Sunday, January 25, 2009

Saying goodbye to a dear old friend

In the world of technology it is difficult to get comfortable with anything or anyone for more than a year. Today I say goodbye to a dear friend that has traveled with we to every destination and has loyally served my needs without question, day or night. Yes, I am replacing my Blackberry. This if you who know me well also know how much this device has meant to me. Certainly my wife was very kind to remind me several times that I spent more time with the Blackberry than her.

The model 7250 Blackberry has been an extremely loyal device for nearly four years. Oh sure, it needed a little electricity every now and then and I even replaced the battery once. Two batteries over four years is pretty darn good I hear. But what was more telling is the fact that the device software had to be updated only once (DST Patch) otherwise it just worked and worked. In fact, it is still providing some service as a repository of old information. I tend to be a minimalist and this device was right up my alley.

With all the buzz about the iPhone I seriously considered heading over to the dark side. But a BES license loosened up at work and my manager made the offer. I was headed to the AT&T store like a flash and grabbed a shiny new Blackberry Curve 8310 Titanium. With all of the busy activity I sat on the device for a couple of days before digging in. When I did I was not disappointed. Coming from the 7250 I knew I needed the full keyboard. The buttons are a different touch but working well. The shift key is in a slightly different place but I am getting used to it. The browser is what I cannot live without and it is extremely fast on the Edge network.

I am also integrating with a new mail server. My old unit was always talking to a BES server that was hooked into Domino. I am now using the Exchange server at corporate and the responsiveness is incredible. The import function of my contacts got fouled up but this is a minor inconvenience compared to doing all the heavy lifting by hand. This is where it all comes together for me with the browser, mail, contacts and tasks all accessible from my hip. I have played with an iPhone but I really wanted a business device. For fun I have loaded tinytwitter and it seems to be working just fine.

So my friends have asked why I did not go for the Bold or the Storm. The answer is simply money. I was given a budget and in this economy you don’t ask twice. Plus several folks I have talked to that have the storm have indicated that while it is a pretty cool device it still has a lot of bugs. I have enough on my plate to have to worry about being a beta tester for RIM. I know they really wanted o compete with Apple but that should not mean fast tracking a buggy and expensive device.

So, I have placed my old 7250 in a place of reverence on my desk. I look at it every once in a while and still find myself looking for a trackwheel. But the new device is taking good care of me and I expect to serve me nearly as long at the old one. We’ll see.

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