Welcome to InterconnectNow - Interconnected Technologies' blog about technology and other items of interest to small businesses and individuals.

The topics here will usually deal with productivity-enhancing technologies of interest to small businesses and individuals, but are often of broader interest.  Productivity is the goal of all of this technology that we use. Enabling productivity through refining or adding technology-based capabilities is what we're obsessed with at Interconnected Technologies, and so this blog is dedicated to discussions of all things related to that.


Entries in Cellular technology (23)


New Palm Pre - will it replace the BlackBerry for some?  Me?

Well, Palm has finally come out with an announcement of a new device, the Palm Pre.  It's here:


You can read about it here:


As many know, I've been using a BlackBerry for about a year now, and have some things that the BB does very well that I'll be looking for on the Pre:

  1. Removable storage.  I keep a 16gb card in my Curve and it holds enough music that I don't feel the need for an iPod.  Rumor has it that the Pre won't have removable storage.  If true, that would be a real shame.
  2. Quick and simple access to routine things.  The original PalmOS was superb at this.  The BlackBerry is almost as good in general, and has some quick-access things that surpass anything else around:
    • In the call log, when one has called someone, one can press the "pearl" button and bring up the a list of all of that person's phone numbers (not just the one last dialed).
    • Ability to go from the call log to viewing/editing a contact in one step.
  3. True speed dials.  I can put my voicemail number in my phonebook, along with an appropriate pause and then the password.  Yes, the Treo's Favorites application could do this, but it's built in to the BB, and survives going from one device to the next.
  4. Full sync with Exchange.  Email, Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, Notes.  For most people, there is no need to sync with desktop software.  The Treo/Centro can sync the first three only.  Hoping the Pre can do all five.
  5. Profiles.  At first I was a little put off by them, but completely configurable ring/sound profiles that can be customized for different circumstances are quite handy, once set up. 
  6. Amazing Bluetooth control.  The Palm Bluetooth implementation was always pretty bad.  The BB Bluetooth implementation is excellent, and includes the ability to switch between Bluetooth devices during a call. 
  7. Responsiveness.  When I press the speakerphone button on the BB, the speakerphone comes on instantly.  No delay like the Treo/Centro.  Everything on the Curve works like that - instant response.  Just like the old Palm devices used to be.  The Treo/Centro have a delay sometimes, which I attribute to the slower processor.  Then again. the BlackBerry Storm has a very fast processor, and still had significant responsiveness problems (one of the reasons I took it back).
  8. Speakerphone that is (finally) loud enough. No Treo/Centro ever had this.  I hope the Pre's speakerphone is loud enough to warrant being turned down from maximum occasionally.
  9. As corny as the little magnet in the BB cases originally seemed to me, I really do like the ability to by just pushing the device into the case, ensure that it is entirely unresponsive to outside pressure.  The standby button on the top accomplishes the same thing.  I hope the Pre will have something similar to one or both of these.

OK, that's enough for now.  You can read about all the other things the Pre is already advertised to do at the links above.  As always, I'm focused on the little subtleties that make a device really productive to use.


BlackBerry Storm vs. the Curve - a quickie

You will no doubt forgive me for the lack of specificity here.  Time is limited right now, so I just want to capture things at a high leve.

Prolog:  I have been a Palm/Treo user since the Pilot 1000, dabbling in WinCE/PPC/WinMob briefly over that time.  In 2007 I decided for several reasons to try a BlackBerry - first a Pearl and then a Curve.

I was like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting for the Storm to come out.  I pre-ordered one at Best Buy.  I picked it up on Day One.

It is really quite an impressive device in many ways.

However, at a high level, I have to say that it, like the iPhone, is more of a "look and listen" device than a "do" device.  I'll no doubt explain that later, but here's the summary:

Look and Listen

  • Screen is breathtaking
  • Email is as easy to read/use as a laptop
  • Web is very usable on that big, bright screen
  • Flip scroll is better than the iPhone, even.
  • Media player is much improved.
  • Camera is 3mp.


  • Overall ease of use - logistics and typing
  • Performance and responsiveness
  • Battery life
  • Accomodation of legacy applications
  • Entering data on the touch/click screen is better than just a touch screen, but not as quick/responsive as a real keyboard.

In addition, here in my locale, Verizon's coverage is just not as good as Sprint's.  So, back to the Curve and hoping that the next touchscreen BlackBerry will address these issues.  I like Look and Listen too, but "Do" is the reason I carry these things.  If I weren't comparing this to the Treo and the Curve, I might have been happy to keep it (Verizon's higher price for unlimited service notwithstanding). 

More detail when I have time.


How to wipe and restore a BlackBerry (and some other BlackBerry stuff)

If you need to need to wipe and restore your BlackBerry, it's pretty easy, and pretty painless, as long as you know how. If you don't know how, you'll spend forever figuring it out.

So, I figured some of it out.  This applies only to a BlackBerry syncing with BlackBerry Enterprise Services.  If you're using BlackBerry Internet Services, look elsewhere (except maybe for my settings section, below, which may still be useful).

If you are starting with a brand new BlackBerry, you can skip this section.  Just do the Setup Wizard, let the BlackBerry activate with the BlackBerry Enterprise Services, and you're done!  The rest of this is only useful if you ever need to wipe the BlackBerry and start over (the nifty Settings section might be of interest, still, though).

To wipe the BlackBerry and start over:

  • Back up your BB with the Desktop
  • Redo the BES integration.
  • Go to Options, Security Options, General Settings.
  • Press the BlackBerry (menu) key. Choose Wipe Handheld.
  • Follow the directions. No need to wipe 3rd party apps, unless you want to start fresh with them.
  • After the wipe is done, go through either the Setup Wizard or go to Options, Advanced, Enterprise Activation. When asked put in your email address and assigned password.
  • Wait for Enterprise Activation to complete.

    At this point, your email, calendar, contacts, tasks and notes will be sync'd (and stay sync'd) with the Exchanger server.  Most people can stop here, unless they want to tinker with the settings, below.  If not, you can ignore the rest of this!!
  • Restore anything from the backup that you need/want (see below for how).

Don's Standard Settings


  • BB Dimension Icon

Email, Options, General settings

  • Don't show sent or filed emails in the inbox
  • SMS/Inbox separate
  • Confirm delete - NO
  • Keep messages: forever

Email, Options, email settings

  • Use autosignature - yes - put in Blackberry suffix "Sent from my BlackBerry" 

Email, Options, Email reconciliation

  • Delete on Mailbox and handheld 

Other Settings 

  • Phone, Options, Call logging, None
  • Bluetooth, Options, change Device name
  • Options, SMS Text, number of previous items 50
  • Options, Owner - put in name, reward, phone number
  • Music, Options - reserved memory 5, picture memory 0 (the choices here vary by device)  

Restoring stuff not always sync'd from the BES server


This section is only necessary if you care about any of the "other stuff" on your BlackBerry.  I end up, over time, accumulating a lot of "other stuff" and so I prefer to restore it, rather than starting over.  Most people just prefer to start over. 


Do the restore from the latest backup (depending on your Exchange configuration, you may need to follow the instructions under Additional Info, below, to restore many of the BlackBerry databases you want to keep.


In addition to the date restored through reintegration with BES which is done through Enterprise Activation (email, calendar, contacts, tasks, notes), you may want to restore some or all of these databases (I do):  

  • Ascendo Datavault data - my secure password tool for BB and Windows
  • Shopmagic data - my shopping list program (all 4 files)
  • Autotext - text substitutions customization
  • Blackberry messenger
  • Bluetooth options - devices
  • Browser bookmarks - real bookmarks
  • Browser URLs - history pulldown when entering addresses
  • Phone call logs - call log
  • Phone hotlist - ??
  • Profiles - sound profiles customizations
  • Profiles options
  • Quick contacts - press and hold buttons
  • Shopmagic databases - Shopping list (4 files)
  • Ascendo datavault data file
  • SMS Messages - all SMS messages past


How to restore from a backup file

(Taken from <http://www.blackberry.com/btsc/articles/549/KB10339_f.SAL_Public.html>)


To restore all the data in the backup file to your BlackBerry device, complete the following steps:


  1. Connect the BlackBerry device to your computer.
  2. Open the BlackBerry® Desktop Manager.
  3. Double-click Backup and Restore.
  4. Click Restore.
  5. Double-click the backup (.ipd) file.


To restore specific databases in the backup file to your BlackBerry device, complete the following steps:


  1. Connect the BlackBerry device to your computer.
  2. Open the BlackBerry® Desktop Manager.
  3. Click Backup and Restore.
  4. Click Advanced.
  5. On the File menu, click Open.
  6. Double-click the backup (.ipd) file.
  7. In the Desktop File Databases section, select the database(s) to restore.
  8. Click the right arrow button.

    : If the right arrow buttonis unavailable,see the Additional Information section in this article.
  9. Click Yes.


Additional Info


Ifyour BlackBerry device is associated with a BlackBerry Enterprise Server software version 4.0 or later,and your BlackBerry device user account is set for automatic wireless backup, the right arrow button will appear unavailable when you attempt to manually restoremost databases. To restore these databases manually, complete the following steps:


  1. Delete the Desktop [SYNC] service book from your BlackBerry device.
    1. On your BlackBerry device, click Options.
    2. Click Advanced Options.
    3. Click Service Book.
    4. Highlight Desktop [SYNC].
    5. Display the menu and click Delete.
  1. Connect the BlackBerry device to the computer.
  2. Restore the databases usingsteps 1 to9 in the procedure above.
  3. When the database(s) are restored, open the Service Book screen on the BlackBerry device.
  4. Display the menu and click Undelete. The Desktop [SYNC] service book is restored.
Page 1 ... 1 2 3 4 5