Gary Krakow hates the BlackBerry Scrollball

61 Comments

Gary Krakow, Senior Technology Correspondent for TheStreet.com is a man on a mission. In love with his BlackBerry 8820, which he has used for six months, Krakow is steaming mad that his BlackBerry’s scrollball no longer works. Interviewing his own IT people, Krakow discovers that the majority of the BlackBerrys used at TheStreet.com last about a month before having to be sent back for repairs. Stating that this is a “wake up call for the entire industry” (uh, Gary, how many other smartphone manufacturers do you know that use scroll balls?), Krakow demands that RIM offer the ability to remove and clean the BlackBerry scrollball similar to the old PC mice used in the mid-nineties.

My first thought upon watching this video was, “gee, the people at TheStreet have really dirty hands.” While BBCool HQ has run across the occasional sticky scrollball, our problems are nothing like those of Mr. Krakow and friends. To be fair, BlackBerry support document really doesn’t offer any significant advice on how to deal with the problem, but Gary, there’s a huge difference between the functionality of a $20 mouse and an $800 smartphone! So here’s a protip from us to you: gently wet your thumb before rolling the scrollball. Any unwanted dirt will stick to the moisture on the ball, making it much easier to remove.

To all our IT friends out there, I pose a question: does your company face a similar problem with BlackBerry scrollballs? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • Stephani

    I was just introduced to the world of the Blackberry with my BB Curve. I got it in November – love it.

    Today after having lunch with a friend I noticed that the trackball wasn’t rolling very easily to the left, so I figured it was dirty and took it apart to clean it. Cleaned it, put it back in, and it was still having problems. Got out the handy dandy can of compressed air, checked the ball again and the rollers, and put it back in. Still not moving to the left. Took it out again, and that’s when I noticed that something had worn a teeny groove in the roller ‘grips’, probably a speck of dirt or something that got into the housing and got stuck.

    There are spaces around the ball itself – no matter how much you wash your hands, something is gonna eventually get in there, unless you live in a bubble. Rather than drive 30 minutes away to my closest cellular provider’s location, I ordered a replacement OEM part, should be here by the middle of the week.

    Consider yourself lucky if you’ve never had such a problem with your Blackberry, but certainly don’t consider others to be stupid or ‘dirty’.

  • Stephani

    I was just introduced to the world of the Blackberry with my BB Curve. I got it in November – love it.

    Today after having lunch with a friend I noticed that the trackball wasn’t rolling very easily to the left, so I figured it was dirty and took it apart to clean it. Cleaned it, put it back in, and it was still having problems. Got out the handy dandy can of compressed air, checked the ball again and the rollers, and put it back in. Still not moving to the left. Took it out again, and that’s when I noticed that something had worn a teeny groove in the roller ‘grips’, probably a speck of dirt or something that got into the housing and got stuck.

    There are spaces around the ball itself – no matter how much you wash your hands, something is gonna eventually get in there, unless you live in a bubble. Rather than drive 30 minutes away to my closest cellular provider’s location, I ordered a replacement OEM part, should be here by the middle of the week.

    Consider yourself lucky if you’ve never had such a problem with your Blackberry, but certainly don’t consider others to be stupid or ‘dirty’.

  • BBFanatic

    Quote:
    Cyrus
    “This old fart….who someone decided to title as “senior Technology Correspondent” is on a rant of stupidity! Rule number one…..wash your hands!”

    Rofl

    This “Senior Tech” fool (the only thing right in his title is the Senior part…) Is an absolute bonehead. Posting a desparaging video against a company without having any idea of what he’s talking about.

    I’ve owned several BB’s and have cleaned the trackball on a few occasions. Had he done a better job of researching his issue he would have seen the multitude of videos/blogs demonstrating how to do this and how pathetically easy it is.

    It’s a reality, the nature of the trackball will lend itself to getting dust and other particles inside and quite possibly requiring an occasional cleaning.

    He reminds me of that idiot in that joke years ago who called tech support because of a “blank screen.” The tech, after hours upon hours of trouble shooting realized that the computer was unplugged….

  • BBFanatic

    Quote:
    Cyrus
    “This old fart….who someone decided to title as “senior Technology Correspondent” is on a rant of stupidity! Rule number one…..wash your hands!”

    Rofl

    This “Senior Tech” fool (the only thing right in his title is the Senior part…) Is an absolute bonehead. Posting a desparaging video against a company without having any idea of what he’s talking about.

    I’ve owned several BB’s and have cleaned the trackball on a few occasions. Had he done a better job of researching his issue he would have seen the multitude of videos/blogs demonstrating how to do this and how pathetically easy it is.

    It’s a reality, the nature of the trackball will lend itself to getting dust and other particles inside and quite possibly requiring an occasional cleaning.

    He reminds me of that idiot in that joke years ago who called tech support because of a “blank screen.” The tech, after hours upon hours of trouble shooting realized that the computer was unplugged….

  • http://BoneHead BBFanatic

    Quote:
    Cyrus
    “This old fart….who someone decided to title as “senior Technology Correspondent” is on a rant of stupidity! Rule number one…..wash your hands!”

    Rofl

    This “Senior Tech” fool (the only thing right in his title is the Senior part…) Is an absolute bonehead. Posting a desparaging video against a company without having any idea of what he’s talking about.

    I’ve owned several BB’s and have cleaned the trackball on a few occasions. Had he done a better job of researching his issue he would have seen the multitude of videos/blogs demonstrating how to do this and how pathetically easy it is.

    It’s a reality, the nature of the trackball will lend itself to getting dust and other particles inside and quite possibly requiring an occasional cleaning.

    He reminds me of that idiot in that joke years ago who called tech support because of a “blank screen.” The tech, after hours upon hours of trouble shooting realized that the computer was unplugged….

  • Moogie

    With a wife like that, I don’t blame Gary Krakow for wanting to clean his balls:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/28/fashion/28skin.html?pagewanted=all

    She looks like the Geico caveman.

  • Moogie

    With a wife like that, I don’t blame Gary Krakow for wanting to clean his balls:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/28/fashion/28skin.html?pagewanted=all

    She looks like the Geico caveman.

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