Following our last round-up of gear that profiled the unapologetic early adopter, Wired readers took to our comments board and Facebook wall with suggestions for items we missed. Well, you spoke and we listened. As promised, here are nine more dubious technologies that only the most devout technophile would have jumped on.
Functionality be damned. Give us hot newness!
The MiniDisc, Sony’s proprietary music format, was uncomfortably wedged between audio CD players and hard drive-based MP3 players, and thus sat in limbo as the future of portable consumer audio unfolded. MiniDisc was a proprietary format (almost always a negative in the big scheme of consumer adoption), yet some people still bought in. Sony sold the MiniDisc Walkman right up until July 2011, and, yes, Sony is still producing MiniDiscs for simple data storage.
It's not a bad run considering the MiniDisc debuted in 1992. Hardcore advocates have somehow kept the format relevant, and the discs have grown more capacious over the years (you can fit up to a gigabyte of music on a Hi-MD disc).
As Matthew Moulton points out, the MiniDisc was much more popular in Japan than in the United States, which accounts for inexplicably solid sales figures right up until this year. It seems that everyone who bought MiniDisc systems wanted to get their money's worth.
Alexander George is ambivalent about his New Jersey provenance. He currently lives in San Francisco and writes for WIRED. Follow @Engeorged on Twitter.