Beijing Olympics 08 General News Sports

CTRL+ALT+DEL: Software Malfunction at the Opening Ceremony

Turns out that Bill Gates was not the only famous Microsoft identity to be spotted at the Olympic opening ceremony.

Numerous bloggers also observed the cameo played by the so-called Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) – the Windows error screen that flashes up on your computer, signifying that it’s time to reboot.

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BSOD at Beijing Olympics 2008

The screen was projected onto the roof of the National Stadium during the grand finale to the four-hour spectacular as veteran Chinese gymnast Li Ning, suspended 70 metres above the stadium floor, “jogged” towards the Olympic torch.

The BSoD message begins with the following sentence: “A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.”

Usually, the only way to remove the BSoD is to restart your computer pressing the Ctrl+Alt+Delete buttons at the same time.

Images of the malfunction have popped up on Chinese forum sites showing the clearly visible error message projection.

The ceremony, which featured 14,000 performers depicting 5000 years of Chinese history, also involved the use of advanced technology to control the sound, lights and projectors.

At various times during the event, images of whales, clouds, and the faces of young children were superimposed on the roof the stadium – also known as the Bird’s Nest.

And as Li Ning completed a lap of the stadium roof’s rim, images of the torch relay were flashed up.

The spectacular opening ceremony also included 35,000 fireworks launched from 1800 sites around the city, to form patterns in the air.

Yesterday it was revealed that organisers digitally inserted computer-enhanced images of some of the firework displays broadcast during the opening ceremony.

The BSoD is a bit of an in-joke among geeks and is often used to poke fun at Microsoft’s bug-prone Windows operating system.

Gates, who stepped down from his last official full-time position at Microsoft at the end of June, remains as the software company’s part-time, non-executive chairman.

He has been spotted at several Olympic events, accompanied by his wife and is here is a private capacity. Microsoft is designated as an official supplier to the 2008 Olympic Games.

Its Windows XP operating system was chosen to run on all PCs used by the organisers as well as being the operating system installed on PCs supplied by Lenovo Group, the computer maker that is one of the major sponsors of the 2008 Olympics.

Microsoft’s newer operating system, Vista, was not chosen.

Lenovo chairman, Yang Yuanqing, was quoted as saying that because of the complexity of the IT functions at the Games, it was decided to not use the the more recent operating system. “If it’s not stable, it could have some problems,” he said.

Some more screen shots

BSOD at Beijing Olympics 2008

BSOD at Beijing Olympics 2008

BSOD at Beijing Olympics 2008


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