Thursday, October 28, 2010

Not Quite Ready for Prime Time

Perhaps this is their idea of a Halloween Trick.  If so, I am not amused.
Blackberry 820 Curve
Back in April, I got a Blackberry Curve 8520 Smart Phone from T-Mobile.  Mostly this is because I am one of those hopeless idiots who is a slave to my calendar.  One of the nice things about the Curve is that it links to my Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 Address book and Calendar.  I could have it link to my email as well, but that’s overkill.  I deleted all the games, added a few useful things, and off I went.
In August Research in Motion (RIM – Blackberry) released a major upgrade to their computer desktop software, the component you need for your computer to talk to the hand held device.  My particular Toshiba Satellite  Notebook is not Bluetooth enabled, so this is a necessity.
In September, RIM released a major device software upgrade from version 4.6, with which the device comes pre-installed, to version 5 point something.  In the spirit of Microsoft Windows Vista, and Microsoft’s time tested policy of releasing upgrades not quite ready for prime time, and patches to fix previous patches that broke stuff, this upgrade disabled several apps.  Suddenly, I DON’T have an app for that, you know?
It was annoying, but fixable, and the new software was faster, cleaner, etc.
Yesterday they released a minor upgrade from to  This one could have come with the label Genuine Microsoft.  It completely killed my phone.  The install message warned “this operation could take up to an hour.”  I gave up after 4 hours and called my provider, T-Mobile.
I spent an hour on the phone with T-Mobile, while the guy was polite and friendly, was not well versed in Blackberry Support.  Their download page links send you to the wrong files.  The only good thing was that because this was a Technical Support call, it didn’t use minutes.  It still took an hour to do nothing except finally come to the conclusion that he was in way over his head and transfer me to Blackberry Tech Support.
After an hour with Blackberry, I had my phone back.
Sort of.
My upgrade actually became a downgrade.  It reverted me back to the original ‘shipped with’ OS version 4.6. 
Which is slower, less featured, clumsier and so on.
And unlike when my computer needs to go this route of a complete wipe,  reinstall the OEM software and then keep adding service packs until you’re caught up to where you were and then you can reinstall the rest from a good backup, Blackberry recommended not trying to reload the upgrade.
Still, I had a good back-up.  From yesterday before the upgrade, so everything was fresh.
And after clicking my heals three times, turning around three times, flicking my wand just so, and saying the proper incantation, telephonious fixus, with the right emphasis on the proper syllable, I had my phone fully restored.
Sort of.
Of course, none of my third party apps came back – the backup doesn’t save them.  So far, I’ve had to purchase several of them again.
All my pictures and music were restored, but none of my custom ring tones – I’ll have to reload them, and likely pay for them again.
My calendar and contact list was restored, thankfully, but re-syncing would have done that anyway.  Of course, the back-up restore process should have done apps and ringtones too.
Funny thing is when I open a folder on the device from  the desktop software, the folder shows that all the apps are still there.  Guess I’ll be spending yet more time on the phone with Blackberry Technical Support.
On the other hand, the RIM guy told me something I have long suspected since I can’t find it.  T-Mobile told me the phone was GPS enabled and ran a Microsoft OS when they sold it to me.
The Blackberry guy told me this model has neither.
I am thoroughly infuriated (that’s the 25-cent word for ‘pissed’) with T-Mobile and Blackberry.
Honestly, if I didn’t have so much time (almost 7 years as a T-Mobile customer) and money (Blackberry service is included with my phone service) I’d put the phone in the driveway, back the car over it and start again with an iPhone.
This is not over.
Stay tuned.  Film at 11:00.
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