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50 Best Tech Products of All Time

Written By: Gary on April 6, 2007 No Comment

So PC World has a story on the Best 50 Tech products. Considering a few of the items in the list, I think few things are missing: Skype, one of the early pieces of ZIP/StuffIt software, maybe a Palm (or even Windows) cell phone, a TRS-80, the Sony WalkMan set standards for portable (choose your own) music players and I’m sure I’ll think of a few more later. Half of the software “tools” seem to be things to fix parts/utilities missing from the Windows OS. And there isn’t any software for creating web pages / FTPing files (from the era of Netscape and Eudora) or blocking spam. Should flickr or Google be considered a product? Amazon or eBay? Okay, so I’m getting ahead of myself, lets show the list.

Of the 50 I’ve bolded items owned/used (some were free or work owned for my use) and added comments to many items (even ones I don’t use):

  1. Netscape Navigator (1994) – Netscape and NCSA made the Internet (and Eudora), thanks!
  2. Apple II (1977) – I never owned one until years later when I got a deal on one.
  3. TiVo HDR110 (1999) – Early adoptor and I’ve added many converts
  4. Napster (1999)
  5. Lotus 1-2-3 for DOS (1983) – More of a VisaCalc/Excell user but they’re all great.
  6. Apple iPod (2001) – I waited for a color one with a big hard drive and spent the early adopter prices for it (now better ones are 1/2 the price).
  7. Hayes Smartmodem (1981) – I can’t be sure I actually had a Hayes, but I had one of the first generics if I didn’t (I’ve had so many modems, I can’t recall). Hayes changed computer communications IMHO.
  8. Motorola StarTAC (1996) – Several of these from several carriers and they were all awesome.
  9. WordPerfect 5.1 (1989) – I used it but I’m not proud, I think it’s awful
  10. Tetris (1985)
  11. Adobe Photoshop 3.0 (1994) – This has almost always been too complicated for any needs I’ve ever had.
  12. IBM ThinkPad 700C (1992)
  13. Atari VCS/2600 (1977) – I always wanted one of these (even years later) but I never had one.
  14. Apple Macintosh Plus (1986) – I was a late apple adaptor but I loved it. I still love Apple and I think I always will…
  15. RIM BlackBerry 857 (2000) – no interest in one of these ever
  16. 3dfx Voodoo3 (1999) – I don’t think I’ve ever had a machine with this card.
  17. Canon Digital Elph S100 (2000)
  18. Palm Pilot 1000 (1996) – I jumped on the palm bandwagon late but now I’m a fan
  19. id Software Doom (1993)
  20. Microsoft Windows 95 (1995) – I’m sure one of my work Machines ran this, I’m not sure if I ever owned a machine with it. I think I jumped from Windows 3.1 back to DOS and then to ME or 98 at home.
  21. Apple iTunes 4 (2003) – THE best/easiest way to shop for music on-line
  22. Nintendo Game Boy (1989)
  23. Iomega Zip Drive (1994) – These folks dominated the market. Everyone I know had one of these drives and then they just faded away…
  24. Spybot Search & Destroy (2000)
  25. Compaq Deskpro 386 (1986) – We sold these and I’ll always remember the customer that pronounced it Comp-A-Que and we had no idea what they were asking for.
  26. CompuServe (1982) – Had an account for a while, this was pre-Internet…
  27. Blizzard World of Warcraft (2004)
  28. Aldus PageMaker (1985) – I have never been a PageMaker fan.
  29. HP LaserJet 4L (1993)
  30. Apple Mac OS X (2001) – It just works! (generally)
  31. Nintendo Entertainment System (1985)
  32. Eudora (1988) – Probably one of the best e-mail clients ever, way way way before it’s time.
  33. Sony Handycam DCR-VX1000 (1995)
  34. Apple Airport Base Station (1999)
  35. Brøderbund The Print Shop (1984) – This was why people never wanted to get rid of their dot matrix printers (the pinfeed paper for banners).
  36. McAfee VirusScan (1990)
  37. Commodore Amiga 1000 (1985) – I always wanted one of these!
  38. ChipSoft TurboTax (1985) – I love tax software, it’s so worth the money
  39. Mirabilis ICQ (1996)
  40. Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16 (1992) – This was the standard for audio cards forever.
  41. Apple HyperCard (1987) – Best software ever! This was the premiere application using hyperlinks and (almost) had plug-ins and supported multimedia. Think linking and interactive pages (cards) of information and graphics all running on your computer (pre-internet)
  42. Epson MX-80 (1980) – These were one of the most durable dot matix printers ever.
  43. Central Point Software PC Tools (1985)
  44. Canon EOS Digital Rebel (2003) – I love this it feels like a real camera in my hands. It works like one too.
  45. Red Hat Linux (1994) – Awesome easy to use/maintain version of a free OS.
  46. Adaptec Easy CD Creator (1996) – I have/use various versions of it, but I’ll always love toast.
  47. PC-Talk (1982)
  48. Sony Mavica MVC-FD5 (1997) – The floppy disk cameras made it easy for everyone to get their photos off the camera. This was always my favorite camera to have schools use.
  49. Microsoft Excel (1985) – Excel is an awesome spreadsheet.
  50. Northgate OmniKey Ultra (1987)

Here’s a complete list for “printing” but I’m not sure if it’ll link properly (at the bottom of the page are just the items).

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