Hayfever in Haymarket, or has Windows sneezed out a BSOD?

The spectre of bork returns to Newcastle

14 Reg comments Got Tips?

Bork!Bork!Bork! Sometimes we all need a reminder of just how borked the world is at the moment, and what better way to discourage people from using public transport than a Blue Screen of Death hanging over the entrance?

Snapped by Register reader Stephen Grantham, a member of the UK National Health Service's hardworking IT team, the BSOD was spotted balefully glaring down at travellers planning a jaunt on Newcastle's metro system.

While we have yet to use the thing in anger as commuters, the Tyne and Wear Metro features both underground stations (such as the pictured Haymarket) as well as overground light rail. Using existing railway infrastructure, the Tyne and Wear metro slid open its doors in 1980 with Haymarket as one of its first stations. It now stretches as far afield as Newcastle airport, with its Metrocars rattling along nearly 50 miles of track.

Haymarket station was given a lick of paint during a refurbishment programme earlier this century and Princess Anne declared it open once more in 2010. There is no word on whether the Princess Royal was also presented with a BSOD to mark the big day.

As for the screen, it is operated by Kong Outdoor. It is capable of full motion (although clearly not at the moment) and Kong reckons advertisers can expect a very precise 1,304,109 "impacts" a fortnight.

One should probably subtract the quantity of punters wondering exactly what Windows' failure to reset the display driver has to do with them.

"I guess it's one way to get IT support," remarked Stephen, adding: "I suspect it was the heat that did it as it was a sweltering 14 degrees at the time, temperatures we are not used to up here in Geordie land."

For the sake of Stephen and his colleagues staffing the UK's health service, we also rather hope those "impact" figures are currently down due to people opting to swerve the metro where possible.

We contacted Kong Outdoor to find out what had befallen its screen (which seems to have form judging by results from a popular search engine) but we have yet to receive a reply.

Spotted Windows reacting to an error with all the resilience of blancmange, or something embedded doing a whoopsie? Add your contribution to El Reg's album of awkwardness with an email to the bork desk. ®

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