Bitch all you want about the computer you're using now, about how it's short on RAM and infected with spyware and Windows Vista, but that machine stands on the shoulders of giants. Retarded giants.
What we're trying to say is that in order to get you the machine that functions at the level it does, the PC industry went through many, many horrible designs and ill-conceived products. So you can bitch about the cheap Gateway laptop you've been using for five years, but at least it's not...
5The 3com Audrey (2000)
A good sign that something unfortunate is afoot at your technology company is when someone proposes naming your new computer after a dead actress. Say Audrey Hepburn for instance. Also cause for concern is when they decide to market it as an Internet appliance instead of a computer, as Internet appliance sounds a bit like a dildo that checks your stocks for you.
Launched in 2000, the makers of the Audrey designed their tool specifically for the kitchen and to do far, far less than a normal PC would do, because trendy, on the go internet users of the new millennium had no time to walk back to the living room or bedroom, they needed to see what eBay had to offer while they frosted their toaster strudel.
"And after the frosting, we'll search Craigslist for some sexually creative serving suggestions!"
In an attempt to make the Audrey unique, which is marketing talk for "incompatible with anything and grossly inconvenient to use" the Audrey came in such technologically exciting shades as "linen" and "sunshine." It had a whopping eight-inch screen--probably enough to read the first half of this sentence--and subscribers got to have access to "channels" specifically designed and optimized for the Tiny Tim-sized screen.
As a fun bonus, channels could be changed by turning a knob, kind of the same way you do on your TV, if you haven't bought a TV since the 1970s.
Look, you can see what was going on here. Somebody at 3Com said, "Let's design a computer for 'the kitchen'" using air quotes to mark the last two words, with everyone in the room knowing that it meant "for women."
"So what do computer users in 'the kitchen' want? A computer seemingly designed for a toddler, that's what! Without all those scary buttons and programs to boggle their simple, woman minds!"
Dismayed that the world was not in fact populated by housewives from 1955 sitcoms, the $500 device was yanked from shelves less than a year after it debuted.