As you may have heard, WebOS is dead. Or not. Okay, the OS isn’t dead, but HP isn’t going to make the hardware anymore. No more Pre phones, no more Veers, no more TouchPads. Now, it wasn’t too hard to figure out that WebOS devices weren’t setting the world afire — how many Pres have YOU seen in the wild? — but if you were one of the people who bought a WebOS device and loved it and waited patiently for Palm, and then HP, to get developers in line to create more apps, you’re probably feeling sad and even a little betrayed right now. The only chance for the OS to move forward is for someone else to license it. Line forms to the right. No pushing.
But if that’s you, you’re not alone. There have been other tech products that came and went and left loyalists feeling that they’d backed the wrong horse. Game consoles, of course, were like that from the beginning — anyone have a Colecovision in the attic? — and there were laserdiscs and quad stereos and many other examples of tech products that, while they weren’t necessarily bad at all, didn’t last.
I know all about this. My family had Betamax.
Yup, we had Beta machines in the early days of VCRs. Everyone else had VHS. For a while, it was okay, because Beta was technically fine and the video rental stores had both formats. It wasn’t long, however, before those small video cassettes began to disappear from the rental store, then the blank tapes went away, and then Beta became a punch line. Ha, ha. Of course, we eventually capitulated and bought VHS, then DVD. Not Blu-ray, though. I get that Beta feeling about Blu-ray. (A friend of mine had HD-DVD. THAT’S a collector’s item)
What else is in my collection of Tech of the Living Dead? I have a Zip drive, still functional (if, that is, you have a printer port on your computer and a cable to connect it), lightly used. I have several Palm Treos, including the black-and-white job with the flip-up top. My current cell phone runs Windows Mobile 6.1 (I’m stuck on Sprint and waiting for the iPhone or an acceptable Android to come along). These things all work, but they’re as archaic as the Sega Genesis I still have in a box in the garage, waiting for me to suddenly have the craving to play Motley Crue pinball or Tony LaRussa Baseball.
What’s in your Dead Tech pile? What white elephants are gathering dust in your closet (or are still in service, drawing derision from your friends, like my brick of a cell phone)? Talk about ’em in the comments.