The right tool for the job ?

From the "risk digest - is Windows up to running our world" - the author of the article shows images of a display board at an Atlanta airport with a "Message Box" covering some of the underlying data - the images are here - in this case the display system is using a regular version of Windows - I've also seen very similar error messages on a video phone in Asia, and I'm sure many of you have seem similar "embedded" systems showing regular operating system error messages.

Perhaps the device manufacturers should consider moving to Windows XP Embedded - Windows XP Embedded supports the same hardware and driver model as the desktop version of Windows, and of course is capable of running standard Windows applications, but also has the advantage of only running the applications and driver technologies you need for your system (and also has technologies to dismiss any message boxes that creep onto the screen!) - Getting the Embedded Operating System up and running can be pretty quick, there's no re-coding of your applications or drivers - see the tutorial here.

The lesson here ? - if you're building an "embedded" device, consider using the Embedded versions of Windows operating systems - you can boot directly into your 'shell' application, you don't need the standard Windows shell, more information about Windows CE and Windows XP Embedded can be found here. You can also download and try the tools FREE for 120 days from the Windows Embedded Kit site.

Let me know if you have any example "Embedded" device error photos.

- Mike


Comments (8)

  1. Don Newman says:

    On a recent trip to Orlando I also witnessed some of these error messages. The geek in me wanted a photo but I had already used up all my film. The geek in me really needs a digital camera.

  2. Uwe Keim says:

    Interesting to see that the Atlanta message boxes are captioned "Windows Scripting Host".

    I wonder how a full-features airport can rely on something "unreliable" (in terms of error handling/reporting) as a scripting language…

  3. Mike says:

    Yes, digital is definately the way to go – the ability to take some pictures, drop a CF/SD card into your laptop and upload to your web site for friends and family to share – plus, you can get digital photo’s printed on photographic paper either online or at a number of pharmacies (some of the photo printers are running Windows XP Embedded!).

    – Mike

  4. Steve says:

    Not sure if it’s embedded or not, but here’s a picture of a blue screen at key arena I took:

  5. JAN says:

    I didn’t take a photo of it, but when catching the train from the Embedded RFP in Cambridge back to London, the middle screen out of three that was supposed to show some departure or arrivel times was blue, too 🙂

    And several ATMs in London, too …

    That was nice to see though as I only knew that the old ones were running OS/2… now I know they are running some Windows OS these days …

  6. Mike Dimmick says:

    There’s a bunch of them on This Is Broken:

    Usually it’s people saying ‘oh, bloody broken Microsoft software again’ where usually the problem is that the *hardware* is broken, the *network* *link* has failed (and the application couldn’t handle it), or the *application* has a runtime error. Rarely MS’ fault.

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