Articles by Crackberry Kevin

Justice League lookout! Here comes the Crack League!

In the Blogs, Jack Benney is going to be contributing to the site a few times a week. Jack brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team from the IT/blackberry admin fields. Jack had to go through a myriad of grueling tests in order to make the cut, and he passed them all with flying colors (he did have a close call climbing down from the top of mount everest...but at least he made it to the top which is what matters!). 

In the Forums, we have added some Moderator Muscle:
- CrackBerry Communities is moderated by Liv
- CrackBerry Discussion Groups is moderated by audit01 and kasperapd
- RIM/BlackBerry Discussion is moderated by fatreg and tmag2005
- Media Corner is modered by blackberrythemecentral and crystalized
- Berry Free Zone is moderated by navilyn

and of course the founding members of the Crack Team will still be taking care of their blogging and moderating duties as well.

Welcome Aboard Guys & Gals!!!!!!

Confess Your BlackBerry Addiction and Win! CrackBerry.com is giving blackberry users the chance to win a CrackBerry Rehab vacation and lots of other great prizes in the Confess Your BlackBerry Addiction & Win Giveaway!

Free to Enter. Lots of Chances to Win. No Strings Attached.

Click Here for Full Contest Details... 

First time to CrackBerry.com? Click here for the Hello & Grand Tour...

RIM and AT&T announce RED BlackBerry Pearl

RIM  and AT&T announce RED BlackBerry Pearl
Last week rumors emerged that a new BlackBerry Pearl would soon be released. Today, those rumors were confirmed with an annoucement by RIM & AT&T that a new red hot BlackBerry Pearl will soon be hitting the market.

"The BlackBerry Pearl is a powerful and feature-rich phone and yet it is also amazingly small, elegant and easy-to-use," said Mike Woodward, executive director, mobile professional solutions, for AT&T. "Now the red BlackBerry Pearl provides our customers with another stunning choice for staying connected in their business and personal lives."

"The BlackBerry Pearl is a big hit with users because it looks as great as it performs," said Mark Guibert, vice president, corporate marketing, for Research In Motion. "We look forward to fueling the momentum of the BlackBerry Pearl in the market with the addition of another eye-catching color and finish."

If only they would put a prancing horse on it and use Ferrari's shade of red, this Formula 1 fan and BlackBerry abuser would be in Heaven!

Read the Full Press Release Here...

Why wait for the iPhone? Get an iBerry today!!!
I'm a creature of habit. I get into my routines and don't like to mess with them. Wake up, Check Email, Exercise, Check Email, Eat Breakfast, Check Email, Shower, Check Email, yada, yada, yada. When it comes to my blackberry device, I'm not one to change the wallpaper, theme, or ringtone very often. For me to even attempt to change things up, it needs to be something that I REALLY like.

And, I'm sure like many blackberry users out there, when I watched the Steve Job's Apple iPhone release a few weeks back I have to admit I was salivating - not so much over the functions or features of the device (which after much analysis by everyone on the net doesn't really seem all that appealing to me anymore), but because it looked so darn good! Oh Those icons!!


BlackBerry users can now have the best of both worlds with the iBerry theme for the BlackBerry. Now you can have all of the looks and beauty of the iPhone, combined with the BlackBerry functionality and rock-steady performance blackberry addicts are accustomed to.

I recently installed the iBerry theme on my 8700R and have been LOVING it. The iBerry Theme is also available for the BlackBerry 7100, 8100, and 8800. I may not like changing up my routine, but this theme has garnered my undivided attention (my crackberry addiction has actually gone up - I keep my berry beside me during the day on top of my computer desk. Since installing the theme I find myself flicking the trackwheel or clicking a key just so I can see the screen light up with all those pretty icons). In addition to the homescreen icons looking good, all of the other standard blackberry screens look great as well. The "calling number" screen is my next favorite.  After spending quite a bit of time with this theme on my phone, I can definitely say it's a smooth running performer.

Any Drawbacks?
While the iBerry theme is near perfect I do have two minor complaints to report on (so minor that they should not prevent you from giving this theme a go):

CrackBerry.com on Manitoba's SuperStation CJOB
Thanks to Richard Cloutier over at CJOB for having me on his radio show this morning.  We had a grand ole time talking about CrackBerry.com.  If you head over to the CJOB.com Audio Vault , you can listen to the show.

Choose the March 7th, 10am segment.  The CrackBerry.com piece is about 5 minutes in length, and starts 35:15 into the live replay feed.

Hurry Hard!!!! Curling for your BlackBerry

Hurry Hard!!!!  Curling for your BlackBerry

For all those BlackBerry-abusing Curling Fans out there (and yes we know you are mainly in Canada, and mainly in Winnipeg at that!), this week marks the 2007 Tim Horton's Brier, which this year is being played at the Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario (not that far away from RIM's headquarters!).

In honor of the occassion I thought I would bring everyone's attention to a game that's been on my berry for nearly nine months now - Curling Challenge. Having grown up in a rural town in the middle of Canada, I did a lot of curling in my youth, teens, and right up into my early twenties (there's not a lot to do during a Manitoba winter but Curl, Skate, and Snowmobile). As a result of my longstanding  committment to the sport (we'll cover that debate in another blog post, but curling IS an OLYMPIC sport), I skipped the trial period and paid the $4.95 for the electronic version upfront.


For BlackBerry gaming novices, Curling Challenge will be a welcome change from Brick Breaker. But for avid curlers who spend their evenings and weekends in curling clubs tossing stones and chugging Mooseheads and OVs between games (or during!) Curling Challenge will likely leave you wanting for more.


The game play is easy to learn. Setting up shots from the hack takes only a few clicks - choose your throwing weight on the meter with a quick click of the trackwheel, take your aim for the broom with a scroll of the trackwheel, and finally select whether you are throwing an in turn or out turn (if you're not sure what an in turn or out turn is it would probably be best to move onto the next blog post!). From there, the rock goes spinning down the ice, and unlike playing with with real people, you will never have to worry about missing the broom - the delivery and release is always nice and smooth.


Is the rock down on weight or running a little tight? Clicking the trackwheel gets the sweepers in full motion, as denoted by the hokey broom icon shown in the top right corner of the screen (seriously...I'm not sure if the graphics guys working on the game have ever seen a curling broom before, but the graphic they used made me laugh - it's more like a Mario Brother's-styled paint brush). It'll take a few ends to develop the aim and sweeping finesse to get a rock to the button or make a take out, but by the time you get to the 5th end break you'll be a sniper and showing that computer who's boss. You also have the option to pass the berry back and forth with a friend if you want to play against a person instead.


Where the game starts to fall short for me is on the realism.  I don't think anybody ran the ice algorithms passed Hans Wuthrich (world's greatest curling icemaker) for approval. He would surely have a heart attack (or the players would kill him) if the rocks at the World's last year curled the way they do in Curling Challenge. The curl towards the centerline with an in-turn/out-turn is fine, but once a rock crosses center LOOK OUT - it's into the boards before you know it.  Not even Steve Gould (known CrackBerry addict) and Ryan Fry on the brushes could hold these rocks straight. Suffice to say, making close-to-the board takeouts will be your greatest challenge. (Side Note - While we're on the topic of curling, incase you were wondering where our resident genius has been the fast few days, Tom has actually been in Hamilton working on the Brier ice - Tom designed the wireless environmental monitor system used at all of the top curling events.  Check it out at IceTracker.com.)


Rules such as the Free Guard Zone have been omitted from Curling Challenge, as well as the ability to sweep your competitor's rocks once they cross the back tee line. For people new to curling this won't be an issue, but assuming most of the people who will download/buy this game are familiar with curling, then I'm thinking this should be a consideration in the next release of Curling Challenge.


The last area to improve upon? Strategy.  This isn't the game to play if you're hoping to learn how to curl like Kerry Burtnyk. The computer is good at drawing to the button,  and if you miss your shots is good at piling more rocks in the house and even guarding them, but as soon as you make some hits, draw to the sides or throw up some junk the computer gets baffled and misses a lot.


Still, the game is a lot of fun!  In nine months of game play I don't think I've ever actually played a full game (I'm not even sure if they are 8 or 10 end games - I usually get tired by 6), but I have taken four 7-enders in a row and been up 34 - 0 after six ends so I think that could be written down as a victory in anyone's book.

For now I'm going to give Curling Challenge three stars out of five.  What would it take to make it a homerun?  Fix up the realism and make it playable over the wireless net. Man O Man, I know a lot of people who would spend days at their berries playing this if there was an online bonspiel mode. 

Game: Curling Challenge

My Rating:  *****
(3/5 stars)

Played On: BlackBerry 8700R 


CNET's Review of the BlackBerry 8800

Since we're still waiting to get our hands on an 8800, we'll have to direct you in the meantime to CNET's review...you can't argue with an 8.0/10!  Good job RIM!

Read CNET's Review Here.  

CrackBerry.com featured @ eWeek.com

eWeekA big Hello, Happy Birthday and Thank You go to Wayne Rash over at eWeek who took the time to chat with me this week about CrackBerry.com. Wayne told me his birthday present from eWeek was that he had full reign to pick a fun story he personally want to do and put it on his show, and bada bing bada boom he chose us!

You can find the Wayne's Wireless Wired podcast featuring CrackBerry.com here.

Thanks for the help in spreading the CrackBerry.com word Wayne!

the Confess Your Addiction and WIN Giveaway!

"Confess Your BlackBerry Addiction" by Registering with CrackBerry.com and you will automatically be entered to win.

The Grand Prize winner will have the choice between Getting A Fix! or Getting Some Rehab! (packages valued at $2,000!).  We're also having a number of early bird draws with awesome prizes, so register now for multiple chances to win!

* * Click Here For Full Prize & Contest Details * *

Already a member of CrackBerry.com? Then you are already registered to win!

New to CrackBerry.com?
Click here to find out what the #1 site for BlackBerry Users & Abusers is all about! Confess Your Addiction and join the growing CrackBerry community - Click here to Register Now!

Registration only takes a minute and is FREE, so what are you waiting for?!

Network World AsiaI had a nice interview today with Lalou Ramos of Network World Asia . We discussed CrackBerry.com and a host of topics surrounding the online space. One of the questions Lalou asked about CrackBerry.com is whether or not we have plans to offer the site in other languages. My answer was of course Yes!!!  But we currently don't have the in-house capabilities to make this happen. If there's anybody out there who would like to help us take CrackBerry.com to all corners of the globe in all languages, please be sure to contact us and help make it happen!

Check out Lalou's CrackBerry.com article here...  

Welcome! CrackBerry.com is Open for Business!

Read the official press release on PRWeb.
Read the official press release on 24-7 Press Release. 

Welcome to CrackBerry.com! We actually put the site up live just over a week ago so we could make sure everything was running smooth prior to our official launch, and in that time the site has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from the BlackBerry Users and Abusers who have managed to find their way here.

We're still working to add a few finishing touches to the site, but since things were over 98.6% there we simply could not keep quiet any longer.  The time to start spreading the word about CrackBerry.com is Now!

Here are a few links to get you started on your way:

1.  Our Official Welcome - explains what we're about!

2.  The Crack Team Story - explains how this site came into existence.

3.  The CrackBerry Store - downloads galore, plus any accessory you could ever want to buy for your Berry. If you need anything BlackBerry, think CrackBerry.com.

4.  CrackBerry Forums - this is where registered members hang out and converse on all things CrackBerry.  Rumors, News, Help, and more.

5. The CrackBerry WAP Site - Check it out now on your PC.  This is the site you will get when you visit CrackBerry.com on your BlackBerry.  It's basically your portal to the mobile web - all the best sites that are viewable on your berry, plus lots of games, downloads and more. Download the desktop launcher (works on Pearl & 8700s) and you're never more than one click away from CrackBerry.com. You will LOVE this site when it comes to killing time at the airport.

6.  Register Now -  Registering is free, and it gives you full access to all content areas of the site, full access to the forums, and allows you to create your FREE @ CrackBerry.com email address.  If you're a true BlackBerry User & Abuser, getting an @CrackBerry.com is a must!  You simply choose any Name@CrackBerry.com you wish, and then specify an address and any emails sent to your @CrackBerry.com email will automatically redirect to the final destination you have chosen. Easy, Painless, and FUN.  The good names are going quick, so hurry!

There are nearly 10 Million BlackBerry Users out there.  We'd like to see 1 Million of them admit their addiction and become members of CrackBerry.com.  We want to make this the biggest community of BlackBerry Users ever!  Register Now!  

Enjoy the Site! 

Update - Off to a Good Start!

Update - Off to a Good Start!

We have been running CrackBerry.com live for a few days now, and the initial response we have received from the blackberry addicts who have stumbled upon the site has been overwhelmingly postive.

I think members are loving the fact they can register an @CrackBerry.com email address, and the action in the forums shows me that the blackberry community is eager to turn CrackBerry.com into a site they frequent on a regular basis.

I still consider the site to be in pre-launch mode.  We have some tweaks and improvements to make over the next few days that should really help with the the functionality and usability of the site. Once complete, our efforts will turn towards promoting and growing the awareness and content of CrackBerry.com.  So if you can have some patience with the Crack Team over the next few days it will be very much appreciated.  If you notice anything really awry with the site, please don't hestitate to contact us.  And if you have any ideas or suggestions on how to make CrackBerry.com even better, feel free to stick them in the comments section of this post.

To all the people who have registered with the site, thanks for getting us off to a great start! Spread the word!  And if you haven't registered yet....what are you waiting for?!

The Prada Phone by LG - How Will I Convince My Girlfriend to Buy a BlackBerry Now?!

For the past year I have been trying to get my girlfriend Erika to buy a BlackBerry Pearl or the new 8800 when it hits the market. For the first 6 months the answer to my pleas was a flat out NO. But over the past few weeks, mainly thanks to my annoying non-stop talk of the upcoming launch of crackberry.com, her NO's turned into MAYBES and I could tell by next week the answer should be a YES. 

But yesterday, the unthinkable happened.  She discovered the Prada phone by LG. It was announced on January 18th, 2007, so it was sort of old news to me (read the official press release here), but it was news to her when she saw it online, and I knew the moment  her eyes fell upon that PRADA logo that my mission just failed. 

So RIM, if you're listening, can you please get your business development team working on a deal with Versace or Louis Vuitton.  Until then, I think you will be losing out on the business of at least one potential customer and I'm sure she's not the only one out there who values fashion as much as high-tech gadgetry.

First take, no excuses!  These Video Tip posts will get better with time, but I wanted to get one up here quick. This tip shows you how to install the CrackBerry.com desktop launcher onto your blackberry (works on 8700 series, Pearl, and should work on newer devices coming out from RIM too).  Also gives a quick sneak peak at the CrackBerry.com WAP site, which you should definitely check out!

 

BlackBerry 8800 Video!

Captured by Shiny Shiny , here's a peak at the new BlackBerry 8800 that was announced by RIM at the 3GSM World Conference.

 

RIM Officially Launches BlackBerry 8800

RIM Officially Launches BlackBerry 8800

CrackBerry Addicts Rejoice! After months of rumors, speculation and online debate, RIM has officially announced the launch of their new BlackBerry 8800 Smartphone.  CrackBerry.com will dive into the features of the new 8800 Smartphone in the days and weeks ahead, but for now you can get your fill at RIM's official site - www.blackberry8800.com .  RIM's official press release for the new device can be found here.

www.BlackBerry8800.com  

CrackBerry.com Goes Live!

CrackBerry.com Goes Live!

To find out more about how this site came into existence and why, and who we are, click here for the full story.  In the meantime, here is a quick overview of what you can expect from the Crack Team and CrackBerry.com

Our aim is simple – we want to establish CrackBerry.com as the premier resource for anything and everything BlackBerry.  Whether you are at an airport with time to kill and want some games to play, need a replacement case for your Berry, want to stay on top of the latest news and rumours in the mobile industry, want to buy a Bluetooth headset but don't know which one to buy, or are not quite up to CrackBerry Addict status yet and need help figuring out how to use your BlackBerry, CrackBerry.com is the first place you go.

We view the BlackBerry as a serious device that also has a lighter side and we've built CrackBerry.com to reflect that.  We've done our best to keep the site simple and intuitive while providing all the features we thought a site with a name worthy of the "2006 Webster's New Word of the Year" award should have.

We've broken the CrackBerry.com website down into three main categories – Community, Forums, and Store.  Think Community for news, reviews, rumours, entertainment and useful information for new and experienced berry users alike. The Forum is your way to interact with other CrackBerry users  and the store will offer you the latest software, hardware accessories and downloads for every type of BlackBerry.

If you register with the site you have the option of setting up your free @ CrackBerry.com email redirector.  Set up YourDesiredName@CrackBerry.com and the system will redirect emails sent to your new @CrackBerry.com address to any existing email address you specify.  It's simple. For those of you whose BlackBerry addiction has reached the point of unhealthy, be sure to check out the Rehab section.

We've built the CrackBerry.com wapsite as your portal to the mobile web.  Using the mobile browser on your wireless device, visit www.crackberry.com (or wap.crackberry.com if you don't get automatically redirected).  The site features hundreds of links to the best mobile sites.  You can download the CrackBerry launcher (it installs a sweet CrackBerry.com icon onto your BlackBerry's desktop) to make it easy for you to use CrackBerry.com as your starting point on the mobile web.

Enjoy the site!

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