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Author Topic: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com  (Read 7999 times)

jazper

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The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« on: May 26, 2006, 11:41:36 AM »
Interesting list here...


Quote
At PC World, we spend most of our time talking about products that make your life easier or your work more productive. But it's the lousy ones that linger in our memory long after their shrinkwrap has shriveled, and that make tech editors cry out, "What have I done to deserve this?"

Still, even the worst products deserve recognition (or deprecation). So as we put together our list of World Class winners for 2006, we decided also to spotlight the 25 worst tech products that have been released since PC World began publishing nearly a quarter-century ago.

http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,125772,00.asp

mouser

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2006, 01:06:30 PM »
great idea  ;D

but:
i really take issue with some of the things on that list, and i always take pc world with a big grain of salt.  even if you dont love internet explorer 6 and realplayer, to consider those 2 part of the top ten worst tech products of all time is assinine.   :down: bad job pc world, lazy  :down:
« Last Edit: May 26, 2006, 01:08:01 PM by mouser »

jazper

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2006, 01:41:13 PM »
Well, definately IE6 doesn't belong on that list. If FireFox or Opera got the exposure IE does, I'm pretty sure you would see alot more flaws in them, and IE6 wouldn't be on that list.  I thought IE6 was/is a fine browser, and now with IE7...seems to be even better. I do currently use FF, but mainly for the tabbed browsing. I'm looking forward to IE7 once released.  As for Real player, i've just never been a big fan of them, so I can't really comment on them. I've only used Real Player when I've absolutely needed to.




app103

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2006, 01:44:56 PM »
To consider WinME worse than Sony's rootkit is insane...to consider WinME worse than MS Bob is insane.

To put AOL at the top of the list is also insane.

This list is rather insulting to me, almost personally.  :down:  :mad:

mouser

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2006, 01:47:14 PM »
agree, it sounds like they just had lunch and whenever someone complained about a program they added it to the list. stupid.  they didn't seem to put any effort at all into differentiating between truly horrible stuff and stuff they could think up off the top of their head.

jgpaiva

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2006, 02:10:31 PM »
I think there are some pretty bad stuff in that list. But i surelly wouldn't consider most of them "the worst tech products", there are much worse peices out there. (take for example the nasty "gator", which isn't even featured there, although that's arguable, as gator does do exactlly what it was designed to :S)

As for real player, i surelly wouldn't consider it a bad product. Maybe it's true that there isn't any need for the format itself (although it's a bit superior to microsoft's wmv), but the player sure is great. Apart from always placing a damn process in the startup list, the player is much better than windows media player, at least for DVD's. (it was the only one which allowed me to go over a bug that made DVD's display in a very small size on my computer).

I think i support the previous statements. This looks like a list that someone came up with out of 10 minutes of rant thinking.

mouser

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2006, 03:05:10 PM »
i get a bit defensive about realplayer - because they virtually pioneered mainstream low-bandwidth audio/video.  the big cites serving up audio and video (like c-span.org) were all built off of realplayer.  their tech achievement is substantial.  to label them one of the worst is ignorant.  it would be more appropriate to give them an award for their tech accomplishments.  as we speak there are some viable alternatives to realplayer - and there are some annoyances with the player, but that's another matter.

f0dder

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2006, 03:19:36 PM »
I've always been hateful towards realplayer - it's too intrusive, the player always felt bloated to me, and I hate having to install "yet another player". Not to mention that, unless you use shady software, real media is only playable in their player.

And WinMe surely does belong on the list, too. I know it's worked fine for some people, and those will never understand the animosity other have for WinMe. But well, having to roll back some 30 school computers to win98se does say something about the stability for the masses...

The list does seem like it's been thrown together in a lunch break though, and it's order isn't very realistic either :)
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koncool

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2006, 04:17:38 PM »
Hmm I kind of agree with f0dder, WinME was really nasty back then... And I when I really thought that it was my beta not being stable/having driver problems/etc, soon I realised that the RTM product wasn't any better :tellme:

JavaJones

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2006, 05:19:38 PM »
Hmm, I think the list catalogs combinations of success/notoriety vs. poor technology/bad business practices. In other words "stuff that should never have been a success". Maybe the name of the list is just wrong. ;) I mean yes we can all agree there have been worse "tech products" - any genuine spyware qualifies admirably. But I think I get what they're aiming for here and given that I don't think the list is that bad. Sure it's a bit knee-jerk and based on "one side of the story", but I think there's a reason AOL and RealPlayer have the reputations that they do. They earned them. And the article goes into specific reasons why, which I think are pretty much all valid.

They do also give a bit of "credit where it's due": "To be fair, RealNetworks deserves credit for offering a free media player and for hanging in there against Microsoft's relentless onslaught. We appreciate the fact that there's an alternative to Windows Media Player; we just wish it were a better one." or "To its credit, Me introduced features later made popular by Windows XP, such as system restore. Unfortunately, it could also restore files you never wanted to see again, like viruses that you'd just deleted." Even though it's a bit of a booby prize. ;) They even acknowledge exactly what Jazper pointed out - IE's vulnerabilities are so well-known in part because of its popularity.

I do think the article is a bit heavy on the mindless MS bashing and that probably exposes the true mindset and perspective of the authors. But hyperbole notwithstanding their list is again not that far off IMO, given the right criteria at least. What I mean by that is for example AOL being above Bob - well, AOL had more success and a wider reach, so if it is to be considered a "worst tech product" it is worse by the fact that it succeeded more. That seems to be the general approach they're taking and I don't really disagree with it. Perhaps the list could have been named "The 25 tech products that were most succesful in spite of themselves" or something. :D

It does seem like they're scraping the barrel for good ones after the top 10 though - maybe some of those could have been replaced with more notables like Gator. Then again it seems like they're trying at the same time to back up their "25 years covering the PC industry" claim by putting some of the older stuff on there.

Btw re: RealPlayer and its "accomplishments" - remember that they're targetting RealPlayer, not the format and not the company. ;) Yes Real pioneered some good streaming video/audio tech. But the player was always awful and the fact that it was proprietary was part of its big problem. So even though the tech may have been great, it was tied to something that wasn't great, just like so many other company's products. Ultimately a mixed bag at best. Fortunately you don't need RealPlayer to play Real content these days.

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Rover

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2006, 11:26:49 PM »
PCWorld - Worst PC Mag of the last 25 years   :P

Seriously, I think with a few minutes research, most geeks could create a better list.
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mouser

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2006, 11:28:04 PM »
Quote
PCWorld - Worst PC Mag of the last 25 years   


 ;D ;D ;D

mouser

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2006, 11:31:32 PM »
ok let's have some fun - lets work together to put together a new list:

25 Worst Magazine Tech Awards of All Time

(all starring PC World)

then we can make a page of it.
start with Rovers:
1. Worst PC Mag of the last 25 Years: PC World.

i'll add mine:
2. Worst Tech. article of the last 25 Years: PC World's "25 Worst Tech Products of All Time"

ok 23 left to go.

Rover

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2006, 11:53:56 PM »
3. PC World Review of any OS.
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zridling

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2006, 01:41:54 AM »
Have to agree: PCWorld's Dan Tynan must not have been around during all those 'bad' products. Iomega's ZIP drive kicked butt for a short time, and served as a bridge between the 3.5 Floppy and CD. And when I worked as a security guard years ago, I spent my graveyard shifts surfing using PointCast, which was a lot of fun (until the place got robbed).

But I wouldn't blame PointCast for the robbery. That's going too far!  :P

mouser

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2006, 02:24:23 AM »
again zip drive - maybe not the greatest thing in the world, but it was the bees knees for a while and of all the removable media failures, there are sooooo many horribly worse ones it's not even funny.

app103

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2006, 02:48:51 AM »
4. Worst downloads section, housing old obsolete versions of software that could have been updated at least once during the last 25 years.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2006, 02:53:31 AM by app103 »

Josh

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2006, 07:59:18 AM »
How about the old magento-optical drives? Anyone remember these? They were really big when the CD-R first came about because they offered a CD-RW type solution.

Also, how about the CYRIX processor ;-)

Also, in case anyone wants it, a PDF version of this article.

http://crosscut.whaddu.com/25Worst.pdf
« Last Edit: May 27, 2006, 08:02:33 AM by Josh »

masu

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2006, 11:42:28 AM »
They forgot the new BTW Standard, which still is behind ATX format.
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f0dder

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2006, 11:53:31 AM »
They forgot the new BTW Standard, which still is behind ATX format.
The BTX standard seems pretty nice, though. It really does allow for much better airflow in your PC casing, ultimately leading to quieter computers. As if Dell machines weren't already quiet, you should hear (or not :P) a BTX based Dell machine.
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masu

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2006, 11:58:52 AM »
Think BTX is currently just attractive for the OEM market. For private consumer ATX is still state of the Art. And you can also build up a really quiete ATX system  :Thmbsup:
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f0dder

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2006, 12:04:29 PM »
Think BTX is currently just attractive for the OEM market. For private consumer ATX is still state of the Art. And you can also build up a really quiete ATX system  :Thmbsup:
Sure, there's not many BTX casings and motherboards out yet - that will change, though. And yes, you can build quiet ATX systems, BTX just makes it easier (and, when it's an established platform, cheaper).
- carpe noctem

zridling

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Re: The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time - PCWorld.com
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2006, 04:18:22 PM »
What this list doesn't include are DOS apps, which many of us were weaned on in the 80s. Anyone remember some of those disasters, like 'Stacker'? And why no mention of WordPerfect 5.1 for Windows? At one point, Norton Utilities finally got so bad it was declared a virus in some circles!