Service required * Brewer error *


Last year, one of the fancy-dancy iCup devices (yes that's its name, I kid you not) in the kitchen of my building went on the fritz. Things break, that's to be expected. The screen which normally guides you through the selection process instead displayed an error message.

Service required
* Brewer error *

The problem was not that it was out of coffee; when that happens, a much more specific error is displayed. Something like, um, "Out of coffee". No, this time, there was some sort of weird internal error that prevented the machine from working. Fortunately, this was only one machine in a two-machine cluster, so the second machine could assume the extra load without interrupting service.

This didn't stop people from making jokes about it, though. Attached to the machine was a note that read

gle=109
ERROR_BROKEN_PIPE

Another joker wrote

Java runtime
failure

Computer programmers think they're so clever.

(Meanwhile, Matt Sampson is not convinced that everything that comes out of the coffee machine is actually coffee.)

Comments (26)
  1. Dean Harding says:

    We used to have a coffee machine at my old job. One of the options was (I kid you not) "Beverage with the flavour of chocolate."

    A couple of weeks after it was installed, they changed that particular label to instead read "Hot chocolate." I guess "Beverage with the flavour of chocolate" didn’t sell quite as well as they thought it would…

  2. x says:

    "Beverage with the flavour of chocolate" is surely more law compliant than "Hot chocolate" because 90% water, 8% dried milk and 2% chocolate powder.. hardly fits the "hot chocolate" definition.

  3. S says:

    Does the iCup use iPods of coffee? Just checking.

  4. Juan says:

    That’s what happens when you drink cofee (http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/89/5#5)

  5. Swedish Reader says:

    The coffe machine at my work requires an occasional re-start – unplug the power cord and put it back in. This usually solves most problems :-).

  6. David Walker says:

    I read the original post as "Browser Error" the first time…. Hmm….

  7. Nathan says:

    From MSDN nit pickers to Mormon trolls ? Is that a new low for trolling, or has Mitt Romney made it a more front and center issue ?

  8. Martin Brown says:

    I’ve just followed the "iCup devices" link. There is a number of sectons on this pagel. One plays a video and is marked "Attractive". I’m wondering if they are refering to the Coffee Machine or the woman using it?

  9. Martin Brown says:

    I just noticed that an iCup is also something you pee in:

    http://www.usscreeningsource.com/icup_drug_test.htm

  10. asdf says:

    And if you spell the word "iCup" out loud, you’ll figure out why they named it that.

  11. Wolf Logan says:

    I think my favourite part of this post is the description of the twin iCup machines as a "two-machine cluster".

    Mmmm….massively-parallel coffee service…

  12. cmov says:

    Hmm, that error message seems out-of-spec. The RFC doesn’t define it: http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2324.txt

  13. michaele says:

    The relevant passage, depending upon how you interpret it, is actually 4 lines later:  "9 And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly."  This is why, I am told, some Mormons will drink cold caffeinated beverages, but not coffee.  It’s the heat, not the caffeine…

  14. John says:

    Seriously, no hot drinks?  Why is every omnipotent being so petty?  If I were a God this would be my book. http://sam.zoy.org/wtfpl/

  15. John Brewer says:

    At first I took the title of that entry personally.  I was wondering how you knew I was reading your RSS feed, and what kind of error had happened inside of Google Reader.

  16. Juan says:

    When you read hot drinks it was to be clear Tea and Coffee. (Widtsoe, word of wisdom, pages 85-86). In general the Authorities warn about any harmful ingredients such cola (Priesthood Bulletin, Feb. 1972 page 4). Anyways what I meant is that you don’t have this kind of trouble when you don’t drink Coffee. It’s like saying you don’t have memory address related issues when you run into managed code.

  17. alex says:

    can I complain about side by side? If it’s so great why is it still “hellish” (aka dll hell) and even msxml6 developers say it’s “evil” (saw on a newsgroup posting).

    although I like it if it would just work!

    [Topic suggestions go into the suggestion box, but remember what types of questions I’m qualified to answer (and SxS isn’t one of them). -Raymond]
  18. Ulric says:

    >> http://www.usscreeningsource.com/icup_drug_test.htm

    > And if you spell the word "iCup" out loud, you’ll figure out why they named it that.

    *that’s* absolutely hilarious.. had me laughing for several minutes :)

  19. alex says:

    but remember what types of questions I’m

    qualified to answer (and SxS isn’t one of them

    consider yourself lucky ;)

  20. Anonymous Coffee says:

    Fortunately, this was only one machine in a

    two-machine cluster […]

    remember what types of questions I’m qualified

    to answer (and SxS isn’t one of them)

    So the cluster configuration was?

    Computer programmers think they’re so clever.

    oops

  21. Igor says:

    Don’t you folks ever make your own coffee?

  22. Coleman says:

    That’s a huge machine to make 1 cup of coffee (8 or 12 oz)!  I have a Keurig coffee maker that’s about 1/10th that size that makes a pretty decent cup of coffee.  

    I’ve experimented with several different Starbucks coffee blends (Cafe Verona, Komodo Dragon, etc.), but have yet to find one that tops the blend from a local chain restaurant, Eat ‘n’ Park.  And, the Eat ‘n’ Park blend is about 1/2 the price of the Starbucks.

    Also, a local poll showed that the best restaurant coffee around here was the McDonald’s Premium Blend.  I’m not sure I agree with that (although, it is pretty good), but it’s interesting that Starbucks came in last in the poll.  

  23. Jim says:

    Juan: "Anyways what I meant is that you don’t have this kind of trouble when you don’t drink Coffee. It’s like saying you don’t have memory address related issues when you run into managed code."

    You also don’t have engine warning lights flashing at you when you don’t own a car. How is the lack of an amusing error message from a particular machine a reason to not drink a type of hot beverage? Not to mention that people who only use the water-cooler never have the chance for amusingly relevant geeky graffiti?

  24. Juan says:

    Well, as I said before (http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/archive/2007/05/14/2611278.aspx#2626637) I have my own reasons for not drink some types of hot beverages, but I like your point about the water :-).

    PS: Hot cream chocolate is not one of them. (Hmmmm). – Even though I never dare to ask a office machine for one and now you know why –

  25. Sven Groot says:

    In the cafeteria of the CompSci building of Leiden University there were two vending machines (actually three, but the third one plays no part in this tale): one sells soft drinks, one sells candy.

    These machines have built-in LCD displays that show you the available choices and instruct you about the price and stuff.

    One day, somehow the soft drink machine showed the menu for the candy machine and vice versa. I still don’t know how they managed to do that. I still wonder what would’ve happened if I had ordered a bag of chips from the soft drink machine or a Diet Coke from the candy machine (would’ve cost money to find out). I’m guessing something along the lines of E_UNIVERSE_IMPLODED though.

  26. Jim says:

    The main hot drinks vending machine we have at work here has a number of options for different types of drinks (milk, sugar, freshbrew or instant, etc) and then always asks you how strong you want the drink.

    I’ve never yet been man enough to try the "Strong" option on "Cold Water"!

    It also has an annoying interface problem in that when its internal reservoir of internal cups runs out it displays "CUPS EMPTY – CALL FOR REFILL" and then refuses to dispense any drinks… even if you press the "No Cup" button (with the helpful "Save the planet – reuse your cup" label beside it)!

    I know there’s no cups, I have my own, just squirt the hot, flavoured water for me already!

Comments are closed.