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Handheld PC News

News: The 10 Dumbest Tech Products So Far

Posted 10 years ago | News | 13 comments | Author: C:Amie

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New Coke. Chia pets. Ashton Kutcher. All are bad ideas that should have been snuffed out before they emerged into public consciousness. All are things that make you scratch your head and say, "What in God's name were they thinking?"

In a highly opinionated and at times curious look at the worst technology ideas of the information systems era, PC World's Dan Tynan lists the "top 10" worst technology inventions of all time. After some frankly wacky ideas and the Nokia N-Gage, Handheld PC fans may find Mr. Tynan's second worst technology of all time somewhat hard to swallow, particularly as he has chosen to use our very own Chris Tilley as justification for his argument.

Enjoy the read (or the pain) and remember; we didn't write it!

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The 10 Dumbest Tech Products So Far
Posted on 15/06/2009 5:11:03 PM

Comments on this article

There are 13 comments for this news item

CE Geek 15 June 2009 5:44:27 PM
Not only were Dan's comments on several of the "top ten" items rather abrasive, even more so were are some if his responses to those who commented on his list. On top of that, he quotes our esteemed Mr. Tilley out of context, failing to note Chris' summarizing comment in the same article that Windows CE 1.0 was "widely viewed as a public beta," suggesting that problems had to be expected in this first release of the OS. Dan also seems blissfully unaware of the recent proliferation of Windows CE subnotebooks - and their battery life of three to five times that of full notebook PCs.
Nate the great 15 June 2009 7:52:33 PM
I can't find the link to the PCWorldl article.
CE Geek 15 June 2009 9:53:55 PM
Click on the text right after "View:" on the lower right-hand corner of the article.
C:Amie 16 June 2009 2:49:42 PM
I must admit to being somewhat surprised when I saw such as recent article using Windows CE 1 as a criticism for nearly 12 years of additional Windows CE development.

I certainly wouldn't agree with the author on his choices, in the greater scheme of so many things that I can think of, CE doesn't feature as the #2 worst technology blunder - sure it was a highly problematic release and history does record that it failed to live up to expectations. If we accept for a moment the authors Microsoft bashin then there have clearly been worse offering from Redmond!
ZSX 16 June 2009 2:56:13 PM
There's no such thing as bad publicity, especially when it comes to old tech gizmos. I am always intrigued when I read about some gadget I missed the first time round, no matter how dreadful. I wonder whether an article like this appearing in PC World will lead to a spike in visitors to HPC:Factor? People should realize that we are now nearly up to Windows Embedded Compact 7.0, which is lightyears away from CE 1.0!
ZSX 16 June 2009 2:49:48 PM
I found the article quite amusing, particularly since I have a smart display in active use at home, and I've picked up a few ideas to feed my retro geek fetish!

I have never had a CE 1.0 device, having used Psions until CE 2.11 came out, but my suspicion is that the author wasn't too far off the mark...
CE Geek 16 June 2009 3:00:42 PM
I have the first released CE 1 device (Casio A-10), and I was actually surprised at how useful it turned out to be, so I have a hard time finding justification for even the criticism of CE 1 devices.

Well, at least I learned one thing from that blog. I always wondered what DivX stood for. (Now what does XviD stand for? :p )
C:Amie 17 June 2009 5:17:29 AM
DivX does not stand for Digital Video Express in the contect of the codec; in this regard it is DIVX that he is referring to.

DIVX: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DIVX_(Digital_Video_Express)
DivX: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DivX

The best meaning of DivX (codec) that I've been able to come up with is that Div, reversed is viD. Giving Vid X which means Video Extended... but that came from Yahoo answers about 10 minutes ago so take it with a pinch of salt :P

But it could give you a clue as to the meaning of XviD ^_-
CE Geek 17 June 2009 12:22:00 PM
Ah, the voice of reason comes again. ;) Didn't know there was a difference between the two in sometimes-not-case-sensitive cyberland. Thanx for enlightening me. :D

I posted a comment there a couple of days ago. I encourage others here to do so as well. Dan doesn't seem to have let facts cloud his reasoning, so maybe we should throw a few his way.
Rich Hawley 18 June 2009 8:07:32 AM
Radio Shack was giving away those USB scanning devices for free. I grabbed a handful of them, not for the scanning capability, but for the 6 foot USB cable extenstions that came with them...

As far as the article...pretty good, though a little off base on some of the things...and I could have added a few things. How about the Iomega Clik! Pocketzip drives...they were outdated and obsolete just as they were introduced. Or those stupid Ipaq sleeves added to the old Ipaq just to add expansion capability.
CE Geek 18 June 2009 3:19:26 PM
But if Iomega hadn't played with the concept of running their various external drives with Windows CE devices, we might be without a very useful USB mass storage driver. As one of Dan's critics said in response to the blog, there's really no such thing as dumb technology - no matter how much Dan refuses to acknowledge this.
carld 21 June 2009 11:16:47 AM
Actually, I found the Iomega drives very useful in their time. Back then they were the largest format portable storage generally available, except for tape. I used to send documents to our printers on video-tape like cartridges which were really cumbersome and somewhat error prone. As soon as I could I switched as much as I could to Iomega disks. The printer loved them.

Nowadays I'd do the same thing on writable CDs, but WORM drives (as they were called back then) were still a way off unless you were Jerry Pournell.

Jake 18 June 2009 9:36:58 AM
While I take the article in stride, since it's clearly tongue-in-cheek, and while I'm willing to admit all of CE 1.0's foibles, the writer appears to dismiss the entire concept of CE, akin to dismissing all cellphones just because the first ones didn't work.

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