back to article UK rail lines blocked by unexpected Windows dialog box

Window admins rejoice! It isn’t just you that can’t get Office 2010 to uninstall silently. The mighty brains behind the UK railways have had just as much trouble. As well as the usual passenger information boards, detailing the day's cancellations and delays, London’s Victoria train station also features displays on every …

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  1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Why a copy of Office is needed on a PC tasked with showing line information is anyone’s guess

    So that they can be pwned by poisoned documents, of course.

    1. MotorcyclesFish

      "Why a copy of Office is needed on a PC tasked with showing line information is anyone’s guess"

      Because the pictured screen is a very zoomed out Excel spreadsheet with updated information populated by a 30,000 line VBA script.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: "Why a copy of Office is needed on a PC tasked with showing line information is anyone’s guess"

        You missed the bit about the 30,000 lines being undocumented and written by a temp who left 5 years ago.

        1. My-Handle

          Re: "Why a copy of Office is needed on a PC tasked with showing line information is anyone’s guess"

          It's not my fault! I tried to tell them the documentation was important, but they never gave me the time to do it! Well, not until 1 week before I left.

        2. elDog Silver badge

          Re: "Why a copy of Office is needed on a PC tasked with showing line information is anyone’s guess"

          Documenting VBA is pointless. Isn't the code self-explanatory?

          I know/hope that this was just a joke, but running VB scripts/macros in production code anywhere is asking for fragility and breakage and lack of accountability. Next time use logo.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Coffee/keyboard

            Schadenfreude

            HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

            After a while this won't be funny any more. just sad.

      2. Pete4000uk

        Re: "Why a copy of Office is needed on a PC tasked with showing line information is anyone’s guess"

        Really??

    2. billdehaan

      I've worked on rail line overviews. In the bad old days, you had to install either Visual Studio or Office just to get some god damned necessary DLL, which was absurd. Fortunately, those days are long gone.

      One of the most important restrictions we have with these systems is to NOT install third party software on them. They're dedicated display systems, not general-purpose computers.

      Of course, that won't stop people from trying...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If it's anything like our company, I'll go with "Software updates and rollouts are done remotely by someone who doesn't know what you do and was too lazy to check what all the thousands of machines did so just pushed O365 out to all machines because they were told 'everyone' had to use it now."

    4. JLV Silver badge

      Hey, it's the vendor's trial bundle.

      Up next, Oracle's Ask.com Toolbar.

  2. DailyLlama
    FAIL

    Um

    I managed to uninstall Office 2010 silently. It's not that hard...

    1. Phil Kingston Silver badge

      Re: Um

      They may not have been trying a silent uninstall, maybe these machines are just in the wrong ou or something.

    2. Craig 2
      Joke

      Re: Um

      I managed to uninstall Office 2010 silently. It's not that hard...

      I thought Windows Update was how you silently uninstalled things?

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Um

        Yes, like your data...

    3. Korev Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Um

      I managed to uninstall Office 2010 silently. It's not that hard...

      I hear DBAN works well...

  3. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Holmes

    "Why a copy of Office is needed on a PC tasked with showing line information is anyone’s guess"

    Powerpoint ?

    1. Efer Brick

      Re: "Why a copy of Office is needed on a PC tasked with showing line information is anyone’s guess"

      Overhead power point

      1. Tony Gathercole ...

        Re: "Why a copy of Office is needed on a PC tasked with showing line information is anyone’s guess"

        Nope, at London Victoria it would have to be third-rail power point.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: "Why a copy of Office is needed on a PC tasked with showing line information is anyone’s guess"

      It's not Powerpoint, if you look closely you can see the text isn't in Comic Sans.

    3. Frederic Bloggs

      Re: "Why a copy of Office is needed on a PC tasked with showing line information is anyone’s guess"

      Isn't the powerpoint where they plug the trains in?

  4. Tom 7 Silver badge

    TBF running the trains better is one thing Clippy could do!

    NT but a replacement bus service the other way.

  5. Brennan Young
    FAIL

    It's not that Windows failed, it's that it failed in public view

    I always thought it was an own-goal to include the brand name (+ identifiable look 'n' feel) in error messages and alert boxes which are likely to appear in public places.

    Microsoft clearly still thinks this is good PR.

    Compare Apple's "grey screen of death" which mentions neither Apple, nor any of their brands. On the contrary, it has an international flavour, with various languages and alphabets, so you could be forgiven for unconsciously blaming the failure on humanity generally.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: blaming the failure on humanity generally

      Yes, people hold it wrong.

    2. Tomato Krill

      Re: It's not that Windows failed, it's that it failed in public view

      So the error message pertaining to an issue with Office shouldn't contain a reference to Office, not should it look like an error message as people know them?

      I'm not sure that's such a swell idea...

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: It's not that Windows failed, it's that it failed in public view

        They should use this error message: https://54below.com/app/uploads/error-message-1024x576.png

        (Yes, yes, I'm still living in the 90's)

        1. Terje

          Re: It's not that Windows failed, it's that it failed in public view

          What's wrong with a good old "Guru meditation"?

  6. reprobate

    You can see the diagram for yourself if you wish at:

    http://www.opentraintimes.com/maps/signalling/vir1#T_VICTRIE

    except that the spoilsport of a web operator hasn't got the Microsoft error message to display!

    1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      "

      You can see the diagram for yourself if you wish at:

      http://www.opentraintimes.com/maps/signalling/vir1#T_VICTRIE

      "

      It's not interactive! How useless. It would be much more fun if you could alter the signals and points with a mouse-click.

      1. David Nash Silver badge

        OpenTrainTimes.com

        +1 for this useful website.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "It looks like you're trying to run a rail network. Would you like help?"

    At this point I'm not which one runs worse.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge
      FAIL

      I don't often say this, but I'm pretty sure even Microsoft couldn't make the trains run worse.

      No Microsoft error messages showing at St Pancras tuesday night, but the destination boards were ordered pretty much randomly (actually, by platform - but because they're all one long list, not individual boards headed by destination, that's no help whatever) and contain entries for trains that left an hour before.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        "and contain entries for trains that left an hour before."

        I think you will find they haven't actually left yet. Especially if it is trains from the Thameslink platforms.

      2. elDog Silver badge

        "destination boards were ordered pretty much randomly..."

        Well, just click on the header of the column you want to sort by and they'll be rearranged to your specs, sir.

        You may need to jump about 12 feet in the air to click on the header, only to realize that they forgot to install touch/punch screens.

    2. Giovani Tapini
      Trollface

      Clippy - on - rails

      that is all

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sigh!

    As a user of the 'Brighton Line' I'm just waiting for the Union to call for a strike on the grounds that not all their members got to see the message and that the Railway Operator was discriminating against their members.

    Yes, I'm being sarcastic but the impasse between the NUR (or whatever they are called this week) and the TOC's has been going on for more than two frigging years. I know of many people who have given up trying to commute by train because of the uncertainty. If you think that BREXIT is a cause for uncertainty, then any Brighton based commuter will gladly bend your ear for a few weeks on uncertainty.

    And... another weekend with half the line shut for so called engineering works.

    Roll on Friday... oh wait, I need to work on Saturday bummer.

    Yours, disgruntled of Kemp Town.

    1. paulf Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Sigh!

      @AC, "the NUR (or whatever they are called this week)"

      Coughs, it's been the RMT since 1990.

      Perhaps the railways should stop talking about disruption and just give a coefficient of entropy for the day's service.

  9. John70

    At least it hadn't started installing Windows 10.

  10. Dunstan Vavasour
    Headmaster

    "Train Station"

    Am I the last person who calls it the "railway station"?

    1. reprobate

      Re: "Train Station"

      No, I too insist on calling it a railway station. "Train station" is 'Merkin usage.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Train Station"

      Railway station has been in decline since 1913 and since 1997, more people have used train station. (According to Google ngrams)

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: "Train Station"

        Looks pretty terminal to me.

        You would think that their IT people would simply have moved to another platform. Bad luck if you want to go to places like Streatham as I think they normally depart from platform 10 IIRC.

    3. katrinab Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: "Train Station"

      Do you go to a "bus station" or a "road station"?

      Trains run on railways, buses run on roads.

      1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: "Train Station"

        "Do you go to a "bus station" or a "road station"?"

        Neither. Public transport is for plebs.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Train Station"

        No, trains run on railway tracks.

        A railway station is a building and facility belonging to a railway (currently National Rail or similar).

        Of course you could just follow the train announcers and refer to the stations as "service stops" *shudder*

        1. Mage Silver badge

          Re: trains run on railway tracks

          Historically partly to give a monopoly. If people had built better roads for the steam engine pulling a "train of wagons", anyone could have used them.

          "Trains" that don't use rails/tracks do exist.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Train Station"

        Do you go to a "bus station" or a "road station"?

        I go to the "gare routière"

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: "Train Station"

          Apparently, according to some announcements, the trains are calling TO "Harrow & Wealdstone", "Watford Junction", "Hemel Hempstead" etc etc.

          And the one that really annoys me is on the underground...

          "Please move along the platform to your left and towards the end carriages as the middle carriages is where the train is most busiest."

          *grinds teeth*

    4. RayG

      Re: "Train Station"

      "station" = "place where something is stopped". It's a "train station" when just YOUR train is stationary for an indefinite period of time. It's a "railway station" when the ENTIRE railway is stationary for an indefinite period of time. Problem solved, leaving only the mystery of why the term "railway station" is becoming less common when the condition of the entire railway being stopped doesn't seem to.

      (says I, from behind my... work station)

      1. Joe W

        Re: "Train Station"

        @ "work Station": using the fall update of Win10, I guess ;p

        1. RayG

          Re: "Train Station"

          :-D Ha! No, it's just slow. Apparently there are leaves on the five-volt line.

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