the blue flash of colonel panic

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Blue Screen of DeathThe Blue flash of colonel panic is not a military award, one of the X-men,  X-women, a Transformer, or other superhero.

Windows 7 scary classic!

The file dump from Windows 7 “Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD)” happens so quickly that we  rush to capture an digital image for posterity because maybe there will be a generation of computer users that have never see a blue screen. I hope so.

You can see the blue screen paparazzi in the reflection on an old Lenovo laptop.  The windows 7 message is already teasing the user with more text than they can possibly read in the time it’s displayed! Squinting at the photograph I saw the phrase “BIOS updates” – a phrase that produces a mild form of the gagging reflex.

Windows 8 is succinct, readable, understandable and less SCARY!

The message has changed for Windows 8, it looks like a more graceful failure message because it has larger, more readable, and understandable text. It looks like they’ve actually written it for the normal people that will see it rather than for the developers. They no longer mention “Caching and shadowing”, “removing or disabling components” or the gaggable “Bios updates”.  I wonder whether it’s still a ‘Blue Flash’. Excellent user experience enhancements.

 

the blue flash of colonel panic
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6 bits of lovely banter on “the blue flash of colonel panic”

  1. James Sutherland writes:

    “Who the heck is General Failure, and why is he reading my disk!?”

    The big difference of course is that the pre-Win8 version gave details which could be useful in tracking down the culprit; Win8’s is more like a “check engine” light: “something is wrong, but I won’t tell you what. Ha-ha!” (Get the settings right, the previous version stays visible while diagnostic information is recorded for later – giving you more chance to spot something crucial at the time, as well as helping diagnose later.)

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  2. wendy writes:

    James, the content may be useful to you and other computer whizzes, but the subliminal way it’s presented in a ‘flash’ might be considered illegal in the UK!
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/mar/09/neuroscience.medicineandhealth

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  3. Stefan writes:

    James,

    Even the Win8-version gives you that opportunity: The last line in smaller font (at least, on the screencapture that Wendy shows from Wikipedia 😉 ) says:

    “If you’d like to know more, you can search online later for this error: HAL_INITIALIZATION_FAILED”

    Since I’m a geeky nerd anyway, I know what that means and would not need to search because it tells me what is most likely wrong, but people with a little less knowledge may google this once Win8 has restarted (if they remember to make a not of it).

    So the troubleshooting possibility is still there, it’s just less obvious and less convoluted (which is probably a good thing for most Win8-users like my parents for example). The biggest question is: is it the correct error message, which you never know when it comes to Windows (actually, when it comes to most commercial off the shelf software unless you’re the developer of said software 😉 ).

    Wendy: I love how you demoted General failure to Colonel panic 🙂

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  4. ExpatEgghead writes:

    I did think you’d gone all sniffy on W8. What about your family experience? Are you a convert now?

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  5. wendy writes:

    Expat, unfortunately graceful failure is not a sufficient prompt to get me to upgrade to win8. I need a real ‘pull’ of something significantly better than what I’ve got and Win8 isnt delivering on that. My next computing purchase is more likely to be a Nexus7 at the moment…. Family? Don’t see why they’d spend their pension/teachers-salary/student-debts on tablets (win8). They’ve got their cheap phone service deals (Samsung Galaxy) bargain computers (windows 7) and are happy enough.

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  6. savannah writes:

    this is why i have stayed with MAC. xooxo

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