Mobile Guide to BlackBerry

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ISBN-13: 978-7897334395
ISBN-10: 0789733439
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

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 He also had one of the first websites devoted to helping developers at

MOBILE magazine is the world's leading authority on mobile technology. Every month, MOBILE delivers incisive reviews and in-depth how-to stories on the latest portable gadgets and gear, from cell phones and PDAs to notebooks and digital cameras. Find out more by visiting!

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.



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.

About This Book

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.

Which Versions Are Supported

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.

Who This Book Is For

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.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Que Publishing (May 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789733439
  • ISBN-13: 978-7897334395
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,589,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nick Brune on October 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
Is it ever possible to have too much of a good thing? The answer is arguably a resounding NO! at least when it comes to advice, suggestions, and tips in using the world's most addictive device, Research in Motion's BlackBerry. That is precisely what Bill Foust's essential Guide offers in a straightforward, easily understandable, and organized fashion. Quite simply, this is the definitive handbook for all BlackBerry users, from the neophyte to the most experienced, from the technically challenged to the technically sophisticated. There is a myriad of valuable suggestions that will benefit all users who pick it up. In fact, if you are a BlackBerry user or plan to become one shortly, you will do yourself a huge favour by scouring through this two hundred page Bible.

Foust walks the reader through the incredible power of the BlackBerry in a logical and systematic way. He opens with Getting Familiar with BlackBerry, which breaks down the various parts of the device and their uses as well as thumb typing and the keyboard. Sections on icon shortcuts, suretype, and copy and pasting are worth their weight in gold.

Part II discusses "what to do after you open the box." The three methods of redirecting mail are explained, as is a step-by-step outline of how to install and configure the Desktop Manager. Also, Foust covers how to upgrade your software as well as working with applets.

Personalizing Your Device walks the reader through some of the many ways in which you can make your BlackBerry uniquely your own from changing the display to setting the time and date.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John A Lee III on May 29, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't own a blackberry. I have heard of them and am a bit intrigued and wanted to see if I really wanted to get one. I've been fed up with the variable reliability of my IPaq and my current phone is on its last days. So I bought the book.

The book did what it was supposed to do. I learned the capabilities of the Blackberry system and didn't have to sit through the drivel of some sales associate who may or may not be aware of what the technology is capable of. I learned a little bit about the different models and how to use the built in software. I consider myself much better prepared to make a decision but my enthusiasm to do so is running low.

I like new gadgets. I like consumer electronics. It is unusual for me to have learned this much about something new without having a BIG desire to go out and get one. I just didn't find anything very exciting or interesting in it. I may or may not buy one. I have not decided yet.

The gee whiz factor may well have been higher if I had actually been handling one of these things but I think the problem for me was that it just seemed so pedestrian. The author does a good job of communicating the information clearly and effectively did so without any excitement.

If you want to learn the basics, this is a good place to start. I just don't feel like starting.
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