Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 23rd Aug 2012 12:48 UTC
In the News "We all know about the gadgets that get showered with constant praise - the icons, the segment leaders, and the game changers. Tech history will never forget the Altair 8800, the Walkman, the BlackBerry, and the iPhone. But people do forget - and quickly - about the devices that failed to change the world: the great ideas doomed by mediocre execution, the gadgets that arrived before the market was really ready, or the technologies that found their stride just as the world was pivoting to something else." I was a heavy user of BeOS, Zip drives, and MiniDisc (I was an MD user up until about 2 years ago). I'm starting to see a pattern here.
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RE[3]: Comment by drcouzelis
by Morgan on Fri 24th Aug 2012 19:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by drcouzelis"
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

Close enough! They were originally designed as a "web appliance" with no local storage, and sold as a loss-leader. When the hacking community inevitably turned them into full fledged computers by adding a laptop hard drive and scrounging up drivers for Windows 98, the company jacked the price up and tried to monetize the community's efforts while simultaneously sabotaging future revisions of the hardware against hacking potential.

I had picked up several of the units off of eBay around 1999-2000 for about $50 each and turned them into full fledged computers that I sold to friends at cost +$20 for the time invested. It made several of my poorer friends and coworkers happy that they could afford a second computer for the kids or a kitchen computer for the spouse, and I had a blast doing it. I kept one for myself, without any mods apart from installing a custom GNU/Linux OS on the 16MB internal storage chip, and used it as a thin client with Blackbox as the WM. I ended up giving that last one away to another friend when I lost interest in the platform.

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