A Free Software Utility To Edit The Windows 8 Quick Access (WinX) Menu

Recently I posted the article, A Must Learn Windows 8 Tip: How To Get To The Quick Access Menu And To The Windows 8 Start Menu. In summary, this menu appears when you place your mouse pointer in the bottom right corner of the screen and when the the Start Screen thumbnail (or tip) pops up, right mouse click on the thumbnail and the Quick Access menu will appear. This menu serves as a convenient and quick launching point to the advanced system functions on your computer. This menu is also known in the Windows 8 environment, as the WinX menu.  If you hit the Win key on your keyboard plus X (Win + X), this menu will appear.

WinX Menu

The WinX menu, I have found to be quite convenient and began thinking it would be a real plus if I could add my own items to the WinX menu. I began researching this and found that there is a folder on your computer called WinX which holds shortcuts, in groups, to the program items you see on the menu. At first, I thought I could add or remove the shortcuts and found that they are basically locked in place by the operating system; so, that option was ruled out.

I then started thinking that someone out there probably has developed software that will allow you to edit the WinX menu and sure enough I found a FREE software utility called Win+X Menu Editor for Windows 8.

Win+X Menu Editor for Windows 8

With Win+X Menu Editor for Windows 8 you can edit the WinX menu without system files modification. You can rename, move items, add programs, add presets, add control panel items, create additional groups and remove items.

Win+X Menu Editor for Windows 8

This little program is portable, works on a 32bit or 64 bit system, and is by the same developer of a program I featured in an article yesterday, called SimpleSndVol .

GEEK BONUS AREA

BlackBerry Announces Z10 Smartphone –
Reveals Pricing and Availability

GEGeek  –  PC Tech Quick Reference

Crazyflie Nano quadcopter is a $173 open source,
programmable flying machine

HOT – Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 Garnet Red Edition Bundle
with Case  (7-Inch, Wi-Fi)

Bookmarks4Techs – Over 500 Listed Tech Sites

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Links To All Articles Ever Posted At What’s On My PC

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[Geek Squeaks’] – Notekeeping, Google Maps Easter Eggs, Cloud Computing Defined, Speed Up Boot Time, and an Unlocked Blackberry

Geek Squeaks'

Evernote
Cloud Based Notekeeping

Mrintech
3 Must Watch Google Maps “Get Directions” Easter Eggs

Malware Removal Instructions
What Is Cloud Computing? Defining the Cloud

Lifehacker
Top 10 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer’s Boot Time

GEEK TOY @ Amazon
BlackBerry 8520 Unlocked Phone

MORE…

Computers & Accessories Index

Over 500 Bookmarked Tech Sites

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Humor: My Blackberry Is Not Working

What good is a tech blog without some humor mixed in. A relative of mine sent me this video, titled “My Blackberry Is Not Working”.  I figured, since I have done some articles on the Blackberry, plus I am the owner of one of these devices; this video may be helpful to others when their Blackberry is not working.

For the rest of you, if you do not know what a Blackberry is:

BlackBerry is a line of mobile e-mail and smartphone devices developed and designed by Canadian company Research In Motion (RIM) since 1999.[2]

BlackBerry functions as a personal digital assistant with address book, calendar, memopad and task list capabilities. It also functions as a portable media playerwith support for music and video playback and camera and video capabilities. BlackBerry is primarily known for its ability to send and receive (push) Internet e-mail wherever mobile network service coverage is present, or through Wi-Fi connectivity. –

My Blackberry Is Not Working

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#72)

Welcome everyone to this round of Geek Squeaks’. If you do not know what Geek Squeaks’ are, then you do not know what you are missing. Each week, What’s On My PC selects recent articles from the blogs (and web sites) that are currently on the What’s On My PC blogroll. This is my way of saying “Thank You” to a great bunch of bloggers that I am associated with.

Geek Squeaks'

Bookmarks4Techs
Site Update #21

Canadian Tech Blogger
Apple Adds Try Before You Buy App Section

thePC Security
SherWeb SharePoint Server Review – Value for Money

Right On Technology
Research in Motion’s BlackBerry Torch Announced,
BlackBerry 6 OS Packed in

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Luxand Blink – Free Facial Recognition Login Application
Now In 64 Bit Version

Plato On-Line
Craiglist Accused Again: Online Sex Trafficking

Faster PC! Clean! Clean!
How to Remove Wireshark Antivirus

Carol’s Vault
WolframAlpha – the best answers engine

AKS-Feel The Change
Airytec Switch Off-Shutdown or
Restart Your PC remotely from any Computer and Mobile Phone

RGdot
neoSearch: A New Way To Search A PC

Laptop Reviews Central
HP Mini 5103 netbook unveiled

Paul’s Home Computing
Blog ATM Skimmer Crime: Moving From Bank ATMs To Gas Pumps

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Freeview HD PVR. The race is on!

TuneUp Blog about Windows
Increase Your Laptop’s Battery Life with
TuneUp Utilities 2010’s Turbo Mode

Lifehacker
Radbox Saves Videos for Watching Later

Rarst.net
WriteMonkey – portable darkroom text editor

Tech-for Everyone
How To Clear Your Cache 2

AskBillFirst
The curse of popularity: Hackers love Apple’s iPad, iPhone, too

Free PC Security
Malicious Sites August 10

Mister Reiner
Do you actually understand computer security
or just the analogies?

GadgetsHolic
iMeshi Food Cases For iPhone 4

Chicago Mac/PC Support
Web-Accessibility for People with Disabilities (via iCons in Medicine)

Online Storage Reviews
44 Blogs Discussing the Best Online Storage Services

Laptop Reviews
Toshiba M645

I Love Free Software
How to Schedule Shutdown, Hibernate, Restart, and Standby on PC

Netbook Freeware
CheckDrive: Best Free App To Scan and
Fix Netbook Hard Drive Errors

Worthy Tips
Fix Windows 7 User Account Security Issues with Accounts Tuner

404 Tech Support
Google and Verizon Push Policy For Open Internet

I Want Ice Water
Strange and Beautiful Roads

Technolar
Block all Facebook Applications at a time

TTC Shelbyville
Tennessee Ranked Number 22 in Internet Speed

Snakebytez
Find Out Whether your Mobile phone is Original or Not

My Technology Guide
Install Google Chrome For All Users Using Google Chrome Standalone Enterprise Edition

Awesome Wallpapers
Misc. Wallpaper Set 22

What’s On My PC
A Grab Bag Selection of GREAT Online Computer Games

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What’s On My PC – Top Ten All Time Articles

It is has been almost 2 years that I first started blogging and was spoon fed, from afar, by the likes of Bill Mullins’ at Tech Thoughts and TechPaul at Tech-for Everyone. I can honestly attest, as a rookie blogger, it has been a challenge; however, today I can further attest it has been both rewarding and a daily exercise of the mind.

What is amazing about blogging is that it is unpredictable. Articles or information that you think will never amount to anything ends up being popular; AND, others you feel are great, just don’t quite hit the mark. To qualify that statement, I have posted links to the top ten all time articles at What’s On My PC…

The one article that really amazes me (that is #3 on the list), is the article where people are still looking for that America Online (AOL) CD. The article, in summary, explains steps (actually a trick) to make your own CD, since it is very difficult to get your hands on an actual CD. As of the date of this article, according to my statistics, nearly 10,000 people cannot live without the AOL CD. I’m guessing, from all of those years where AOL spammed our postal mailboxes with the AOL CD’s, the brainwashing affects continue to live on.

What’s On My PC – Top Ten All Time


  1. If you experience Windows Vista Service Pack 2 installation issues…
  2. Creating a personalized font from your own handwriting…
  3. Creating an AOL Install CD… (if you must:)
  4. How to use a Blackberry Smartphone with a cheap “Pay As You Go” mobile phone plan…
  5. When Vista will not boot…
  6. bing – Microsoft’s New Search Engine
  7. Review of the Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player
  8. Technibble’s (portable and FREE) Computer Repair Utility Kit
  9. Adding a “Watermark” in Microsoft Word 2003
  10. “WOT” is NEW…

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All Time Top Ten Tech Articles at What’s On My PC…

When you write articles in a blog, nearly everyday, they have a tendency to accumulate and eventually get lost in the pile (especially to the frequent visitor). Today I was reviewing some past posts and decided to make a listing of the “All Time Top Ten” at What’s On My PC.  Enjoy!

In summary you will find that: Windows Vista still is causing gray hair; AOL is not dead; WD TV Media Player is a hit; people do not like change, including bing;  we need browser protection; there is a cheap way to use a Blackberry; we love FREE software; people are still trying to figure out MS-Word; and Conficker continues to evolve and is still alive!

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If you experience
Windows Vista Service Pack 2 installation issues…

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Creating an AOL Install CD… (if you must:)

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When Vista will not boot…

image

Review of the Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player

image

“WOT” is NEW…

image

bing – Microsoft’s New Search Engine

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How to use a Blackberry Smartphone with a cheap
“Pay As You Go” mobile phone plan…

image

Software AppsFreebiesPortable Apps

image

Adding a “Watermark” in Microsoft Word 2003 or 2007

image

Conficker and Spyware Protect 2009

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Become a Blackberry Pocket Cop

Baltimore City, MD Police Department, using Federal Stimulus money, is issuing  Blackberry devices to every patrol officer. Since I am a Blackberry owner I found this article quite intriguing. Definitely a 21st Century concept that just may be the beginning to a trend nationwide.  There are positives reflected in this story, as well as negatives.

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A “What’s On My PC…” Web Clip!


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By Ben Nuckols

September 4, 2009 7:21AM

Every Baltimore Patrol Officer To Get a BlackBerry

BlackBerry devices, which are made by Research in Motion, are likely to take the place of computers for officers who don’t have them in their cars, and laptops may not be replaced after they become obsolete. The devices are also equipped with global positioning software that will allow commanders to pinpoint exactly where officers are.

The devices allow officers to run warrants, check vehicle registrations, and pull up criminal histories and suspect photos. Officers who use them can be more efficient and spend more time outside of their cars…

Early reviews for the devices have been positive. Officers using Pocket Cops made twice as many arrests over a 3-month period than those equipped with radios or laptops, according to statistics provided by the department. They also hauled in more offenders on outstanding warrants.

The devices are also equipped with global positioning software that will allow commanders to pinpoint exactly where officers are. That technology concerns police union leaders, who suspect that officers might face undue scrutiny.

[ Source: Enterprise Security Today ]


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File Manager Software for BlackBerry Devices

First I would like to state, “I Love My Blackberry”…

Many of you may not know that I put together an article “How to use a Blackberry Smartphone with a cheap “Pay As You Go” mobile phone plan… back in March of this year.  The article continues to gain in popularity AND, yes, I am still using my Blackberry 8320 with the T-Mobile “pay-as-you-go” plan with continued success.

image Today, I want to alert Blackberry owners who may have been using the BBFileScout file manager software that the author of the software has changed the name to just “FileScout”.

If you are a heavy duty Blackberry user then you need this software on your Blackberry. FileScout is an awesome utility that gives you control over the management of your file system on your Blackberry. FileScout is pay-what-you-want (Donationware): and currently runs on RIM OS 4.3 or higher (sorry no support for 4.2.1 devices) AND with Blackberry models 8110, 8130, 8220, 8310, 8330, 8700, 8800, 8820, 8830, 8900, 9000, 9500, 9530 & 9630.

FileScout – The “all in one” file, zip, text and image manager for your BlackBerry®

image

FileScout Core Features:

FileScout is a file system browser for your BlackBerry® (including hidden files)

Create directories, copy, move, rename, or delete files

Zip and Unzip files or complete directory structures with your BlackBerry® (no support for password protected zips)

Copy and delete complete directory structures

Open all media files (supported by your BlackBerry®)

Register additional file types with other (3rd party) applications (if supported)

Open files (like ini, xml, etc.) as plain text so you can edit, mark, copy, and paste text fragments of files that normally can’t be opened with your BlackBerry®. This can become very valuable when you receive email attachments that are not normally supported by your BlackBerry®

Delete pre-installed wallpapers, videos, and ringtones in order to free memory on your device***
Please note: once these features are deleted, the only way to get them back is to hard reset your device!

Display thumbnails for supported image files (if enabled in the options)

Search for files and directories on your BlackBerry® device

Send any file as an email attachment to your BlackBerry® contacts

Send any file via Bluetooth to another device that support OBEX

Define a favorite directory list (as shortcuts)

Show details for files & directories [modification date, is hidden, etc…]

Resize (& rotate) images in order to save time and money when sending photos to your friends via your BlackBerry®

Create playlists (across multiple folders)

More to come? – is there really something you miss for a file manager application? If so, let the software developer know!

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#13)

Geek Squeaks'

Here are this weeks’ highlight “tech” articles from bloggers on the “What’s On My PC…” blogroll. If you are new (or old) to computers, I encourage you to visit these blogs. You can learn a whole lot very quickly from, what I consider, very reputable sources.

A Tech’s First Impression of Windows 7 64-bit – Tech-for Everyone

Fully Optimize Windows Vista Services – Technize.com

Wipe Your Blackberry – Sugarloaf Tech

Knockout Malware With SUPERAntiSpyware Free Edition – Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts

rsizr.com – quite advanced way to resize images online – Rarst.net

Receive a FREE prepaid cell phone from Safe Link Wireless- Tech-Line

Computer Security and Firewall Ports – TTC Shelbyville

TOY: M-Audio KeyStation 49 Review – Tux in the Midwest

Most Dangerous Websites – Plato on-line

Free Windows7 Tips and Trick Ebook – Piyada’s World

KillCopy Speeds Up Disk Transfers and Securely Deletes Files – Lifehacker

Get alerts for specific phrases – AKS – Feel The Change

Watch Out Safari: New Opera 10 Goes Turbo – AllThatsNew

How to Remove “Testversion” Popup – 411-Spyware.com

Splinter Cell: Conviction – Sam is back with shorter hair and sexier than ever – Carol’s Vault

Article: Panda Cloud Antivirus installed. Ok Cloud, fix me up – Confessions of a freeware junkie

Email Misunderstanding – Crazy World of G

BoonEx – Free Community Website Builder Software – Is You GEEKed Up

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A FREE “Must Have” App for your Blackberry

UPDATE (8/30/2009): The author of  the BBFileScout file manager software, for the Blackberry, has changed the name to just “FileScout”.  The content and information in this article remain the same.

I hope you had the opportunity to read my article “How to use a Blackberry Smartphone with a cheap “Pay As You Go” mobile phone plan…” The point of the article was to demonstrate that there are workarounds to owning a Blackberry Smartphone (to make it useful), without subscribing to a costly data plan. Recently I discovered another FREE (donationware) workaround; or I should say addition, that makes the Blackberry all that more powerful.  Since my acquisition of the Blackberry Curve 8320 I found that the Blackberry lacked a decent file system browser. The “geek in me” wanted more than just the basic file explorer that is buried under the “Media” selection of the Blackberry OS. I wanted a file system browser that was comparable to what I experience on my PC.

After getting my bearings on how and where to look for free Blackberry software resources, and how to install those resources that were of interest, I came across the excellent file system browser called “BBFileScout” .

image

BBFileScout is FREE (donationware) and will work on all Blackberrys’ with OS 4.3 and higher. According to the BBFileScout web site, it has successfully been tested on Blackberry models 8110, 8310, 8330, 8700, 8800, 8820, 8830, 9000, 9500 & 9530. I can attest that it also will work on the 8320.

BBFileScout is more than just a basic file system browser, it is a file manager with the ability to recognize file types and associate them with the default applications, just like on your PC. For example, If I browse to a jpeg (picture) file and open it, the picture will open with the default viewer; or if I browse to a PDF file, it will open with the default PDF viewer, etc… This option alone sold me on the app; BUT, this was only the beginning.  BBFile Scout opened up a whole new world on my Blackberry and gave me that true feeling of having a PC in my pocket.

Here are the “Core Features”, as reflected on the web site:

  • BBFileScout allows you to browse the file system of your BB (including hidden files)
  • Create directories, copy, move, rename or delete files
  • Zipping files or complete directory structures
  • Extracting Zip archives (incl. structures)
  • Furthermore BBFileScout supports copying and deleting of complete directory structures
  • You can open all (by your Blackberry® supported) media files
  • Register additional file types with other (3’rd party) applications (like pdf’s)
  • BBFileScout allows you to open files (like ini, xml, etc.) as plain text, so you are able to edit, mark, copy & paste text fragments of these files that normally can’t be opened with your Blackberry®. This can become very valuable when you receive eMail attachments that are not native supported by your Blackberry®
  • With BBFileScout you can delete pre installed wallpapers, videos and ringtones in order to free memory on your device*** – but please note, that once they are deleted the only way to get them back is to hard reset your device!
  • Display Thumbnails for supported image files (if enabled in the options)
  • Search for files and directories on your Blackberry® Device
  • Send any file as eMail attachment to your BB contacts
  • Send any file via Bluetooth to another Device that support OBEX
  • Easy & smart creation of Playlists (across multiple folders)
  • Define a favorite directory list (as shortcuts)

You can install BBFileScout “over the air” to your Blackberry® device or can install it via the RIM DesktopManager

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Online Blackberry Bible

CIOIf you are a RIM Smartphone (Blackberry) owner, then you will find this information, “clipped” from CIO, invaluable…  It is a great read on everything you need to know about your Blackberry…

Blackberry Bible

You can click on any of the titles below and you will be redirected to the CIO web site for that specific topic… Enjoy!

1clipsm [ Source: CIO ]
BlackBerry Bible:
Everything You Need to Know About Your RIM Smartphone

From keyboard shortcuts and tricks from mobile experts, to free software downloads, battery life tips, device reviews and insider commentary, we offer you our expert guide to help you master your smartphone and earn a BlackBerry black belt.

BlackBerry Tips: Using Folders
to Unclutter Your RIM Smartphone

BlackBerry Browser Shortcuts:
Killer Keyboard Tips & Tricks

Best BlackBerry Shortcuts:
Aflac’s Mobile Guru Shares Tips

Five Essential RIM BlackBerry Keyboard Tips and Tricks

Advanced Keyboard Shortcuts for Power Users

BlackBerry Storm Shortcuts:
20 Touch Screen Tips and Tricks

More Advanced BlackBerry
Keyboard Tips and Tricks for Power Users

BlackBerry GPS Navigation Tips:
Mastering BlackBerry & TeleNav Navigator

BlackBerry How To:
Change E-Mail Signatures (BIS & BES)

BlackBerry Tips & Tricks:
Boost Your BlackBerry Digital Camera Experience

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#5)

These links are a compilation of articles, for the past week, written by the friends to “What’s On My PC…” . To have an article featured on “Geek Squeaks’ of the Week” (every week) all that is asked for is a link exchange  with your blog or web site.

You will find that the articles written by these bloggers are comparable or better than many articles written in some of the top tech publications.

Geek Squeaks'Free Computer Courses – Tech-for Everyone

Is Windows 7 Just Vista? – TTC Shelbyville

Win a Free Rapidshare Premium Account – Techolar

WinPatrolToGo – A Great Addition to Your Geek Toolbox – Tech Thoughts

Everything – fast and powerful file search utility – Rarst.net

I Can’t HEAR You – Crazy World of G

Workrave – Schedule Your Work And Avoid RSI – Piyadas World

Is Thunderbird, Desktop Email Dying Out? – Lifehacker

15.4” LCD Screen Resolutions – WUXGA (1920 x 1200) Is The Way To Go – Is You GEEKed Up

The Truth About Security Software – Free PC Security

Conficker Eye Chart – Are you infected? – Evilfantasy’s Blog

My dream Blackberry: Storm with Trackball – Confessions of a freeware junkie

19 Amazing Free Graphic and Image Editors – Carputers News and Computer Tips

Safe Surfing with WOT – AskBillFirst

How to Remove “Trojan Detected” Popup!” – 411- Spyware.com

12+ Free Thinking iPod Touch/iPhone Puzzle Games Worth Playing – AllThatsNew

The easy way to print filenames in folders… – What’s On My PC…

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Web Sites formatted for your Blackberry…

If you own a Blackberry, or any mobile phone or handheld device for that matter, that has the ability to access web pages on the internet, then you will be interested in the link below (from Blackberry Forums).  This listing  is an excellent compilation of sites that has been formatted for portable devices (such as the Blackberry Smartphone). The listing appears to have been last updated Oct ‘08; however, I found most of the links alive. Another great use for a listing such as this, is if you are on an extemely slow dialup connection and need to get to the news, etc… fast.

[ CLICK HERE FOR SITE LISTING AT BLACKERRY FORUMS ]

In the event you desire to import the list to your favorites,
you can download the list here – [ DOWNLOAD ]

blackberrygoogle

Recently I posted, what has become a very popular article:

How to use a Blackberry Smartphone with a cheap “Pay As You Go” mobile phone plan…

As an update to that article, I continue to make use of my Blackberry with the cheap phone plan AND have found no problems locating resources for the PDA/Phone.  So far, I’m loving it…

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#4)

Geek Squeaks'

How to Install a Program that is an ISO – TTC Shelbyville

PSI to the Rescue – Tech-for Everyone

Disable Avira Notifier – Tech Thoughts

Bursting Security Bubble – Rarst.net

Malwarebytes – Anti Malware Software – Piyada’s World

Harmless Geek Pranks for a Little April Fooling – LifeHacker

Paragon Drive Backup – Free Program – Free PC Security

McAfee Stinger Conficker Edition – Evilfantasy’s Blog

Spyware Terminator v2.5 – Crazy World of G

My Dream Blackberry: Storm With Trackball – Confessions of a Freeware Junkie

Face.com – Facebook face recognition app – Carol’s Vault

Conficker Tips from Windowssecrets.com – AskBillFirst

“1 of Friends Awaiting Your Response” Email – 411 Spyware.com

Microsoft Buys Yahoo! – TechJaws

How to use a Blackberry Smartphone with a cheap “Pay As You Go” mobile phone plan… – What’s On My PC…

Geek Squeaks are random “hot” topic links (called “squeaks”) from various credible sources (called “geeks”) and may appear on the blog at any time.  Many of the topics are creations from fellow bloggers or software authors who have actively participated (e.g. link exchanges, comments, etc…) with “What’s On My PC…”.  If you are interested in a link exchange please leave a comment below.

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How to use a Blackberry Smartphone with a cheap “Pay As You Go” mobile phone plan…

I love my gadgets, and when opportunity presents itself to try something different, I cannot resist.

The object of the this story is to demonstrate how I maximized the usage  of a Blackberry Smartphone using one of the cheapest mobile phone plans out there. For the sake of this article, the model phone that I used for this project was the Blackberry Curve 8320 Smartphone.

If you do not know what a Blackberry is, I encourage to visit the Blackberry website [ CLICK HERE ] .

Blackberry Smartphone

When it comes to mobile (cell) phones I cannot see myself conversing for a 1000 minutes (16.66 hours) a month. That is two workdays to me or time that I can allocate to other things where I can see results. Please do not get me wrong, a mobile phone is very much needed in circumstances where your business or livelihood is dependent on quick communications. The plan which I currently use is a “pay as you go” plan (with T-Mobile). I have learned to discipline myself with the usage; PLUS I do not give my number out or use it for lengthy conversation.

I have always been fascinated with PDA’s, have owned quite a few, and was currently looking for something that would provide PDA capabilities, as well as, mobile phone capabilities. I did not want to pay a lot or get trapped into a lengthy service contract with a mobile phone provider just to own a computer in my pocket.

During a recent visit to the local mall I entered into my usual question and answer session with the sales rep at one of the T-Mobile kiosks.  I have done this in the past at other locations in an effort to educate myself about mobile phones. One of my primary questions has been,  “What phones will my T-Mobile “pay-as-you-go” SIM card work in?”. You would be surprised at the answers I have received. I have always been told I would have to purchase another phone plan, if I wanted a Blackberry, etc… Ultimately I always leave very confused about mobile phones. In this case, the sales rep proceeded to inform me that my SIM card in my cheapie phone would function in any of the phones they had. The sales rep proceeded to show me several phones including the Blackberry (all with heavy price tags if I were to buy the phone straight out).

As my “gadget luck” would have it, I was preparing to leave and the sales rep proceeds to tell me that he had an used Blackberry Curve 8320 for sale, minus the software for the phone.  Long story short, I get what I think is a good deal on this phone…  I buy the phone and with my cheap “pay as you go” plan, I challenge myself (as a project) to find workarounds to getting data to and from the Blackberry without the need to purchase a high priced data plan.

Reflected below is highlights of how my project turned out…  Some of the information alone may be helpful to other Blackberry owners and in some cases, depending on the phone (and provider), may not work at all. Some of the information reflected may be common information to mobile phone power users and may make me appear as if I don’t have a clue about mobile phones…  Well I don’t, but I am learning!  All I can tell you is, that I took a cheap phone plan (pay-as-you-go) and an expensive smartphone and customized it for my personal needs.

SIM Card – SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) is the card located in your phone that is a module that identifies to the mobile phone provider, who you are. It can also serve as storage media for your contacts, etc… The module can usually be removed and swapped to other phones (with the same provider).  In my case the SIM card worked with no problems and all my contacts were transferred to the Blackberry.  I now have voice communications with the Blackberry using my “pay as you go” plan.

Coverage – My phone coverage improved noticeably.  Locations where I could not get service, I now have service.  Proves to me that some mobile phones are better in transmission and reception than others.

Blackberry Desktop Manager Software – Since there was no software with the smartphone to manage the phone from my computer, I had to go find the software on the internet. I easily located and downloaded the software from “Blackberry” and installed it on my PC . The Desktop Manager Software is an integral piece that you need to keep your phone software up to date; AND to provide file management, software management, and backup capabilities. The installation was also bundled with a Roxio package to manage and convert audio, video and photo files.  After learning the Desktop Manager Software, I knew at that point this was my gateway for installing third party software onto Blackberry.

Calendar, Contact, and Task Management – In order to take full advantage of the calendar, contact and task management portion of the phone, I needed some type of syncing capabilities. The Desktop Manager Software provides syncing capability to Microsoft Outlook and to Yahoo.  I exclusively configured my Yahoo internet mail account to manage my contacts, calendar, notes and tasks on my Blackberry. When I connect my Blackberry to my computer, run the Desktop Manager Software, it automatically syncs with my Yahoo account on the internet. This also gives me the ability to pull up my information from any PC connected to the internet.

Wi-Fi – The Blackberry Curve 8320 has wi-fi (wireless) capability.  I configured the Blackberry to connect to the wireless router in my home, which provided me with (at first) limited access to the internet.  You will see below the workaround I utilized to gain full access.

Internet Browser – The browser on this particular phone was very, very limited (proprietary to T-Mobile) and did not provide complete internet access via my wireless access point. I initially did not think this was possible without a data plan, but after some careful thinking, I knew there had to be some way that I could bridge that gap. I downloaded and installed Opera-Mini which is browser software designed for mobile phones. I now have full access to the internet via my wireless router or at any wi-fi access point that will let me in.  (Note: Opera-Mini is an awesome browser for this purpose).

MicroSD Card (with PC Adapter) – RadioShack had an 8 gig MicroSD memory card on sale ($20), which I installed into the Blackberry…  I now have storage capability; plus when  connecting the Blackberry to my computer it is recognized as a mass storage device. I can now transport my files, portable apps, etc… This particular phone model has a camera (w/photo viewer), video camera (with video player) and voice recorder (w/audio player) built in.  With the added storage I successfully converted a full length movie to play on the Blackberry; added MP3 music files, photos, documents, etc…

Software – Now that I have learned to install software onto the Blackberry, I am currently exploring the internet for “freeware” software for the Blackberry.  Several sources that I have located are:

Blackberry Freeware

Blackberryfreaks.com

Blackberry Freeware Lovers

In closing, I have been quite pleased with the outcome of this project and the Blackberry Curve Smartphone.  I welcome any comments or suggestions.

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