Holly is currently out-of-town, so you’d think that I’d have spent the whole weekend eating pizza, renting violent movies and sitting around in my underwear — you know, reverting back to adolescence while my better half is away. Surprisingly, I wore pants and did a bunch of small chores around the house. However, I did order a pizza and I did watch a few movies.
One of the movies I stumbled onto over the weekend was “Little Black Book” Not a huge fan of the whole “chick flick” genre, you might be wondering why I watched it. Although Brittany Murphy may have been the star of the film, what hooked me was all the references to Palm. As my tag cloud can attest, I’ve been a bit of a fan over the years. I will admit that my passion for the platform has definitely waned over the last five years, going so far as to tell them goodbye, but I couldn’t stop watching.
To some extent I was really doing nothing more than reliving the late heydays of Palm. I remember all the promotion that Palm put out on the film and how they felt that the Palm Tungsten C was one of the characters in the movie. Although that may be taking things a bit too far, it was definitely the star of the show in my eyes.
In “Little Black Book,” Stacy Holt (Brittany Murphy), an associate producer for daytime talk show hostess Kippie Kann (Kathy Bates), is frustrated when her boyfriend Derek (Ron Livingston) refuses to discuss his past relationships. With the encouragement of co-worker Barb (Holly Hunter), she delves into his palmOne™ handheld to learn about his ex-girlfriends. The digital footprints of past and present romances are kept on a Tungsten™ C handheld from palmOne. This little black book, used for work and play, is the technology star of the film.
The movie itself was mediocre at best. If they had used a Blackberry instead of a Palm, I wouldn’t have lasted more than 10 minutes before changing the channel. But they didn’t. They used a Palm and they used it through the film here-and-there. One of the more memorable scenes for me was where they were displaying a Palm application via a projector up on the wall. The image was obscured by the actors and they never actually made reference to it, so I can only assume that it was used in an earlier scene that was deleted, but you could clearly see a few soft buttons and an outline of the user interface. It literally made me catch my breath.
As silly as it may sound, what dawned on me was just how much I used to be IN LOVE with Palm OS. There she was — Palm OS — right at her peak, still vibrant and full of potential, in a major Hollywood movie and she looked fantastic. The Commodore 64 may have been my first crush on technology, but the Palm Pilot was my first true love and seeing the actors make references to it and for her display to appear on screen just brought it all back.
It was like seeing photos of your first girlfriend and remembering how great it was back then. Today you’ve both grown older and gone your separate ways, but to recall that time in your lives when everything just clicked and it is so delightfully delicious to recall. At a commercial break, I closed my eyes to hold onto that memory as long as I could. It was like savoring a single bite of a desert long forgotten. You hold onto it with all your senses as it slowly dissolves away and then you swallow and there’s nothing left.
To drive the analogy into the ground, Palm has since let herself go and left me for someone new a few years ago. She’s now but a glimmer of her former self and I stopped calling because it was just to painful to see her like that. Of course she has a younger sister, the Palm Pré, which everyone is excited about, but that’s not the one you fell in love with.
Besides, I think to myself, I’ve moved on and I’m in a happy and committed relationship with my iPhone. Our relationship is stable and secure and even after two years, we’re still acting like we’re dating. There’s so much stuff to see and do that there simply isn’t enough time in the day.
But every so often, I hear a beep, or see a certain squarish oblong button and I’m instantly taken back to the days when technology was a little bit simpler and the world was still eagerly waiting to be conquered.