From: Simon Wistow Date: 14:59 on 18 May 2005 Subject: oyster cards One could argue that this is a stretch to call this software but if you don't like it then you should feel free to bite the ass of a convenient llama. One that was syphillitic, amourous and deranged would be best. Oyster cards, for Americans and other aliens, are the handy dandy smart cards for gaining access to The Underground. They work in two modes - Mode the First: You buy a travel pass to travel about for a period of time in a specified number of zones. For the record I buy monthly Zone 1-2 passes. Mode the Second: You put some pre-pay on the card. Every time you swipe through some is deducted. As of earlier this year it actually works out what the best fare was for you retrospectively and adjust accordingly. Which is nice. Now, I tend to put about a tenner of pre-pay on my card because occasionally I nip to zone 3 and it's useful. So far, so hateless. The hate starts now. A minor quibble first - when you swipe through and your travel card is about to expire the gate flashes up a message "soon expir" (sic). Bceaus elcearly, even though it only has one thing to say and one thing only, they though that somehow putting enough space for the final letter wasn't worth it. And people wonder why our children grow up with the reading age of a toddler. And now the major hate - you only get the warning for 2 or 3 days before your card runs out. Which means that if have a weekend and then take a bus or walk on the third day you miss it. If you have no pre-pay then your normal rhythm of swiping and walking through the gate is disruptwed and people crash into you. MEbarssing but liveable. If, however, you have pre-pay they charge you for the journey. At which point it's too late to back out and get a travel card. Even if you get to the other end and immediately renew your monthly pass then you still get charged full whack. Fucking peice of shit.
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