Windows next Code Name?
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 …
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.
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).
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...
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!
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.
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.
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