Friday, February 15, 2008

The History of Suck -- Palm Pilot

Gadabout has been thinking a lot about stupid ideas. Stupid ideas that became extremely popular and revolutionized society then fizzled away into the abyss of distant memories. The Palm notebook was one of those stupid ideas. Palm successfully designed, built and marketed a cool looking device that replaced a spiral paper notebook. It was an organizational tool that made the user look hip and ready to tackle the 21st century. Those without a palm were envious of those who utilized a plastic pointer to make endless and seemingly important entries. In 1999 the U.S. Navy issued me a Palm. It was so very exciting to sit through meetings and pretend to take notes on such a splendid management tool. Gadabout was cool. Gadabout tossed the Palm into the garbage can a few months later. Gadabout went back to a notebook and trusty pencil to conduct business.

I am guessing most everyone tossed their Palms away after a year or so. If they didn’t revolt by tossing them into the waste bin, then they were most likely buried alive in a box and rest peacefully after a painful death resulting from battery life failure. Palms sucked, but they sold millions of them. And maybe, just maybe, they led to useable technologies that connected to the internet like the Blackberry. In this sense, Palm was a catalyst for change. Change for the better, but Palms still sucked.

Other things that suck(ed):

- Cowboy shirts popular in the 1970’s
- The Chevrolet Vega
- Black Lights
- Spandex
- ESP card decks
- Hair implants
- Toupees
- Alimony
- Pong
- 3-D movies
- Barney
- Bottled water
- Outlook Express
- Wireless mouse
- Turtleneck sweaters
- Soccer
- Coach Class airline seats
- Bluetooth
- Spam (both kinds)

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