Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

Summary: Amid the pending crash of the Nasa climate satellite from Earth's orbit, ZDNet takes a look at other gadgets, products and services that crashed and burned.

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  • Poor old Alan Sugar. Founder and chief of British firm Amstrad, he may have missed the boat on the email revolution.

    Released weeks after the millennium, the part-landline, part-email 'machine' cost £79.99 (nowadays, that would be £130, or $199), and an additional 12p ($0.20) to send each email. It was a total rip-off and difficult to use. Had it been released a few years before hand, it could have made a ton in sales.

    But while computers and modems were still expensive, the Em@iler was just late to the game.

  • Zip drives just never took off, let alone crash to the ground like a satellite falling from space.

    Iomega launched the mass-storage removable drive in 1994. The problem was is that it was hardly mass storage. It was for the time, at 100 MB, 250 MB and a whopping 750 MB. But a series of lawsuits and a class-action suit forced the company into giving out rebates on future products. 

    The problem was that the devices clicked and tweaked, and then rendered the data inaccessible. Millions were sold, but so many of them failed, rendering the Iomega name practically dead.

  • Windows Vista. *shudder*.

    After Windows XP, the world's most popular and used operating system, Microsoft needed a new challenge. It wanted to bring security and eye-candy to a world that had been under attack all but constantly, every minute of the day. The web was full of malware, and frankly Vista did not exactly help the problem. It wanted to, but it was too bogged down with its own internal bureaucracy -- called "User Account Control".

    But it broke too many hardware devices, and the security protection was nominal. It was slow and sluggish and sales plummeted. Until Windows 7 came out, many had suffered with the operating system, while many had reverted back to XP. The lucky ones hadn't upgraded at all. 

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Topics: Social Enterprise, Microsoft, Networking

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  • What other tech junk do you remember?

    If you remember a technology, product or service that flopped to Earth after crashing from orbit, <b>leave your thoughts below</b>.
    zwhittaker
  • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

    You can add SACD, DVD-Audio, the laser disc, HD-DVD to your list of crash and burn tech.
    Oh yeah almost forgot, the HP Touchpad.
    MG537-23482538203179240121698430309828
    • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

      @MG537

      + 1

      I also believe clunky Blu-Ray will be joining that list in a couple of years.
      ScorpioBlue
      • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

        @ScorpioBlue

        Surely. I can't stand the gorgeous image quality and it's only a matter of time before 1080p streaming is possible...
        peterseb80
  • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

    How about a real one?

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-07-13/esperance-will-never-forget-skylab-crash/1351410

    I wonder if it will land in Australia again.
    bannedagain
    • Falling Sat

      @bannedagain I hope it lands on Rupert Murdochs head, that would be ironic.
      ben.rattigan
      • I think you mean...

        @ben.rattigan ... that would be poetic justice. :)
        IslandBoy_77
  • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

    The security protection of Vista was certainly not nominal. It wasn't perfect (security never is), and was certainly annoying, but it was real and effective.
    CobraA1
    • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

      @CobraA1

      It was junk, but some of you die-hards refuse to give up.
      ScorpioBlue
      • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

        @ScorpioBlue Ditto to the die-hards who never gave it a chance after the first service pack.

        But hey, we have Windows 7 now, so Vista is the past. You believe what you like.
        CobraA1
      • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

        <i>Ditto to the die-hards who never gave it a chance after the first service pack.</i><br><br>By then it was too little too late. Some people weren't gonna wait around a fukking year for MS to at attempt to get it's act straight. Even MS couldn't run away from it fast enough. <br><br>Nope, you lost on that one. Even Jason Perlow and Zack don't agree with you so I doubt you're gonna change any minds about it at this point in time.<br><br><i>But hey, we have Windows 7 now, so Vista is the past. You believe what you like.</i><br><br>I will. And everytime you die-hards come on here defending this POS, I'll be right there to bring some truth to your corporate rip-off propaganda.
        ScorpioBlue
  • IBM's Micro Channel Architecture

    IBM's attempt to lock-out the clone makers was a major disaster. Rather than have the aftermarket card producers flock to the new IBM standard the so called "Gang Of 9" (AST Research, Compaq Computer, Epson, Hewlett-Packard, NEC, Olivetti, Tandy, WYSE and Zenith Data Systems) banded together to produce the EISA card slot which had the significant advantage of being backwardly compatible with the ISA card slot.
    Scubajrr
  • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

    What is with all the Microsoft hate? 3 items listed were Microsoft that should not have been on there. You should have listed linux since it never took off, corel linux crashed and burned. VA linux stocks crashed and burned. Tablets are on a plummet. 3D-Blu-ray players due to their outrageous prices.
    LoverockDavidson_-24231404894599612871915491754222
    • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

      @LoverockDavidson_

      Flagged for trolling. No wonder you changed your name.
      ScorpioBlue
  • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

    I like my netbook it serves my purpose as a computer I can take it on holiday with me.<br>I go camping with a bicycle and the netbook fits in my camera bag along with the Pentax and several lenses, a larger computer will not.<br>when I go to the pub at night I can transfer the photos to the netbook using Shotwell and do some image manipulation.<br>The netbook was intended for someone who needed a computer when a larger one is not an option,I find my netbook serves me well in that respect.
    johnhgy@...
    • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

      @johnhgy@...
      I too love my netbook. It does everything I want it to beautifully.

      Instead of saying "crashed to earth, I'd say it came down to a smooth landing. Certainly, it's not the high flier it use to be. Tablets have taken over most of its niche. But there are some things tablets simply don't do well that a netbook does better.
      mheartwood
  • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

    I love my Zune, yes it's not an ipod, and the accessories aren't out there for it, but the player works very well. The fact that it doesn't work with iTunes is actually a plus as that is one of the absolute worst media software programs out there and the only reason people use it is because the iXXXX products require it, not because it's such a great product.
    BrewmanNH
    • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

      @BrewmanNH
      I own no Apple hardware at all and yet I manage my entire library in iTunes. It's really great software if you ever tried it (did you?). Have you tried to manage a +50GB music library in windows media player? It's nearly impossible, THAT's a piece of junk software...
      belli_bettens@...
  • How about the ZX-80?

    If you trundle a bit further back into tech history, the ground is fair littered with tech-junk. I had a ZX-81, but remember the white-elephant that almost choked Sinclair, the ZX-80. And how about the last from the Sinclair stable (albeit by Miles Gordon who bought out the failed Sinclair), the Sam Coupe? It was well ahead of PCs of the day, but was just too little, too late. Cost me NZ$2,000, sold for $900-odd a year or so later. Twin 3.5" FDDs, 512kb expansion pack - all it was missing was a hard drive.
    IslandBoy_77
  • RE: Falling Debris: Tech devices that crashed to Earth

    And RealPlayer is the only player that seems to play Shockwave Flash video (.swf) reliably (even VLC crashes all the time).
    smayer97@...