Sunday, April 11, 2010

Paying it forward in real life

As you know, I am huge fan of paying it forward; in fact, I try to live my life with paying it forward.

A couple of weeks ago, an opportunity presented itself to actually pay it forward in person.

Quite often, when I stay in Melbourne, I walk between the apartment and the office (roughly a 20-25 minute walk), and the walk is the perfect time to mentally prepare myself for the new day. So, yes it can be said, I am in a world of my own, but seeing something jolted me out of my own pre-occupiedness... an iPhone sitting in the gutter.

Now we all know I am not a fan of the iPhone but the sight intrigued was clear someone must have lost it.

I remembered that there most likely would be some sort of screen lock & that proved simple. I noted it said it was Sim card locked, so the owner must have reported it lost.

Now to find the owner (yes, why would I even consider keeping the iPhone (I have no need for one) or giving it to any number of friends/family who wanted one...never even considered it; it was always going to be handed back to the rightful owner). I know how much an inconvenience it is setting up a BlackBerry from scratch, so only can imagine the same would be said of an iPhone.

Eventually I found the contacts folder, and yes, as you would expect, found Mum (doesn't everyone have Mum/Dad listed in their phone?). So I rang "Mum" and yes she had a son who owned an iPhone (seems he has a history of losing devices).

So Mum came to our office that afternoon and collected the iPhone. She was most appreciative, and she presented me with a home grown bottle of peach chutney to say thanks.

The son rang that afternoon, to express his gratitude. "There should be more people like you in the world" he said. I simply said that it was the only thing to do, but also that I much prefer BlackBerry to iPhone, so I was always going to give it back (hey, what else would you expect me to say?)...he took it very well.

So there you go...paying it forward in real life; it's not that hard.

LoveBlackBerry: going retro with a 7100g

I was over at a mate's place the other night (@scooterwrecker on twitter) and as our conversations quite often go, we digressed back to times gone by. Whether, its music, movies, cars or tech, back the conversation goes, and to be honest, I enjoy it, considering most of my life is focussed forward.

Not too long ago I helped him and his lovely wife into BlackBerry devices and they each got a Bold 9000. And they have been quick learners too, I've since gone to the Bold 9700 but the discussions around apps, OS upgrades and settings continue at a rapid rate.

So whilst watching Terminator Salvation on his Blue Ray player, we naturally discussed the bits out of the movie that hinted at previous movies long gone by, but which we remembered, and then it dawned... How far has Research in Motion come with their BlackBerry devices? And for me, where better to start than the first one I used; the BlackBerry 7100g.

Towards the end of 2004, while working for a financial institution I became the first non-executive to be given a BlackBerry, and into my hands came a 7100g.

It stayed with me until midway through 2006 when I left that organisation. For the next 6 or so months I dabbled with a Nokia E61 on a BlackBerry Connect plan, until the BlackBerry Pearl 8100 was released.

As soon as the BlackBerry Curve 8300 was released, I had to have it and the Pearl was relegated to the top drawer, beside the bed.

I was one of the first in Australia to get my hands on the Bold 9000, and the second one is now sitting in the top drawer (with the Pearl and Curve, after the first one's track ball failed).

So, what am I using now? Well the Bold 9700 of course. It's common knowledge that I am not a touch screen fan (although I recently upgraded a colleague's Storm 9500's OS & I was quite taken to the massive improvement in responsiveness and tactileness) so a Storm has never really been considered. Perhaps one for my gorgeous wife?

So after a quick search on eBay, the 7100g options were found and dissected and two sprung to the top of the list (one purchased straight away, and one to bid on). Now, I am a novice with eBay, so I chose the former. Prior to buying, I emailed the seller to confirm all was in good working order (that was on the Saturday night, and he/she replied in the affirmative the next morning). The order was placed.

Sunday evening I received an email update to confirm the BlackBerry 7100g has been dispatched.

Now the interesting things are still to come:
• Will use the 7100g for a working week
• Will need to remember how to use a track wheel and not a trackpad again
• Go back from OS to OS (if I remember rightly)
• Seeing actually what apps I can get to work (I know OpenBeak does work so I will still be on twitter)

Applications will be the tough one. For instance the following apps I regularly use won't work on the 7100g (a lot of apps require minimum OS to be 4.2.1):
• SocialScope
• Viigo
• Vlingo
• Xing
• Facebook
• LinkedIn
• Seesmic
• Wicked
• Duly Noted
• My Listy
• Google Maps
• Kindle
• GymTechnik
• Role Call Tasks
• WorldMate
• Xobni
• Copy to Contact
• MemoryBooster
• FourSquare
• Tumblr
• Forward, Reply & Edit
• Tungle
• Chasm
• Compass
• LaterDudePro
• Zen Minder
• Tether
• Impatica
• SugarSync
• BeeJive I'm
• Chalk
• Time Mobile
• Voxofon
• BlaCaDa
• Amazon
• Airplane Mode
• Message Peek
• Show me the images
• Contacts cleaner
• BerryJoose
• BerryBuzz
• BerryWeather
• QuickLaunch
• Fancy Tran
• World Clock
• MindBerry
• Photonote

And I can't remember if the BBM exists or whether it is just PIN messaging?? I guess time will tell.

So I may need to resort loading my RSS Feeds onto tweetminer (a desktop app for twitter that I use for the @PriorityMgt account) and using OpenBeak, but again, time will tell when I finally get my hands on the little beasty.

So, am I just a little crazy? Perhaps, as it is simply not a time efficient thing to do, but will it be fun? I am thinking in part it will be fun, but frustrating as well.

I am certain a lot of people won't notice the BlackBerry 7100g, but for the BlackBerry users who most likely will notice, I wonder if they will look at me with perhaps, pity (poor person can't afford to get a newer BlackBerry), or perhaps with a touch of nostalgia?

One week should do it. She (yes all of my BlackBerry devices are ladies) arrives this week, and the week using the 7100g starts the following week.

Stay tuned...