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Old 12-23-2009, 09:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Thumbs down Is anyone else's patience being tested?

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So, this post isn't going to be terribly constructive, though I hold out slim hope that someone will point something out to fix these issues. Let the ranting begin.

Basically - WTF, BlackBerry?

I started out in '04 or so with a 7100, and fell in love with it. The browser was pretty limited, but at that point web and email access was such a novelty that it was just wonderful - and the keyboard, user interface, and reliability were fantastic. The thing just worked.

From there I went to an 8700, which was even better. The full qwerty keyboard kicked ass, I could type 30 words per minute, email was rock solid, and the browser was vastly improved, though a bit behind the times. OK, things were a tad slow, and there were occasional glitches - off-with-a-red-light, or a browser restart necessary to get things going again. But on the whole, a wonderful device.

Before a recent trip to Japan, I upgraded to a 9000 in order to get 'world phone' capability. I was worried about the trackball and the keyboard - but I needn't have been. The 8700 had become second nature to me, but I adapted to the 9000 almost instantly; the trackball was fantastic, the screen is just beyond gorgeous, and the browser was improved hugely. I was absolutely thrilled.

But...

This thing is absolutely horribly unreliable. I bought a blackberry because I need a tool, not a toy, and I need something solid that will always work. That's blackberry's raison d'etre, right? I've been trying to give it the benefit of the doubt, but the device is becoming nearly unusable lately.

The recent network-level outages have gotten me very close to the tipping point.

Even before RIM managed to kick EVERYONE off their network, this phone has been a nightmare for usability.

It crashes randomly. It blinks off and comes back a few seconds later during random operations for no apparent reason.

And then there are the Battery Pull Scenarios:

-Wifi will stop working for no reason. Resetting connections won't fix it. BPS.
-The browser will, randomly, require you to request every link twice. BPS.
-The browser will stop working entirely. BPS.
-The browser will not only stop working, but crash, not responding to any input. BPS.
-Mail will stop coming in. Why? Who knows. BPS.
-Won't get a data network connection. BPS.
-Won't register with BlackBerry network (during the times when it's actually up). BPS.

And after every BPS? Wait 90, 100, 110 seconds for the device to take its sweet time starting up. I can fire up two Vista machines to desktop in the time it takes my BB to get to its home screen.

At this point, I'm pulling the battery in my BB two or three times a day, just to get its web browser, email, or WiFi working.

What's particularly frustrating about the browser issues is that, at the best of times, link requests are absurdly slow, and it's not unusual to wait 30 seconds for a page to finish 'requesting' under normal circumstances. So I spend two minutes trying to determine whether it's just par-for-the-course wretched performance, or a real BPS.

And half the time, the network itself is actually up and running - I can use Google Maps, jmIRC, or midpSSH while BlackBerry's mission-critical ultra-reliable infrastructure is refusing to feed me essential emails or let me check things on the web. But I can IRC.

I own a small business, and I'm one of the guys out there who actually DOES need to be in contact with people, to-the-minute, all over the world. I bought this device because I needed a tool that would always be working, something that would show an email coming in when it came in. I didn't need a toy that would be great at chatting, taking pictures, but fall over on itself and be unusable for work.

Now I can't look at my phone after I come out of a movie theater and say, "No mail - no fires I need to put out." Because I have no idea whether I got mail or not. I've taken to tweaking my damned spam filter down so I can tell whether it's broken or not - no spam means it's... time for a BPS!

I've got the thing updated. It's so locked down that it's impossible to blame some third-party app for screwing up the system, and I barely have any anyway. If there's something I can do to fix the device-side problems, maybe I can live with RIM's apparent inability to keep its own house in order.

But barring that... does someone want to remind me why I got this thing again?
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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** moved to rants & raves **

...and sorry to hear you troubles.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Feel better yet?
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (8820)

FWIW, I'm happy. The outage was a slight drag, but nothing more (for me).

My device experience is similar to yours, started with 7100t, the 8700g, but now an 8820, all on TMO. I am carefull what applications I put on the device, I don't leave stuff running in the background, and I watch my free memory.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by juwaack68 View Post
** moved to rants & raves **

...and sorry to hear you troubles.
Didn't realize there was a forum just for that. Sorry. :P

And... unfortunately, no, not so much feeling better. I'd feel better if someone said, "Oh, do this update and that stuff goes away", but I'm not too hopeful about that...
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The issues you're experiencing are, from my experience, not the norm.

What OS is installed on your Bold? You say it's 'locked down' - what do you mean by that? Is it on a BES?
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree with juwaak. Battery pulls 3 times a day are not normal for a device, it could be an issue with the hardware itself, or could be an issue with the OS. There could be multiple reasons.
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have personally had over 30 BlackBerry devices, so no, my patience is not being tested.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juwaack68 View Post
The issues you're experiencing are, from my experience, not the norm.

What OS is installed on your Bold? You say it's 'locked down' - what do you mean by that? Is it on a BES?
I'm not on a BES. Locked down in that the architecture prevents third parties from writing applications that can access the hardware at a low level - everything is interpreted. As far as I'm aware, there's no way to do non-Java dev on the device aside from convincing RIM to let you, which means there shouldn't be any way third party apps from little guys can screw with the device at a low level (chomping memory, borking OS files, etc). If there is, they've managed to combine the restrictiveness and slowness of an interpreted language with the potential stability issues of open hardware access, which seems like a lousy system...

I'm running 4.6.0.297. Seems there's an update to ......304, but I'm somewhat reluctant to send it on that path without knowing more.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm going to go ahead and guess you have installed something (or done something else) to cause your phone to be this unstable. I recently had an odd trackpad issue that I believe I tracked down to software I had installed. Software removed = happy BlackBerry = happy BlackBerry user.

Have you made any attempt to figure out what's wrong, or did you just want to stop by and stomp your feet and poke out your bottom lip for a bit?
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
That's blackberry's raison d'etre, right?
am I the only one who loves rasins? Man, I loooooove rasins!
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:13 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flight714 View Post
am I the only one who loves rasins? Man, I loooooove rasins!
Eh, did you make some raisin jack and drink it?
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:18 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (8820)

Isn't "locked down" a good thing? As a user, and if I understand the meaning, I see it as one of the keys to the security of the system.

Blackberrys are different. And that's fine with me.
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:21 AM   #14 (permalink)
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am I the only one who loves rasins? Man, I loooooove rasins!
I love raisins in my oatmeal.
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:03 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ifonline View Post
I'm going to go ahead and guess you have installed something (or done something else) to cause your phone to be this unstable. I recently had an odd trackpad issue that I believe I tracked down to software I had installed. Software removed = happy BlackBerry = happy BlackBerry user.

Have you made any attempt to figure out what's wrong, or did you just want to stop by and stomp your feet and poke out your bottom lip for a bit?
I said it was going to be a rant, didn't I?

I have plenty of issues without any other software running - the only things I have on the phone are jmIRC, midpSSH, and FlyCast. But those aren't running the vast majority of the time because I have to reboot the damn phone so much...

If merely have an app *installed* causes the phone to be unstable, then there's a serious problem. Hell, even if USING it causes it to be unstable, there's a serious problem - as I said before, why have tight control over what apps are allowed to do if it doesn't result in stability? I'm fine with that compromise - that's why I got the phone, because I was willing to sacrifice fun toys for something I knew would be solid. But if I have to carefully test third party apps because they might screw up the phone *anyway*, what's the point?

What is there that I could have 'done to' the phone to cause the browser connection to work so badly, and requests to blackberry's servers take so long or fail entirely?

'Blame the user' is a pretty bad response to a problem with a piece of hardware like this. Something with open architecture like a PC? I've got that because I can do what I want with it, and you know going in there might be issues if you screw with it too much. But the whole reason I got a BB is so I didn't have to tip-toe around that crap and worry about breaking functionality if I don't understand the system precisely.

If the response to systemic problems like this is, "Well, you ****ed it up, so get bent" then it's already failed.

You want to build a device that doesn't let me write my own software or allow third party devs access to cool stuff? Fine - that's what I wanted and that's what I bought - but make the compromise worthwhile. If I'm going to have something I have to screw with, troubleshoot because I 'did something wrong' and be paranoid about installing things, I might as well at least be able to play Chrono Trigger on the damn thing.
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:18 AM   #16 (permalink)
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The thing is, PeriSoft, we don't know each other on these forums. We don't know you. We haven't sat side by side with you and stepped through your problem. We only know our experience. No doubt you are telling the truth, but it's outside the norm. There's nothing to conclude but user error, a local problem, or some rare issue with your device. I don't follow your argument against the blackberry device or system as a whole.
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:49 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (8820)

The thing is, PeriSoft, we don't know each other on these forums. We don't know you. We haven't sat side by side with you and stepped through your problem. We only know our experience. No doubt you are telling the truth, but it's outside the norm. There's nothing to conclude but user error, a local problem, or some rare issue with your device. I don't follow your argument against the blackberry device or system as a whole.
Fair enough. Aside from the RIM outages, you're correct - user error, local problem, odd device problem. But I still feel like I shouldn't have to worry about user error, local problems, or device problems given the nature of the device and the mucho dinero I put into it specifically for reliability. If there's a solution, I'd love to find it, and that'd make me happy - but I'm still going to be looking harder at alternatives next time around.

Last edited by PeriSoft : 12-24-2009 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 12-24-2009, 09:35 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PeriSoft View Post
Fair enough. Aside from the RIM outages, you're correct - user error, local problem, odd device problem. But I still feel like I shouldn't have to worry about user error, local problems, or device problems given the nature of the device and the mucho dinero I put into it specifically for reliability. If there's a solution, I'd love to find it, and that'd make me happy - but I'm still going to be looking harder at alternatives next time around.
Shit happens.

Reset the device to factory settings. Don't install anythng for a while and see what happens. Make sure you have the latest OS as per your carrier. If you still have issues, call your carrier. It could be a device issue.

If the issues go away, re-install your software one at a time.

Because apps can't directly access hardware doesnt mean they can't crap all over each other.
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:21 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by CanuckBB View Post
Shit happens.

Reset the device to factory settings. Don't install anythng for a while and see what happens. Make sure you have the latest OS as per your carrier. If you still have issues, call your carrier. It could be a device issue.

If the issues go away, re-install your software one at a time.

Because apps can't directly access hardware doesnt mean they can't crap all over each other.
Words of wisdom.
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Old 12-24-2009, 11:17 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeriSoft View Post
You want to build a device that doesn't let me write my own software or allow third party devs access to cool stuff? Fine - that's what I wanted and that's what I bought - but make the compromise worthwhile. If I'm going to have something I have to screw with, troubleshoot because I 'did something wrong' and be paranoid about installing things, I might as well at least be able to play Chrono Trigger on the damn thing.
You DO realize that this forum isn't run by RIM, right? We're all users here, like you. A handful of us are administrators where we work, and/or programmers, but the vast majority are just normal blackberry users.
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