When geeks get it wrong: the top 10 most useless gadgets we've ever bought

Even IT geeks sometimes buy duff gadgets and technology from time-to-time. Here, we look at 10 examples of tech that should have been left to rot, but ended up in someone's shopping bag instead.

Corporate IT departments are full of super-smart boffins who can swap out sputtering hard disks, resuscitate servers as well as troubleshoot annoying software problems while still finding time to install routers and lay Ethernet cables. They therefore must have excellent technical acumen when it comes to buying the latest gadgets?

Our unscientific straw poll of corporate IT technicians suggests otherwise. What follows is a shocking list of some of the most useless gadgets IT professionals have ever bought with their own money and which were inevitably destined for the landfill. If you too have no shame, you can share your own tales of retail woe in the comments section below.

Castlewood Orb

Castlewood Orb

In the storied history of computer storage peripherals, many companies and products have fallen by the wayside from Zip disks and SyQuest cartridges to Bernoulli disks and cassette tape. One of the more obscure is the Castlewood Orb.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The Orb was a 2.2GB removable cartridge and drive storage system, similar to the more famous Iomega Jaz drives. Unfortunately, many of the first Orb drives relied on USB1.1. Backing up 2.2GB of data at a treacle-like pace of 1.5MB/s took at least half an hour. The disks were expensive and hard to find too. Although Orb drives with much faster USB2 connections and 5.7GB cartridges were eventually introduced, most people sensibly gave it a miss in favour of rewritable DVDs.

Featured Resources

The essential guide to cloud-based backup and disaster recovery

Support business continuity by building a holistic emergency plan

Download now

Trends in modern data protection

A comprehensive view of the data protection landscape

Download now

How do vulnerabilities get into software?

90% of security incidents result from exploits against defects in software

Download now

Delivering the future of work - now

The CIO’s guide to building the unified digital workspace for today’s hybrid and multi-cloud strategies.

Download now

Most Popular

digital transformation

Boston Dynamics dog-like robots sniff out bombs for Massachusetts police

26 Nov 2019
mergers and acquisitions

Xerox threatens hostile takeover after HP rebuffs $30bn takeover

22 Nov 2019
data breaches

T-Mobile data breach affects more than a million users

25 Nov 2019
Google Android

Samsung Galaxy A90 5G review: Simply the best value 5G phone

22 Nov 2019