You Know You’re Dependent on Your Palm When…

Being the owner of a Palm Tungsten, I’m looking for new software every now and again: having a fairly powerful computer in your pocket means you can use it for certain situations where you’d never take a full computer (I’ve never understood why people keep their main phone book on a desktop computer where you can’t get to it unless you’re sitting at the desk).
It’s pretty much taking the place of my short-term memory at the moment; all my schedules, phone numbers, birthdays, things to remember… Were I to lose this thing, I may as well stay indoors for six months, because I wouldn’t be able to function in polite society without it.
I thought I was pretty heavily Palm-reliant until I saw some of the amazingly anal-retentive-friendly programs people are churning out for this device:
Shoes Rack 1.0 helps you organize your family’s shoes. You can store all the information about them: their type, colour, owner, some notes about where you bought them, and even – get this – current location. Presumably, you’d have to update this database pretty frequently, especially in wet weather.
There are plenty of others, too. Databases for remembering when to take the videos back to the video store (even with a setting for ‘overnight hire’) and programs for keeping track of what shape the moon is right now, even if you can’t see it.
But I think the best example of an application which goes a little too far in the brain-replacement stakes is “Parents +“. It starts well, keeping track of little details about your kid which are hard to remember, like their medical records and wish lists… but it lost me when I got to the screen called “My Child’s Details”. It records the child’s height, weight, hair colour and eye colour – just in case you forget – as well as marks and scars (poor kid), ostensibly as a way to make it easier to report them to the police or shopping center manager when they are lost. I can almost understand why that information might need to be recorded somewhere. Almost.
But what about the section on that page marked ‘Currently wearing‘? How would I use that? Update it every morning? Ask the kids to wait and hold still while I updated the Tungsten with today’s police report just in case?
I don’t know what scares me more; that people feel a need to record that information in a handy place these days, or that I have actually spent 5 minutes of my life seriously considering a use for that function.

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