By Brian X. Chen
Propose to your girlfriend with technology and you're bound to get blogged.
There's no shame in that, though. If the idea of Cupid were conceived in modern times, he'd probably be sending messages through an RSS reader rather than shooting arrows with a bow, right?
OK, probably not. But even so, geeks have come a long way since they were mocked and despised a couple decades ago. Now that we know nerdiness can lead to fame, power and riches, it's possible to be a geek and get the girl. To prove the point, we've rounded up a list of the geekiest, tech-inspired marriage proposals that were sweet enough to work. They might even get a cold, dead heart like mine thumping a little.
Michael Weiss-Malik, a Google employee, deserves a lot of credit for this one. What better way to show the world your love than displaying it on Google Maps? Weiss-Malik got his buddies on the Street View team to give him a heads-up on the next time the Street View car was coming out to take pictures. And when that day came, he was well-prepared, holding a banner that read "Proposal 2.0: Marry me Leslie!!" (see above) After that, all he had to was lure Leslie into loading Google Maps and zooming in on the precise coordinates of his romantic stunt.
Now, that's clever.
iPropose with iPhone
We've heard two stories of tech-savvy Casanovas using their iPhones to propose to their girlfriends. Just this week Bryan Haggerty coded a custom iPhone application to send his girlfriend Jeannie Chou on a scavenger hunt throughout San Francisco. The web app included a map containing location points, each one accompanied with a video providing clues on where to go next. In the end, the map points connected to form a <3,>
And then there's Dan Deeble, who concocted a similar idea in October 2008. He found an iPhone app called Scribular, which works with the handset's GPS and allows users to tag locations with notes. Deeble put on his geeky-romantic thinking hat, and he came up with a creative way to use Scribular. He drove around Sacramento, leaving notes for his partner Crystal Gardner at various locations. He loaded Scribular on her iPhone, too, and had her friends calling her throughout the day, telling her to check the app. Finally the two met at a restaurant, where Gardner checked Scribular one more time to see another note: "Almost one year ago, I found you -- and I found love.... I ask if you will grant me the greatest privilege of my life and marry me. Forever yours, Dan."
Playing games with her heart
YouTube user TheRealPfhreak's proposal method was arduous, not to mention retro nerdy. He hacked a ROM of the old Super Nintendo role-playing game Chrono Trigger while his girlfriend was playing through it. Before tweaking some of the game's dialogue to ask her to marry him, he modded the game to recreate some of their favorite memories such as stargazing and dancing. And he even added in her favorite song lyrics from The Princess Bride. Whoever said nerdy computer scientists couldn't be romantic?
Game geek Bernie hacked his way into his lady's heart, too. He modded his girlfriend Tammy's favorite game, Bejeweled, to work on a Nintendo DS. Only, it was slightly different: At some point the jewel pieces formed the shape of a diamond ring, which he used to pop out the question. Looks like it took a lot of time, but it's safer than buying an actual ring, right? Just kidding — he got her one of those, too.