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A little rant

The last few weeks I have been flying a fair bit and came multiple across the following machine (sorry not quite sharp):



I have seen this machine many times before and have also witnessed many people struggle with it. Overall I probably have seen more people failing to use it than people actually walking away successful. So what does this machine do? Anyone flying from or into Sweden might have already this formidable device. It allows you to buy an airport shuttle bus ticket. So what's my problem with it you are asking? Well, besides the fact that I still haven't found a deterministic way of getting a ticket, there are a few problems I have with the instructions. Let's have a closer look:



So here are my questions to the genius who designed this machine:
  • What's the deal with the numbers? Why does '3' come before '2' and if the numbers are some sort of indication of the order I have to do things - where the heck is number '1'.
  • If the numbers do not symbolize the order of steps to take - what do they mean?
  • And what's the deal with the colors? I understand to a certain degree 'green' and 'red', but what's the deal blue and yellow?
Each single time I look at this machine I wonder anew what I am supposed to do. Deep down I know that there are bigger problems in this world, but at the same time this little thing troubles me as much as looking unstructured, obfuscated source code. In both cases there is this one nagging question in my mind:"What the ... ?!"

Old comments

2008-09-23Hardy Ferentschik
The other day I was talking another ride on the airport bus and since the bus was not leaving for another couple of minutes and the bus driver was not busy I decided to buy a ticket from him. When entering the bus I said:" I prefer buying a ticket from him, instead of the machine which I don't understand." His answer:" I also don't know why you made such a complicated machine for such an easy task." This answer made me smile :)
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