Interactive error message on unattended device

I returned from vacation to Turkey this week. The AYT airport in Antalya uses a large number of public information screens to show advertisements, announcements, and security advice. A row of ca. ten screens in the front baggage screening area was not working properly. Instead of what they were supposed to be showing, the screens featured a Microsoft Windows logo and several icons familiar from a default Windows desktop. I did not dare take a picture of the row of screens, because I feared discussions with staff about photographing in a security area. My lack of command of the local language would not have helped, either.

Later in the waiting area at the gate, I found another screen that was not working properly. It showed a sceen saver movie for some seconds, then the movie resized from full screen resolution to a small rectangle in the upper left corner of the screen. An interactive error message appeared. From the circumstances and the layout of the message I assume that it is the dialog encountered when the operating systems detects and application crash and suggeests sending crash data to the Windows Error Reporting (WER) service. After about half a minute the movie was again playing in full screen resolution. Later, the error message appeared again, and the process repeated. On the picture you might note the large number of small icons in the tray notification area in the lower right corner of the screen. I guess that these icons belong to processes that were forcefully shut down.

None of the staff present at the airport seemed to care about the public information screens not displaying the desired content. Those who had acess to input devices to change the state of the systems probably did not monitor the systems, and those who had visual feedback did not have access to input devices to handle the interactive error messages.

Addendum: When I arrived at work this morning, the information screen in the entrance area of the college displayed a list of today’s lectures – as usual – overlayed by a message announcing: „Welcome to Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal“. Apparently, even our in-house systems can exhibit the same behaviour as I experienced abroad.

About Author: Hanno Langweg

Comments are closed.