This new BlackBerry is sweet

Published 11:59 pm Friday, May 1, 2009

I recently decided to take advantage of my wireless provider’s two-year upgrade offer to purchase a BlackBerry Curve for my new cell phone.

Now, my previous cell phone was just about the most bare-bones piece of electronics ever. I could take photos on its camera, but they were the size of postage stamps and the quality of Etch-A-Sketch drawings. I could text message friends, but it only had the numeric keypad and so it would take about a minute just to write something as basic as “this phone stinks.” I could receive calls, but I never had any idea where they were coming from since the caller ID read “Unavailable” about 99.9 percent of the time.

This new BlackBerry is truly a jump from the Stone Age to the Silicon Age.

I now have a full keyboard on my cell phone (Yes, the keys are the size of grains of rice, but that’s the price you pay for miniature technology). I also have a screen that is about five times the size of my old cell phone’s screen, which means that I can actually tell the gender of the subjects I just photographed with the BlackBerry’s 2-megapixel camera.

Fans of these phones have taken to calling them “CrackBerry,” and I can certainly understand why. Although I have only had this little toy for about three days, I’ve probably put in more use with it than I ever did in the two years I owned my old phone.

Thanks to the BlackBerry’s Web browser, I can now look up the names of nearby restaurants in a town that I’m visiting. Thanks to the BlackBerry’s Map feature, I can not only look up where those restaurants are located, but also get step-by-step directions on how to get there. And, of course, thanks to the BlackBerry’s phone feature, I can then call and make reservations for that restaurant.

I’m sure that teachers across America have already realized the trouble that arises when kids have these little gadgets. A phone like this can now let a student look up the answers to just about anything he or she would want to know — particularly if they need to know it for a test!

Of course, there’s always going to be those times when the connection will be weak, or the battery goes low, and I have to return to the real world where I can’t spend all my time looking up obscure batting stats from Major League Baseball in the 1930s.

And, of course, I still have a job to do here at the newspaper, and they’re not paying me to play around on my cell phone all day. So, it’s time for me to get back to that job.

Right after I finish looking up the best way to drive from Trafalgar Square to the Louvre.