computers stories

We all dream of having the revolutionary idea that makes us successful. In fact, the number of patents filed each year almost doubles every ten years to almost half a million in 2010 alone. Unfortunately, being first to market with a new technology product, even a great product, doesn't necessarily guarantee success. For your enjoyment, we've compiled a list of "successful" technology firsts that weren't quite so successful in their original incarnation. Whether it was poor marketing, some supporting technology just wasn't "there" yet, or something unforeseen, you have to admire these brave first attempts. The lessons taught by these technological firsts is all the more apt on this, the day of the iPod's 10 birthday, considering the iPod itself followed in the footsteps of another, now forgotten MP3 player.
In 1996, I was in middle school. We had Prodigy at home, I'd just opened my first Hotmail account, and I signed up for AIM with a ludicrous username that I'm stuck with to this day. This Best Buy ad from way back then with 133 MHz computers, multiple megabytes of ram, and The Macarena on VHS (!) is a nightmarish reminder of how important tech really is.
The age of flash memory might be nearing a close even before those sexy SSDs really hit the mainstream market, as IBM has just announced that they've figured out a way to make phase-change memory a commercial reality within five years. What's in it for you? Well, how does accessing your data about a hundred times faster sound?