Error message

I have to set up a new award for the “most incomprehensible error message on my PC this evening.” It’s a small category with only one contender. But this would still be a shoe-in contender, even if it was up against the bizarre messages my work PC gives out.

avg error message

If you cant read this, it says

“Test cannot be started because it already does not exist”

Thanks to wikileaks, however, I can reveal the error message instructions at the heart of the Matrix.


Access level: Top Secret Distribution: Error message Replicators

Error message bots’ code of conduct

  • Never explain. Never apologise.
  • Make sure you use the word fatal. This always inspires user optimism.
  • If you’ve used up your store of fatals, say unrecoverable
  • Always include the word error. There’s a high chance the user will take the blame.
  • Include at least one over-16 digit number, preferably in Hex
  • Stay onscreen just long enough for the recipient to imbibe the concepts of fatal and/or unrecoverable.
  • Never stay onscreen long enough for the user to actually write down the number of the error.
  • Freeze all processes and shut down instantly if the user tries a Print Screen
  • However, be sparing in your use of several alarming words and disturbingly large numbers at the same time. Users are frail compared to silicon-based life forms. They may be panicked into binning their whole system.
  • Locating the precise memory block holding the error is always useful. All PC users know exactly what is going on in any segment of their hard disk at any time.
  • Drill your human-machine hybrid tech support workers to respond only if provided with at least one over-16 digit hex number and a precise physical memory address.
  • Set off threatening security alarms if the user tries to fix anything, themselves. Be sure to mention their contracts of employment…
  • Ensure PC behaves normally in the presence of a tech support bot. Time your re-presentation of the message to occur exactly 5 minutes after the support bot leaves the room.