It’s not a conspiracy plot against other forms of non-email communications and for once it’s not even Bell Mobility’s fault. It’s just a little bit of bad planning on behalf of BlackBerry maker’s RIM.
Here is what happened, I received my BlackBerry Pearl 8130 just before the Christmas break and like any other BlackBerry user would quickly do I quickly loaded up my favourite Google Apps, tried out the new FaceBook application (more on this another time), added Twitterberry and then proceeded to walk around the Office taking every one’s picture so I could “test” the 2 mega-pixel camera and update my address book with photos of who is calling. During the course of the day I had received quite a few text messages,SMS, and also replied to quite a few; Twitter had finally started working properly so this had brought on a wave of new “txts”. By the time I got home that night and check my new messages, the entire list was gone…
This was weird, so I checked my email and they were still there safely, even my GMail. I continued to look around, the address book was fine, same with the calendar, task list, and notes. But now the call log was also clear; I know that I had made at least 5 calls and received at least 3, yet there was no record of this anywhere. This was very weird, the email was fine as I had expected it to be but all other communication had been wiped clear. At first I thought it might have been theBlackBerry policies set up on our corporate BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Server), so a quick call to our Network Admin on a Friday night confirmed there no such policies, he suggested checking the memory and taking the battery out. CHECKING THE MEMORY!!! Of course I had taken all those pictures and loaded up a bunch of apps including Google Maps. Even though I was using a 2Gb microSD card, the Pearl’s Default settings are to store pictures on the device which only has 64Mb of shared memory. Shared memory on any phone usually means 14 – 20 Mb available to the user. So I pulled out the laptop and moved all my pictures to the card using the included Roxio Media Manager (tepid experience at best) moved all the pictures from the device memory to the card. This freed up a little space next I had to make sure all new pictures would be stored on the card as well.
To do this you need to access the camera application, press the funky new BB menu button and go to [OPTIONS], scroll down to Store Pictures: and choose [ON MEDIA CARD] (make sure you card is inserted). Then scroll down to folder and select the pictures media card/BlackBerry/pictures folder. Now press the Escape key, the one to the right of the trackball, and select save. You now have to the same for the video camera application as well. Once this is done you will have to pull the battery out in order to the Pearl’s memory. Removing the battery seems to be the standard way to reset all BlackBerry’s, however be warned BB boot up time is quite slow, especially if your on BES . So now you are probably think that all my problems are over and that I should be able to following text message threads without any problems.
Well not exactly, you if you surf the web on a BlackBerry, the pages you visit will get cached so you need to clear your cache regularly as well. To this go your BlackBerry Internet Browser, hit the [menu] key and scroll to [OPTIONS] now go to [Cache Operations] and clear your [Content Cache] and your [Pushed Cache]. You want to leave your [Cookie Cache] alone as this is were your auto-login stuff is stored. Like when you click on your Facebook bookmark and automatically get logged in. If your using opera Mini do the same for that as well. (You don’t really need to pull the battery out for this.)
Something else you could try is reducing the amount mail you store on the device, if you’re on a BES, you can simply view you folders and they will go get your older mail. If you’re a using BIS, try using the GMail app which will go get your older mail when you search for it, or you can use the web interface to see older mail. Personally I find emails to be quite an important part of my BlackBerry experience and prefer to sacrifice elsewhere. The same goes for the address book, the calendar, task and notes. You can set all these to only hold 30 days instead of 60 or 120 days.
Next is the big one! I found this out after a lot of searching and trolling the various BB Forums, I don’t recall where I found it but I’m giving it out for free as this is the one thing that really seems to make the biggest difference. When you get your Pearl, Curve or World Edition, it comes with a nice demo video of the device swirling around with lot’s of music. This video is 2 Mb and try as you might you will not be able to delete using the delete key in the Media Browser. Now your saying that 2.2Mb is not a lot on a 64 Mb device, but remember that you only have 12Mb at best to _YOUR_ disposal on a clean Pearl; so 2.2Mb almost 20% of your available storage space. That is a lot of call history and text messages. So how do you get rid of it? It’s actually quite easy. On you home application screen scroll down to the [Options] application, open it the go to [Advanced Options] now select [Applications]. Warning: This the list of applications on your device, do not delete anything unless you installed and you know what is it. Now scroll down to preloaded media and hit the menu button and select delete. Once your done, hit escape and return to the home screen. Now you will have remove the battery to see the extra memory. Remember to Sync your data and make a back up before you start playing around in the advanced options or deleting stuff from your device.
Since I have done this, I have almost aways had 10Mb of memory on the device. I store no media on the Pearl itself and now feed the need and desireTxt msgs when they either in German (Ich Habs: has nothing to do with Les Canadiens) or FaceBook pokes from Nick! (You can not win Nick! Resistance to an unlimited SMS plan is futile…)