“The 5 Most Ridiculously Awful Computers Ever Made”

I had a Coleco ADAM when I was a child, so I knew it was going to be on this list. Amazingly, Cracked found three computers even more ill-conceived than the one I hooked up to my ColecoVision. (To be fair, I was probably the only ADAM owner who never had any of his tapes erased.)
The only computer in my elementary school circa 1983 was a Timex Sinclair 1000. Seriously.

6 thoughts on ““The 5 Most Ridiculously Awful Computers Ever Made”

  1. real conservative says:

    I was probably one of the first people in Canada to own a Timex sinclair actually. Mine was a kit ordered from California and had a different name that I don’t even remember. It cost more than $100 and was probably closer to $200. It had the rock solid ground breaking Z80 8 bit processor in it though. Memory was very limited and the biggest problem was trying to store programs onto tape via a self rigged cassette recorder. The recording was problematic and so was importing programs back into the computer. Books, magazines were published with programs, up to a hundred lines of code that could be run on the machine. Also, a black and white TV was used as a monitor as the output was converted to VHF for this purpose. Back then dedicated monitors and tape drives were prohibitively expensive. We jury rigged a separate power supply and hardwired and separate keyboard from a computer terminal which greatly improved over the tactile crappy keyboard with the unit. Believe it or not some of the programs were actually useful, but alas in the end the tape storage of programs was the big problem. It makes a grown man cry to type a hundred lines of carefully rendered code only to not see it saved. I think after that machine I wasn’t convinced of the practicality of the home computer and never really got interested in coding thereafter. (real conservative)

  2. Catelli says:

    Our ADAM was still running up to 3 years ago. My dad used it as his typewriter.
    And none of my tapes were ever erased…
    I look back at my ADAM days with a certain degree of fondness.
    Buck Rogers!

  3. Hal says:

    Almost bought an Adam (I liked the idea that it was self-contained – with everything needed to write, save and print documents). Instead I waited a bit and bought an IBM PCjr. 128k memory (expandable to 512k), one disk drive, no hard drive. But it had 16 colours, a dedicated sound chip, an infrared keyboard, two joysticks and a slot for ROM cartridges (Lotus 123 ran on a ROM cartridge). Third party companies eventually supplied add-on disk drives, memory and hard disks. Altogether a very strange mixture of backward thinking and advanced technology.

  4. Davide says:

    Hmmmmm.
    The IBM PC Jr was the worst computer of all of them by far.
    DEC made a horrific computer named the Rainbow. Then they split the company into multiple divisions and operated each as an independant profit center and the hardware guys figured they could win by not releasing any specs to the software guys. That worked well for them, lol.

  5. Bruce Rheinstein says:

    “Worst computer” is a rather crowded category, but you have to take into account both price and when it was produced.
    For example, the Times Sinclair was programmable in Basic, and in it’s most stripped-down mode was usable primarily to introduce kids to programming. But given the alternatives in 1982, PDP 8s and 10s, or Apple IIs and TRS 80s, it was a great price and it worked.
    I would have added the 1988 Oliveti PC1, which started at $639 and was pretty useless. It’s also interesting to see where they put the floppy drives. http://www.old-computers.com/MUSEUM/computer.asp?c=182&st=1

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