So that’s what happened to Clippy [CARTOON]

Excavators found those long buried E.T. Atari 2600 game cartridges, but perhaps some other famous tech blunders should remain buried


A cartoon showing a man in a hard hat showing an E.T. game cartridge to two other men in suits. The man in the hard hat says 'Good news: We found your buried Atari E.T. game cartridges. Bad news: That's not all we found.' In the background is a hold in the ground, with an excavator next to it. Sticking out of the hole is Microsoft's Clippy saying 'I'm free!'

We have good news and bad news...

Image credit: ITworld/Phil Johnson

Fun story out of New Mexico this week, where folks from Microsoft Xbox and a film company dug up a cache of unsold E.T. Atari 2600 video game cartridges. The cartridges, along with other unsold Atari merchandise including other game cartridges and gaming hardware, were buried in an Alamorgordo landfill in 1983. The merchandise came from an El Paso, Texas manufacturing plant whose operations were being moved to the far east in an effort to staunch Atari's financial bleeding resulting from, among other things, the huge flop of the E.T. game.

This whole thing made me wonder what other infamous tech failures may be waiting to be discovered in some forgotten landfill? As interesting as it was to see pictures of people holding those long-buried E.T. games, I can think of at least one other famous tech blunder that should just remain buried.

On that note, have a great weekend!

Read more of Phil Johnson's #Tech blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Phil on Twitter at @itwphiljohnson. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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