Memory Lame...First stop, Java Ring!

It never ceases to amaze me what I find lurking in my old jackets. This little gem triggered an alarm at the airport screening in Berlin but brought back many memories of days when I was a hotshot developer - and fell in love with the Java Ring.

The Java Ring was an encrypted iButton (using 1-Wire) made by Dallas Semiconductor and distributed by Sun at the Java One conference back in 1998 (the one where I ran into a 911 with my Boxster whilst trying to get to...). Basically, it was a little smart card that ran a JVM which could be put to various uses.

I had visions of internet commerce and elite membership focused on this ring, but sadly things never panned out that way with competing priorities that had a much shorter payback period and lower risk.

Whilst I wore the ring for a few months, one thing that surprised me was the pitting shown in the photo: I am a sweaty creature and apparently the pH of my sweat is a little lower than normal, thus acidic. Whilst I was told the shank and signet were all stainless steel (which is normally highly acid resistant), the pitting you see shows a yellowish metal underneath, almost certainly brass - el cheapo! The ring became uncomfortable to wear one morning and I slipped it into a jacket and forgot about it...until now.

Digital jewelery is yet to really take off and the Java Ring may have been dead in the water or just a bit ahead of its time. Either way, an interesting example of what could have been, less so of what may yet be...