Coke machine overengineering



  •  The old-fashioned drop-down Coke machines may shake the Cokes up, but on the plus side they don't tend to jam. My office (which is remarkably non-WTFy, for the record) got one of those new conveyor-belt Coke machines, and, well...

    Coke machine jam

     I'm really sad I didn't take a video of this as it happened. The conveyor rises to the level of your drink, which falls (hopefully sideways) onto the conveyor belt, which then goes to the middle of the machine and dumps it out a little slot. The purple Minute-Maid on the bottom tends to come out on the conveyor upright, and it's just tall enough to get stuck on the lip of the slot (since it's coming up from below), jamming the conveyor about an inch below where it needs to be to dispense (mind you, you can't reach up and unjam it, since they've got a little anti-theft door that only opens when it's dispensing).

    I attempted to dislodge the Minute Maid by getting a Dr. Pepper, but that got squeezed on top of the Diet Coke can...and subsequently got crushed by the shelf it came off of, when the machine made a second delivery attempt. That entire stack of Cokes (and the nearby shelves) are now covered in Dr. Pepper, and because of the lodged can it won't rise above the second shelf.

     TRnon-WTF...after two failed dispensing attempts, the machine refunds your money. So, yes, with a little engineering you can really strike the Coke-jackpot (I've gotten almost that many in a single go before), but I've never seen it jammed this badly before.

     So...I think I'll have a Pepsi...



  • My previous job had a machine just like that and we had that happen with a couple of drinks. The one time I personally witnessed it they were able to get it unstuck by ordering another drink, though. Later I noticed a metal wire on the drop side of the conveyor which forced drinks to fall sideways before they get into the delivery slot.



  • I don't think I've ever seen this type before.  I've seen the little "elevator" ones that move a basket right up the appropriate row, catch the drink and carry it to the door.

     

    I always thought these things were needlessly complicated.  The standard "falling" dispensers have vertical slots and only the bottom can drops, and then only a few inches.  Is that really such a problem?



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I don't think I've ever seen this type before.  I've seen the little "elevator" ones that move a basket right up the appropriate row, catch the drink and carry it to the door.

     

    I always thought these things were needlessly complicated.  The standard "falling" dispensers have vertical slots and only the bottom can drops, and then only a few inches.  Is that really such a problem?

     

    It's got to be a marketing thing - I'm guessing they run pretty slim margins in the vending business, and if people are 10% more likely to pick a nifty seven-axis servovend than the boring old normalvend sitting next to it, it could be worthwhile. On the other hand, if they jam all the time, that advantage would be negated fairly quickly... But I've seen dozens of the things in various airports and convention centers, and have never seen a jammed one or had one jam.



  • @PeriSoft said:

    On the other hand, if they jam all the time, that advantage would be negated fairly quickly... But I've seen dozens of the things in various airports and convention centers, and have never seen a jammed one or had one jam.

     

    It's not much of an issue if you're using mainly cans, but if a bottle comes out standing up, it can lead to all sorts of problems, and the one thing our Coke-machine guys do consistently is put that Minute Maid in that lower-right-hand corner (of course, they can't be as consistent with the Coke Zeros, the Cherry Coke Zeros, and the Cherry Cokes, which look almsot identical anyway). I'm not sure why they think that's a good place for it, but it's always there and always causing problems.



  • If these are the same machines I'm thinking they are, you can put money in, select a drink, hold the door shut. The machine can't vend the drink, so it drops the belt to the bottom and refunds your money. Put money back in, select another drink, and this time if you're quick you can get 2 for the price of one.



  • @aristos_achaion said:

    TRnon-WTF...after two failed dispensing attempts, the machine refunds your money. So, yes, with a little engineering you can really strike the Coke-jackpot (I've gotten almost that many in a single go before), but I've never seen it jammed this badly before.
    We have those machines at the University I went to. I found that there was a mechanisim to ensure that only 1 drink was dispensed even if there were multiple drinks on the belt. This left me with an undesired drink on an occasion, after that I didn't bother to try and buy a drink if there were already drinks on the belt.

    TRWTF (imho) is that there isn't a weight sensor attached to the lift to detect if there are already drinks on the belt, and thus prevent multiple drinks being dispensed.



  •  I can't help thinking of Nuka Cola.

    I'm sorry.

    I can't help it.

    I mean, my video card's still fucked as I wait to order a new cooling unit, so I can't play that game.



  • @dhromed said:

    I mean, my video card's still fucked as I wait to order a new cooling unit, so I can't play that game.
    That game is old oats anyway by now. The real money's in Mass Effect 2.



  •  Yea but I get the idea that it's just a shooter. I'm not sure it'll appeal to me.

    ZeroPunctuation was kind of meh about Mass Effect 2. 

    Maybe I'll grab a demo off the intertorrent, but that'll take fucking ages.



  • @dhromed said:

     Yea but I get the idea that it's just a shooter. I'm not sure it'll appeal to me.

    ZeroPunctuation was kind of meh about Mass Effect 2. 

    Maybe I'll grab a demo off the intertorrent, but that'll take fucking ages.

     

    More criminally, it's an EA game.



  •  Say what you will about linear shooters, but the visuals in Mass Effect 2 are second to none.  That should be the minimum level of graphical awesomeness that all game developers aspire to.



  • @PeriSoft said:

    ................... 10% more likely to pick a nifty seven-axis servovend than the boring old normalvend sitting next to it,

     

     

    Dude that is morbius' mum, do not speak ill of Mrs wilters




  • @dhromed said:

    Yea but I get the idea that it's just a shooter. I'm not sure it'll appeal to me.

    Not enough Bedazzling in it, you big homo?



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Not enough Bedazzling in it, you big homo?

    If I want a firm weapon that shoots mightily, I'll just grab your dick, then, and you'll like it.



  • @dhromed said:

    ZeroPunctuation was kind of meh about Mass Effect 2. 
    You know that a "meh" review on ZP means it could be the best game ever.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    You know that a "meh" review on ZP means it could be the best game ever.
     

    He said Fallout 3 was pretty good.



  • @dhromed said:

    He said Fallout 3 was pretty good.
    What is this "Fallout 3" you speak of?  I have never heard of such a game.  Surely, if this game were any good, somebody would have mentioned it repeatedly by now, but that doesn't seem to be the case.  I bet it's one of those weird niche games.  Is it some sort of car racing/Bejeweled hybrid?



  • @dhromed said:

    @belgariontheking said:

    You know that a "meh" review on ZP means it could be the best game ever.
     

    He said Fallout 3 was pretty good.

     

    actually, the only game to date he had absolutely NO complaining about was Portal



  • @SkaveRat said:

    actually, the only game to date he had absolutely NO complaining about was Portal

     

    Though, mind you, he was quite bullish on Saints Row 2. And he's his own guy...he doesn't have any pretensions to making his reviews objective or trying to hide his own preferences. I do agree with him that the resource-collecting minigame from ME2 was tiresome, and that the ambushes were all hilariously obvious, but all in all it seemed like a positive review. Though I actually think the vehicle sections of ME1 would've been tolerable if they'd had a terrain overlay for the mini-map. Once I started planning flat-ish routes using the terrain markers on the big map, the shocks-gone-wild physics stopped being a proble...you wouldn't drive a real car straight up the side of the mountain and complain about the ride being too bumpy.



  • @aristos_achaion said:

    the ambushes were all hilariously obvious
    Common thought during my playthroughs of ME2: "Hmm, there are some crates up ahead.  Better make sure my weapon is using an ammo, recharge my tech shield, etc."



  • @SkaveRat said:

    actually, the only game to date he had absolutely NO complaining about was Portal
    I purchased Painkiller because of his review of it.  I don't remember it being glaringly positive, but I remember it made me want to play it.  Mostly the bit about the gun that shoots shurikens and lightning.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    Mostly the bit about the gun that shoots shurikens and lightning.
     

    No tits and fire, though.

    What a letdown.

    I find Painkiller very entertaining because of its diversity, but I can't play it anymore because it has a fucked world clock that plays at 150%-200% speed on any machine assembled in the past few years, such as mine. :<br>



  • @bstorer said:

    Hmm, there are some crates up ahead. 
     

    It's one step away from a sign saying "Beware of the Alien"



  • @SkaveRat said:

    actually, the only game to date he had absolutely NO complaining about was Portal
     

    That's because nobody can find fault with it.



  • @dhromed said:

    @SkaveRat said:

    actually, the only game to date he had absolutely NO complaining about was Portal
     

    That's because nobody can find fault with it.

     

    I would say it suffers from over-hype. Mostly because it's been out for, what, 3 years now and the gaming world has not changed one iota. We haven't seen a flood of games featuring portal guns. (Or any at all, really, other than fan-made mods.) The rendering technology, while impressive, had been done before in Prey.

    Compare that to, for example, Wii's motion controls, which got both Microsoft and Sony rushing to come up with something similar. Or the success of Guitar Hero, which led to a dozen clones.



  • Also, to add to that, I'd like to think that any team could make a game that good given the amount of time, free-reign, and lack of publisher requirements that the Portal team had. Not due to having a super-innovative concept (although it was innovative) or some kind of holy mandate from heaven.

    Portal is an excellent game because Valve hired smart people, gave them a huge budget and no deadline, and said: "go at it." Blizzard games are (generally) successful for the same reason. And EA games are (generally) shitty for the same reason.

    Of course, the risk you have when you treat your team that way is having another Duke Nukem Forever or Daikatana. Suck it down. But I personally think that's a risk that's worth taking.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I would say it suffers from over-hype.
     

    shoots a portal in the ceiling above you

    shoots a portal on the floor where you stand.



  • @dhromed said:

    I find Painkiller very entertaining because of its diversity, but I can't play it anymore because it has a fucked world clock that plays at 150%-200% speed on any machine assembled in the past few years, such as mine. :<BR>

    It's a bit of a hassle, but you can set Painkiller to only use one processor, then go into the BIOS and disable SpeedStep (or whichever equivalent you have). That should fix it.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    We haven't seen a flood of games featuring portal guns. (Or any at all, really, other than fan-made mods.)
    There was one.

     

    It came out recently. I don't recall what it was, but it was one of those "ZOMG ITS GOING TO BE GOOD" games that everyone promptly disavowed all knowledge of the moment it actually hit shelves.



  • @Faxmachinen said:

    @dhromed said:

    I can't play it anymore because it has a fucked world clock

    you can

     

    I will try.

    Thanks.



  • @Weng said:

    It came out recently. I don't recall what it was, but it was one of those "ZOMG ITS GOING TO BE GOOD" games that everyone promptly disavowed all knowledge of the moment it actually hit shelves.
     

    Has Half Life 2 EP3 Tottenham 4 come out yet? Surely you jest!


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