I recently got a Blackberry Pearl 8130. I loved my Palm for years and years (I’ve been a fan since it was called a Palm Pilot), then a Palm III, then I had a Palm Vx that lasted for a long time. I’ve dabbled in various Windows CE / PocketPC hardware. Then there was my stint with the Nokia N800, a very interesting proposition of open source functionality that ended up being unstable. I ultimately decided that for my needs a laptop with EVDO connectivity was best. I do a lot of writing and I really need the full keyboard.
But it isn’t all that easy to carry a laptop with me all the time. Sometimes I need to check email or IM but don’t need to edit articles.
So, long story short, I’m starting to get to know the Blackberry on an intimate basis. My take on it so far is that this is a pretty cool platform, but I wish it weren’t so closed. There’s a lot of functionality packed into this little thing. It’s not a laptop. It won’t replace my laptop in any way. It’s more of a phone with some cool functionality. Take it for what it is.
One story that I found that is really helpful is The Power Users BlackBerry Guide: 121 CrackBerry Tips, Hacks and Resources from InsideCRM.
There are tips for separating SMS messages from E-mail – under e-mail settings, general options, SMS and Email Inboxes should be set as separated. There are a bunch of tips for drying out electronics that have gotten wet like encasing them in silica or uncooked rice. There are links to software, such as Viigo, a dynamite RSS reader – you can easily subscribe to your favorite Allbusiness.com feed.
There are also a bunch of tips like how to turn down the backlighting and save battery, or turn up the sensitivity of the trackball and save some thumb effort. I’m going to experiment with making my own ringtones and I’ll let you know how that goes.
I’d like more games for the BlackBerry, and free ones at that. You know what would be great, MAME, so I could play the ancient video game ROMS. If anyone has any links to free games, please list them in the comments.