Monday, September 14, 2009

Tech churn: The Franklin Planner and Google Calendar

In the too brief glory days of the Palm, between the Palm III and the Vx, my wife used a Palm III and the Palm Desktop.

Then Palm added color and died.

I fought on to the bloody end, but Emily was wiser. She returned to the Franklin Planners we’d started using in 1994, when life got too messy for Letts of London.

Alas, we live now in the tech churn days of regency – when the old is gone and the young are unready. Change unwanted is upon us and the change we want is not yet ready.

Franklin’s business market has fallen to the BlackBerry and Exchange Server, and their home market is tempted by cheaper solutions, and – painfully – iPhones. Their web site is decrepit, their offerings increasingly disorganized. They appear to be going the way of the wrist watch.

So goes the aged, but the replacements are unready. We’re not going to run Exchange Server at home, and Apple’s calendaring products are, to put it diplomatically, hideous failures. Google’s alternatives are the best of the lot, by which I mean they are barely acceptable if you’re an uber-geek.

Which I am, so we have a solution. In two weeks Emily’s cursed BlackBerry Pearl contract concludes, she’ll get my iPhone 3G, and I’ll get the new contract 3GS*. She’ll likely complement her gCal/ pair with a wall calendar and a wire bound notebook.

The Franklin Planner will move into history, but I bet she’ll miss it – especially when Google-Apple wars blow our calendaring out of the water.

Tech churn means that it will be ten years before it’s all somewhat seamless again.

* Yes, I get my new phone off her contract and she gets my aging 3G. Sorry. In the words of Sméagol … “My preciousssss”. [1]

Update 9/26/09: I lied. Emily, you see, reads my blog. She got the new phone in a lovely black blue case, and she was quite delighted. After playing with the fully prepped and loaded 3GS for a few minutes she went into deep future shock. She has a new appreciation for Apple's Satanic genius.

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