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Windows Crashes During Olympic Ceremony

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 18 comments
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Microsoft Windows never lets us down when it comes to BSOD amusement and at the 2008 Summer Olympic Opening Ceremonies it strikes again

With 70 million viewers watching, a record for non-U.S. Olympic Summer Games viewership, how many people do you think noticed the massive Blue Screen of Death during the Opening Ceremonies? It wasn’t easy to see it at first, all high up there, lost in the distraction of fireworks, light shows, and the thousands of performers, but it was there, taunting the world... taunting us all.

The infamous blue screen with white text was live for more than two hours, unseen by many, at least until the main torch lighting ceremony was at its climax. How could you not have seen it then? Li Ning, the man who finally just lit the main torch, began his descent down from the air and passed right in front of the Blue Terror. Check your DVRs – apparently it’s there if you missed it, if only for a second before some say a technician switched feeds.

There is a good chance you won’t be seeing this flaw of the Opening Ceremonies if it ever comes out to DVD though. It’s not like it won’t be the only part of the Opening Ceremonies to get photoshopped either, as some of the fireworks seen on TV are rumored to be have been digitally added. Lets be fair though, it was a spectacular show and whenever you are dealing with Windows, there seems to be a chance that the BSOD will hit. A good question though is, why was nothing done about it once it appeared? It was there for at least two hours, unchecked and unfixed. On a positive note, at least it wasn’t one of the performers who crashed.

The next question may be, was it a legit copy of Windows? Well, rumor has it, it was legit. Seems like it was all running off of 120 legit Axon Media Servers loaded with Windows XP Embedded. What caused the crash is yet to be discovered, but sometimes Windows just doesn’t like you. There is still some speculation that it’s all fake and the photos are photoshopped by Mac Fanboys, but you decide.

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  • 0 Hide
    ravenware , August 12, 2008 7:45 PM
    "whenever you are dealing with Windows, there seems to be a chance that the BSOD will hit"

    What are people doing to their computers? What kinda of cheap-ass hardware are you trying to run Windows on?

    I have not had a BSOD since windows 9x. I am baffled that people will throw all kinds of spyware/adware (most of the time the download is not free geniuses) on their computers, shell out a raging 300 bucks to build or by a machine, not maintain the computer in anyway, throw performance hampering anti-virus software on their computers that will not remove the SPYWARE that they believe is a virus and still blame Windows for crashing. This is almost equivalent to overloading a garbage bag, slicing little holes all over the garbage bag and then blaming hefty when your garbage ends up on the floor.

    I would suspect the BSOD in this case is from faulty hardware (China should have plenty lying around) or an unreliable proprietary program.
  • 2 Hide
    fazers_on_stun , August 12, 2008 8:07 PM
    Hmm, seeing that it is China, presumably this is a pirated version of Windows anyway. Would have been funnier if the screen message was an MS 'genuine advantage' warning about counterfeit software..
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 12, 2008 9:07 PM
    Here's the one with the torch bearer.

    http://gizmodo.com/5035456/blue-screen-of-death-strikes-birds-nest-during-opening-ceremonies-torch-lighting
  • -1 Hide
    terror112 , August 12, 2008 9:20 PM
    Ha PRICELESS! Though I vote Windows > Mac any day... I would lol if they were paid by apple to do that...
  • -1 Hide
    terror112 , August 12, 2008 9:23 PM
    Pirated version of windows XP... 0$, low end Chinese media server... $300, The whole system blue screening during the Olympic torch ceremony... priceless.
  • -1 Hide
    nukemaster , August 12, 2008 10:23 PM
    Its priceless, but there are so many things that can cause it.

    Bad ram is the number one cause of it on properly maintained systems.

    How is this different then a tv channel locking up/macro blocking? That would have been far worse. I would assume someone would have been watching and there would have been backup.
  • -1 Hide
    falchard , August 13, 2008 12:41 AM
    I've had a couple blue-screens when I was overclocking my CPU, but it is really hard to blu-screen or lock up a windows OS now. You have to do something outside its parameters and not just to a minor degree. Now a Mac on the other hand, I can do the same thing and I wouldn't be seeing that machine again.
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , August 13, 2008 1:43 AM
    That's typical for Windows! Anytime you use a product that has always been unstable, you're bound to have problems. Foreign countries usually support open source software, so why didn't they use a Linux server for the Olympics? Perhaps another payoff from M$...? Probably!
  • 0 Hide
    Pei-chen , August 13, 2008 1:48 AM
    1. Why is there a projected image on the back of the big brim screen? Kinda a weird place to place a projector.
    2. Why is one crashed windows = one BSOD? Shouldn't this server be running multiple projectors?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 13, 2008 2:16 AM
    F A K E ! ! Find the picture of this BSOD... Now since its in China, shouldn't they speak Chinese? The BSOD is IN ENGLISH. Plus you can look at the edges and see its clearly photoshop.
  • 0 Hide
    weilin , August 13, 2008 3:25 AM
    Actually, BSODs are in english reguardless of which langauge pack is installed. I've seen a few on Chinese computers. Since the debugger speaks English, giving him a Chinese output wouldn't be very useful...
  • 1 Hide
    calmnchaos , August 13, 2008 4:14 AM
    After looking at different screenshots the error is 0x000000F4
    "A PROCESS OR THREAD CRUCIAL TO SYSTEM OPERATION HAS UNEXPECTEDLY EXITED OR BEEN TERMINATED"
    For those curious...
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 13, 2008 4:32 AM
    Not that it's more likely, but let's not forget there's also the possibility of this being a screen-saver...
  • 0 Hide
    nukemaster , August 13, 2008 4:33 AM
    Strange to see no "beginning dump of physical memory" on that screen.

    And last time i checked(when i saw this :) ), Windows defaults to a flash blue screen and restart. That may have been better here.

    0x000000F4 also occurs with bad memory(first hand experience)
  • 0 Hide
    nukemaster , August 13, 2008 4:35 AM
    Quote:
    Not that it's more likely, but let's not forget there's also the possibility of this being a screen-saver...

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897558.aspx

    I used the BSOD screen saver for years. Remotely put it on systems at school(hehehe Microsoft Official Course) and everything.

    It gave a sysinternals = cool site(or similar as its stop message) error and the prank was over.
  • 0 Hide
    xyster , August 13, 2008 6:43 AM
    "What are people doing to their computers? What kinda of cheap-ass hardware are you trying to run Windows on?"
    i think the article was written light heartedly, rather than being overly serious. Windows has come a long way since win95, being a hard system to BSOD these days, but it does happen, and it can be funny when it does happen if its not on your own computer. Mainly BSOD are due to hardware faults as pointed out these days.
  • 1 Hide
    martel80 , August 13, 2008 9:01 AM
    Actually, BSODs are in english reguardless of which langauge pack is installed.

    No, they are not. At least on the Czech edition of Windows XP, the text is in Czech, not in English.
    Perhaps it is just too hard to print Chinese characters in text mode so MS didn't bother.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 14, 2008 4:43 AM
    A Texas company High End Systems provided technoloy support for the Opening Ceremony.Using 120 HES Axon Media Servers in Beijing Olympics
    All light and projectors are controlled by Axon Media Servers with 3 Wholehog 3.
    Axon Media Servers specs:

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
    MB: ASUS P5W DH Deluxe
    Display: ATI HD2900XT(ASUS)
    HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB
    OS: Windows XP Embedded O/S,with DirectX?DirectShow?NET 2.0 Framework
    ---------------------------------------------------------