Mobile Guide to BlackBerry® About the Author
Bill Foust has been a recognized activist and consultant specializing in the RIM BlackBerry for more than five years. He's an active participant in BlackBerry developer forums and the BlackBerry-users Yahoo! group. He has written many BlackBerry applications including ExpenseMinder and EzToDo, which were two of the best-selling applications at Handango.com. He also had one of the first websites devoted to helping developers at http://www.rimdev.com.
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The first time you heard someone talking about their "BlackBerry," you were probably pretty confused. You could tell, however, that they were excited about it and before long you were sitting there next to them getting a first-hand demonstration. Then, even though you didn't fully understand it, you were trying to explain to your boss how this "BlackBerry" thing worked and trying to get one for yourself. Am I right?
The BlackBerry handhelds just seem to have that effect on people. They are stylish, sophisticated, and best of all, somehow get your email onto them in a way that makes you not miss your desktop email client.
I know. That was me once, too.
So now you have one or maybe you are trying to learn more so you can get your own handheld. Whatever the case may be, let me say "Thanks!" for taking the time to look at this book. I truly hope that it helps you to make the most of your handheld.
This book is organized into chapters that each cover roughly one application or topic area of the BlackBerry software. While there are some interrelated portions, feel free to skip ahead to a chapter that you are particularly interested in, or maybe a specific topic you just have a question about.
If you have never used a BlackBerry handheld before, please make sure that you read Chapter 2, "Interacting with Your BlackBerry Handheld," before any of the chapters on the handheld software. The rest of the book will use phrases such as "Select the field Name" or "Click the New menu item," and Chapter 2 lays the foundation on how to perform these common operations.
When I started writing this book, the 7100 series handhelds were not yet released. As a result, the 7200 series handhelds were chosen as the newest yet most representative of the handheld models available. For this reason, the majority of the figures show a 7200 handheld.
This book then is based on the 3.7 version of the handheld software. 3.7 is the version most color handhelds use and is not significantly different than the previous version, 3.6, which most of the monochrome handhelds used.
During the writing of this book, the 7100 series handhelds came out with version 4.0 of the handheld software. Version 4.0 introduces some new features as well as adds support for the new 7100 series handhelds. These new features are covered in sections that specifically indicate that they are part of the new version 4.0 handheld software. In addition, the 7100 series handhelds behave a little differently than the other handheld models available in some areas. These differences are often noted in special notes. When something works in a different way on a model 7100 handheld, I say so.
Like any book introducing a topic, I've tried not to assume anything when talking about the handheld. The handhelds must be connected to a PC at some point, however, so I assume that you have at least some basic PC experience. Specifically, you need to be able to install software on a PC, launch an application, and understand how to interact with that application. Also, since the handheld must be physically connected to the PC with a cable, I assume that you know how to make these connections without destroying the PC.
Overall, however, this book is focused on new users. Maybe you just got your first BlackBerry and need to learn how to use it quickly. Or maybe you have had a BlackBerry for some time, but know that you aren't using all of the features to their fullest. Whatever the case may be, this book is written and organized to help you get from the very first step of having a brand new handheld to learning in depth how the applications work.
If you are already familiar with your handheld and just want to learn about a particular aspect in more detail, you can jump ahead to a chapter to quickly learn about it.
There are also two appendices that you may be interested in. Appendix A is my honest review of the 7100v and how it compared to my 7280. Appendix B is a little "behind the scenes" look at how an email message actually gets from your server to your handheld. Of course, these aren't required to understand how to use your handheld; however, you might find this information helpful.