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Return of “The Blue Screen of Death”

I always learn things when I “talk” (usually by IM) with friends who, unlike me, STILL have “engineer” in their titles. (Update August 12, 2008 16:15 PDT: I just remembered! I can ADD “engineer” to my title! I still might have to stretch to get business cards with an official title like ONE of my friends has, “Entropy Control Engineer.”)

Today, I learned about this cameo sighting of the Windows “Blue Screen of Death” (BSoD) at the finale of the Opening Ceremonies at the Olympics in China. Apparently, Bill Gates was in the audience.

(Update August 12, 2008, 15:55 PDT: Another engineer friend of mine gave me the following links (1, 2) so that you can gaze at the error message to your heart’s content.)

The beginning of the Windows error screen message reads ”A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.” The error screen was projected onto the roof of the National Stadium as the veteran Chinese gymnast, Li Ning, “jogged” around the stadium on his way to light the Olympic Torch. According to the first article cited above, “The BSoD is a bit of an in-joke among geeks and is often used to poke fun at Microsoft’s bug-prone Windows operating system.”

I would never write something like THAT!

Windows XP, rather than Vista, was chosen to run on the PCs of the organizers and is also the operating system installed on PCs supplied to the Olympics by the Lenovo Group.

If you are too young to remember much about the Blue Screen of Death, or wisely grew up on Macintosh, you may appreciate this famous Haiku on the subject. Other famous Haiku error messages are here and elsewhere.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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