[rescue] A bit of Fun

Phil Stracchino alaric at caerllewys.net
Tue Jun 17 14:35:10 CDT 2003

On Tue, Jun 17, 2003 at 12:51:58PM -0400, Michael A. Turner wrote:
> 	Since tempers seem to be up a little I thought maybe a bit of fun
> may help us out. How about the Rescue worst of awards ? This could be the
> Alpha version. How about nominations for:
> 1. Worst Machine Architecture

I was really tempted to nominate the ALR VEISA series machines for this
rather dubious honor.  To start with, they had the whole x86 thing going
for them.  And then there was this "upgradeable" idea.

"Let's build a machine that can be upgraded later on as faster processors
 come along, and let's choose a way to do it using interchangeable CPU 
 daughterboards that make the machine several hundred dollars more
 expensive than anything comparable on the market.  Oh yeah, and we
 won't put any L2 cache on the motherboard, that can go on a daughterboard
 too, to leverage our proprietary daughterboard-and-socket design.

"Oh dear, we have faster processors now.  Gee, imagine that.  It turns
 out the exchange price to trade up to a new processor module is $200
 less than buying a whole new machine that has the new CPU in the first

"Oh, and did we mention that the cache daughterboard won't fit in the
 machine with the new processor card?"

However, bad as they were, I think the VEISA is an also-ran.  It's the
worst I've personally experienced (with the possible exception of a
system I worked on in England that I can't talk about), but, well ...
does the name Royal McBee Computer Corporation ring any bells?

> 2. Worst Processor

The obvious whipping boy here, IMHO, is the 80286.  Intel had a great
opportunity to fix the mistakes made in the design of the 8086 while
maintaining a backward compatibility mode ... and they STILL screwed the

> 3. Worst Operating system

I'm actually inclined to nominate pre-System7 MacOS for this.  I've
never seen such appallingly primitive memory management in anything else
contemporary.  And I don't care HOW many usability "experts" Apple threw
at the design, I still say that single-fixed-menubar design was
ass-stupid.  If I had a buck for every time I've had to help a user who
couldn't launch an application because "I've got nothing running, but my
Mac says it's out of memory!" and when I get there, the user has five or
six or more applications running in the background, and *doesn't know
they're there* because the OS gives no visible sign that they're still
running after the user closed the last window ....

> 4. Worst Case Design

In my personal experience, I'd say it's a three-way tie between Packard
Hell's compact pizza-box cases, some of the middle-period Macs that you
had to almost completely disassemble just to add RAM fer crissakes, and
one particularly villainous no-name-brand PC minitower I had to work on
once that was so cramped you *could not* either install, remove, connect
or disconnect anything beyond an expansion card without drawing blood.

> 5. Etc if you can think of anything else. 

5. Worst Interface Device -- those asinine "Genius" mice that bloated to
the size, button count and approximate form factor of a decent scientific
calculator.  HellOOO???  Are we completely missing the point here?

 .*********  Fight Back!  It may not be just YOUR life at risk.  *********.
 : phil stracchino : unix ronin : renaissance man : mystic zen biker geek :
 :  alaric at caerllewys.net : alaric-ruthven at earthlink.net : phil at latt.net  :
 :   2000 CBR929RR, 1991 VFR750F3 (foully murdered), 1986 VF500F (sold)   :
 :    Linux Now!   ...Because friends don't let friends use Microsoft.    :

More information about the rescue mailing list