Articles by Crackberry Kevin

A BlackBerry Smartphone You Can't be Without?!
If you're a regular visitor to the site, you probably noticed last week that we made some changes to our main menu. In addition to the cool forums widget at the top right hand corner of the site that pulls the latest action in the forums, we've also introduced two new content areas - Job Board and Publications.

You'll be hearing more about the job board in the days ahead, but today I wanted to highlight our partnership with TradePub, which offers visitors and members the ability to subscribe for FREE to receive Trade Magazine Publications and Technical Whitepaper downloads. The offering is HUGE and covers a wide range of fields, so I guarantee you will find something relevant and worth reading in here. Please do check it out.

And in the meantime, for the BlackBerry Addicts out there, may I recommend checking out the on demand Web Cast Review of the BlackBerry 8800 entitled "A BlackBerry Smartphone You Can't be Without"

Contest Winners Announced!

Contest Winners Announced!

Congratulations to our Early Bird Winners in the "Confess your BlackBerry Addiction and WIN Giveaway". Member mousie won the "Give Me a Taste" prize of $250USD to spend in the store. Our "Fridays in March"winners each pick up $30USD to spend in the store as well!

We still have two HUGE prizes to giveaway, so if you are not in the contest yet, get CRACK'n. All you have to do is become a registered member of (it's free, and only takes a minute). May 1st we are drawing for the "Pimp my Berry!" prize of $500 spending cash in the store. And on June 1st we have the GRAND PRIZE DRAW of $2,000USD. The money can either go to "Getting a Fix" ($2,000 worth of BlackBerry stuff) or "Getting Some Rehab" ($2,000 towards a Vacation from your BlackBerry getaway).

Check out a picture of the winning ballots after the jump. 

All of the winners are being contacted today, and have 5 days to claim their prize. Any unclaimed prizes will be drawn again. As we get more information on the winner's and the prizes they pick we will update it in the forums.

Congratulations again to the Winners! 

Aliph's Jawbone Bluetooth Headset

Aliph's Jawbone Bluetooth Headset

This surfaced in the CrackBerry forums late last week, but if you haven't it seen it yet, what you are now looking at is Aliph's new "Jawbone" bluetooth headset. It is VERY cool (unless of course you're a hater of bluetooth headsets in general - then they'll always look strange to you and you'll nevre see the beauty!).

Lots of pictures and a review of the Jawbone can be found at

I've been working on a review of Motorola's H700 headset, which I bought a month ago. The H700 is a slick, smooth operating device, but seeing this almost makes me want to trade up!

Windows Live Search BETA available for BlackBerry
Windows released a BETA version of its Windows Live Search application for BlackBerries this week. Many Windows Mobile users have claimed Live Search as being even better than Google, but I don't think that can be said for the BlackBerry beta version just yet. I downloaded it, but my patience ran out fast when trying to use it (too S L O W). Granted it is still in Beta, so I'll uninstall the app for now and wait for the full release before I make my real judgement call.

At this time, the Live Search app can be downloaded for the United States and the United Kingdom (what - no Canada?!), and most versions of the Berry are supported. 

On your BlackBerry, head to and give it a try.

Your thoughts? 

ShowMate Wins Most Innovative Wireless Device Award

In case you didn't know, the Impacta ShowMate is pocket-sized device that weighs less than three ounces that enables mobile professionals to travel with nothing more than a wireless handheld on their hip and a ShowMate in their pocket. Full-featured PowerPoint presentations can now be viewed on the handheld or projected wirelessly by connecting the ShowMate to any projector or monitor. Presenters can roam freely to engage the audience, navigate to any slide to answer a question or emphasize a point and even view their notes on the handheld while presenting. The ShowMate transforms the handheld into a wireless remote control and personal teleprompter — it's the ultimate presentation tool. 

Better yet, the ShowMate is a winner! It was JUST awarded the Most Innovative Wireless Device Award at the Andrew Seybold Choice Awards presented this week at CTIA.

"Each of this year’s award winners have made significant progress in simplifying the user experience, which is critical to expansion in the wireless industry," said Andy Seybold, President and CEO of Andrew Seybold, Inc. "Impatica ShowMate goes a step further by adding a critical capability for the mobile professional - the ability to deliver PowerPoint presentations from their mobile device without having to drag along a laptop."

"What a great honor," exclaimed Michael Doyle, Chairman and CEO of Impatica Inc., "to win the Most Innovative Wireless Device category in the Andrew Seybold Choice Awards. This award is a tribute, not only to all of the dedicated employees at Impatica, but also to our strategic partners at RIM, Sony Ericsson, Palm and Microsoft and to our numerous customers, distributors and carrier partners who have consistently provided insight, encouragement and guidance in the development and evolution of the ShowMate."

Read the Full Release here...

Learn more about the ShowMate here...  

Thanks Steve! Apple's iPhone to boost BlackBerry sales
Look what just came in on the Bloomberg terminal...

"Hats off to Steve'' Jobs, Apple's leader, Research In Motion co-Chief Executive Officer Michael Lazaridis said in an interview yesterday at the CTIA Wireless conference in Orlando, Florida. "He made smartphones cool again. Now everyone wants one. He helped the entire industry."

"We complement each other really well," Lazaridis said. "We both focus on two entirely different markets. One is pure consumer and pure consumable. One is pure function and pure productivity.

Natalie Kerris, a spokeswoman for Apple, declined to comment.

My initial feeling when the iPhone was announced was that it might just turn out to be good news for RIM in the long run. I guess only time will tell... your thoughts?

Read the full story here.  

FREE BlackBerry WallPaper Maker

FREE BlackBerry WallPaper Maker is happy to announce version 1.0 (still in beta) of it's free BlackBerry Wallpaper Maker! It's easy to use - simply upload any .jpg or .png image off your harddrive (keep it to a megabyte or less), choose the berry you have, choose the file type you want the output image to be (I personally like the .png - you don't lose any image clarity), and then enter the email address of your BlackBerry! Once the image arrives in your BlackBerry email box, simply save it to your pictures folder and "Set as Homescreen Image". You can thank Tom, our resident genius, for setting this one up. We're working on some version 1.01 already that will make this even slicker (color palette picker, and we're thinking of adding of adding a public wallpaper gallery - when you create your wallpaper you will have the option to add your creation to the public folder to be shared with other visitors!). But you know us - we can never wait to get things launched. It'll only get better! Give it a Go! Let us know how you like it! You can find the WallPaper Generator under Tools in the main menu, or by clicking here. For now, only registered users have access to the wallpaper generator. Not a registered member yet? Click here to join the community!

BlackBerry Job Board on the way!

BlackBerry Job Board on the way! & will soon be launching a job board for Blackberry professionals.  If your company is looking to hire Blackberry admins, developers, support staff, or sales/marketing staff in the BlackBerry space – we think the CrackBerry audience is an ideal place to search.  If you have immediate positions to fill, contact about posting a job right away so you it can be listed for the launch of the new job board! We're aiming to go live for this Friday, so hurry!

In addition to everyone who visits this site, your job will also syndicate to other partner sites who are participating in the job board. Your job will be presented to 700,000 targeted visitors over the next 30 days (3 million pageviews!). 
Idokorro's new Citrix Presentation Client is a Hit!

I just touched base with the marketing director over at Idokorro to see how the release of their highly anticipated Citrix Presenation Server Client is going. The early results are in and it looks like Idokorro is going to score another slam dunk! The product launched this morning and the application has already received a lot of downloads and a lot of purchases (the numbers impressed me - and I'm not easy to impress!). This is no surprise considering every application produced by the company turns out to be the category killer for that segment.

If you haven't seen the release yet, you can read it in full after the jump: 

Idokorro Launches the Citrix Presentation Server Client for BlackBerry

Ottawa, ON, March 26, 2007 - Idokorro Mobile Inc., the leading innovator in mobile access solutions and provider of award-winning applications for wireless handhelds, is pleased to announce today's launch of their Citrix Presentation Server™ Client for BlackBerry®. Idokorro's solution gives BlackBerry users the ability to access and use any Windows application that is deployed on the Citrix Presentation platform.

Citrix Presentation Server™ Client for BlackBerry is a hotly anticipated solution for BlackBerry and Citrix users, giving them the ability to run Citrix-published applications like the Microsoft Office Suite, SAP, PeopleSoft, Crystal Reports, Cognos management tools and their Desktop-even view the graphical windows and control the mouse and keyboard-directly from a BlackBerry smartphone. By delivering a secure and reliable way for mobile employees to access important corporate resources, Citrix Presentation Server™ Client for BlackBerry significantly extends the value of both the Citrix Presentation Server platform and the BlackBerry wireless solution by increasing employee efficiency and productivity.

"As a global company, providing services around-the-clock is imperative. One way to accomplish this is to provide our employees with access to a wide range of applications from BlackBerry smartphones. By delivering these capabilities in a secure, intuitive, and easy-to-deploy solution, Idokorro's new mobile Citrix client will quite simply change the landscape of productivity," says Bill Townsend, System Analyst from CH2M HILL a global leader in full-service engineering, consulting, construction and operations.

"The world's largest and leading businesses rely on BlackBerry and Citrix Server implementations to help maximize their resources. It was a logical step to marry these two powerful technologies by developing a robust and intuitive Citrix client for BlackBerry smartphones. Our research also strongly indicates that demand for this kind of solution is very high," says Rob Woodbridge, President and CEO of Idokorro Mobile, Inc.

"Idokorro's Citrix Presentation Server™ Client for BlackBerry represents a significant step forward for mobilizing Citrix customers. By combining the pervasive BlackBerry smartphone with Citrix Presentation Server for application delivery, Idokorro's solution provides Citrix users new freedom to access their mission critical applications beyond email," says Chris Fleck, Citrix Vice President of Strategic Alliances.

"Idokorro continues to expand the horizon for mobile productivity by enabling BlackBerry users to now access the wealth of enterprise applications available through Citrix Presentation Servers," said Jeff McDowell, Vice President, Global Alliances, Research In Motion.

Citrix Presentation Server™ Client for BlackBerry is part of the Idokorro suite of applications for wireless handhelds that give users secure access to networks, servers, desktops and other devices, allowing most computing tasks to be performed from almost anywhere. The Idokorro suite currently consists of Mobile Admin, Mobile SSH, Mobile Desktop and Mobile File Manager. Mobile Admin allows IT administrators to use their wireless handheld to manage network servers including Microsoft Windows, Active Directory, Exchange, SQL; Lotus Domino; Oracle; Citrix Presentation Server; BlackBerry Enterprise Servers and much more. Mobile SSH supports full VT100, 5250 and 3270 terminal emulation so users can access and manage a wide range of network devices including Unix, Linux, Novell Netware, AS/400 servers, IBM mainframes, routers and switches. Mobile Desktop is a Remote Desktop and VNC client that lets users access computers from their wireless handheld, even view the desktop and control the mouse and keyboard. Mobile File Manager, designed for BlackBerry smartphones, is a professional file manager for remote and local files and supports Windows File Sharing, WebDAV, FTP and SFTP connections.
Citrix Presentation Server™ Client for BlackBerry and all other Idokorro products are available for 30-day fully functional free trials from the Idokorro website: .

About Idokorro Mobile, Inc.
Idokorro was founded in 2001 and is now the leader in providing mobile access solutions. Idokorro's products allow users to monitor, maintain, and manage their networks, computers, and other network devices from practically anywhere - streamlining operations, decreasing costly network down-time, and accelerating service responses. The company is self-financed and serves a global customer base of over 2000 corporations. For more information, please visit , or call 1.613.789.1818.

The BlackBerry and RIM families of related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and trademarks of Research In Motion Limited. RIM assumes no liability and makes no representation, warranty or guarantee in relation to third party products or services. Citrix® and Citrix Presentation Server™ are trademarks of Citrix Systems, Inc. and/or one or more of its subsidiaries, and may be registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners. 

Research in Motion to Sponsor Formula 1?

Research in Motion to Sponsor Formula 1?

Below is the Shell/Ferrari commercial that celebrates their 60 year relationship together. They shot the commercial in some of the greatest cities in the world - Rome, Monaco, New York, Hong Kong, Rio, and Sydney and is rumored to be the MOST EXPENSIVE commerical ever created. 2 minutes of pure joy - watch it!

But seriously, RIM really should consider sponsoring Formula 1. Their brand is already established in North America and there is no other sport/sponsorship venue that embraces international brands and has a worldwide following as big as Formula 1. Afterall, it is Research in MOTION, and the fit with Formula 1 technology and speed makes sense.

As for which team they should sponsor, I would of course rather see their logo on a RED car (a.k.a. Ferrari) despite their lead product being named BLACKBerry. 

Airtel & RIM bring the BlackBerry 8800 to India

"We are very excited to bring the innovative and feature-rich BlackBerry 8800 to India for our high-end customers,” said Sanjay Kapoor, President, Mobile Services, Bharti Airtel.

“They will get an opportunity to experience a world-class product which is elegant, stylish and equipped to deliver a power packed performance. This exceptional device reinforces our commitment to bringing the latest and best communication experience for Airtel’s business customers.”

"The new BlackBerry 8800 is as stylish as it is powerful," said Norm Lo, vice-president of RIM's Asia-Pacific operations. "It is the ideal mobile communications tool for India’s dynamic business environment and we are very pleased to introduce this impressive smartphone together with Airtel."

Read the full press release here.

Learn more about the BlackBerry 8800 from Airtel here.  

Beware the BlackBerry Addict in the Office?!

Beware the BlackBerry Addict in the Office?!

The Nanaimo Daily News published a short blackberry piece in their local paper this morning that I thought made an interesting point - basically that Loose Lips Sink Ships and BlackBerry Addicts have the Loosest Lips of them all. Here are some of the bits by Howard Levitt:

... Employees are using PDAs while driving, walking on the street, at restaurants, bars, and even at the gym. Many employees feel be-holden to respond immediately to the beep of a pending message. Hence, the reference to "Crackberrys." Common sense seldom prevails. Often, they don't know who is listening or peering over their shoulders.

While employees may be blithe, employers should be concerned because they ultimately are the ones responsible for employees' actions.

Any information leaks could expose employers to liability for a multitude of infractions. Betraying a client's confidentiality, violating privacy rights, even damaging misstatements or defamation could result from a PDA "slip." And it won't be long before employers are making large payouts as result of these "indiscretions."

It also won't be long before the first $1-million damage award against an employer from a driver or pedestrian injured by an e-mailing employee...

So what you do think? Are you a loose talking blackberry user? Do you check to see who's listening in nearby before you "slip" and blab away about confidential information on your berry? Do you think this is really a problem or overblown? - Tag Line Call for Help! - Tag Line Call for Help!

When we launched the site, we needed a tagline to go with the domain.  Our initial tag line was - the #1 site for BlackBerry Users & Abusers. We thought it was clever and funny and great to launch with. But since our goal is to really turn over to the BlackBerry-using community, we want to get your thoughts on what our tag line should be.

Here's some potential ideas: - Uniting BlackBerry Users Worldwide - the #1 site for BlackBerry Users (& Abusers!) - Helping the BlackBerry Community One User at a Time 

The Next Step:

Post your thoughts/suggestions in the Comments to this Blog Post (you must be a registered member or logged in to do so). Once we have 5 - 10 good ideas, we'll set up a poll for everyone to vote on, selecting the ultimate winner. Maybe the current tag line will be voted in for the long haul, or maybe it will be something new - it's up to YOU! on TV!

Yesterday was a big day for in the media! 

CTV A quick shout out and thanks to news reporter Jon Hendricks of CTV who stopped by our office to do a piece on He was in the office for about an hour interviewing and getting clips of the Crack Team at work. The segment aired on the evening news and was awesome! 

ComputerWorld Much thanks also to Heather Haverstein of ComputerWorld. I spoke to her earlier this week about the Confess Your BlackBerry Addiction and Win Contest, and she announced it yesterday to the ComputerWorld community. Heather said their readers responded really well to the first piece they ran about

Thanks Jon and Heather for the help in spreading the word! 

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! 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 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): 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  If you head over to the Audio Vault , you can listen to the show.

Choose the March 7th, 10am segment.  The 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

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