Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Rise of the machines – They even beg for help now

I was stuck on the upper level of Parkhead Forge recently, early for a meeting and unable to wander too far from the appointed place.

Not usually a problem, but on this occasion, I was beginning to look around for one those glass-fronted boxes seen in some films, which contains a handy two-handed fire-axe for dealing with emergencies.

The upper level hosts an amusement arcade, and the subject I had chosen for modification by axe was some sort of gambling machine based on ‘Chase the Ace’. It was ‘Out of Order’ according to a little sticker placed over the coin slot, and a quick look showed the program had frozen, as the display was static and all the lights had stopped flashing.

Instead of just switching it off, the staff had chosen to block the slot with the aforementioned label, but this didn’t prevent low-level programming from running, and this was triggering a preset audio track which intended to draw attention to the failure and get an attendant to deal with it. However, since ‘dealing’ with it had merely seen a sticky label applied to the coin slot, the routine was still triggering the alarm every 10 seconds or so, and the machine kept announcing (in a sweet female voice) that its program had stalled, and for someone to “Please call an attendant“.

Granted it was only a voice chip being triggered, it was both funny and spooky, as the uninitiated would probably think – “What a clever machine, asking for help because it knows there is something wrong”.

There’s a lot to be said in favour of a nice quiet fault warning light.

After being stuck near it for 10 minutes it was mildly irritating having to listen to its plea for help…

After 20 minutes, it was very irritating…

After 30 minutes – well, let’s just say it was lucky there was no chance of a handy axe being to hand.

Or maybe I would just have done something a little less dramatic – and maybe cheaper – and popped the mains plug, and seen to it that the fuse disappeared.

Since it wasn’t making any money by swallowing 50 p per game donated by the gullible, and was just wasting electricity (and being a nuisance), one had to wonder why it wasn’t just unplugged, instead of being left to whine incessantly.

Faulty gaming machine

Please call an assistant (and ask the guy with the axe to ‘Step Away From the Machine!’


March 7, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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