Sun's JavaStation Computer Makes 'Network' Debut on "Friends"
Casting Call For Props Lands Sun's Network Computer on Rachel's Desk
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- February 18, 1997 -- The newest cast member on "Friends," the NBC mega-hit television program, doesn't need a hair stylist, never asks: "what's my motivation?" and works for peanuts. No, it's not another monkey.
JavaStation™ the sleek "thin client" network computer from Sun Microsystems, Inc., debuted recently on the desk of a key cast member in the first of at least five episodes in which it's expected to appear this season. The JavaStation is also being deployed around the nation by some corporate stars, such as CSX Corp., Federal Express and FTD to help reduce the total cost of owning and maintaining corporate networks. A new category of computer, "thin clients" have no hard drives, no floppy drives, no CD-ROMs. Instead, they download all of their applications from the network and the Internet. This makes thin-client computing the most economically viable option for many banks, retailers and other large, cost-conscious companies whose employees don't need the expensive storage, memory and moving parts that typically come with "fat client" PCs.
The JavaStation desktop machine appears as part of a new story line on Friends in which Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) has traded in her job at that hip cafe "Central Perk" to become an accessories buyer for a major department store. Sun's curvy, colorful machine appears on the desk in Rachel's trendy new office.
"The set decorators wanted something that said "cutting edge," props that made this place look like it had everything going for it -- all of the best computers, copiers, furniture and environmental design," said Harold Randall, co-owner of Silent Stars, a Los Angeles product placement company that specializes in finding special items for Friends and other TV programs, including Murphy Brown, 3rd Rock from the Sun and Suddenly Susan. "JavaStation drew a lot of high-level attention when it was introduced in October, so we knew it was an important product. At the same time, the thing that intrigued me about JavaStation is there's nothing that looks quite like it. It has this beautifully streamlined, blue and black casing that really makes it stand out. It was perfect for the show."
Randall added that the unique design of the JavaStation device could land it on several other network television programs in coming months, depending upon demand for office product props. "I just see it in so many places on so many shows," he said.
Targeted at the market for mission-critical applications, such as retail customer service, call centers and financial service operations, the JavaStation device offers important benefits for anyone on a computer network. The entry level package with 8 MB of main memory costs less than $750.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision, "The Network Is The Computer™," has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc., (NASDAQ "SUNW"), to its position as a leading provider of hardware, software and services for establishing enterprise-wide intranets and expanding the power of the Internet. With more than $7 billion in annual revenues, Sun can be found in more than 150 countries and on the World Wide Web at http://www.sun.com.
Sun, the Sun logo, Sun Microsystems, "The Network is the Computer" and JavaStation are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and in other countries. Press announcements and other information about Sun Microsystems are available on the Internet via the World Wide Web using a tool such as Netscape or NCSA Mosaic. Type http://www.sun.com at the URL prompt.