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Old 11-08-2004, 10:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Old 01-06-2005, 07:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Dissapointed with my new BB

I recently purchase a Cingular BB 7290, and I must say, I feel that RIM/BlackBerry has gone completly the wrong direction. I used to own a RIM 850, and I loved it, although the connection was a bit sketchy at times, and the battery life really sucked, but it was WAY better as an email client.

BES might be better, I don't know, I refuse to use Exchange server at work (we would have to fire 3 programmers to pay for it), and at home I am a huge FOSS/Linux fan. The limited configuration options for the BWC, lack of any real IMAP support, especially any sense of IMAP folders, really blows.

I get a boat load of mail at work, and I would go nuts if it were not for Procmail, and IMAP folders. But BB = Inbox only. Oh I know that I could do some tweaking and get what I want, but why? BWC locks my mail file, and results in annoying errors all day when I am in the office. With my 850, I could simply put mail delivery on hold, and then when I left the office, just do a check mail, and begin delvery again.

I am really bummed, but I am going to go back to Cingular and return this thing, and get a regular phone (don't get me started on what a crappy phone the BB is). Well I guess I will have to search for a better solution to get my mail when I am out of the office.

Flat Eric

PS I am not trying to incite any violence, I am genuinely dissapointed in this generation of BlackBerrys.
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Old 01-06-2005, 10:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ok, some things i don't understand, as follows:

a) Why do you refuse to use Exchange at the office? Exchange costs $1500 plus $100 per person, period. If you buy exchange enterprise (for users of about 100 to 200 or more) it's $4500 plus $100 per person.

For that price you get pop3/imap and more important exchange native ('push') mode. You also get a license of Outlook 2003 free for each person licensed for Exchange (included in $100 cost)

For that price you also get 'out of the box' webmail which is basically a replica of Microsoft Outlook. You also get an 'undelete' function in case you 'permanently' deleted any mail. You can turn this off if you want though..

The real killer is the central calendaring integration. With BES you can extend all these features to your Blackberry.

So tell me how you have to fire 3 programmers to pay for this software?

Secondly, ON TOPIC i not only use Exchange for one e-mail account on my Blackberry, but I still use a unix account for my web client mail.

How does BWC lock your mail file? Just set up a .procmailrc to forward messages to your BWC account, continue, and delver messages to your inbox too. With procmail you can also easily set filters to block large messages so your BWC is not filled up too fast..

I never have had 'errors' when i am out of the office with my blackberry with Procmail, it works great. Best of all, e-mail delivery is just as fast if not faster than Exchange.. but who's nit picking when the difference between the two is in seconds, not minutes.

If you are looking to FULLY integrate your imap mailbox between BOTH the blackberry and your desktop, this is where you will run into a problem, but even with Exchange you need BES to do this full integration.. i don't have full integration and i can live with that, after all the Blackberry is simply to get my information mobile, not my mailbox. It's not too hard to organize my mailbox at the office, and even still i use filters that filter my mail for me on the desktop, while my Blackberry still gets all mail that goes into these folders, but of course the Blackberry does not have folders.


That's my biggest dissapointment, is on the 95x/85x you had the third party e-mail client Sparrow (which integrated best with Procmail : see google!) and it had folders WITH PER-FOLDER notifications! It was awesome.. the perfect e-mail client..

Either way, i don't see eye to eye with your problems and I think you can improve them..
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Old 01-07-2005, 12:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I am a Linux user and frequently use Telnet/SSH from my BlackBerry to operate my Linux box remotely.

For me, it is also wonderful being able to run instant messaging software for 100 hours non-stop.... even a TREO can't do that. DSL-style "always-onness" TCP/IP Internet is very nice without needing to power off! (See Why BlackBerry? for more information)

I find Exchange is a "pick your poison" type of thing, but I have a Mailstreet account for $23 per month which gives me access to a remote Exchange server (using BES 4.0 now). I can definitely vouch that BlackBerry is much better with Exchange -- I even get wireless Addressbook/Calendar/Tasks/Notes/Email synchronization including categories and email folder structure. Wireless synchronization over the cell airwaves. Wireless folder structure synchronization too!

Although I have not tried this, you might want to find a method or software utility that synchronizes your existing IMAP account with that remote Exchange server. Many Exchange servers allow IMAP, so you could theoretically use a utility that synchronizes between two IMAP accounts, and just simply make Exchange Server simply a "client" to your master IMAP account. If this would make the pill a little less bitter... Basically, on-the-fly synchronization between two IMAP accounts, might be do the trick for you and get the best of both worlds -- being able to use your existing Linux software. If done this way, then Exchange would essentially become a "client" to your master IMAP server, much like you'd use Outlook as an occasional IMAP client. This may make the pill less bitter for UNIX/Linux enthusiasts or platformhoppers;

The market has been small until now. It may be big enough now. (Software authors, take note!) It is now also possible to write a great third party email client for BlackBerry, if you need to do this -- BlackBerry just recently got a TCP/IP stack that does not require BES (which would make a standalone email client moot), and it should now be possible for software authors to write Sparrow-like email client software. This should probably happen by mid-2005. If you are an open source programmer, why not take the lead? There were just 2 chat programs at the start of 2004, now there's an explosion of 15 chat programs at end of 2004 -- including several open source chat programs. (See the Development section). The BlackBerry software explosion only recently started. There's also a third party email client called Reqwireless Emailviewer, I am not sure if that is good enough for your uses, but I think Sparrow used to be a lot better -- hopefully Sparrow could be ported to this generation of BlackBerries eventually for people like you who wants better IMAP-only email functionality.
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Old 01-07-2005, 12:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't agree with the "$1500+$100 period" statement. You need machines to run this on, you need a SQL server, you need the BES etc...

The costs really do add up.
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Old 01-07-2005, 06:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You shoudl really think about an outsourced Exchange provider. For as little as $20/month you can have outsourced Exchange plus a BES which will allow you to file all your messages on your desktop Outloook inbox.

I cannot believe I waited so long to get this service - and I've been using the BB since the 850 days too...
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Old 01-07-2005, 07:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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We use Exchange and BES and it works great. BUT having said that I too feel that RIM needs to get their act together and support more standards.

The majority of the world uses SMTP/POP and it is pretty dumb that if you want synced email you have to use the Webclient. This is definely a stop gap and with iCAL and other ITEF standards there is no reason why they should not be more supportive of open standards.

Now if I put my business/marketing hat on it makes perfect sense and this integration with Exchange is what has gotten RIM where they are in my opinion.

But I do resent the fact that I have to go over to the "dark side" just to get decent remote mail services. :D

Lee
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Old 01-07-2005, 09:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Scooby? If his company is providing IMAP mail to their employees they already have computers to run Outlook as an Exchange client..

You do not need SQL server for Exchange

and BES is a separate consideration. My discussion about Exchange is independent of BES, it's an argument for switching IMAP/POP to Exchange only.

Exchange Standard is $1500 (CANADIAN) per server, and $100 per person for CAL's.

Exchange enterprise is $4500 CDN per server and the CAL does not change ($100)

For the exchange/Microsoft newbies: A cal is a 'client access license'and is microsofts method to charge more based on the number of users you have.
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Old 01-07-2005, 01:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I refuse to use Exchange for many reasons. Our corporate office uses exchange and I won't even begin to tell you about all the problems they have. Viruses, Spam, uptime, system requirements, and remote administration difficulties, are my main reasons. Sendmail = free for life, SSH = remote admin anywhere I can get network and that means anywhere with a BB + midpSSH.

BWC locks my mail spool file, because they insist on using pop, which requires the server to load the entire mail file into memory, check for changes, then rewrite it to the drive. Talk about inefficient. If I am trying to check my mail at the same time it often fails because the file is locked. If I forward all my mail to my BWC account, the crappy 10 meg limit would be full in no time flat. IMAP and POP are standards that have been around for years. Exchange is NOT a standard. I am already paying for BB service to Cingular, why pay additional money for hosting. I am a FOSS hacker if you will. It drives me nuts, when I don't have full control of my box. When our company tried using Message Labs for Spam filtering it was ridiculous the problems it caused, and actually resulted in more Spam getting through.

Really my biggest complaint is that the BWC web interface is 100% devoid of any configuration options for power users. Why must companies dumb down there product, therefore removing the flexibility for the lowest common denominator of user. Would it kill them to have an advanced tab to allow me to plug in the settings that I want?

Ultimately it boils down to opinion. Mine is simply that I don't like the way it is, so I will find another solution. If yours is different that is fine too.

Flat Eric
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Old 01-07-2005, 02:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Oh, right on, I hate all the security problems the Microsoft products have had! But I must use my BlackBerry for many other reasons, including instant messaging. I use Mailstreet on my BlackBerry, but I use Mozilla Thunderbird at home, mainly with a non-mailstreet account. Outlook is only for PIM for me.

It's true that for people like you, we need somebody to port a Sparrow-like client from the old 950 devices to the BlackBerry. That'd handidly solve your problems -- Excellent third party email software on your BlackBerry. It's possible, hopefully it's just a matter of time... (Perhaps you would like to hack some software together, port something over?)

Unfortuntaely, I can't admit to being a FOSS hacker like you...I primarily use Windows XP these days, although I have a Linux box around...but I have been a major contributor of many opensource projects [google], such as DOSEMU, minicom, dScaler, and contributed some documentation about 10 years ago for old Arcnet code in the Linux kernel... etc. I can understand you hackers though ... I've been using Linux since year 1993 - the fond memories of the early Slackware distributions using Linux 0.99pl13.

The way I do my emails is that I forward a copy of all emails to my BWC. I configure it to automatically delete older emails at the bottom of the 10meg limit. My main email address is on a much bigger email account, and I never advertise my BWC email address, my BWC is just a mirror of the 50 meg most recent email messages and I replace the From: with my other email address. (I got Rogers to up the limit to 50 meg). I also use my Mailstreet account for my work-related emails. I can mix BWC and BES emails on the same BlackBerry. Another reason I don't want to switch from BlackBerry is that I have learned to thumb-touchtype 70 words per minute on the BlackBerry thumb keyboard (clocked at 363 button presses per minute). I can thumb type without looking. The battery life is great.

I know it's frustrating -- tradeoffs galore -- but I'm happy to report that Mailstreet has been very reliable. Let the professionals babysit and polish the turds, keep my hands clean. That's me. They did have a few hours downtime once last year during the major virus outbreak, but they recovered very quickly from that. I never worry about the stuff, they do their thing -- and I just really consider Exchange a "client" rather than a "server" -- basically a non-primary account. Very pleased with Mailstreet service and wireless synchronization now.

That being said, you ideally need a GREAT third party email client which doesn't ...unfortunately... YET exist on Java-based BlackBerries. Now that they've recently gained a proper TCP/IP stack, hopefully the increasingly rapid pace of development will make a good IMAP email client possible by end of 2005 for people like you.
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Old 01-07-2005, 07:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Well, good luck. You'll find there are no clear winnters in the Wireless world, and in fact it's definately in it's infancy..

therefore, it's always changing..

Again, good luck and good day.
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Old 01-08-2005, 09:15 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I just hope they do something quick.. the 10mb on BWC limit is just too little. I have lots of mails everyday and i have set auto-aging in 1 day for all my folders, still not enough space.

I am like some of you guys, fustrated of not able to use BES due to our coporate mail server doesnt have support BES.

I think they dont use pop/imap is due the security issues? Can anyone advice on this? As far as i know, pop is never secure.
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