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Cherry, Cherry, Blue Screen Of Death 193

Falrick writes "Microsoft, the company that has its fingers in inumerable pies, decided to follow suit by also placing their toes in them with this anouncement yesterday that they will also be moving into the embedded chip market. While the article doesn't say that Microsoft will actually be producing chips, they are apparantly licensing special versions of WindowsCE for use on a variety of chips including those made by Intel, ARM and MIPS. On the upside, though, for those of you who would like to get back those licensing fees, or Microsoft Tax, that you paid on that shiny new system a few years ago, MS may also be partenering with Bally Gaming & Systems to put WindowsNT into their casino slot machines. Now, what's the payoff on three blue-screens in a row again?"
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Cherry, Cherry, Blue Screen Of Death

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Now Bill Gates can get even richer: just trojan NT and play slots all day.

    "Yeah, for most people the odds are 13 to 1. For me, they're 1 to 1".
  • Let me guess.. you geeks love the idea of a slot machine chip with embedded linux.. what a revolutionary idea.. but you hate the ones with Microsoft.. what else is new.. ramble on geeks
  • Look for a book called "Beat the Dealer", by Thorpe. He gives a strategy that would enable a player to beat the odds (until the casinos changed their rules shortly afterwards). There's a simplified strategy that doesn't require counting cards, but it has a slightly negative payoff.
  • If anyone does see a slot machine blue screen, I want a picture [].
    ---------------------------------------- ---------------
  • Although I do think it would be great if you wanted to turn all your appliances into something that resembles a PC.

    And have my refrigerator blue screen on me?!?! No thanks!!!

  • I love you, and I want to bear your children!
  • It can only be good if people have the option to have the same GUI all around, everywhere.

    Look around you. Do your remote controls look all the same? Do all the locks on doors look the same? Do monitors have the same interface for changing "aspect ration" and stuff? Even on the Internet the web pages don't look the same. If people should have the same GUI all around, just make a standard. But look around, and see which devices have the same UI. Telephones? Maybe. I guess you can't write an email with my cellular phone.

    People shouldn't think the windows UI is the best and standard, and all the others are crap. People should know that, as in real life, computers also have different interfaces, and you should adapt yourself like when you buy a new TV, CD player, car, etc.

  • because microsoft produces poor quality software?

    because microsoft has conditioned the average person into accepting said poor quality?

    because that mindless acceptance now bleeds into other areas?

    nah, it must be because microsoft have 9 letters in their name.

  • "This gambler has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down."
  • M$ in embedded systems! ROTFLMAO

    I can't even type that without laughing. I've been watching my employer slowly bleed to death ... they chose to replace a crusty but functional SCO based calling card switch with a shiny new NT powered gadget.

    For weeks now the switch has been up ... down ... partially disabled ... unreachable ... unuseable. It just goes on and on and on.

    Despite the little 'five nines' posters in M$ colors that are up all over Los Angeles I don't think they're there yet - we should be making a 'three sixes' banner using the same colors and hanging them up around major urban areas - let the truth be known!

  • Of course, the people who have won millions from the lottery or slot machines are currently laughing their heads off at your ramen noodle-eating ass. :)


  • What is your experience with embedded systems? Your post sure sounds like you don't have any at all, but since you're giving out advice, surely you must have some. Please settle this seeming contradiction.


  • Nope, because DOS is a 16-bit OS. Windows CE is a completely new (well, five-ish years old new) 32-bit operating system, written from the ground-up for embedded systems. No DOS, no legacy Windows code, no nothing. In fact, the only similarity it even shares with Windows is that it supports a subset of the Win32 API, as well as a few other Windows APIs (MAPI, TAPI, a few others).

  • Sheesh. Bally is on the out. IGT has the largest installed base of slot machines and video poker machines and it's going up -- they make games that cater to not just old people but a new generation of slot players, young geeky folk who earned their money in computers. Check out Little Green Men the next time you're in Atlantic City or Vegas and tell me it's not targeted at Joe Slashdot User or Bearded Guy Named Eric? :)

    ...More Powerful than Otto Preminger...
  • . . .M$ covers the prostitution market. . . .

    Let's see. . .

    • Gambling (mentioned in article)
    • Prostitution (above)
    • Protection Rackets (The Business Software Alliance)
    • Extortion (the constant upgrade cycle)
    Yep. Looks like they qualify. Move over Sopranos, here come the GeekFellas. . .
  • From what I understand, the moment you put in your credits, until you tell it to spin, a random number generator spits out numbers. Whatever you stop it at is what you get.

    What I don't understand is, how my wife can be several times better than I at this.

  • While I live in a primarily MS-based company, I am one of the few (2-3 people) who has a Linux box on my desk as well as an NT box. To be quite frank, I have had NT BSOD exactly once in the last year, despite being heavily used for software development (of non-MFC, portable to several Unices & AS/400 C-language based software). The cause: a bad video driver from IBM.

    (Caveat: This doesn't make me a Linux hater, it just means that FUD about windows NTs stability (in the desktop market) is usually over exagerrated. I still wouldn't want to use NT as a server due to bad experiences with NT 3.51 back when I was a SysAdmin - Three dinky NT 3.51 boxes took more time to babysit than 8 10-way SparcServer 2000's each with 800GB of disk. SHUDDER )

    Of course, in the last 18 months, I have never had my Linux box crash. (RedHat 6.something, kernel 2.2.something).

    Of course, I DO have to reboot the bloody NT box every time I install a freaking piece of software, and that really begins to irritate after the umpty-hundredth time.
  • Here's an error message [] that was on the arrivals monitor at Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands.

  • Microsoft should patent the blue screen of death, stating they invented it first and no one outside the company is supposed to reproduce it.

    Well, unlike amazon, I think they deserve this patent.
  • The problem is that the commonly used versions of Windows allow the programs to take the whole OS down with them. Win2k doesn't have this problem.

    is that so..
    then i must have been triping when i killed my brothers unkillable win2k box w/ my leet, game playing...

    that is, i have killed win2k just by trying to play games. now im not a win2k expert, dont touch the stuff but to play the latest games, but my linux box dont EVER die like that. win2k maybe more stable but progams can still take down the whole OS.


    The law is that which it boldly asserted and plausibly maintained..
  • Now, what's the payoff on three blue-screens in a row again?

    The payoffs at slot machines is determined by the odds that something (say, three cherries in a row) might happen. The more likely something will happen, the less the payoff will be. So what would the payoff for three blue-screens of death be?

    You might get your quarter back.

  • My alarm didn't wake me this morning. I didn't realize it at the time, but this was the start of one of the worst days of my life, not to mention everybody else's too.

    I nearly scalded myself in the shower. The cold water kept coming and going. The kitchen was even worse. I could smell rotting food even before I entered the room. I opened the fridge (after fighting with the Fridged-X system over my password) to find most of the contents spoiled, including the items just delivered yesterday. It appears the thermostat had reset itself to actually heat the food!

    I tried to make a can of hash, but the stove refused to function, saying something about an unhandled interrupt exception. I had to go out to the garage and reset the breaker to reboot the damn thing.

    I finally got out of the house and wouldn't you know it, my car wouldn't start. I ended up walking to work and getting there late. The elevators weren't working, and of course I work on the 30th floor. The stairwells were crammed with people franticly trying to get to their offices.

    So here I am sitting at my desk, picking my butt. I'm unable to work because the systems are down (of course). Preliminary reports indicate that an April Fools Day virus has exploited a previously unknown weakness in network-connected Windows-based systems (i.e. pretty much everything).

    Fortunately for you, dear diary, my Transmeta WebPad is zipping along just fine, it's Linux OS completely unaffected. And my FreeBSD-based MP9 player works too. Will people ever learn?

    - Milo Hyson
  • You are forgetting the fact that this is Microsoft. They don't care what the DOJ is doing. They do what they want anyways!

    I don't think MS is going to merge, but I do think this is an attmpt to hit Linux. I am sure Microsoft has been paying attemtion to the scalability of Linux. Especially the Linux watch that IBM created.
    If they can create a chip with Windows CE on it, the can further push there windows OS. I want to see them try this. Microsoft code is bloate and bad. I wouldn't buy a product with a windoze chip in it.

    Anyone know how many companies are working on a Linux chip?

  • Actually, I'm not flaming Linux or BSD at all, in fact I actually really like BSD.

    I've just found that often times people are quick to constantly crash their Windows system in exactly the same way, performing the exact same steps, and then, rather than perhaps spending some time to diagnose the problem they write Windows off as unstable and LIVE with the crashes. True, the system shouldn't go down becaues of one application. I couldn't agree more. But a good users adapts and learns.

    And I also agree that sometimes you have almost no choice at all but to run a very specific application, but this is true regardless of the platform. Some platforms are just more fault tolerant than others (and Windows happens to be pretty intolerant.)

    "Everything you know is wrong. (And stupid.)"
  • I did not say that the only stable Windows box is one with all of the features disabled. I was pointing out that seeing a bunch of default settings is a sure sign that some retard can't figure out how to maintain his own system, much less work around problems that might crop up.

    You've obvoiusly missed that point.

    OEM systems are notorious for shipping with nasty configurations, buggy software, and outdated drivers for the included hardware. Of course Windows is going to crash on such a system operated by an idiot.

    "Everything you know is wrong. (And stupid.)"
  • Then they could sue all of their users each time they produce a BSOD.

    They should included an automated micropayment system that charges users on a pay-per-use basis.

    Blue Screen of .NET

    "Everything you know is wrong. (And stupid.)"
  • It's the classic "When Windows crashes it's somebody else's fault." When your server crashes, do you think your customers will accept this excuse?

    When Windows crashes, it normally IS some errant program's fault.

    If your sever crashes due to some software you've got running maybe...

    A>. You shouldn't be using that software.

    B>. You should learn how to set it up.

    or, more likely...

    C>. You shouldn't be the admin of a server in the first place.


    It's not hard to avoid running shit softare that brings down a Windows box. What's often harder is figuring out WHICH one is the one causing the instability. Having a bunch of Windows options installed that aren't used doesn't help, either.

    There are SO MANY things that can be done to make a Windows machine pretty stable, but when I walk up to a Windows machine and see Active Desktop Enabled, Icons all over the Desktop, File Extensions hidden, and the screen running at 640x480x256 on a 19" monitor, I pretty quickly guess that none of them have been done.

    "Everything you know is wrong. (And stupid.)"
  • Bull. Five nines is very, very expensive. I actually looked into 5 nines on HP-UX. Thats five minutes of downtime a year!! The cost of the hardware, infrastructure, and support was mind boggling.

    For the standard hardware and support I have gotten three nines out of my current HP Equipment, and much the same for my NT Stuff, oh and for Linux running on older hardware as well. Most places don't need 5 nines (not when they see the pricetag).

    No as to embedded devices, Microsoft's downfall will be that they will charge for every single install. Linux will be free for every single install. And don't get me started on how you need staff that knows NT, or WINCE or whatever. Embedded programmers are smart people they will pick up, and by necessity tweak their systems to the hilt. The cost factor will hurt Microsoft in this area.

    Also, from what I've heard, embedded NT has a huge footprint for an embedded OS. This will hurt MS as well. Cost is a big issue with embedded systems, if you can get by on 8MB of flash memory for the OS instead of 16MB you can save millions of dollars over the life of an embedded product.
  • Lets see.

    2 DNS Servers
    1 Database (Development) Server
    1 Web server

    And I'm not even a corprate office, I'm at a remote site. That's 20% of my servers running Linux.
  • What's the matter? Did your MS stock drop?
  • Can you somehow sue, under the assumption that that particular pull of the slot machine lever could of possible hit the grand prize?

    Nope, sorry. Most (if not all) slot machines have a disclaimer that in the case of an error, all spins are void. Even without MS getting into the fold, slot machines occasionally fail (walk around a casino sometime while they're fixing one - absolutly fascinating). I'd be pissed if I was going to win and there was some error, but there's nothing you can do about it.

    The Good Reverend
  • Um, well no.

    Windows generally means WIN32 API.

    Many embedded devices running CE don't have a GUI. It might suprise you to know that there are quite a few embedded control systems that run CE without a UI.

  • DOS was not multithreaded.

    It did not have APIs for audio, networking, telephony etc etc.

    Windows 9x is not 'just' DOS + GUI. Windows NT certainly isn't and Windows CE is most definitely not.
  • I thought the most interesting part of the article (and the part I mentioned when I submitted the story) was that Microsoft would let the chipmakers modify the WinCE source to use with their chips.

    According to the story, selected developers have been able to see source before (naturally) but have never had permission to modify and redistribute their own versions of it.

  • If your sever crashes due to some software you've got running maybe...

    A>. You shouldn't be using that software.

    Not always an option.

    B>. You should learn how to set it up.

    I thought ease of setup/use was the whole reason for running Windows.

    or, more likely... C>. You shouldn't be the admin of a server in the first place.

    It's not hard to avoid running shit softare that brings down a Windows box.

    Well, sometimes it actually is. If the software you need is not available anywhere else, do you really have a choice? When it crashes, wouldn't it be nice if the rest of your system didn't go down the toilet?

    The point I made originally is that when your application crashes and if it brings down your Windows system, your users will blame YOU (not application developer X) for their system being down, and it will be YOUR fault for not choosing a more robust OS (assuming you made the choice). There are OS's out there with very good fault tolerance built in. I'm sure someone on /. can point you in the right direction :)

    I'm not trying to flame Windows. It does some things very well, and it certainly has its place in IT. I use it at work and occasionally at home. However, when it comes to serious reliability and fault tolerance, in my experience Windows NT just isn't up there. I have not used Windows 2000, so I can't really comment on it.

  • It's the classic "When Windows crashes it's somebody else's fault." When your server crashes, do you think your customers will accept this excuse?
  • All one-armed bandits in Germany, which can be found in practically every pub and fast-food establishment, are covered in swathes of legal small print wedged in between the pretty flashing lights. In amongst these, it is stated quite explicitly that the wheels are weighted, even giving a probability for each wheel coming up with a cherry or whatever.

    I'll never forget the shock I got once when I was gazing idly at a Photoplay (touch-screen quiz/skill game, not for money) and saw it reboot itself, connect to the internet and upload something before rebooting again and going back to the game program. And yes, it booted through DOS.

    Then there was the one I saw in the middle of a shopping centre with nothing but a black screen and little Windows dialog box in the middle saying: "This program has performed an illegal operation..." I wouldn't be surprised if MS software doesn't already run a fair few fruit machines, as well as the majority of pub video game machines. Worth checking out.

  • From NTK []: you kids and your new-fangled [] Amigas!

  • Why exactly would anyone hook up a slot machine to the internet? There is no reason for it. They have always worked fine as stand alone units that can only be opperated by the person in front of it. What about plyaing remotely? no way, it would much much easier, and cheeper for them to just slap up a few server like the ones used for internet casinos now. The only possible reason for networking a slot machine now that i can think of would be for the casino's LAN, they could tell when someone won, or when the machine was geting low on money. But i can see no reason to have it on the INTERnet.
  • The trend in recent years has been towards making slot machines do more and more things. In the early 90s, the only trend was towards a graphical representation of the old reel machines. Today, slots are highly networked and getting more and more complex including 3D.

    So it makes sense to have a library of things you can sorta depend upon to develop slot applications faster.

    But what doesn't make sense is MS getting into the embedded market like this. I realize that they're hedging their bets, to turn a phrase. But they're also trying to dominate SO MANY markets in order to maintain world domination that they cannot possibly succeed at all of them, and being so spread out is like fighting a war on many fronts.

    Can they win the server, the desktop, the set-top, the embedded, the game console, AND the PDA all at the same time, while dealing with how many million lines of code AND juggling partnership against partnership? What happens when the PDA partnerships and the embedded partnerships collide? What happens when wireless gaming comes to the set-top of game console market? What happens when a security problem shows up that manifests itself in three or four of these lines and some of that code isn't able to be patched?

    Meanwhile, Linux has been adapted for use in a bunch of embedded applications, without the benefit of having to develop a "partnership". Hey, if I were in the business, I would say that such "partnerships" were a hindrance, not an advantage to doing business. This is especially true with Microsoft "partnerships", where you're just as likely to be on the wrong end of a reaming, if you read your MS history (or just pay attention).

  • I saw a few BSODs on my last trip to Vegas. I saw one at the airport, one in a video game (Play drums along with music... NOT Drummania, though). I've seen kiosks with BSODs (Hmmm... I wonder if the bride or the groom wanted that BSOD). Windows is creeping ever so slowly into more and more places that embedded technology used to reign.
  • Win2k doesn't crash regularly, it crashes hardly at all.

    Win2k embedded is unlikely to be $500/unit, but more like a 1/10th that cost.

    You don't seem to know what WinCE is either.

    There are also other options in the embedded market such as Coherent, OS/9, etc.

    But the ultimate sign of ignorance was when you claim that Windows is just a gaming machine.

    Do you even know what Windows NT or 2000 is?
  • ability.asp

    That's my Advanced Server. My machine on the other hand is a Gateway P6-200, which makes it a known quantity.

    Your problem sounds like hardware. I've had machines lock up before for a variety of reasons. Bad power supplies, bad fans, bad drives, etc.

    In fact I just had such a problem with the CDROM on my home computer. Long story, but even though the computer would freeze periodically, Win2k never crashed on me.
  • I once saw a screenshot of a big digital advertising board in a city, and it was showeing the top left quarter of a Windows desktop, with part of the "Detected new hardware" dialog poking in at the bottom right corner. I'd love to see that picture again - anyone got a link to it?
  • Only vaguely on topic, but I once saw one of those enormous display screens outside a Las Vegas casino, proudly displaying a BSOD...
  • 'Having the same GUI everywhere' is a seductive idea, but it doesn't necessarily work - this is why Microsoft's Palm-size format (now called Pocket PC) has largely failed to get much market share. They tried valiantly to get as many Windows features, and the full GUI with Start button, into this tiny form factor, then discovered that it took far too many stylus taps to get anywhere - hence they have simplified things radically in the latest Pocket PC version of Windows CE.

    By the way, Wince already runs on many different processors, and the embedded variant is not exactly new. By all accounts, though, embedded manufacturers are not leaping to use Wince - Linux and traditional RTOSs are providing some tough competition.
  • Well, our bus station over here in Northampton, Blighty has a big array of screen showing departure times and such, and up to a year ago whenever they crashed they'd be showing Amiga Guru Meditation screens.
    I've seen those Amiga guru screens in quite a few video peep shows, too...


  • I think the slot machine concept fits into Microsoft's vision of client access licensing via a coin slot.

    Now, there's and amusing notion - when you put a quarter into one of these machines, are you really "gambling a quarter" or are you paying $0.25 for a one-use license to run "RandomMoney.exe" on one particular slot machine?...

    "They have strategic air commands, nuclear submarines, and John Wayne. We have this"
  • There's an animated sign opposite Penn Station in NYC which is stuck in a boot sequence. [64]0K OK is all that has appeared on the sign for the past several months.
  • The "beadmin.exe" vunerability was fixed in
    NT SP5 and the released (non-beta) versions of
    Win2k, stop spreading FUD.
  • I think "Windows," which basically means "GUI," is the antithesis of the requirements of embedded software.

    Of course, if you knew anything about Windows CE, you'd not have said this. Windows CE was designed from the ground up to be used in embedded systems. Sure, the first real application of Windows CE was clamshell handhelds. But that doesn't change the fact that CE was designed for embedded systems from the start. The OS is completely modular, allowing the developer to only use the portions of the platform neccessary to the system. Don't need keyboard input, video output, touchscreen/mouse input, networking, etc? Don't build those modules into your platform.

  • One of two things happened on your cruise:

    1) The machines really were random and your "system" just happened to work.

    2) The machines were rigged by some cruise line that didn't have to report to a gaming commission.

    In larger gambling establishments, (Vegas, Atlantic City, and even riverboats) you have gaming commisions making sure the machines are on the up and up. Ignoring gaming commisions, large casinos run legit games for two reasons. First, they can make a whole lot of money running legit games. Second, if a place like Ceasers Palace was ever caught cheating or even accused loudly enough, they would go out of business. There are a thousand places to gamble on basically the same games. If people even suspect that one is rigged, they'll go elsewhere.

  • Actually, slot machines take between 1 and 5 percent of your money. Some of the slots near the front of major casinos lose money just to keep the lights flashing and to let people see jackpots hitting.

    Last month, I won $600 bucks playing slots while waiting for my friend to get out of the bathroom. It's not my preferred form of gambling, but I know a woman who has consistently won thousands only playing slots.

  • Hooray! That domain is now mine. Thanks for the tip, Fervent. This should be fun.


  • Do you hit CTRL+ALT+DELETE to start the wheels a spinnin'?

  • Nope ARM was design by ARM, a british company that was an offshoot of the ill faited Acorn Computers.

    Many companies now license ARM, being that it was soo cool. It was also the hart and soul of the RiscPC. Ahhhhh.
  • This is great news! The next time you try to convince PHB-types that going with Microsoft is a gamble, you have some literal proof to point at!
  • I guess M$FT could buy the settop box market for WinCe by paying AT&T $5B to use it.
  • Saw one of those on an outdoor screen at a hotel, the MGM Grand, IIRC. During Comdex. Lots of people pointing and laughing.
  • The split was kinda funky. The way I understand it is that all chips/ASICs/blahblah (such as 21152 PCI bridge, 2114x-series network interfaces, StrongARM processors, etc) were bought by Intel, while Compaq bought only the Alpha architecture stuffs. There may be some other considerations, but that much i know is for sure.
  • Last I checked, the ARM series of embedded chips was designed by DEC, and purchased by Intel.... making Intel (of course, what's new *snicker*) the primary chip manufacturer in this realm.

    It still pisses me off that Intel bought a perfectly good DEC, and has since buried many of their better technologies away from public use. &lt/flame&gt
  • I actually thought the same thing some time ago, in that I figured there had to be some relatively simple scheme that would beat "hit on 16, stay on 17."

    So, I wrote a quick program to run through all the possibilities of hit%. I had 0, 50%, and 100% hits at all the points where choices needed to be made (12-20, since you'd always hit on 11, and never on 21).

    Ran the program, and it turns out that you get stuck by the way casinos handle player busts. If you bust, the dealer gets your cash, irrespective of whether he busts or not. The dealer's algorithm busts about 33% of the time.

    The "winningest" solution was: the instant you get to a number where you have to make a choice, you're best off staying (yes, even on 12). That way, you win something like 8% of the time, and you get all the dealer's busts, for a grand total in the 44% win range. If you tried to maximize your score beyond that, you busted too often, which are automatic losses.

    Given that result, I stopped researching it. There are some significant holes here (no doubling down or splitting of hands, no card counting, purely random deck, no attention paid to the dealer's up card, the 0-50-100 split of options leaves a lot to be desired), but I think it's close enough for a first pass.

  • So, um, what's the timestamp on your last check, then? Because last time I checked (i.e., thirty seconds ago), the milestone page [] over at ARM []'s pages stated pretty clearly that the ARM architecture was developed by Acorn Computer Group. Way back in 1987. It goes on to say that Digital licensed the tech in 1995, and also produced the StrongARM version that same year. So, there.
  • M$ is just trying to evolve, IMO, to find new ways to make money. OS sales (some versions) are declining as are the software titans (office, etc) that have made them are also on the wane. They are flexing their muscle into areas where they can continue to control, IMO, and integrated OS's on appliances/wireless devices is a great way to go. I think that it is ok to integrate CE into hardware, but I strongly think that linux is far, far better suited to the customize for appliance market. Why would a company with hardware give control to M$ when they can integrate linux for only slightly more cost (arguably) and retain that control.


  • Well, our bus station over here in Northampton, Blighty has a big array of screen showing departure times and such, and up to a year ago whenever they crashed they'd be showing Amiga Guru Meditation screens. There was always at least one down, so it was a nice nostalgia trip to head down to the depot and see the flashing red errors, and wistfully imagine it was a room full of A500s powering the whole operation. Then one day - POW! - the BSOD was in place. Occasionally they flip out into the desktop, too.

    It's no where near as much fun to look at now.
  • After playing the slots on a cruise ship, I've pretty much come to the conclusion that the machines weren't totally random. If I dropped a quarter into a machine that nobody had played recently, there was an excellent chance that I'd get several quarters back. But if I kept playing, they'd soon be gone. I think the basic idea is that the machine suckers you in with an early win.

    So, I'd walk in, put a couple quarters into machines that weren't being played, and then walk out. This resulted in a few dollars net win through the week.

  • Gaming commisions make sure they're on the up and up? ... The machines are desgined to take around 90% of your money, thats not really up and up to me.
  • Does that mean that if i can port to a blackjack table i win the jackpot?
  • What a troll.

    It would be nice of MS to offer new products, but we all know how it's gonna happen. They are going to buy a few nice pacages and ruin them by making sure they don't work with anything other than MS junk. MS creates nothing. They will make sure that you can not use your new toys to create your own media or "Pirate" anything without paying for it each time. Microsoft would love to embrace Holywood.

    MS is not up to the task. They've not been able to make a their simple X86 stuff work in 20 years of trying. What makes you think they can do any better with 15 or so processors? Their greed headed prcactices insure that they will never be able to do this. Toasters do not need a GUI, but VCR's and TV's and other devices would benifit from some kind of common programable interface. MS's greedy inability to share a common stable interface makes them incapable of providing anything like this. They can't even keep a text spec stable.

    MS reply in .doc format follows:

    +-----yyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy yyyyyy yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyFILE NUM, AUTHOR=;yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyyyyyy yyyyy%$#yyyyyyyyyy yyyy#yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyy3>yyyyy yyyyyyyy#yyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyy.yyyyyyy yyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyy yyy/.yyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyyy give us all of your maoney yyyy yyy yyy yyyyy yyyyyy yyy yyyyy yyyyy yyyyyyyy yyy y#yyyyyy yyyyy yyyyyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyy yyyyy yyyyyyyy yyyy**yyy yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyy yyy#@yyyyyy yyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyy&yy yyyyyyyyyyy

  • No machine following a program is really random.

    Here in Louisiana the video poker machines get extra use as voting booths! Talk about rigged, whew! Florida borrowed some, but sent them back because Edwin Edwards kept winning.

    It will be great if these things run NT. This way more people will be able to get in on the action. CRACK! and all the nicles fall out. Wooo - hooo! I'm rich, I'm rich!

  • It can only be good if people have the option to have the same GUI all around, everywhere. It reduces training costs at companies and the time people have to expend to learn what is, in the end, a simple tool.
    That's not really true. Take the palm pilot for example. The hardest part of learning how to use the palm pilot is learning the writing method, everything else is quite intuitive despite not carrying a Microsoft-base GUI. And for hand-held, and other devices that would use an LCD display, I'd bet that most people would be better served by a highly tuned GUI that fits the device rather than the generic grey MSWindows UI. I really don't think a start button and Windows icons adds all that much to an embeded device built to serve a single purpose.
  • That's not necessarily Windows' fault. It could very well be the fault of the designer of the custom software doing a shitty job. Windows itself isn't usually what makes it crash, it's all the crap software made for Windows (realplayer, anyone?)

    The problem is that the commonly used versions of Windows allow the programs to take the whole OS down with them. Win2k doesn't have this problem, and I believe NT doesn't either, but I have no experience with it, so I can't say for sure.

    Once Win2k gets more widespread, the BSOD will be nearly totally gone.

    -- Dr. Eldarion --
  • Just another to add to the list -- BSODs on the PATHInfo monitors for the NY-NJ PATH trains. Just last week.

  • Now, what's the payoff on three blue-screens in a row again?

    Wow, even the stories are trolls now!

  • M$ is moving into embedded chip market

    Embedded chips are moving out...
  • That would be funny to see at the superbowl...Found new monitor: Sony MEGATRON... Setting Hardware Resolution....

    *BSOD* There has been an error at segemnt 0x0FFFF...If this error keeps occouring, please contact the vendor....

    2 Hours later..
    Sony: *Sony Tech Support, How mey we help you?*
    NFL: Um... yeah, we have 70,000 rabid fans charging the feild...

  • I love MS bashing as much as the next guy, but do we have any kind of source for the whole "NT in slot machines" part?

  • You're laughing, but in the old european metropole that is close to where I live, they have these little digital information kiosks & boots where you can get touristic information about the city centre. When I tried them out once, I immediately wondered why the print button was on the screen, as ofcourse there wasn't a printer to be seen anywhere.. but the joke was complete when I suddenly noticed the NT kernel bluescreen bright and shiney all across the city.. I've since lost count of how many times I've seen ntoskrnl.exe claim all it's credit..

    Anyway, it's a good chance for tourists and foreigners to get to meet the hospitality of the locals, but that's a completely different story..
  • I'm no lawyer, so this is a question...
    What happens if you put in a quarter, pull the slot lever, and the slot machine breaks?
    Can you somehow sue, under the assumption that that particular pull of the slot machine lever could of possible hit the grand prize?
    If this is so, I'm going to hit vegas as soon as the NT slots come out...

  • I smell a Microsoft/Intel or Microsoft/AMD merger coming on. (Wouldn't a Microsoft/Transmeta merger be interesting?)

    Also remember people: is still available (*shivvers*).

  • Yes, but everyone knows that if I wanted a set of flamebaited replies, I would not post the original using an AC. ;)
  • Of course, if you knew anything about Windows CE, you'd not have said this. Windows CE was designed from the ground up to be used in embedded systems.

    Mea culpa. The only thing I've seen with Windows CE was the UI for a little hand-held, and the interface looked identical to Windows proper.

    I concede that Microsoft probably has a clue about what it's doing (they didn't get to where they are without a clue), and no doubt they'll actually do a reasonable job, much as Slashdotters like to slam M$.

    But I do stand by my opinion on GUIs. In kiosks and ATMs (which I hadn't thought about when I was considering the embedded market) GUIs make a lot of sense, but in things like household appliances, I don't think they do.

    Disclaimer: I don't have a clue. I just have opinions. :-)


  • But stick NT in a box with controlled, well-tested hardware, controlled, well-tested software, and very limited I/O, and you're looking at a "five-nines" system.

    I know of nobody that would like to purchase a system that runs well only under limited I/O. Get that drift?

    As for NT - here's what it is: A sore attempt by M$ to enter the server market in an area already dominated. Now I'll admit it is good for workgroups, but I can't find anything else...

    The problem with capped Karma is it only goes down...

  • Jokes like this are immature, and only show how many script kiddies post on slashdot. Even if NT isn't secure, you don't have to spam slashdot, making jokes about it.

  • No, you absolutely can't. Machines actually have a disclaimer printed on them to the effect that any malfunction, power failure, etc. renders that particular pull null and void.

    If you're lucky, you might get your quarter back.

  • I can just imagine windoze NT on Slot Machines. When you win it probably will play the "Tada.wav" sound, and crash. There are currently little disclaimers on slot machines say "Malfunction voids play", and I guess this disclaimer will come in handy now that microsoft software is involved.

    GOD BLESS DALE...... He lived to race and died racing!!!

    Aaron, a wannabe #3!!!
  • The local Sounder train system uses WinNT boxen - one of the fellows at work hacked it while waiting for a train to show up - pretty easy, Scott said.

    But, if it's a slot machine, shouldn't it have Red Screens of Death, to go with the three cherries in a row motif?

    I can see it now - "How to Hack Slot Machines for Fun and Profit" ...

  • They can only move on to dominate other fields using their monopolistic powers. I agree that their user interface is one of the best out there for those not into computers. A UI is a compliated thing to write. But, and this is a big but, much money is spent on training users on their interface. What was the last training class you saw advertised for the Palm OS?

    They have an ongoing threat with computer manufacturers and chip makers: Help us do what we want or we will push support of your competition. That's not news, it was directly stated by M$ in their gov't trial.

    Having the same GUI all around assumes that one GUI can please everyone. That's never possible. What would be best are GUIs that anyone could walk up to without ever seeing before and understand it intuitively. I'm talking a GUI with no windows at all. Alternatives have been invented, but none implemented on any platform that I've seen. It's a difficult task, but I feel an exteremly simplified GUI should exist on small, single-purpose machines.
  • Microsoft should patent the blue screen of death, stating they invented it first and no one outside the company is supposed to reproduce it. Then they could sue all of their users each time they produce a BSOD. They should also patent its specific use on embedded systems.

    I just feel like blending some of the sad corporate news together into even more amusing tales.
  • by Svartalf ( 2997 ) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @10:18AM (#452552) Homepage
    Some things don't adapt well at all.

    NT in an embedded context is one such thing.

    TransCore's got this nifty little application that manages access control and billing for parking and airport ground transportation management. System was redesigned from the ground up to run on nearly any server platform, nearly any embedded platform.

    As long as ACE/TAO supports it and the components have a TCP/IP connection to the other devices it'll largely compile and run. I know- I designed the beast.

    There's two piece parts to the embedded portions system, a transaction processing engine and a transaction generation/lane hardware control engine. The transaction engine can reside on any server that has local or network ODBC/CLI access. The lane control portion has to control several digital I/O points and one RFID device that detects TransCore's vehicular transponder tag.

    The NT units at one of the current installations at the DFW International Airport are capricious beasts and periodically need restarting (about once every two or so weeks...). Resource leaks. Not with the app as best as we can tell- Purify told us that we had a clean bill of health, but an internal function in NT was leaking like a sieve. The Linux version is on an embedded machine out at the lanes there at DFW. It hasn't needed a reboot yet. Using Embedded NT would have added about $250-500 per lane to the cost of the embedded hardware version of the system. With Linux, I saved $2500 per lane over the older, centralized design. With Embedded NT, it would have been more like $500-1000 per lane cost savings combined with needing to spend much, much more time writing the device drivers for the embedded I/O on the single board computer we used.

    Adapting to any situation's good- insisting on using truly unsuitable tools to do a job ends up being a cobbled up work at best and a botch job in most cases.
  • by irix ( 22687 ) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @09:46AM (#452553) Journal

    Earlier this year I was at the local stadium [] watching my team [] play.

    They had installed a new wrap-around digital scoreboard in the lower bowl. A few minutes into the game, the scoreboard flashed and you could see the corner of the window "Dr. Watson for Windows NT". :-)

    At least the O/S stayed up, I guess.

  • by n3rd ( 111397 ) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @08:40AM (#452554)
    Be a man. Insult me without using an AC.

    Roger. What makes you think there is a merger coming? What evidence or even speculation can you give? Do you really think Microsoft will merge with one of the leading chip makers while under the watchful eye of the DOJ? I don't think so.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is your statement is bullshit and can't be backed up. Prove me wrong.
  • by revelation0 ( 164235 ) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @09:05AM (#452555)
    I wonder now how many exploits will be tracked through bugtraq and packetstorm for exploits on slot machines .. I can only imagine.. and I still wonder if microsoft will be held responsible for these types of things??

    Jimmy hacks into a slot machine when the eyes fall off of him, only to win the jackpot on every machine in the building. The management didn't catch on, because of Microsoft's continuing insistance that "those vulnerabilities are completely theoretical".

    Revelation 0:0 - The beginning of the end.
  • by Erasmus Darwin ( 183180 ) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @08:53AM (#452556)
    Maybe when they get these slots in, I should take a road trip to Vegas with some various software "tools."

    While it should be fairly obvious that the interface on these machines will be probably be locked down enough to make actually "fiddling" with them worthless, I have to wonder about the possibility of them using a less-than-secure random number algorithm. If, for example, the actual program was a quick-and-dirty hack using VB, it seems it might be possible for someone to find a pattern in the results.

    I will admit, however, that this is idle speculation and may be totally off in left field. But it's at least more plausible than being able to load up and run various NT cracking utilites (which I suppose was intended as humor).

  • by autocracy ( 192714 ) <> on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @08:56AM (#452557) Homepage
    When you've got a need for an embedded system, or want to put any sort of computer in a public place, why would you use M$? The absolute embarassment of seing something like that crash on a regular basis should be an instant turn-off.

    The sad fact is that if you're on a low budget, you should use a free *nix of some sort (I prefer Linux of course, but BSD is also good - it's a what-you-grew-up-on thing). If you've got a high budget (and being in the field to use those, you must), then there is no reason to spend that cash on an overly expensive OS (face it: I don't want to spend $500+ for JUST the OS on each server - and not get most of the 'net tools I need).

    If you've got an app that needs embedding, then what do you do? Go with an OS meant for embedded devices (NOT WinCE - that's meant for giving a nice front and back end to the person that doesn't care how the machine works, but at the expensive of precious resources. You're neither!). Most of the time Linux will suffice (bsd?). It's free and easily portable.

    Fact is you just want to make sure that the public sees an always-going machine that does what it should, and the operators can do their job easily. M$ just doesn't support this - It's only real use is in the home as a gaming machine. Linux (bsd, etc.), while admitably, does take some heavy work to get setup just right (unless you want to go with the default which works for most people), but once it is up and running the way you want it, it stays!

    The problem with capped Karma is it only goes down...

  • by typical geek ( 261980 ) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @08:40AM (#452558) Homepage
    Seriously, is there a better way to lost lots of money at a casino than a slot machine? I guess if you're too brain dead to run a simple progressive scheme at the roulette wheel, or do some simple card counting at blackjack, you might as well while away your money at the slot machines.

    And now MS is getting into the act, hmm, they're getting involved with gambling, they're becoming more like the Mafia every day now. They've already got a handle on the racketeering, I guess other vices are next. I can't wait for compatible for Windows heroin and whores in Seattle.

    I'll forgot the obvious joke about SA's using NT already gambling with their work.
  • by Urban Existentialist ( 307726 ) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @08:43AM (#452559) Homepage
    There is little doubt that Microsoft want to dominate every field of the industry, from Cray supercomputers to the chips in toasters. Some moan at them as though this is somehow megalomaniacal of them, but the simple fact is that it is their right to do this, and give Linux some stiff competition.

    Having MSWindows on embedded devices would be very useful. GUI's may seem simple to the /. crowd, but for the majority they are really not as intuitive as they are cracked up to be. It can only be good if people have the option to have the same GUI all around, everywhere. It reduces training costs at companies and the time people have to expend to learn what is, in the end, a simple tool.

    Here's hoping that MS port their embedded CE to as many processors as possible.

    You know exactly what to do-
    Your kiss, your fingers on my thigh-

  • I think "Windows," which basically means "GUI," is the antithesis of the requirements of embedded software.

    Although I do think it would be great if you wanted to turn all your appliances into something that resembles a PC.

    If you never use anything but nails, all your tools will begin to look like hammers.


  • by Fatal0E ( 230910 ) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @08:46AM (#452561)
    Submitted for your approval. A man walking down the Las Vegas strip finds a quarter in the street and plays it in a Win a Free Car slot machine he had just passed. As he pulls the arm on the oversized slot machine the video display begins to roll. The first slot stops on Dodge Viper GTS as does the next slot. The third slot is about to stop on Dodge Viper and BSOD's. The man screams as his heart explodes from the emotional trauma. Somewhere in Washington, Bill Gates gets out of his Dodge Viper GTS and high fives Steve Ballmer.

    You have entered The Microsoft Embedded Hardware Market.
    "Me Ted"

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire