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Author Topic: Most useless  (Read 6546 times)

cranioscopical

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Most useless
« on: April 10, 2008, 08:36:13 AM »
Picking up on a comment from here

Can we try a three-part question here?

2)  What is the most useless gift you ever received?

3)  What is the most useless computer-related item you ever acquired?


tomos

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Re: Most useless
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2008, 08:59:35 AM »
Can we try a three-part question here?

is that the first part  :tellme: :P

....contemplating answers for 2 & 3
Tom

cranioscopical

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Re: Most useless
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2008, 09:06:40 AM »
Absolutely!  :)

nudone

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Re: Most useless
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2008, 12:26:34 PM »
2) my mother bought me a t-shirt with the joker's face on it, not THE joker from Batman, oh no. this was a very badly illustrated version of something that was meant to look like the joker but without paying any licensing fees to do so, i.e. it looked awful. add to this i must have been in my twenties, don't care much for the Batman franchise and don't need my mother to buy my clothes for me - not even back then. i do wear t-shirts so she got that part right.

around that time she also bought me a baseball cap with my name stamped on the front of it - perhaps she thought i had trouble introducing myself to people.

i could go on. i've given up trying to be tactful with my mother over the terrible christmas presents she gives me.

3) useless pc item, probably a mini vacuum cleaner for cleaning the keyboard. battery powered and with about as much suction power as wafting a single feather around somewhere up in the upper atmosphere of this planet.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2008, 12:28:16 PM by nudone »

Jimdoria

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Re: Most useless
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2008, 12:54:44 PM »
1. Yes  :)

2. Probably some sweater I never wore.

3. This is a tough one. I'd say it's a toss-up:

Most useless PC thing that I LOVED - Snappy, from Play Inc. It was a totally cool gizmo, but I think I actually used it about 3 times, and never for any real work. Part of that may have been that it never quite delivered on its own marketing hype. Still, I miss Play, Inc. :( Serious Magic, too.

Most useless PC thing that I HATED - iConcepts (Sakar) cordless mouse with keypad. Bought it to use mouse and keypad at the same time, but the product was designed to hide the fact that you couldn't do this until after you'd purchased the thing. Then, when I used the keypad, it also enabled the embedded keypad on my laptop keyboard, rendering the main keyboard unusable. Plus the thing ate batteries, and wouldn't work relably more than a few inches away from it's USB dongle.
- Jimdoria ~@>@

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who divide everybody into two kinds of people, and those who don't.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2008, 12:56:34 PM by Jimdoria »

Deozaan

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Re: Most useless
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2008, 05:40:04 PM »
1) Maybe.

2) Pretty much anything from my nephews and nieces, or as I like to call them, my "monkeys." (From the phrase "a monkey's uncle.") It's really nice that they like me enough to want to give me something they hold dear to them, but those things are usually pretty useless. Old toys or things I have no interest in.

Also pretty much anything my grandma has gotten me for Christmas the past several years. Expensive looking Cookie Jars, Snow Villages, etc. They're not exactly useless items themselves, but I never use them and thus far have no intent on doing so. In fact I think they're still boxed up somewhere at my parents' house, since I never bring them home with me after the holidays. Once again, I appreciate the sentiment, but in my opinion the items are a waste of her money and a waste of my (or my parents, as the case may be) space.

3) Two things I can think of, actually:

3.A) I bought a 15-in-1 media card reader and it never worked properly. At least not for SD cards, which are the only things I've tried.

3.B) I also got a retractable USB extension cable, but anything I plug in through it isn't recognized.

I think the real question is: Why do I still have them in my computer parts box?


Target

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Re: Most useless
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2008, 05:57:03 PM »
I acquired 3 brand new (still wrapped!!) 250M ZIP disks some years ago.  They sat in my junk box until a recent move (and a ruthless cull of the junk), even though I've never owned a zip drive (or even knew anyone who did...)

Target

oldfart

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Re: Most useless
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2008, 06:54:15 PM »
1. Yes
2. When I was six or seven, my uncle and aunt had four kids the same age range as our family so they decided to do a gift exchange and each would buy for the other's children.  Dad found some remote control cars.  This was in the fifties so they weren't radio controlled, they had a five foot cable running from the control to the car but I thought they were the neatest things I'd ever seen.  Evidently my dad liked them too because he decided we should test them before gifting them.  We played with them for a week or more before putting them back into their packaging and wrapping them up.
I just knew that dad would have told Uncle Cliff what we had for them and I was sure that good ole Uncle Cliff would take care of me in a similar manner.  You can imagine my utter disgust when we opened gifts Christmas Eve and they had gotten us matching sweatshirts with our names on the back.  I was mortified.  Clothes!  Never in my adult life have I ever given a child clothes for a gift. 
3. This wasn't a gift but a freebie from, I believe, Wired Magazine.  About ten years ago they came out with a device called a "Cat".  You plugged it into your computer and if you passed it over an ad in the magazine or a bar code it was supposed to take you to the web site for the company that produced the product you had scanned.  They hyped the device for several months before it died a well deserved death.  I still have mine, still in the never opened  package it came in.  Anyone interested in purchasing an interesting piece of Americana?  ;)
dmg

suleika

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Re: Most useless
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2008, 09:43:06 AM »
Those "cats" are still useful actually: see LibraryThing.  I have one.

2. Ornaments and coffe-table books.

3. A fancy mouse mat pad from a museum shop - neither ball nor optical mice could cope with it.

Jimdoria

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Re: Most useless
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2008, 10:27:54 AM »
Oh, the :Cue Cat! Yeah, I've got two of them. There's a cool hardware hack where you wire together two holes on the circuit board and the thing turns into a regular barcode reader. I did this quite recently when I had a project that required barcode scanning. Worked like a charm.

Digital Convergence's death certainly was well deserved. They were a scummy company. Was it really ten years ago? Yipe!
- Jimdoria ~@>@

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who divide everybody into two kinds of people, and those who don't.

cranioscopical

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Re: Most useless
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2008, 02:47:26 PM »
#3 for me was the Expert Pad from Sharp, a hard-shell version of the Apple Newton.

It synchronized with the PC on connection, with no further user intervention. It also did recognition of real grown-up, joined-up handwriting.
Unfortunately it was so slow and inaccurate that it proved impractical.
My Expert Pad also ate 1 set of 4 AA batteries per day (sometimes two).
The thing was about the size of a paperback book, 4 MB in ROM, 640k in RAM, 336 x 240 pixel LCD, and ran Newton OS up to 1.3.

I bought mine some time during the early 90's and have seldom wanted anything to work properly as much as I wanted the Expert Pad to do the job.
But, I'd be sitting in a meeting, laboriously entering an appointment, and would look up to see every eye in the room rivetted to the snail's pace of my hand traversing the screen. Not the image I wanted to foster with a sleek new toy.
It was a bitter disappointment.


Carol Haynes

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Re: Most useless
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2008, 06:33:34 PM »
2) A T-shirt my mother got me (I think there is a theme developing here). It had photos of my two cats on the front (not a problem you think) ... and a hideously bad spelling mistake !

3) Wireless b equipment !

app103

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Re: Most useless
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2008, 08:16:29 PM »
1) hell yeah!

2) 90% of the gifts I have ever recieved from my stepmother...but the most useless was a small, gold sequined, high heeled shoe about 2-3 inches long...only 1 shoe. (Maybe she thought it went well with the one small sock she gave me a few years earlier, that was supposed to be a coin purse.)

3) A stupid Commodore word processor that hooks up to your TV. It needs a special printer (sold seperately), which I never owned. You can't save any data and it can't do anything other than very simple word processing. (my hubby bought it at a yard sale for $5, back in the mid 90's)

If that doesn't count, there is a list of 'currently useless' items that were once useful, among them this HP printer cartdridge, still in sealed package (I don't own a printer that can use it any more), an older AceCAD Acecat Flair with a broken pen. (the darn cat thought it was a cat toy)

oh...and a :cue cat (why couldn't the cat play with that instead?)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Most useless
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2008, 08:32:35 PM »
2) 90% of the gifts I have ever recieved from my stepmother...but the most useless was a small, gold sequined, high heeled shoe about 2-3 inches long...only 1 shoe. (Maybe she thought it went well with the one small sock she gave me a few years earlier, that was supposed to be a coin purse.)

Maybe she thought you are Cinderella ;) ... all you need now is Prince Charming (don't we all)

f0dder

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Re: Most useless
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2008, 08:41:35 PM »
Maybe she thought you are Cinderella ;) ... all you need now is Prince Charming (don't we all)
I don't :P
- carpe noctem

iphigenie

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Re: Most useless
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2008, 09:38:53 PM »
2) Aww, tough one. there's a tradition in my lazier half's family to give absurd pointless gifts for christmas. I think it started as "the kids are grown up now lets stop offering gifts... oh but its fun, if you dont have to find something really good for all 20 members of the family but go to the salvation army and buy everything that is ludicrous." I recall a book on chinchilla genetics and a duck shaped 80s phone.
On the other hand my mother always feels she has to bring something back from her travels, and since my partner is a bit musical she often brings us back the cheap-tourist version of real instruments. Which we never even want to display.

3) Easy. There are 2
3a - my first hard drive. I was young and had my dad's castout old corean PC clone, and reading up I figured it would all be easier with these new pricey things. So i scrounged up my money and saved $200 to buy a 20Mb drive. Which I never managed to make my PC recognise.
3b - In a fit of nostalgia I once bought a used Sun Sparc 20. Realised after I bought it that although it came with the CD of the OS, it had no CD reader. I checked the price of scsi readers and gave up. tried network booting but it was secured against that. No used it as a paperweight in the basement until i got the heart to get it recycled.
hmm, maybe a 3rd
3c) - bought everything to make a fancy mini-itx pc, with the idea of making a weird and wacky case to hide a silent media pc in. Never could decide what.