Object d’Blackberry

First impressions
Carrying case has magnetic latch, screen light goes on when pulled from case. Cannot tell which edition of Blackberry this is from looking at the device, but it is clear that AT&T is the carrier. Looking at the Blackberry site, my husband’s device appears to be an 8800 with its full qwerty, individual keyed entry.

There is no external “stick” device to activate the screen, so I assume all interactions are through either the keyboard or the five buttons under the keyboard, with degree adjustments to the sides of the device (i.e. sound) and on/off at the top.

Looking to make the screen active (it darkened due to inactivity), I discovered the central button not only pushes in and out, it is a roller ball function and allows scrolling through an icon menu on the screen, much like the red button at the center of my keyboard on my IBM laptop. The cursor changes to contrasting colored outline brackets as an icon is rested upon. The icon also changes to indicated ready, a cell phone flips open, an envelope pops up an internal letter, a lock snaps shut, paper pops up out of a file and a rolodex flips. (I think that last icon was a poor metaphor choice, as the last time I saw a rolodex was before many adults were born). The roller ball lit up at one point for no clear reason.

Clicking on one of the icons, (a musical note with disc) I came to four more subcategories, music/video/ringtones/pictures all listed under media, a clumping that makes sense to me. I then clicked on the music icon, which was highlighted with a solid filled background box, very clear which item I had chosen. Unfortunately, I then run into a series of files, with the only clear exit an “up” folder at the top. So, it appears to get out, one has to backtrack ones choices. Attempting to bypass, this I click on the roller ball, and enter a do loop that takes me no where. Fortunately, there is a boomerang arrow button to the right of the roller ball and this seems to indicate exit, which it is, so back to the navigation icon screen.

Goal: Find phone number/ Make phone call
The phone icon is clear, I click on it with the roller ball and his contact list comes up. Click on my name and I have the option of Call Home/Call Mobile/Email (name)/SMS(name)/MMS(name)/View Contact/Full Menu. (The roller ball lit up while I was typing this and just went off?!). I roll the ball down to mobile and click. There is clear indication call is in process, it says “calling Randa Williams”. As I see the list under this category change, it occurs to me these comprise recent phone calls or more frequently called numbers and not the contact list, which is under the rolodex. Sure enough, the rolodex reveals a huge alphabetical ordered list of contact names. Shortcut is offered by typing one of the qwerty key letters, shifting to point in contact list for that letter.

Send a text mail or email
These are accomplished through same path as for phone numbers, however the difference between SMS and MMS is not immediately apparent. It also is not clear how or if the phone differentiates between text messages and email for storage. On my phone, text messages are stored in short term memory which requires you to dump it periodically. My concern is that my text messages might be stored long term on his phone, which I would rather my hugs and kisses not be made part of his public record.

The purpose of the return arrow button would be an example of syntactic knowledge learned by rote through experience. The discovery of the roller ball and associating it with prior IBM navigation device would be cognitive association. Understanding meaning through analogy of the navigation icons is based on semantic knowledge of associations. The navigation path flow from start to destination of this device differed from my other Nokia cellphone experience. However, it was simple to understand and quick to learn. The larger screen seems to be underutilized, web surfing is text based and thus far pictures only take an eighth of the screen. This is a device I could use.

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About ifarmurban

Project Manager residing in sleepless Seattle.
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