Goodbye 1998. Hello 2008

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Strongback Consulting

I got my Blackberry Curve yesterday, and spent much time last night playing around with it. I finally feel like I’ve got a PDA that I can depend on rather than archaic brick that only syncs when I manually copy data over. Verizon finally got their version this month, I ordered mine the first day it was available. The cure is so much smaller, and much more powerful than my Treo.

While its been almost a year since I traded in my old Blackberry from my last company to my Treo, the Blackberry OS seems to have made light years of progress. The Palm OS however, seems to be the same looking OS from 10 years ago (just with color). My curve will natively sync with Outlook, Lotus Notes, and will do ASCII/Text file export/import as part of its sync. The Palm will only sync with Palm Desktop or Outlook. Who the hell uses Palm Desktop? What a crap interface that is!

One thing I really craved about the curve (and BB in general) was that Google has done a hell of a job creating native applications for their services. My email and domain are hosted by Google apps, so this was a no-brainer. The G-Apps for Blackbery are top notch. Blackberry will also do its service against gmail and Google apps, so I’ve got multiple methods of getting my mail. There is a different icon for Google Apps mail than there is for GMail with is nice. I also like the Google Reader and News for Blackberry, although its really nothing more than a skin for the browser.

But the most valuable tool from Google is Sync – it syncs with the Blackberry Calendar. I had a hell of a time trying to synchronize my Treo’s calendar with my StrongbackConsulting.com calendar. In fact I could only sync with my personal gmail account. Now I can feel comfortable about not missing conference calls or meetings. Many apologies to those who’s meetings I’ve missed – my Treo ate my calender. I would say that if you are a small business that uses Google Apps for your domain, a Blackberry is the absolute best tool you can use.

On that note, IBM is releasing additional support for the Blackberry for Lotus Notes and for its newly acquired Cognos toolset.

Now although I’ve bashed the Treo pretty hard, it is certainly more useful then say a Razor or a non-smartphone. It did have excellent telephone reception, and the only times I could not get a signal was when I was way out in no-mans land. The signal reception is great, and was superior to my previous Crackberry. I’m hoping my Curve can live up to that. I imagine that If I used Outlook, I may have had more interest in the Treo for sync. But I don’t like Outlook. I’m a Notes guy – plus I keep my mail on the server, and the GMail interface is top-notch (not to mention free).

So…now that I’ve both dissed and complimented the Treo….anybody care to buy a gently used Treo? Actually I have two for sale. My 700p and my wife’s 650p (Verizon). My wife, who pleaded with me not to get a Blackberry when I started my business, got a Peal 2 weeks ago. Now she’s an addict.

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