The Alleged Computer
A really, really shoddy computer.
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(permanent link) added: 2013-04-30 12:59:03 sponsor: PancticeSquadCutterback (last reply: 2013-06-09 18:11:34)

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"Well, I hope [the nine hundred dollars Strong Bad is requesting is] for a new computer. [Strong Bad] could get one like [his] at a garage sale for, like... (chuckling) fifteen dollars".
Strong Sad, sbemail gimmicks

It's a rusty old computer that takes over a minute to perform a simple operation. A beaten-up computer that restarts unexpectedly and at the last time you would like it to.

This is The Alleged Computer. This computer, to put it kindly, isn't the most viable to use to lollygag or search. In fact, you could probably benefit using an old mobile phone with internet capabilities over this type of "computer". Their best use is probably a novelty doorstop. If it runs overly slowly or breaks with a single touch, it definitely fits here.

If a computer is actually much more efficient than it looks, see What a Piece of Junk.

Compare The Alleged Car and The Alleged Steed, which are underperforming automobiles and horses. Also see No Backwards Compatibility In The Future and Our Graphics Will Suck In The Future.

Walking Techbanes turn any computer around them into this trope.
Literature
  • Newton Pulsifer, in Neil Gaiman's and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens has a singular knack for machinery. That is to say he can make it stop working just by trying to make it work. And he always buys the worst. His computers somehow always manage to be the early model with the hopelessly flawed chipset and the like. And don't ask about his car.

Live Action TV
  • Holly from Red Dwarf, Despite apparently having an I.Q of 3000, he (she in the later series) has gone very senile, and often blunderingly damages the people on the ship.
  • In the Thunderbirds episode "Sun Probe", engineer "Brains" accidentally takes his experimental robot instead of a computer along on a rescue. When he's forced to ask the robot to make the calculations, it takes the robot a full 20 seconds (accompanied by obligatory clicks and whirrs) to make the calculation when (in spite of the pseudo-scientific nonsense-calculation used) it could have been solved on a pocket calculator as quickly as you could press the keys.
  • One Tales from the Darkside episode "The Word Processor Of The Gods" has writer Richard Hagstrom receive a homemade word processor from his nephew Jonathan. The machine struggles with mundane text processing, but when commanded to rewrite his life, the results are astounding.
  • Subverted in the Tales from the Darkside episode "The Word Processor Of The Gods" has writer Richard Hagstrom receive a homemade word processor from his nephew Jonathan. The machine struggles with mundane text processing, but when commanded to rewrite his life, the results are astounding.

Newspaper Comics

Web Animation
  • Strong Bad from Homestar Runner apparently loves computers like this and uses them by choice. His first computer, the Tandy, fits this trope after Strong Bad continues to use it after it explodes. The Compy doesn't show any negative qualities other than general obsolescence for its time, but the Lappy is known for being too heavy to be portable and has a battery life of five minutes. He mocks his friend The Cheat for using a modern Apple that doesn't have a text-based interface, he thinks a flat screen means someone cut half of the monitor away, and he thinks the Apple mouse is a bar of soap. Averted with his current computer, the Compé, which was current when the toons that featured it were made.

Webcomics
  • In Leftover Soup Jamie had a "Linux clusterfuck" of three laptops that were supposed to act as one machine but in practice didn't work without all three active at once and was much less powerful than even one of them by itself. He apparently bought the mess for $50 and the original creator had died with no documentation. Professional computer geek Ellen tried for a full day and night to make it work with one laptop but eventually just scrapped them and bought him a new laptop.
  • General Protection Fault - the secret organization of the Brotherhood of the Twisted Pair seek a geek "like none other, whose skills are without equal. He (or she) will initiate a golden age of geekdom, and lead a revolution of ideas that will revolutionize the computerized world." One of the tests is averting this trope with out-of-date machinery.
    • Fooker passed by building a server out of computer equipment made from the late 1980s, when said components were at least a decade out of date.
    • Sharon passed by writing down what you'd have to do in order to pull off a similar feat, using 20-year old equipment.
    • Yoshi passed by having the computer equipment a college kid could buy on a budget confiscated by the FBI, because of what he did with it.

Western Animation
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