Tag Archives: BlackBerry

Kako povezat Maca preko Orto Beri z Internetom (Blackberry Si.mobil tethering)

English: Instructions configure Si.Mobil Blackberry Curve to allow Mac OS X to connect to Internet. Guide in Slovenian language since it’s most useful for Slovenian. For English speakers, here’s a great guide.
Zgodba je čisto preprosta. Po nakupu novega Macbooka, ste ugotovili, da rabite Å¡e dober telefon. Ker v Sloveniji ni mogoče kupit iPhone, ste se odločili za naslednje najmanjÅ¡e zlo – Orto Berry. Sedaj ste ponosni lastnik BlackBerry 8310 oz. Curve po domače. Kdor ni prepričan, da ima pravega – tule je slikca:
Blackberry Curve
Image by evansfam via Flickr
Tule je hiter vodič kako ta Blackbbery prepričamo v delovanje na OS X 10.5 oz. Leopard po domače.
Pa pojdimo po korakih:
1. Povežite Blackberry z vašim Macom. To naredit tako, da v Bluetooth nastavitvah v System Preferences, dodate novo napravo in izvedete pairing process.
Na koncu vas bo čakala takšna situacija:
Paired Blackberry modem
Paired Blackberry modem

2. Naslednji korak so Modem skripte. Iz Fibble.org si prenesite zadnjo različico. Prenesene skripte morate skopirat v Macintosh HD:Library:Modem Scripts v direktorij BlackBerry.ccl

3. Nadaljujemo z dodajanjem modema. V System Preferences -> Network, kliknite spodaj levo na plus gumbek in dodajte Bluetooth modem. Poimenovanje ni pomembno.

4. Nastavitve Bluetooth modema:

Najprej moramo Bluetooth napravi povedati, da uporabljamo Blackberrya:

Advanced -> Modem

Vendor: Research in Motion,

Model: Blackberry 8100 (dovolj podoben 8310, da deluje brez sprememb).

Ostale nastavitve pustimo nespremenjene.

5. Nastavitve operaterja

Telephone number: internet.simobil.si

Account name: simobil

Password: internet

Nastavitve Blackberry modema
Nastavitve Blackberry modema (geslo: internet)

Ostanem nam samo še, da kliknemo Connect in opazujemo kako se vse skupaj poveže.

V praksi mi je uspelo doseči hitrost okoli 7kb/s tako pri downloadu kot uploadu. Upoštevati morate tudi, da z Orto Berry paketom dobite samo 100 Mb podatkov, kar se pri mobilnem surfanju hitro preseže, tako da je redno preverjanje stanja na začetku nujnost.

V primeru težav

Če se iz neznanega razloga vse skupaj noče povezat, lahko v Advanced -> PPP -> Settings: Configuration -> vklopite Verbose logging. Nato pa s pomočjo Application:Utilities:Console opazujete kaj se dogaja pri povezavanju. Žal stvar ne sporoča kaj dosti, ampak morda boste uzrli kaj zanimivega med dnevniškimi datotekami.

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Blackberry Curve problems (opis BlackBerry Curve)

I’ve noticed a number of Slovenian bloggers writing and tweeting about of BlackBerry 8310, which I guess is now available in Orto smart or something like that. For some reason these reviews are very positive and happy, so I’d like to provide some balance into the discussion.

Blackberry Curve 8330 (Sprint) vs. Blackberry 8800 (T-Mobile)
Image by nino63004 via Flickr

I’ve been using the phone now for 6 months+ as part of the business package that my employer decided to standardize on.

I’ll start by saying that the user interface is a horrible mess, with most things at unusual locations and well hidden. Unless you patch the phone with the latest firmware, it’s even worse. This means that you’ll be scratching your head clueless most of the time.

Also the most obvious things are missing. You can not send someone’s contact to a SMS number. You have to find the contact in address book, select the number, copy, go to the other menu in the phone, create a new SMS, paste the number and then send the SMS. A process that will take you a few moments and a lot of practice with the wheel and the command button before you manage to do this without starting to scream at the RIM (Research in Motion, makers of Blackberry).

At one of the conferences I actually met someone from RIM and asked them about this feature, and the person told me that SMS is not popular in North America, therefor BlackBerry is not optimized for usage. You know – just send that contact as email (something that you can do easily).

Blackberry 8800 with Google Maps GPS
Image by asmythie via Flickr

It’s also not possible to receive contacts via SMS. For some reason RIM decided not to play nice with other phones, so someone sending you Nokia VCF/contact SMS, will translate into lot of garbled text that you have to hunt out details out yourself and do big things with copy and paste again.

The other thing that really annoys me is that battery life is terrible. You get two days most, with most of the time being day and a half, just enough to make the end of the second day miserable because of dead BlackBerry battery.

While nice thing about BlackBerry is that it’s quite robust, it’s still pretty weak at points. The scroll wheel in the middle will regularly stop working, fall out or stop scrolling in one direction.

The application collection (remember, it’s a smart phone), is terrible with everything hidden behind random pages on Google. There are some nice apps like Google Maps, Gmail, Google Sync (starting to see pattern here?), Remember the Milk and TwitterBerry, but they all seem lacking any true passion from developers to make them really useful on the road.

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 27:  Actress Taraji P. Henson arrives at the Launch Party for the New BlackBerry 8330 Pink Curve xxclusively from Verizon Wireless on the 15th Anniversary of Intermix on August 27, 2008 at Intermix on Robertson, Los Angeles, CA.
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I’ll end this rant (even though I have enough material for follow-up), with the fact that mobile browsing/data packages on BlackBerry are really slow. If you sit in a confrtable office in middle of Ljubljana, they somehow work (even though web browser can’t even do CSS), but as soon as you start moving around it becomes really slow. God forbid you want to visit any of the foreign cities, where something like Google Maps would actually be useful. Since the phone is GRPS/Edge only, the Simobil contract will put you on Vodafone roaming which is 3G in UK, which will make your phone default to GRPS. There’s nothing better then to be lost in London, late for a meeting (remember: you’re lost for a while now) and your BlackBerry Google Maps still doesn’t show you actual map because of the low GPRS speeds.

I won’t even start on a crappy 2 megapixel camera, that doesn’t allow good blog photography or the fact that even keyboard starts failing after 6 months with enter key mysteriously being pressed while typing, loads of empty SMS-es sent our automatically during night and no clear way to know, what is part of RIM roaming and when you have to pay data charges.

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 27:  Television personality Kim Kardashian arrives at the Launch Party for the New BlackBerry 8330 Pink Curve xxclusively from Verizon Wireless on the 15th Anniversary of Intermix on August 27, 2008 at Intermix on Robertson, Los Angeles, CA.
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

While BlackBerry 8310 isn’t a complete Fail, it’s not something to be really exciting about. I also have some good things to say about the phone, but I’ll save that for a possible followup blog post. Right now I’m seriously considering switching away from BlackBerry mobile platform. I’m considering waiting for Nokia N96 or just go with now cheap N95, that actually has camera that works and is much better mobile machine (notice that I didn’t say iPhone here).

The fact that I’m considering switching from a company issued phone to something that I finance myself just to have a better life on a road, should speak for itself.

What are your experiences with BlackBerry? Am I just grumpy because it’s raining in London as I write this and my BlackBerry is on slow roaming, with battery that mysteriously died yesterday in a middle of the day?

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Usability reflections: How Google failed to keep their BlackBerry experience simple

Getting a CrackBerry was my latest step in showing total devotion to my employers big ideas about changing they way people blog. Since we use Google Apps for part of our intranet solution I thought it would be nice to integrate this gadget with their servers. Sadly this made my already bad initial experience with the whole BlackBerry platform just worse. Even though they made a number of steps to confuse their users, I’m just going to concentrate on just their web page on Mobile offerings for Google Apps.

Snapshot of the Google Apps mobile description page with non-linked URL’s highlighted

The basic idea of the page is to communicate that their suite offers a wide variety of mobile options of accessing the content. Yet It does this as it was designed as each section was its own page in some mobile providers glossy section.

No hyperlinks

They make hyperlinks to their mobile addresses part of normal text, making it really hard to notice and read. It also makes it impossible for someone to open the page up in their mobile browser and actually click on the links.

Lots of diffrent hyperlinks

The links they want to promote (in between links for non-blackberry users) are:

Even though m.google.com tries to keep it simpe the blackberry address in the middle destroys the message from Google to go to m.google.com with some sort of appendix for the addresses.

Failure to actually include crucial information

One such example is at the bottom where they promote their docs service, yet fail to include address for mobile access. My understanding after playing around a while is that I have to (or at least am able to) download an extra app to have great experience, yet they do not tell me that.

It also seems that their idea of mobile is BlackBerry and then everything else. While I appreciate their thought that they support everything with BlackBerry badge, a developer in me has its doubts. There are also some other very powerful smart-phones and it would be nice to address that issue a bit more clearly. They also do not make clear if they target at everything mobile or just the smart-phones.

Not speaking users language

The last section casually mentions “or other phones supporting WebKit browser”. My iPhone has Safari inside, that you very much as other mobile phones had a “Browser”, “Mobile Internet Explorer” and such. It is a bit a stretch to expect users to know what rendering engine their mobile device uses.
The same section goes on to mention “xls” format which is probably known to users but naming it Excel spreadsheet (with .xls ending) would make it more clear for the wide variety of users who actually don’t see the endings of their files in Windows.

Not providing simple mobile accessible URL and total failure of consistency

While Google actually offers mobile search at http://m.google.com, the page there actually doesn’t tell you anything about their mobile offerings. In order to get that you have to Google around to find http://mobile.google.com which promotes a downloader for “all” Google products in one go. Which is a nice idea for the fact that the installer actually doesn’t offer GTalk client.
But all of this is besides the point as this information is not on the page which actually forces users to go back at browsing the inter-webs to stumble on this information somewhere.

What could they do to improve the page?

  • Provide a clear, nice URL on top with all the links or even better – make their installer at that page actually able to install all of their offerings.
  • Separate the BlackBerry page from other mobile offerings. It seems sensible to have different pitches for Blackberry, iPhone and other mobile users.
  • Make the URL’s stand out and normal hyperlinks so it is not that hard to notice them.
  • Make some line breaks so the text on the page is actually readable.

Conclusion

The page itself feels like it was written in some marketing department, without any actual purpose to be helpful for any existing users that located it through search in hopes that it will tell them how to actually mobile stuff. This is also the message of this blog post:

People will find your marketing materials while searching for help on the topic. Design it in a way that it will at least point them into right direction for real help, if not actually help them in using it.