Matt: Okay, okay, the Braille on the ATM keys question has been addressed. Now what I want to know is, if the card/machine knows who I am, and how much money! have, and what my PIN is, why do they keep asking if I warn to do business in Spanish? I mean, it’s hot like one day I’m suddenly going to change my mind and change languages. — Carman, Cyberia
Until it dials up the Big Bank Computer, the ATM doesn’t have much of a clue who you are. You’re just a stranger with a readable card. Since it needs info from you before it can send along your PIN and card data to the Big Bank Computer to determine exactly how much you’re worth, it must speak your language. So right up front it asks you “English or Spanish?” It asks you that before it gets your PIN. It can’t get your PIN if it asks in the wrong language. And it asks everybody. Carman. Nothing personal. If your feelings can be hurt by a machine, this is not a good sign.