/ Great error messages of or time

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ben b - on 18 Oct 2016

Just got a beauty from Microsoft Exchange server: "id is malformed"

Freud will be delighted!

b
Post edited at 10:01
Martin W on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

Windows 98 would occasionally complain: "This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down". I always used to wonder whether I was supposed to call the police.

(Slightly scary to think that I've probably not seen that error in the current century!)
ben b - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to Martin W:
Many moons ago I had "Your action cannot be completed. Take another inaction or press cancel"

A different inaction? That's pretty zen

Cheers

B
stevieb - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

I used to work for BR. The application error message deliberately added for the sleeper service was "Sex is mandatory in a sleeper berth"
planetmarshall on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

The classic Amiga Guru Meditation Error -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_uEAigrG7k
skog on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

I've developed a fondness for the Windows 10 installation error:

Something happened
Something happened

... it's a new classic, I think.
John2 - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

I once worked on a system which had incremental error messages. The first two times the operator made the error, the message was 'Illegal operation'; the third time it was, 'F*ck off and don't be so stupid'.
davidbeynon on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

Best I have seen was "An undetectable error has occurred".

BUT YOU JUST DETECTED IT!
rallymania on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

back in the days of early dos.
if you started a PC without a keyboard attached, it would present

keyboard not found, press F1 to continue
paul__in_sheffield - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

Used to run big jobs on a mainframe with an operating system called George 4.
If you were logged in as Sysadmin and tried to log out while a job was running you gor

'Error! You cannot abandon yourself'

This was in the days when a punchcard operator gave you your program ready to run in a box full of cards.
jonfun21 on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

"Who is this General Failure and why does he/she keep trying to read my hard drive"
wercat on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:
The best error messages start with a phone call "Hello, this is Windows team calling you today about problems with your computer"

I told them at length about my 8 bit computer's monitor program and asked which version of Windows I should buy for it.


I did have a liking for a certain Hewlett Packard serial terminal which had a habit when the break key was pressed of just displaying

up U

followed by a squiggle
Post edited at 13:42
Scarab9 - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

mostly notable for the fallout it produced as a pretentious government high up made a massive kick off about it that quickly escalated into ridiculous levels....

a coded error message including the word 'nonce'.

A nonce is essentially a single use value in programming.

This guy assumed our system was insulting him using the urban dictionary's number one definition -

"nonse
Slang for peado, or sex-offender
tom lands is a f***** nonse"

Went very far before someone accepted that no our developer's were not putting insults in the code.
FactorXXX - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

This one: -

http://hmpg.net/
pebbles - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to planetmarshall:
> The classic Amiga Guru Meditation Error -
you can still get the bloody thing if you work withn Virtual Box at all
Phil Anderson on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

I had one of the early pocket organisers - not much more than an address book and limited diary really. Anyway, when you told it to compact (i.e. defrag it's storage) it would come up with...

"Do not press any key."

I always wondered what would happen if I did but never tried.
syv_k - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to jonfun21:

> "Who is this General Failure and why does he/she keep trying to read my hard drive"

He/she is on the same side as Kernel Panic.
johnjohn - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

I generally like Google, tax affairs and knowing more about me than I know myself aside, but I absolutely hate "Aw, Snap!". I hate everything about it. The fake cutesyness, the Americanism -it should know I've selected uk English ffs -, the incorrect use of the second capital... All that and it denotes that the software chucking all that bad stuff at me has just failed.
1
Martin W on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I was working in the IT department of a stockbroking firm. The Head of IT decided we needed a new sysop. He ended up recruiting a rather personable and jolly young lady who he fairly obviously secretly rather fancied. As part of her training, he took it upon himself to guide her through the complexities of the overnight batch run. (It was only complex because he'd written it himself, way back when he was the IT department, in his unique, baroque form of spaghetti-FORTRAN that used to drive us programmers nuts.)

At some late hour, with just the two of them left in an office lit only by the flickering glow of a VT100, their eyes met...a single, pithy message: "The batch is f****d".

That somewhat torpedoed any non-professional thoughts he might have been harbouring, replacing them with mumbling embarrassment - and the realisation that he was going to have to try to recover the thing by hand. (By which I mean, repair the mangled files using a text editor. Just in case you thought I might have been referring to an excess of unrequited ardour on his part.)

The next day he was in a foul temper, and desperate to blame someone in the programming team for ruining the previous evening's mood. He never did find out who'd done it, but we all knew - because the culprit admitted to us that they had got fed up trying to crowbar a change into the mangled, zombie corpse of the batch job's source code and inserted the offending message and program exit as a safety measure in a section of code which looked impossible to reach but, with arithmetic IF statements and GOTOs sprinkled around like confetti, it was difficult to be at all sure.

As we got to know the lassie in question it became clear that (a) she had found the whole episode hilarious, but had not felt able to say so, it being her first day, and (b) her own choice of words was frequently several degrees more colourful.
captain paranoia - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:
> Used to run big jobs on a mainframe with an operating system called George 4.

An ICL 1900...?

[edit: hah - get yourself an emulator https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GEORGE_%28operating_system%29 ]

[snigger]big jobs[/snigger]

I seem to recall someone getting offended by 'Invalid syntax', misreading the pronunciation of 'invalid'...
Post edited at 18:33
paul__in_sheffield - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to captain paranoia:

> An ICL 1900...?

> [edit: hah - get yourself an emulator https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GEORGE_%28operating_system%29 ]

> [snigger]big jobs[/snigger]

> I seem to recall someone getting offended by 'Invalid syntax', misreading the pronunciation of 'invalid'...

Yes an ICL 1900, before we traded it for a Silicon Graphics.
Big jobs ;-)
1
KevinD - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to John2:

On an internal team tool set it up that if someone did the same mistake twice it disabled the controls and instructed them to get a responsible adult to help them out.
Had to remove that rather sharpish when we were asked to make it more broadly available.
ben b - on 19 Oct 2016
In reply to skog:

I'm not sure if that helps or hinders!

http://static.neatorama.com/images/2008-01/error-message.jpg continues the Zen theme (the philosophy, rather than the uberbollox of "ZeN Group of Companies has today evolved into one of the fastest growing IT solutions company in the nation... Bestowed with the capacity to move and adapt swiftly in a fast-paced dynamic and fast-evolving e-business world, ZeN is well-positioned to assist business organizations in adopting new technology and new paradigms for their business achievements").

b



John2 - on 19 Oct 2016
In reply to KevinD:

I was working for Kleinwort Benson when they were taken over by Dresdner Bank. One of the error messages was temporarily changed to, 'Achtung, Britische schweinhund'.
Oujmik - on 19 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

The two best I have come across are

"Panic! We are hanging here..." from the Unix kernel of Mac OS X in the early days of the OS when it was intent on destroying my Dad's old Power Mac G3)

and

"Time has stopped" from Android when the clock app crashes.
martinturnchapel - on 19 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

"step handshake routine failed" was a bit baffling
alasdair19 on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to martinturnchapel:

I get the Internet has stopped from my Samsung which is a good effort from my mobile!
cb294 - on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to martinturnchapel:

Digital freemasons?
MG - on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

"There is no error message for this error"
ads.ukclimbing.com
wercat on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

mmm,

1202 ?


Which reminds me - my first computer's only error message was a "?" replacing the cursor.
hokkyokusei - on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

Not an error exactly, but my TV once suggested to me that "Yesterday will return tomorrow".
wilkie14c - on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

"Installation successfully completed. Welcome to Windows 10"


surely a modern classic?
wercat on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

Any error message is more "classy" when it is printed out on an ASR33 teletype followed by the teletype's bell ringing.

(I might be dating myself a bit there)
captain paranoia - on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to wilkie14c:

The whole Windows 10 installation process is like something out of the Twilight Zone, with whole 'breathing' blue background and messages...

"Hi..."

"We've taken control of your computer..."

"We are uploading all your files to our servers in Redmond..."

"Please remain calm during this transitional period..."

"You have been assimilated..."

"Installation successfully completed. Welcome to Windows 10"
Lemony - on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

I was installing a piece of software for our company and it kept getting to a stage that just said "error?", with two buttons which said "Continue" and "Cancel". If you clicked "Continue" an error would indeed occur and the install would fail but if you clicked "Cancel" it installed absolutely fine. I never did work out why it would ask you if you wanted it to error or not.
AndyC - on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to captain paranoia:

> The whole Windows 10 installation process is like something out of the Twilight Zone, with whole 'breathing' blue background and messages...

Yep - Microsoft is guilty of dumbing down the whole error message business - seem to remember seeing something like "You've gone offline and the Internet isn't the same without you... let's get you back online". Also putting error messages in the first person - "We seem to be having some problems here..." - argh!

Have some software at work that regularly coughs up "The operation could not be completed, the error message was 'Success'".

An ancient Unix data import routine used to generate "Some unexpected input has been detected, attempting to resume, try not to watch".


Mark Edwards - on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

COFFEE.EXE Missing - Insert Cup and Press Any Key
SENILE.COM found - Out Of Memory
Lion Bakes on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

An error has occurred, please press escape to Brexit.
csambrook - on 20 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

Unix systems used to (and possibly still do) have the concept of a user identity level if you didn't have a high enough level for the operation you were attempting you got "insufficient user ID". Which of course mutated into "insufficient user IQ".
LastBoyScout on 21 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

-3 => Exceptional I/O error (hardware or software).

Just this week I also got:
-25 => Router could not route request to specific Server process.
So, that's what it can't do, but no clue as to why - in this case, it was due to an expired licence.

There are a number of quite eccentric errors in our software, left behind by old developers. I'll try and dig a few out next week.
Jim C - on 21 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

'stale Data' Error is the most hated thing in my life at the moment ( apart from Oracle itself )
Just Another Dave - on 21 Oct 2016
In reply to ben b:

Someone told me they had a system that always delivered error messages in haiku. eg:

It's not working now.
It was working yesterday.
Windows is like that.

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