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(ZDNet)   Top tech turkeys of all time   ( divider line
    More: Interesting  
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6414 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Nov 2001 at 4:21 PM (16 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2001-11-24 04:30:42 PM  
Let me be the first to say BOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
2001-11-24 04:33:44 PM  
DSL anyone? Isn't that over too? Or maybe I am just clueless......probably the latter...little to much Grey Goose last night
2001-11-24 04:35:33 PM  
Anyone remember Motorola's Envoy? A little bit ahead of its time, and too big and heavy to be a palmtop - for most human palms.
2001-11-24 04:45:35 PM  
I don't consider the Newton to be a tech turkey. It was a revolutionary, ahead of it's time device. Still more powerful than some of the PDAs you can buy today.
2001-11-24 04:47:26 PM  
Mmmmmm... tech turkeys...

MO (magneto-optical) drives
3-inch disk drives (yes 3", not 3.5")
Pen-based computers
Virtual Boy
Sega 32X
laserdisc-based arcade games
Windows 1.0 (okay, and up)
MSX computers
bubble memory
cheap VR headsets that aren't
2001-11-24 05:00:31 PM  
hasbro's wearable 3D VR gaming console, now that was a turkey.

yeah newton was dead pouplar, powerful and revolutionized the PDA industry, not. the best thing that ever happened to mine was that it was left on top a toaster and melted, though it still works. One of my room mates thought it was a pop tart.
2001-11-24 05:10:34 PM  
Heh, can't forget Virtual Boy...

ME wasn't that bad!
2001-11-24 05:18:54 PM  
"Sega 32X" Any sega console really.

Pointcast technology
Streaming media (Real ^Crappy Audio)
Javascript (the creator of popup windows)
2001-11-24 05:21:37 PM  
er.....what does a gal replace her Windows ME with? I thought ME sounded pretty uptight and outtasight. ME, like the real ..... you get the pix-ure
2001-11-24 05:33:35 PM  
How about the old cassette tape drives? You dont see those around any more....i used to have like 5 cassettes worth of porn, all on the green screen though...
2001-11-24 05:40:30 PM  
2001-11-24 05:58:37 PM  
The Newton, I think I knew someone who had one. Great idea, but the world wasn't ready for it or its marketing wasn't right. It was almost as good as the Apple Lisa.

The 80186. I would argue with people who said this never existed. I saw one.
2001-11-24 06:02:42 PM  
OK, I need a little help with the name, but there were these disks (or, um, removeable media, I guess) that came out shortly before Zip disks. They looked something like the movie loops you used to check out in the AV nook in the school library. Anyway, they held a lot of data, but they were awkward as hell and Iomega just obliterated them in the marketplace.
It's killing me that I can't remember their name. They were the bane of my existence. Little help here? Zyratec drives or something like that?
2001-11-24 06:14:13 PM  
The tape backups? [image from too old to be available]
2001-11-24 06:26:02 PM  
SyQuest Drive. I solved my own problem.
2001-11-24 06:28:59 PM  
Condom-cam failed pretty quickly as well.
2001-11-24 06:30:38 PM  
geez.. cuecat.. was that ever expected to succeed? i mean, SERIOUSLY.. that was a dumb idea.. anyone know how radio shack/tandy is still in business? what exactly do they do other than come up with products that fail?

Windows CE
Windows ME
Windows NT
2001-11-24 06:44:36 PM  
did you know that you can fit 70MB of data onto a white castle burger patty?
2001-11-24 06:46:15 PM  
Oooooops ... wrong thread ... I'm lost in here with a bunch of techies.
2001-11-24 06:48:56 PM  
oh, and here's my turkey... IBM PS/2 computers with Microchannel architecture. When these came out around 1989, all IBM PCs and clones were using 8-bit ISA slots. Microchannel (or MCA) was a propreitary replacement technology that IBM tried to use to deter clone manufacturing... it caused clone manufacturers to create their own standards, including 16-bit ISA and EISA, which anyone could develop for... thus killing off MCA. IBM's later PS/1 model had 16-bit ISA slots.
2001-11-24 06:56:21 PM  
I remember the PS/1 with DOS (and I think Windows 2.x or 3.0) right in ROM. Booted like an MF, 3 seconds flat.
2001-11-24 06:57:50 PM  
what about sprint ION?
2001-11-24 07:03:45 PM  
Oooh oooh! I just remembered the piece of crap IBM PC jr. No one wanted one, 100% non-standard (except the 8088 CPU) and a measly 64k of memory. Lasted 13 months before IBM gave up on it.

But it had cartridge BASIC, and a "Freeboard" keyboard...
2001-11-24 07:04:20 PM  
TRS-80 'nuff said.
2001-11-24 07:13:46 PM  
Every so often you see something and say, "how could anyone have ever thought this was a good idea?" and Cue Cat was definitely in that category. The only good that came out of it was it got hacked in about 30 milliseconds and people who wanted a free bar code reader could have one.
2001-11-24 07:17:07 PM  
coleco Adam
2001-11-24 07:23:16 PM  
Whatever happened to that Apple Computer Company. Are they still around???
2001-11-24 07:24:00 PM  
DSL? I don't know a single person who is NOT on DSL, well actually I know 2 people who use Cable... loosers...

Sprint ION? Good idea, bad execution.
2001-11-24 07:24:32 PM  
Handset modems Vampire Taps CISC AppleTalk the Timex Sinclair the Apple IIgs DR DOS single sided 5 1/4 disks AOL's prototype WWW gateway the windows key MVS any and all mainframe and midrange appliances nearly all technical certifications PERL Ok the perl part was a troll
2001-11-24 07:25:30 PM (not unlike Jjorsett's link)

I remember some VCRs having a bar code thing with them so you scanned the record info into it for people who couldn't figure it out.

But I think with CueCat (see above link) it was a marketing gimmic. It tracked your bar coding, and marketed emails/snail mail to your interests.
2001-11-24 07:31:51 PM  
I'd have to agree with all on the list except the 286 and the Newton.

But what about RDRAM? The Pentium Pro? Atari Jaguar?

And Zylon: I have a Virtual Boy. It is quite cool. $179 was just way too much for it. (I got mine for about $30 when it was discontinued)
Laserdisc based games? Hell, the laserdisc format itself sucked.
2001-11-24 07:46:44 PM  
X136: I have a Virtual Boy too (found it too cheap to pass up), AND a Jaguar! It's a flawed but decent system, once you get under all the FUD that Nintendo was slinging when it came out. A handful of the games are really top-notch.
2001-11-24 08:07:33 PM  
The Newton did suck.

I knew one person who owned one and although it has a little power, it's the size of a Sega GameGear.
2001-11-24 08:58:38 PM  
If the Newton was still supported, I'd swap my crappy Palm for one any day.

The Newton had a screen that was big enough to read text on, handwriting recognition that was more accurate than the Palm and didn't require you to write in Martian, and much better built-in applications. The seamless ability to draw diagrams in the middle of your documents and have it straighten up your wobbly lines was simply stunning.

I could take meeting notes on a Newton. I can't do that on a Palm.
2001-11-24 09:02:25 PM  
8" floppies. Thats right people 8 inches! Looked like a big 5 1/4" floppy. Throws your sense of perspective off when you first come across one.

And there was a video format called V2000 which was double sided, you had to eject it and turn it over manualy!
2001-11-24 09:02:51 PM  
saturday night and I am so bored..seems like everyone is out partying except me :(
2001-11-24 09:11:26 PM  
GIS for "crappy software"
[image from too old to be available]
2001-11-24 09:25:55 PM  
The 186 is used all over the place in embedded applications. It's even flying in a few satellites in a SoS version. I don't get what the guy is getting at--it sucked because it performed well?

The 286 I can kinda understand, with the dain bramaged protected mode switching thing. It wouldn't make my top ten or anything though.
2001-11-24 09:26:00 PM  
"ZURICH - A Crossair regional airliner carrying 33 people crashed near the Zurich Airport in Switzerland on Saturday, according to a company spokesman. At least 10 people were killed and nine others injured."

2001-11-24 09:29:04 PM  
Linux! Biggest flop ever!
2001-11-24 09:35:33 PM  
I actually have one of those 8" floppies. I think they were for mainframes because I remember seeing one of the drives when I was a kid.
2001-11-24 09:35:56 PM  
Windows ME=Windows 98 Third Edition.

And what about OS/2? How did that not make the list?

The only cool thing I could get my newton to do was change that little light bulb icon into a lizard. I think you had to enter your home country as 'Graceland' to activate it...

What about the new built-in Apple OS CD-Burner software?

Other Apple blunders should include the Apple III (I still have mine) and the Lisa. I guess even pro-Mac people couldn't convince themselves that either of those sold enough units to justify making the list though.
2001-11-24 09:46:01 PM  
Frink: Well, sure, the Frinkiac-7 looks impressive-- Don't touch it! --But I predict that within 100 years computers will be twice as powerful, 10,000 times larger, and so expensive that only the five richest kings in Europe will own them.
Apu: Could it be used for dating?
Frink: Well, technically, yes, but the computer matches would be so perfect as to eliminate the thrill of romantic conquest. Ha-ho-ha-hey-hoo.
2001-11-24 09:48:24 PM  
Heh. Ironic.I'm typing this in on my internet appliance (an Audrey) If they could have only priced it at $80, which is what I paid for it...

I disagree somehwat with theNewton haters. It was a fairly good platform, but didn't really have a good market niche. palms succeeded because they were actually replacing something you already used... you could see how they'd make your life easier.Theb Newton was larger, more expensive, and didn't really have the same niche.

Someone mentioned the Pentium Pro. Uh.. why? Used one for several years. Worked great. Better than the Pentium. If you want to pick a turkey processor, pick anything by Cyrix.

My favorite turkeys:

Divx (no... not the movie compression format... the DVD system that would limit the number of playbacks for a movie. Turns out no one wanted to go out and buy a system for the sole purpose of making the MPAA happy. Go figure)

esmell (or whatever that company that was going to have a smell output device for a computer. The idea itself stank. Haw haw)

"push technology"

Copy protection schemes of all types.


Any technology, such as the Cuecat, whose stated purpose is to make advertising more effective. Guys... people hate ads.

The Apple III (hey, at least you could tout the Lisa as being innovative... you can't even say that of the III. This was the business-oriented successor to the Apple II, which was infamous for having its RAM chips pop out.)

The Apple cube; Let's make a cool-looking computer that eventually cracks and overheats. Yay! Go Steve!

The original Celeron. Gee... let's see how badly a processor with zero cache can perform.

Packard Bell computers.

Advertising-funded free DSL. Hey, the free dial-up ISP model doesn't seem to work... let's do the same thing, only with higher costs to us!
2001-11-24 09:53:55 PM  
Ah yes, Apple. The computer company that has been going out of business since 1976.

Gotta agree that the early Newtons were bricks. Messed with an early one and it was too bulky and the handwriting recognition sucked. Graffiti was introduced but too late. Palm did get it right on this one.

All I know is that my TiBook is the coolest portable I've owned. I've never received as many complements on any portable, PC or Mac, that I've used.
2001-11-24 09:59:26 PM  
If you want tech turkey, look no further than any Rippoff Shack catalog you may have laying around from the past 20 years or so.

Besides the Zoomer, you have DCC - Digital Compact Cassette. Supposed to compete with minidisc. That lasted maybe a year.

Next, my personal favorite, the Tandy VIS. It was a crappy 80286 processor with a 1X CD-ROM drive. The thing was supposed to compete with the Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, 3DO, and the NEC console. The games they had for it blew chunks. Great big chunks. They were either crappy ports from the PC world (resolution was just lowered way down) or something someone in the RS Marketing department came up with. The funniest thing though was about a year after they launched it some mail order outfit was selling them for dirt cheap and even throwing in a few hundred discs.
2001-11-24 10:01:13 PM  
8 1/2 floppies, that wasn't a tech mistake, it was just that technology moved on, as with a few other things on here.
2001-11-24 10:06:43 PM  
Newtons sucked purely because of the handwriting recognition. It just didn't work. Palm (3COM, whatever) beat the Newton because of that.

But at least it wasn't the Amstrad PDA600 :)
Three Z-80 CPUs in it. Another link about the PDA600
2001-11-24 10:07:22 PM  
The Celeron was no turkey. It triggered the overclocking craze.
2001-11-24 10:09:28 PM  
3M TA3
"8 1/2 floppies, that wasn't a tech mistake, it was just that technology moved on"

When was the 8"er at its peak. I've never met anyone who used one.
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