BlackBerry as encountered and explained by a world traveler.
Blackberry for the Traveler, Business Traveler or Tourist
I am Andy Graham of HoboTraveler.com Travel Journal, I am a perpetual professional traveler, I have been traveling for over 11 years and visited 85 countries.
Verizon a Telephone Company in the USA has given me a Blackberry Storm to evaluate as a global traveler, I will be using this page as a work in process to collect information on how to use this devices explaining the pros and cons of carrying this device.
I wish to thank Verizon Wireless telephone company for this opportunity,
HoboTraveler.com Travel Journal
APPLICATIONS NEEDED FOR GLOBAL TRAVELERS
Time Converters for time zones of the world
Price list for calls received and made for data for the world
Movie Ripper Software
Country Counter - Way to count and make map of all the countries that have been visited by traveler
Books to Read
How to read Lonely Planet PDF files on Blackberry.
Alarm Clock - Included with Blackberry
Calculator - To be able to show how much money I will pay when buying things in foreign language
GPS - Global Positioning Satellite with NORTH - South - East West
Calendar - So I can log when I moved into Hotel and negotiate in countries that do not speak English
Secret Button to locks the screen to give time to shut off
Alert that tells me how long the call was for and estimated cost when I hang up an international call
Converter address book telephone entries to international dialing with + and 1 in front of number
Skype import of telephone address and telephone numbers
HARDWARE AND ACCESSORIES NEEDED BY GLOBAL TRAVELERS
Blackberry that serves as Fligh light, Lantern or Torch.
Stand that allow the Blackberry to stand up as a clock on the Nightstand while plugged in
Two SIM card Feature, so I can shut off the Verizon and use the Local SIM
Holder that allows me to hang my Blackberry on my laptop while connected by cable
Splitter to allow to people to use headsets
Use Blackberry as modem to connect to GPRS networks in countries
Hard Box for carrying the Blackberry in luggage that all allows me to sit it up on nightstand and use as alarm clock.
SERVICE AND SUPPORT NEEDED BY GLOBAL TRAVELERS
24 Hour support number
Locations for repairs worldwide
BLACKBERRY MANUALS AND DIRECTIONS
Blackberry User Guide
Blackberry Global User Guide
CON - Need a list of countries and prices for data and phone calls on the Blackberry
BLACKBERRY VERIZON BUYING GUIDE
One International Number - receive phone calls immediately upon leaving the plane
Global Internet Access - Check Emails immediately upon leaving the plane.
Clock - Alarm, Timer and Stopwatch
Watch movies when in transit
Listen to music when in transit
TIMER - BENEFITS FOR GLOBAL TRAVELER
When I heat water in a bucket for a dip shower in the room, I can set the timer notify me when the water is hot enough.
When I am food, for example when I am boiling eggs I can set the timer to notify me.
Call backs, when a person ask or says, Please call me back in 10 minutes, you can set the alarm and call back in 10 minutes.
The alarm is good or even great if you are constantly using the Blackberry while waiting for the timer to ring.
The alarm only rings once and is very quiet, the Blackberry needs to be close to you. It would be better if the alarm rang the same as the alarm clock. Effectively the Alarm Clock feature does a better job.
BLOG POST BY ANDY OF HOBOTRAVELER.COM
WARRANTY - GUARANTEE AND INSURANCE
BLUETOOTH OR CABLE CONNECTIONS
CON - If I am using the cable connection I have to do this on a desk for fear I will pull the computer from my lap and it will fall down on the floor.
SKILLS NEEDED TO USE
If you can do these functions on a normal computer, then maybe the Blackberry is for you:
Do you know how to cut and paste on computer?
Search for files on your computer?
Know how to set folder configurations in Windows.
Know what a cookie is?
SIZE AND SHAPE
Needed for Travel - Small enough to put in pocket, easy to hold, neck string to hang up in window when using as modem.
Slim and small enough for my front pants pocket, this is the ideal location for a device that people wish to steal. Because this phone does not have the keypad it looks like other mobile phones and less of a target for theft.
Need for Traveler to be able to charge while in the case
I believe best if you know friends or family who also use the Blackberry to assist you in learn the functions.
Internet connection on full size computer needed to learn, this is why about one month is needed before you go "Global."
CON - The company assumes a person has a high speed Internet connection to learn.
PREPARATION NEEDED BEFORE TRAVELING
One month of time is needed so you can configure all the application
- Set phone to Global
- Send *238 to activate
- Download Global Applications
- Check the country to see if available in the country you are visiting.
- Know how to turn off the cell phone so you do not get expensive calls from friends.
PRO - Can choose to text right from the
CON - Hard to text message one handed
PRO - DIAL UP CONNECTION
Traveler share connections, this gives an alternative. Example, my parents have dial up, if I use the computer it occupies the phone and nobody can receive a call the Blackberry can be used without an telephone connection.
PRO - GLOBAL ACCESS
I am supposed to have a connection in 200 countries of the planet
PRO - OPTIMIZE MY INTERNET CAFE TIME
Because I can preview and delete emails off my yahoo email account, when I enter an internet cafe I am able to work on high priority or essential work.
PRO - INTERMITTENT INTERNET ACCESS
The BlackBerry downloads emails when it has access, I can read and write emails and when it finds connections it uploads and downloads emails. In situations with sporadic connections I can continue work emails.
CON - No Wireless or WIFI connection, I would like to be able to check the internet connection in Hotels before I rented a room.
CON - Automatic is not automatic, a person needs to shut the connection off when arriving in another city sometimes and play with the manage connections until you find a configuration that works.
MODEM FOR INTERNET
Needed for Travel - Telephone that can be used for modem with GPRS SIM Card connections
CON - A person cannot tether a computer to the storm.
CON - The Blackberry Storm can not be used for modem, and a person cannot change the SIM Cad
Stop Worrying about the need to check email.
High Priority Possible
As best I understand, the Blackberry is Quad Band it will work in 175 countries.
CON - SCREEN IS MINUSCULE
PRO - MODERATION OF COMMENTS
I am able to moderate and approve or reject comments from the Blackberry
PRO - BLOG FROM THE DEVICE
I believe I should be able to Blog directly from the device, however not tested yet
PRO - BLOG FROM LOCATION WITHOUT INTERNET ACCESS OR ELECTRICITY
I should be able to travel to isolated village on the planet that do not have internet cafes and continue to Blog.
Touchscreen and I am not able to type fast, I believe the other forms of Blackberry with the keyboard would be easier to use.
Needs to be set to Global before you leave the USA
CONTACTS OR ADDRESS BOOK
It appears I need to insert the + and the 1 for all my USA number manually, therefore the contact list does not work,
AND THE BLACKBERRY
I have my Skype.com number forwarded to the USA number on the Blackberry. When I arrive in a country, I will change or forward the number to a SIM card or phone number I purchase in each country. The cost is rather prohibitive in Ethiopia, I think the card cost 35 dollars, so I am not sure if I will purchase.
I want to export and import my number from Skype.com into my Blackberry.
Testing the USA number to see if it forwards to other countries. I am going to dial the number on the phone while in the internet cafe, this number I believe will forward to Ethiopia.
CON - THEFT OF PASSWORDS
This phone works best when passwords are saved for email accounts, Facebook.com, Twitter.com and other accounts, if the phone is stolen there is a window of time when the user can use your accounts.
MOBILE OR CELL PHONE
CON - REQUIRES A USA TELEPHONE CONTRACT
I am a "Global" Traveler, I do not need a year cell phone use in the USA
CON - INCOMING GLOBAL CALLS WILL COST 2-5 DOLLARS PER MINUTE
I was hoping to forward my Skype.com calls to this number in the USA, whereby calls would forward to me in other countries
PRO- I CAN RECEIVE PHONE CALLS AS I LEAVE THE PLANE
CON - CASUAL CALL WOULD FORWARD INTERNATIONAL
NEEDED - TWO NUMBERS, ONE FOR LOCAL USE AND ONE FOR EMERGENCY
COST - PRICE - BUDGET CONSIDERATIONS
DATA GLOBAL USE
60 Dollars per month with a two year contract
CON - TWO YEAR CONTRACT NEEDED
Does the contract allow me to upgrade Blackberries?
SYNCHRONIZATION AND USING BLACKBERRY AS A MEMORY MEDIA - BACKUP
CON - The Blackberry will fall off the nightstand if you pull from the nightstand to the bed to use on your lap
CON - Backup is synchronized only for the files type of the Blackberry
BATTERIES AND CHARGING
How long does the battery last in days?
PRO - When you plug the Blackberry in the Clock comes on, when you unplug it the clock goes off.
CON - I have yet to find any small light other than the clock. I am using the Blackberry as a room clock, therefore I become confused whether it is charging or not, I need to turn off the clock before I plug it into the charger.
Traveler or Tourist wish to watch movies on long and boring bus, train or plane trips,
GPS OR SATELLITE MAPS
Works very slow and you must be outside to use, it does not work inside a building
PRO - CAN CALCULATE THE TIME UNTIL ARRIVAL
CON - WILL NOT WORK INSIDE THE HOTEL
When making plans to travel to the next location, the GPS is not the best function, still more or less for fun. I recommend you download some type of file that allows you to view the map from the device without a GPS connection.
LINKS TO APPLICATIONS
DOWNLOADS NEEDED BY TRAVELERS
PHONE CALL LOG
Can I print them or download to the computer for analysis by Quicken or Spreadsheet
Playing music on this device or wearing on your belt will make you a target for theft, a person should be wary when playing music or using in public places. Do not sit down on tables, always keep in your front pocket or inside a bag.
Can I check voice mail on the Blackberry using Skype.com or do I need to use the Blackberry to dial receive the voice mail?
GLOBAL SUPPORT CALLS MADE: - I must call during business hours of the USA
Generally the Verizon Support by Emails is of no value, I would recommend you find a person representative inside the Verizon network to help.
- NEED - Downloaded Maps that I can look at without GPS
Indiana University Information Technology Services Knowledge Base
Verizon International services
NOTES TO ASSIMILATE INTO THE ABOVE SECTION
- Email Management for large amounts of email, I can delete spam or missive type emails not needed to archive.
- Optimizing a difficult country or slow connection
- The Blackberry should Replace a High Speed Connection for a Global Traveler and obviously as there is no WIFI options it is trying to force me to do this, however any reference to checking online or going to pages to learn about this device are truly annoying.
- Needs time converter on the phone for Global Traveler
- GPS is same as mine, must be outside and in open and wait
- The signal is not obvious if there I not a signal
- Learning curve is about one month or more, a person should not buy this right before they leave the country.
- Preset configurations are not global, ITV4 not global and the firefox browser were problems.
- Keyboards causes many mistakes
- How to read the maps on Blackberry
- Download maps
3 Megpixel Camera in Phone
WIFI detector in Phone
GPS in Phone, that does not eat batteries
Waterproof Crashproof Case
PDF of all service center locations on planet
Charge Extra Battery while outside of phone
Plugs phone into computer to hcarege
Charge by the USB cord into my computer
GPS Live all the time
PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
PROBLEM - BlackBerry is slow, it has the little time clock running, even after you clear the browser cache.
SOLUTION - Turn off the phone, remove the battery, wait a minute, reinsert the battery
PROBLEM - When moving from one city to the next the data connection is lost.
- Turn off the connection and turn back on, play with the manage connection switching from GSM to Global etc, but normally leave on automatic and it will connect if you shut off the connection and turn back on.
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