Windows in the Supermarket Aisle

by Preston Gralla

Microsoft's vision of Windows everywhere seems to be coming true. I just returned from the supermarket after surviving a close encounter with Windows in which I almost couldn't pay for my garlic, pound of ground beef, and frozen yogurt.

My local supermarket has a slew of self-checkout aisles where you can scan and pay for your groceries yourself. I found a vacant one and began scanning, but noticed the machine was excessively sluggish --- it took about 10 to 15 seconds to recognize each of my items. I began experiencing an odd feeling of deja vu, but wasn't sure why.

It was time to pay, and suddenly in front of the normal screen display of green peppers and the like, an all-too-familiar error message popped up, warning me there was an error in my DLL library. Aha! No wonder I felt deja vu. This was just like sitting in front of my PC.

Now, I've been using Windows since the days of Windows 3.0, so I'm certainly used to getting these errors, but only when I'm seated at my computer, not when I'm trying to pay for ground beef.

I couldn't figure out how to reboot the thing, but amazingly enough, all I had to do was press the OK button on the error message, and I was able to pay and finish checkout.

If only my PC could recover so quickly from system crashes. If Microsoft can solve problems with Windows in the aisles of grocery stores, why can't it solve it at my PC? Maybe if there was a slot for my credit card next to my keyboard, it would work.

Have you had an odd encounter with Windows in a place you wouldn't expect it? If so, let me know, below.

Have you had an odd encounter with Windows in a place you wouldn't expect it?


2005-09-26 15:02:01
Windows at the dentist's office
My dentist uses one of those new milling machines to make crowns. She had to reboot it one time while I was in the chair, and I heard a familiar fanfare.
2005-09-26 15:05:11
at the airport

The photo is not great, but you can get the idea.

2005-09-26 17:18:15
Strange Windows encounter
I had once used a digital public phone. The phone got crash after I ejected my phone card from it (please, don't tell any one). Then it went into reboot mode. Surprise, I saw Windows XP boot up screen. What's a public phone got to be with Windows, I thought. I kept watching. Then I saw the message, "Windows is loading user profile...". I didn't know phone is a user and it needs a profile itself too.