Weekly Contest: Lifesaver

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LifeSaverA lot of us use BlackBerrys to pretty mundane ends: daily e-mails, maybe check some news, fart around on a game while waiting for the bus, call home and see what’s for supper, the usual – but every once in awhile something comes up, and you thank every god you can think of that you’ve got your BlackBerry handy. Both Dave and Jeff had some extraordinary experiences with their devices, and there are sure to be plenty of other stories out there. So go on, tell us when you were most thankful to have your BlackBerry handy. Maybe you were able to grab a split-second picture of a robber with your Curve, maybe some speedy mobile browsing found a new restaurant just in time to save a date gone south, maybe your integrated GPS helped some tourists find their way to the hotel late at night… Whatever your story is, let’s hear it, and the best one will get an OtterBox of choice to make sure your BlackBerry’s working when you need it most.


There was a lot of heated discussion last week over CDMA vs. GSM BlackBerrys. Jake made some fine points about carriers’ desire to latch onto data rates, and Ricky made a great suggestion to close the gap between GSM and CDMA releases so they could both ride the same hype. It’s a really tough call this week, but I think Karan will be our winner for noting why RIM doesn’t show CDMA more love than they do. As much as we consumers might wish the 8330 came out a few months sooner, RIM has a little something to gain from data revenue too, and working the GSM angle to leverage negotiations with CDMA carriers makes solid business sense. Good stuff Karan, we’ll be hooking you up with three BlackBerry skins from DecalGirl and a copy of Guitar Hero III from Bplay! Thanks everyone for your great comments, and we hope to see you again this week!

  • http://DaveHughes.Com/ Dave Hughes

    I went on a canoe trip near Sterling Michigan and was towing an Airstream Camper-Trailer. While driving, a line of rivets popped on the under-side of the trailer which left a huge panel of aluminum hanging onto the road while I drove. I had to find an open hardware store on a Sunday in the middle of huge stretches of open land and corn fields. Being unfamiliar with the area, I pulled out my blackberry and did a “411 Beyond” search for hardware stores in the area. It listed about 6 or 7 stores ranging from 15 to 20 miles away. I systematically called each one until I found one that was open. The one that was open was in the next town about 15 miles away. All I had to do was hit the link for the map on that listing and it led me straight to the store.
    A couple of hours later I had the trailer back in travel condition and we were on our way.

    ————————————-

    Another time I was vacationing in Englewood Florida. My wife left me at the rental with our 3 year old while she went shopping in Venice with our two older daughters. Later that evening she returns and announces that one of our daughters left her purse at an ice-cream shop in Venice, but she doesn’t remember the name of the ice-cream parlor.
    Again, I pull out my trusty blackberry and did a “411 Beyond” search in Venice Florida for Ice-cream Parlors. There were only two of them. I read each of them off to my wife and she recognized the name of the Parlor. I hit the link for the phone number and spoke to the owner who told me that, indeed, the purse was there. I hung up with him and hit the map link which lead me 45 minutes away to the ice-cream parlor in down-town Venice where I retrieved my daughter purse.

    The coolest part about these two stories is that all of the software is free. 411 Beyond and Google Maps. No GPS Verizon Navigator involved at all.

  • http://DaveHughes.Com Dave Hughes

    I went on a canoe trip near Sterling Michigan and was towing an Airstream Camper-Trailer. While driving, a line of rivets popped on the under-side of the trailer which left a huge panel of aluminum hanging onto the road while I drove. I had to find an open hardware store on a Sunday in the middle of huge stretches of open land and corn fields. Being unfamiliar with the area, I pulled out my blackberry and did a “411 Beyond” search for hardware stores in the area. It listed about 6 or 7 stores ranging from 15 to 20 miles away. I systematically called each one until I found one that was open. The one that was open was in the next town about 15 miles away. All I had to do was hit the link for the map on that listing and it led me straight to the store.
    A couple of hours later I had the trailer back in travel condition and we were on our way.

    ————————————-

    Another time I was vacationing in Englewood Florida. My wife left me at the rental with our 3 year old while she went shopping in Venice with our two older daughters. Later that evening she returns and announces that one of our daughters left her purse at an ice-cream shop in Venice, but she doesn’t remember the name of the ice-cream parlor.
    Again, I pull out my trusty blackberry and did a “411 Beyond” search in Venice Florida for Ice-cream Parlors. There were only two of them. I read each of them off to my wife and she recognized the name of the Parlor. I hit the link for the phone number and spoke to the owner who told me that, indeed, the purse was there. I hung up with him and hit the map link which lead me 45 minutes away to the ice-cream parlor in down-town Venice where I retrieved my daughter purse.

    The coolest part about these two stories is that all of the software is free. 411 Beyond and Google Maps. No GPS Verizon Navigator involved at all.

  • Brian

    Bought my VZW 8130 beginning of March…my contract was up and it was time to step up to the Blackberry.

    We live in Cleveland, OH (for background).

    Wife and I were scheduled to go on a cruise on March 8th, flying on Sat (the 8th), from CLE to MSY, where we were to pick up the cruise ship and go to Mexico. Well, for those of you who remember March 7-9th, there was a blizzard which dumped about 30 inches of snow on Cleveland and the surrounding areas.

    I called my wife up at about 1pm on the 7th (Fri), and said “Start packing, we’re getting out of town today”. I left work, drove home, and picked her up, then turned around, and headed out to the airport hoping to switch flights. My wife used the blackberry to check out flight schedules so we knew what was leaving to get us remotely close to New Orleans. Our only hope was the 840PM flight to Houston.

    We got to the airport, waited in line, and the Continental representative somehow found 2 seats on that 840 flight to Houston. BUT, you might say, Houston is 5 hours from New Orleans! After that, the madness ensued….

    Using the blackberry, we searched for rental car companies using Google Maps, and secured a rental car to get us from Houston to New Orleans. My wife emailed a couple people we knew down there to see if we could crash on their couch for a few hours. We routed directions from the airport to her friend’s house, then routed directions from their house to New Orleans, and arrived on the ship, on time.

    We owed our vacation to the blackberry!

  • Brian

    Bought my VZW 8130 beginning of March…my contract was up and it was time to step up to the Blackberry.

    We live in Cleveland, OH (for background).

    Wife and I were scheduled to go on a cruise on March 8th, flying on Sat (the 8th), from CLE to MSY, where we were to pick up the cruise ship and go to Mexico. Well, for those of you who remember March 7-9th, there was a blizzard which dumped about 30 inches of snow on Cleveland and the surrounding areas.

    I called my wife up at about 1pm on the 7th (Fri), and said “Start packing, we’re getting out of town today”. I left work, drove home, and picked her up, then turned around, and headed out to the airport hoping to switch flights. My wife used the blackberry to check out flight schedules so we knew what was leaving to get us remotely close to New Orleans. Our only hope was the 840PM flight to Houston.

    We got to the airport, waited in line, and the Continental representative somehow found 2 seats on that 840 flight to Houston. BUT, you might say, Houston is 5 hours from New Orleans! After that, the madness ensued….

    Using the blackberry, we searched for rental car companies using Google Maps, and secured a rental car to get us from Houston to New Orleans. My wife emailed a couple people we knew down there to see if we could crash on their couch for a few hours. We routed directions from the airport to her friend’s house, then routed directions from their house to New Orleans, and arrived on the ship, on time.

    We owed our vacation to the blackberry!

  • Ricky

    I had read this week’s contest, and had no good ideas for anything to write. However, the events of yesterday changed my mind. Unlike the past posts, i didn’t ingeniously use Google maps or anything like that.

    On March 13th, I broke my collar bone playing rugby for my college. I went to the hospital, where X-Rays were taken, confirming the break. My house is only about 45 minutes away, so i snapped a picture of the X-Ray and e-mailed it to my dad, who is a doctor. He then passed the picture along to the orthopedic surgeon. I have a pearl, and thankfully the camera was of good enough quality that the picture was useful to him. Over easter break, i visited him, and he told me to keep it in a sling for three weeks and then come back. I went back last Friday, and upon further X-Rays showing zero bone growth, we decided to perform surgery. So yesterday, i had surgery which just so happened to be at the exact same time as my course registrations for the upcoming fall semester. Obviously, i couldn’t do them on my own, so i gave my roommate all the info to sign me up. However, because my major is overpopulated, the classes i wanted were all booked solid. However, while i was being driven to the hospital, another friend called me to say that the classes had opened up. Knowing that my roommate was in class, and his phone would be off, but his laptop would be on, I e-mailed him to get me in the class. Right there from his seat in class, he not only signed me up for the class i wanted, but got himself in too! The surgery went off without a hitch, and the sudoku application on my phone came in useful for many late night wake ups that night, when i couldn’t sleep. Now I have a nice titanium plate and 7 screws holding my collar bone together, and i’ve replaced the old X-Ray picture on my phone with one of the new X-Rays to prove my story to non-believers, haha

  • Ricky

    I had read this week’s contest, and had no good ideas for anything to write. However, the events of yesterday changed my mind. Unlike the past posts, i didn’t ingeniously use Google maps or anything like that.

    On March 13th, I broke my collar bone playing rugby for my college. I went to the hospital, where X-Rays were taken, confirming the break. My house is only about 45 minutes away, so i snapped a picture of the X-Ray and e-mailed it to my dad, who is a doctor. He then passed the picture along to the orthopedic surgeon. I have a pearl, and thankfully the camera was of good enough quality that the picture was useful to him. Over easter break, i visited him, and he told me to keep it in a sling for three weeks and then come back. I went back last Friday, and upon further X-Rays showing zero bone growth, we decided to perform surgery. So yesterday, i had surgery which just so happened to be at the exact same time as my course registrations for the upcoming fall semester. Obviously, i couldn’t do them on my own, so i gave my roommate all the info to sign me up. However, because my major is overpopulated, the classes i wanted were all booked solid. However, while i was being driven to the hospital, another friend called me to say that the classes had opened up. Knowing that my roommate was in class, and his phone would be off, but his laptop would be on, I e-mailed him to get me in the class. Right there from his seat in class, he not only signed me up for the class i wanted, but got himself in too! The surgery went off without a hitch, and the sudoku application on my phone came in useful for many late night wake ups that night, when i couldn’t sleep. Now I have a nice titanium plate and 7 screws holding my collar bone together, and i’ve replaced the old X-Ray picture on my phone with one of the new X-Rays to prove my story to non-believers, haha