Blue screen of produce

I had few enough items at the supermarket yesterday to justify going through the self-checkout, but two of the four terminals were hors de combat: one had a large OUT OF ORDER sign on it, and the other was, um, rebooting.

When you see something like that, the temptation is to look around for evidence of Microsoft, and it didn’t take long to find. I got onto that machine after it was readied, and along with my register tape, I found a bootlog, headed “NCR Self Checkout / SCOTApp System Initialization.”

SCOTApp apparently is written in C++ using Microsoft’s Foundation Class Library, and when it fails, it looks something like this.

I am not fond of this particular implementation anyway: the scanning zone seems to be wildly variable, and it may refuse your can of tomato sauce right in front of its frickin’ laser beam because it’s worried about something it thinks you tried to sneak into a bag without scanning at all. After that, finding out it’s running on some form of Windows merely elicits a “That figures.”


  1. fillyjonk »

    4 October 2009 · 8:37 pm

    I ALWAYS get the “Place Item In Bagging Area” error message. Or the “Unexpected Item In Bagging Area” error message – even after I scanned the item and got the confirmation beep.

    Those self-scan things hate me. Well, if they were capable of hate, they would. I’d rather be disrespected by a pimply 18 year old than by a machine.

    I would mind it less if we were given a discount for doing the job they would normally pay a cashier to do.

  2. McGehee »

    4 October 2009 · 9:04 pm

    I tend to have a very high rate of non-fail at the self-checkout, with the most common trouble in recent months (it’s happened maybe twice) being “Please wait for cashier assistance” or whatever the damn thing says, without provocation of course.

    Personally, I take my compensation for using self-checkout in the form of not having to interact with the pimply 18-year-old. As malevolent as the machine may occasionally be, at least it’s never sullen. Open malice is a warm summer breeze in comparison.

  3. Suzette »

    4 October 2009 · 10:15 pm

    Fail. Not fail. I put up with anything just so I can hear the scanner voice ask me “Do you have any KOO-pons?”

    Easily amused.

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