Aug 5, 2009

What I Never Knew About Our MRT (I) - Error and Gotcha Moments

As mentioned here, I take the MRT on an every day basis. It became my main mode of transport after I entered university. Before that, my lifestyle revolved around places in the east - my primary and secondary schools, my junior college, my military camp, even my old flat before we shifted to even further east. Life changed after I got matriculated - my university, now my workplace, even my reservist camp, are all in the west. I was not spared during my university internship and courtship even. To reach those places, the MRT was my choice, often my only choice.

As a loyal train passenger (8 years and counting), I have the honour to present some of the error and gotcha moments encountered during my commuting. If you are expecting gotcha moments that will set your hormones raging, you'd be disappointed because none of my fellow passengers' modesty was insulted in the course of recording. Neither will you find the accidental suicide photo because they belong to the Chinese tabloid papers; this blog does not encourage posting of traumatic pictures.

As a professional in the IT industry, I have an active interest in software systems. In fact, I'm constantly on the lookout for software error/gotcha moments in public. These sometimes 'malu' moments gave me a chance to peek into their system. Now I know that under the surface, their software is not much different from mine - buggy, cryptic and with the occasional crash.

So sorry that your hormones will not be raging, but do enjoy the pictures.

Picture 1: POST (Power-on-self-test) screen of the arrival display. (5 Dec 2007)

Picture 2: Service downtime. I'm not sure whether the system crashed or they were doing maintenance. The latter should not be done during train operating hours, right? (31 Dec 2007)

Picture 3: My first and only experience of a disrupted service. You can read about it here. Bus bridging services ferried passengers between the two stations. I kind of regretted taking the bridge service - it took ages to reach Tanah Merah! (21 Jan 2008)

Picture 4: Another POST screen. So they were using Pentium III, with 20GB hard disk and 128MB of memory. You do not need powerful hardware to run a static display. But I remember such static display can show video as well, hmm .... (11 April 2008)

Picture 5: Taken inside the train, maybe the NEL. Truly a 'malu' moment, but I don't really blame the developers. We know many things can go wrong. Maybe they use Windows and not Apple or Linux that's why, haha. (19 Jan 2009)

Picture 6: Another 'exception' message. The geek lingo implies that something has gone wrong. The message is, as usual, cryptic. (26 April 2009)

(I do not differentiate between lines run by SMRT and NEL by SBSTransit. They, including Circle Line, are just 'MRT' to me.)


Adelin said...

Man, I should have taken such pictures too! But I'm so scared that I may kena caught for taking photos in the MRT!

Icemoon said...

Be discreet. :)

Adelin said...

I think it's pretty hard to be.

It's hard not to notice a little girl running around taking pics.


Lam Chun See said...

I recently I visited the ISD Heritage Centre at Whitley Road. As part of their community involvement, promoting religious harmony thing, they invited representatives from various religious bodies like churches, temples, mosques etc.

During the very interesting tour, I asked the guide what should I do if I wanted to take photos of 'sensitive' places. His answer: Do it openly and not secretly. If questioned, you just explain what you are doing. Trying to take photos secretly will only arouse suspicion.

Icemoon said...

Chun See, have you tried it in Whitley Road Detention Center itself, haha.