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Programming IT Technology

Gnarly Error Messages 1315

Veeru writes "In my career, I have run across some whopper error messages, but a call from the mainframe sysop one night beat them all: 'We are experiencing MVS processor spin loops, the programs are running while holding a disabled CPU. This is causing XCF communication delays to the point where we are losing VTAM RTP routing, are suffering OSPF adjacency failures on TCP/IP dynamic routing and MIM VCF failures. Whatever this code is, it should NOT be propagated to production or we run the risk of losing the development plex if XCF signaling is adversely impacted by processor disabled spin loops'. My friend once got an error message 'Error 2 while trying to report error 2'. I would be curious to hear from the Slashdot community on encounters with other bizarre error messages."
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Gnarly Error Messages

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  • Mac Bomb (Score:4, Funny)

    by httpamphibio.us ( 579491 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:03PM (#4486435)
    The random bomb that used to pop up using Mac LC's... not explanation, just BOMB. That used to freak some people out.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:35PM (#4486650)
      A friend once got a javascript error that would have made Bill Clinton proud:

      'is' is not defined

      I once got a Windows message telling me to insert the CD labeled 'Windows 98' into the floppy drive C: (really! all three in one!)

      But my favorite was an old mainframe warning:

      Warning: Starting system abort routine. Enter 'go' to continue or 'no' to stop.

      To this day I don't know whether 'go' would continue aborting, or continue running, nor whether 'no' would stop running, or stop aborting!
    • Re:Mac Bomb (Score:5, Funny)

      by cscx ( 541332 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:56PM (#4486759) Homepage
      The MacOS Bomb is analagous to the BSOD on Win9x -- lack of protected memory caused some serious shit to happen. (Funny, the Win9x "BSOD" really isn't the official "Blue Screen of Death" anyway -- it's just a blue error message. The real BSOD [rr.com] originated on WinNT and only occurred when some serious shit happened -- like yanking out expansion cards with the power on, or some nasty corrupted driver.)

      Now for some snapshots I took myself. My personal favs include KDE's "Sound Server fatal error: cpu overload, aborted" (sorry no pic), this priceless one from Outlook, [] (I can't make this shit up) KDE's 3D take on the Mac's age-old bomb concept, GNOME doing what it does best [], and you can't forget Linus' famous "Aiee!" message when the Linux kernel panics.
    • by overunderunderdone ( 521462 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @10:01PM (#4487709)
      Well this one is not really an error message. There was a multimedia company that had a promotional floppy (this was before CD's) that had this gag error message pop up on your mac (it's been a while so I might not get the wording exactly right)

      "How would you like if I erased all your files?" with two buttons both of which said "OK". If you clicked on the button it would say "just kidding" if you clicked anywhere else it would call you a coward.
  • by Trusty Penfold ( 615679 ) <jon_edwards@spanners4us.com> on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:04PM (#4486437) Journal
    Press F9 to continue.
    • by Rui del-Negro ( 531098 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:52PM (#4486738) Homepage
      And personally I prefer the ones that said "Keyboard not found; press F1 to continue"

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 19, 2002 @07:00PM (#4486780)
      Apparently there's also a "Display error; hit F1 to
      continue" message, but I've never seen it.
      • by zdzichu ( 100333 ) <zdzichu&irc,pl> on Saturday October 19, 2002 @07:23PM (#4486918) Homepage Journal
        Maybe something like this: /* Nobody will ever see this message :-) */
        panic("Cannot initialize video hardware\n");
        2.0.38 /usr/src/linux/arch/m68k/atari/atafb.c

        It comes from very cool Kernel Cookies.
        There are more:

        printk("??? No FDIV bug? Lucky you...\n");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/include/asm-i386/bugs.h
        % /* These are the most dangerous and useful defines. They do printk() during
        * the interrupt processing routine(s), so if you manage to get "flooded" by
        * irq's, start thinking about the "Power off/on" button...
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/drivers/sbus/char/aurora.h
        pani c("floppy: Port bolixed.");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/include/asm-sparc/floppy.h
        pani c("sun_82072_fd_inb: How did I get here?");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/include/asm-sparc/floppy.h
        #def ine BB_STAT2_TMP_INTR 0x10 /* My Penguins are burning.
        Are you able to smell it? */
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/include/asm-sparc/obio.h
        printk (KERN_ERR "msp3400: chip reset failed, penguin on i2c bus?\n");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/drivers/char/msp3400.c
        panic("e sp_handle: current_SC == penguin within interrupt!");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/drivers/scsi/esp.c
        % /* Host controller interrupts must not be running while calling this
        * function or the penguins will get angry. */
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/drivers/usb/ohci.c
        % /* Identify the flock of penguins. */
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/arch/alpha/kernel/setup.c
        die_i f_kernel("Whee... Hello Mr. Penguin", current->tss.kregs);
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/arch/sparc/kernel/traps.c
        die_i f_kernel("Penguin instruction from Penguin mode??!?!", regs);
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/arch/sparc/kernel/traps.c
        die_i f_kernel("Kernel gets FloatingPenguinUnit disabled trap", regs);
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/arch/sparc/kernel/traps.c
        % /* When we have more time, we can teach the penguin to say
        * "By your command" or "Activating turbo boost, Michael".
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/arch/sparc/prom/sun4prom.c
        prin tk("Entering UltraSMPenguin Mode...\n");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/arch/sparc64/kernel/smp.c
        panic ("Attempted to kill the idle task!");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/kernel/exit.c
        panic("kmem_cache _init(): Offsets are wrong - I've been messed with!");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/mm/slab.c
        panic("Detected a card I can't drive - whoops\n");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/drivers/net/daynaport.c
        panic(" mother...");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/drivers/block/cpqarray.c
        panic( "Foooooooood fight!");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/drivers/scsi/aha1542.c
        panic("U nable to find empty mailbox for aha1542.\n");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/drivers/scsi/aha1542.c
        panic("a ha1740.c"); /* Goodbye */
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/drivers/scsi/aha1740.c
        panic("e sp: what could it be... I wonder...");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/drivers/scsi/esp.c
        panic ("Splunge!");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/drivers/scsi/psi240i.c
        panic("h uh?\n");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/arch/i386/kernel/smp.c
        panic("T ell me what a watchpoint trap is, and I'll then
        deal with such a beast...");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/arch/arch/sparc/kernel/traps.c
        panic("Oh boy, that early out of memory?");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/arch/mips/mm/init.c
        panic("CPU too expensive - making holiday in the ANDES!");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/arch/mips/kernel/traps.c
        panic( "IRQ, you lose...");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/arch/mips/sgi/kernel/indy%
        panic(" Lucy in the sky....");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/arch/sparc64/kernel/starfire.c
        printk("Illegal format on cdrom. Pester manufacturer.\n");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/fs/isofs/inode.c
        printk(KERN_WA RNING "%s: Short circuit detected on the lobe\n",
        2.4.0-test2 /usr/src/linux/drivers/net/tokenring/lanstreamer.c
        % /*
        * Hash table gook..
        2.4.0-test2 /usr/src/linux/fs/buffer.c
        % /* After several hours of tedious analysis, the following hash
        * function won. Do not mess with it... -DaveM
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/fs/buffer.c
        % /*
        * We used to try various strange things. Let's not.
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/fs/buffer.c
        #if 0
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/fs/buffer.c
        % /*
        * For moronic filesystems that do not allow holes in file.
        * We may have to extend the file.
        2.4.0-test2 /usr/src/linux/fs/buffer.c
        printk(KERN_WARNING "Warning: defective CD-ROM (volume sequence
        number). Enabling \"cruft\" mount option.\n");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/fs/isofs/inode.c
        printk(KERN_WA RNING "Multi-volume CD somehow got mounted.\n");
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/fs/isofs/inode.c
        % /* Fuck me gently with a chainsaw... */
        2.0.38 /usr/src/linux/arch/sparc/kernel/ptrace.c
        % /* Binary compatibility is good American knowhow fuckin' up. */
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/arch/sparc/kernel/sunos_ioctl.c
        % /* Am I fucking pedantic or what? */
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/drivers/scsi/qlogicpti.h
        % /* vsprintf.c -- Lars Wirzenius & Linus Torvalds. */
        * Wirzenius wrote this portably, Torvalds fucked it up :-)
        2.2.16 /usr/src/linux/lib/vsprintf.c
        printk("Penguin %d is stuck in the bottle.\n", i);
        2.0.38 /usr/src/linux/arch/sparc/kernel/smp.c
        prom_pr intf("Detected PenguinPages, getting out of here.\n");
        2.0.38 /usr/src/linux/arch/sparc/mm/srmmu.c
        panic("Aa rggh: attempting to free lock with active wait queue - shoot Andy");
        2.0.38 /usr/src/linux/fs/locks.c
        panic("bad_user_acce ss_length executed (not cool, dude)");
        2.0.38 /usr/src/linux/kernel/panic.c
        % /*
        * Should be panic but... (Why are BSD people panic obsessed ??)
        2.0.38 /usr/src/linux/net/ipv4/ip_fw.c
        % /* Nobody will ever see this message :-) */
        panic("Cannot initialize video hardware\n");
        2.0.38 /usr/src/linux/arch/m68k/atari/atafb.c
        printk( "ufs_read_super: fucking Sun blows me\n");
        2.0.38 /usr/src/linux/fs/ufs/ufs_super.c
        printk("auto fs: Out of inode numbers -- what the heck did you do??\n");
        2.0.38 /usr/src/linux/fs/autofs/root.c
        HARDFAIL("Not enough magic.");
        2.4.0-test2 /usr/src/linux/drivers/block/nbd.c
        2.4.0-test2 /usr/src/linux/drivers/ide/cmd640.c
        if (user_specified) /* Didn't work, but the user is convinced this is the
        * place. */
        2.4.0-test2 /usr/src/linux/drivers/parport/parport_pc.c
        pr intk("VFS: Busy inodes after unmount. "
        "Self-destruct in 5 seconds. Have a nice day...\n");
        2.3.99-pre8 /usr/src/linux/fs/super.c

        No url for more... I can't find :(
  • by *xpenguin* ( 306001 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:05PM (#4486441)
    One of the most entertaining error message sites is iarchitect [iarchitect.com], which provides good and bad examples of error handling and GUIs.
  • Gnarly. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Trusty Penfold ( 615679 ) <jon_edwards@spanners4us.com> on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:06PM (#4486444) Journal
    Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
  • by wuchang ( 524603 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:06PM (#4486445)
    We don't know wtf is happening, but we want everyone to think that we're on top of things and that we deserve the salaries they pay us.
  • by gunner800 ( 142959 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:06PM (#4486448) Homepage
    When the user specifies an attribute value outside the correct range it's helpful to list the possible correct values. But if the value just has to be non-negative it's much more helpful to say "Value must be non-negative" than to list all the possible positive values.

    Fortunately, users never saw this error, as the program ran out of memory while composing it.
  • by The Wooden Badger ( 540258 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:06PM (#4486449) Homepage Journal
    "Now starting Windows for the first time"

    D'oh -Homer Simpson.

  • Error (Score:5, Funny)

    by _Spirit ( 23983 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:07PM (#4486455) Journal
    Had a Mac program long ago that featured the following error msg:

    I must remember to put an error message here

    And in another:

    Whoops !
    If you see this error please report the code as I have forgotten put an error message here
    • by geoswan ( 316494 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @07:45PM (#4487036) Journal
      ...that featured the following error msg:
      I must remember to put an error message here

      I read a case history that was somewhat similar. Except the error message was in Latin. Someone who had once taken Latin was tracked down, and asked to translate. The translation was something like, "Unto the son is born a brother". When the original programmer was tracked down, he was embarrassed. "But that condition was never supposed to arrive. He had some kind of complicated data structure, where each element could have children and siblings. Except the element at the apex of the tree was supposed to be a special case -- no siblings.

      But since it was never supposed to happen the original programmer didn't bother to put a meaningful error message.

      Back with good old version 7, make gave error messages like:

      make: stop. don't know how to make foo!

      if you had typed "make foo" and there was no makefile, or no rule for foo in the makefile.

      When computer naive people (remember them) would ask what computers could do, it was fun to have them sit down and type:

      make love

      Which would, of course, result in:

      make: stop. don't know how to make love!

      "make war" was another good one.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:07PM (#4486458)
    me@machine:/usr/src/linux/drivers/char% grep "on fire" *.c

    lp.c: /* not offline or out of paper. on fire? */
    lp.c: printk(KERN_ERR "lp%d reported invalid error status (on fire, eh?)\n", minor);
    lp_m68k.c: printk(KERN_NOTICE "lp%d: on fire\n",dev);
    lp_m68k.c: /* not offline or out of paper. on fire? */
    lp_m68k.c: printk(KERN_NOTICE "lp%d: on fire\n",dev);
    • Re:Printer on fire (Score:5, Informative)

      by iabervon ( 1971 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @08:57PM (#4487412) Homepage Journal
      Reportedly, that error message is traditional, and used to be accurate. You'd get that if the printer had jammed in such a way that there was paper pressed on one side against a spinning part, generating heat and paper dust. By the time you got to the printer, it would probably have burst into flames. Of course, the printer could have broken in a less catastrophic way, but people don't tend to complain when their computer tells them their huge printer is on fire and it turns out it's merely broken. These days, of course, printers rarely burst into flames, but if there's something mysteriously wrong with the printer that's not one of the standard problems, who knows? (The message tends to come up if the kernel doesn't understand the printer status quite right)

      See this linux kernel post [iu.edu].
  • by sheol ( 153979 ) <recluce&gmail,com> on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:07PM (#4486460)
    i once received the following at work in the proprietary software used for cable tv tech support/etc....

    "You need help. Please call 1-800-xxx-xxxx for assistance."
  • Amiga Error (Score:4, Funny)

    by Haxx ( 314221 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:08PM (#4486462) Homepage

    Remember the Amiga 500/1500 error message that said

    "Guru Medatation"

    • Re:Amiga Error (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ewhac ( 5844 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @08:14PM (#4487220) Homepage Journal

      Everyone likes to malign the Amiga system crash dialog, simply because it bore the term 'Guru Meditation'. "Ha ha," they joke, "see how primitive and useless the error message was."

      You have to understand that this was a massive advance forward. Prior to that, the major systems were first-generation Macs (which displayed a certain number of bomb icons and nothing else); and Apple ]['s, Commodore-64s, and MS-DOS-running PC clones -- all of which displayed nothing; it just (if you were lucky) silently locked up.

      Carl Sassenrath [sassenrath.com], designer and author of the Amiga's 'kernel', thought this state of affairs sucked, so he did something about it. Amiga's Guru Meditations, cryptic though they were, told the programmer which task was responsible for the crash (first hex number), and what exception it generated (second hex number). You could then hit the right mouse button to drop into a very primitive serial debugger to get more information. While these numbers were useless to 95% of the users out there, it was information the user could give to the vendor, helping them track down the problem more easily -- information they never had before.

      Meanwhile, everyone just happily tolerated Windoze BSODs, even though they were, and still are, no more informative than Amiga Guru Meditations.


  • by Greebz ( 139906 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:08PM (#4486464)

    "An Error Occurred Because An Error Occurred"

    Ah, so that's why!
  • by eexlebots ( 203658 ) <eexlebots AT subrevolt DOT com> on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:08PM (#4486465) Homepage
    "Error: No error"

    I got that one a few times; always memorable. Almost as fun as seeing your GUI melt into the joy of a KDL:

    "Welcome to Kernel Debugging Land!"
  • by nusuth ( 520833 ) <oooo_0000us AT yahoo DOT com> on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:08PM (#4486466) Homepage
    This version of Winzip does not work after year 2099."

  • by hklingon ( 109185 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:08PM (#4486468) Homepage
    This error is documented in MS's KB:
    "Sometimes Barney Starts Playing Peekaboo on his own." Scary. [microsoft.com]
  • Illegal Operation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stephenisu ( 580105 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:08PM (#4486471)
    Working in Technical support for a government website frequented by technophobes with college aged children, I can't count the times I have had people scared to death because their computer had encountered an illegal operation. One woman started yelling at her kids for putting that &#*!ing nappy (napster I am guessing) thing on their machine. It took me 15 minutes to explain the situation to her.. after the 10 minutes of telling her to calm down.. at least she wasn't one of the criers.
  • by Doctor Sbaitso ( 605467 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:09PM (#4486474) Journal
    I've encountered "Error: too many errors" several times before.
  • no sense in pretending
  • Undefined? (Score:5, Funny)

    by stu_coates ( 156061 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:09PM (#4486476)

    While doing some JavaScript programming with and old version of Netscape:

    Undefined is not defined
  • by axneck ( 573097 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:09PM (#4486478)
    AppleWorks GS on the Apple IIGS... "A serious system error has occured" and two buttons appeared. The first button said "Reset", and the second button had an arrow pointing to the first button. :)
  • by bunyip ( 17018 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:10PM (#4486479)
    Anybody that's used C++ templates a lot would know that compile errors can easily be 10-20 lines long (per error).

    I don't remember who said it, but C++ templates are clearly the work of the devil.
  • by davemarmaros ( 598966 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:12PM (#4486497)
    The fax machine in my office's mailroom displays this to confirm that your outgoing fax was sent. It confused the heck out of me the first time...
  • by hklingon ( 109185 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:13PM (#4486498) Homepage
    My favorite Windows Error [techstacy.org].

    Though now on NT/2000 these errors are logged in the handy-dany event logger.

  • by Cerlyn ( 202990 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:13PM (#4486500)

    Apple once put out a C compiler famous for its error messages. Who else would make a compiler that states "This label is the target of a goto from outside of the block containing this label AND this block has an automatic variable with an initializer AND your window wasn't wide enough to read this whole error message"?

    Searching for Apple compiler error messages on Google [google.com] picks up dozens of sites with the error messages from this compiler, as well as spreads out the slashdot effect.

    Doing a search for Eudora humor error messages on Google [google.com] shows Eudora to have a similar sense of humor as well ("Memory is tight-Live Dangerously").

  • Oooooops. (Score:4, Funny)

    by cosyne ( 324176 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:13PM (#4486507) Homepage
    Or something to that effect. It was a few years ago, so probably MacOS8. Just the standard error box with no explaination besides "Oooooops"

    There's always the old favorite "This application has performed a fatal error and will be shut down: Windows" and the similar "This file appears to be corrupted or infected, and should be replaced: Symantec AntiVirus." I'll post the screenshot of the antivirus one if i find it.
  • by cOdEgUru ( 181536 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:15PM (#4486513) Homepage Journal
    (1) Winerr 00E : Unexplained Error - Please tell us how this happened
    (2) 01B - Error Removing Temp File; Kernel.dll Will Be Substituted
    (3) 01C - Wrong Disk Formatted. Sorry About That.
    (4)Title: setup32.exe - error in application
    The instruction "0x77e0a053" points to memory at "0x0f1366b8". The data was not transferred into RAM because of an I/O error in "0x00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000000c0000240".
    That's a lot of zeros... I thought addresses were only 32 bits long in Windows2000...
  • by jennygerbi ( 263473 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:15PM (#4486515)

    I like this far more than is acceptable:

    >cat food
    >cat: cannot open food
  • by hedley ( 8715 ) <hedley@pacbell.net> on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:15PM (#4486517) Journal
    At a DN300's boot prompt I typed:

    > ?

    You must be from Prime. Use 'h' for help.

    Prime was Apollo's competitor at the time. :)

  • by borwells ( 566148 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:15PM (#4486518) Homepage
    My favorite on the NT servers was a popup explainging that the Dr. Watson process had generated a Dr. Watson error. If the system hadn't frozen I would have screen-capped that bad boy.

    Also, twice when using Veritas Backup Exec NT 7.3 I received a warning error messages stating that there were over 1 billion administrators currently connected to the system, so I should be careful making changes. I wasn't aware Backup Exec was so popular.
  • by Rai ( 524476 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:15PM (#4486520) Homepage
    "Gnarly Error Messages" make me picture the Dell dude popping up like the M$ Clippy and saying something like "Dude, your program just totally crashed. Bummer!"
  • by eggstasy ( 458692 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:16PM (#4486530) Journal
    Go to Control Panel, Administrative Tools, and disable all services. At no time does Win2k give you a warning that this might be dangerous, but upon rebooting your system will be totally and irrecoverably screwed, as Win2k will tell you that you need the plug and play service to enable any service that you try to enable, INCLUDING the PnP service itself! Reinstalling restored the services to their settings, but it was still not working very well for reasons I cannot understand, so I had to do a clean install to a separate directory!
    You gotta love MS's monolithic integration...
  • by fantomas ( 94850 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:19PM (#4486545)

    First time my boss went away and left me in charge of everything, our baby, the SGI Indigo2 ( this was a few years ago) decided to die big style. I am not a full blooded geek so scuse me if I don't describe this right, but...

    ...screen filled with text, went up the screen rapidly filling the whole thing, I think it was like when you start up and all the boot stuff goes past. Finally the screen flashes then does a sort of blue screen of death and the only text on the screen in the top left is DON'T PANIC.

    I swear I saw this, if I hadn't seen this with my own eyes, I wouldn't believe it, but there I am, the boss is away for the first time on holiday and the computer is saying 'DON'T PANIC' . I knew things were very, very bad.

    Can somebody tell me about this error message, how SGI got to put it on their machines, and why?

    (end note is boss was cool as ever and the engineers fixed it and we got our data back, but boy, was I afraid to touch that machine again...)

    • I hate to ruin a perfectly good story, but what you saw was probably "DOUBLE PANIC."

      If an SGI box kernel panics, it does exactly what you described, printing the message "KERNEL PANIC" at the top of the textport and spewing out lots of stack traces after it.

      Now, kernel panics are, of course, handled by a handler. (Those panic messages don't happen by magic, you know.) If, on the off chance, your machine should panic, and then panic again inside the panic handler-- apart from meaning something is really, really wrong-- the system prints the message "DOUBLE PANIC" on the screen.

      That's probably what you saw. I've seen this many times-- always due to faulty hardware.

      Of course, I wouldn't put it past SGI to put a joke in their panic messages. This is, of course, the company that warned users in its workstation owner's guide not to "dangle the mouse by its cable or throw mouse at co-workers."

      And there's always the ever-popular audiopanel -spinaltap gag. Running audiopanel with the -spinaltap flag makes the VU meters go to 11. Naturally.
  • Engrish! (Score:5, Funny)

    by chrisbolt ( 11273 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:19PM (#4486548) Homepage
    It's always fun trying to decipher engrish error messages [engrish.com].
  • HAL9000 (Score:5, Funny)

    by lateralus_1024 ( 583730 ) <mattbahaNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:21PM (#4486562)
    [in soothing voice]"Dave, I'm afraid I can't let you do that."
  • linux (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kallahar ( 227430 ) <kallahar@quickwired.com> on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:21PM (#4486563) Homepage
    When installing linux you can get this error:

    ***Kernel panic: I have no root and I want to scream

    if you don't tell the kernel where to find it's root filesystem.

  • HTTP 503.1 (Score:5, Funny)

    by utahjazz ( 177190 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:28PM (#4486601)
    Service unavailable due to link posted on Slashdot.
  • by Ektanoor ( 9949 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:30PM (#4486611) Journal
    Many years ago, one of my colleagues fell into a weird situation. He was quite good in Assembler and wrote some quite long program. When he finished, he said that he doubts that the program could work. "I should have done some checks before finishing it..." He compiles the program, gets ready for some long debugging and... the program works... He stares at the screen.
    "Something is wrong here..."
    "What?" I ask.
    "The program works...".
    "Well it should doesn't it?".
    "No, it shouldn't, no one can write Assembler in such volume and avoid errors..."
    "But does the program give the right result?"
    "Yes, but that's impossible! I nearly guessed how to do it. How can it work?.."

    So he starts checking the program. Finds nothing. Debugs it, all seems to work. Then he starts to doubt that the results are correct. So he makes two three checks by hand. Then he writes a small segment of the program and things go nuts.He gets back to the whole program and starts debugging it, step by step. In the end, and after taking four times more what took him to create the program, he approaches me with some clear relief.

    "There were errors..."
    "So the result was wrong..."
    "No, the result was absolutely right!"
    "Well, the fact is that I did one offset wrong but in other section of the program, another error in made returned the values to normal. That's why the program worked fine..."

    How many such programs exist?
  • by coene ( 554338 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:30PM (#4486615)
    Is when Windows Media Player 6 (before all the gooey interface stuff) gave me an:

    Error #112233:
    Catastrophic Failure

    And then it continued to play the Divx movie fine....
  • by nathanis ( 618912 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:34PM (#4486638)
    I remember I was using an old Amiga disk-doctor type utility, and I got this wonderful error message:
    'Cannot mark bad blocks because the block used for marking bad blocks is bad.'
    Say THAT 10 times fast.
    I've been telling this wonderful story to my computer friends for ages, and finally, I have an online outlet for it! Yay!
  • by tkrotchko ( 124118 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:42PM (#4486680) Homepage
    All IBM MVS error messages end up saying this in the manual:

    ERROR: Error on open macro at the address indicated

    PROGRAMMER ACTION: Fix and rerun.

    No joke.
  • by sh0rtie ( 455432 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:43PM (#4486687)

    Internet Explorer
    Line: 142
    Char: 7
    Error: 'null' is null or not an object
    URL: http://jobs.microsoft.co.uk/working.asp
    _________ ___________________

    http://remember.mine.nu/null.jpg [remember.mine.nu]

  • by Triv ( 181010 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:56PM (#4486761) Journal
    It's really really easy to change your error messages in a pre-OSX Mac system. When I was in 8th grade I got a good shot in at my music teacher. I booted up our studio computer, fired up ResEdit and changed a resourse or three. So instead of "Please re-insert disk" he saw "Hey! I was eating that!" Instead of the standard Error type-11 messages (application crashed - out of memory - restart) he got "what did you do that for? - (poke again)" and the restart / shutdown dialogue was replaced with "play God." - restart, Shut Down and Cancel turned into Resurrect, Eternal Damnation and Have Mercy. :)

    Good times.

  • by ChrisKnight ( 16039 ) <merlin@ghostwhee l . c om> on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:57PM (#4486764) Homepage
    The year was 1989, and I was installing Interactive 386/ix (AT&T licensed UNIX) on a pc. At some point in working on the box I got the error "bad magik". I have loved unix and unix-like operating systems ever since. DOS was always boring.

  • by hwestiii ( 11787 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @06:58PM (#4486767) Homepage
    My favorite error message (not really an error, more informational) came from a driver for a Cannon office printer (floor model copy machine + printer + fax) when requesting a size for a margin. The message stated "Enter an integer between 0 and 1.2"
  • by Devil's BSD ( 562630 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @07:00PM (#4486777) Homepage
    My most interesting error messages go something like this.

    [root@localhost]% [Where is Jimmy Hoffa?
    Missing ].

    [root@localhost]% gotta light?
    no match.

    [root@localhost]% ^What is saccharine?
    Bad substitute.

    [root@localhost]% cat "food in cans"
    cat: can't open food in cans

    [root@localhost]% rm God
    God not found.

    [root@localhost]% talk VladimirPutin@Kremlin
    Cannot find VladimirPutin@Kremlin: Your party is not logged on.

    More funny UNIX commands here. [cornell.edu]

  • SWTP prompt (Score:5, Funny)

    by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @07:00PM (#4486779)
    The old SWTP microprocessor kits used to output a single * as a prompt. I prety much knew how the day was going to go when I saw one that, the first time it was powered up, type out FU
  • by dcavanaugh ( 248349 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @07:05PM (#4486813) Homepage
    Back in my VAX/VMS days, the powers that be decided to name the machines after planets. The limit was six characers, so the names were "VENUS", "MARS", and "PLUTO". So far, so good.

    Certain conditions, (such as a reboot) were generally accompanied by broadcast messages that would (in our case) be sent to hundreds of dumb terminals in about 12 different cities.

    *** Reply received from operator on MARS ***
    System shutdown in 5 minutes
  • by Anml4ixoye ( 264762 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @07:06PM (#4486818) Homepage
    My favorite from Macromedia:

    'I'm crushing your head!' error appears after leaving open a pop-up slider

    Product: Flash
    Platform: All
    Versions: 5.0
    ID: 15438

    After leaving a slider pop-up open, the user switches to another functio] such as accessing a menu or testing a movie. Flash then behaves unexpectedly. Sometimes an error message appears which states:

    "I'm crushing your head!" "Crashing at gPopupDail should be new!. Yes = go to debugger, No = keep running, Cancel = terminate."

    At other times the slider may continue to appear independently of the panel.

    This error is caused by leaving the a pop-up slider open while attempting to perform another function.

    Click out of the slider area to close the pop-up slider before testing the movie or accessing another menu.
  • by wirelessbuzzers ( 552513 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @07:07PM (#4486825)
    It's the "Jovial" one right now, but for a while it gave an error:

    HTTP error 403: file is none of your business
    You have a lot of nerve even clicking on this link.
  • by Kernel Panic ( 91997 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @07:11PM (#4486847) Homepage
    Here's a kernel dump I got once while creating a software raid. I tried to post it, but the lameness filter keeps stopping me.

    Kernel error [venns.org]

  • by cosyne ( 324176 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @07:21PM (#4486901) Homepage
    Back in the 80s, we got an Amiga 1000, and my dad was trying to hook up an apple image writer to the serial port. Apparently, the Amiga would dump error messages to the serial port, expecting a terminal to be connected. So at some point, he tries to print something, it doesn't work, the machine trys printing an error message to the serial port. So the printer makes it laborious dot matrix printing noises, and then advances the paper, which says "Printer not found".
  • TiVo (Score:5, Funny)

    by subuni ( 264682 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @07:42PM (#4487019)
    If the internal temperature on your TiVo reaches a certain point, you're greated with an image of the TiVo dude in flames, with a message "Your TiVo is on fire! Call 911 now!". http://tivo.samba.org/download/belboz/firegood.jpg [samba.org].
  • by BitwizeGHC ( 145393 ) on Saturday October 19, 2002 @07:56PM (#4487119) Homepage
    This story [bell-labs.com] from Dennis Ritchie tells of an error message in old versions of Unix that was actually sort of a Bell Labs version of "All your base".

    From personal experience, one that sticks out in my mind is from Microsoft's Flight Simulator. If you auger into the ground, it says "Crash". If you bellyflop into Lake Michigan it says "Splash". But if you make a perfect landing, forgetting the minor detail of putting down your landing gear, it'd say "Crash! Lower your gear next time!" This message dates all the way back to MFS 1.0.
  • by dmorin ( 25609 ) <dmorinNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday October 19, 2002 @08:06PM (#4487169) Homepage Journal
    "Tech support."
    "The printer doesn't work."
    "Is there an error? What does it say?"
    "It's all the way in the next room."
    "Ma'am, I need to know the error."
    "It says printer error."
    "Could you read me exactly what is says?"
    "I remembered. That's what it says. Printer error."
    "Ok, ma'am? You're talking to the guy that wrote the software. I know for a fact that it doesn't say printer error, because I never wrote an error message that says printer error. Now please put down the phone, go into the other room, and read me the real message."

    True story.

  • by Phroggy ( 441 ) <{moc.yggorhp} {ta} {3todhsals}> on Saturday October 19, 2002 @10:37PM (#4487865) Homepage
    An amusing error [webwizardry.net] I got when trying to run VirtualPC for Windows inside VirtualPC for Mac. Yes, this is real.

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan