Still Life

A Series of Mental Snapshots

Bugs in the Wild: In Flight Edition

Posted by Steve on August 29, 2008

I was recently on an air canada flight down to San Francisco to visit my parents and I had a touch screen in flight entertainment system (here is a link to a picture if you want to see).

The first thing that I start with is simply watching a TV show, as I wanted to relax a little, but as the flight progressed I decided to see what the entertainment system had to offer. I notice there is an option to listen to music, so I navigate over to there and start setting up a playlist. This is where I noticed the problem. The whole playlist (if it is over 5 songs long) does not fit on the screen, therefore there are arrows that you can click on to go up and down on the playlist; and if you get to the top or bottom of the playlist the respective up or down arrow gets disabled. Makes sense, why would you need to go up anymore if you are at the top of the playlist, right? Because of the title of the post, obviously this is wrong! What they forgot to take into account is that when you click on song that is at the bottom of those displayed on the screen, the screen re-centres around that song, thus if you click the fourth song on the list, you can no longer see the first song, and at this point in time the go up arrow is also still disabled!

There is of course a fix to this, you can simply click the down arrow and the up arrow will fix itself, but if you were really malicious you could have so that both arrows got diabled and you would have to exit and re-enter the audio screen.

I thought this was a fun little bug in a real world situation.

–Steve

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2 Responses to “Bugs in the Wild: In Flight Edition”

  1. Jens said

    Hey Steve!

    It’s nice to search for bugs in the wild, neh? I also have one for you, calling it “The Wine Helper Edition”

    There is a supermarket near-by my place. In the wine section is a terminal computer which ought to help customers to pick the right wine. The interface is a full-screened site without any additional navigation buttons (besides the programme’s buttons of course). After setting some filters and hitting the search button a pop-up with a title bar appears. Since there is no task-bar or anything, I was curious what was gonna happen if I minimize the search result. As I thought, it disappeared from the screen while the programme was still open. I pushed some buttons but nothing happened. The terminal was in a dead-lock. Attempts to get the pop-up back failed. It wasn’t too bad though since the machine doesn’t know anything about wine anyway 🙂

    Looking forward to your next one.

  2. Steve said

    Hey Jens,

    That is a great find! I am glad there is someone else out there who enjoys poking around released software for a little fun.

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