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Stupid and funny error messages



This is my small collection of error messages, mainly generated by Windows programs. Many of them are in Norwegian, but I'll translate them to English, and comment them. Some are funnier then others, but all of them have a nag...

The programmers are generally rather good in handling errors. Yet sometimes they have situations, where errors cannot be avoided. The programmers then sit and think hard of a message, which would put the user onto the right track. Taking into account that the programmers do seldom communicate with other human beings, they often come to message, which only they can understand... Enjoy!


The message reads: "Partitioning which is used on this harddisk prohibits creation of a permanent swap-file. You can create a permanent swap-file." It beats me: if I can't create a permanent swap-file, how come is it possible to create it?


The message is quite simple and informative: "Windows Help - Ok, Abort" I got this message, while trying to access a topic in a file, which was not there. One can interpret this message in several ways: 1) This is a voting about Windows Help being Ok; 2) An absence of a topic produces an absence of a message; 3) Microsoft programmers are extremely lazy...


The message reads: "Install Microsoft Office was not installed completely." No, I don't want to install an installation program - I want Office. But if the Office is just an installation program, why did I pay all those money for it?


I got this and the next message, while debugging my program in Microsoft QuickBASIC. The errors were just as cryptic as the messages displayed. Actually, there were no errors at all!




This one, "Microsoft Works 3.0 installation program was not installed completely." is about the same as the which I mentioned above. But for one detail: in this message they are frankly admitting that Microsoft Works 3.0 is an installation program!


I say, it should be prohibited to curse in error messages. After all, it is a user, and not the program who should curse in this situation!


Here is this Microsoft help again, with yet another brilliant error message - I don't even want to know what %d is! (Trivia: ANSI C has a standard for printf function, which has several control symbols [%d is among them]. These symbols get replaced by either text or numbers during program execution. In this case %d should be replaced by an integer, corresponding to a help topic.)


Microsoft Word 2.0 couldn't stand being behind, so it came with a message of its own. It reads: "You put much text/graphics in the clipboard. Do you wish it should be available for other programs after you have terminated Word? - Yes, No, Abort, Help". I wonder, if I should put little text or graphics onto clipboard, would I get this message? And what do they mean by 'much' - ten words, twenty words?


The message, produced by Windows print spooler reads: "Print spooler cannot write to LPT1. Port configuration matches the one of the printer. Abort print job or close Printers in Control Panel or select Printer Setup from print spooler to specify the correct port configuration." Well, well, well, see what we have here. A very long message with a very long sentence, which is quite difficult to comprehend. But that's not the best part of it! You perhaps noticed that what the message actually says is the following: Sorry, I can't write: you configured you port correctly...


Hooray for installation programs - they provide an enormous amount of error messages, and other messages... Just look at this one: "Installation program must start Windows to complete installation of system files. Terminate all programs, including DOS sessions, go back to this dialogue box and choose Continue. Installation will be completed after Windows has re-started. - Continue, Abort, Help" I must start Windows to complete installation? And I thought I was in Windows...


Notepad is small, but it also has something in store: "This file is empty and will be deleted. The file cannot be saved because it is empty. - Ok, Abort" A typical "hen and egg" problem - if a file will not be saved, how can it be deleted. If it is going to be deleted, why cannot it be saved first?


Word Perfect 6.2 for Windows had a brilliant remark: "Uninstallation is complete. You must install everything what was removed before you can use it again." First of all, couldn't they specify what it was? Second, I was uninstalling this software because I was not going to use it, so should know what I was doing... Do those programmers think all users are that stupid?


How severe is it? Can it byte off my hand? And does Error THIS less severe than Error OTHER?


Applause for PIF-editor: "You are running in standard mode. PIF information, which you type in might be wrong. Are you sure you wish to change to this mode? - Ok, Abort" First of all I must inform you, o reader, that I was actually running in 386 extended mode and was only about to change to standard mode. Then, that unspecified change to this mode doesn't give any info about which mode you are actually going to change to...


This one came from an archiving program AV (Archive Viewer). I think programmers should read through their error messages keener. Otherwise they might forget to ask the question they wish to have an answer for...


It is not alway so that the programmers err in the text they write. This message is a clear example of an interface error. The programmer obviously thought that the program will always be run under resolution 800x600 or higher. I run Windows in 640x480 - thus the message was cropped on its sides. Very clever! Especially when you cannot see buttons!


Since when was the word warming written with two m's?! Both WordPerfect and Word spellers returned an error when I tried to type in warmming. This info message comes from Power of Scanning program, which follows Mustek scanner. By the way, why do they write scanner with the capital letter.........?

And last, but not least... Have you ever experienced a program which just can't believe you:

- Are you sure you want to stop installation?
- Ok
- Are you *really* sure you wish to quit?
- *Yes*
- This is your last chance to change your mind.
- *OK*
- I am quitting then... You haven't changed your mind yet?
- NOOOooo...

Power off.

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