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CrackBerry: True Tales of BlackBerry Use and Abuse (Books for Professionals by Professionals) 1st Edition

11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1430231806
ISBN-10: 1430231807
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Martin Trautschold is the founder and chief executive officer of Made Simple Learning, a leading provider of Apple iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, BlackBerry and Palm webOS books and video tutorials. He has been a successful entrepreneur in the mobile device training and software business since 2001. With Made Simple Learning, he has been helping to train thousands of BlackBerry users with short, to-the-point video tutorials. He has now co-authored 15 Made Simple guide books. Martin also co-founded, ran for three years, then sold a mobile device software company. Prior to this, Martin spent 15 years in technology and business consulting in the U.S. and Japan. He holds an engineering degree from Princeton University and a master's in business administration from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University. Martin and his wife, Julia, have three daughters. Martin enjoys rowing and cycling. He can be reached at

Kevin Michaluk is founder and community manager of, the most-visited BlackBerry community site on the web. He received his first BlackBerry phone while working for CanWest Global, a media company, and has been a BlackBerry addict ever since. Kevin graduated from the I.H. Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba with numerous business plan competition awards and accolades, including the Asper School of Business Academic Lifetime Achievement Award.

Gary Mazo is vice president of Made Simple Learning and is a writer, a college professor, a gadget nut and an ordained rabbi. Gary joined Made Simple Learning in 2007 and has co-authored the last 13 books in the Made Simple series. Along with Martin and Kevin Michaluk from, Gary co-wrote CrackBerry: True Tales of BlackBerry Use and Abuse a book about BlackBerry addiction and how to get a grip on one's BlackBerry use. Gary also teaches writing, philosophy, technical writing and more at the University of Phoenix. Gary is a regular contributor to, writing product reviews and adding editorial content. He holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Brandeis University. Gary earned his master's in Hebrew letters as well as ordination as rabbi from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has served congregations in Dayton, Ohio, Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Gary is married to Gloria Schwartz Mazo and between them, they have six children. Gary can be reached at:

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Product Details

  • Series: Books for Professionals by Professionals
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (October 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430231807
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430231806
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,945,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Exline on December 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
My name is Josh, and I am a Crackberry Addict. I realized I was an addict, literally, within 24 hours of getting my Blackberry as a Christmas gift last year (2007.) This year, I received this book as a Christmas gift to supplement my addiction and help me learn to cope and, so far, it has absolutely done the job.

If you're an addict, have a family member who's an addict, have a friend who's an addict, etc you NEED to buy this book. It should be on your Amazon Wishlist with priority set to "HIGHEST."

It's funny, insightful and VERY useful. Tongue in cheek and serious all at the same time it is an absolute MUST BUY/MUST READ for anybody who's every even associated with somebody who owns and uses a Blackberry.

Stop wasting time and order it. NOW.

You won't regret it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sue Stinnett on December 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
WOW! What an eye opener this book is. I read the "Chart of Shame" to my family and they said "that's Granny" to almost every one of them. I was even guilty of checking messages at Church. Since I am Sue, who wrote about the car accident in the book, I realized after reading it that I need to change my priorities. This book is funny, it makes you see yourself the way others do and yet doesn't take away the joy of being a Crackberry Addict. If you or someone you know has a Blackberry, the book is a must read. I had someone ask for help in writing a term paper on Blackberry users and I told him the one thing he needed was this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jason Eckert on December 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is a "must have" for all BlackBerry (CrackBerry) users, and one of the funniest books I have read in a long time. If you have panicked after realizing that your BlackBerry is not at your side, or if you frequently check your BlackBerry in public, at dinner, in the car, or in bed, this book is for you.

Through funny real-life stories and a 12-step BlackBerry addict program theme, you will learn why BlackBerry smartphones are more addictive than other smartphones, how this addiction changes our behavior in weird and crazy ways, and how to keep it under control (if you want to).

After reading this book, you will love your BlackBerry even more, but with a healthier mindset - think of it as the Zen of BlackBerry.
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Format: Paperback
I'll start this review with a confession. I don't like BlackBerry - I'm not a BB addict. I don't understand what the hype is about. I love my HTC Desire. It fuses with my hand and understands everything I do.

When I got the book I said to my husband "I'm going to find out how to get you off that BlackBerry". He answered "Then get one to wean yourself off the HTC". I later said to my 8 year old daughter "I'm reading a book to get daddy off the BlackBerry". She looked at me and answered "You should do what the book says too". "Who me? I'm not addicted!" - or so I thought.

The authors of the book, who are former addicts, designed a strategy aimed at overcoming the problem. Through their personal experiences, as well as experiences of other users from site, readers learn to empathize with those who have to put up with the constant attention a PDA user gives to their phone. By dissecting various psychological and environmental influences that bond users to their mobile, the authors help the user understand where the addiction comes from. They also adapt the 12 step program to help overcome the addiction.
For each step of the program, the authors explain the main idea behind it, give examples of related uses and abuses and then go on to explain how to make real-life use of it.

How clear is the book? It's very well written. I had the impression that the authors learned to explain their ideas while writing the book. The first and second points of the 12 step program left me thinking "and? so? what do I do now?". However the rest were well organized and the examples were adequate. I enjoyed taking the addiction test. To my surprise (although no-one else was) - my husband only scored 10/25 on the addiction test, whereas mine was 17/25!
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Format: Paperback
This book has great tales from the authors and users that really highlight the need for BlackBerry users to seriously consider their actions. The BlackBerry's very convenience factor is also a great danger factor!

The authors have laid out steps and provided worksheets to help determine if you're addicted to your "CrackBerry" - and if so, to start on the path to getting your life - and your family and your friends - back. They note how even your pets may be missing your beloved interaction due to CrackBerry addiction!

A lot of the warnings and comments are repeated over and over in the book (albeit with new tales to illustrate the points). Perhaps the repetitive warnings and comments are really needed for the CrackBerry addicts out there, though.

I recommend this book as a fun read, with interesting tales of addicts being caught out in church, at family gatherings, and on the road. At the same time, it addresses a serious issue every smartphone user should consider - not just BlackBerry users: how much has your phone really taken over your life? Read the book to find out - and how to fix things if it's gone too far.
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