Amusing/lame error messages

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Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:04 pm

Per wibeasley's suggestion, I'm turning this into its own thread. Post the best/worst/funniest (whether intentional or not) error messages you've gotten from an application or web site.

To kick it off, I got the following error this morning when I mis-typed my account number while trying to pay my electric bill online:
Account number does not match ^[0-9]{1,7}-[0-9]{1,7}$

For those who don't know, that's a regular expression, a commonly used notation for specifying text patterns in certain programming languages and text processing tools. I'm guessing the developer was either lazy, or forgot to replace the default message supplied by the web framework with a more human-friendly message.
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:34 pm

Way, way back in the early-mid '90s I played a flight sim called Aces of the Pacific. Rarely it would crash, and some of those crashes left the error message "Bad human!" with IIRC a hex code.
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:31 pm

One of my favorites is the classic "Segmentation fault; core dumped."

For one of our projects in Software Engineering III, we designed a fantasy baseball webpage, and made every single error throw up a segfault message.

The TAs had a good sense of humor and were quite amused.
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:32 pm

"Microsoft has performed illegal operations and will be shut down. If the problem persists, get another program vendor."

Okay, that wasn't actually an error message, but back in the late 1990s with the antitrust case still fresh on the news ticker, a coworker at a retail job edited a Windows 98 error message per the above, then pasted it on the wallpaper of a display machine (Compaq, natch). It was impressive how many customers would barely glance at it and then try to click "Cancel".
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:34 pm

I heard that the prototype Hostile Artillery Locator when in use in the Bosnian conflict in 1994 once put up the message on the screen "Warning: Supersonic Lemmings Detected". Apparently it hit a default in a case statement that a developer thought would never be hit. Given that the army was using it to work out who was shelling who, they were apparently not that amused.
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:44 pm

A few months ago I got an error while trying to play a YouTube video which said: "Sorry, something went wrong. A team of highly trained monkeys has been dispatched to deal with this situation."
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:57 pm

Well, there are the deliberately jokey ones (like the "highly trained monkeys" -- you see a fair number of jokey 404 pages, for example) and then there are the unintentional jokes. Like the "no keyboard detected, press any key to continue" kinds of things.

And then there are just pain WTF messages. Back in the Win 3.1 days, I was testing a beta application and got an error message that simply went "Cannot Cannot Cannot Cannot..." for something like 30 times (there were four or five lines of "Cannot"s). And of course just an "OK" button. I used to have screenshot BMP of it (undoubtedly on a 720KB floppy in my closet).

Aside: the original Mac "bomb" error was something different while the product was under development: the dialog said "Deep Shift Error" (but without the "f") and in place of the bomb there was a little pyramidal pile with wavy "stink" lines above it, like someone had just taken a dog for a walk. That got changed just prior to release (though the underlying error-management toolbox routines had DS in their names for several release, IIRC).
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:23 pm

On TR where the staff had (have?) a hardon for the Amiga, you can't possibly get by without mentioning Guru Meditation errors.
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:29 pm

UberGerbil wrote:And then there are just pain WTF messages. Back in the Win 3.1 days, I was testing a beta application and got an error message that simply went "Cannot Cannot Cannot Cannot..." for something like 30 times (there were four or five lines of "Cannot"s). And of course just an "OK" button. I used to have screenshot BMP of it (undoubtedly on a 720KB floppy in my closet).

I've also seen error dialogs consisting of just the exclamation point icon and an OK button.
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:58 pm

No keyboard detected, press F1 to continue

No monitor detected, press any key to continue (the fact that you can SEE this message...)

Network connection not working, click here to email tech support
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:25 pm

Dealing with issues on a Creative soundcard install, I got the message "Invalid Data." Looked it up on the Creative website, and it said "Invalid Data: This error message is caused by the data being invalid." Very helpful.
A few that I like to insert into applications are "Invalid user: Please replace user and try again" and "Fault between chair and keyboard"
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:32 pm

The main program we use at work throws database connection errors all the time. Unfortunately it seems to be one of two error messages, the other being incorrect username/password.

Lame part of that is it'll throw the database connection error in some cases when the issue is username and password.
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:33 pm

Turkina wrote:Dealing with issues on a Creative soundcard install, I got the message "Invalid Data." Looked it up on the Creative website, and it said "Invalid Data: This error message is caused by the data being invalid." Very helpful.

That's more helpful than anything I have EVER gotten from Creative support. Count your blessings.
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:40 pm

UberGerbil wrote:Well, there are the deliberately jokey ones (like the "highly trained monkeys" -- you see a fair number of jokey 404 pages, for example) and then there are the unintentional jokes. Like the "no keyboard detected, press any key to continue" kinds of things.

Firefox makes me chuckle when it crashes multiple times (you can also make it do this by killing it in Task Manager 2 or 3 times in a row).

Firefox wrote:Well, this is embarrassing.

Firefox is having trouble recovering your windows and tabs. This is usually caused by a recently opened web page
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:39 pm

While we're talking funny browser messages... this one isn't an error message (more of an Easter egg), but if you open Chrome's Task Manager tool, one of the columns you can select for display is "Goats Teleported".
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:27 pm

The system I use at work has some incredibly terrifying error messages for stuff that does not really amount to much. Next time I see one I'll share.

just brew it! wrote:While we're talking funny browser messages... this one isn't an error message (more of an Easter egg), but if you open Chrome's Task Manager tool, one of the columns you can select for display is "Goats Teleported".


I was so disappointed when I just went to look and it wasn't there. :P Are you using the Beta or Canary build?
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:53 pm

It's there for me with the dev build.
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:59 pm

TwistedKestrel wrote:The system I use at work has some incredibly terrifying error messages for stuff that does not really amount to much. Next time I see one I'll share.
just brew it! wrote:While we're talking funny browser messages... this one isn't an error message (more of an Easter egg), but if you open Chrome's Task Manager tool, one of the columns you can select for display is "Goats Teleported".

I was so disappointed when I just went to look and it wasn't there. :P Are you using the Beta or Canary build?

The official 64-bit Linux build from Google. It's not shown by default, you need to right-click and select it from the pop-up list. Maybe it is a Linux-only thing?

Edit:
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:02 am

It's not in the Windows version. The only things to add to the Task Manager tool are actual things, no goats and no other Easter eggs. :(
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:13 am

I forget what system it was on, but I recall getting the error "You do not exist. Go away." in response to an invalid user ID many years ago.

There's also the infamous "bad magic number" error, which has baffled many a *NIX noob over the years (not sure if that still exists in current *NIX/Linux implementations).
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:17 am

bthylafh wrote:Way, way back in the early-mid '90s I played a flight sim called Aces of the Pacific. Rarely it would crash, and some of those crashes left the error message "Bad human!" with IIRC a hex code.

I LOVED that game. I really wish GOG or similar had it.
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:11 am

Windows Vista and Win7...

"Program has encountered a problem and needs to close.
Windows is searching for a solution."

Number one, this is a fault message NOT an error message.
Number two, there is no way to get at the real error message!
In other words, there was a problem but I'm not gonna tell what it was.

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"I have a cold"
Hmmhmm, what are your symptoms?
"I have a cold..."
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:20 am

derFunkenstein wrote:It's not in the Windows version. The only things to add to the Task Manager tool are actual things, no goats and no other Easter eggs. :(


I've got it in my Windows version of Chromium here.
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:44 am

Norphy wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:It's not in the Windows version. The only things to add to the Task Manager tool are actual things, no goats and no other Easter eggs. :(

I've got it in my Windows version of Chromium here.

I guess they strip it out of the official Windows build for some reason... probably to appease IT managers with no sense of humor.
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:45 am

Come to think of it, one of my favorites from the DOS days was "Error reading disk in drive X: / Abort, Retry, Fail?", mostly because it was so incredibly unhelpful. "Retry" usually just result in more demonic noises from the floppy drive followed by a regurgitation of the same error, and the other two sounded too ominous to select.
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:59 am

just brew it! wrote:I guess they strip it out of the official Windows build for some reason... probably to appease IT managers with no sense of humor.


Since there's no such thing as a humorless Linux Admin?
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:01 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:
just brew it! wrote:I guess they strip it out of the official Windows build for some reason... probably to appease IT managers with no sense of humor.

Since there's no such thing as a humorless Linux Admin?

More likely because enterprise Linux desktop deployments are rare enough that Google doesn't care...
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:14 pm

Then there is the classic:
Code: Select all
Warning: lp0 on fire.


I'm not sure if it's still in the linux lp driver or not as I haven't used a parallel port in probably 6-7 years, but it dates back to the days on old Unix machines where a jammed line printer could in certain cases catch on fire....
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:32 pm

Norphy wrote:
derFunkenstein wrote:It's not in the Windows version. The only things to add to the Task Manager tool are actual things, no goats and no other Easter eggs. :(


I've got it in my Windows version of Chromium here.

I'm on the official build 16.0.912.75 m
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Re: Amusing/lame error messages

Postposted on Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:55 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:It's not in the Windows version. The only things to add to the Task Manager tool are actual things, no goats and no other Easter eggs. :(

It is for me...I'll check the version when I get home but it's whatever the nightly build is for Windows.
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