In order to take us back to the 1940s OppenheimerAnd Film engineers have to take us back to… 2002. To premiere Christopher Nolan’s next epic (this Friday, July 21), IMAX will use technology as old as the nuclear bomb itself: A PalmPilot.
Its three hours long, IMAX version of Oppenheimer It is estimated to be one of the largest reels of film ever made, at 11 miles long and 600 pounds heavy. To accommodate this, IMAX had to specifically design extensions for their film platter, the surface that connects reels together just before they are shown. And they are all run using an emulator of the well-known tool.
“Original Quick Turn Reel units run on PalmPilots,” an IMAX spokesperson told Motherboard. prior to release OppenheimerIMAX Engineering has designed and manufactured a simulator that mimics the look and feel of the PalmPilot.”
Much older software actually has a much longer lifespan than you might think, Motherboard points out, as some companies and organizations (including IMAX) tend to operate by the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. A particularly relevant example: The Pentagon used 8-inch floppy disks for its nuclear command and control system until 2019. Why bother spending money to upgrade today if you can keep putting it off until your technology is alarmingly flabby?
On the TikTok below, you can see an IMAX setup featuring a replica PalmOne m130, an n0-frills budget palm first released in 2002.
Oppenheimer It stars Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Kenneth Branagh, Rami Malek, and many more. None of them were present at the film’s UK premiere, according to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.
Constantly pushing the boundaries of film 🎞️. #Oppenheimer #ChristopherNolan #IMAX
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So it looks like IMAX theaters got out of the palm pilots of the fast spinning reel unit. And nowadays, instead of running it through a microcontroller, PC, Raspberry Pi, or iPad, they just run a Palm OS emulator? I burst out laughing pic.twitter.com/1FJF5sAPmi
– Tom Barber 🐀 (Turbar) July 17, 2023