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Error messages have been popping up on computers for a very long time. Almost everyone with a computer has seen an error message at least once. These messages consist of a title, text, and sometimes icons and buttons as well. It wouldn’t have been long before people began playing around with these error messages to produce their own versions of funny error messages.
Several errors on several errors had accidentally been made in the past, forming this meme into what it is today. It all had started by mistake, when unedited messages had slipped through to production and had been made into official error messages, to the programmers’ and the developers’ despair.
Some time soon, a veteran programmer and author by the name of Ben Ezzel (an example of a programmer who had the misfortune of having his “stupid” error message be made official), to complete his book called Developing Windows Error Messages, held a contest wherein which he and some of his affiliates asked people to send in their favorite “bad” error messages. Many examples were submitted for the competition.
Here are a few examples of some of the error messages that had been sent in:
- Setup is unable to locate a suitable version of DirectX on your machine. You will need to install DirectX before you can use LiveArt98, dumbass!
- Printer on fire.
- The procedure failed with the following error: The command completed successfully.
- Not enough memory to display this dialog.
- Error: Keyboard not found. Press F1 to continue.
- Your mouse is not working, please click here to acknowledge.
- Cannot delete tmp150_3.tmp: There is not enough free disk space. Delete one or more files to free disk space, and then try again.
- Unexpected error, quitting.
- An Internet error occurred.
- Windows has found an unknown device and is installing a driver for it.
- Your system shell has changed. The Compaq software will work with your new shell, but the new shell will not work with your Compaq software. Do you wish to keep your Compaq software working? Click yes if you are unsure.
- Error 0000: No errors found, restarting computer.
- You need to supply a fax number in order for your request not to receive fax notifications to be processed.
- For more details, go here: CNN – ‘Stupid’ computer error messages leave users befuddled – October 5, 1998
- To see all the submitted error messages, go here: The Error Message Collection
Error Message Generators
Though most edited error messages were manually done, it was often too much work and several people didn’t know how to make them. Today, there are several generator sites on the internet that allow people to create their own error messages without the need to know how to do so.