Monday, March 06, 2006

Blackberry – the bane of my existence.

Is that a phone? Is that a PDA? Nope, it is a Crack-Berry, I mean Blackberry.

Don’t get me wrong, as a user of the device it is really cool. Since I left Cori, I don’t have one anymore. I was able to use it as a cell phone, have access to my email and calendar in real-time, make tasks, and (yes) play games. I also had IM enabled to chat with people that sat 20 feet away from me. Yes, I am that lazy.. I still use windows IM to chat with people that I share a cube wall with, but that is a rant for another time. I was able to download the entire address book from the corporate exchange server and perform lookups against the corporate address book.

As an admin of the device, it sucks. I constantly get calls at the most inopportune times from end-users saying that they are not getting email or they downloaded so unapproved application that makes the device a pretty expensive rock. Most fixes were the standard – take the battery and let the system reboot. Does Microsoft make this application? Nope, that would be Mobile 5… But, the calls I loved would be the “It just stopped working” or “my screen does not display anymore”.. Yeah.. It does not work anymore because you ran it over with your car or you were on your motorcycle trying to answer an email at 90. moron… At least in my new job, I don’t get many of those calls very often.

I don’t have to tell you that I was a bit disappointed and relieved that RIM settled the lawsuit against them. I was not looking forward to implementing OMA (Outlook Mobile Access) for a company the size of Nike. Talk about “not any fun”… I am glad that everything worked out for the best. Just a side note, talk about free advertisement… You could not pay for this kind of coverage and exposure. There is no one in the country that now does not know about Blackberry.

I did happen to find a couple of great links for Blackberrys.

Here is a blackberry early warning radar system that would tell the Exchange or Help Desk Admins that the reason the CEO can not get his email is due to coverage. This also would tell you if there is a configuration or firewall issue preventing mail flow to the BES server.

Blackberry Messenger, similar to the look and feel of windows messenger.

Hot-key support – I found this on another blog from a guy that I used to work with.

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