Friday, October 10, 2014

The List of the Worst

I know I haven't been writing much technical stuff this week. I haven't shared any code or anything, just random musings. I haven't given up on software development - I am working on an interesting project that I'll talk about in a few weeks.

But I do think about stuff other than software, and I've been typing a lot of that stuff up lately. Today I was thinking about the worst stuff I can remember.

Not like personal tragedies or anything depressing like that. Just really terrible products or software that I've lived through. It's important to remember that just because something is made, it doesn't mean it should have been.

My List of the Worst Things


Worst Video Game - Without a doubt, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial for the Atari 2600 is the worst game I ever played. Some people even say that this game is what caused the video game industry crash of 1983. E.T. just kept falling in those pits, over and over again. I was so frustrated. However, one dedicated fan has fixed most of the issues with the game and offers a patch for the ROM. It is possible to play the corrected version in an emulator and maybe hate it a bit less.

Worst Computer Virus - What makes a virus the worst? There's a lot of debate out there on which virus has been the worst by some objective measure. Is it how much they cost people? How many computers they infected? I don't know. To me, the Code Red worm of 2001 is still the worst one I can remember. It was named after Code Red Mountain Dew, which the authors were drinking at the time they made it. I also drank a lot of that particular soda back then, so maybe that's why it sticks in my mind.
Worst Keyboard Ever

Worst Keyboard - Many people believe the IBM PCjr keyboard holds this title. It was bad, but personally the worst I've ever used was on the Timex Sinclair 1000. Actually, the keyboard was the Timex Sinclair 1000. It was just a flat panel with bubble-type keys. You had to really think about what key you were pressing. Absolutely terrible.

Worst Soda - Pepsi Kona. This soda was so terrible, I have no idea how it made it out of Pepsi's test kitchen. Maybe I just thought it was awful because I didn't drink coffee at that time in my life. Or maybe it's because it was completely awful. Many people would rank Crystal Pepsi or Pepsi Blue as their worst, but I didn't think they were that bad. Just weird maybe. Pepsi has had a lot of ridiculously bad ideas, now that I think about it. Makes New Coke seem forgivable. 

Worst Operating System - If you thought I was going to say Windows ME, you would be correct. Why did I ever upgrade to this disaster? It would crash on the loading screen regularly, on a computer that had run Windows 98 just fine. I've never understood why this thing was so bad. After a few weeks with it, I formatted my hard drive and went back to good old '98, where I stayed for many more years.

Worst Fast Food Item - I had McDonald's pizza. It was strange. I'm not even sure why McDonald's thought they could sell pizza. I first tried this in one of the early test markets in Ohio before it made its way to my local McDonald's here in central Pennsylvania. I think it was better before it went national, as I can remember being disappointed with it the second (and last) time I ordered it. These days, I won't eat anything from McDonald's.

Those things were all pretty bad, but I'm sure worse things will happen. But the good thing about being the worst is, at least you are remembered for something.

Amphibian.com comic for 10 October 2014