top 50 tech products of all time

PCWorld announced their list of Top 50 Tech Products. This list is goes back to the popularization of the personal computer. So don’t get upset if you don’t see one of those monster-sized computers of the 1950s on the list.

The article doesn’t give a straight-up list, so I’m sharing it here. (The article spans across 7 pages. It’s nice to have a concise list.) I also included some of my comments of some of products I’m familiar with.

1. Netscape Navigator (1994)

2. Apple II (1977)

3. TiVo HDR110 (1999)

4. Napster (1999) We all knew in the days of Napster that it was a limited time of “unique opportunity”. I made the best of it.

5. Lotus 1-2-3 for DOS (1983)

6. Apple iPod (2001) iPods are cool.

7. Hayes Smartmodem (1981)

8. Motorola StarTAC (1996)

9. WordPerfect 5.1 (1989)

10. Tetris (1985)

11. Adobe Photoshop 3.0 (1994) EXCELLENT. a very powerful tool. They give a nice description in the article.

12. IBM ThinkPad 700C (1992)

13. Atari VCS/2600 (1977) I come from an Atari family. We even had a giant sheet of paper above the TV to keep track of each family member’s high score for each game.

14. Apple Macintosh Plus (1986) I made one into a macquarium.

15. RIM BlackBerry 857 (2000)

16. 3dfx Voodoo3 (1999)

17. Canon Digital Elph S100 (2000) Great choice. This camera spawned the age of compact cameras. And its brushed aluminum enclosure was slick.

18. Palm Pilot 1000 (1996)

19. id Software Doom (1993)

20. Microsoft Windows 95 (1995)

21. Apple iTunes 4 (2003). Doesn’t belong on this list. iTunes isn’t anything extraordinary without the iPod.

22. Nintendo Game Boy (1989)

23. Iomega Zip Drive (1994) The Great Zip Drive. I was lucky to start studying graphic design in college right when this baby came out. The only options before the Zip drive were 1.4MB floppies and 44MB Syquest disks that would always overheat and break down. All hail the Zip drive.

24. Spybot Search & Destroy (2000)

25. Compaq Deskpro 386 (1986)

26. CompuServe (1982)

27. Blizzard World of Warcraft (2004)

28. Aldus PageMaker (1985)

29. HP LaserJet 4L (1993) Sure the LaserJet was nice and all, but I’m really ticked off that Postscript is not on this list. It single-handedly revolutionized the world of communication. All realms of print were drastically effected by the introduction of Postscript.

30. Apple Mac OS X (2001) OS X owes Unix a big thanks for making this list.

31. Nintendo Entertainment System (1985). I spent too many nights and weekends consumed by the Nintendo. I had no social life in high school.

32. Eudora (1988)

33. Sony Handycam DCR-VX1000 (1995)

34. Apple Airport Base Station (1999)

35. Br
derbund The Print Shop (1984)

36. McAfee VirusScan (1990)

37. Commodore Amiga 1000 (1985)

38. ChipSoft TurboTax (1985)

39. Mirabilis ICQ (1996)

40. Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16 (1992)

41. Apple HyperCard (1987). I laugh every time I hear of HyperCard. Apple had something great on their hands and they let it slip away.

42. Epson MX-80 (1980)

43. Central Point Software PC Tools (1985)

44. Canon EOS Digital Rebel (2003). WRONG! The NIkon D100 came out before the EOS Digital Rebel.

45. Red Hat Linux (1994)

46. Adaptec Easy CD Creator (1996)

47. PC-Talk (1982)

48. Sony Mavica MVC-FD5 (1997)

49. Microsoft Excel (1985) I feel sorry for Excel being at 49. I don’t use it much, but it seems to me that it dramatically changed the way businesses work. I’d think it would be much, much higher on the list.

50. Northgate OmniKey Ultra (1987)

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Steve Wordpressguy
17 years ago

Correct. #13 is the finest development of all time – tech or not. I have absolutely no other memories for about 18 months after I first played centipede on one of those. Absolute perfection! Centipede on the PS3 would be sweet.

Graham Lawrence
17 years ago

Why isn’t Norton Commander in the list. It’s one of my favourite “old timers” and at the time was the most useful app for file management pre-windows 95.

Tom Saaristo
17 years ago

I come from an Atari family too.

Mark R
Mark R
17 years ago

I loved the Atari 2600 also. We played countless hours and had tons of games. I think we still have the machine and all the games actually. Then again, we still have a working Pong system. Great stuff!!!

Mark R
Mark R
17 years ago

Regarding Moose’s comment about feeling bad for Excel being relegated to 49th place on the list… Excel is a very nice application and represents improvement over its predecessors, but it clearly wasn’t the first and really I’m not sure it should be on the list at all. Visicalc was the first spreadsheet program and should have been on the list. However, Lotus 1-2-3 was the first hugely popular version of the spreadsheet application (explaining why it came in at #5 on the list). Of course, Microsoft then entered the game with Excel. In typical Microsoft style, they basically took an… Read more »