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Old 09-04-2004, 02:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Newbie Blackberry Questions

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Let me preface this post by saying I know next to nothing about Blackberries, and it might not be the solution for me at all. I'm a small business owner working out of the home, and I like the idea of having my email synced with me so long as I stay in cell phone range.

Ok... on with the questions.

1. Besides all this email pushing business, does the blackberry have a standard (well, as standard as you can get on a handheld) browser so I can attempt to view whatever websites with it?

1a. If yes, what kind of speed will I be browsing at? At least that of a 56k modem? Better? Worse?

2. Related to #1, I notice that my Cell Phone provider (Verizon) offers an "Unlimited Express Network" data solution. What exactly does this mean? I am pretty clear this doesn't cover phone call minutes, and I'm pretty sure it DOES cover this always-on email pushing. How about just random web browsing? I dont want to be charged by the minute for that.

3. I'm just a small home business with 3 computers and basic MS Office software. I'd like to be able to sync everything in Outlook XP with the blackberry (well at least mail, contacts, calendar). Is this possible? I don't have exchange server running, and I'm not clear whether I need it. Once again, I'm trying to figure out if this device will work for me outside of a big corporate environment.

3a. Where does BES fit into this mix? Does it cost extra? What does it do, exactly?


Those are most of the questions I can think of for now. Thanks to anyone that can help me out on one or many of them.

-spim
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Old 09-04-2004, 03:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie Blackberry Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by spim
Let me preface this post by saying I know next to nothing about Blackberries, and it might not be the solution for me at all. I'm a small business owner working out of the home, and I like the idea of having my email synced with me so long as I stay in cell phone range.

Ok... on with the questions.

1. Besides all this email pushing business, does the blackberry have a standard (well, as standard as you can get on a handheld) browser so I can attempt to view whatever websites with it?

**i can answer only for the Nextel piece....the BB from Nextel has the NOL Browser (only for viewing WAP sites). Pretty speedy as WAP sites are written to be browsed quickly by non-broadband connections.

1a. If yes, what kind of speed will I be browsing at? At least that of a 56k modem? Better? Worse?

**Speeds will be dependent on the actual providers network. With Nextel, I am at approx 19.2. not the best but then again, I am not using a BB to visit photo albums. It is perfect for news, weather, etc.

2. Related to #1, I notice that my Cell Phone provider (Verizon) offers an "Unlimited Express Network" data solution. What exactly does this mean? I am pretty clear this doesn't cover phone call minutes, and I'm pretty sure it DOES cover this always-on email pushing. How about just random web browsing? I dont want to be charged by the minute for that.

**Data is data. It should incorporate all aspects. Internet, email, etc.. verfify with Verizon.

3. I'm just a small home business with 3 computers and basic MS Office software. I'd like to be able to sync everything in Outlook XP with the blackberry (well at least mail, contacts, calendar). Is this possible? I don't have exchange server running, and I'm not clear whether I need it. Once again, I'm trying to figure out if this device will work for me outside of a big corporate environment.

**You can use the BlackBerry Web Client to have all of your mail forwarded to your BB. You could use the BB Redirector but that would require that your PC be left on when you wanted to receive mail.

3a. Where does BES fit into this mix? Does it cost extra? What does it do, exactly?

**BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server) is for a Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Domino environment. It starts at 5 users and goes up from there. This would allow you to wirelessly synch all of Outlook (mail, all mail folders, calendar, and contacts).

Those are most of the questions I can think of for now. Thanks to anyone that can help me out on one or many of them.

-spim
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Old 09-05-2004, 12:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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1. The browser is much more barebones than a PC browser, but if you know either the RBRO trick or purchase BES/MDS hosting (starts at $10 per month), you can get access to most websites. For example, I can see the graphics on CNN even if it loads very slowly, but there is no table support (yet)

1a. Slower than 56k, but the images are automatically recompressed to small sizes before transmission, so approximately the same. It depends on the site.

2. All Internet usage (web browsing/email/etc) is data and you are not charged a minute. The Blackberry is like a wireless Cable/DSL connection in "always-on-ness" feel even if not the speed. That means the Internet is always running on the Blackberry 100 hours nonstop without a battery charge. You can even run instant messaging 24/7 and have your Blackberry ring or vibrate like a cellphone for incoming instant messages, if you even wanted to get that far...and still be able to run the instant messaging software for at least 75-100 hours away from a power outlet. (Note: To do good instant messaging, you need BES/MDS, cheapest way is the $10-per-month myblackberry.us service, although a more popular option is the $23-per-month Mailstreet.com service with the Blackberry option)

3. You don't need Exchange for such a small business. You can either (1) Sync to Outlook just like a PocketPC or PalmPilot ..... or (2) get BES/MDS hosting ... basically a remote Exchange server you pay $10 to $25 per month for that has BES/MDS. You can just get a Blackberry for now and get BES/MDS later if you want the extra Internet capabilities (or simply wait for the TCP/IP stack coming in 4.0).
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