Sunday, September 04, 2005

how do i love thee? let me count the ways...

the diva was wondering why anyone in the small biz space would go with a blackberry setup, now that sbs (exchange 2003) supports windows-based smartphones.

with that in mind, here are a few of my favorite things about my blackberry:

contact-centric data approach - this is the way i normally approach my communications with clients, so it's a natural fit. also, all content gets parsed, and recognizable data types (phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc.) become active links.

no stylus - call me crazy, but i've always loathed stylus-driven pda interfaces. maybe i've just seen too many cracked screens from ham-handed users. i'll admit the click-wheel can take some getting used to, but once you do...great googly moogly! it rocks!

no antenna - my old cell phone used to drive me crazy when it poked me in the side every time i sat down. yes, my old cell phone was really old...so sue me.

completely wireless synch of all outlook data - this assumes both your blackberry device and your blackberry enterprise server are at version 4.0 or above. still, it is awful nice to have everything synching wirelessly.

the keyboard - my sculpted, muscled thumbs owe it all to the blackberry.

robust attachment support - bes translates a wide range of attachments, prepping them for efficient transfer via a wireless connection.

no open incoming ports required - that's right. bes only requires one outgoing port (and, of course, response packets need to be allowed through), and that's it! as a sysadmin, i appreciate closed environments like that.


now...there are a few things i don't like. here's a list of things i would change about blackberry devices and/or bes.

talking into a hockey puck...sucks - the form factor of my 7290 blackberry leaves a lot to be desired. it's not like the size is totally unusable, it's just that it's weird enough to feel...weird.

no hands-free dialing - right now, this is more of a carrier-dependent option, but that's nuts. rim should just add it already, and make it part of the blackberry/bes setup. without it, you have to do too much manual work to use it as a phone.

co$t - bes is waaaaaaaaay expensive, and that's even without adding in the cost of the separate server hardware. also, rim is insane to sell a small biz version of bes with no upgrade path out.

ungodly complex setup - actually, that's not completely accurate. the setup process for bes is dead simple. and fast. from the time i started the bes install, and bes was up and running, was a scant 30 minutes. and it only took that long because i was being paranoid, double- and triple-checking my steps. but the prerequisites for the environment are very complex, including a .dll compatibility matrix that has to be configured perfectly, or bes won't function whatsoever. separating the prerequisites from the main install seems like a cheap way for rim to claim the bes setup is easy. it can take a full day's work to get the prerequisites right.


still, with all those warts...

you will get my crackberry...when you pry it...from my cold, dead hands.

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