Pearl-y gates

February 9 2007

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Image:Pearl-y gates The Pearl has arrived.

The kind people at RIM have provided me with a Blackberry Pearl loaner, which I connected up last night.

First blush -- I gotta figure out how to keep my work and my personal life separate.  That has been my concern with a Blackberry all along, and the initial setup confirms that I'm going to be thinking about this.  For one, I now have all sorts of IBMers populating my contacts list, and for another, the "new mail" inbox and indicator don't distinguish between SMSs and e-mail to my IBM address.  I'm sure there are filters I can set for both of these, but the default is to mash my worlds together.

As for the device itself, I'm very pleased.  It's so small!   I haven't had a candy-bar mobile phone in a while, so I need to get in the habit of locking the keyboard again....though the fact that IBM's configuration asks me for a password when I unlock is a bit frustrating.  I am tempted to make my password something a lot easier.

The predictive text is very very good.  Type i-v-e-space and you'll get "I've".  The dual-tap keyboard is taking some getting used to, but that's more about me never having had a PDA device with a QWERTY keyboard.

The display -- wow.  There's just so much information all at once...it feels like the inflection point where the technology has caught up with the consumer.  And it's very intuitive to navigate.  The pearl (trackball) works just as you'd expect it to.  I was even impressed that it acts as the digital zoom control when taking a picture (now if I could just figure out the flash control).

Clearly there is a lot more to explore about this Pearl in the coming weeks.  I'll be sure to let you all know if you need to start a collection to buy me one of those "crackberry" crash helmets.  Stay tuned...

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