10 Worst Tech Products
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Thread: 10 Worst Tech Products

  1. #1
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    10 Worst Tech Products

    This may amuse.............. please feel free to suggest your own candidates for the list

    http://crave.cnet.co.uk/software/0,3...9293700,00.htm
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  2. #2
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    Ahh haha the video for Barcode Battler was great and #9 and #10 are just classic.

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    Senior Member Boogymantroy's Avatar
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    OMG that was hilarious. I with you Oofki. 9 and 10 close out that deal rather appropriately.

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    Senior Member isildur's Avatar
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    I had the hockey puck Apple mouse. It was a real PITA. On top of the problems listed, the rubber ball wasn't perfectly round and collected crud faster than any lint brush I have found.
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  5. #5
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    I'll probably be the only one who disagrees with a decent amount of this list.

    The Barcode Battler just came up for discussion the other day around the office and a couple of us were talking about what a cool concept it was. I had one for years... I loved it... I think the problem with the comments (and the video review) is that they are wrong... The Barcode Battler wasn't meant to compete with Gameboy and Game Gear. If I remember correctly my Gameboy was well over $100 and my Barcode Battler was like $30.

    It was cool for the same reason that people like RISK or D&D. It was a turn based dice game in electronic form. Something that interested a lot of people... especially people with a geek background... (since generally those are the people that turn based dice games appeal to). There was no need for fancy graphics, or anything else... you just had fun with it.

    The example in the video was pretty pathetic and my bet is that he removed the instructions simple to attempt to make a humorous video. As for most barcodes not working... I saved them off everything... I would say that 95% of my collected barcodes worked in one way, shape or form... The first barcode that he had an issue with may not have been a hero barcode, it could have been a bad guy or even a special item.


    Other issues:

    Vista is not a terrible tech product... and it is only the uninformed and generally those lacking knowledge that feel it is. It took 6 years because there was a lot of rewriting and in that time a new initiative was introduced so a lot of code had to be revisited. As for UAC... as someone with a Vista PC, a Mac Mini and a Ubuntu Laptop... I don't get how people whine about UAC in Vista... I'm guessing most people that complain have never used Ubuntu or OS X. Does it have it's problems... sure... every new product does... It's still a massive improvement over most of what Microsoft has released in the past. Is there a campaign around saving XP.. yep... but I remember people fighting to keep Windows 98... and Windows 2000 and I remember massive hysteria about how bad XP was when it was released... The net is much more common now, everyone is using it and online media is huge... that's the only reason the Save XP compaign exists. The goal of the campaign is to have XP sales continued past (june|july)(whichever it is)... I doubt anyone on that petition plans on buying a copy of Windows XP at this point.

    The sony rootkit... as marketing disaster?? Yep... a technological mistake... yep... One of the top 10 terrible "tech products" of all time??? Not even close...

    This is a prime example of the media picking things that people will immediately latch onto and feel familiarity with (which previous posts in this thread have demonstrated)... They aren't items that belong on the list.. Other examples are the Atari Jaguar (it was poorly marketed... but not necessarily a bad tech product) and tamagotchi... as they mentioned it made mad money and was extremely popular... adding it to the list on the basis of being annoying... purely adding a product that they figure readers will be familiar with.

    Even an MP3 player doesn't belong up there, regardless of quality... it's an appeal to the mass market... and it's a shame every time it occurs in "journalism"


    If they wanted true tech flops... There were plenty to chose from:
    -- TV Tuner for the Game Gear (most people don't even realize they existed)
    -- "Ghetto Blasters"/Boomboxes with built in 3" BW TVs
    -- R.O.B. for NES
    -- The Mini Disc Walkman
    -- Teddy Ruxpin (there was good and bad here... but the 2nd version Teddy was awful)
    -- Logitech Harmony Remote (Any remote that costs over $100 is bad enough, but when you can get over $400 theres' a real problem)
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    I had the hockey puck Apple mouse. It was a real PITA. On top of the problems listed, the rubber ball wasn't perfectly round and collected crud faster than any lint brush I have found.
    Im surprised Newton wasn't listed.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Well, the article was supposed to be humourous.

    Actually if you look at a lot of the items the problem was market research and marketing, coupled with superior (albeit more expensive) products competing in what was perceived to the same market.

    1. Sinclair C5. The battery technology wasn't there and just where in hell are you supposed to use the thing............ a 15MPH vehicle on a public highway is a road traffic hazard.............. on the sidewalk?............. illegal...........

    2. Barcode Battler. That was a marketing cockup. At the time the concept of barcode driven games was all the rage in Japan, and I believe that it was very successful over there. It bombed Worldwide because it was set up as an alternative to superior technology with a much wider variety of games.

    Technologically it was no worse than a plethora of other cheap handhelds that were on the market at the time.

    3. Sony Rootkit. That was a major technological and corporate strategy error. I rate that very high up the list due to the damage that it did............. with a lesser organisation than Sony, it would probably have put them out of business

    4. Vista. Not a particularly terrible technical product. The problems were very much how MS brought it to the marketplace.

    5. Atari Jaguar. Yes, that was technologically poor because it was difficult to write stuff for (hence not many titles, and that is the kiss of death in that market) and seems rather cumbersome to operate, which would also put consumers off.

    6. Tamagochi. I guess that has only been included because of the annoyance value and total uselessness of the product. Commercially it was mega............... probably along the lines of Rubik's Cube?

    Incidentally, anyone want to buy a pet rock? (batteries not included)

    7. The MP3 player is there because it is a total POS. It is a cross between a media player and an SD card reader, and, apparently, it does neither particularly well. I wouldn't have included it in the list though, because the technology isn't innovative or unique enough (there are plenty of good products on the market). Hey, just because something is cheap and nasty doesn't make it a technological disaster............ unless you happen to have bought one

    -- "Ghetto Blasters"/Boomboxes with built in 3" BW TVs. Well I wouldn't want one myself, but I can see an application for portable entertainment centres. I feel that those older devices are pretty much obsolete now though. If you are travelling and just want to catch the game, they could be quite useful.

    Over here there is the added consideration that they are battery powered, and the screens tend to be a bit larger. You don't need an additional TV licence for them........... and that's >$250 a year!

    -- R.O.B. for NES. I (and the financial community) don't agree with that. It was actually a pure marketing exercise to get penetration into the US market, and was highly successful. I guess it doesn't really belong in this discussion for that reason?

    -- The Mini Disc Walkman. I don't see what makes those a "worst tech product"............. overpriced perhaps?

    -- Logitech Harmony Remote (Any remote that costs over $100 is bad enough, but when you can get over $400 theres' a real problem)

    Only if you can't afford one. If you are going to use that criterion then you would have to include Mercedes Benz, BMW and Porsche in your list?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nihil
    2. Barcode Battler. That was a marketing cockup. At the time the concept of barcode driven games was all the rage in Japan, and I believe that it was very successful over there. It bombed Worldwide because it was set up as an alternative to superior technology with a much wider variety of games.

    Technologically it was no worse than a plethora of other cheap handhelds that were on the market at the time.
    I don't know that it necessarily bombed here... everyone I knew had one. People I work with all had them growing up as well.

    3. Sony Rootkit. That was a major technological and corporate strategy error. I rate that very high up the list due to the damage that it did............. with a lesser organisation than Sony, it would probably have put them out of business
    It was necessarily a technological error... software that hides files.. not quite a technological error... Malicious, a marketing error and a corporate strategy error yes... a technical error... not so much.

    4. Vista. Not a particularly terrible technical product. The problems were very much how MS brought it to the marketplace.
    At least we agree on one

    6. Tamagochi. I guess that has only been included because of the annoyance value and total uselessness of the product. Commercially it was mega............... probably along the lines of Rubik's Cube?

    Incidentally, anyone want to buy a pet rock? (batteries not included)
    You can't call something a terrible tech product simply because it annoyed people outside of it's target audience. If so then Guitar Hero should be on the list... because it annoys the hell out of myself and most other actual guitarists that I know... but it's not targeted at us... it's targeted at those who are too incompetent to play guitar and want to still feel like they are able to.


    -- "Ghetto Blasters"/Boomboxes with built in 3" BW TVs. Well I wouldn't want one myself, but I can see an application for portable entertainment centres. I feel that those older devices are pretty much obsolete now though. If you are travelling and just want to catch the game, they could be quite useful.

    Over here there is the added consideration that they are battery powered, and the screens tend to be a bit larger. You don't need an additional TV licence for them........... and that's >$250 a year!
    Here's the problem though.. you don't catch anything... you generally got one, maybe two channels... there's very little TV to be watched if you are only picking it up with an antennae and most of them had bad reception, so getting even one channel could be a chore.


    -- R.O.B. for NES. I (and the financial community) don't agree with that. It was actually a pure marketing exercise to get penetration into the US market, and was highly successful. I guess it doesn't really belong in this discussion for that reason?
    Just because it sold well, doesn't get it out of this category... It did help sell a few NES. The difference between this and tamagotchi is that tamagotchi worked... R.O.B. was really just a "coolness factor", technologically it was a bomb.

    -- The Mini Disc Walkman. I don't see what makes those a "worst tech product"............. overpriced perhaps?
    The mini disc in generally was a failed tech product in my mind... but the ability to go portable... even bigger.

    -- Logitech Harmony Remote (Any remote that costs over $100 is bad enough, but when you can get over $400 theres' a real problem)

    Only if you can't afford one. If you are going to use that criterion then you would have to include Mercedes Benz, BMW and Porsche in your list?
    Perhaps I explained this incorrectly... The remote is difficult to program, randomly stops working and has a slew of other problems... a buddy of mine has several (due to his roommate working for the Harmony division) and they refuse to use them... They are designed to appeal to the "I'm rich and need things of importance" people... but they are awful, awful products.
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  9. #9
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Well, the site that I linked to is a UK one, so you will get a European perspective. Barcode Battler never did anything over here.

    It was necessarily a technological error... software that hides files.. not quite a technological error... Malicious, a marketing error and a corporate strategy error yes... a technical error... not so much.
    I consider the design, production, and performance of computer software to be technology considerations. This stuff was exploitable which was the error. That, combined with the fact that Sony BMG didn't test it properly........ which is a fundamental element of all the software development methodologies that I am aware of

    You can't call something a terrible tech product simply because it annoyed people outside of it's target audience.
    Actually that was my point. It performed to specification and achieved its objective, which was making money. It should not have been included in the list.

    Here's the problem though.. you don't catch anything... you generally got one, maybe two channels... there's very little TV to be watched if you are only picking it up with an antennae and most of them had bad reception, so getting even one channel could be a chore.
    Ah! I think I have worked this one out.................... the UK uses a different broadcasting system, and our transmitters are quite close together.

    Just because it sold well, doesn't get it out of this category... It did help sell a few NES. The difference between this and tamagotchi is that tamagotchi worked... R.O.B. was really just a "coolness factor", technologically it was a bomb.
    It was intended to get Nintendo into the US market following the video game collapse of the early '80's. It worked because stores would stock a "robot toy" rather than a video game. As far as I am aware the actual device functioned as it was designed to, just like the Tamagotchi?

    Yes, it has occurred to me that the marketing strategy bit might just be 20/20 superior hindsight on the part of Nintendo to BS their stockholders

    The mini disc in generally was a failed tech product in my mind... but the ability to go portable... even bigger.
    Sorry, I don't understand what the technological issues are? Do the things actually work, or is it one of those "too late to market" things?

    The remote is difficult to program, randomly stops working and has a slew of other problems... a buddy of mine has several (due to his roommate working for the Harmony division)
    That surprises me, as I have generally found Logitech stuff to be pretty functional and reliable. At the risk of sounding cynical, it would not be the first time that I have heard of companies giving or selling rubbish product that they can't retail to their staff

    I can't help wondering if any of them perform 100%?
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  10. #10
    Disgruntled Postal Worker fourdc's Avatar
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    My worst product would be the Commodore Plus4. After the success of the C64, Commodore released a computer with 64K of ram and a built in office suite, (spreadsheet, word processor, database and a graphics program).
    I bought one at top dollar and then found out it wouldn't run any of the C64 programs. What a POS!
    ddddc

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