Case's ET article on 10 failed tech trends

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,1906436,00.asp if you must know

So, on the issue of 64-bit computing, I’d just like to say… Dude, Mac and Linux have supported 64-bit computing for, like, a couple of years now? If you’re “waiting” for the 64-bit era, well, like the man says…

And oh yeah… Case, there WERE two standards for DVD: Remember DivX?

DVD won, DivX lost. The same thing will probably happen with HD v. Blu-Ray.

Yeah, and Gmail? Not only have I personally switched a ton of users to gmail from their AOL/Earthlink/Verizon/Hotmail/Misc. ISP accounts, but the service gave an enormous kick in the ass to the entire webmail niche.

Toss in simple POP access of your Gmail account, and the myriad new mail notification utilities, and I’m left scratching my head as to how it was a failure. I suppose it depends on your criteria. Clearly, Google wasn’t trying to take over the industry, or they would have moved it from invitation-only. Gmail certainly generated a ton of buzz in the tech community, and had tangentially positive effects on their stock value.

divx wasn’t a dvd standard. It was more of an add on to the standard which never took off. However you could watch regular dvd’s on a divx player.

I think the Gmail commentary is valid – I mean, from the buzz around Gmail, you’d it was going to completely change the way people used email. Hell, at one point Gmail invites were worth their proverbial weight in gold. Now, granted, it does change a few things (threaded conversations, people never deleting any email, etc.) but it didn’t revolutionize email. At least, not yet. It’ll be interesting to see if Google finds a way to revolutionize email and make money at the same time.

The DivX comment is a good point, though. I think DiVX (or whatever combination of annoying capitals it was) created enough confusion to stall DVD adoption for about a year. I know I didn’t buy a DVD player right away because I wasn’t sure what the deal was with different standards. A better example might have been the DVD+R vs. DVD-R debacle, which definitely slowed adoption of DVD writers. Now, of course, all the drives do both, since the end result was that consumers were just too damn confused to pick a winner (and the two were, for all intents and purposes, identical from an end-user perspective).

I like that ExtremeTech does do these thought pieces every now and then. It makes it very clear that, while I won’t always agree with what they have to say, they’re not just a bunch of guys sitting in the basement running benchmarks (or, rather, they don’t spend all their time sitting in the basement running benchmarks).

Remember, it was all in good fun.

DVD hardware shipped before DiVX existed (either type of DiVX – the evil one and the current compression algorithm).

I still almost never get Gmail messages ;-)

That article was the first time I even heard about the BTX form factor. I guess that proves Loyd’s point.

But why bother with high-quality digital audio? Just play analogue records instead! Infinite accuracy, down to the last atom. :)

I never got the hype around Gmail. To me, email was email and my ISP delivered it just fine. Why would I need Gmail? No one ever mentioned it in the same sentence with any positive reinforcement that mattered to me. In fact, all the posts for various “Free Gmail Invites!” were annoying enough to want me to avoid it on that alone.

Now, BTX was something I was following from the moment it hit the tech articles. I was sure that the system I just built was going to be a BTX setup by the way it was described. I mean, why wouldn’t a ‘better’ design be widely adopted? Wouldn’t it make sense? Er, I seemed to have forgotten about the market pressure and the trouble of getting everyone on board. Now, I doubt you’ll see a massive mainstream BTX movement for a couple of years, and ATX will still be the dominant player for a looooong while.

SLI was one of those things I think of as a nifty little feature to have as an option (hence the reason why I’ve a A8N-SLI Premium in my case) but I doubt I’d ever go with SLI. There’s just nothing that would benefit from it for me, at least right now. The further I get from my mobo decision, the more I’m leaning towards Case’s idea that simply upgrading the single card would make more sense. And I so wanted to join Club SLI. :( ;)

Of all the hyped tech articles, though, it has to be the old ‘digital home’ that makes me laugh every time I hear anything about it. The idea that masses of people will be trucking out to fill their home with tech gadgets just to have a ‘digital home’ is just too far-fetched. Sure, there will be enthusiasts that have already managed it, and, gradually, more regular ole folk will move towards it just by the nature of picking up new toys, but geeesh, I’m still using a 27" TV that I bought in '93, don’t bother with digital cable, only picked up a DVD PLAYER two years ago, and…well, etc, etc. Let’s just say that I’m resistant to ads pushing new tech I don’t need. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology, but I’m too practical to just pick up the latest and greatest for no purpose other than to own it. That’s one trend I’m glad to see included in C’s article.

Good read Case.

Re: SLI. I hate SLI. I hated it in the Voodoo days and I hate it today. You spend 2x as much for much less then 2x the performance incrase. Better just to wait a year and get a new card that rips the old “SLI” to shreads.

Re: Gmail. I switched over ot Gmail. It’s fast, simple and has huge storage. I can’t really ask for much else personally. I do hate the attachment restrictions on it though. Let me mail what I want damnit.

Re: High quality audio. I love it when audiophiles get their panties in a bunch over quality audio. Most people just don’t know or care about the extra fidelity. Hell the main audio I use for the PC is my laptop speakers.

Re: GMail. I use it as my main email service nowadays and all my different addresses are forwarded to it. I love it.

Very slick user interface, labels instead of folders, message threading, easy to define filters for incoming mail, lots of storage space, working spam filtering, good seach capabilities and accessible from everywhere with a web browser. What’s not to like? Maybe it didn’t “revolutionize” anything, but it sure has beaten the alternatives (although they are slowly catching up).

DVD vs. DivX isn’t the same as HD-DVD vs. Blue Ray.

DivX was a superset of DVD. It basically added one feature - a DRM system that was primarily designed for ‘disposable’ DVDs - you buy it for $4, instead of the prevailing $25 price at the time, but you can only watch it for 48 hours, then the DRM kills the DVD (though you could pay to re-watch it or permanently unlock it).

Despite the furor against it, it was a good idea to me, as the nearest DVD rental place was about 8 miles from our house at the time, so the idea of paying the same price as a rental, but to be able to start the viewing period at any time and not have to return the DVD was something I liked. I bought a DivX player late in the cycle, when Circuit City had them marked down to the same price (or a bit lower) than regular DVD players, and I got a bunch of free DivX DVDs with it. But then I never hooked up the phone cable to the player (too far from the outlet), and never used the feature.

But DivX would have never really rendered conventional DVD obsolete. It wasn’t an either/or choice like HD-DVD/Blu-Ray.

I know. I’m just funnin’ with you. Why else respond with an AppleGeeks cartoon? :)

That’s true, as is the comment that DivX was basically just a futzed DVD standard. But you couldn’t play one on the other, no matter how closely related they were. I can only think of one example in the whole history of A/V media where there weren’t at least two competing standards: The Compact Disc (although perhaps DAT was its competitor?). You had VHS vs. Beta vs. 8mm, you had cassettes vs. 8-tracks, you had 33 1/3 vs. 45 vs 78 rpm platters…

I never got the Gmail hype as a mail user, but then, I know what the hype really was about: It (and everything Google) was about applying search technology to create targeted advertising through many means, and Gmail is just another way of doing it. For advertisers and for Google, it’s a gold mine.

I never thought Gmail was going to “revolutionalize” the way we use email. But it did have enough features to give the other web-based mail services a kick in the pants, and it caused me to switch over. Until that point, I had always preferred using a dedicated mail client with a POP3 mail account.

gmail IS my primary account.

Google Talk, however, is shit. At least build in support for accounts from AIM and ICQ, eh? Gaim and trillian do it. You should too. I prefer google talk, but no way can I get all my AIM buddies to convert to it - because they’d have to convert their buddies, and their buddies, and… so it just doesn’t work.

That’s it! All Google is just a failed tech trend!

(Whistles and begins sharpening old fashioned lead pencil).

:D

(Where are my smilies???)

Hahahaha! That’s it!

I love the mentioning of SLI, especially considering where we met, Loyd… :) :) :)

(And good question… where be da smilies?) Not sure about this new bbs. Needs less eye candy and more simplicity if you ask me.)

(and why the heck am I a “Mad Chester?” I like being “Mad,” but had to look up what “Madchester” was and I still don’t know)

This may help, considering all the titles are music-related:

I was a late-comer to the whole “Mad chester” phenomenon back in the day (“the day” being the late-'80s and early-'90s), and no more than a casual fan, to be truthful. But I understood fully that what was transpiring in the city of Manchester was something exceptional, one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments when everything magically congeals and greatness abounds.

Oppressed by daily life in a northern England industrial town, tens (hundreds?) of thousands of young Mancunians found escape in the pulse of Chicago house music, the chemical bliss of Ecstasy and the communal rush of dancing into the wee hours at Anthony Wilson’s Hacienda Club. Out of this scene grew a slate of bands with a shared ideology, a distinctive look and a sound that – for a while, anyway – took the “alternative” world by storm: Stone Roses, Inspiral Carpets, Charlatans UK, New Fast Automatic Daffodils, James. (One could also supplement this list with dozens of other bands from around the UK that adopted the new style: Primal Scream, EMF, the Farm…)

No band epitomized Madchester more than Happy Mondays, and no album encapsulated the Madchester vibe like the Mondays’ classic Pills ‘N’ Thrills and Bellyaches. It made you happy. It made you “baggy.” It made you wanna dance, screw, get high or all three. It was as close to perfect as a record can be, and it captured a place and a time and an attitude as palpably as any album ever made.

From: http://www.thedailypage.com/going-out/music/news/managedit.php?intmusicnewsid=372

Just to maintain the topic:

That’s the type of stuff I hear about Gmail, but never get why it’s better than using Thunderbird with my local ISP. I receive mail, I send it, the amount of junk mail is limited and it’s organized and storage space isn’t an issue. I can access it anywhere I like (if I want to, but I haven’t bothered yet). Maybe I need to rely on email more for me to see the reasons for this sort of service.

My Gmail account gets a lot less email traffic, but that’s because I only give it out for person-to-person email and PBEM games, while my other account(s) are for mailing lists, evites, press releases, website signups, and everything else.

Speaking of PBEM games… cough

  • Alan

I gotta agree with Loyd on the 64-bit thing. Yeah yeah, Macs and Linux have 64-bit now, but I have a 64-bit CPU in my PC (with 32-bit Windows) and it’s pretty much the same thing as having 64-bit on a Mac or Linux. In other words: there’s just no difference. There are precious few 64-bit apps, and many of them aren’t really highly optimized enough to make a major difference. That’s pretty much the same situation as with 64-bit WinXP.

I call it a failure. It EXISTS, it’s just a failure.

BTW - that comic is hilarious. The idea that Mac’s don’t crash and hose your stuff is a RIOT. My mom’s Mac crashed (full-on Bomb mode crash) going to a web page once, and kept doing it every time we went until she downloaded 100+ megs of updates.