The Lite Side

Windows in a Sewing Machine

and David Deckert - 2002.12.31

Keen eyed reader David Deckert sends in this gem: A company called Bernina makes a sewing machine called the Artista 200 that runs Windows and is used to control the stitching for fancy designs. I checked out the link David provided, and it's true - you can get a sewing machine with a CD-R and a Web browser that goes to exactly one website. The sewing machine has a modem.

I swear I am not making this up.

This link shows some videos of how to use the machine and even sports quotations from Todd Warren, General Manager of the Embedded and Appliance Platform Group for Microsoft.

Do you know what this means?

This isn't an anomaly! They're trying to (dramatic music) take over the world, one appliance at a time!

The humor possibilities are staggering.

Some excerpts from the FAQ and troubleshooting sections are below. Smart remarks are by David and I are included free (after mail-in rebate).

1. How do I install the modem?

All of the drivers for the modem have been factory installed onto the operating system of your Artista 200. When you slide the Bernina Modem into the system's card slot and plug an active analog phone line into the modem, it is installed. Before the modem can dial the myartista Portal, you must input your dialing information into the machine. Also include the dialing information for anyone else you know who sews, so your sewing machine can solicit new customers for us without your knowledge.

Page 169 in your Artista Instruction Manual gives you the steps necessary for entering your dial up provider's information into the Setup program. Remember to remove any previously inserted information including dash lines by touching the back arrow on the upper right hand side of the keyboard screen. (A good swift kick of the power supply wouldn't hurt either.) Any information on the top bar of the keyboard becomes part of your provider's information. We know you don't know exactly what that means, so let's be clear about it. Information about you that goes to us is goood. So verrry goood. It's precious. Send more.

Contact your dial up provider for your exact user name and password. Passwords are always case sensitive. Customer service will be delighted to tell you your name and password any time you call. Ignore any sounds in the background of the phone call such as crashing equipment, telephone handsets banging on desktops, or laughter from adjacent cubicles.

2. What security is afforded the Artista 200 user who logs onto the myartista Portal via the Bernina Modem to download designs?

Bernina has taken all precautions to insure that viruses are never associated with the myartista Portal. The company providing the server uses several firewalls and updates their virus protection software daily. The modem connection on the Artista 200 system will only access the myartista Portal site so your chances of picking up a virus from this site are as close to zero as humanly possible. There is no reason to be concerned that of the tens of thousands of viruses available for Windows, the three or four that manage to get through will actually cause any problems.

Should you get a virus, Bernina is not responsible for the content or length of messages which may subsequently be embroidered on your clothing.

3. When I am embroidering I often get an out of memory error message. What an I doing wrong (besides trying to sew using a machine run by Windows?)

Have you centered your needle in the Embroidery Settings section of Artista Set Up program? This is often a cause of out of memory errors on desktop Windows machines which cannot sew.

You need to give your Artista 200E a reference point for the center of the hoop. Page 163 in your Artista Instruction Manual provides step-by-step directions for you to follow. Read the Friendly Manual.

You will only need to set the reference position once unless you Reset to Factory in the Setup program or update the operating system on your Artista 200E. Updating the operating system happens every sixteen days and is automatic. Be sure not to misplace the reference position instructions. You might consider sewing them onto a shirt. Or maybe a pillowcase.

4. I installed ActiveSync and the Designer 3.1 Service Pack but when I select write to machine in my Artista Designer software I get an hourglass for a few seconds and then it goes way. What have I done wrong (besides not understanding the concept of an hourglass? )

Obviously you did do something wrong, since our machine is perfect. When you installed your Designer 3.1 Service Pack did you wait for the ADX instillation that follows the Service Pack distillation? If you close the setup screen as soon as the Service Pack is distilled, you are not completing the distillation. Reinstall the Designer 3.1 Service Pack and then wait. The ADX install program sneaks in at the end, bites you in an unmentionable place, and installs.

5. When I go into my Artista Designer and try to write something to my Magic Box I get an error that says it is unable to access the converter box. Why doesn't it connect?

You need to put thread in your CD-R drive for the Magic Box to work. Lots of bright, blue thread. With no knots in it. Just cram it in, until no more fits.

Remember to restart your computer after installing the update patch.

6. Advanced features

When your sewing machine first boots up, it will ask you a series of questions. Select "Enable advanced features" on the "Setup" screen, and the sewing machine will connect to the nearest Internet grocer to your home, and order food for you. Even better, it will select an amount of food that will automatically adapt to the size clothes you are creating. Large people will get more food and thin people less. Adjusting the "calorie to clothes size parameter" in the "Preferences" menu will allow you to have your sewing machine regulate your diet to match the clothes you are able to make. By default, this information is stored in our central database to serve you better. Don't forget to register all of your family members and identify which clothing is for which person as you create it.

All your stitches are belong to us.

Next week: Windows in a blender.

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