Well, I'm over in Ireland this week working from our office in Cork. I must say, the weather here is amazing. Five minutes ago it was warm outside and the sun was shining through the window of my office so brightly that it made my laptop screen unreadable. Now, it's cold as heck and pouring down rain and it looks like it'll be snowing any minute. One of my buddies just told me that the great thing about the weather in Ireland is that they have 4 seasons - nearly every day... Good thing is, the people here are fantastic and there always seems to be someone around offering me a swig of warm Irish whiskey to take the chill out so believe me - I'm not complaining...

Anyways, today I thought I'd write about mobile devices. For the past few years I've been using a Windows mobile device. It was one of the ones with the slide-out keyboard, Windows Mobile 5, blue tooth, WiFi, and etc. I've used it for almost 3 years now and it finally died on me. So, I decided to try something different... These are the main products I evaluated and what ended up being the deciding factors of each for me:

AT&T Tilt
Deciding Factors - a) I wanted something smaller than what I have now and b) I wanted to try something new vs. just a new version of what I have.

Deciding Factors - a) I wanted something that had a persistent mail store so that I could work on e-mail while not connected and b) I type on my PDA a lot so I wanted a fast, tactile keyboard.

Blackberry Curve
Deciding Factors - a) My IT department officially supports the Blackberry. Otherwise you're kind of on your own. b) Came highly recommended from my co-workers.

So, here I am with my new Blackberry Curve. I can see why it sells well. It's light, fits in my pocket easily, attractive looking, and comes with all of the features that you would normally want.  I hate it.

If I'd never owned a more advanced PDA I probably wouldn't notice - but then again if you'd never ridden in a car you probably wouldn't mind riding a horse to work so much. The lack of a touch screen is driving me insane. The web browser is a joke and the integration with Exchange, even with our REM server, is poor. It reminds me of when I used to receive e-mail on my old text pager (during the last century). If I delete an e-mail from my PDA I also have to delete it from my Outlook client (never a problem with my other device). Likewise, spam that should show up in the junk mail folder for some reason shows up in my Inbox on this device. It just plain sucks.

So, since I'm in Ireland for the remainder of the week I won't be returning this device and trading it in for something else until at least 4-5 days from now, I have time to reconsider and get feedback from any of you loyal Blackberry users out there. There are millions of people that swear by these things so maybe some of this is just setup/user error and maybe I can get used to not having a full browser or touch screen.

Flame on...

p.s. Remembering that this is a SolarWinds sponsored blog/site, I thought I'd mention that I am able to get alerts from my Orion server on any of these devices (including my 15 year old pager). Of course, on my Windows Mobile device and on the iPhone I was able to login to the Orion website remotely and diagnose the issue, but that's another story...