Category: BlackBerry

BlackBerry

Soft Shell For BlackBerry Bold 9790 is “Okay”

I’m too lazy to search Bangkok’s malls and IT outlets for a cover for my second-hand BlackBerry Bold 9790. I use this device as a second cell phone, with a BIS package, particularly when I conduct outreach in the region. Anyway I ordered a soft shell via Lazada, an online sales platform. Took less then a week, before the item was delivered to my house.

Well packed, good box and soft shell was covered with plastic.
Well packed, good box and soft shell was covered with plastic.
The black shell has a smooth feel to it, and light. Texture feels slippery.
The black shell has a smooth feel to it, and light. Texture feels slippery.
Used it for about a week, and sometimes the BB9790 overheats. Most probably due to Bangkok's incredible summer and the casing traps heat.
Used it for about a week, and sometimes the BB9790 overheats. Most probably due to Bangkok’s incredible summer and the casing traps heat.
Accidentally dropped a few times, and its not bad, as it absorbed a bit of shock. Paid 298 Baht for it, which included the delivery.
Accidentally dropped a few times, and its not bad, as it absorbed a bit of shock. Paid 298 Baht for it, which included the delivery.
Soft shell doesn't add bulk to the device. So its 'okay' to buy if you have lose change to spare.
Soft shell doesn’t add bulk to the device. So its ‘okay’ to buy if you have lose change to spare.

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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Cracking My Head With ShopCrackBerry

I ordered, paid for a case via ShopCrackBerry. The site is supposedly the place for all BlackBerry mobiles and accessories. The cost of the “custom BlackBerry Passport skin case” didn’t bother me, though the USPS courier (US$47.95) did.

Priority Mail Express International, that’s what its called, and despite the hefty price-tag, I decided to burden the cost as I wanted the case to arrive in Thailand as swiftly as possible. I figured the only problem faced would be delays on the Thai Customs.

But then again, ShopCrackBerry tells me after days after the failure for timely delivery, that the stipulated time was merely an estimate. I’m expected to be patient, despite the delays and that horrid thought of not knowing what else I (they) could do. So what now? I’m left at the mercy of a foreign courier system that seems to take forever to reach Bangkok and curious why after paying so much that the package is still in the US. So how long will it be in the US?

And I’m not happy with ShopCrackBerry either, after all its my first time ordering online from them and the obvious delay is causing me to be edgy, and terrible anxious.

USPS Product Tracking Information - that doesn't seem to explain the delay
USPS Product Tracking Information – that doesn’t seem to explain the delay, and when the product would arrive.

Lesson learned:

  1. Keep on pushing ShopCrackBerry for answers, namely what’s happening with the delivery and when will it safely reach the destination.
  2. Avoid using USPS.
  3. Just maybe, this will be my first and last time that I shop via ShopCrackBerry. After all its, not worth the headache.

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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GrabTaxi’s ‘Speed, Safety and Certainty’ Approach in Thailand

The state of public transportation in Bangkok is often tarnished by the unavoidable presence of drivers who either would take a passenger to where its convenient for the person steering the vehicle or when the taxi meter is not used. Welcome to the troubling state of affairs of not only Bangkok but other cities in SouthEast Asia.

What started in Malaysia, has spawned to other countries in the region, as their enterprise model cleverly supplements the urban transportation industry, a synergy of internet, gadgetry and travel.

During a “Meet and Greet Wei Zhu” event in Bangkok, GrabTaxi’s chief technology officer outlined the fundamentals of the growing company, which relies on their app to efficiently link passengers with their taxis.

Wei Zhu
Wei Zhu

Wei Zhu gives an impression of safety, of travel monitoring via the app, and that one is able to get around without the hassle of negotiating with the driver to use the meter. GrabTaxi takes pride in their selling points of “Speed, Safety and Certainty“.

Though its obvious while user-friendly technology and effective supervision makes the service attractive, there are no guarantees that you may not end up with a moody driver who may just make your trip unbearable. However the plus point on the service, since the taxi is registered with GrabTaxi, is that lodging a complaint would be easier.

There’s also the 25-baht booking fee, on top of the metered fare, that one has to pay the moment you reach your destination. I don’t mind, depending on how far I go, transportation (when using the meter) via taxi is usually affordable, unless one gets caught in Bangkok’s notorious traffic.

The GrabTaxi app on my BlackBerry Passport looks amazing, compared to a tight, poorly aligned visual when one uses the BB Q10 or of a lesser OS. Its available in BlackBerry World, a free download. I recommend this app for those travelling in Bangkok and especially in Malaysia.

If you’re planning to travel in the city, check it out, download and then use it.

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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BBM Channels, However Not a Twitter Replacement

For months, I’ve been toying with the BBM Channels, which one can access via the BlackBerry Messenger. Its not half bad, the ease of uploading images and writing (e.g. add post) whatever comes to mind, well with a 400-character limit. A micro-blog of some sort, its actually quite fun.

I created a “Thailand” channel with photos of my travel, news and opinions.

All you need is a BBM app in your smartphone, and you’re off into another realm. I don’t see this replacing Twitter, nor would I categorize this as in the same league with it. With my BB Passport and the wide screen, the interaction, data input/output gives it a different but enjoyable experience.

Menu Snapshot of "Thailand"

Simple to use.

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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BlackBerry Prepaid Packages from TrueMove, AIS, TuneTalk and Celcom

I travel often to Thailand, and depend a lot on my BlackBerry for internet and communication. In the land of smiles and armed with my BB Bold 9790, I have tried the local telcos, for prepaid BB packages from Dtac, AIS and True. While as in Malaysia, I’ve tried TuneTalk, Maxis, Digi and Celcom. Huge difference to the pricing of the packages and the service.

Let’s start (click on the images) with…

MALAYSIA

I’m inclined to stick with Celcom at this rate, solely for the internet volume and naturally the features. TuneTalk is great when it comes to customer service (though at times they get confusing via call), though most of the time with far better responses than Celcom.

THAILAND

I’m never going back to TrueMove. Quite a horrid experience, since 2011. I recommend AIS, and if you’re a foreigner in Thailand, best to speak to a customer service officer who understands English, patient and professional. I have no problems with their service whether in the AIS stores and the call centre. Problem with Thailand: BB is unpopular and dead.

AIS, along with other Thai telcos, offer expensive BB prepaid packages. There are questionable moments of whether Thailand’s 3G coverage is actually working or simply an illusion. Don’t hold your breath.

As for Malaysia telcos, the main problem is the lack of efficiency in their customer service. Many personnel do not seem to have the right training in managing the customer, or maybe its the “tidak apa” (loosely translated, “Hey Mister, I don’t give a shit”) behaviour of those answering the calls and those manning the booths/stores. Epic fail on Malaysian courtesy.

Oh well…

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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Screen Protector for BB Passport

The weekend, an off day for me, yet I managed to allow a friend to drag me across town. Our destination, the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre in Bangkok. There was a computer fair, which was quite crowded. I tried in vain to avoid the multitude, and found myself facing a few women behind the table, diligently working their fingers on cellphones and even laptops. Screen protectors, affordable and custom-made. Showed my BlackBerry Passport, and inquired whether she could do one for me. She smiled, and said the magical words:

“80 baht ka” 

Okay, that’s done with. I’m happy with the quality, as I can’t depend on Bangkok for official BB accessories, particularly for my Passport. As for ordering it online, why pay for somewhat similar product at cut-throat rate (US$14.95)? Beats me.

BB_Passport

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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A Glimpse of My BlackBerry Passport

After several agonizing days, scores of phone call inquiries to a clueless Malaysian telco (Celcom) and friends, I was able to purchase the BlackBerry Passport at the Celcom shop in Midvalley, Kuala Lumpur. The cost: RM2,399.00

In the video my younger brother, Zuhair, decided to admire it when I left the table to pay for the coffee.

 

https://plus.google.com/u/0/108409384668190022314/posts/4whtoaGrprX?pid=6071536928292285874&oid=107544703752780653411

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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BlackBerry Passport in Malaysia? Not yet

BlackBerry Passport. I’ve been waiting for this, with an unconventional energy that is truly unfitting of a relief-cum-outreach worker. I have my sins, the Zashnain-stamp-of-approval, one that borders on attachment unbecoming of my so-called “activist” persona. Besides my prized swiss army watch, the so-called “sins” of materialism, I am stubbornly a firm believer of BB. I couldn’t care less of what others thought about BB, not my problem if others ridiculously fancy apps and invulnerabilities over BB security.

Pic courtesy of n4bb.com
Pic courtesy of n4bb.com

Anyway, I’ve set aside some money to purchase the BB Passport. Not expecting Bangkok to launch it any time soon, due to the terrible decline of Thai interest on BB products. I’ve reached a point in my travels in this part of the Mekong region that one can never expect steady functionality and efficiency to replace the apps cravings of the tech-hungry generation.

So I asked a few friends in Kuala Lumpur to help me with procuring some information about the Passport launch-selling date. Most never came back with answers much less grunts of regret or mock anxieties. A handful fed me bad news. The Passport is not yet available in my country. Despite the initial media news of Malaysia’s telco Celcom pricetag of RM2,399.00, no one in Celcom (via customer service) knew anything about the Passport. How disgraceful of the multi-million RM telecommunication empire knowing nothing of the Passport, or maybe they do and seem to enjoy pretending to not know. Would not be the first time that happened.

Anyway, I’ve made inquiries in Bangkok on the prospect of the device being introduced. Eventually the Passport will be in the land of smiles, but as for a time-line, similar to the regime’s fondness for obscured “road maps”, one can only dream of it being launched in the next couple of months. Though I could be wrong. Or maybe not.

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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MBK, the graveyard for BlackBerrys

MBK center, not a place one would consider leisure shopping due to the almost endless stalls of goods, gears and gadgetry. Fourth floor, to the electronics, and waste no time in the pleasantries of pretence. The smell of hardware, mixed with the perfume of marketeer, seller, trafficker and vendor, and the arrival of sweaty buyers, locals and foreigners.

“How much is that?” I asked, pointing at the well-used BB 9900. The 30-something vendor smiled, hammering her fingers on the calculator. Then offers it to me, the smile still there on her face.

It highlights “9900”.

“9,900 baht for this?” My voice mocked a slight chocked tone.

“Original. Not second hand. Brand new.” She countered.

“Aaahh, interesting.” I replied.

Next vendor, 27 feet away. Same model, second hand.

“How much krub?” I asked.

“4,900 baht.” the male vendor said. “You like?”

“Yes I like but maybe later.” I answered with a smile.

OK, not many choices on the Bold models as I walked around the cluster of booths and small shop lots. Narrow pathway, but I take my time, a leisurely walk if only to maintain my stamina.

iPhone, Samsung, Nokia, and the whatevernots of tech pirated production that entrepreneurs can make, assemble and sell. Too many of these touch-screen apparatus, mostly beneath my interest. Shops also offer colourful casings, cables, power banks, tablets, electrical toys and CCTVs. Zooming away from these gadgets and focusing my sights on Blackberrys, on displays or left unattended somewhere in the stalls.

Blackberry Curve. 8530 series to be exact. Commonly found, mostly second-hand, though some sparkle with cheap-looking frames. Solid looking then some 9300 3G, 9350 and 8900. I took a peek at one glass counter, much to the surprise of an attractive Thai vendor. An obsolete 2nd-hand 9220 model, with a price tag: 900 baht. Next to it, a 8530 that cost 1100 baht.

Two hours later, I’m out of MBK. The only item I bought was a JM1 battery, at a cost of 400 baht, with a capacity of 1230 mAh. At least that’s what is stated on it.

Battery for BB Bold

Wouldn’t go shopping for a brand new BB in MBK, though the prices are fair for 2nd-hand ones. MBK is a museum of sort sort, for BBs, however the place never fails to leave a bleak feeling, as if I had just visited a graveyard, in this case, specifically for BB.

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

More Posts - Website

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Torturing BB9790 with LINE

Blackberry Q10 finds the LINE app to be extremely intrusive and an abomination. Okay, I may just be exaggerating however I had loads of issues when the app was in the OS10. LINE is addictive, based on Thai cutie-craving standards, and somewhat generating waves in Malaysia, where the WhatsApp seems to be predominately ingrained with the Malaysian communicative psyche. LINE is simply not for the BB10, where diehards and BB traditionalists demand for conformity to Blackberry’s communication platform pride, the BBM.

Now with the second-hand BB 9790, the LINE app seems a sure winner, particularly with a defective BBM on a OS7.1 — there’s one major catch, it drains the battery at such an ungodly swift rate.

LINE on BB

Battery drain on the 9790 is already a harsh negative point to the phone, and the annoyingly loveable LINE makes it worse. The small screen prevents a complete enjoyment to the app, rendering it no better than WhatsApp. So why do I bother? Curiosity, I guess. The complication of functions, interface, prevents me from the convenience of sending swift messages. There’s also a limitation, unlike the app on an android (Samsung s4 and Lava 4.5), I can’t send “Hidden Chat” messages using the 9790. Anyway not that I trust LINE’s “encryption” capabilities.

Application Resource Monitor

 

BB’s Application Resource Monitor seems to dislike LINE, in fact the auto-shutdown mechanism keeps me from regular access to a continuous use of LINE. Consumes too much batter power, so it tells me. Heck, after about a month of use, I uninstalled LINE, much to my relief and I am sure to the satisfaction of my 9790.

 

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Thailand
This work by Moui is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Thailand.
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