Feeds

Ten technology FAILS

Tech that might have revolutionised your life but you have now completely forgotten

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

OpenDoc

Early in the 1990s, bright sparks at Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Novell and WordPerfect decided that the answer to the accretion of features that was beginning to bog down the productivity apps of the time was to rethink the relationship between documents and applications. Documents, they said, should be standalone entities able to contain any type of data and not be tied to specific apps, which would no longer be monolithic programs but small editors invoked when the user clicked on an appropriate data type. So, click on some text and the word processor app would be loaded. Click on a table in the same document and the spreadsheet module would be loaded. Users could pick different editors from different vendors, but work in the one document.

Novell OpenDoc primer

This was going to kill Microsoft Office? Yeah, right

For Microsoft, with its OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) technology, it was all about beefing up Office. For the others, it was about loosening Office’s dominance of the productivity software business. No prizes for guessing which of the two is still being used today. OpenDoc ended up requiring too much memory - the editor apps weren’t as lightweight as intended - and with no standard way of encoding for each type of data, one bitmap editor module could not necessarily open a picture worked on in another bitmap editor.

PDAs

Was the Personal Digital Assistant a fail? It’s true that what we now call a smartphone is heir to the PDA and, if you count all the organisers that the likes of Palm, Sony and others sold in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the PDA, as a category, proved incredibly successful. But what about the PDA as originally conceived? Even today’s iPhones and Androids don’t quite provide the automated, intelligent organiser that Apple CEO John Sculley had in mind when he coined the term PDA back in the mid-1990s. His notion, to be embedded (kind of) in the Newton MessagePad, was of a device that constantly tracked its user’s activities, learning and eventually anticipating what they wanted to get up to - in short to be the digital equivalent of a PA.

Newton MessagePad 120 - open

Apple made several MessagePads - here, the 120 - but never delivered a true, working PDA

Apple didn’t get it right then and even its Siri, which sits voice recognition on top of a search engine, isn’t sufficiently sophisticated to organise your life for you. Apple’s Newton was a flop and was out-paced by the more basic, cheaper Palm Pilot, which was never tried to be anything more than a digital diary and contacts list.

Application security programs and practises

Next page: Plays For Sure

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Microsoft confirms secret Surface will never see the light of day
Microsoft's form 8-K records decision 'not to ship a new form factor'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.