Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Getting started: first steps with the BlackBerry

OK - before we can really explore the subtle details and relationships between social media, real-time web and mobile, I have to get the stuff working. In this and the next few posts, I will describe my experiences during the setup. Let's start with something tangible - my new Blackberry Bold 9700:

First problem: in order to get a photo of the Blackberry into this blog, I have to have the copyright. So I cannot simply copy any photo from RIM, Amazon or others. So consider the photo above as a placeholder while Amazon processes my registration to the partner program that will allow me to easily create lins including pictures and latest price - and potentially earn some money.

BTW: I used the Sharp Organizer in the late 90's. Please note the plug for a phone cable, that allowed the internal modem to dial for my email. That was as mobile as you could get back then.

Edit: the confirmation of the Amazon partner program registration only took an hour - so here is the completely legal picture of the BlackBerry 9700 Bold:
BlackBerry 9700 Bold Unlocked Smartphone with 3 MP Camera, Bluetooth, 3G, Wi-Fi, and MicroSd Slot --International Version with no Warranty (charcoal)

I got that from my company with BES, i.e. I receive the company email that I usually get via Outlook. Although I'm quite receptive for gadgets of any kind, I wasn't so keen on a Blackberry (or an iPhone) until recently. That was when I traveled from Germany to France on a regular basis, without a working UMTS connection on my laptop and with too much time waiting on airports and in taxis.

The best thing about the Blackberry so far is that it simply worked right from the beginning. All my contacts, emails, calendar entries and notes from Outlook were there. "Synchronization" is not an issue anymore, it is just in synch - thanks to BES. And it also worked in France - although I'm still looking for a way to control cost e.g. by looking at an online invoice or by calling some service number from Vodafone.

My first steps with the Blackberry involved reading the PDF manual and some tutorials and forum posts on So after a few days of enjoying a stable, working Blackberry, I decided to look into apps that could improve life / work performance even more. I ended up selecting and installing the following apps:
Keepass BBPassword safe incl. synchronization with PC.
Refer to my blog on Keepass.
KlickTelInformation service (phone numbers etc.)
DB RailnavigatorTravel planning for German rail Deutsche Bundesbahn
HRS HotelportalHotel reservation system
PoyntLocation based services (restaurants, cinemas, companies, maps, weather)
The weather networkGlobal weather – current and forecast
ViigoAll sorts of mobile stuff (news&RSS, weather, podcasts, location based search, shopping, social networks, travel...)
LufthansaTravel planning for Lufthansa flights

I will keep this list updated.

Best regards,

P.S.: I understand that RIM just released the BlackBerry 9780 as the latest model of the Bold series. This seems to replace the 9700 and has some improvements. So if you are really into shopping for this thing, you might want to look for the 9780
BlackBerry 9780 Bold Unlocked Smartphone with 5 MP Camera, Bluetooth, 3G, Wi-Fi, and MicroSd Slot --International Version with no Warranty (charcoal)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My first blog with 44?

I just turned 44. Over christmas 2010, I had some time to wonder what all this fuzz about social media, blogs, real-time internet etc. is all about. So I decided to find out by creating my own blog (and I will probably try Facebook and Twitter soon). This happens at the same time that I got my first BlackBerry, so I will also look at all this from a mobile perspective.

I studied computer science and work in IT consulting on Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) since the 90's, so I'm quite fluent with computers. But I never cared too much about Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Buzz - you name it. The only thing I did in this space was to maintain a profile on XING. That's not enough! I got the feeling that this is more important. So let's consider this blog as an Internet-diary of some trying to figure out this stuff.

I plan to blog on these topics:
  • Using social media for business purposes
    • In PLM, this might translate to social product development and Web 2.0 collaboration
    • In consulting, this might translate to networking and productivity applications
  • Real-time web and mobile devices
So why read this blog? Well, If you are about my age and share my interest in social media, real-time internet, mobile, I would appreciate you not only to read, but to share your experiences.

Best regards,