Showing the Commuter Your Errors

A short filler article this week, to show off a photo I took last summer of the train departure screens at Canning Town station in London.


The text is hard to read in the photo, but the error message is basically a ‘no more space on the file system’ message. And yes, that really is a command prompt window with a Windows XP backdrop. By the way Microsoft are due to cease supporting XP in April next year, so I guess the Docklands Light Railway will have some upgrading to do soon, if they haven’t already done it.

This is what the screens should normally look like.


Obviously there’s a lesson there about handling your exceptions, but somehow I don’t think you need me to point that out.

Since I actually saw the same error screen on at least two occasions fully a week apart, I suspect there’s another lesson about how you prioritize your error-fixing!

I’ve postponed this week’s planned article, ‘Where’s the Tree’ to next week, because it got crowded out by writing a Pluralsight course this week. The lesson there of course is that things that you’re going to get paid for often tend to get prioritized over things that you’re not getting paid for!

And, before you ask, No, I did not consider titling this replacement ‘Where’s the Article’. That would be silly.


3 thoughts on “Showing the Commuter Your Errors

  1. I always find it strange that a full powered computer (albeit an old one, judging by the OS version), running a multitasking windowing operating system, sits there running an application that displays just a few lines of a table in full screen mode, all day every day.

    Obviously it makes economic sense, as such machines are mass-market and cheap, compared with developing a bespoke single use machine for rail timetables only, but still it’s odd to think the myriad different powerful apps you *could* be running on it instead.

    1. I agree. It does seem surprising. More so that – so far as I can tell from the fact that only one screen displayed the error, presumably each information screen was connected to a different computer, which would seem like too much hardware (surely one computer could control multiple screens?). But as you say, maybe Windows desktops are so cheap that that was the cheapest way of doing it.

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