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Paul's Blackberry blog
News, updates and links about the RIM Blackberry.
DopeWars and other news
DopeWars is out for blackberry. Let the rejoicing commence. Also, I see that I still have a few people reading this RSS feed. Can you please go here and update your subscription to the new address? I plan to end-of-life this particular feed, as wordpress is working really well for me.
Published: Wed, 25 Jan 2006 18:28:09 GMT
Free app to access Google local
Seems good. OTA at Trying it now!
Published: Fri, 09 Dec 2005 00:43:26 GMT
Blackberry categories not as good as advertised
In the main apps review page I said that the OS4 apps had category support. True, they do. However, after using it for quite I while, I have to say that they blow compared to PalmOS. Much harder to find/use/create. One of the virtues of the palm was the easy of switching categories, and the blackberry lacks this. They're effectively useless.
Published: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 23:43:31 GMT
Caffeine Finder update to 1.0.3
New features - pictures of starbucks stores, bugfixes.
Published: Fri, 28 Oct 2005 18:27:06 GMT
T-mobile OS upgrade to
Looks like an OS patch. Haven't installed it yet, since the move displaced the XP box I use to apply these.
Published: Tue, 18 Oct 2005 17:34:53 GMT
CaffeineFinder goes 1.0!
V1.0 released, added 10k non-starbucks locations, claims to be faster and such too. Still free. Still essential for the traveling coffee junky.
Published: Thu, 08 Sep 2005 16:10:39 GMT
Free Opera, today only
Free Opera, today only. Worth getting, because the Opera client is the only non_IE browser that can render the BWC webmail correctly...
Published: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 18:34:36 GMT
Now *this* is a killer app!
Coffee finder. Uses GPS if you have a 7520, input address otherwise. I am testing it now! Seems to work, very sluggish at times.

Great idea, though.

From BlackberryCool weblog.

Published: Sat, 20 Aug 2005 02:26:41 GMT
How to find cell reception in your area
Very cool. Look up cell towers based on FCC data, map with Google. Genius.
Published: Wed, 27 Jul 2005 00:17:43 GMT
Another useful link
Blackberry-formatted travel guides. Seems useful.
Published: Sun, 24 Jul 2005 19:52:44 GMT
Blackberry vs hotel networking
This article claims that bad hotel networks are driving BB adoption. I'd have to agree. The Residence Inn I most often use has registration every 24 hours, which breaks all other apps, and is very slow during most of the day. Lame.

The blackberry may be slow (GPRS), but it always works. That goes a long, long ways when you're on the road.

Published: Wed, 06 Jul 2005 22:58:17 GMT
Mobile Wikipedia
Mobile Wikipedia. Cool.
Published: Wed, 06 Jul 2005 22:55:29 GMT
Mobile Google Maps
Courtesy of the Tao of Mac. A killer app for blackberry!
Published: Wed, 06 Jul 2005 22:54:27 GMT
Updates pending
I've been playing with WordPress as a replacement, but am still not confident enough to switch over. Have a look and see what you think of it.

Still need to post a detailed review of the 7290 now that I've been round the world with it.

Published: Tue, 05 Jul 2005 23:24:52 GMT
Opera works with BWC webmail
The Blackberry WebClient email interface seems to only render correctly in IE/Win32. Which is super annoying.

I just discovered that Opera renders it perfectly. And they have a $15 upgrade from version 6, so I've paid and am happy. You can skip this if you want; privoxy blocks their ads just fine but I like to pay for the stuff I use and like.

Site update and 7290 review in the works. Still debating a switchover from plain HTML to WordPress.

Published: Thu, 26 May 2005 16:40:24 GMT
Backpack is mobile!
Backpack, the uber-cool organizer from 37 signals, now has a simple version that works great from the Blackberry browser. Just add /mob to your URL, and it works.

Very cool.

Published: Tue, 10 May 2005 19:24:04 GMT
No updates for a while
Just got back from Singapore - cool trip. The blackberry worked great there, though since T-mobile charges 1.5 cents per kilobyte, I created a new mail filter that didn't forward emails unless they had 'urgent' in the subject header.

This worked well, and I recommend it.

However, since I wasn't deleting mails on the handheld, my mailbox filled up a couple of times and I had to use a laptop to go clean it out. Why they have a 10 meg quota in 2005 is beyond me.

Published: Mon, 09 May 2005 23:16:23 GMT
Running Java midlets (J2ME) on blackberry
The magic required to take a generic J2ME jarfile and run it on a blackberry. You need the free RIM developer kit, and a bit of time.
Published: Mon, 09 May 2005 23:14:16 GMT
More 7290 craziness
Well, the 7290 didn't make it back until after I left for a week. (On a biz trip where I sorely missed it; damned inconvenient). I got back, tore open the package, charged it, popped in my T-Mobile SIM, and voila!

It was still locked!

Much profanity ensued. After googling, I tried updating the OS to the since-released 4.0, to no avail.

Today, I called Bongo, and Kevin was most excellent. He gave me their FedEx code, and had me ship it overnight to them at their expense. So tomorrow they'll try again, and fedex it back. I've got another trip next week and really, really, really hope it works this time.

In the meantime, I had tried my Plans B. My 'free blackberry from united' coupon was negative, since t-mobile required me to cancel my account to get it! Since I'm on family plan, this was a lose since we'd probably lose our numbers in the process. So much for loyalty to longtime customers.

I was lining up monochrome 62xx series units on ebay when Kevin called me back. I'm very glad to solve this without further expense. So far I'm out close to five hundred bucks so far.

Published: Tue, 12 Apr 2005 05:00:52 GMT
IRC tutorial
For those of you that are also new to IRC.
Published: Tue, 08 Mar 2005 23:36:24 GMT
IRC on Blackberry
One of the ways I communicate with other developers is via IRC. I'm kinda new to it, but it's similar to the mud Argonne has used. Unlike the mud, IRC is popular and there are multiple free IRC clients that should work on your Blackberry or Java cell phone:
  • WLIrc
  • jmIrc
  • Virca

    I'm still waiting for Bongo to return my 7290, so I've not tried any of these yet. Can't wait!

    I love the quote on the Virca page:

    If you're like me, you have no friends outside the internet. And you also can't afford a laptop to keep in touch with those friends, or you're just too lazy to carry it around. So what do you do to protect yourself for when that primal urge for socializing strikes in inconvenient places? I made the Virca IRC midlet. If you don't know, a midlet is a J2ME application for running on embedded devices such as a PDA or a cell phone. This one does that, and it lets you connect to IRC.
  • Published: Tue, 08 Mar 2005 21:33:47 GMT
    Waiting for Godot.
    Is there anything more central to a geek's psyche than the waiting for the hardware to arrive?

    I think not.

    Here's hoping that Bongo Wireless will promptly unlock and mail my shiny new 7290 back to me. Maybe if I'm lucky they'll send me a tracking number too.

    Published: Mon, 07 Mar 2005 18:19:58 GMT
    Minor updates, more money wasted and trusting Canadians
    Sent my 7290 to Bongo after PayPal'ing them 120 iron men. Damn, this has been an expensive series of, er, learning. Yes, that's it. Speaking of that, my new i830 Moto arrived; this'll be my work cell. It's small, at least. Seems a basic and decent flip phone. At least it'll fit in a pocket without hassle.
    Published: Fri, 04 Mar 2005 04:54:36 GMT
    Cingular, no joy in Mudville
    I've been digging around for an unlock for the 7290, so far with no luck.

    Cingular, of course, has no interest in helping out though their operator was quite nice about it.

    I've googled and otherwise dug around the net and forums, to no avail. Looks like Bongo may get my money. Damned expensive, and inconvenient to boot.

    On the bright side, a suit was filed yesterday in California against Cingular and other US carriers for the practice of phone locking. I wish them lots of luck so others aren't screwed like me.

    Published: Wed, 02 Mar 2005 20:11:27 GMT
    T-mobile and the Blackberry browser
    One thing that confused me for quite a while is the browser bundled with (most) blackberries. The one Nextel gave me only did WML, which is basically no-images, no-formatting HTML. Unreliable to boot.

    Then, when I got MyBlackberry, I got a real HTML browser at the same time. Confusingly, it's the same program!

    So here's the deal - the carrier decides if you get the browser. This is almost impossible to determine beforehand unless you visit the shop and try it out.

    If they don't give you the browser, you have these options:

    1. Buy Reqwireless for 30-40
    2. Buy BES service and MyBlackberry
    3. Switch carriers
    So far, I've determined that T-Mobile does enable the browser, even on the cheap BWC accounts. So if I ever get my 7290 unlocked I'm good to go.

    I like the Blackberry browser better than Reqwireless; other people on the net like Reqwireless better. Try it and see for yourself.

    Published: Tue, 01 Mar 2005 20:58:59 GMT
    Cancelled MyBlackberry
    It finally made it through my thick skull that MyBlackberry, as nice as their service is, requires BES carrier service and is thus at least $20/month more than BWC service. So I've cancelled them as of yesterday and written off the cost as a learning expense.
    Published: Tue, 01 Mar 2005 20:53:45 GMT
    Damn, I have lousy luck
    So my never-even-opened 7290 arrives, an easy Ebay deal. Orange Cingular box. I open it and discover....

    It's network locked. It'll only work on Cingular.

    Damn, this sucks. If I pay 120$ I can get it unlocked:

    Here's the ongoing thread on the forumes - this is a late development from Cingular:

    This thread explains the 'mepd' trick to check lock status:

    Not sure what I'm gonna do. This is becoming damned expensive and frustrating to boot. Current plan is to get a small Nextel phone (i830), lose the 7510, and use my personal T-Mobile number with the 7290. Though 'good money after bad' is starting to sound like an apt description of all this.

    Published: Tue, 01 Mar 2005 20:46:24 GMT
    Well, away we go
    I just bought a 7290 on ebay for $280. T-mobile BWC plan, 20/month, will see how it goes.
    Published: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 20:12:11 GMT
    Data page updated
    More research on BES and carriers' pricing. Posted more info plus prices from AT&T, Cingular and T-Mobile.
    Published: Tue, 22 Feb 2005 07:02:37 GMT
    Drat, no more data service
    OK, I was wrong. MyBlueBerry by itself does not suffice. After Nextel reverted me to phone-only, I have no data. This sucks. Time to look at T-Mobile and the 7290 again. Nextel + MyBlueberry is at least 45/month. Too much.
    Published: Sun, 20 Feb 2005 20:25:09 GMT
    Good news - Tmobile reopens ports
    Looks like T-mobile has fixed their problem of blocking TCP ports for BWC users. Guess I'll have to look at their pricing again; they've got a 20-30 plan (BWC) that could work.
    Published: Sat, 19 Feb 2005 17:56:58 GMT
    Links are live!
    Replaced the old pages with soft links to the new home page. Here we go!
    Published: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 06:04:22 GMT
    Initial posting of new pages and layout.
    Since I'm now getting around 100 hits/day on the Blackberry pages, I was inspired to reorganize and clean them up. Enjoy the results!
    Published: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 04:50:18 GMT
    Updated: Wed, 25 Jan 2006 18:28:11 GMT
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