Microsoft Windows isn’t restricted to just laptops and tower PCs: It is also common for Windows to serve as the dominant operating system these days inside of ATMs, cars, vending machines, kiosks, taxi meters, medical imaging devices, advertising display boards and so many of the computerized screens that we gaze upon and take for granted every day.
That is, until they stop working. Indeed, often the first indication that these things are run by Windows is when something causes them to crash, at which point the all-too-familiar Windows error messages or dreaded Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) splashes up on the device’s display. True, malicious software can cause BSoDs, which is the operating system’s way of shutting down to prevent irreparable damage to the underlying system. Just as often, however, a BSoD or critical stop error is the result of some kind of hardware malfunction, such as faulty memory, a failing power supply, or overheating.
It seems I’ve been seeing these BSoDs and “fatal error” type messages in the oddest places lately. Below is a gallery of just a few that I’ve shot recently with my trusty iPhone (aside from that last three, which came from friends and readers). Click one of the images to cycle through a slideshow.