Thursday, July 30, 2009

Having worldwide friends on twitter, and using twitter to revive a dead BlackBerry

The other night I was routinely doing a clean out of my BlackBerry Bold via the DeskTop Manager, removing a couple of applications that I no longer required, and loading one that I wanted to use again (you see some applications run hot and cold with me, and others, like Socialscope, Viigo, Google Maps, Wicked App and Tumblr, I never tire of).

The process seemed to go well, but I realised something must have gone awry when my Bold got stuck in a never ceasing reboot cycle...not a pleasant sight to behold...and this was at 9pm, on a week night.

So jumped straight into trusty google and conducted a search, as this has never happened to me with any of my previous 3 BlackBerry devices, and I really didn't know what to do.

Hmmm, this was going to take a while going through the search results. Hang on, it must be coming into the morning for the UK and Europe, so hunting through twitter, I wanted to find a couple of good experienced BlackBerry friends (thank goodness I follow as many BlackBerry users on twitter as I can) who may be able to assist, and sure enough Fabian (@FabianMH) and Rob (@evilbladeUK) had come online.

Trying a hard start (full battery pull for half an hour) didn't cut the mustard, but Fabian had quickly found the relevant links to both JL Commander (a Windows program to nuke your BlackBerry) and what to do with a continually cycling/rebooting BlackBerry, while Rob promptly found me instructions on how to push through the replacement OS via Windows DOS commands.

Now Fabian and Rob are very busy guys on twitter and elsewhere, but I was still able to get advice and encouragement staggered from both of them, which was just like having one person on call, just for you.

So then the process started at approximately 11pm that night, sitting in an office by myself, frustrated and bewildered, but with the comfort of knowing both Fabian and Rob not too far away (even though they were on the other side of the world)...the value of twitter being a real time communication and networking tool.

I came to a grinding halt with entering of the DOS commands, until I remembered something, an extra move required...on a Vista laptop, don't forget to right click and "run as administrator"...I lost half an hour, and almost lost what hair I have left.

It was a great sense of relief when the OS was pushed through to my crippled BlackBerry via Windows and not the DeskTop Manager, and then the Bold came to life...that in itself was a wait that seemed to last an eternity.

Yes I lost everything: data, contacts, 3rd party applications, settings...BUT I did something one day earlier which saved me a lot of time. Let me explain...

Nan Palmero (@NanPalmero) posted a blog about how to back up specific data etc via your DeskTop Manager, over and above what you would normally do with the standard automated back up...and I paid attention. More to the point, I acted on his suggestions. So I was able to retrieve I would suggest about 95% of what I lost.

Rob gave me one further piece of excellent information...a link to the BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 which I could not seem to locate.

So at 1am I headed to the apartment with a functional BlackBerry, SocialScope, Viigo and BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 added.

No dinner that night, but amazing lessons learnt. A big heartfelt thank you to Fabian, Rob and Nan...if you are a BlackBerry user and are on twitter...friend these three.

Now to pay it forward... If anyone wants more information as to the steps I used, the links that came in handy etc, let me know. I have learnt, and now in a position to share the love.

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