back to article Not the kind of note you want to see fluttering from an ATM

Welcome to The Register's Twelve Borks of Christmas (12BoC), a final festive hurrah for digital signage silage and, behind today's window, a reminder that wherever Windows might turn up, Notepad has always got your back. Snapped by a keen-eyed Register reader, this ATM outside a branch of UK grocery shop Sainsbury's does not …

  1. _LC_

    Just don't enter too much or it'll crash (32-bit Notepad ;-)

    Most exploits from the construction kits call either Notepad or the calculator as proof.

  2. Chris G Silver badge

    Free cash?

    So you just enter the amount and don't need a credit/debit card?

    The first thing I have seen that could tempt me to live back in the UK.

    A very Happy Christmas to all.

  3. Colin Bull 1

    They have form ..

    Sainsburys / Argos have got no idea about IT.

    Sainsburys Bank for car insurance. Password must be entered twice but cannot copy and paste. MORONS

    Argos - ordered item of furniture. Only one date option for delivery. Would not accept . Eventually crashed out but order was placed. Attempt to contact them to confirm date. No way to do this, but pleasantly surprised to receive phone call confirming date so they are obviously aware of problem.

    Received email - Please review your item. Was pleased with product so thought will do review. Fill in positive review. Receive banner screen - "You have ad blocker switched on. Please turn off to submit review". Why are thy tracking me for a review - MORONS.

    Find a link to contact them. "You have ad blocker. Turn off to continue" - TRIPLE MORONS

    1. ShadowSystems Silver badge

      Re: They have form ..

      I love it when they claim such bollocks. I send them an email explaining how their inability to tell an ad blocker from the visitor's refusal to run JavaScript proves they should hire a competent web developer to fix their site.

      "Meanwhile I shall shop elsewhere with someone smarter than you. Have fun!"

      1. IGotOut Silver badge

        Re: They have form ..

        "Password must be entered twice but cannot copy and paste. MORONS"

        Yeah, because MORONS copy the first entry, complete with typos and all.

    2. low_resolution_foxxes Silver badge

      Re: They have form ..

      Some password screens do this to a) stop bots, and B) stop people copying. Helps to make sure they don't copy crap!

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Not only Sainsbury's

      Dozens if not hundreds if not thousands of sites get a bit shirty when you have:-

      - An adblocker

      - Noscript blocked 5,000 bits of javascript from running and doing god knows what.

      Some are downright offensive if it detects an adblocker. Those get blocked entirely and I go somewhere else.

      Little Snitch is a wonderful tool for sorting out what you can block and what you can't.

      Even sites that were working suddenly throw up a load more ad slinging and data slurping domains.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not only Sainsbury's

        NoScript seems to break the NY Time paywall and others. Very useful.

        1. FlippingGerman

          Re: Not only Sainsbury's

          You can just disable JS on a per-site basis (in Chrome). Even used to be possible straight from the website, now you have to go to settings…

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Not only Sainsbury's

        My custom host file list is going to rival War and Peace before long. Lots of website layouts look rather strange with all of the spamware not able to load.

    4. Michael Strorm

      Re: They have form ..

      The only reason- as far as I'm aware- they ask you to enter a password twice is to ensure that you didn't inadvertently make a typo. (*) So allowing the user to cut and paste from the first one would defeat the whole point.

      (*) This isn't a big deal when simply logging on- as you can try again- but if you're changing your password and set it to something other than what you intended, you could lock yourself out. On the other hand, that's the only time I can recall *having* to enter it twice anyway. Unless Sainsbury's require it for a regular login?

  4. spireite Silver badge

    Least they could have done was leave a sort code, account no and pin on screen to allow me to transfer to mine electronically

  5. martinusher Silver badge

    Its the graphics

    Windows is not a good system for unattended devices but its the management's choice because its "good for graphics". You find this mindset all over -- its one of the reasons why Windows is the backbone of industrial machinery, you find it literally everywhere.

    Its Christmas. I prefer not to think about the implications.

    1. Clausewitz 4.0 Bronze badge

      Re: Its the graphics

      Allow me to disagree. I have reverse engineered Linux ATMs also, and some are pretty good at the graphics part too.

      I believe developers are just more used to Windows.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Its the graphics

        Of course Linux is good at graphics. But you'll find a few people not far removed from these hallowed halls who seem to think it's all command line.

      2. Geez Money

        Re: Its the graphics

        > I believe developers are just more used to Windows.

        Basically all CS programs teach in Linux and the vast majority of development on most platforms (including the currently dominant cloud dev) is done in Linux. Devs are plenty familiar with the OS, for the vast majority of us moreso than Windows because we also run Linux or an Apple device for our dev environment itself. I've worked in this embedded device area and while both OSes were used Windows Embedded was more popular overall for this kind of stuff because all tradeoffs considered it was usually the better choice. (edit: and to be abundantly clear, the choice in my experience was never "cuz graphics")

        I know MiCroShaF$T BaD WinDOZZZZZE etc is the required attitude among the lay Linux users, but devs see two pieces of software which each have merits. Sorry we live in a nuanced world.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Its the graphics

      I think it's a case of when you only have a hammer everything looks like a nail.

      1. logicalextreme Silver badge

        Re: Its the graphics

        Or my preferred variant, when the only tool you have is a gun everything begins to look like your foot; aka "footgun"

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Its the graphics

          Isn't that what I wrote? It will be in the future.

        2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

          Re: Its the graphics

          A hammer is just a Birmingham screwdriver ...before I got a job in the tech world I was working on building sites with carpenters from Birmingham.

          1. Potty Professor Bronze badge

            Re: Birmingham Screwdriver

            At Ford we called it a Dagenham Screwdriver.

            My buddy worked for BMC, so they called it a Cowley Screwdriver.

            Another chap on my course at Uni worked for Talbot, so it was a Coventry Screwdriver.

            etc. etc. etc...

      2. CRConrad

        Re: Its the graphics

        A toenail.

    3. James Anderson

      Re: Its the graphics

      It’s actually because there are only three or four companies that make ATMs two have used Microsoft from the year dot, and, the third used OS/2 but migrated to windows after that unloved OS faded away.

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Its the graphics

      Don't forget Windows security model is rooted in VMS and has more granularity than *nix

      But the default is/was to turn almost all of that off and "run as root"

      There are far worse things than windows lurking in industrial applications

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Its the graphics

        Windows has also go the whole Active Directory / Group Policy thing going on, which is one of the overlooked reasons that it remains strong on enterprise desktops.

    5. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Its the graphics

      The last time I saw a cash machine booting (circa 2015), it was running OS/2!

  6. spold Silver badge

    Clippy.... seem to be robbing a bank...

  7. Winkypop Silver badge

    Free cash!

    Just tell us what you did for Xmas break first.

    Best one wins a prize!!

  8. el_oscuro

    I love notepad

    Anytime I see a notepad window like this, I know the machine is mine. That notepad window is probably running with SYSTEM level privileges, so using the file/open menu is like running explorer in admin mode.

    1. stiine Silver badge

      Re: I love notepad

      Yep. this is how you edit the hosts file in Windows 10.

    2. Clausewitz 4.0 Bronze badge

      Re: I love notepad

      Only if the monitor supports touchscreen + acessibility keyboard.

      No need for SYSTEM privs. Full of exploitation under usermode.

  9. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

    Notepad & The Remote Engineer - Picture The Scene

    Acting as on-site smart hands, my laptop (Via a docking station - Serial port), console cable plugged into a switch.

    He initially contacted me via IM & remoted in fine, but instead of continuing to use Skype/Lync, would issue his requirements to me via Notepad.

    Not that he would leave it opened off course, when no action was undertaken at our end by him (Now into the early evening & hes been doing this since 12pm, said genius clearly didn't know what he was doing with the set up (As I witnessed many of the remote default resets & restarts), one of us capitulated & called the other about what was not happening!

    Have you done what I requested?

    Am I supposed to do something?

    I left a note on Notepad!

    Did it occur for you to think you could leave it open for me to read, as you kept telling me hands off my laptop at this end!


    Left site at 10:45pm, he was still dicking around with my laptop that I left on-site overnight, for pickup next day, having rung my local bar & told them to put some beer's (Icon) in for me (Getting close to Last Call\Time).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alternatively, there’s the pure, human induced idiocy at our local Tesco

    Picture if you will. A row of three ATMs. Left and middle are broke. Rightmost is “Disabled due to social distancing “. Hold that thought.

    1. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C

      Re: Alternatively, there’s the pure, human induced idiocy at our local Tesco

      Possibly named cash_0, cash_1, cash_2 and a PHB saw 1,2,3 and gave the order to disable number 2

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