Throwback Thursday: An Open Love Letter to My Blackberry

Most Instagram or Twitter users have taken part in this weekly occurrence, or at the very least seen one posted by someone they follow. Throwback Thursday has become arguably the most famous weekly post or hashtag utilized across all social media networks. While planning out our this month’s blog posts,  a light bulb came on at Sherpa. We thought, why not incorporate this phenomenon into our blog? Sherpa started in 1996 under the name “Martron,” a common nickname for our fearless leader Marty Fisher, and this post is archived from their version of the Edge Newsletter. Quite possibly the best part about doing this #TBT post, is that Marty still is a user and advocate of Blackberry. Some things never change! Enjoy this trip down memory lane in the first annual edition of the Throwback Thursday Sherpa blog post! 

Those of you who know me well would certainly classify me as a bit (OK a lot) of a “techie geek”. Whether it’s the latest television technology, game consoles, AV amps, computers or smart phones, I tend to be a bit of a lightning rod for technology recommendations.  There’s no question, I am truly interested in technology that improves my personal and business lives.

I am a self-confessed BlackBerry brand zealot.  I am not addicted to my “CrackBerry” as I work very hard to have good BlackBerry manners, but my BlackBerry Bold has literally changed my life.  Some of you will laugh, but once you understand just how powerful this little device is, you might reconsider packing up your laptop and power cord every time you go away on business.

Just how much power is available in a handheld?  It’s pretty significant.  

Rather than compare my Bold vs. an iPhone (that would just turn into a holy war - me vs. the designers – frankly both platforms are great).  I recently went on a golf trip with 19 other guys.  One interesting distinction is that all of us are solidly rooted in business and in senior management.  There wasn’t a single iPhone in the group.  RIM seems to have won the day with business users and Apple with consumers (and “hipsters”).

I think a more interesting comparison would be to that of my laptop.  My laptop is about 2 years old.  It’s a Dell XPS M1330 running Windows Vista Business Ultimate.  It’s pretty small and powerful in its own right.  The table below demonstrates some VERY interesting differences between the two devices.  One of the popular words buzzed around today is “convergence”.  This list is very telling - and frankly the “out of the box” feature set on a BlackBerry is remarkable.

  Blackberry Laptop
Size 4.48" L x 2.6" W x .59" D  31.8 cm W x 23.8 cm L x 2.38 cm D
Weight 136 g 1.79 Kg
Email/Contact/Calendar MS Exchange MS Exchange
GPS Yes  No 
Phone World  No 
Camera  1.3 Mp  No 
Video Recording  Yes  No 
SMS Yes  No 
WiFi Wireless G  Wireless G 
Anywhere Internet Access  3G  No 
Media Player (Photos, Video, Music)  Yes  Yes 
Edit MS Word/Excel/Powerpoint  Yes  Yes 
View PDF's  Yes  Yes 
Voice Recording  Yes  Yes 
Flashlight Yes  No 

 

Some of the comparisons aren’t necessarily “fair” as I am fully aware that with an internet connection I can do things like Skype (phone) from and access Google Maps from my laptop.  Try to think a bit differently.  I can do all of the things listed above on my Blackberry untethered – I don’t have to have a WiFi connection or be connected via Ethernet Cable to a router to do any of the things in the list above.

Just one and a half short years ago I would go on a business trip and pack my iPod, my laptop AND my BlackBerry (an older model).  Today depending on the length of my trip, I often choose to take only my BlackBerry.  With BlackBerry Exchange Server, I am constantly synchronized with my MS Outlook 2007 account.  Hell, I can even change my out of office assistant from by BlackBerry.  I can open and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.  I can view PDF’s and JPEG images.  I have a lot of my favourite iTunes music copied over and can listen to whatever I want.  I’ve used literally all of the features on my BlackBerry and done it in Canada, USA and Europe.  Imagine standing in front of the Palais des Papes in Avignon taking my photo and uploading it to Facebook in real time.  I did that with my BlackBerry.

It’s worth noting that the vast majority of BlackBerry users don’t own their devices.  They are in fact supplied by their employer.  This is very different from the typical iPhone user who purchases their unit outright.  This distinction is important because experience shows me that MOST BlackBerry users haven’t got a clue how to use all its features. iPhone users – on the other hand – are totally dialled in on how to get the most out of the features of their smartphone.

With the recent opening of App World – the BlackBerry application store, the functionality of my smart phone will be further extended.  As they say in the iPhone world – pretty soon there will be “an app for that”.  And when you consider the business leaning profile of the typical BlackBerry user, the apps will be geared to improving your out of office, untethered functionality.

Martron strongly believes in - and is committed to supporting the convergence of desktops/smart phones & web technology.  We delivered and installed our first BlackBerry application a few months ago.  We have several other BlackBerry applications in various stages of ideation and development. 

I will never abandon my laptop but it’s sure a lot easier to throw my Bold in my suit jacket pocket and head out on the road.  I love by BlackBerry as I only have to remember one device... and I can assure you my Dell laptop doesn’t fit in my jeans pocket.   RIM – you changed my life!

Note: RIM now operates under the name Blackberry Unlimited

Although Blackberry’s are a thing of the past for some, they still continue to live on at Sherpa. Reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook if you would enjoy more Throwback Thursday posts!

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