Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Air Canada adds USB Chargers at every seat

Under what Air Canada is labeling Project XM (Extreme Makeover) they are installing three-prong plugs for laptops, and USB ports to recharge iPods and BlackBerry devices at all seats by the end of 2007.

You can read the eintire Globe and Mail article here.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Airport Security Will Accept Blackberry Confirmation

Imagine the time you can save...

You are flying through the airport, you hit security and while placing your Blackberry on the belt, you can flash them your boarding details. Thats right, your Blackberry will speed you through security.

See the entire article here.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Placing Phone Call From An E-Mail

Have you ever been in the middle of reading an e-mail when you realize it would be more efficient to call sender rather than e-mail a reply.

Here is a tip to place the call directly to the sender of the e-mail.
- While viewing the e-mail, click on the menu button
- Scroll to Call ########
- Click Enter and proceed to the call

This is a much quicker way to place a call than exiting out of the e-mail, proceeding to the phone icon, scrolling through the list (or dial by name).

I hope you can make use of this little tip the next time you place a call.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

What are you Blackberry Plans Over The Holidays?

Is there ever a bad time to use your Blackberry? During family dinner? While on vacation? While someone is speaking to you? During family outings? In a meeting? During a presentation?

I'm sure we have all caught ourselves having to sneak in a "Blackberry hit" once in a while on the weekend. It generally is taking us away from something else that we should be doing.

What are your Blackberry plans over the coming holidays? Silicon.com did a little survey. The results can be found here.

Let me know your thoughts about the survey.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

USB Charger For Your Blackberry

Here's a great gadget to keep a lookout for!

Ecosol Solar Technologies, an Ottawa based company, has been awarded a "Consumer Electronics Association (CES) Best Innovations 2007 Design and Engineering" award for the Powerstick Universal Portable Charger.

The Powerstick is a portable power source for your Blackberry (or any other electronic device). You simply recharge it from any USB device and pop it into your briefcase or pocket. Then you can charge up your device whenever and wherever you want. No more scouting for power outlets at the airport for that last minute charge prior to boarding your flight!

With this handy gadget, your suitcase or briefcase will no longer be filled with knotted, spaghetti wired power adapters.

I can't wait to get mine.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Elmer Fudd Adds A Blackberry To His Christmas List

Did you ever wonder what Elmer Fudd's life would have been like with his very own Blackberry? Maybe he would have caught "dat waskally wabbit" after all.

A growing number of hunters are heading to the bush with more than just their shotguns in tow. They are going armed with Blackberries strapped to their belts.

Whether it's to communicate with other hunters or just pass the time during their hunt, you can read more by clicking here.

I wonder if they ask the deer to wait if an important message just appeared and they start their crackberry prayer :-)

Monday, November 27, 2006

A Blackberry Massage

If you are looking for a Christmas gift for a special someone (aka Crackberry someone), here is an gift certificate idea for a "Blackberry massage". It is becoming more popular at spas in local communities (as well as hotels and resorts)

The massage generally focusses on "Blue Thumb" and easing tension on various arm and hand muscles (specifically the thumb and wrist area). They use Blackberry based balm to massage into your hands during the treatment.

For more details you can view an ABC news item from December 2006 here. You can also visit your local Hyatt hotel website for details or click here for the Hyatt Stillwater Spa in Toronto menu with more details.

Costs range anywhere from $30 to $80 for the 30 minute massage. Blackberry device not included. :-)


Sunday, November 26, 2006

What Seat Did You Get On Your Flight?

Today's tip will get you access to better (if not the best) seats on your flight. Whether you are flying domestically or internationally, this URL is a great addition to you Blackberry bookmarks.

Seat Guru (http://mobile.seatguru.com) is a great database that evaluates seats on 30+ global airlines and rates them for you. The seats are color coded (red, yellow, green) based on location, amenities, exit row, leg room, under seat electric outlet, lighting, movie screen location, 1st and last person to be served a meal in Business class etc.

All you need to enter is your airline and type of aircraft then sit back and let your Blackberry evaluate your current seat and then show you where you want to sit.

Now, I need to find a software program that can identify where the loud snoring passenger is sitting on those overseas flights :-)

Let me know how you like this like URL

Friday, November 24, 2006

Dial By Number on Blackberry - Mystery Solved

If you have ever called an automated attendant and been asked to enter/spell the person's last name or a word...ughhh, uhhh, fumble fumble...you can solve that with the attached link I located.

It's quick and easy solution. Just hold the ALT key + the letter you need to spell and let your Blackberry do the necessary touch tone "translation".

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Texting and Driving? Think Again!

CBS ran a story November 22nd that should make you ponder the dangers of using your Blackberry while driving. While the first time you do it, it seems like an innocent thing... but as that one last unattended detail requires a quick e-mail to someone, you are flirting with disaster!

A number of corporations are creating company policies that state that using a cellphone or Blackberry while driving a car is not permitted. This will minimize the risk to the corporation, but people still do it.

Take a look at the segment.

Blackberry Messenger

In order to communicate with other Blackberry users, I set-up Blackberry Messenger (http://www.blackberry.com/messenger). This software allows you to communicate, chat and Instant Message another Blackberry user through their Personal Identification Number (PIN). You can have one-on-one communication and group discussion as well as multiple concurrent discussions.

The application works with the same operating system as
Yahoo (blackberry.com/yahoodownload) and Google Talk (http://www.google.com/talk/) on the Blackberry. However, what makes this product better is that it is only available to your PIN community. Make sure you exchange PIN details with other BB users (fellow employees or staff members) so you can use this tool for more effective communication.

It gives you the option of setting-up contacts as a group (e.g. your direct reports) so you can have group chat's rather than conference calls. You can also see when someone is typing a response so you can wait before responding (rather than crashing dialog).

Pinstack did a great FAQ for PIN-
Click Here for Details. It will give you more background on PINNING.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Blackberry Maps vs Google Mobile Maps

I've played with Blackberry Maps and also used Google Maps.

While both have very good content, I have a preference to Google Maps for it's satellite views and current traffic views.

I have had to use satellite view to get where I'm going (when the cab driver didn't). I zoomed into my Blackberry and was able to count buildings and parking lots to get to my destination.

Traffic views has been a handy timesaver for when I am in New York. I can see where traffic is snarled due to construction and accidents. While I can't change the situation, it helps me cope with traffic on the way to the airport or suggest alternate routes to the cab driver.

Let me know if you have had similar experiences with maps on your Blackberry. Which do you prefer?

Day 5 - What Do I Like Most About the Blackberry Pearl

It's been five days since making the purchase and I can't really narrow down what single feature I like the best. So here are my top 3.

1. Size
- The unit is very slim and lightweight but has a solid feel. It measure a mere 4" x 2" X 0.5"

2. Pearl Trackball
- An amazing way to navigate the applications. I've changed my trackball sensitivity to 50

3. Screen
- The crisp clarity and resolution of the screen. It is made even better by an auto adjusting light sensor for indoor/outdoor use

Let me know what your top three are.

Humorous Blackberry(Crackberry) User Article

I recently read a post from The Onion (www.theonion.com) that I am sure a number of us can laugh at. Take a read for yourself and tell me if you can relate to any of the content. The article can be found at: http://www.theonion.com/content/node/55369 .

Take a read and enjoy!

Blackberry Live Large Promotion, Free Airfare

As an added bonus for purchasing my Blackberry Pearl this past weekend, I just realized that I qualified for a free flight. Blackberry has created a promotion (just in time for the holiday purchases) called "Live Large, Fly High". If you purchase a Blackberry Device between October 16, 2006 and December 11, 2006 you qualify and are eligble to receive a buy one get one free airfare. There are terms and conditions, so you may want to check www.blackberrylivelarge.com for more details.

I reviewed the conditions and determined that I can take a much needed vacation (Blackberry optional) with my wife to a warm sunny place at 50% of the cost. Another reason to confirm that an upgrade to the Blackberry Pearl was warranted :-).

I am enjoying my new Blackberry Pearl with all the new features and options. I'll write more about that later today so check back or better yet, link to the feeds (chiklets on the side so you get automatic updates. Post comments, I welcome your feedback!

Monday, November 20, 2006

I Just Purchased My Blackberry Pearl

I have been looking into upgrading to a newer Blackberry. After researching and vacillating, I settled on the Blackberry Pearl 8100 Smartphone (www.blackberry.com). The Suretype keyboard took a little getting used to (about 2 hours) but now I can't recall life on the traditional keyboard.

Prior to my purchase, I researched a number of blogs and bulletin boards and the biggest downfall from what I could see was the smaller keypad and the SureType keyboard. I overcame these concerns by comparing those two issues with the size of the device. It is very compact, the screen has great resolution and the device comes with tons of functionality to help make me more productive.

The "Pearl" trackball has made the flywheel a thing of the past. The unique trackball is a great, efficient and precise way to navigate on the device. It also doubles as an ergonomic (non carpal tunnel producing) replacement to the flywheel.

I welcome your comments to this post as I update the many features I have learned on the device. I also welcome your thoughts and your experiences.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Just Ask Matt

As a frequent traveler that also is raising a young family I have had to learn juggle priorities and ensure that my work life balance stays in check. I do that through use of my Blackberry. I started with a Blackberry 7250 and now use a Blackberry Pearl.

In my circle of friends and colleagues I am referred to as an early adopter of technology. When they have a question they generally "Just Ask Matt". If I don't have the answer, I am able to find it for them.

I have a passion to share my knowledge and learnings with people so they too can be more efficient in their lives.

One area of focus for me is training Executives in Career Transition on Blackberry use. I conduct monthly 2 hour seminars for individuals enrolled in an Executive Transition Program in Toronto, Ontario with the goal to help them be more efficient in their job search.

I hope find this blog useful for your work life balance too.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Why A Blackberry Blog for Road Warriors

As a Road Warrior for over 20 years, I can appreciate how hectic life was pre-Blackberry devices and compared to life today. I was an early adopter and learned a number of tips and tricks on my own through trial and error. I am always asked by peers how change their device settings to help them increase their productivity. Last summer I helped a relative at the cottage who was floundering with duplicate messages in her inbox. With a quick change in settings, she finally started enjoying the productivity savings these devices were meant to provide.

I can relate to flying through the skies on myriads of aluminum tubes, endless delays at airports, staying in countless hotel rooms and dealing with a domino effects of small travel plan changes. I used my Blackberry to check gates, get driving directions, check-in to hotels, check into flights, check weather, find alternate flights when the pilot advised us of bad weather in Chicago, the list goes on.

By creating this blog, I look forward to sharing my experiences to help fellow readers and fellow road warriors. I also welcome you to link to this site as I expect to make multiple posts a week and welcome your comments on topics, your experiences and your tips as well.

Until my next post, have a great weekend!