Computer: Error
Visual Errors   (+3)  [vote for, against]
I want to see the viruses eat my HD!!

I know my way around the computer, but whenever I get an error message it takes me a little while to work out whats going wrong. For people who dont know much about computers, this can be a problem, especially if the computer picks up a virus.

I think there should be an error recognition program which gives a visual representation of the error. Have a little animation pop up of a file/folder with a virus poking his ugly head out.

Illegal operations could be taken away by the computer police.

Blue screens could be replaced by an animation of a fan on one side, and then a brown lump, flying through the air, arcing towards it gracefully, before the inevitable hit, splat and covering of the screen.

Proper technical error messages would pop up afterwards.
-- miasere, Apr 07 2003

An error is just that - you should *never* see an error message. Something has gone wrong that the programmer has not forseen or the software cannot deal with. It is a hole in the software code that cannot necessarily be papered over with cute little icons.

I remember the Mac used to show a little frowny icon when it couldn't boot up. No more (or less) help than the text messages sent by a PC that can't find the hard drive.

The blue screen of death is your computer throwing up its hands and saying: "Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!" It's certainly not in a position to display funny little icons. Though perhaps you could make it the brown screen of death instead, to use your analogy.
-- DrCurry, Apr 07 2003

True, but if you can program in a function to display error messages, then you can probably group some of them, and you can definately put an animation in with them. I admit, blue screen is a bit difficult, but you could do it for 'program not responding'
-- miasere, Apr 07 2003

My Atari St puts bombs across the screen when something gos wrong.
-- sufc, Apr 08 2003

I guess it would depend on the error. When a serious error occurs, an interrupt signal (a trap) is sent to the OS. This message has an embedded memory address which corresponds to a location in the "interrupt vector," which is basically an array of redirect instructions to code that handles the error. While it's very difficult for a user to get the interrupt vector to redirect to user code, if you designed the OS you could change the OS code that handles errors. My understanding is that this code is often very complicated as each block has to handle a number of possible error a block of error-handling code that deals with page faults might also deal with failure of the monitor driver; in this situation, a page fault probably can't be reported using graphics. Of course, the easier solution is to write all programs so that they intercept the errors and handle them themselves (exception-handling, basically), but then you have the problem of consistency: program 1 might display something different from program 2 when the same error occurs, leaving the user confused.
-- sulfa, Apr 08 2003

Talking of leaving the user confused...
-- miasere, Apr 08 2003

Eh, sorry. In other words, the problem is this: operating systems can tell when an error has occurred, but usually can't discover why. They can give very general information about what happened, such as "Page fault" or "Illegal instruction (you tried to access something in memory that doesn't belong to you)," etc, but can't go deeper because zillions of kinds of errors are mapped to a limited set of responses. It would take some pretty sophisticated algorithms for a computer to monitor itself and figure out it has a virus de novo, then determine an appropriate response and shut down. The same can be said for other undesirable situations. All this extra code would probably slow the system down significantly (but hey, I don't know that for sure). And even if you implemented GUI-type responses for the limited set, there's no guarantee that the system will be stable enough to use them...and even if it could, would they really be useful, being so general? Then again, it's a nice idea.
-- sulfa, Apr 23 2003

yes ... MS should have this .. that way the users actually look forward to errors. And if you could collect them then it would become a competition.

Bill: "Look at me, I got a null pointer error"

Bob: "You are a loser Bill, I got an object serialization error"
-- ixnaum, Aug 31 2005

random, halfbakery