So I held down the assist button on an ABSA ATM, and it restarted

Sapphiron

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Jan 29, 2004
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So my local ABSA ATM locked up with my card stuck in it.

after the cancel button did not return my card, I pressed the assist button, nothing happened for 30 seconds, I then proceeded to hold it down. After about 5 seconds, it started shutting down, including bringing up the notification of the offending non-responding process getting killed off.

(hello windows 7)
e71af1f6-dc27-4da7-a52b-a52245574a52.jpg

Out popped my card and it proceeded to reboot. I don't know if the assist button works as a power button, or if it triggered some SNMP health check from a remote monitoring system to send a remote reboot command.

Watching the process, It was incredibly slow. The hardware in the ATM must be so slow. It took over 8 minutes to boot to the log-in screen. I have R1999 thin clients that boot windows 10 faster. I guess providing clients with fast ATM's, so you don't waste their time, is not high on the budget priority list.

The rest of the application launch process probably took a further 12minutes before the ATM was usable again. Working completely normally from that point.

ABSA, you know that expensive windows 7 enterprise licence can probably buy an eMMC SSD and more RAM that will make your ATM less frustrating to use. You know Linux works great for single-purpose appliances right?
 

sicelo.m

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They'll tell you Linux has no support (free if your time is not worth anything) ... No, not that I agree with that, but they say it nonetheless.
 

inanabhay

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Jul 14, 2008
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I don't see why anyone still uses an ATM, except, perhaps if someone sent you money that you could only withdraw from an ABSA ATM
 

inanabhay

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well, considering its much cheaper to withdraw from various retail shop/ supermarkets, why use an ATM?
 

Johnatan56

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Aug 23, 2013
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well, considering its much cheaper to withdraw from various retail shop/ supermarkets, why use an ATM?
Plus usually faster than waiting in ATM queues and I can ask for specific denominations. I have seen ATMs give only R20 notes for R400, it is quite annoying.
Because it's 11pm and I'm suffering withdrawal symptoms.

Supermarkets aren't open 24/7

That's a good reason.
 

xrapidx

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Feb 16, 2007
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39,265
We have a FNB atm near work - you can swipe out the windows touch screen from the left side of the screen - minimize to the desktop - haven't done more than that, because of camera's etc.
 

dabean

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Feb 24, 2004
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I had no idea there was an assist button. Can you point it out on that photo?
 

Nerfherder

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Apr 21, 2008
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So my local ABSA ATM locked up with my card stuck in it.

after the cancel button did not return my card, I pressed the assist button, nothing happened for 30 seconds, I then proceeded to hold it down. After about 5 seconds, it started shutting down, including bringing up the notification of the offending non-responding process getting killed off.

(hello windows 7)
View attachment 561007

Out popped my card and it proceeded to reboot. I don't know if the assist button works as a power button, or if it triggered some SNMP health check from a remote monitoring system to send a remote reboot command.

Watching the process, It was incredibly slow. The hardware in the ATM must be so slow. It took over 8 minutes to boot to the log-in screen. I have R1999 thin clients that boot windows 10 faster. I guess providing clients with fast ATM's, so you don't waste their time, is not high on the budget priority list.

The rest of the application launch process probably took a further 12minutes before the ATM was usable again. Working completely normally from that point.

ABSA, you know that expensive windows 7 enterprise licence can probably buy an eMMC SSD and more RAM that will make your ATM less frustrating to use. You know Linux works great for single-purpose appliances right?

I doubt they would have implemented such a feature without warning the customer. It might be something the bank staff use though. Access to the back of the ATM is a problem and 90% of issues can be resolved with a restart so its possible they made this Easter egg.

I used to work for the company that developed the old ATM front end and I can tell you now its the hardware that is taking so long to reboot. Its initialising all those devices which is why the card came out. Some of the older ATMs used to take 20 mins to reboot. We used to go take lunch breaks while they came up.

Thin clients wont necessarily be a solution either, they don't have all the serial ports and stuff needed by some of the older ATM hardware. Drivers are certified for specific mother boards so its not a matter of just swapping it out for another PC. Also there is a lot of other cr@p running in the background... monitoring, agents for all the different software layers and then some fools even like to have antivirus running :/

Upgrading an ATM is not cheap either... a new device will cost upwards of 500k, never-mind getting it on site and having it installed. A project to upgrade the onboard PC will run in to the millions.
Hence they just keep those old slow buggers in the field till some cnut blows them up.
 
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