Nine of the Biggest Mess Ups in Tech History

JeffDC

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I'd agree with Vista I still blame that OS for killing two hard drives, I just could not stop it from constantly indexing, no matter what I did my computer would just sit and consistently read from the HDD even when idle with indexing off. And it ran very slowly especially considering I had pretty much a top end machine at the time of release.
We fixed this on a Vista laptop by replacing the default Intel "enhanced" disk controller driver with an older and more standard driver. Enhanced my ass, the speed increase was drastic.
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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Zarathustra[H];1041190403 said:
I find your use of present tense to be disconcerting. :p

XP is EOL, and as such is no longer receiving security patches. It was never particularly secure to begin with, and unpatched it is likely a nightmare.

Continuing to use XP is a very bad idea, and likely just asking to be part of a botnet, or have your identity stolen.

I totally agree that using XP is a really bad idea, but you know, you can like make suggestions and stuff, but if people don't listen, whatever. It's their computer.
 

dark_reign

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The only significant thing I've noticed is a decrease in hard drive activity after doubling the usual 1GB. In Vista it's pretty significant, but 7 was never very crazy-face about using the drive a lot to begin with and it's less noticeable in that case.
My ASUS 1015PN netbook came with 1GB RAM and Win7 Starter but I upgraded to Win7 Home Premium and it was definitely more snappy after upgrading to 2GB. But it being a netbook you hit a wall with the limitations of a slow system bus, CPU and hard drive.

Anyhow, if 256MB was unreasonable and didn't work, it would have been a mega-bad world to live in when XP first came out and OEMs were shipping computers with about that much. I betcha people then were bragging about how fast their new PC was compared to their old one with 32MB and Windows 98SE as opposed to complaining that they needed 1GB just to have a usable system.
I can tell you that whenever we upgraded a Dell or HP system from 256MB to 512MB, it was much faster booting and snappier in XP. Some machines were mostly bloatware free and some were restored from the OEM disks full of bloatware.
 

Ryokurin

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Anyhow, if 256MB was unreasonable and didn't work, it would have been a mega-bad world to live in when XP first came out and OEMs were shipping computers with about that much. I betcha people then were bragging about how fast their new PC was compared to their old one with 32MB and Windows 98SE as opposed to complaining that they needed 1GB just to have a usable system.

A system running XP from 2001 is worlds different than a system running XP in 2004 after SP2 and I'm not talking about system specs. People forget, SP2 was basically a XP rewrite and several items that were in Gold/SP1 systems were disabled there were then turned on by default. 256 in 2001 was spacious. By 2004 it was pushing it. By 2008 (SP3) it was inadequate.
 

Ryokurin

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Since when? Much more was changed between SP2 and 3 compared to SP1 and 2.

You don't remember 2002/2003 do you? Slammer, Code Red, Melissa, UPnP, etc. Bill Gates and Jim Allchin started the Trustworthy Computing initiative and basically froze all Longhorn/Vista work so that security enhancements that was meant to go in to the new OS was backported to XP SP2. http://winsupersite.com/article/pro...-2-with-advanced-security-technologies-review

Not to mention, the main reason why SP3's fix list was so long was because it included 4+ years of fixes.
 

nessus

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You really haven't felt fear until you've seen MS Bob running as the shell on Windows 95...

Made me want to pluck my eyes out...
 

Zarathustra[H]

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You don't remember 2002/2003 do you? Slammer, Code Red, Melissa, UPnP, etc. Bill Gates and Jim Allchin started the Trustworthy Computing initiative and basically froze all Longhorn/Vista work so that security enhancements that was meant to go in to the new OS was backported to XP SP2. http://winsupersite.com/article/pro...-2-with-advanced-security-technologies-review

Not to mention, the main reason why SP3's fix list was so long was because it included 4+ years of fixes.

Towards the end of XP, I needed a quick windows install in a VM to test something.

I had an XP key kicking around I hadn't used for years, and found an old disk, not realizing it was a gold disk.

Getting from gold to current using windows update was fun...
 

SGA76

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I used it for a few hours. I couldn't deal with the constant BSOD's.

Windows ME would run fine for me for about 2 weeks at a time (all I did was game on it) then it'd start BSODing on me every 2-3 hours. After 6 months of reinstalling every 2 weeks I threw in the towel and went back to 98se.

There were 2 things I couldn't stand about Vista, one being the crazy long shutdown and update times, two being UAC prompting for EVERYTHING, including UAC prompting. It felt like the old 95/ 98 screens where "Windows has finished rebooting from installing updates and needs to reboot" messages happened.


As far as N64 went, it was one heck of a system. The controller was crazy, but once you got used to it it was amazing. What killed it for me was a lack of games at retail outlets. I didn't care it used cartridges, but Nintendo should have put the extra memory in straight from the get go and not made it an add on. They did the same thing with the Gamecube, add on add on add on....
Anyways, I didn't care for Goldeneye, but I did Quake with friends nearly non-stop with 4 player splitscreen. Those were the days...
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Anyways, I didn't care for Goldeneye, but I did Quake with friends nearly non-stop with 4 player splitscreen. Those were the days...

I tried playing Goldeneye with friends on the N64, but I was hopelessly used to having my own screen, and a mouse and keyboard, and could never adjust to a split screen and controller.
 

SGA76

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Zarathustra[H];1041191366 said:
I tried playing Goldeneye with friends on the N64, but I was hopelessly used to having my own screen, and a mouse and keyboard, and could never adjust to a split screen and controller.

I prefer PC gaming anymore, but back in the day being able to pick up a light console, 4 controllers and a few cartridges, stuff them into a duffel bag, then drag it out along with a couple of cases of beer and you were set for the weekend!
 

beowulf7

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Vista was by far the most overreaching tech mess up from this list of 9, in the sense that it affected the most number of users.
 

Kueller

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I'd put Windows ME or 8 over Vista.

Whoa crazy crazy.

ME did not function as an OS.
It was horrendously unstable just sitting on the desktop. Being more resource intensive than 98SE was just icing on the failcake. OC'ing with ME was a pain too. You could never really be sure whether you were crashing because of the OC or the OS during any extended stability testing.

Vista functioned, wasn't terribly unstable, and brought big performance improvements. Vista's downfall was that most 3rd parties didn't update their drivers, and of the few that did most did a shitty job.

8 likewise functions just fine, more stable, faster, and less resource intensive than 7. Some of the GUI changes were infuriating and disruptive to workflow, the underlying OS is perfectly good.
 

SGA76

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Whoa crazy crazy.

ME did not function as an OS.
It was horrendously unstable just sitting on the desktop. Being more resource intensive than 98SE was just icing on the failcake. OC'ing with ME was a pain too. You could never really be sure whether you were crashing because of the OC or the OS during any extended stability testing.

Vista functioned, wasn't terribly unstable, and brought big performance improvements. Vista's downfall was that most 3rd parties didn't update their drivers, and of the few that did most did a shitty job.

8 likewise functions just fine, more stable, faster, and less resource intensive than 7. Some of the GUI changes were infuriating and disruptive to workflow, the underlying OS is perfectly good.

I used ME, and as much as it ticked me off reinstalling twice a month, I managed to use it 6 months.
I couldn't use 8 for 6 hours (3 and I was ready to throw a brand new laptop out the window, had to load Linux to get a usable OS on it) before it was deleted and never touched again.
 

daglesj

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The other issue with Vista that cramped its style was PC vendors were still cheap-skating with 1GB ram machines rather than the 2GB recommended.

Decent enough OS, just that vendors and OEMs got lazy with the hiatus caused by XP.
 

MrGuvernment

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Funny how they diss carts, and yet everythign now is SSD / Memory modules for storage... Seem's Nintendo was ahead of the game... :)
 

ManofGod

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Xbox - lost billions, lost badly to PlayStation

Xbox 360 - RRoD, also lost billions, but its loses were hidden because the same division, Entertainment and Devices Division, received billions in Android licensing fees. Lost badly to the Wii.

Xbox One - PR disaster, inferior to PS4, and is already losing badly to the PS4.

Zune - another major failure

MSN Music - another failure, DRM

Games for Windows Live - stupendously awful, complete failure

Surface - lost billions, no one wanted them, and they spent almost as much advertising them as they cost to make, and still couldn't sell them.

Windows RT - complete failure, basically dead already.

Windows Phone - complete disaster, has fallen to 2.5% market share.

Windows 8 - complete PR disaster. The distaste most had for it on the desktop hurt desktop sales, while helping Google and Apple sell more tablets and smartphones.

Wow, you and JeffDC certainly have no problems with showing your biases. :rolleyes: Surface 2 working great, Lumia 925 with Windows Phone 8.1 working great, Windows 8.1 Pro on home and work machines working great, Xbox one working great, Xbox 360 working great, Xbox original still works but not really using it much anymore. (Still, it works great.)

No disasters in my hardware and software, must be something you are doing wrong?
 

Ponder

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In this instance I was referring mostly to malware removal and OS reinstalls. People constantly complained when I charged them the same for a netbook as a desktop. They couldn't understand that small and cheap didn't lessen the effort to remove all the shit they got on it but in most cases took far more effort because they things were so damn slow.

^^^ You should charge more since they are slow and require more time to fix. I did not dislike the formfactor, but the price just increased to the point their was little reason to buy one, especially when you combine it with the under-performance. I think one of the problems with direct consumer consulting is the difficulty of the consumer understanding that labor/time is valuable even if mass produced items are affordable. It does cause issues in many industries... where it is likely cheaper to replace an item than have a significant or even moderate repair.
 

BladeVenom

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No disasters in my hardware and software, must be something you are doing wrong?


Yes, most of them functioned when you turned them on, but I'm looking at market share and profits.

Your love of Microsoft doesn't change the fact that those products are still failures when it comes to profit, market share, and/or public relations.
 

ManofGod

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Yes, most of them functioned when you turned them on, but I'm looking at market share and profits.

Your love of Microsoft doesn't change the fact that those products are still failures when it comes to profit, market share, and/or public relations.

No, I just love the fact that all the products work together very well. :D Zune was a great product as well but ended up coming in towards the end of the stand alone music player popularity. If something is only a success only if it makes a profit or has hugh market share, then most things in all fields are failures.

However, a whole ecosystem is where things count, not how things stand all on their own.
 

heatlesssun

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Yes, most of them functioned when you turned them on, but I'm looking at market share and profits.

Your love of Microsoft doesn't change the fact that those products are still failures when it comes to profit, market share, and/or public relations.

I don't think most supporters of Microsoft don't recognize that Microsoft makes a lot of mistakes and certainly isn't raking in massive profits from all of their offerings. However, they do a number of things very, very well. So these zero sum arguments about a company that you're always talking about losing billions and billions of dollars rings hallow when that same company consistently posts billions in quarterly income and is currently sitting on $90 billion in cash.

And it's not like many Microsoft opponents see non-Microsoft products favorably even when they themselves are failures when it comes to profit, market share and/or public relations. We're into the second decade of "The Year of Desktop Linux." It's not to say that Linux is awful or not capable but just how many years does desktop Linux have to a market share smaller than Windows Phone, still in it's first decade, before anyone would claim Linux is a failure on the desktop. Instead some will say Linux is the #1 OS in the world because it runs on Android. So a bunch of touchscreen tablets and phones now constitute the #1 desktop OS in the world?

Then there's the reports of Chromebooks 67% growth and the Surface line reaching positive growth margins. Even though that 67% growth in Chromebooks will amount to only about 1% of PC sales. After how many years on the market? Microsoft will sell close to that many Surfaces and at much better gross margins. Of course the Surface has hight operating expenses and no one is dumping tons of ad money in promoting Chromebooks given the razor thin margins.

So the glass is half empty and half full.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I'd put Windows ME or 8 over Vista.

8 is a more mature OS than Vista. I don't care for the UI, but that is just a matter of preference. I would agree with that statement.

ME on the other hand was absolute junk. Bluescreens freezes crashes were non-stop. There was a reason I used Win98SE as long as I did.

Vista was a great leap forward. It's unfortunate it got as bad a reputation as it did. Most of the problems with Vista were not microsofts fault.

The OS itself was very solid, even on launch, the problems stemmed from:
  • OEM's shipped computers without enough RAM, and with GPU's too wimpy to use it properly.
  • Hardware vendors totally failing in rewriting their drivers for Vista. (got too lazy after XP was on the market for so long)
  • Software vendors doing a miserable job of updating their code to (also got too lazy after XP was on the market for too long)
  • UAC was a little bit hyperactive in its initial configuration.

That being said IMHO, the addition on UAC was one of the biggest leaps forward for Microsoft with Vista. Finally Windows got *nix style account management and permissions, and the security of the Windows platform has been MUCH better ever since.

I'd call Vista a great leap forward for the Windows platform that people outside of Microsoft simply were not ready for.
  • OEM PC vendors weren't ready to increase prices of their models to give them proper Aero support and enough RAM to run Vista well.
  • Hardware vendors weren't ready to rewrite their drivers and did a shitty job of it
  • Software vendors were too invested in their legacy code, and not ready to update it properly.
  • Users were too used to lack security, running their computers in administrative accounts, and not needing to grant access to elevate permissions.

What Vista suffered from was a collective foot dragging of PC OEM's, hardware manufacturers, software vendors and users, kind of sticking their fingers in their ears and saying *LALALALALALALALA* hoping Vista would go away, rather than embracing it.

If anything, what Microsoft deserves criticism for in the Vista launch was the failure to prepare the marketplace for it. If they had pushed PC OEM's, hardware and software vendors harder to comply with the inevitable next thing, the Vista legacy might have been a different one.

As far as leaps forward go, Vista's inclusion of UAC was a huge and important step for Microsoft, similar to how important of a step the inclusion of Protected memory mode in a consumer release was for XP.

While I hated Vista at the time, due to the user experience being crippled, I see it as a huge and important step for Microsoft, which eventually led to Windows 7, essentially Vista with a refined user interface, not saddled with negative early reputation.

Bashing Vista just is not a fair thing to do.
 

ZLoth

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And, look what happened. After Windows Vista, Microsoft started releasing preview editions of Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 so that vendors can check compatibility. The main thing that dogged Windows 8 is the TETRIS interface.
 

Soarin

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Don't agree with the cartridge bit about Nintendo at all. Rather still have them. Have had many of games stepped on by kids or what not because family members didn't put them away properly. Every single one still works to this day. Game discs? Fuck no they don't. Had to toss out so many of mine.
 

MrGuvernment

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Windows Phone, try checking world market share and not just U.S. WIndows Phones are huge in Central and South America, ahead of iPhone and 2nd to Android.
 
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