Two weeks with my Blackberry 8830 WE

Discussion in 'Blackberry' started by r0k, Dec 1, 2008.

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  1. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    Well, it's been just over 2 weeks...

    I'm still delighted.

    I get my email. All my email. All day long. And full battery at the end of the day? And I can look stuff up on the internet and actually get an answer instead of a beachball or a soft reset! I get the answer, not just 1/8 the way to the answer! Clearly the problem was NOT Verizon's network connectivity or speed. The web problem I was experiencing all this time was PalmOS Garnet. What can I say except why did I wait so long?

    Apps tally so far:
    * Nintai - shareware game - great!
    * Brickbreaker - comes with OS - very good
    * Accuweather push weather with home screen icon - freeware - great but trick to find and set up weaving through a maze of shareware lookalikes
    * Sudoku - freeware - good
    * Opera Mini - freeware - good - rarely use - bb browser has quirks but actually works and is not a reset factory like blazer
    * Wordcaster - shareware - very good
    * Gmail - freeware - very good
    * Quickpull - freeware - does a reset on demand - better than 3 finger vulcan nerve pinch - useful for freeing memory
    * Bilbyfile Lite - freeware - good
    * Aerize Card Loader - shareware - BB answer to powerrun - very good so far
    * Empower mail viewer pro - shareware - very good - i like the bb mail plain text but sometimes i want to see formatted email - it has a handy toggle feature that lets me see email as plain text or formatted very quickly
    * bphone icon theme - freeware - large easy to see iphone-ish icons - a home screen that isn't limited to 5 apps - and the ability to move icons around at will - very very good

    Apps I've dumped...
    * CaptureIt - freeware - requires newer OS - oops - won't properly uninstall i simply hid the icon - it only wastes a few hundred k but next time i belt sand my bb, i'll be sure not to put this one back
    * Wordcaster trial - shareware - another one that fails to uninstall properly - icon hidden
    * Viigo - freeware - I've stopped using this - icon hidden - will uninstall when i find the time
    * Agendus - shareware - decided I don't need it any more - uninstalled

    Problems I've encountered...
    * unable to uninstall some apps - no big deal
    * unable to reliably sync with my Macbook still backing up to windows till i sort it out - it might be related to the new usb driver to support newer macbooks and the storm - a very big deal if i get bit by a data loss

    Apps I'm looking into...
    * I'm looking into a wireless sync solution to do away with the usb leash
    several look attractive but I need to investigate more
    * I'm thinking about upgrading to OS 4.5 when it becomes officially supported by Verizon
    * Emobile today - I'm tempted to grab it today while it's still half price but the deletion of agendus is still fresh in my mind. The weather, news and stocks plugins cost extra?!? You could pour 40-50 bucks into this thing. Today's discount would only get me 10 bucks off the staggering cost of this app with all it's plugins. No more hurried app purchases for the sake of a today screen.

    Usability verdict
    A breeze. Somebody gave some thought to how this phone works, where items are placed in the menus, how quickly the trackball moves through things. I really expected to hate the trackball but I love it now. Awesome! A multicolored led that flashes blue when in range of my car kit! Red for new mail/sms/missed calls/etc, green for charging.

    No annoying buzz buzz for every email (which was what I was fearing with BB), merely a flashing red led I can glance down to check when I'm waiting for an important email. I find that I don't use my desktop machines for email as much any more.

    I'm still underwhelmed with the support for MacOS but I don't think RIM will stand still on this issue.

    I'm still loving on standby mode. How did I ever do without a keylock that really locks the friggin' keyboard? :rolleyes:

    Shortcuts... On the home screen (with dial from home screen disabled), O for options, H for help and the built in help is not bad, M for messages, L for calendar. Now if I get used to these shortcuts, I can go back to one of those wallpaper-centric themes. ;)
     
  2. brickman65

    brickman65 It's a state of mind..

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    That is GREAT news r0K!!!:newpalm:

    May it keep going good. It is nice to have something that works isn't it?
     
  3. ArGiEs

    ArGiEs Palm no more

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    I'll second all that, except--for me--after 10 months:) (with a few exceptions - like I use Opera mini most of the time.)
     
  4. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    [​IMG]
     
  5. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    Bump! I've gotta add to the list of apps...

    At $4.99, Snapscreen has earned a place on my phone. I found out about it over at TreoCentral. Whazzat U Say? You found a Blackberry app over at Treocentral? Yep. This year's round robin users are trying the BB Bold and while Jennifer liked the Curve she tried last year, she's loving the Bold and it was in her review that I found out about snapscreen. I downloaded the trial, running it from SD card thanks to Aerize card loader and it works fine! It makes jpgs and puts them in the /blackberry/pictures/snapscreen folder. Too easy!

    I've also gotta add to the list of blackberry users at chez r0k...

    It seems both kids are drooling over the Storm now that I've got a phone I'm not threatening to throw out the car window on the freeway every day... :rolleyes: (Unlike a pair of Treos that are on their way to their new owners right now. :newpalm:) I'm investigating a "family BB data plan" with vzw and will post when I learn more. Even the wife says she might want a Pearl (she can't stand qwerty). It turns out everybody's contract is up and they are eligible for a Storm or Pearl. Yeah baby!

    Sometimes you don't realize how badly something is broken until you have something that "just works!" No more broken phones at Chez r0k!
     
  6. palmgeek5394

    palmgeek5394 Nokia N800 + HTC Wizard

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    Too true. That's how I felt switching from Palm to WM. Palm crashed and I would lose data regularly. WM doesn't normally crash, but some things can get annoying. Which is why I just kill them or change them with a simple tweak. :D I reset a lot at first (trying out new registry hacks - which require reboots), but now that I've got everything settled, I hardly ever restart it.

    Glad the BB's working out well for you. ;)
     
  7. hal

    hal itchy and cold feet hal

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    OT
    r0k: I found your BST thread. Both Treos, they're gone, for good. Congrats! As you know, I don't share your deep hatred against Palm OS, in fact I'm turning into a true Palm advocate, but then I haven't had the quantity and quality of issues you endured. Anyway, you didn't want them anymore, they left and some hard cash is always welcome :) (oh, ca$h, it's lovely)
     
  8. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    Hatred against PalmOS? I don't know if that's quite the way I feel.

    I've been known to rant against how inappropriate PalmOS is in today's world but if all you've got is a PDA situation, or a PDA/Phone in one bulky box situation, PalmOS can work just fine.

    There are a few users who have achieved success with internet usage with PalmOS but my impression is that they are the exception rather than the rule. Just glancing around these forums here at Brighthand is enough to convince me that my experience is quite common for those not willing to treat their Palm device as simply a phone with a PDA attached.

    When I do see people with a Centro, more often than not they can't remember the last time they used the internet and their approach to email is an "every now and then" approach. I might recommend a Palm device to a user as long as their list of requirements for their device does not contain the words email or browser.

    I've still got my TX sitting on my nightstand. It has not been charged since I got my BB 8830. Selling it off would mean burning my PalmOS bridges. I'm not quite there yet. I could use the money but I've still got the TX hanging around. In fact, my BB 8830 is more like the TX than most people realize. It's about the same size. The standby switch is the same location and feels the same as the TX power switch. I am still having sync issues with my BB, but once I get beyond those problems I plan to investigate using my TX in parallel with my BB 8830. This would be key to my eventual migration to Nova if it turns out to be more than a myth. There is no way I will rely on any future Palm device as my only device without at least 2 months of testing. That's not hatred speaking, that's experience speaking.
     
  9. Stryker

    Stryker Mobile Deity

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    Good to hear... BB truly grows on you. As I said elsewhere, people are surprised when I show them what I can do.

    So you do like Aerize?
     
  10. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    I'm just starting to tinker with it. I expect to like but there are some drawbacks. You can't use aerize to undo damage you already did. It can see and uninstall nuisance apps the desktop installer misses, but it can't move already installed apps to sd card. It can't deal with jad files (OTA installs). Aerize requires cod files to do its installs. I can theoretically operate my phone as if there are no third party apps in internal memory at all. I haven't proved this to myself, but it seems possible. Bear in mind that BB is Java based. Memory is an elusive commodity and uninstalling an app triggers a reset. Unlike Palm, Windows or Linux, memory tends to be handled differently in BB OS. And guess what? Running completely out of memory doesn't mean a reboot or a forever beachball. It may result in older calendar entries being deleted. Fine. I don't need my calendar going back 5 years on my smartphone anyway. And if the OS has purged some older data, I get prompted to put it back when I sync. If I want to. I mentioned a mandatory reset when you delete an app. No biggie. A reset is not the nail-biting experience it was on Palm. No lost preferences or digging for information that should not have been touched for a simple thing like a reset.

    I hated the trackball when I took a look at BB for the first time about a year ago. I thought it was a cheesy mechanism that would be awful to operate. Boy was I wrong. It's sweet. That's why Android supports a trackball. Do you think they'd put one in if it was a bad idea?

    BB was sneaky. They had these ugly 2-way pager-dorky-looking phones that quietly crept in and cleaned Palm's clock while Palm was off Cobalting and Foleoing and updating their blog with entries about major league baseball of all things.

    As a former Palm user, it's so freakin' obvious to me how much of the BB design has former Palm users in mind. It's like they ran a clinic for frustrated palm users and wrote down everything they said and fixed it. And BB OS kicks some Windows butt, too. No digging for the stylus to go fifteen taps deep into control panel to find a list of running programs. It's one click of the BB key, a quick roll of the trackball to select "Switch Application" and a click of the trackball. Done.

    Shortcuts? Treolauncher? A 3rd party app to bring shortcuts? :eek: How 1990. Shortcuts are built into the OS. Huh? Imagine shortcuts being included with the OS? What's wrong with those people up in Canada? Don't they understand our fundamental desire for our software to be mediocre? Don't they know we are used to the idea we need a 3rd party app just to control the dimming of our backlighting and keyboard. No. Wait. That's right. We don't want our software to bite.

    So instead of a wobbly OS patched with dozens of 3rd party apps that are really chewing gum in a leaky dike, in 3 short gloriously trouble-free weeks, I have an operating environment that is as familiar to me as my Treo + Treolauncher + Powerrun + FontSmoother + dozens of other tweaks and workarounds ever was. When you stop developing an OS in 1997, and leave it to 3rd party apps to provide layer upon layer of fundamental functionality for an entire decade, the end user experience has the potential to be very bad. Period. Did I mention my last 3 weeks have been trouble free?

    Let me share another story with you. I started having trouble syncing with my Macbook. I was kinda pissed. After all, I wanted a way to sync my info seamlessly from my handheld all the way to the cloud without the use of rocket science or animal sacrifices. I spotted this usb driver update and I thought "hey, it ain't broke but it ain't as fast as I like so why don't I fix it?!?" Sure enough, the new Storm driver broke my ability to sync with my Macbook.

    So I went over to BB and discovered that a lot of their support is fee per incident based. I was not amused. Then I found the link to email support. I did it. I got the usual confirmation the same day saying they had received my email and I'd hear something "soon".

    About a day and a half later, I got the exact solution. Step by step instructions to uninstall and reinstall the PocketMac software without the mistaken driver. I was not exactly amused with the gimpy install process that required I close the very browser with the step by step instructions for the process to proceed. So I sent the page to the printer and let the software clobber my Macbook over the head (reboot it) twice.

    In the end, my sync time went back down to 3 minutes. That's respectable. And new events and half a dozen daily contact updates are flowing up to the cloud once again. Whew. It's nice to do business with an outfit that is still a going concern.

    Just when I decided I didn't need OS 4.5, Verizon goes and unlocks GPS for BB maps for anybody running OS 4.5 and later. I guess I'll have to think about doing the upgrade after all...

    Ok. I guess I have to talk about the (very slight) gimpyness of the BB PIM apps. I'm used to a feature in PalmOS that lets you copy a calendar entry in its entirety to a new spot. In BB OS, I can select the text and copy it to a new time, but then I have to go back for other fields and bring them over one by one using copy and paste. Not a big deal, but slightly gimpy.

    I would say that after years of using PalmOS and loving the PIM apps, I'm not missing them. Some of this has to be taken with a grain of salt because of my absolute dependence on email. What is in my PDA is handy but not all that valuable because the data keeps changing faster than I can correct it all. I'd much rather have access to the email so-and-so sent me letting me know their new cell phone number, etc, etc.

    In fact, this morning I was stuck dropping off kids when I needed to call in to a conference call. After I got done, I called the number I had in the calendar of my BB, but the number had been updated. The only way to get it was to go to the valley of the shadow of the hourglass. My windows PC. I was 7 minutes late for the meeting waiting for windows to get its head out of its ass. If I had my work email on my BB, I would have been on time. I can see why these things sell so well to business users and RIM owes M$ a debt of gratitude for making the desktop such a painful experience I'd rather climb a rope ladder and use signal fires and smoke signals than turn on my (sorry ass company-issued) windows box to get an email.
     
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