Stop with the ‘worst of’ Apple lists


Yes, we know – everyone hated the iMac puck mouse/Newton/Mac TV/Pippin. There’s no more need to include it in a “Top # Apple Mistakes” list anymore.

For the past few years, for as long as I’ve been writing Newton Poetry, these “worst of” lists have cropped up from time to time. Most of them mention a similar combination of the above Apple “mistake” products. Chances are, each list will feature the same disliked Apple products as every other what-were-they-thinking list.

It’s a sham, and it’s annoying.

First, the whole “top 10” list is simply an easy way to be Dugg and Stumbled Upon. I should know – I’m guilty of it myself. The difference is that I didn’t have to browse through other sites, copy their content, and paste it into the site. Every blog and site these days has to have their own iteration of the “worst of” list. Sure, each post probably generates a bit of traffic and tons of comments. The result, however, is that the site ends up looking desperate and silly.

Second, these posts are unoriginal in the extreme. In fact, it’s easy to predict what products will be featured in any given list. Here’s a quick rundown of Apple products you should have never purchased, just off the top of my head:

  1. Apple iMac hockey puck mouse
  2. Some Apple Newton MessagePad or eMate
  3. Apple/Bandai Pippin
  4. Mac TV
  5. Mac Portable
  6. PowerMac G4 Cube
  7. Apple III
  8. Apple Lisa
  9. Some random Performa or LC model
  10. 20th Anniversary Mac

Funny that no one mentions the Apple Hi Fi or, as of yet, the Apple TV. Perhaps in a few years those products will be included, too.

Here’s the point: it’s as if, when tech blogs are pressed for fresh content, they generate some unoriginal, macabre list of Apple failures and run it as a “top 10” post. Voila – instant page views.

Us Apple fans, and especially us Newton fans, deserve better in-depth analysis than what we all ready know to be true. I hope that Apple fans see past such drivel, and skip the link on Macsurfer.

“What the hell’s wrong with you?” our collective wisdom should tell these sites. “Get a goddamn life.”

No, Apple’s not perfect, and yes, we remember the devil-spawned puck mouse. Can we move on?

There for a while, I was reporting on every damned list that included the Newton. My knee-jerk reaction was outrage, of course, but after a while that outrage turned into a passive frustration. Now, it’s just annoying.

Because it keeps happening. Like clockwork.

Sure, we can argue all day about whether the Newton platform was a failure. And we could have some yucks over how clunky (yet beautiful) the Cube really was.

But we only need to have those conversations once or twice. Not every week.

Shame on the blogs that run these “worst of” posts, and shame, especially, to those high-traffic sites that have the resources and talent to generate perfectly good and suitably worthwhile content.

Don’t resort to everyone’s-doing-it posts like these. You ought to know better.


  1. Aww. But I love that little G4 Cube. Even better? Put a Mac mini inside it: — And a mini with a Quad-core processor in would truly live up to the name of the Power Mac Cube.

    And the 20th Anniversary Mac, despite being ugly and coming just too soon to get the benefits of USB and OS X compatibility, is also one of the best Macs ever. It was the whole essence of the Mac’s simplicity and quality in one, delivered-by-limousine package.

    Lastly, if the hockey-puck mouse had been an inch bigger in diameter, it would have been excellent.

  2. Love the Mini Cube idea.

    And I’m not agreeing with these “worst of” lists. Cripes, this is a site about the friggin’ Newton, which makes every “worst of tech” list there is. Even the hockey puck mouse has a special place in my heart: it came with the first iMac G3 I ever got my hands on.

  3. Its a shame that there are so many blogs nowadays because everything gets covered several times over. I’m actually the editor for AppleReviews and I was unaware of any of these other posts, we researched into the products e.t.c before posting. It was not copied and pasted.

    The main reason that the lists are usually the same or similar is because there are only relatively few Apple gadgets that flopped. Its just pure coincidence that most people pick the more interesting hardware items, or those they haven’t seen before.

    Thanks for reading our blog though :)

  4. I’d believe it’s coincidence if it didn’t happen so often, and at intervals that are so close together, Ben.

    Just in the last week alone, there have been two or three similar posts. Probably five to six in the past month. That’s not coincidence. That’s laziness.

    You’re right about the amount of blogs hosting similar articles. That’s the nature of the game. But this one thing has gotten out of hand.

    Thanks for you input, and keep up the good work.

  5. Gee Dave…I have most of the items on that list!

    I’m guessing that few, if any, of the list authors have ever used an Apple III, Lisa, or Mac Portable – Heck, how many have even actually *seen* one in person?

    Perhaps the “Worst of Mac Author” should be on the top ten list of poor bloggers.

  6. Indeed, Curtis. These folks just dig through other blog posts, find out what didn’t sell well or had some flaw, and speculate from there. It makes for crummy writing and me-too page hits.

  7. I’m probably one of the few who had absolutely no problem with the USB round mouse (I shan’t call it “hockey puck”). It actually did good for my right hand. And – guess what? – today it’s still connected to the Apple USB keyboard that was included with my old iMac G3. Only I use it… attached to my G4 Cube, because sadly that iMac is no more.

    Anyway, I wholeheartedly agree with this post. Thanks for this. :)

  8. Thank you, Rick, and nice to hear another puck mouse user who’s unashamed.

  9. […] Thanks, Mashable, for that original blog idea. […]

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