Blackberry 8120 and 8139

It’s been a year since the original Blackberry Pearl came out, so of course its time for an update. The new Blackberry 8120 and “8130”:http://na.blackberry.com/eng/devices/device-detail.jsp?navId=H0,C101,P625#tab_tab_features finally gives you a 2 megapixel camera that is on the Curve.

Also there is the “8120”:http://na.blackberry.com/eng/devices/series-detail.jsp?navId=H0,C101 that is launching in the UK. The big changes seem to be that it is now blue (whoopee!) and most important, it has Wifi access and now it has stereo Bluetooth as a standard 3.5mm headset like the Curve. So don’t get the old 8100 that is still being sold by AT&T et al, go for the 8120 or the 8130. Right now the “8130”:http://na.blackberry.com/eng/devices/series-detail.jsp?navId=H0,C101 is available from Verizon, Sprint and Alltel so only for CDMA, no GSM yet…

Net, net, the 2 megapixel camera and the Wifi access is just great for fast email and web access like the iPhone or iPod touch. With Wifi just about everywhere, its a great choice.

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Blackberry Pearl Trackball cleaning

Mary and a couple of other folks have told me that their Blackberry Pearl trackball doesn’t roll right anymore. This is another casualty of progress as the sidewheel of the old Blackberry was very reliable. Apparently, you have to very delicately remove the thing and clean the lint out. It is horrible to imagine how screwed up you could get this thing, but if you dare called T-mobile if you are in the one year warranty period and try to get a replacement or see  http://blackberryforums.pinstack.com/38395-trackball_cleaning_disassembly_w_pictures.html

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Blackberry Curve 8300 Chinese Input

Blackberry finally has the Chinese input for the new Curve. “CSL”:https://www.blackberry.com/Downloads/entry.do?code=EEFC9E10EBDC4A2333B42B2DBB8F27B6 has the download.

As a reminder, you install this and then you go to

# c:\program files\common files\research in motion\apploader
# delete vendor.xml
# run the desktop manager and then select the application loader

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Blackberry Curve

Just got one. It is much smaller than the 8700 and very light. It even has decent MP3 playing although no where as nice as the iPod. Main thing is that it is small and the sound quality is good. What it lacks is really decent navigation of songs, but it does play correctly in the background which the old ones didn’t.

To get the latest firmware, “BlackberryFAQ.com”:http://www.blackberryfaq.com/index.php/BlackBerry_Operating_System_Downloads has a list of where all the downloads are and also the “latest”:http://www.blackberryforums.com/rim-software/58404-latest-operating-system-available-each-blackberry-device.html versions are at Blackberryforums.com

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Blackberry for Mac

If you have a Blackberry, you know about the dreaded Desktop Manager, so what can you do for the Mac. turns out there is a freeware utility called “PocketMac”:http://www.pocketmac.net that lets you sync the Mac to Entourage, the Mac Address book, the Mac mail program and also lets you sync to iCal. The most important thing is that it is smart enough to turn up the USB power so that you can get your Blackberry charged easily from a Mac.

Blackberry actually licensed the applications so you can get it directly from “Blackberry”:http://www.discoverblackberryc.om/discover/mac_solutions.jsp

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Blackberry Curve MicroSD and Bluetooth Headset

Ok, the biggest problem with these new phones is that they don’t come with the accessories you really need (something I’m sure the iPhone will do right). So what do you need with the curve, check the “8300 forum”:http://www.blackberryforums.com/general-8300-series-discussion/ for great information:

* 4GB MicroSD card. The manual says they can only handle 2GB, but “blackberryforums.com”:http://www.blackberryforums.com/general-8700-series-discussion/81414-4g-sd-card-bb-curve.html. It is a little sad that Blackberry won’t include $25 SanDisk 2GB card (“pricegrabber”:http://computers.pricegrabber.com/flash-memory/m/27995152/sort_type=bottomline or get it with an “SD Adapter”:http://www.pricegrabber.com/user_sales_getprod.php?masterid=29159619&lot_id=6454421

Things are a little more confusing with bluetooth headsets. The Curve now supports stereo bluetooth and “bberry.com”:http://bberry.com seems like a pretty good dedicated shop for blackberry accessories like “Stereo”:http://www.bberry.com/content/accessories/9-115.htm

“Legitreviews.com”:http://www.legitreviews.com/article/323/1/ looks at the really rather bulky Motorola HT820

Most folks seem to like the Motorola S9 for stereo bluetooth or get the “Jawbone”:http://jawbone.com if you want noise cancelling that really works but is mono only but actually looks really cool too and has a handstrap so you won’t lose it like I have three Plantronic 645s. I still have my small but very ugly Jabra JX10. It uses a cool technology where there is a sensor that detects when you are speaking according to the “founder”:http://www.blackberryforums.com/bluetooth-connection/58911-checkout-jawbone-bt-its-awesome.html. Best hint is to go to Radio Shack and buy $8 Jabra eargels and stick them on the end for a better fit and also louder sound.

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Blackberry Games

Blackberry has a few free games on “mobile.blackberry.com”:http://mobile.blackberry.com, but “pinstack”:http://blackberryforums.pinstack.com/downloads.html?s=&catid=2&page=1&pp=30&sort=30 has a bunch more with Tetris being the coolest.

You can also get free Java games from “Mobilerated.com”:http://www.mobilerated.com/rim-blackberry-8100-pearl-games.html

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Blackberry Music and Video Codecs

Here is what the blackberry can playback according to “Pinstack”:http://blackberryforums.pinstack.com/6354-comprehensive_blackberry_pearl_8100_guide.html and there is a freeware encoder for video that “Pinstack”:http://blackberryforums.pinstack.com/6948-original_video_encoding_8100_a.html recommends.

h3. Music

The following Audio formats (including extensions) are supported:
– ACC – audio compression formats AAC, AAC+, and EAAC+
– AMR – Adaptive Multi Rate-Narrow Band (AMR-NB) speech coder standard Supported AMR-NB rates are 4.75 KBps, 5.15 KBps, 5.9 KBps, 6.7 KBps, 7.4 KBps, 7.95 KBps, 10.2 KBps, and 12.2 KBp.
– AMR files must conform to the standards specified in Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Request for Comments (RFC) document RFC3267, Section 5, on the the Internet RFC Archive web site.
– MIDI – Polyphonic MIDI (.mid, .midi, or .smf)
– MP3 – encoded using MPEG Part 1 and Part 2 audio layer 3 Supported sample rates are 16Khz, 22.050Khz, 24Khz, 32Khz, 44.1Khz and 48Khz.
– WAV – supports sample rates of 8 kHz, 16 kHz, 22.05 kHz, 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, and 48 kHz with 8-bit and 16-bit depths in mono or stereo Supports WAV files created using audio codec GSM6.10.

The following Audio file extensions are also supported:
– .avi containing PCM, MP3, and AAC, AAC+, and eAAC+
– .3gp containing MP3, AMR-NB, AAC, AAC+, and eAAC+
– .mp4 containing MP3, AMR-NB, AAC, AAC+, and eAAC+
– .mov containing MP3, AMR-NB, AAC, AAC+, and eAAC+
– .aac and .m4a containing AAC, AAC+, and eAAC+ Video

The following Video formats are supported:
– MPEG-4 Part 2 – Simple Profile + bvops (including DivX files in this format)
– H.263 Profile 0 and Profile 3

The way to get H.263 and then you select,
1.Select the Output Container= avi
2.Select the output Video codec=H.263
3.Aspect=11:9,4:3 or 1:1
4.Frame/sec= 14.985
5.Bitrate kbps= 64-576

The following Video file extensions are also supported:
– .avi containing MPEG4 Part 2 and H.263
– .mov containing MPEG4 Part 2 and H.263
– .3gp containing MPEG4 Part 2 and H.263
– .mp4 containing MPEG4 Part 2 and H.263
– .m4v containing MPEG4 Part 2 and H.263
– .mpg containing MPEG4 Part 2 and H.263

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Blackberry Pearl Tips and Tricks

“Pinstack”:http://blackberryforums.pinstack.com/f78-blackberry_pearl_8100.html has an amazingly helpful list of things for the Pearl. The biggest and the incredibly bizarre keyboard shortcuts. They aren’t intuitive anymore because the keyboard is so much smaller.

Keyboard Shortcuts
Basic Shortcuts

The following shortcuts can be used in many applications:

– To move the cursor, roll the trackball.
– To exit a screen or to move to a previous page in a browser, press the Escape key.
– To move upwards in a screen, press 3.
– To move downwards in a screen, press 9.
– To move to the top of a screen, press 1.
– To move to the bottom of a screen, press 7.
– To move to the next item, press 6.
– To move to the previous item, press 4.
– To move to a list item or menu item, type the first letter of the item.
– To select or clear a check box, click the trackball.
– To select adjacent items, hold the Shift key and roll the trackball.
– To delete a selected item, press the Delete key.
– To switch applications, hold the Alt key and press the Escape key. Continue holding the Alt key and select an application. Release the Alt
key.
– To return to the Home screen, press the End key.
– To lock the keyboard, from the Home screen, hold the asterisk ( * ) key.- To unlock the keyboard, hold the Send key and press the asterisk ( *) key. Type your password.
– To switch between the Default and Vibrate notification profiles, from the Home screen, hold the pound ( # ) key.
– To turn on a theme or notification profile, select a theme or notification profile, then press the Space key.

Phone Shortcuts
The following shortcuts can be used in the phone application or during a phone call:

– To answer a phone call, press the Send key.
– To place an active phone call on hold and answer a second incoming phone call, press the Send key.
– To view the contact list, hold the Send key.
– To insert a plus sign ( + ) when typing a phone number, hold 0.
– To add an extension to a phone number, press the X key, then type the extension number.
– To assign a speed dial number to a key, from the Home screen or in the Phone application, hold the key you want to assign. Type the phone number.
– To check your voice mail, hold 1.
– To view the last phone number that you dialed, scroll to the top of the Phone screen, then press the Enter key. Press the Send key to dial the number.

Camera Shortcuts
The following shortcuts can be used in the Camera application:

– To take a picture, press the Right Convenience key.
– To zoom the camera in, press the Volume Up key.
– To zoom the camera out, press the Volume Down key.
– To turn flash on/off in camera mode, press the Space key.

Message Shortcuts
The following shortcuts can be used in the Messages application:
– To compose a message from the message list, press the comma ( , ) key.
– To reply to a message, press the exclamation point ( ! ) key.
– To reply to all, press the question mark ( ? ) key.
– To forward a message, press the period ( . ) key.
– To view received messages, hold the Alt key and press 3.
– To view call logs, hold the Alt key and press the period ( . ) key.
– To view voice mail messages, hold the Alt key and press 7.
– To view SMS text messages, hold the Alt key and press the question mark ( ? ) key.
– To view your message list again, press the Escape key.
– To move up a message in the list, press 2.
– To move down a message in the list, press 8.

Typing Shortcuts
The following shortcuts can be used when typing text in an application:
– To type the alternate character on a key, hold the Alt key and press the character key.
– To type an accented or special character, hold the letter key and roll the trackball left or right. Click a selected character.
– To type a symbol, press the Symbol key. To view more symbols, press the Symbol key again. Type the letter that appears below the symbol to enter the corresponding symbol.
– To insert a period, press the Space key twice. The next letter is capitalized.
– To capitalize a letter, hold the letter key until the capitalized letter appears.
– To turn on NUM lock, hold the Shift key and press the Alt key.
– To turn off NUM lock, press the Alt key.
– To insert an at sign ( @ ) or a period ( . ) in an email address field, press the Space key.
– To type a number in a number field, press a number key. You do not need to press the Alt key.
– To type a number in a password field, hold the Alt key and press the number key.
– To type a letter in a number field, hold the Alt key and use the multi-tap input method to enter the letter.
– To switch typing input languages, hold the Alt key and press the Enter key. Select a language, then release the Alt key. Note: To allow this functionality, on the Language screen, verify that the Use Input Method Shortcut field is set to Yes.
– To select a line of text, press the Shift key and roll the trackball.
– To select text character by character, hold the Shift key and roll the trackball left or right.
– To cancel a text selection, press the Escape key.
– To cut selected text, hold the Shift key and press the Delete key.
– To copy selected text, press the Alt key and click the trackball.
– To paste your cut or copied text, press the Shift key and click the trackball.

Search Shortcuts
The following shortcuts can be used when searching in an application:
– To search for a contact in a list of contacts, type the contact name or initials separated by a space.
– To view the criteria of your last search, in your list of searches, press the Menu key. Click Last.

Attachment Shortcuts
The following shortcuts can be used when viewing attachments:
– To search for text in an attachment, press Q.
– To switch between the table of contents and the full content of an attachment, press O.
– To change the size of a column in a spreadsheet, press Z.
– To move to a specific cell in a spreadsheet, press A.
– To view the content of a cell in a spreadsheet, press the Space key.
– To view a slide show presentation, press A.
– To stop a slide show presentation, hold the Escape key.
– To switch presentation views, press Z.

Browser Shortcuts
The following shortcuts can be used in the browser applications:
– To insert a period ( . ) in the Go To dialog box, press the Space key.
– To insert a forward slash ( / ) in the Go To dialog box, hold the Shift key and press the Space key.
– To open the bookmark list from a web page, press 5.
– To add a bookmark from a web page, press the question mark ( ? ) key.
– To view a thumbnail version of a web page, press X. To return to the normal view, press any key.
– To stop loading a web page, press the Escape key.
– To move to a specific web page, press the period ( . ) key.
– To hide the banner on a web page, press the exclamation point ( ! ) key. To view the banner on a web page, press the exclamation point ( ! ) key again.
– To close a browser, hold the Escape key.

Media Shortcuts
The following shortcuts can be used in the Media application:
– To pause a video, press the Mute key. To resume playing the video, press the Mute key again.
– To zoom in to a picture, press 3.
– To zoom out from a picture, press 9.
– To return to the original picture size, press 5.
– To rotate a picture, press the comma ( , ) key.
– To pause a slide show, press the Space key. To resume the slide show, press the Space key again.
– To pause a song, press the Mute key. To resume playing the song, press the Mute key again.

Maps Shortcuts
The following shortcuts can be used in the Maps application:
– To zoom in to a map, press L.
– To zoom out from a map, press O.
– To view the status information at the top of a map, press Q. To hide the status information at the top of a map, press Q again.

Calendar Shortcuts
The following shortcuts can be used in the Calendar Day view:
Note: To allow shortcuts in Day view, in the Calendar options, set the Enable Quick Entry field to No.
– To schedule an appointment, press the period ( . ) key.
– To move to the next day, press 6.
– To move to the previous day, press 4.
– To move ahead one hour, press 2.
– To move back one hour, press 8.

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