My First Blackberry: Tasting the Forbidden Fruit

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Last weekend the display onmy phone up and died. It’s not a proper snow crash, since my brain-stem hasn’t been hacked with an ancient Sumerican code, but just about. I did not mourn, since I’m not all that fond of my phone, but it’s definitely an annoyance. It’s still a phone, it still makes and receives calls, but I can’t see who’s calling me, and I can’t see to use my contacts.

As it happened, the folks at RIM had just sent me a Blackberry Curve, so I unboxed it and have been using it as a replacement. Suddenly I’m one of those people. I’ve always resisted being one of those people. (For a while there I was feeling just like Will Smith in I Am Legend.) Now I e-mail people when my subway goes above ground. I text while pushing my daughter on a swing. I thought maybe I could make it OK if it were a father-daughter thing. Baby, look! Look at daddy’s new fancy-phone! But no. She doesn’t care. She’s three.

Like they always say in the zombie movies, it’s painless, you don’t feel a thing. The little hermaphroditic mini-trackball-slash-button is pretty intuitive. My thumbs are slowly learning the delicate typing dance. The distinction between texting and e-mail has already begun to blur, since they present pretty much the same way onscreen. Is it possible, nay inevitable, that the difference between texting and e-mailing will soon be lost to us altogether?

I have some quibbles. Bandwidth is quite low — it takes frickin’ forever to send a picture, though when they do go through they’re quite nice — click here for a sample. I’m not charmed by the aggressive way this device brands e-mails by appending a sig. And gawd, there are some simple interface tweaks that could improve matters. The fact that you have to use ALT to type a period or an @ in the e-mail field, which, not surprisingly, one does all the time, is pretty amazing.

Jobs would have this thing smoothed out in no time. (Oh, wait, that’s right…)