Bork!Bork!Bork! Willkommen to today's edition of Bork, The Register's glimpse at what digital signage does when it thinks nobody is looking.
Snapped by an eagled-eyed Register reader aboard one of those miserable buses that transport tired travellers from airport terminal to motor vehicle rental hub, the signage looks like it might be running the elderly Windows 7.
Support for the veteran operating system finally came to an end earlier this year, although some of the embedded incarnations will linger well into 2021.
Those wishing to stick with the software must spank the cash on some Extended Security Updates (ESU). Something we can't imagine whoever has bolted the screen to the luggage rack of this chariot of despair will be too keen on.
German has some marvellously long words to befuddle travellers. The efficient avoidance of spaces gives rise to delights such as "Systemwiederherstellung," which we think means something like "System recovery."
Certainly, there is a "probleme" with this particular installation, and Windows 7 clearly needs a bit of help starting up. We wouldn't advise prodding the screen, however. Normally flinging ads or advice, it probably has an invisible film of filth deposited by international travellers keen to hop into one of Ford's finest.
This particular bus was headed to Avis, according to our reader. Handy, because rival rental firm Hertz recently filed for bankruptcy protection in the US as business slowed. Indeed, as our reader observed, having arrived on one of the very few flights still operating last month, "Heathrow is a ghost town these days."
For yes, despite appearances to the contrary, the very German and very unhappy digital sign can be found on a bus rolling around the roads of Blighty's busiest airport. It is enough to make one chew through a tea towel and paint a passport blue.
Still, it could be worse. It could be rolling around Germany's forever-almost-complete Berlin Brandenburg Airport, which has brought new meaning to the word Bork all by itself.
And anyhow, this hack has a certain fondness for the German language. After all, the words for Father and Bottle have caused many a schoolchild giggle over the years and who among us could not love a language that chooses "Durchfall" for "diarrhoea." Or, literally translated: "through fall."
Something similar, we fear, has happened to this poorly installation of Windows 7. ®