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Old 09-14-2004, 07:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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With the plethora of PDAs available in the marketplace, is the "push" capability--for which the Blackberries are so popular--available in any other devices?

I have been wondering this because, although I'm addicted to my Blackberry (which I affectionately call my Crackberry) because of receiving e-mails instantly, it does not seem open-source friendly and this is important to me. I get to use a lot of free software that is on-par with the closed-source stuff, but I cannot sync the Blackberry with standards-based, open platforms like I could do with a Palm-based device.
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Old 09-14-2004, 07:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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At the moment yes, but dont worry.. soon, it will happen very soon.
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Old 09-14-2004, 07:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Advantages of BlackBerry: Why BlackBerry?

BlackBerry is only for businesses? Not anymore! BlackBerry can now be for everyone - individuals, consumers, kids, even hackers and hardcore computer users. BlackBerry can be fun too - You can now run chat software today more efficiently than many other handheld wireless devices, for example! MSN, ICQ, IRC too!

Yes, other handheld devices have email. But what makes BlackBerry stand out? Why is BlackBerry called Crackberry by addicted users? There's push available for other devices such as Goodlink for TREO. Unfortunately, all of them are more proprietary -- you have to pay a huge arm and leg for these solutions. Apart from the big $$$$ you have to pay for other push email solutions, don't forget the other BlackBerry advantages:

(Note, this list below applies to full BlackBerries, not the 7100 series)
  • Longer battery life: Blackberry consistently lasts longer than other handhelds like PalmOS. Example, on the 7280, you can even run instant messenger software for 100 hours nonstop always-on, untethered, with the screen constantly turned on (with backlight turned off). PalmOS: Certain models of PalmOS machines have excellent battery life. PalmOS handhelds have much faster CPU's which drain batteries faster

    Ruggedized: Blackberry handhelds survives drops much better than other handhelds such as Treo's or iPaq's. PalmOS: There are some models that are ruggedized, but on general, BlackBerry is far more ruggedized - The 62XX and 72XX series easily survives drops from waist height to asphalt, and often survives worse accidents than that too.

    Data Loss Prevention: You can yank the battery out of your BlackBerry for a full week and put it back in one week later, all your data is still there. Everything is written to flash ROM on the fly, even your email drafts, so you don't need to make backups like you would with Palm or iPaq. PalmOS: The new Tungsten T5 now works this way; using Flash ROM instead of RAM. This may become a more common feature in future handhelds. This is a SORELY needed feature for everybody of us who hate Palm/PocketPC tendancy to lose data occasionally.

    Security: All connections are encrypted. And applications need to be signed before they can access critical features interesting to virus authors. Blackberry come with the capability for remote-controlled lobotomy to delete your data if your Blackberry is ever stolen. Blackberry also requires cyptographic signing by RIM before the application can do any damage to the operating system or databases, which makes it much more impossible to write a virus for the BlackBerry than for Palm/PocketPC. PalmOS: Sill FAR behind. Although an advantage with Palm is you can get cameras, SD slot, full Bluetooth profiles, etc, while RIM is very picky about adding such features because they are considered "security concerns".

    Email Software: The email on the Blackberry is superior to the other wireless push email software, even the recently available Treo push email software; PalmOS: You can use Goodlink to improve things on the Treo platform, but it's still a Palm platform with the included disadvantages listed elsewhere.

    Stability: Uptimes well over 60 days are getting common on BlackBerry nowadays. Not nearly as common for Palm and iPaq handhelds. PalmOS: Much harder to have this stability especially after adding lots of third party software that runs 24/7 in the background.

    Always On, No Connecting Needed: The BlackBerry is like a wireless Cable/DSL connection. It's always there. No connecting needed. It may not be as fast as a home cable/DSL connection, but it's always-on. PalmOS: Most models require you to manually reconnect especially after it's been in standby for a while, or you turned it off. It is improving though.

    Configuration Free: No need to worry about configuring email software to automatically start up when resetting a Palm; no need to worry about whether the email software is running in the background or if it has crashed. The RIM handheld ensures that email is running at all times; by making it impossible to exit the push email software by accident. PalmOS: If you accidentally exit the email software, oops. This is impossible on BlackBerry -- you cannot exit the email software. There is no "QUIT" menu item in the BlackBerry email software at all!

    No power button needed:Unlike on Palm/iPaq handhelds, on the Blackberry, it uses so little power, you just put it down -- no need for a power button at all. You can electronically turn off via menus, for those times like airplanes, etc, but with email reception of 4 to 9 days (assuming data-only usage) there is almost no need to turn off the unit. You get email, the email shows up immediately on the screen, and you can put it away immediately without touching a button or screen, if email is not important. No need to click "Do you want to read this message?", the email is automatically displayed pager-style when you pull the BlackBerry out of your holster. PalmOS: There's often a power button. This is an advantage if you eat up a lot of battery power, but the BlackBerry uses so little battery power, that all models of BlackBerry (Except BlackBerry 7100) has no standby or power button at all, you can just put it down or holster it.

    More Idiot Proof: Using a touchscreen is lots of fun! But, some people argue that a touchscreen is a disadvantage when it comes to a mission critical pocket device. It takes more steps to correct mistakes caused by accident caused by a stylus tap, than caused by an accidental button press. It's very easy to execute sequences of memorized button keypresses to do specific things, and it's easy to correct an accidental wrong-button press. So that's why some of us believe touchscreens are a big hassle for a mobile device -- because of accidental taps messing things up, especially when you put it inside your pocket with the screen turned on. PalmOS: Usually, more problems occurs more quickly on a Palm handheld with random stylus taps ... than with random button presses on a BlackBerry.
Yes, PalmOS is more flexible but there are over 10 open source applications written recently for the BlackBerry and it is starting to explode.

In Year 2004, BlackBerry software went through an explosion. At the beginning of 2004, there were only 2 chat software programs available for BlackBerry. At the end of 2004, there were over 15 chat programs. The BlackBerry software explosion continues in 2005 and beyond. Software that did not exist 6 months ago, now exist! Even scientific calculators, word processors, spreadsheet software, photo viewers, are now available on BlackBerry!

For the hardcore computer users, BlackBerry is getting more and more open source software too -- It's just a matter of time before Linux sync is available. Most applications do not even need RIM to sign it. And even so, RIM recently signed open source applications, including BlackChat (to permit it to hook into Notifications; something you don't want a virus to do). Please see the Developer forum for a listing of open source J2ME software; we need more open source developers for BlackBerry!

While iPaq/Palm may have more software, and better multimedia handhelds (GPS navigation, MAME emulator, 3D videogames, MP3 playback), they don't make very good wireless productivity handhelds. I, myself (Mark Rejhon), have both a BlackBerry and an iPaq. Currently, my BlackBerry gets over 90% usage and my iPaq gets less than 10% usage.

Don't forget -- BlackBerry PIM is no longer inferior to the default Palm and PocketPC PIM, ever since BlackBerryOS 4.0. You can now out-manage a Palm/PocketPC using a thumb keyboard with shortcuts found in BlackBerry Calendar Tricks and other BlackBerry Tips and Tricks.. There is now even a third party "Today" style program for BlackBerry, if you like such a PocketPC feature! BlackBerry PIM is not inferior anymore nowadays - this is now finally a myth. For more information, see BlackBerry Myths Busted: The Modern 2005-Era BlackBerry.

If you are a Sidekick user comparing a BlackBerry to a Sidekick, you should check this BlackBerry Versus Sidekick post.

Tip For Computer Programmers: If you are a programmer, and prefer a certain feature such as Linux compatibility, here's an idea. Instead of looking at inferior "push email" alternatives, I urge you to help us write a Linux synchronization utility for BlackBerry, now that it is technically possible to do so! Why not write your own open source sync software for BlackBerry? The PocketMac people successfully reversed engineer the BlackBerry synchronization, they may be able to help!

[Edit: Updated Article With New Version]

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This is a "Mark Rejhon BlackBerry FAQ" article.
Copyright (C) 2005 by Mark Rejhon, All Rights Reserved. Some portions may be Copyright (C) by respective forum members.
Mark Rejhon grants permission to use this article only for private use. For all other uses, please ask Mark Rejhon at www.marky.com to ask for permission to use this article. If any content of this article also contains content by other forum members, please ask them for permission too as well. This includes commercial use, public use, reposting in full/part anywhere on the Internet, publication in magazine/book or any other media, or any other use than private use. This copyright notice may not be edited or removed in any manner. Mark Rejhon reserves exclusive right to edit, remove, or restore this article, and this article may not be edited, removed, or restored by any other individual or organizations.
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Old 09-14-2004, 07:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Surprising actually... that a linux-based solution hasn't been worked out yet. That's usually the first platform new things are developed/hacked apart on. Remember PS2?


Anyone else biting nails on the first linux-based blackberry device? :P
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Old 09-14-2004, 07:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Here's a listing of some open source applications I've found:
http://blackberryclub.com/viewtopic.php?t=54

Here's a listing of Blackberry API's and mobile java API's I've found:
http://blackberryclub.com/viewtopic.php?t=270

Here's the Blackberry SDK Download:
http://www.blackberry.com/developers...download.shtml
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Old 09-14-2004, 08:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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"Push" is actually part of the MIDP 2.0 Specification. This means any MIDP 2.0 compliant device could theoretically have blackberry push like functionality.
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Old 09-14-2004, 09:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Incidentially, BlackberryOS 4.0 devices support MIDP 2.0;
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Old 09-15-2004, 01:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rejhon
Actually, BlackBerry is getting more and more open source Blackberry -- it's a matter of time before Linux sync is available. Most applications do not even need RIM to sign it. And even so, RIM recently signed open source applications, including BlackChat (to permit it to hook into Notifications; something you don't want a virus to do). Please see the Developer forum for a listing of open source J2ME software; we need more open source developers for BlackBerry!

There's push available for other devices such as Goodlink for TREO. Unfortunately, all of them are more proprietary -- you have to pay a huge arm and leg for these solutions.

If you are a programmer -- why not write your own open source sync software for BlackBerry? The PocketMac people successfully reversed engineer the BlackBerry synchronization, this would help;

Apart from the big $$$$ you have to pay for other push email solutions, don't forget the other BlackBerry advantages:

Longer battery life: Blackberry consistently lasts longer than other handhelds like PalmOS. Example, on the 7280, you can even run instant messenger software for 100 hours nonstop always-on, untethered, with the screen constantly turned on (with backlight turned off).
Ruggedized: Blackberry handhelds survives drops much better than other handhelds such as Treo's or iPaq's
Data Loss Prevention: You can yank the battery out of your BlackBerry for a full week and put it back in one week later, all your data is still there. Everything is written to flash ROM on the fly, even your email drafts, so you don't need to make backups like you would with Palm or iPaq.
Security: All connections are encrypted. And applications need to be signed before they can access critical features interesting to virus authors. Blackberry come with the capability for remote-controlled lobotomy to delete your data if your Blackberry is ever stolen. Blackberry also requires cyptographic signing by RIM before the application can do any damage to the operating system or databases, which makes it much more impossible to write a virus for the BlackBerry than for Palm/PocketPC.
Email Software: The email on the Blackberry is superior to the other wireless push email software, even the recently available Treo push email software;
Stability: Uptimes well over 60 days are getting common on BlackBerry nowadays. Not nearly as common for Palm and iPaq handhelds.
Configuration Free: No need to worry about configuring email software to automatically start up when resetting a Palm; no need to worry about whether the email software is running in the background or if it has crashed. The RIM handheld ensures that email is running at all times; by making it impossible to exit the push email software by accident.
No power button needed:Unlike on Palm/iPaq handhelds, on the Blackberry, it uses so little power, you just put it down -- no need for a power button at all. You can electronically turn off via menus, for those times like airplanes, etc, but with email reception of 4 to 9 days (assuming data-only usage) there is almost no need to turn off the unit. You get email, the email shows up immediately on the screen, and you can put it away immediately without touching a button or screen, if email is not important. No need to click "Do you want to read this message?", the email is automatically displayed pager-style when you pull the BlackBerry out of your holster.

Yes, PalmOS is more flexible but there are over 10 open source applications written recently for the BlackBerry and it is starting to explode; it's still very early, but we are witnessing the head end of an application explosion.

While iPaq/Palm makes better multimedia handhelds (GPS, MAME emulator, 3D videogames, MP3 playback), they don't make very good wireless productivity handhelds.
Instead of looking at inferior "push email" alternatives, I urge you to help us write a Linux synchronization utility for BlackBerry, now that it is technically possible to do so!

My BlackBerry gets 85% usage and my iPaq gets only 15% usage.
Good stuff Mark, you made me appreciate my even more than i do now
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Old 09-15-2004, 05:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for your reply, Mark. You made a lot of great points. There are definitely many other reasons to appreciate the Blackberry over other mobile devices.

I don't know that I can contribute much to a sync software project since I'm a relatively new programmer, but I will get involved and help however I can!
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Old 09-15-2004, 05:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Oh yeah! I've got Linux running on my iPAQ. 8)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bfrye
Surprising actually... that a linux-based solution hasn't been worked out yet. That's usually the first platform new things are developed/hacked apart on. Remember PS2?


Anyone else biting nails on the first linux-based blackberry device? :P
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Old 09-15-2004, 06:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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With the BlueTooth enabled 7290 and the Blackberry 7100 series (Charm), there will be a lot more consumers who will demanding more software, and the number of BlackBerry applications being developed is accelerating and currently at about 5-10 times the pace it was just 12 months ago. Just recently, somebody posted that a company is experimenting with Bluetooth peripherals (Bluetooth GPS), which would be a good sign for BlackBerry's future in the ability to provide bonus features beyond its most important advantages.

At the other end, other handhelds are catching up in providing similiar push email, such as Goodlink on TREO handhelds, as well as some other email solutions. Another thing is that RIM Blackberry Connect is going to gradually become available for Palm/PocketPC smartphones. Some people will prefer the cool factor of a camera phone! RIM will stick to some really good strengths of BlackBerry, so a genune BlackBerry will still have advantages over a handheld that is running Blackberry Connect. This may frustrate people who would like RIM to add features more quickly to BlackBerry, but people familiar with RIM knows they will be very cautious to protect their core markets.

There are some that legitimately need multiple platforms at this time. There are some organizations that have deployed solutions that coexist between BlackBerry, PocketPC, and PalmOS.

One thing for clear, is that the Blackberry application disadvantage is definitely going to greatly diminish during Year 2005; with a very large third-party software explosion. It used to be that PocketPC had a big disadvantage relative to PalmOS in application availability, but the difference between the two of them is relatively small compared to three or four years ago. There is nothing stopping BlackBerry from eventually becoming a serious competitor in terms of application availability.
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Old 09-15-2004, 06:15 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Glad to hear it, Mark! Thanks for all your insight.
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Old 09-15-2004, 06:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arbos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rejhon
Actually, BlackBerry is getting more and more open source Blackberry -- it's a matter of time before Linux sync is available. Most applications do not even need RIM to sign it. And even so, RIM recently signed open source applications, including BlackChat (to permit it to hook into Notifications; something you don't want a virus to do). Please see the Developer forum for a listing of open source J2ME software; we need more open source developers for BlackBerry!

There's push available for other devices such as Goodlink for TREO. Unfortunately, all of them are more proprietary -- you have to pay a huge arm and leg for these solutions.

If you are a programmer -- why not write your own open source sync software for BlackBerry? The PocketMac people successfully reversed engineer the BlackBerry synchronization, this would help;

Apart from the big $$$$ you have to pay for other push email solutions, don't forget the other BlackBerry advantages:

Longer battery life: Blackberry consistently lasts longer than other handhelds like PalmOS. Example, on the 7280, you can even run instant messenger software for 100 hours nonstop always-on, untethered, with the screen constantly turned on (with backlight turned off).
Ruggedized: Blackberry handhelds survives drops much better than other handhelds such as Treo's or iPaq's
Data Loss Prevention: You can yank the battery out of your BlackBerry for a full week and put it back in one week later, all your data is still there. Everything is written to flash ROM on the fly, even your email drafts, so you don't need to make backups like you would with Palm or iPaq.
Security: All connections are encrypted. And applications need to be signed before they can access critical features interesting to virus authors. Blackberry come with the capability for remote-controlled lobotomy to delete your data if your Blackberry is ever stolen. Blackberry also requires cyptographic signing by RIM before the application can do any damage to the operating system or databases, which makes it much more impossible to write a virus for the BlackBerry than for Palm/PocketPC.
Email Software: The email on the Blackberry is superior to the other wireless push email software, even the recently available Treo push email software;
Stability: Uptimes well over 60 days are getting common on BlackBerry nowadays. Not nearly as common for Palm and iPaq handhelds.
Configuration Free: No need to worry about configuring email software to automatically start up when resetting a Palm; no need to worry about whether the email software is running in the background or if it has crashed. The RIM handheld ensures that email is running at all times; by making it impossible to exit the push email software by accident.
No power button needed:Unlike on Palm/iPaq handhelds, on the Blackberry, it uses so little power, you just put it down -- no need for a power button at all. You can electronically turn off via menus, for those times like airplanes, etc, but with email reception of 4 to 9 days (assuming data-only usage) there is almost no need to turn off the unit. You get email, the email shows up immediately on the screen, and you can put it away immediately without touching a button or screen, if email is not important. No need to click "Do you want to read this message?", the email is automatically displayed pager-style when you pull the BlackBerry out of your holster.

Yes, PalmOS is more flexible but there are over 10 open source applications written recently for the BlackBerry and it is starting to explode; it's still very early, but we are witnessing the head end of an application explosion.

While iPaq/Palm makes better multimedia handhelds (GPS, MAME emulator, 3D videogames, MP3 playback), they don't make very good wireless productivity handhelds.
Instead of looking at inferior "push email" alternatives, I urge you to help us write a Linux synchronization utility for BlackBerry, now that it is technically possible to do so!

My BlackBerry gets 85% usage and my iPaq gets only 15% usage.
Good stuff Mark, you made me appreciate my even more than i do now
Yeah thanks a lot Mark! ;->. I have never used a BB, and I am waiting for the 7100t to come out to buy one. And thanks to your post I now am craving it even more.
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Old 09-15-2004, 08:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Just to add some other perspective...I use my Blackberry 7230 for EVERYTHING. It's my PIM, my Calendar, my To Do, my photo album, my phone, my claculator, my web browser, my mobile game device -- and obviously, my ALWAYS ON, ALWAYS AVAILABLE email device. It is a marvelous device. The combination of everything is great, and email simply cannot be touched by any other device.

Now, on the negative side, almost everything I do with the Blackberry can be done a bit better on other devices.

But very rarely on the same device.

The closest competition today, in my opinion, is the Treo. Yup -- battery life is not as good. Yup -- it's not as rugged. Yup -- the keyboard isn't as good. And DEFINITELY -- the push email isn't as good. But it is very close. And in every other aspect, the Treo kicks the Blackberry's butt --> screen, resolution, PIM, applications, OS, phone, general functionality, gaming, video, etc., etc., etc.

So, is there a bottom line to this post? Not really. I wish Blackberry and Treo development teams sat down together and developed a device with the best of both worlds. That would be sweet. Perhaps the new Siemens SK65 will come close. Perhaps the new Nokia. And heck, the new Treo is looking pretty jazzed.

For now, if you need EVERYTHING -- I suggest the Blackberry. Where it rocks, it can't be beat. And where it can be beat -- who cares? If the 7100t keyboard ends up working as well as RIM claims, perhaps THAT will be THE device. My guess is we will have to wait a bit longer for the real Ultimate Device.

Just my $0.71 (due to word count)
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Old 09-16-2004, 08:24 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'd have to say Nice job on the reasons Mark. I'm switching from an Axim, my2way and cell to a 7230. I'll keep the axim for wireless web color screen real pdf viewing and my LARGE databases, but the bb IS the communications device.

If you absolutly, positivly, must recieve and send it now ... do it on a BB
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Old 01-23-2005, 03:20 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Many of us have important text files previously created using Palm or Ipaq. Any one has the clue of importing this text files to 7730 BB?

Also, it would be fantastic if we can edit Memopad files in the PC after backing them up. Any one can advise here?
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Old 01-23-2005, 02:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I switched from a zire 71 to BB, and the way I did it was through MS Outlook. I imported all of my old palm DBs, and then synched my BB and it was all good.
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Old 02-22-2005, 08:43 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rejhon
Here's a listing of some open source applications I've found:
http://blackberryclub.com/viewtopic.php?t=54

Here's a listing of Blackberry API's and mobile java API's I've found:
http://blackberryclub.com/viewtopic.php?t=270

Here's the Blackberry SDK Download:
http://www.blackberry.com/developers...download.shtml
Guys, you're missing out on the fact that Sync4j (.org) is working on a full SyncML server written in Java that will work with the 'Berry. In fact if you read the mailing list archives there are people already working on open source syncing.

This will make Linux users happy, I'm sure.
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Old 05-08-2005, 08:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Longer battery life: Blackberry consistently lasts longer than other handhelds like PalmOS. Example, on the 7280, you can even run instant messenger software for 100 hours nonstop always-on, untethered, with the screen constantly turned on (with backlight turned off).

My 7520 gets about 50 hours battery life. Is that normal?
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Old 05-08-2005, 08:55 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austex
Longer battery life: Blackberry consistently lasts longer than other handhelds like PalmOS. Example, on the 7280, you can even run instant messenger software for 100 hours nonstop always-on, untethered, with the screen constantly turned on (with backlight turned off).

My 7520 gets about 50 hours battery life. Is that normal?
From my experiences with a 7520, I'd say 50 hours was VERY good !!!
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