Sneak quite enjoyed PC World’s round-up of the 25 worst tech products of all time, from the unwelcome unpleasantness of Comet Cursor and Windows Me to oddities like the Eyetop Wearable DVD Player and DigiScents iSmell, topped off by the enduring source of all the world’s unwanted CD-ROMs: AOL.
Given the torrent of trash that comes out of the arse-end of the tech industry, 25 is really too short a list to include everyone’s favourite stinkers. Sneak was dismayed, for example, to learn that the mint-imperial-shaped mouse that shipped with Apple’s first iMac only merited an honourable mention – despite being an unmentionable horror in Sneak’s book.
PC World’s list is also US-centric, and not just because the US is responsible for the bulk of the world’s junk tech, so Sneak would like to redress the balance of US xenophobia by suggesting a couple of local products that ought to be on the list.
Who could forget the Amstrad PCW8256, for example? It looked like a PC but had more in common with a broken typewriter; used odd-sized 3-inch floppy disks that were readily available from nowhere at all; and shipped with a dot-matrix printer that was “near letter quality” in much the same way that a hamster is nearly a llama.
And then there was BT Midband, which dies an unlamented death this summer. It was pitched as a half-way house between dial-up and broadband, but turned out to be dial-up with added nothing. It was promised with an always-on email facility, but problems meant that this, the main distinguishing feature, was still in the labs on launch day in May 2003 - and it was still in the labs this morning.
Sneak is sure that there must be an almost infinite list of similar misadventures in technology: feel free to send your own suggestions for the sin-bin.
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