Sinclair C5 voted worst invention of all-time

March 25th, 2013 33 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Sinclair C5 Sinclair C5 voted worst invention of all time

Of all the inventions in the world, ever, the Sinclair C5 has been voted the biggest gadget tragedy in human history.

Seems a bit unfair.

Sir Clive Sinclair’s battery-tricycle topped a list that also included Alan Sugar’s email telephone and Betamax video.

In second place was the Rabbit, which if you remember, was a mobile phone which only worked if you were stood within a 100 metres of a transmitter. Basically, it was an expensive walkie-talkie.

The Gadget Show Live, ran the poll, said some of the developments tried “to solve problems that simply didn’t exist”.

Here’s the top ten worst technology inventions ever.

1. Sinclair C5
2. Rabbit Mobile Phones
3. Betamax video
4. Sony MiniDisc
5. LaserDisc video
6. Sega Game Gear
7.  Squarial
8. Email telephone
9. Pizza scissors
10. Sony DAT

Feel free to disagree and add your own bad gadgets in the comments. We think the addition of the GameGear is a little peculiar (surely no better or worse than an Atari Lynx or GameBoy Colour?). The BBQ Donut Boat should have really got a look in.

Comments (33) Jump to most recent comment
  1. Posted by daniel March 25, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    The game gear stood out like a sore thumb in that list to me…

  2. Posted by j March 25, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Do they mean the Betamax system that was (and probably still is) used in thousands of professional TV studios on a daily basis?

    ditto for mini-disc in Radio

    Oh, and DAT? The technology that was used to back up everyone’s computers.

    Idiots.

  3. Posted by Steve O March 25, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    ^^ what he said. Plus isn’t the Laserdisc the very reason we have DVD? It’s more “tech that bit the hand of the early adopter” rather than shit stuff. Although the C5 deserves to be on a shit list.

  4. Posted by Richard Malin March 25, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Shame that Sony features so prominently, especially as fundamentally all the Sony items listed were actually excellent ‘inventions’, just not necessarily commercial successes for whatever reason. Let’s not forget that this is the same company that brought us the Trinitron picture tube (very advanced back in the early 70′s), the Walkman, Video 8 & Hi8, Memory Stick plus lots of other electronic products over the last few decades.

  5. Posted by Phuck Yu March 25, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I thought it was 36? not 36!

  6. Posted by shakesheadsadly March 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    This list is utter rubbish. Betamax was vastly superior to VHS but missed out because of underhand deals the JVC made with the movie companies. A lesson Sony learned well because they did teh same to kill off the sligtly superios HD-DVD in favour of blu-ray.

    Laserdiscs were also much better than VHS at the time, but as with all of the items on this list, it was, and remained, too expensive. By the time the players were coming down in price, DVD had arrived. By the time MiniDisc was coming doen in price, MP3 players had arrived.

    The Game Gear had quite a lot going for it. It was reasonably cheap, offered compatibility with existing mastersystem cartridges via a converter and could be turned into a pocket tv via another converter. Name one other handheld system even now that offers compatibility with another system within the same generation. The only thing close is Remote Play on the Vita.

    Why do I suspect the people who put this together will be the same people than when asked for the 10 gratest inventions, will include the iPhone. Over things such as The computer and the Lightbulb.

    Worst inventions ever? How about leaded car fuel? Or CFC’s? Or Nuclear weapons?!?!?!?

  7. Posted by Grammar Nazi March 25, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    The game gear was great, better than the Lynx easily.

  8. Posted by WhatTheHell March 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    I still have my Game Gear. It was a woefully underrated system.

  9. Posted by Chuckman March 25, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    “Name one other handheld system even now that offers compatibility with another system within the same generation”

    NEC Turbo Express (handheld version of the PC Engine) can play the games of the PC Engine and could also be turned into a pocket TV with a converter.

  10. Posted by jt March 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    The list says more about the morons that attend The Gadget Show Live than anything else. Mini-Disc, DAT, BetaMax and LaserDisc are all quality inventions.

  11. Posted by Mark H March 25, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Minidisc also…
    I still use mine, one AA battery lasts about 30 hours in it, i can fit a full flights worth of audio book onto it using MDLP, and its over eight years old but still bulletproof. I can also attach a mike to it and record decent live audio at gigs, and if it ever packs up or gets lost i can get a replacement on ebay for under £20.

    Yes my iphone does all of these, but the battery life isn’t close. And a pack of AA batteries is easier to have in….

    Hold on.

    This article has started a nice little debate here- the sort of thing that could make Bitterwallet grow.

    Why has the writer just reiterated a news release rather than spend time pulling apart the press release just as the comments are doing, and why hasnt he criticised the lazy nature that these idiotic ‘polls’ demonstrate? I could knock up a decent article out of this in half an hour, pandering to the comical BW comment crew, entertaining the readers, and wholly improving on the post.

    And i’d do it for a tenner.

  12. Posted by Billy Bob bob March 25, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    J – TV Studios use Betacam tapes, not Betamax.

    http://www.high-techproductions.com/formats.htm

  13. Posted by Zleet's Mum March 25, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    I’d bum a fox for a tenner.

  14. Posted by LancerVancer March 25, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    What a bunch of Fucktards they are that go to Gadget Show Live. Game Gear, my arse. The list of the best would be
    1. Apple iPad
    2. Apple iPhone
    3. Apple iPad Mini
    4. Apple Mac
    So on and so forth. Have any of these people seen some of the crazy shite the Chinese/Japanese ‘invent’

    Chill wit da weed.

  15. Posted by what the f##k? March 25, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    And to think I used to watch the Gadget Show.

    Everyone with a passing interest in technology knows that Betamax was/is the better invention. And minidisc was/is better than cassettes & even cdr’s in many ways. DAT could record at better rates than cd . . . . in 1987 for crying out loud, how is that a bad invention?! Dicks.

    The E-m@iler phone was a piece of shit mind.

  16. Posted by Marky Mark March 25, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Sony might have had a few stinkers (Elcaset, anybody?) – but at least they are/were willing to innovate. Ditto Apple and, increasingly, Samsung. Can the same be said for companies run by accountants?

  17. Posted by dazza1011 March 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    how the fuck can the squarial be a bad invention it did what it was supposed to the only reason it didnt taker off was Murdoch bought them out and had pre existing arrangements with other dish manufacturers.
    as for the other Sony inventions they were all good and i can only reiterate what has been added above.

    The gadget show is a fucking awful show anyway with that 45 year old lisping hipster slaphead, the only one i had time for was the posh grey haired bloke who did actually know his stuff

  18. Posted by Idi Amin March 25, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    That Jason idiot is bad enough, but do you remember Ortis? Brilliantly qualified to talk about technology because he, umm, appeared on Blind Date once. He then went on to be a massive fail presenting the World Athletics because he didn’t know anything about that subject either. What a pair of turkeys.

  19. Posted by zeddy March 25, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I dunno….that C5 has some torque on it. That bus has to weigh around 7 tonnes and the C5 hasn’t even bogged down.

    Do they come with a pair of free black gloves for that anonymous wank feel?

  20. Posted by Sawyer March 25, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Your headline: “worst invention of all-time”
    Sun’s headline: “biggest gadget disaster ever”

    Those are NOT the same thing. Because neither article links to the original source, it’s difficult to know whether to agree or not. While most were quite clearly commercial disasters, they weren’t necessarily poor inventions. The MiniDisc introduced digital audio recording to consumers and only suffered due to being made obsolete quickly for most uses. The Betamax was better than VHS.

    Even the C5 can’t be accused of attempting to solve non-existent problems. Even more so today, the vast majority of cars are oversized for the number of people travelling in them. It was just poor implementation.

  21. Posted by Euan March 25, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    ” A lesson Sony learned well because they did teh same to kill off the sligtly superios HD-DVD in favour of blu-ray.”

    Out of curiosity, what made HD-DVD slightly superior? As far as I recall they both use H.264, with bluray discs capable of holding about 60% more data?

  22. Posted by Han Solo March 25, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    @Sawyer

    Pizza scissors are still going strong so they aren’t even a commercial disaster, seems like a very arbitrary list

  23. Posted by Chewbacca March 25, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Here’s a few that would be better contenders:

    Atari Lynx
    Atari Jaguar
    Digital Compact Cassette
    3DO
    Nintendo WiiU
    Sam Coupe
    Atari Falcon
    FM Towns Marty
    Apple Newton
    Apple Pippin
    Bandai Wonderswan
    Neo Geo Pocket
    Atari Portfolio

    Please, feel free to correct me on these.
    Nintendo Virtual Boy

  24. Posted by KHAAAAAAAAAN March 25, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    @Marky Mark (and everyone who thinks Apple have innovated or invented anything)

    http://youtu.be/wFeC25BM9E0

  25. Posted by Pa March 25, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    The apple Newton 2k was an amazing machine. People who knock it probably never used one.

    The Segway, now there’s a piece of shit.

  26. Posted by Big Mozzer March 26, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Why the Game Gear? I loved mine. If you’re gonna pick a Sega product why not the Mega CD or that 32X adapter thing? Or the Dreamcast or Saturn.

  27. Posted by Dick March 26, 2013 at 10:56 am

    If it is general inventions and not just gadgets, then leaded petrol and cigarettes have to be up there.

  28. Posted by _stu_ March 26, 2013 at 10:57 am

    The Game Gear was far better device than anything else at the time.
    Sega’s marketing is awful and the games were far too pricey.

    However, as a TV, it was excellent.

    with the exception of the em@iler, none of these inventions was shit.

    Those of you who have just started shaving won’t remember what life was like back in the 1980s when the only mobile phone option was in a car or a 10kg battery (also called site phones). Particularly in London, Rabbit phones were excellent because they worked in every tube station.

  29. Posted by Han Solo March 26, 2013 at 11:01 am

    @Chewbacca

    The Lynx, Neo Geo pocket and Wonderswan were all fantastic! I still have a Sam Coupe in the attic (not exactly a success though, i’ll give you that).

    Anyway:-
    Amiga CDTV & CD32
    Philips CDi
    Sony PSX
    Nintendo Stellaview
    Atari 5200
    Sinclair QL

  30. Posted by Captain Wank March 26, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    @_stu_
    So were phone boxes, and they were ubiquitous and far cheaper

  31. Posted by Doug Quaid March 27, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Nokia NGage

  32. Posted by Old Git March 28, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Worst inventions?

    Politics
    X-Factor
    Non Self Cleaning Sex Dolls (Japanese type)
    Bitter Wallet’s Comments Section

    Were the last two the same thing?!?

  33. Posted by Spencer March 28, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    What classifies a ‘worst inventions’?

    Surely ‘the gun’ has caused far more damage death and misery than the game gear or minidiscs? On what criteria do we judge? Negative impact on peoples lives? Unwanted technology?

    Surely automated answering systems are strong contenders? If you agree press 1. Press 2 to hear this again or press 3 to be connected to someone in India who doesnt speak English and doesnt give a fuck…

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