local to my area retailer was among the first to deploy a new generation of self checkout machines. It went so badly that it forced the vendor to re-engineer an alternate version of the previous generation that used the newer PC hardware.

    Some machines literally had stickers on internal components that said "Pre-Production", but this hardware was used in full production environments. What can go wrong with that?

    BTW, the SCOT in SCOTAppU.exe stands for Self Check Out Terminal.

  10. sitta_europea Silver badge

    Cool -- it's definitely XP, you only have to look at the quaint styling of those boxes.

    So all I have to do is figure out a way to connect wirelessly and I can get free shopping at any Tesco store for the life of SCOTAppU.exe.

    I think I'll talk to those Israeli bods.

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