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The Worst Computers of All Time

Have you ever owned a computer that made you want to pull your hair out? Wondering if your computer would be on the top 10 list of worst computers of all time? You might be in luck. Chassis Plans, a rugged computer manufacturer, has created this interesting infographic outlining some of the worst computers of all time. From the Commodore VIC 20 to the Netbook, this visual takes you through some of the most loathed computers and the features that drove their owners mad. Name a computer problem and one of these computers probably had it. From slow processor speeds to computers that would turn on in the middle of the night to computers that would melt discs, the problems go on and on. Surprisingly some of these computers, despite their problems set records like “the first commercial computer to be used in space” or “the first personal computer to sell more than one million units.” Check out to the infographic to learn more. Enjoy!


The Worst Computers of All Time


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  • Bill Spees

    What happened to Packard-Bell? I expected between Packard-Bell and NEC, that at least seven of the top ten would have been sewed up.

    • mariux

      yep, just about anything made by packard-bell could be on this list.

    • Larry

      Well, I had the extended service from Best Buy, so they replaced the HD when it went up. I looked at it before I took it in, even called the HD OEM (forgotton who, just now). It was a special design just for P-B, and all the drives and documentation were shipped to P-B and forgotten about by the OEM. I want to say it was a 1GB HD made up of two 500MB drives electronically “glued” together. Whatever the final size was, it was two almost identical drives, that used two power plugs and I think two IDE plugs, but it looked like a single drive to the system. Best Buy replaced it with a regular HD and it continued to run just fine for years on Win95 and Win98.

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  • Stan Lippmann

    I vote for the Radio Shack TRS-80, tape drive usually didn’t work. Known as the “Trash-80″

  • Rodney

    You missed it with the netbooks. It’s light (2.3 pounds) and the batteries last for 6 hours. I can carry it all day and use it commuting on a train, etc. It runs Ubuntu, so I have loads of great software that’s compatible with my i7 desktop. My daughters each have a $200 netbook for school — their rich friends with Macs envy the light netbooks. And, unlike tablets, they have a real, albeit small, keyboard.

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  • WizardOfAhhs

    How about TRS80 Model II business computer. The only computer made that you could destroy the hardware from the keyboard. Just type in Out 254,0 and the main circuit board would fail.

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  • Technics

    Pretty sure the Grid Compass beat the Mac Portable into space by quite some margin and it was offered as a commercial product. But hey, I’m sure Wikipedia is more correct than actual history.

  • tw

    don’t know how the Vic20 is at the top of the list, It taught a lot of early programmers how to be efficient in their programs. and @ less then a tenth of the mac$$. It was a great start. also a million sold says something. Many other computers out there that could be considered much worse.

  • dantheman

    What about the TI Home Computer? I’m surprised no one mentioned it, unless no one here considered it a real computer! I would think at least if the Vic20 rated mention here, that the TI Home Computer would too!

    • Larry

      Hey, I had a TI-99/4A. It was great for the kids. TI’s problem was in trying to control the software market through cartridges. They were also the first company to get caught by the stricter FCC requirements for TV modulators, so they had to supply a color monitor at first instead of a modulator. It was a microprocessor based on their 16-bit minicomputer’s architecture, but they took some shortcuts, like an 8-bit memory bus for the 16-bit CPU, but their graphics beat many of their competitors at the time, just not their prices. Again, because of newer FCC emissions standards, their Peripheral Expansion Box was built like a pocket battleship, and even the expansion cards had pot-metal shields on them to cut down the RF emissions. It had an interesting architecture. I still have mine outside in the shed with my Amiga 500 and Amiga 2000.

    • Larry

      Because the TI-99 could run up to four modems, a lot of BBS used TI, especially some Ham Radio Operators, because of the lowered RF emissions, or so I gathered from some boards.

  • Jim Ford

    @Bill Spees, I had a Packard-Bell 60 MHz Pentium computer, and had no problems with the computer itself. Paid $2000 at Montgomery Ward (no longer in business, just like P-B) for the computer with monitor, speakers, and printer. Now the speakers and the printer were crap, but the computer itself worked fine for years. The printer was the “I-didn’t-know-they-made-printers” Bell & Howell black & white laser type. It suffered from toner-rhea, that is, after a few dozen pages printed fine, black spots would appear on subsequent pages. I’d have to open it up and clean out the inside of loose toner powder that would leak out of the toner cartridge. You can imagine what a mess that was, and it got old quickly, so I took it back to M-W for repair. Their method of repair was to replace it (clue right there), and I did that several times before giving up.

  • Ken Marsh

    Deciding on the ten worst is a true challenge. I mostly agree with the choices made. The TI99 belongs here. It limited pokes to 256 total. User programs only had access to graphics memory. The one computer I was sure someone would mention was the Timex/Sinclair computer or the Quantum leap both from Clive Sinclair. The Vic 20 was actualy usable. A 13 year old named David Simon using a Vic20 and a tape drive wrote a basic enhancement program for Commodore 64 which added 72 commands to the 64 and did it it 8k of ram!

  • Vintage Computers

    All the old 8-bit home computers listed (like the commodore & TI models) were still alot of fun, but nothing was as frustrating as spending hours typing in code and then saving the programs on data cassettes -then only finding out later that the cassette didnt save correctly or the tape later became demagnetized, corrupting the data. Upgrading to a 5″ Floppy drive was expensive but well worth it in the end.