« Do your grooming at home, please | Main | Apologies for that smell »

CTA info screen gone haywire

Cta1_1 My buddy Tovi shares these photos he took recently of a CTA information screen at the new Jackson subway station.

Looks like it needs to be rebooted.

Tovi says: "TV screens, one of TV screens had gone haywire and Windows was popping up crazy messages. I took pictures of it because I'm a Mac user and think Windows is crap.. haha... and thought it was funny too. I  really don't know how it got that way. One person started touching 
the screen with his finger and a closed chap stick thinking it was a touch screen LCD. That was even funnier."

Click below for more photos of Windows gone wild.


Yes, the computer certainly does seem to be at risk.


Ah yes, Task Manager reports a problem.


No, the chap stick won't work. Reboot!


The sad thing is I checked the screen about 1 week later and it still was showing the same error messages. Guess the IT staff at the CTA are asleep at the wheel.

All they would have to do is select View...Slide Show or F5.
It removes the mystery to know what software they are using.

When did we ever say the CTA is intelligent?

I don't even know why they pay to have this technology if they don't want to maintain it.

At least it's not showing a Blue Screen of Death.

Aw, I think the BSOD would have been kind of appropriate... LOL

Hurry go to Windows Update before the CTA has more budget problems!

Or just install antivirus software, and minimize the task manager.

wow..task manager and a security center popup
that's definitely some weird, wild stuff.


fucking idiot zealots.

Oops!! ;-)

Clearly the issue is with the company who built the appliance. It does not matter what OS it is running (Linux, OSX, Windows, Blah, Blah), someone did not harden the appliance correctly.

But oh, it must be Windows fault... fricken DUH, dorks.

At least take the time to learn about an OS before attempting to bash it. The security popup is a feature of XPSP2 that alerts the users that they have no firewall installed (or turned on) and no AV software..

The task manager is actually showing that everything is fine, hence the fact that in no way, shape or form does the work "error" appear.

The system is running fine, they just have the Task Manager running, haven't disable Security Center and haven't started the presentation yet - user error, something you get with Macs too.


Using Windows for a public transport system. OK
It has failed.
Maybe it works better with the computers are not connected to the internet :)

RE: Chicago's New Subway Signs Go Nuts (Guess which OS they're running!)

Digg Article posted by Jumpin’ Johnny the Jr. League Administrator who believes that mis-configured equipment is because the OS just does random things when it feels like it… cuz all of these CRAZY operating systems have artificial intelligence or something and do what they want when they want, not because someone configured them incorrectly.

** Quote from Jumpin’ Johnny Jr. Admin when trying to explain how he blew up all of his companies servers… “No really bossman, they just do crazy stuff on their own and stuff cuz I saw it, and all of the servers hate me, they just made up their minds to stop working correctly after I installed the 1000th piece of P2P software on the server… cuz I am a HACKZOR. I am going to go play games and drool over pictures of the Olson Twins!”

Tip to Jumpin’ Johnny the Jr. League Administrator: All operating systems and applications are 1’s and 0’s. They do exactly what you tell them to do. Really. As soon as you figure that out, your life will become easier and most mystery’s will be solved.

I can't seem to nail it to a reference, but I believe that Melbourne (Australia) has it's city loop (underground) screens driven by a Commodore 64 based system. It's been there unchanged since the loop started in the 80s.

Actually - it sounds safer and more reliable.

RE: RE: Chicago's New Subway Signs Go Nuts (Guess which OS they're running!)

Hey man, don’t call me Jumpin’ Johnny the Jr. League Administrator! The computers do have artificial intelligence and Bill Gates is the devil. I know this because I have an A+ Certificate and I went to Laptop Skool! I am also a MySpace expert and assistant forum moderator for several Star Wars fan sites! I know stuff n’ stuff so don’t jump on me man cuz I am a HaCKzoR 4 sure.

I hope this is not confused with spamming. Here's a link that shows some pictures I took at Ezeiza International Airport (main airport in Argentina) with similar screens:


This is lame. The idiot IT guy just didn't turn off the security notifcations.

Excellent stuff. Wonder if they've got automatic updates turned on. Snapped this in London:


I have built appliances on Windows and several flavors of Linux. I have never had a problem. More than half the work I get comes from companies who paid someone to build V1 of their appliance incorrectly, blew it up, and then decided to seek out qualified resources to actually build it right.

I think the biggest problem with Windows is that the GUI makes it seem easy to do things, therefore any idiot feels qualified to put together mission critical systems that companies must depend on. When things blow up on them they always want to blame the OS or application, and not their lack of skills and knowledge.

Just because you can spin up the CD, does not mean that you should!

Clearly issues like this indicate nothing more than unskilled resources working on the project and really, really bad decision making in hiring the unskilled resources.

Do your homework folks. If you hire the friend of a friend of the CEO’s 12 year old son with A.D.D to build your mission critical systems ‘cause he works for Dorito’s and Red Bull, guess what you are going to get?

The OS is irrelevant. The rest of this is just fanatical OS religious debate perpetuated by kids who need to make the world black & white or good & evil so they can align themselves with something to forge some sort of “Tech” identity.

The great thing is that while the kids are having fanatical debates about the evil operating systems and bitching about “The Man” keeping them down, they are working for peanuts which leaves plenty of money available for qualified resources to get paid to do the real work.

@Harry Potter - How painfully UGLY are those screens? I mean, don't spend tax payers money on it to make it "pretty", but it's just so damn plain. Does the job I guess. No fancy flashing WOOSHING graphics. Interesting that you say it's a C64 though.

RE: RE: RE: Chicago's New Subway Signs Go Nuts (Guess which OS they're running!)

You will all pay for making fun of me (Jumpin’ Johnny the Jr. League Administrator). Bill Gates is in league with Aliens from the outer rim of the Universe and will one day control your mind with Windows Mind Control Version X. It is a well known fact that Bill Gates has been working on Mind Control Devices to trick people into using Windows instead of Linux or Macintosh operating systems. I feel like in my mind you are all Windows Zombies and will one day be turned into evil drones that will try and kill Linux Haxzors like me. I am preparing myself for "The Day of Reckoning" by playing games online 15 hours a night so that I ready to defend myself and my brethren of the “11th house of Linux” when that dark day comes. People say I am a loner, but I am into self-pleasuring so that I do not have to mingle with the unclean female WinBlowz users.

You will all pay for the error in your ways when you fall victim to the Bill Gates Mind Control software.

Okay, I think this is officially the most bizzarre comment thread in CTA Tattler history!

Gosh, they should really switch to linux. think of all those windows licences they have to buy!

I've seen these screens .. I think they're nice

Rules of the "11th house of Linux"
1. You do not talk about '11th house of Linux'.
2. You do not talk about '11th house of Linux'.
3. When someone yells "Stop" or goes limp, or taps out, the fight is over.
4. Only two guys to a fight.
5. One fight at a time.
6. No shirts, no shoes.
7. Fights go on as long as they have to.
8. If this is your first night at '11th house of Linux', you have to fight.


Posting the rules is safe.

Reveal nothing else.

You must invited to participate.

I heard the "11th house of Linux" is a super duper sekret part of the Freemasons!

Oh goody, an OS debate [whatever motion].

So, the CTA has a fancy sign. I don't think it's important what o/s it's running, just what information is being shown.

Why spend so much money on something like this and then show static data? It's just like the LED Scrolling 'No Smoking' signs. If the screens showed the time until the next train or if it showed any status of the bus routes near that station then it would be a good use of technology. Instead it justs displaces a regular (inexpensive sign) with a very expensive shiny sign.

I'm pretty sure that CDOT runs these, not CTA. I am certain, however, it was CDOT's idea, not CTA's to put these in. Obviously they're a waste of public funds for the time being, although at some point they should show "next train" info and the like. See, CDOT, the Chicago Department of Transportation, owns the subways--not CTA. The whole station renovation, which includes those plasma screens, was a CDOT project.

And how this has anything to do with Windows is beyond me. So the city (again, not CTA), chose to use some cheap Windows XP computers they probably got for like $300 from Dell, and use the free PowerPoint Viewer to display a slideshow. Who the hell cares? I'd be curious if Tovi could answer this question: Why pay $1500 for a Mac to display a slideshow?

And talk about anti-Windows idiocy in this thread... Anyone who claims superiority and criticizes Windows based on the image above apparently knows nothing about computers.

There are lots of reasons to dislike Microsoft and Windows itself, but the operating system telling the user that they have turned off their firewall and should install anti-virus software is, um, a GOOD thing. The firewall is on by default, so whoever set this up intentionally turned it off. Secondly, you wouldn't see that baloon if the PowerPoint Viewer was left fullscreen. The fact that the Task Manager is on top of it means that someone opened it manually and left it open. User error.

Admittedly, I do love technological screwups like this, so I actually took pictures of it myself a couple of weeks ago. :)

Not as fun as the bluescreen I saw on a New York City sidewalk on a subway station entrance. Apparently the ads on those stations are also done by a slideshow on a Windows machine.

Contrary to popular belief, blue screens are extremely rare these days. I've had two in two years, both caused by the crappy software that came with my TV tuner/video capture card. Can I blame Microsoft for software and hardware from Pinnacle causing the operating system to go into a panic? Hardly.

I am not so interested in the OS debate either [ YAWnnnnn ].

I would like to know what "The 11th House of Linux" is though.

Is that some sort of Travolds secret society poised to rise up from the ashes of Novell and Unix?

Classical singer Russell Watson postpones his forthcoming UK tour after undergoing brain surgery.

The comments to this entry are closed.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference CTA info screen gone haywire:

» Good old windows from Pranjal.in: Random Musings
The Chicago transit authority recently installed windows based info signs. Whoever installed the signs did not do a good job about as is evident from this blog entry ... [Read More]

» CTA: Always a step away from stupid from Metroblogging Chicago
There was a day - a long, long time ago, when I lauded the CTA and praised the wonderful public transportation system that we have in Chicago, but that day is long since gone. Oh, CTA. You never cease to... [Read More]

» Task Unmanaged from Merge
The Mac nerds are all over this CTA Tattler post with its shots of the new Jackson station signage gone, well, off the rails, really. That Windows XP -- if it knows anything, it knows you need anti-virus software and/or... [Read More]

Share news tips