Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 13:04 UTC
Humor Times Square has seen the largest Windows error message ever. One of the many machines controlling one of the many electronic billboards crashed, displaying a large DirectX error message. The billboard is two stories high. Adam Gaffin happened to be at Times Square and took some pictures of the world's largest error message.
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Ok... so....
by Adam S on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 13:19 UTC
Adam S
Member since:
2005-04-01

Let's clear a few things up.

1. This is a DirectX error, not a "Windows error."
2. This type of error can be thrown by any bad driver, and in many cases, by a poorly written application.
3. This error could possibly have nothing to do with Microsoft.
4. Conversely, since it is a DirectX issue, and Microsoft wrote DirectX, it could have everything to do with them.
5. While this is very amusing, there is no guarantee that this is truly a Microsoft issue.

I've seen apps crash on my Mac, they usually ask me to report it to Apple. Most recently, it was the Adobe Lightroom beta. Not an Apple problem. Microsoft deserves the same courtesy.

But still funny.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Ok... so....
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 13:24 UTC in reply to "Ok... so...."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Yeah, you're right Adam, but I was referring to the fact that this is a "Windows" error, just as I would call the same message in OSX an "OSX" error.

I still find this one funny ;) .

Reply Score: 5

RE: Ok... so....
by molnarcs on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 13:46 UTC in reply to "Ok... so...."
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

I think "Windows Error" is absolutel accurate in this case. DirectX is a Windows technology - by all definitions. This situation is not the same when we try to explain that an error in $app that happens to ship with RedHat is not a RedHat error - unless the error is associated with the tools they develop. In this case, Microsoft develops DirectX, and it is an integral part of the OS (WinXP is pretty much crippled without it) so.

Otherwise, I mostly agree with the rest of your points. In fact, 4) is just about what I wrote (it suggests that 1) is just about semantics).

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Ok... so....
by Adam S on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 13:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Ok... so...."
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

Not necessarily. There are many computers that run XP that do not have the capability to run DirectX.

Also, DirectX errors are not always problems with DirectX itself.

If I try to FTP into a site with the wrong password, is that a problem with my FTP application? Of course not.

I understand the difference is mostly semantic, but this error could be a problem with an application that uses the DirectX API.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Ok... so....
by luser on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 13:47 UTC in reply to "Ok... so...."
luser Member since:
2005-08-31

People will still look at it and think "he, another windows error...", nothing it doesn't deserve anyway ;) Nice one for the BSOD Gallery:
http://daimyo.org/bsod/

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Ok... so....
by abhaysahai on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 13:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Ok... so...."
abhaysahai Member since:
2005-10-20

Lol,
This really is funny. Probably the biggest software maker deserves to have their error displayed on largest monitors. Times Square -- wow a nice place to display error.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Ok... so....
by miscz on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 14:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Ok... so...."
miscz Member since:
2005-07-17

ATM that I frequently use is notoriously broken displaying Windows 9x machines. I wish I knew who got the brillant idea to run Windows on a machine that so many people depend on :

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Ok... so....
by miscz on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 14:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ok... so...."
miscz Member since:
2005-07-17

displaying Windows 9x errors*

I have to get some sleep ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Ok... so....
by sandorfal on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 15:32 UTC in reply to "Ok... so...."
sandorfal Member since:
2006-02-22

Only a badly designed OS can be put into a bad state by a driver or appl fault.
Windows is a badly designed OS so we have all sort of things like that with it.
Yesterday the subway tickets delivery machine had an error message box like that.
Hopefully, OSes used into cars or medical machines are not from microsoft.
A good thing for peace would be to put Windows into missiles :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Ok... so....
by makfu on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 16:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Ok... so...."
makfu Member since:
2005-12-18

Only a badly designed OS can be put into a bad state by a driver or appl fault.
Windows is a badly designed OS so we have all sort of things like that with it.
Yesterday the subway tickets delivery machine had an error message box like that.
Hopefully, OSes used into cars or medical machines are not from microsoft.
A good thing for peace would be to put Windows into missiles :-)


Yes another person who doesn't have a clue, jabbering on about a subject they know nothing about.

1. A usermode application running as a limited user cannot, by itself, put the system in a "bad state" on NT. If it attempts to do so, the application will fail.

2. Windows (NT based), Mac OS X, Linux and most other general purpose operating systems implement drivers either in kernel mode as modules or directly compiled into the kernel image. So, if your driver code is broken, it will raise a kernel Panic or BSOD (kernel bugcheck in NT speak).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Ok... so....
by ma_d on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 17:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Ok... so...."
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Thank you for clearing something up for us all: You have no clue what you're talking about.

A badly designed OS can be completely destroyed by a bad driver, it has, intentionally, almost NO control over drivers. They're given free reign.
Applications faults won't crash anything newer than Mac OS 9.

And finally: This wasn't a crashed machine, this was crashed application/driver running on the machine. The fact that the window displayed (and now a blue screen of NT death) indicates that the OS handled the situation perfectly: Well, that or it forced something to crash which didn't need to crash.

And yes, hopefully, no one will be running Windows in our cars for anything more than the navigation help system!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Ok... so....
by postmodern on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 20:28 UTC in reply to "Ok... so...."
postmodern Member since:
2006-01-27

You know any other OS besides Windows that DirectX runs on? I believe this qualifies as a Windows error, you know since it's running ON WINDOWS. The real question I think your asking is who created the error.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Ok... so....
by Adam S on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 20:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Ok... so...."
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

That's ridiculous logic. So if I write a crappy Perl script that only runs on Linux and can make something crash, that's a Linux problem?

Reply Score: 5

Short short movie treatment
by smitty_one_each on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 13:28 UTC
smitty_one_each
Member since:
2005-07-07

Giant Balmer striding through concrete jungle, chair on shoulder.
Stops at Times Square. Swings. Home run!

Reply Score: 4

QFT
by jonas on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 13:34 UTC
jonas
Member since:
2005-07-08

A comment from the site:

"The probblem isn't that an error happened - happens all the time on all sorts of operating systems. The problem is where the error is being reported - on the display console."

Quoted for absolute truth.

Reply Score: 2

Yes, a Windows error
by Sheld on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 13:45 UTC
Sheld
Member since:
2005-12-21

Whether this dialog comes up as the result of an application or Windows error doesn't really matter. The point is that this error is displayed on a billboard in a totally inapproriate way, it shows that the OS (Windows in this case) doesn't know it's running on a billboard, and so is inappropriate for the task.

A badly designed billboard system using a badly written app on an inappropriate OS. I guess nobody gets fired for chosing Windows until something like this happens.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Yes, a Windows error
by aesiamun on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 14:29 UTC in reply to "Yes, a Windows error"
aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

Any modal error dialog for Gnome or KDE would show up on this large screen as well. The system SHOULDN'T care about the display used. The drivers should take care of that.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Yes, a Windows error
by Sheld on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 14:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Yes, a Windows error"
Sheld Member since:
2005-12-21

I didn't say Gnome or KDE would be a better choice. In fact I don't think any desktop system would be appropriate, they are not meant for this.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Yes, a Windows error
by aesiamun on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 14:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Yes, a Windows error"
aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

The problem seems to be that that's what people are selling these systems with. You get a PC, desktop OS and a POS software package.

On top of that, the software is unstable and it crashes. Causing either Hardlocks or just stupid random errors.

I'm not sure what they wrote this in, but if it is an application based error, exception handling isn't being done...I wish people would just write better software.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Yes, a Windows error
by Jimbo on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 15:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Yes, a Windows error"
Jimbo Member since:
2005-07-22

"Any modal error dialog for Gnome or KDE would show up on this large screen as well."

I really doubt that Gnome or KDE are being run on any embedded Linux installation, anywhere. They sure as hell aren't installed on my Tivo.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Yes, a Windows error
by aesiamun on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 15:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Yes, a Windows error"
aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

Who said anythign about embedded? This is more likely than not a windows box sitting in a room somewhere.

It's probably XP Pro or 2000/2003 server.

I'm not sure where you're pulling "embedded" from.

Reply Score: 3

not unique
by bile on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 13:49 UTC
bile
Member since:
2005-07-08

I worked across the street in the Reuters building for 2 years and saw several errors of that sort at different times. The GMC LED panal near there would freak out constantly. A few times you'd see the output from the PC controlling it as the person was trying to fix it. Largest damn Windows desktop I'd seen.

Reply Score: 3

RE: not unique
by espinafre on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 16:22 UTC in reply to "not unique"
espinafre Member since:
2006-01-15

I trust he didn't surf pr0n ;D

Reply Score: 1

oups...
by yanik on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 14:33 UTC
yanik
Member since:
2005-07-13

Anyone has the pictures? they took it off.

Reply Score: 1

RE: oups...
by aesiamun on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 14:39 UTC in reply to "oups..."
aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

I just checked, they are still up and available.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: oups...
by yanik on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 14:48 UTC in reply to "RE: oups..."
yanik Member since:
2005-07-13

well, I still can't see them, it redirect me to this:

"http://www.nwfusion.com/community/"" rel="nofollow">http://www.idg.com/referals.nsf/notice?openform&ttref=http://osnews...

Edited 2006-02-22 14:49

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: oups...
by JamesTRexx on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 20:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: oups..."
JamesTRexx Member since:
2005-11-06

Just copy the link to a blank tab. It reacts when you open it from a site outside its domain.

Reply Score: 1

ok,
by yanik on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 14:49 UTC
yanik
Member since:
2005-07-13

got it now, sorry about that

Reply Score: 1

Celebrations
by CaptainFlint on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 15:08 UTC
CaptainFlint
Member since:
2006-01-24

I think this error might have been in celebration of the Windows Bumping UNIX off the top of the server market survey. What a party! I wish I was there to cheer for Microsoft. I bet they tell the next shareholders meeting, "You cannot buy publicity like this". ;)

Reply Score: 1

take me
by k.g.stoyanov on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 15:27 UTC
k.g.stoyanov
Member since:
2005-07-12

they have to take me to manipulate their pc`s, it seems that these people dont know, that first thing after installing winxp is to disable error report service and error messages!

Reply Score: 1

v Next time...
by linuxh8r on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 15:52 UTC
RE: Next time...
by SlackerJack on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 16:06 UTC in reply to "Next time..."
SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

Kernel panics are extremely rare and atleast I can drop Andew Morton a email and get it fixed fast.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Next time...
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 16:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Next time..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Kernel panics are extremely rare and atleast I can drop Andew Morton a email and get it fixed fast.

And then have fun re-compiling the kernel with Andrew's patch, or else wait before the patch makes it into a standard kernel you can download ;) .

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Next time...
by SlackerJack on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 16:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Next time..."
SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

Wow, you think thats hard? I could do it in the time it takes you to get your updates in Windows.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Next time...
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 16:22 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Next time..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Wow, you think thats hard? I could do it in the time it takes you to get your updates in Windows.

If you think you can run a mission-critical machine on a kernel you compiled yourself without any form of testing... Then I don't want you maintaining OSNews' server.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Next time...
by SlackerJack on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 16:28 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Next time..."
SlackerJack Member since:
2005-11-12

Who said anything about servers?, i'm desktop orientated here.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Next time...
by abraxas on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 21:27 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Next time..."
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

I would hardly consider a billboard a mission critical machine. Even if it were it's not like MS hasn't released bad patches before and patching and compiling a kernel in Linux isn't really that hard. I could understand your point if he said he created the patch himself and then patched and compiled the kernel to run on a mission critical server but that isn't the case at all.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Next time...
by abraxas on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 21:19 UTC in reply to "Next time..."
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

I had a kernel panic once. It ended up being hardware related. I have never seen one since. That was over 2 years ago.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Next time...
by re_re on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 01:31 UTC in reply to "Next time..."
re_re Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't even remember the last time I had a kernel panic, it's been a long time (2 years maybe).

That having been said, Windows problems are not problems with the kernel, they are driver and application problems typically.

Oh yeah... typically (at least on my linux systems) when there is an error message, it pops under any window that has full control of the monitor (xine in full screen for instance) instead of appearing above it.

Edited 2006-02-23 01:33

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Next time...
by JLF65 on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 01:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Next time..."
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

That having been said, Windows problems are not problems with the kernel, they are driver and application problems typically.

The last time MS released info about crashes, they claimed that 50% of crashes were NOT due to Windows itself. But that also means that the other 50% ARE due to Windows itself.

By the way, most people would consider a DirectX problem a Windows problem. DirectX is written by MS for Windows, and comes with every Windows installation (except possibly Windows Server). Also, most drivers are signed by MS and go through an MS verification process. That means most driver problems really should be considered Windows problems as well. Hey, MS said they were good, and we take them at their word.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Next time...
by makfu on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 16:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Next time..."
makfu Member since:
2005-12-18

The last time MS released info about crashes, they claimed that 50% of crashes were NOT due to Windows itself. But that also means that the other 50% ARE due to Windows itself.

Where exactly did you see such a report? Because it is wrong. Roughly 70 percent of kernel bugchecks (panic/BSOD) are a result of a faulty hardware device drivers. Roughly 20 percent is other third party software with a kernel mode driver (e.g. AV, intrusion detection, etc.) and the rest is split between faults in Microsoft supplied OS code and hardware issues (with the vast majority of those being hardware).

Very few kernel bugchecks are a result of Microsoft provided code. You can verify this the next time you see a BSOD by simply looking up the stop code on MSDN. Furthermore, actually doing a full dump exam to pinpoint the cause is pretty easy; load symbols, load windbg, load the dump in windbg and do a !analyze -v and 95% of the time you will get an exact answer as to what caused the crash. And if that doesn't work, you can enable all kinds of extended tracing and state checking using verifier.exe.

Of course, most zealots and lightweights can't be bothered to actually read any documentation and learn something about Windows. It serves their ideological slant to just trash talk.

One of my Linux boxes hard hangs every week or so, or the X-server bombs out. Now, if I used standard anti-Windows fud discussion methods, I would just say Linux is crap. However, I know that the problem is likely the Nvidia X-server I am using and has nothing to do with the quality of the core OS code (I will skip over the Linux kernels lack of a proper standard crashdump facility).

Reply Score: 1

Tipical
by SlackerJack on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 16:03 UTC
SlackerJack
Member since:
2005-11-12

It's funny how every time I hear that "windows only errors because of a bad driver" lmao, It's not a Windows error?, DirectX is part of Windows.

Come on people you can do better than that, apps can crash because of kernel issues. I've seen a BSOD on my train station screen, bad drivers?, WTF!.

Reply Score: 1

Nothing wrong with the OS - Application fault
by makfu on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 16:12 UTC
makfu
Member since:
2005-12-18

The application faulted while executing DirectX runtime code. This was an application fault, the application just happens to have faulted while executing DX code.

The OS has not crashed and the system is still up and running. The application could easily be restarted. The real problem here is that the application is buggy and needs to be fixed.

So, again, no, there was no fault in A. The OS or B. The Driver.

If there had been in either component, the system would have kernel bug checked with a big old BSOD. And THEN you would have the worlds biggest Windows error.

-Mak

Reply Score: 2

whatever
by Hugo on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 16:39 UTC
Hugo
Member since:
2005-07-06

If it was a directx error the message box would be titled "directx", this one sounds more like a custom (most likely non microsoft) component that uses directx. In my opinion it's probably a directshow video codec that borked.

Edited 2006-02-22 16:40

Reply Score: 2

Ever see a sign crash?
by rayiner on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 16:44 UTC
rayiner
Member since:
2005-07-06

I recently took a management class here at Georgia Tech. It gave me occasion to visit its recently-built management building, and I swear that they must've had Xzibit as a consultant, given how many LCD screens were strewn about the place. Anyway, one day I'm walking down the hallway, and I see one of the room signs displaying a "Windows is low on virtual memory" message. I was floored, since I hadn't realized until then that the signs were actually LCDs. I didn't know which one was funnier: that somebody thought it was a good idea to have a full LCD to just show the room number and occupant, or that Windows had managed to run out of virtual memory just displaying a static image!

Reply Score: 5

billboard OS
by JanosNeumann on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 16:53 UTC
JanosNeumann
Member since:
2006-02-22

Why are people using Windows for displaying messages on billboards? The university I work at puts up screens all over the place and then runs a windows powerpoint presentation on them. They keep getting BSOD, error messages and occasionally the administrator forgets to turn off the screensaver. Why not use a multi-head setup so that error messages don't show up where you don't want them?

Reply Score: 2

RE: billboard OS
by Tyr. on Wed 22nd Feb 2006 17:09 UTC in reply to "billboard OS"
Tyr. Member since:
2005-07-06

Ironically It's Windows bad reputation that allows them to do this. People see the errors and go "haha look Windows crashed again" instead of "who is this crappy company with lousy admins and a badly written application".

And ofcourse as is often the case you wouldn't expect people with this competence level to be able to use anything but Windows. (To avoid flames: this as an accomplishment for Windows)

Reply Score: 2

could happen to anyone
by transputer_guy on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 02:19 UTC
transputer_guy
Member since:
2005-07-08

Just to balance things out, a few years back on a hospital trip they had these help stations all over, usually these are driven by Windows but this one was BeOS in Kernal panic land. But then again these stati9ons have to take who knows what abuse from the public maybe even ctl alt del perhaps.

It happens to the best and the worst of them

Reply Score: 1

imagine if
by transputer_guy on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 02:25 UTC
transputer_guy
Member since:
2005-07-08

Hey imagine they had been running some live TV event like say the Janet Jackson wardrobe error with Justin or another blooper and the frame froze right at the right moment.

Ofcourse the signal should have been on a 2nd head where the errors don't go.

Reply Score: 0

MS
by happycamper on Thu 23rd Feb 2006 06:29 UTC
happycamper
Member since:
2006-01-01

that was one of Microsoft ads selling MS Windows strong points: it's errors.

Reply Score: 1