PC World’s “50 Best Tech Products of All Time” — how many have you used?

PC World 50 Best Tech Products

PC World has just published an article, “The 50 Best Tech Products of All Time” — a fun walk down memory lane. How many of the 50 products listed have you used? I’ve used the following…

  • Netscape Navigator (my preferred browser until IE 6.0)
  • Napster (sparingly)
  • Lotus 1-2-3 for DOS (I am a dinosaur)
  • Hayes Smartmodem (my first modem was 300 baud, and I remember getting my first 2400 baud modem — it was the first time data loaded faster than I could read it)
  • Motorola StarTAC (thanks to a past employer, before they sued me — long story)
  • WordPerfect 5.1 (funny how “show codes” looked a bit like HTML today)
  • Tetris (who hasn’t?)
  • Palm Pilot 1000 (I was an early adopter)
  • id Software Doom (idkfx, etc.)
  • Microsoft Windows 95 (“Start me up!”)
  • Nintendo Game Boy (see Tetris above)
  • Iomega Zip Drive (100MB seemed like so much back then)
  • CompuServe (my brother used the free hour we got without me being around, and I was so pissed off)
  • Blizzard World of Warcraft (me and my 8 million friends)
  • Aldus PageMaker (it was so impressive at the time)
  • Nintendo Entertainment System (so many hours wasted thanks to this device)
  • McAfee VirusScan (preferred by most employers)
  • Apple HyperCard (more powerful and advanced than most realize)
  • Epson MX-80 (love those dot crunching sounds)
  • Microsoft Excel (one of the best things to come out of Microsoft)

What are my three selections which didn’t make it on the list?

  1. Zork I: The Great Underground Empire
    In comparison to today’s games with intense graphics, this was a simple text-only game. It popularized the interactive fiction genre, and, thanks to the lack of graphics, is just as fun to play today as it was 20 years ago.
  2. Intellivision
    The gamesgames┬ástarted simple enough but grew into impressive releases that included Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, B-17 Bomber (with Intellivoice), and MLB Baseball (where we got so good, the pitcher made nearly every play, and you can “Old Spice” the ball).
  3. Borland’s Turbo Pascal
    My first real experience in real programming was with this incredible (for its time) programming environment. I even rewrote a BASIC-language game, 3 in 1 Football, into Turbo Pascal. I didn’t have a printer, and the football game was on a different computer in a different room, so I hand-wrote pseudocode on paper then recoded it from scratch in Pascal. Not bad for a 14-year old.

It’s always nice to look back at where we came from to appreciate where we are.

One thought on “PC World’s “50 Best Tech Products of All Time” — how many have you used?”

  • From your list.

    * Netscape Navigator
    – I used this browser because it was the one to use back in 1994.this is when I started to get into HTML/web design.

    * Motorola StarTAC
    – I bought this because I wanted to be cool too.

    * Iomega Zip Drive
    – Simply the best. This zip Drive thing was one of my favorite toys.

    * Blizzard World of Warcraft
    – Hello my name is Louis and I’m a WOW addict! I’m on the wagon now but with any wagon I can surely fall off.

    * Aldus PageMaker
    – I used this briefly. Wish I had more time with it since I wanted to get into DTP.

    I’m not sure they hit the right 50. There are a few things missing from “my” the Top 50 list.

    AOL (You cant deny it. this was the best service for a n00b)
    The Internet (Yeah, sure it not a product, but it is indeed the BIGGEST Tech thing around)
    Wordpress (The defacto blogging tool.It certainly changed the blogosphere)

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