Shiny New Toy

Shiny New Toy
… And my last new toy for a while, I’m afraid. Oh well.

As those of you who’ve been following me on Twitter, Plurk, Pownce, and who knows where else already know, I am now the proud owner of a BlackBerry Curve. To be honest I liked the Palm models better, but apparently unlimited data plans cost less with these little guys so my wallet had something to say about the decision making process.

Note that I didn’t mention the iPod or any Windows Mobile device. These were both ruled out for different reasons, one being software issues and another being service issues. I’ll let you pick which is which, but I’m moving on for now.

“Curve” is a great name for this model, since there definitely is a learning curve as you start to use it – especially if you’ve never owned a smart phone before. The qwerty keyboard really makes typing easier, though the small size does force me to type slower than normal. This isn’t too bad, since I’m making considerably fewer typos now.

Within a couple minutes of Its activation I had already changed many of the “out of the box” settings, including but not limited to syncing up with my gmail account. Not having to use the web based interface for that is a real boon.

Oh yeah … about web browsing … that’s a mixed bag. A lot of sites (Flickr, Bloglines, Youtube, and more) have smartphone-friendly versions that work pretty well. I actually prefer the “mobile” version of Plurk to the regular one. Sites that are text-heavy and use images just to break things up visually work pretty well also.

The problem sites are the ones that use a lot of Java, Flash, or focus on large images (like webcomics). The first two won’t work at all most times, unless they have a mobile version. As for the large images … well, you can enlarge them to full size and scroll around, but this involves more than one time consuming step and is awkward at best.

Still, I didn’t get this to have it be my primary conduit to the interwebs. It’s a backup and a way to make mobile blogging possible without depending on a conference’s intermittent (or nonexistent) internet access.

And so far I think it’s worth it. After all, I just wrote this whole post while sitting in my car and waiting for my wife. (I bought her one, too.)

More to come as I figure things out.
(Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry, edited later because adding links was darned difficult.)