BRITISH TELECOM GIANT BT (acronym redundant, we're told) has been left with high-rise blushes after the BT Tower in London spent most of the weekend showing an error message.
The iconic block, which has been a part of the London skyline since the sixties, has an 'information band' positioned outside the 36th and 37th floor, which can be used to display messages. In the past it has been employed to advertise how to donate to charities, royal births and general 'bantz', but this weekend it displayed something most of us know only too well - a Windows 7 error message.
The error warning that the system had failed to start first appeared on Saturday afternoon and remained for many hours.
A BT spokesman commented: "A technical issue caused the infoband on the BT Tower to display an error message which has now been fixed."
Yes, BT, we know it's a technical issue - Windows 7 wouldn't start. Everyone in London knows it now.
It's thought that the problem was with a single machine that powers the Information Band. Although it may seem like a relic from another age, in fact, the BT Tower is as important now as it was when it opened in 1965 as the Post Office Tower.
Although its revolving restaurant has long gone, it still forms a hub for the UK's microwave broadcasting network and has a broadcast switching facility, which allows for pictures and sound to be transferred from place-to-place ready to be edited and broadcast on the UHF band, as well as much telephone traffic.
Bewilderingly, the tower was, for a long time, an official secret, despite being (until the eighties) the tallest building in London, and open to the public. Many of the antennae have been removed (a challenge as the Tower is a listed building) and as BT moves more towards VoIP, its role will likely change further.
Normal service was resumed on Monday, but it's worth remembering that Windows 7 reaches end-of-life in January 2020, so we hope that BT sorts itself out by then, lest it be destroyed by Twinkle the giant kitten (hello, anyone old enough to remember the Goodies).
BT has not commented on speculation that this whole affair has been a metaphor for the UK's current situation. µ
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