Blackberries...not the fruit!

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14 years 10 months ago #678 by kate
I'm thinking of getting a blackberry - you know, the phone with email, browser, etc. The main reason is to get emails when I'm out and about and to avoid having to take my laptop with me whenever I go away. I think it would be useful for a couple of things:

1 - Sometimes we go up to Auckland for a day or two to see a performance or do a bit of shopping. I want to check on this website and get my emails without having to lug my laptop up with me. When we went down to Otaki for the lifestyle farmer's field day, I couldn't get dial up connection from the hotel so having my laptop didn't help [B)]

2 - When we go overseas I would rather not take my laptop. Last year, when we went to Moscow I set up my laptop so that I could remotely access it via the Internet and therefore could run everything on my laptop from any Internet cafe. With a blackberry I assume I could avoid the Internet cafe's and just access from the blackberry?

Has anyone had one or looked at getting one and have any comments?

Thanks
Kate

Web Goddess

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14 years 10 months ago #48903 by wyseyes
I have a colleague with a Blackberry. He says there are three main uses for it:
1 - a phone. Works well, does the phone calls and address book stuff just fine, even better for texting as it has a full qwerty keyboard.
2 - an organiser. Basically a calender and note pad, holds secrets and information. This works fine too.
3 - an email/web system. Although he says this function worked fine, emails and surfing happened like it should. But... the cost of using the emails gets large very quickly. The emails are sucked from your ISP, then pushed through the phone system onto your phone. Answering emails is the same, you link it to your ISP and it looks like you answered the email from home. For both of these, you get charged buckets of $$$ for the data going through the airwaves.
The main problem comes from unwanted emails (SPAM), where you get charged for all those offers to extend various bodily appendages (whether you have said appendages or not), you get charged for info about certain medications for increasing/decreasing *anything*, and for all those kind offers to give you millions in Nigerian currency.
You also get charged when someone sends you an email 'funny', including the attached pdf, Excel spreadsheet, Word Doc, animated picture, smiley icon and surreptitious virus file disguised as a system update. Not that you can/will open said attachments, by the time you see them you will have been charged for them. It will start racking up the charges.

I'm not trying to put you off, just passing on the likes and dislikes of my colleague, who has now turned off the email receive feature. He can still send emails, and surf, but doesn't get the emails pushed.

He now also says the blackberry isn't as versatile as a similarly equipped Phone/PDA. eg - a Palm Treo. It can do the same, but can also load any of many palm programs freely available on the net. I have on my palm a little program which logs and graphs blood pressure. Can't add much on a blackberry. I also have many ebooks on my Palm which helps when waiting in airports, of planes or just in line.

My palm isn't a phone, but I have a phone. Personal preference, I find my emails can wait.

I see you shiver in anticip......................................................................................ation

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14 years 10 months ago #48923 by moggy
Replied by moggy on topic Blackberries...not the fruit!
you can easily get round the data issue problems, for years most ISPs have the ability to stop attachements, or you can use yahoo mail and just dont bother opening any with attachements. All you will have paid for is the header.

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14 years 10 months ago #48927 by reggit
I can check my emails from my cellphone, only costs me if I chose to actually read them (I can see a list of what is there for free and just download the ones that look like they might be important). That keeps me happy enough, technophobe that I am, but as you say, Kate, it is great to be able to keep in touch when away from home. BUT that also means you can never, ever escape! [}:)] There is a good reason they are becoming known in US as 'crackberries' ie drug you get addicted to.

Take a break...while I take care of your home, your block, your pets, your stock! [;)] PM me...

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14 years 10 months ago #48958 by kate
Replied by kate on topic Blackberries...not the fruit!
Thanks...:D

What I really need is the browser - do the PDA's have browsing capability? I can see the push email would be a problem but it would only be used for a couple of days a month so maybe not too bad...or if I could use the browser to access my laptop remotely then I could use mailwashwer to check my emails.

Really, a laptop the size of a phone would be perfect [:I] :p

Cheers
Kate

Web Goddess

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14 years 10 months ago #48970 by wyseyes
Yep, they can surf the web, although some websites just aren't going to work well on a 240x160 small screen.
Some websites are clever, and return a PDA version. Google does.

I see you shiver in anticip......................................................................................ation

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14 years 10 months ago #49031 by GrantK
I think the screen size is the big limitation of PDAs. It's not easy to administer a web site on a 240x160 screen. During various lengthy trips (including a 4 month one around Europe), I've always found it was best to have my own laptop -- albeit, a very small light one.

On the European trip I took a Toshiba Libretto with 6.4" screen. It was small enough to fit in a money belt around my waist.

Sony have some quite small VAIO laptops, such as this one with 11" screen and weighing just 1.2kg:

http://www.sony.co.nz/products/product/computer/vaio-notebook/vgntz17gnb.jsp

It's not cheap although the price shown is an RRP price and I'm sure that Kate with her IT industry contacts will be able to get it much cheaper than that.

There are other very small laptops around such as the Fujitsu Lifebook series.

Kate: If you think this is a viable option, post a reply back, and I'll do some further digging.

I don't think the PDA idea is going to cut it for what you are wanting to do. It's something I have looked at myself and rejected, usually because a Touchscreen with Stylus is the only means of keyboard entry. In the case of the Blackberry, that problem is more-or-less overcome, although the keyboard is still extremely pokey. However, the 240x160 screen is a very serious limitation in my book.

Cheers,
Grant.

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14 years 10 months ago #49032 by Isla
Replied by Isla on topic Blackberries...not the fruit!

quote:Originally posted by GrantK

...
Cheers,
Kate.

Is that a bit like "Kate, short for Bob"? :D

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14 years 10 months ago #49033 by GrantK

quote:Originally posted by Isla

quote:Originally posted by GrantK

...
Cheers,
Kate.

Is that a bit like "Kate, short for Bob"? :D

Oops, stuffed up there didn't I [:I]

It's getting too late for coherent thinking obviously...

Well spotted Isla :)

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14 years 10 months ago #49034 by GrantK
An update to the "Micro Laptop" idea. Knew I had seen it somewhere:

How about this for a seriously cool gadget:



Further details here:

http://www.sony.co.nz/products/product/computer/vaio-notebook/vgnux27gn.jsp

Price is a lot more reasonable than the 11" unit mentioned above, and it's WAY more portable, yet still with a screen resolution of 1024 x 600. Next time I'm in the market for an ultra-portable, I might just have to look at getting something like this.

Whaddya think Kate?

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14 years 10 months ago #49035 by organicltd
wait until this time next year. Come over to the dark side and get yourself an iPhone. http://www.apple.com/iphone/

Wine does not make you FAT it makes you LEAN...
....against tables, chairs, floors, walls and ugly people.

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14 years 10 months ago #49039 by kate
Replied by kate on topic Blackberries...not the fruit!
Wow...that is cute [:I] Thanks Grant :D It's the sort of thing I'd buy when travelling so I get it duty free....

In an ideal world (and why can't I dream?) my laptop, with all my data, programs, saved passwords etc., will stay in my office and I will remotely access it from something with a full sized keyboard and a full sized screen. Something that isn't an Internet Cafe PC and that I don't have to carry with me. I don't like travelling with my laptop in case I lose it [B)][B)]

Jaycar (which now I know it exists, I love) has a USB roll-up piano keyboard. Why can't they have a roll-up device with keyboard that plugs into a cellphone and a TV screen and has a very small chip and memory? Huh? Anyone out there ready to invest in this?

I'll keep checking out options, I had hoped you'll all tell me that blackberries were the best thing since sliced bread...

Cheers
Kate

Web Goddess

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14 years 10 months ago #49096 by kate

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14 years 10 months ago #49118 by Kiwi303
I found this, the gadgets nice, the price less so... http://www.expansys.com/p.aspx?i=145614

You Live and Learn, or you don't Live Long -anon

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14 years 10 months ago #49120 by GrantK
Hi Kate,

The JasJar is certainly an interesting device. I have heard it discussed frequently in another on-line forum, but had not looked at its capabilities until now. By the looks of it, the JasJar has been around for almost 2 years. Here is a detailed review:

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/content.asp?contentid=5341

Is the 640x480 screen of high enough resolution for your requirements?

The screen clarity sounds good and no doubt this is partly due to the Transflective LCD, which uses incident light to improve the contrast. This is a great help when trying to use the device in brightly lit areas.

How do you remotely access your laptop Kate?

Does the Windows Mobile 5 operating system support your Remote Control Viewer?

Another concern is that the JasJar appears to still be using Windows Mobile 5, which has now been superseded by version 6. As I say, it is quite an old device now. There is a company in Aussie selling them at a cheaper price than Cstuff:

http://www.kalkonline.com.au/imate-jasjar-smartphone-p-544.html

Various people who used to own a JasJar have now switched to a Palm Treo 750.

Here is quite a good summary:

PROS

* 640*480 screen really makes a difference in terms of usage
* Almost usable keyboard
* SD slot instead of Mini-SD
* Wifi support
* Windows Mobile 5 is good but make sure it has the AKU2 software update installed

CONS

* Too big to use as a phone - you need a bluetooth headset because it looks like you're talking into Maxwell Smart's shoe-phone otherwise
* The 64kbit/s upload speed on Vodafone 3G is annoyingly slow
* Expensive - Vodafone wants two grand inc. GST for it
* Slow performance with original OS/FW version

I hope that helps.

Cheers,
Grant.

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