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The 25 Greatest PCs of All Time

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the where's-my-compaq dept.

207

theodp writes "As the IBM PC turns 25, the editors of PC World present their list of The 25 Greatest PCs of All Time (IBM & others) and the rationale behind their picks. What, no IMSAI 8080?" And my favorite compaq luggable is missing too. Clearly this subjective and arbitrary list is subjective and arbitrary!

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Obligatory disgruntled comment (0, Redundant)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899150)

Where the hell is the.... Oh wait, there it is [pcworld.com]

Thank you.

Disclaimer: This comment is meant to be funny, please take it as such.

Oh No (3, Interesting)

Devv (992734) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899158)

I wish that webpage with the article didn't have links with weird ads. On one hand I can see this is interesting but really, what are they measuring? It's very hard to say just that these are the best. I don't like this type of articles just listing top xx of everything listable. Maybe it's just me.

Re:Oh No (4, Interesting)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899186)

Like most of us here probably do, I disagree with some of the selections. The 2006 Toshiba is a strange choice, as there are plenty of media computers out there and I fail to see how this one is so revolutionary.


If I wanted random lists of stuff I would visit Listable [listible.com] . On the other hand, I see this as a guide to some of the best computers with the reasons that they are great. I have never considered PC World the last word on technology.

sponsor (4, Interesting)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899164)

Let me guess... Toshiba sponsored this article?

Case mods wouldn't count, so... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15899178)

Self built beige boxes must be the greatest PC's of all time because I've not owned anything else in over a decade.

Re:Case mods wouldn't count, so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15899207)

Self built beige boxes must be the greatest PC's of all time because I've not owned anything else in over a decade.

No shit! That list is junk. Every body knows the best PC's are the ones you BUILD YOUR SELF! Dell, Apple, HP, their systems are shit compared to my personal system. No factory built PC could ever match the performance or reliability of the systems I have hand built over the years...

Long live the AT/ATX standards!! Death to proprietary crap!!

Side note: How the hell did an IBM Stinkpad make the list?!?!?!?!

Re:Case mods wouldn't count, so... (5, Insightful)

KozmoStevnNaut (630146) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899561)

How the hell did an IBM Stinkpad make the list?!?!?!?!

Let's see...
Perhaps because it was one of the first proper and usable laptops?
Because Thinkpads are some of the most dependable laptops you can find?
Because they have always been and always will be quietly stylish (black is always cool) instead of in-your-face?
Because Thinkpads are the laptops most often chosen by companies whose employees depend on their laptops working perfectly all the time?

I have a T42 myself, and the only laptops currently available that I would even consider switching to are:
A) A newer Thinkpad, preferably an X model.
B) A Panasonic Toughbook (One of the "semi-rugged" ones).
or
C) A Macbook (If they finally figure out how much thermal paste to apply and sort out a few other bugs in the process).

It may not be flashy, it may not have all kinds of silly features or ultra powerful graphics or a super high resolution monitor, but it's built tough, every built-in function works perfectly every single time, the bundled Windows software is actually useful, the keyboard is the best laptop keyboard ever made, the Linux support is second to none and the configurability is very nice (4- or 8-cell battery in the main battery bay, DVD-drive can be swapped for another type of drive or an additional battery).

Yes, I am very happy with my Stinkpad. It runs Windows XP and GNU/Linux better than any other brand of laptop I have encountered, and it does what I need perfectly.

Re:Case mods wouldn't count, so... (1)

identity0 (77976) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899351)

I have to agree, the ability to self-build your own box not only helped the PC enthusiast, but also the industry built to support regular people.

We bought our third computer from a local mom-and-pop company that built beige boxes from standard parts, and supported them. It was nice to have a company like that locally, that one could drive over to see the guys personally instead of shipping things off to a central support center to get repairs. I'm sure it provided more employment to geeks around the country as well.

It's not something that could have been done with a company like Apple or Commodore, though they built good products.

I wish that list had included some of the first ultra-small portables like the Libretto, though. I still have trouble finding something in that form factor, it's all either small 10" notebooks or PDA-type devices now.

Re:Case mods wouldn't count, so... (1)

AlHunt (982887) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899371)

> Self built beige boxes must be the greatest PC's of all time because I've not owned anything
> else in over a decade.

But then, homebrew PCs don't buy ads in major magazines. I homebrewed for a long time until a year ago when I went laptop and haven't looked back. From what I've read, we may be on the cusp of being able to homebrew our laptops before too long.

Re:Case mods wouldn't count, so... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899636)

The home brew computers were more then just the ability to build a computer. It was the corner stone that sent a message to all the people who were mistified into thinking the computers were still over priced, complicated, hard to maintain, and useless if something broke.

Yes, the homebrew PC market showed consumers that they could in fact afford a computer at home. Without it, people would likley still think that only rich companies could aford computers. They would have this stigma that if the sound broke, they could only fix it by sending it to some expensive company far away and the people who broke thier computer fix it. Thier comparison in real life would be the cars they drove. If they took it to the dealership to be fixed, it would have cost them two or three times as much as if they took it around the corner to john's service station or the even cheaper route and fixed it themselves from parts sold around the corner.

Homebrew PC's are probably more important in the scheme of the current state of computers then any other system after '94 or '95 were we see the PC sales explode in a few years afterwards.

Re:Case mods wouldn't count, so... (1)

thephotoman (791574) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899387)

Indeed, the lack of the Frankenbox makes this list suspect. After all, with a Frankenbox, you can ensure that you know everything that goes into your computer. That's what I love about them: there are no mystery parts.

Furthermore, you don't get the bundled software crap, and you can chose your own operating system.

Re:Case mods wouldn't count, so... (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899887)

Spot on!

Why disclude the Frankenbox? I find that being able to do a custom build/os install upstages all other options.
  I understand that is not an option for some users, but I try and stretch it as far as I can.

WTH? (3, Interesting)

NetNinja (469346) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899179)

The Commodore 64!
The Amiga 500!

Re:WTH? (5, Interesting)

plover (150551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899276)

They listed the Amiga 1000, which was the first generation of Amiga, and was truly a novel machine. Everything from the multitasking OS to the custom graphics chipsets was new.

The 500, while still a cool box, wasn't a great technological leap forward. It was merely a mass-marketing-wrapped version of the 1000. (And Commodore poorly mass-marketed it!) As the easter egg [eeggs.com] hidden inside one of the later versions of Workbench said: "We made Amiga, they [Commodore] f*cked it up".

If they wanted to glorify Commodore in this list, a better representation might have been the Pet. That was probably the pinnacle of Commodore's technological achievements.

Re:WTH? (2, Funny)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899339)

If they wanted to glorify Commodore in this list, a better representation might have been the Pet. That was probably the pinnacle of Commodore's technological achievements.
Nah, the pinnacle was clearly the 64. The PET didn't do anything.

Re:WTH? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15899743)

Nah, the pinnacle was clearly the 64. The PET didn't do anything.

The achievement of the PET was to be a personal computer when they didn't exist yet. Yes, it was functionally near-useless, except as a physcial promise of what would come.

I remember a highschool buddy bought one with his summer job money. It's hard to convey how exciting that was -- you've got to understand that there was nothing at all like it anywhere around us. You couldn't go see a computer anywhere. Computers were on Star Trek and NASA had some. The "business machine" course in our rather well-funded school was electro-mechanical adding machines. Having a PET in your bedroom was having a portal to the future, back when Future still meant something spectacular.

Not to dis the 64 at all, because it was important, but the PET was the first door in.

Re:WTH? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15899398)

Amigas rocked. It's hard for those who weren't there to comprehend how advanced they were. When the Amigas came out, about the only things that could touch it were some high priced Unix machines. The graphics on them were so amazing that people would line up just to see a ball bouncing around. It made other machines look antiquated.

Re:WTH? (1)

ToxicBanjo (905105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899829)

The Amiga is on the list and I'm glad to see it. The Amiga absolutely blew my mind when I first saw it. I had been stuck in school learning DOS on wimpy 286 machines with 16 colours and a lame pc speaker for audio when I saw an Amiga running Shadow of the Beast [wikipedia.org] and it changed my life.

A couple of years owning an Amiga and a new product comes out called the VideoToaster [wikipedia.org] and that changed broadcasting and desktop video forever.

I was shocked to see the C-64 not on the list however. It took the little crack the Vic-20 had put in Atari's home gaming market and busted it wide open. Most of my friends had one and they almost always used it for gaming.

Anyone else learn programming with a C-64 and a snapshot card?

WTF? (-1, Troll)

dosius (230542) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899181)

Apple ][? iMac? Kaypro? TRS-80? Half these things aren't even PCs, because a PC is by definition IBM-compatible.

-uso.

Re:WTF? (5, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899190)

A PC is by definition a Personal Computer.

Re:WTF? (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899461)

Absolutely correct - for more information about this (as well as some ludicrous & funny definitions of PC in the comments), please see my journal: Why is Apple afraid of being PC? [slashdot.org]

Re:WTF? (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899209)

Well, that was a totally non politically-correct thing to say.

Re:WTF? (1)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899229)

methinks someone has been listening a little too closely to the "I'm a mac" commercials..

a PC is by definition a Personal Computer. In common usage it's often used erraneously to specifically talk about IBM compatibles, but that's hardly the definition of the term.

Re:WTF? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899279)

No, you see, I'm Mac and a PC, because now you can run Mac OS and Windows at the same time. Touché

Re:WTF? (3, Funny)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899304)

Ya know, I thought about making that joke, but decided it might be too lame. Thanks for confirming my suspicions ;)

Re:WTF? (1)

LindseyJ (983603) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899626)

a PC is by definition a Personal Computer. In common usage it's often used erraneously to specifically talk about IBM compatibles, but that's hardly the definition of the term.

It isn't in any way erroneous if it's - as you said - common usage. Usage defines definition.

Re:WTF? (1)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899681)

Well hell, Intelligent Design is a bonafide theory, then.

Re:WTF? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899243)

No, an IBM compatible PC is, by definition, IBM compatible.

A PC is, by definition, a single user computer.

KFG

Re:WTF? (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899282)

By my definition "personal computer" and "Personal Computer" have totally different meanings.

A "personal computer" is one intended for use by one person. A "Personal Computer" is one modelled on IBM's 5150 Personal Computer, and PC is an abbreviation of the latter usage. Generally for the first, I avoid the term altogether and use "home computer" instead, though some of those computers aren't really either. Perhaps "microcomputer" or just "micro" would be the better unambiguous term. Beside it's PC World, which I don't remember ever being devoted to anything but the Clones.

-uso.

Re:WTF? (2, Informative)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899300)

By my definition "personal computer" and "Personal Computer" have totally different meanings.

I'm not responsible for your definitions. PC is simply an abbreviation for "personal computer" and that's the way IBM used it. IBM did not sell 5150 "PC"s. They sold "IBM PCs."

KFG

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15899673)

Thx. You just approved my Portable Workstation (homemade) sticker on my ThinkPad... it runs Linux and is a multiuser system.

--

This space for rent... pls. contact A.C. ;-)

Re:WTF? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899699)

. . .my ThinkPad... it runs Linux and is a multiuser system.

How many users are logged in?

KFG

Re:WTF? (4, Interesting)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899612)

"Apple ][? iMac? Kaypro? TRS-80? Half these things aren't even PCs, because a PC is by definition IBM-compatible."

I would have modded this -.5 Naieve instead of Troll. Oh well.

In the olden days, what we call PCs were called IBM Clones. Everything else was called PC in some form or another. (As memory serves, it was usually spelled out as 'personal computer'.) Over time, x86 machines took over and marketshares for everything else were in the single digits. The term PC, by de-facto, became 'a Windows machine using an Intel or AMD processor'. I'm not saying the definition was/is super-strict, (Linux boxes have been called PCs, for example...) but when you see mags like PC Gamer, you start building a new impression of what PC commonly refers to.

What parent poster is saying isn't totally false. We've all heard of Mac vs. 'PC' debates. I don't think the current generation is as aware of why the PC distinction took place originally. Back in the olden days, a computer occupied a huge room and only the gov't or big corps had them. Maybe I'm being a little dramatic here, but the reason my definition of PC changed was because I've been reading a lot of Asimov. His stories were rather vague about people having their own computers, but there was always some big major computer (Multivac) that everything was centralized to. It wasn't until.. what.. the 70's until people actually had significant computing power in their homes.

I think we should cut the guy a little slack. It probably would have been a little clearer if the title had said Personal Computers instead of PCs. (Though I'll grant that his post was superficially nitpicky.)

Re:WTF? (2, Interesting)

srw (38421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899656)

My understanding, and I would love an authoritative source on the matter, is that Ed Roberts was the first to use the term "Personal Computer" to describe the Altair. So "personal computer" predates the "IBM Personal Computer" by six years.

As the article states, there is plenty of debate over whether the Altair was the first personal computer, but most of that debate isn't arguing whether or not an earlier computer was called a "personal computer" but rather whether or not it took the role of a personal computer. (i.e. a computer used by a single person)

'Personal computers', but not 'PCs' (5, Interesting)

payndz (589033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899206)

If the list is just 'personal computers' in the most general and literal sense rather than the generally accepted 'Wintel/IBM PC-compatibles' definition, then I'd also like to nominate:

Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K
Psion Series 5

And yes, I am British. What gave it away? :p

Re:'Personal computers', but not 'PCs' (1, Funny)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899244)

What gave it away? The fact that you fracking told us!

'Personal computers', but not 'PCs'-clarity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15899298)

"And yes, I am British. What gave it away? :p"

The ability to spell.

Re:'Personal computers', but not 'PCs' (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15899331)

The Sinclair ZX Specturm was probably the best computer every built for its time in terms of bang for buck, apart maybe from the apple ][ in the late 70's. I know I'm a bit biased since it was the first computer I ever owned, and I got it after working on an IBM (original!) PC for a year or so, but I still liked it much more.

Re:'Personal computers', but not 'PCs' (1)

penrodyn (927177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899903)

Also missed out is the Nascom and MK14, both computers helped start the personal computer revolution in the UK. Maybe we should have UK list and a separate US list. Also what happened to the Atari ST? I can't believe they missed out teh Next Computer.

Re:'Personal computers', but not 'PCs' (1)

DMoylan (65079) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899591)

the psion 5 had one of the most usable keyboards on a portable device. the only keyboard that i would rate higher than it was the keyboard on the psion 3a. the 5's keyboard was larger and could be used faster when put on a desk but the slightly smaller keyboard of the psion 3a could be used standing and still get 20+ words per minute.

as for the os. if psion had of released a fullsize keyboard and monitor attachment i would still be using my psion 5 as my main system.

i currently use a nokia n70 with symbian on it. good phone but it's smart capabilities aren't a patch on what the psion 5 could do. that one of the main nokia symbian guys still uses a psion 5 says it all.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/07/27/smartphone _david_wood/ [theregister.co.uk]

had a spectrum +2 as well. very good little computer. me and a mate at work keep thinking we should get a working speccy of ebay to play the old adventure games on the original hardware.

and i'm irish so i'm supposed to hate all things english... :-)

AMSTRAD 1512 (1)

rf0 (159958) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899208)

I have great memories of our Amstrad 1512, and if I remember it was the first decently priced, consumer accessible PC in the UK of course I have no sources to site this. However the use of GEM as an alternative to Windows and I remeber as a kid having some programs in magazines like PC Plus where you could play games in glourious 16 colours. Of course there was the posh kids who had the hard disk version.

rus

Re:AMSTRAD 1512 (1)

unforkable (956731) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899482)

I have one pc1512 hd20 just near my desk, it still beats me in chess !

Re:AMSTRAD 1512 (1)

PerspexAvenger (671820) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899658)

God yes - I was half expecting it to be in the list myself.
My parents still have our old one, I wouldn't guarantee it works now, but it might be amusing to try.

My first intro to PC's that was - I broke our DOS install no end of times trying to "fix" things. :)
32Mb hard-card upgraded(I seem to remember it was called). How were we ever supposed to fill -that-?

IBM PC not #1? (2, Interesting)

BTWR (540147) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899216)

In the 80s, Apples and Commodore's were popular, but the IBM PC was one that truly brought the "modern" pc to all houses. Only middle/uppermiddle class and above bought a "computer" back then, but it was the IBM-PC (and later, the "100% compatibles") that truly brought PCs to every household...

Re:IBM PC not #1? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15899232)

I'd say that for most people in my borderline Gen X, Gen Y demograph, it was an Apple IIe or a Commodore 64 that was the first computer we ever saw. The Apples dominated the schools and the Commodore 64 found its way into the home as a gaming machine.

Re:IBM PC not #1? (1)

eyewhin (944625) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899249)

In Germany, the Amiga 500 was probably the most popular PC. I was surprised when I returned to the US that the Amiga was not as popular as over here.

Re:IBM PC not #1? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899286)

. . .it was the IBM-PC (and later, the "100% compatibles") that truly brought PCs to every household...

I don't think I have ever met a household IBM. Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM, but householders rarely need to worry about getting fired. Personally I bought a Compaq transportable and a Tandy Desktop.

KFG

No, cause the original IBM PC was a piece of crap (1)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899412)

It only enjoyed the success it did because it was made by IBM, so businesses snapped them up-- if not at first, then definitely after Lotus 1-2-3 appeared and give the machine its killer app.

I have never met anybody who owned one. Everyone I know who had a computer at home had a C64, an Apple, or a Trash 80.

~Philly

No Amstrads? (1)

grahammm (9083) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899227)

I am surprised that none of the Amstrad range are mentioned. I would have expected to see either the PCW integrated wordprocessor or the IBM compatible PCs which were the first ones at 'consumer' rather than 'business' prices and in effect introduced the PC to the home user.

No Commodore 64 or VIC-20? (3, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899237)

Useless list.

Re:No Commodore 64 or VIC-20? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15899283)

I think the term "American list" is more appropriate, since the number one spot on the list is held by a computer nobody in Europe has ever seen.

Re:No Commodore 64 or VIC-20? (1)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899308)

"American list" is more appropriate [...] a computer nobody in Europe has ever seen.
I'm Australian, you insensitive clod!!!!
(Disclaimer: I am not Australian)

Re:No Commodore 64 or VIC-20? (4, Interesting)

Keith Russell (4440) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899345)

No Commodore 8-bits, even though they reached critical mass in the United States. No Sinclairs, even though they reached critical mass in the UK. But a 6-month old Toshiba makes the list because it has an HD-DVD drive that almost nobody can use today?

Yeah, I agree with another poster: This Top 25 list was brought to you by Toshiba.

whew (1)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899277)

man i loved my compaq deskpro 386.. it was a later model other than the one shown i believe.. 16mhz.. with a special add-on 6mb rambus card, that was the entire width of the case.. it was indeed my favorite computer, and the computer that got me hooked on networking, BBS's, the first days of the residential internet access, and of course, good ol' fashion Apogee games and Creative Sound Blaster software like the talking parrot and Dr. Sbaitso..

One of many "missing" (5, Insightful)

Frequency Domain (601421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899281)

I know everybody is going to complain that their personal favorite is missing, but I can't believe that NeXT isn't on the list. I think it was one of the most influential systems of the last twenty years. In addition to all the innovations with graphics, removable storage, onboard DSP, drag and drop e-mail attachments, object-oriented framework, etc., the first web browser was developed on a NeXT.

Re:One of many "missing" (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899430)

It was also dog-assed slow in comparison to the offerings from Sun & SGI at the time.

Re:One of many "missing" (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899770)

And significantly cheaper too. A NeXT cube or slab could be had for ~$10K on release in (what 1987/88?). At that time the Sun 3/60 and 3/80 were comparable workstations from Sun, and the Indigo (I believe) was comparable from SGI. Both SGI and Sun sold their low end machines for ~$30K if I remember right. Huge difference. And note that the both the Sun 3 and NeXT Cube used the same 68030/40 arch, and both offered monochrom megapixel displays on the low end.

Note, I used to have a slab on my desk way back when. It was a good computer, but no panacea. IMO: the big advances of NeXTSTEP were display postscript and the objective-c development environment. But it really wasn't significantly better than any other 'NIX workstation at the time - just cheaper.

Re:One of many "missing" (1)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899489)

It's a list of personal computers.. the next was a workstation.

Workstations aren't disincluded. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899631)

Well, the Xerox Star (aka 8010) isn't a personal computer by any stretch of the imagination, and it made the list. In fact, Wikipedia claims that a small workgroup (2 or 3 machines, file server, printer) outfitted with Xerox Star-era hardware would have costed 50 to 100 thousand dollars [wikipedia.org] . The Star seems to be pretty much the grandaddy of all "workstations."

Re:One of many "missing" (0, Troll)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899568)

I know everybody is going to complain that their personal favorite is missing, but I can't believe that NeXT isn't on the list. I think it was one of the most influential systems of the last twenty years. In addition to all the innovations with graphics, removable storage, onboard DSP, drag and drop e-mail attachments, object-oriented framework, etc., the first web browser was developed on a NeXT.
Yeah, because NeXT took the world by storm, driving both Apple and IBM to bankruptcy in a matter of months. So popular did NeXT machines become that Microsoft quit the software business and started making beanbag chairs and pet rocks, because everybody who was anybody cast aside their PCs and Macs and went NeXT.

See, if we go by the benchmark of "OS features", then we're stuck considering all kinds of underperforming and/or ill-marketed dogs that knew a couple neat tricks, like the Xerox Altair. Of course, this list is so ridiculous (has some 2006 Toshiba no one's heard of, but omits the C-64?) that it doesn't actually matter.

Re:One of many "missing" (2, Insightful)

Ster (556540) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899895)

Yeah, because NeXT took the world by storm, driving both Apple and IBM to bankruptcy in a matter of months. So popular did NeXT machines become that Microsoft quit the software business and started making beanbag chairs and pet rocks, because everybody who was anybody cast aside their PCs and Macs and went NeXT.

You jest, but remember that Mac OS X is a direct decendant of NeXT. When Apple bought them, several of the key management positions (esp. CEO (Steve Jobs), but also VP of Software Engineering and later CTO (Avie Tevanian) quickly ended up in the hands of NeXT people. People have referred to it as Apple paying NeXT to take them over.

So you're half-right: a large percentage of those who ran Mac OS 9 now run NeXT, as Mac OS X.

-Ster

Re:One of many "missing" (1)

big-shoulders (783475) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899703)

Don't forget to check the list of 25 almost great PC of all time you might be surprised to find that many of those people are complaining about being missing (including the NeXT box) show up there,

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,126692-page,11 -c,systems/article.html

Arbitrary? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899285)

Clearly this subjective and arbitrary list is subjective and arbitrary!

Subjective and arbitrary on /.? You must be new here.

iMac? (1)

RenoRelife (884299) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899299)

Why is this on here? Lollipop-style colors for computers isn't necessarily a good thing, and those were god awful slow, even for powerpc architecture. I'd take a G3 any day.

Re:iMac? (1)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899321)

Lollipop-style colors for computers isn't necessarily a good thing, and those were god awful slow, even for powerpc architecture. I'd take a G3 any day.

Those iMacs came only in one colour: white. They were also faster than any G3 tower, and faster all around than any G3 with the exception of the last iBook G3s.

Re:iMac? (1)

Millenniumman (924859) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899332)

First of all, it is the second generation iMac (G4, flat panel) that is on there. Second of all, the first generation was an incredible computer. It was certainly fast enough for the intended audience, and very easy to set up and use.

Re:iMac? (1)

mattkinabrewmindspri (538862) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899701)

Actually, I'm pretty sure the G4 iMac was something like the fifth-generation of iMacs, although the article called them the second generation.

Re:iMac? (1)

RenoRelife (884299) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899367)

I was talking about the 1st generation iMac in the honorable mentions.

ironic (1)

porsche922 (868700) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899303)

Its ironic that an Apple II is the greatest PC of all time

Re:ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15899533)

How is that ironic?

Did you read the article, or just look at the shiny pictures?

Sorry (1)

sjschoo (961246) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899323)

After sifting through other comments and pondering it myself, I realize. Theres nothing Score 5 (Funny) about this article.

Re:Sorry (1)

dafing (753481) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899357)

I agree, where are the jokes?

IMSAI 8080 (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899333)

What, no IMSAI 8080?
The IMSAI 8080 is a clone of the Altair 8800, and that's in there. In fact they even mention the IMSAI 8080 in that part of the article.

Good to see they didn't forget the Commodore Amiga.

I gotta say it (5, Funny)

popsicle67 (929681) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899341)

What about the Macintosh? The first time I saw one I completely forgot why I was at this chicks house and spent the whole night playing on her brothers computer(instead of playing on her bed). If it could take my mind off breasts(hers were amazing) it could do anything.

RTFA (1)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899380)

The Mac Plus is on the list, specifically for the reason that it addressed the shortcomings that kept the original Mac off the list.

~Philly

It finally makes sense (0, Troll)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899655)

I always wondered why the Mac was considered the "gay" computer.

IMSAI 8080 series 2 the first with USB (1)

lcreech (1491) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899364)

I saw it in the pic, so it must be true, lol.

99er Magazine (1)

mgburr (993834) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899368)

And to think 99er magazine was pushed out by PC World. At least they could have the decency to list the TI-99/4a. Considering it was one of the first to have Voice Synthesis, and expandable floppy drive, Multiple Programming language cartridges and still be a home computer. Let alone a 3 voice tone generator, which the "Real IBM PC's" didn't have.

Re:99er Magazine (2, Interesting)

AngryNick (891056) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899789)

I too am perplexed by their decision to ignore the TI-99/4a. It was cheap enough for just about any family to afford and supported both BASIC (for the kids) and assembler(for the dad). My dad wrote the code and I spent hours designing sprite graphics and translating sheet music into sound() funcs for use in a Frogger game (Toader). We sold enough tapes of that game to just about pay for a 32K memory upgrade cartridge.


Another great one that is missing is the Timex/Sinclar 1000 [oldcomputers.net] , a $99 machine with 1k of RAM.

Phoenix Wright (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899374)

Did Phoenix Wright submit this article or something?

Commodore 64, The Nintendo before the Nintendo (2, Insightful)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899381)

I remember playing Bruce Lee and a ton of pirated games my parents bought for $1 a disk(all they were really worth).
It took us a while to find out: LOAD"*",8,1 or sometimes only LOAD"*",8
But once we unlocked all those games, it was a party time that finally broke the era of boring Atari 2600 games. Commodore rocked so hard. Then came Nintendo 8 bit which didn't entirely blow C64 out of the water, but was the 2nd biggest step in gaming, the first being Atari2600 or Colleco(from your vantage point) to C64.
I loved my c64 and would have kept it if someone didn't offer me $300 for it in 1993 when internet PCs were just starting to make it for the public.

Clearly a contentious list (5, Interesting)

topical_surfactant (906185) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899418)

Many people who have read this wonder why the Commodore 64 and the VIC 20 were cut out. I think that the biggest excuse the authors may use is that those two machines were not breakthroughs in technology, but breakthroughs in affordability. I still believe that this is an incomplete argument though, especially in light of the huge popularity of the 64 and the resulting massive available software and reference rag libraries. In the United States, the 64 jump-started the home computing craze by being flexible enough to be a do-it-all machine: productivity suites, games and scientific tools were all available.

A friend who used to work at Lockheed told me how they once developed a communications bus that worked on the 64's parallel port and allowed the computers to be used as a multi-node supercomputer. They used the rig to calculate "safe" trajectories and orientations for a stealth fighter jet when flying through hostile radar zones. They bought the machines at Toys R Us.

Re:Clearly a contentious list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15899725)

Many people who have read this wonder why the Commodore 64 and the VIC 20 were cut out. I think that the biggest excuse the authors may use is that those two machines were not breakthroughs in technology, but breakthroughs in affordability.

And that shouldn't be a consideration? The fact that they figured out how to make it cheap enough to get it into millions of homes was a triumph itself. I'd also argue the Commdore market may not have been the genesis of third party "consumer" peripherals-- printers, drives, modems, drawing pads, etc... But it certainly made it a viable market.

The C-64 was also the bridge between home computer and the game console. The computer games industry owes a huge debt to the C-64. The graphic capabilities were great for its time-- the games looked much better than Apple 2 or IBM compatibles. The ease of using sprites. the color palatte and the SID chip (which was pretty revolutionary itself) made game design a breeze. And again, the C-64 made compuer gaming a viable market.

Thinkpad 701? (1)

benplaut (993145) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899421)

The amazing folding keyboard - how could they resist?

Brings back memories (1)

ciellarg (899150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899439)

I am surprised they mentioned the Columbia. That was the first PC I actually used at work. I remember that it came with PC/DOS 1.something, CPM/86, and the USCD P-System. It was nice having that huge hard drive, but the best thing that happened was when MS/DOS 2.01 came out (I think that is the correct version) and introduced the concept of sub-directories. No more having a 20Mb floppy with no organization. It also had some software that came with it - perfect-filer and others. Anyone know if that had anything to do with the later Word Perfect?

Atari 800! Yay! (2, Interesting)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899490)

I learned everything on that little guy. Kyan Pascal. Deep Blue C. Action! (a C-like language tight enough to write side scrolling shooters in) Atari Basic and later a version of BASIC that would compile to machine code for decent speed (QuickBASIC???). 6502 assembler. Even FORTRAN and Forth.

Christ on a cracker, I feel old. :(

Re:Atari 800! Yay! (1)

saintlupus (227599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899704)

I remember using "Turbo Basic" to compile a bunch of BASIC door games I'd written back in the day. That was, of course, back when I could only dream of having enough cash to own two computers at the same time, let along the luxury of a second phone line to actually run a BBS with.

I second your feeling of elderlyness. And I think I see someone playing on my lawn.

--saint

Re:Atari 800! Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15899714)

later a version of BASIC that would compile to machine code for decent speed (QuickBASIC???).

TurboBASIC?
 
I loved playing BASIC games in TurboBASIC because they were insanely fast... heh.

Re:Atari 800! Yay! (1)

zaq121 (838716) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899766)

Turbo Basic XL? [wikipedia.org]

Sounds like the list of languages I played with (except I never got to Action!)

If the Apple II is so great... (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899540)

...then why aren't we doing this list on Apple II's birthday?

Wait! Something is wrong here.... (1)

Cherita Chen (936355) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899545)

Where's the p-p-p-powerbook [zug.com] ?

Wow. We have 12 of those. (4, Funny)

jpellino (202698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899629)

In our closet^H^H^H^H^H^H new museum.

C64? (1)

saintlupus (227599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899672)

No Commodore 64? The best-selling microcomputer ever? The machine that probably launcher more nerds' careers (mine included) than anything else?

Yeah, I think this list is pretty much bullshit.

--saint

What'd be on Your List? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15899676)

Come on people let's see your lists, and please give a short reason why you choose each, eh.

    For me (a Canadian) I have to say that the PET 2001, Atari 400, Amiga 500, and Sinclair ZX81 had the biggest infulence on me at home; at collage it was the DEC Rainbow, Apple II, and then the IBM compatables; at university is was all Mac, i386's, and Digital UNIX boxes.

      1. Sinclair ZX81 / Timex 1000 - Cheapest computer I could buy.
      2. Commodore P.E.T. 2001 - My first computer that didn't feel like a toy.
      3. Atari 400 - Felt like a toy, but it did colour! Did more than the Vic-20.
      4. Amiga 500 - Games with beautiful sound.
      5. Apple II - These were everywhere in school.
      6. DEC Rainbow - These were both stand alone and networked, did CP/M and DOS.
      7. i386's - Wow I can compile Borland Pascal in seconds, not minutes.
      8. Mac - Pretty display... but how do I run my own code.
      9. Digital - You can do what... over several clients... with UNIX - wow!
    10. i486 - A cheap UNIX box by using Linux (0.87)!

--
Peace and Long Life,
KnightFire

Ok, now for -my- list, and... (5, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899722)

...I bet that no matter how much people disagree with my personal picks, more people will at least comprehend why I picked them, unlike the original article's list!


  1. Ok, I have to admit the Apple II was cool for its time. If you plugged in enough cards, it could even fry an egg on the back of the case.
  2. The Commodore PET 3032 was at least as impressive, and even came with bullet-proof steel armour plating.
  3. The ZX-81 was powerful enough to be used in robotics and was one of the smallest computers ever built.
  4. Commodore's Amiga had one of the most amazing colour graphics systems of the time. It even had some support for parallel processing, as you could plug in additional processors in the back.
  5. The BBC Micro Model B had far more sophisticated I/O than any machine of its age (and is rarely equalled to this day) and supported both multiple processors and parallel memory banks in upper memory. Some of the earliest LAN party games were developed for this machine.
  6. Acorn's Archimedes wasn't spectacular, but had a damn good pre-emptive OS and was a very solid machine. Oh, and it also introduced programmers to the notion of RISC, which sparked a revolution in computer design.
  7. The Viglen 386 machines had some cool memory management - unlike most machines of that time, you could use both the mainboard and the extra memory at the same time, so you had an extra megabyte to play with.
  8. Who can forget the Osbourne 1? The machine itself wan't amazing, but DID introduce the concept of mobile computers to the public, which revolutionized how people looked at machines. Greatness can come from altering perceptions.
  9. Many machines could be used for multiple tasks, but the All-In-One was the first to really the first to get it through to people that this was a practical way to use them.
  10. The Apple Macintosh was the machine that truly introduced the world to GUIs, hypertext (hypercard) and action-based (as opposed to command-based) computing.
  11. The Simon, however, has all of the above beat. Designed and mass-marketed in the 1950s, it was the earliest PC ever built - LOOONG before the Altair and long before even the microprocessor.
  12. The Apple G5 was the first well-known 64-bit personal computers (a market AMD and Intel are only now dabbling in)
  13. The Transputer was arguably an entire 32-bit PC on a single chip, when most computers were still 8-bit or 16-bit at best, with support for infinitely scalable parallel processing. In terms of design, it was utterly revolutionary. In terms of its impact on parallel programming, it was phenominal. In terms of Inmos' ability to sell them, it was the greatest disaster to have ever walked the Earth. Mind you, Thorn EMI (who owned Inmos, and were mostly into selling records and music equiptment) didn't help matters.
  14. The AMULET is another system-on-a-chip, but is also totally asynchronous - an amazing achievement for a modern CPU, never mind a SoC. A variant, called the OCCULET (which runs Occam) is freely downloadable.
  15. Gateway PCs. The design was crap, the reliability was questionable, the cowprint was sad, but it seriously kicked ass on price for a long time. Mind you, at one point they used convicts to build them. Gateway's contribution was to kill the overinflated prices and overinflated egos. That was an impressive achievement by any standard.

Re:Ok, now for -my- list, and... (2, Interesting)

Yehooti (816574) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899882)

Where's the DEC Rainbow? Closed system, so that hurt when it came time to upgrade, but it did about everything at the time with its two processors (Z80 and a 8086 as I recall). CPM then later came MS-DOS for it. Mine had four floppies. Still have that sucker somewhere--probably as a door stop in the back room. Just can't bear throwing it away.

Apple computers (1)

nusuni (994260) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899837)

There sure are quite a few Apple computers on there; however, I am quite surprised the original Macintosh from 1984 isn't listed. At least the plus is on there. I am still trying to figure out why the 2006 Toshiba laptop is on there, but alas, there will always be choices that are disagreeable.

SX-64!!! (1)

Knoman (995090) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899845)

While the C-64 should top the list for the simple fact of it being EVERYWHERE and cheap! The SX-64 was a cute lil' luggable with it's 5" square screen!!!

the emate (2, Insightful)

maynard (3337) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899860)

OK. Sp Apple's emate is on this list, which is very cool. The emate is essentially an MP2100 Newton screen, in a clamshell with a built-in keyboard. The processor is a little different between the 2100 and the emate, but they're both arch compatible. Anyway, what matters is not the chip, but the user and programming environment. Due to the recent /. discussion on the Q1 vs. MP 2100 article, I ebayed myself a newton out of curiosity. It *IS* pretty amazing. And *awfully* slow. I mean horribly slow. Newt's Cape (web browser) can take over ten minutes rendering cnn.com in *plain text*! In comparison, my trusty old 386sx/16 from 1990 used to browse the net with lynx no trouble. Real fast.

This is not to insult the Newton dev team. The Newton was never intended to browse the net anyway, and never had any internal acceleration for text manipulation and rendering. And the environment - whoa. It's the prettiest thing since LMI and Symbolics. NewtonScript is an ease to hack. If you care you can code up c++ snippets and call them from within Newtonscript. So, you can write fast stuff - but you're still limited to NewtonScript to interact with the OS for drawing and datebase access (no filesystem, a relational db for data storage instead). Actually, I bet the relational db is part of why the Newton is so slow too.

The Newton has a lot to teach for UI consistency and streamlined design. It really was a beautiful product. I look at Squeak and think: THAT should be the next Newton. Not Gnome, KDE, or Windows XP Tablet edition (Never mind CE). *sigh*

Want to have fun? Check out Einstein [kallisys.com] , a Newton emulator for MacOS X and Linux/ARM: You'll have to use your nefarious hax0r sk11z too find a Newton ROM and then you too can learn 'bout the Newton (and emate) without having to ebay one.

Error! (0, Troll)

OldCrasher (254629) | more than 8 years ago | (#15899866)

This a preposterously technically flawed list. Before the IBM PC came out all "PC's" were actually called Micro Computers (shortened to the character mu followed by a p). Therefore, no Apples. Amiga's, Atari's, Sinclair's, or other makes, unless emulating the IBM, were ever strictly PC's. The term Personal Computer just didn't exist prior to IBMs release of that god awful expensive piece of junk.
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