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#9. New Internet Computer (2000)

New Internet Computer
At $199 sans monitor, Larry Ellison's New Internet Computer was cheap, but not all that useful. Released in August 2000 when broadband access was still just a twinkle in most users' eyes, the NIC relied on painfully slow dial-up connections. With no hard drive and a CD-ROM-based Linux operating system, it gave you no way to install software so you could work offline--and back then we didn't have Web-based Google apps to take the place of desktop software.

Though hyped to the gills as a PC replacement, the NIC sold fewer than 50,000 units--just a tad short of the 5 million Ellison set as a goal for its first year. In June 2003, the New Internet Computer Company shuttered its doors, more a victim of bad timing than bad engineering.

Today, a $200 Linux-based Net client sounds mighty tempting--one reason why a dedicated band of NIC fans are attempting to revive the machine.

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