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Blackberry part II – fixing a stuck trackball

The problem with second hand devices is that they are elderly and sometimes have physical issues resulting from this.

The Blackberry has been having a sticky trackball issue, and when this morning it refused to scroll left or down, I did wonder if I would be taking it apart. (And whether I could get my files off – I don’t want to lose “Scarlet Fever” a second time.)

Fortunately I went online and there is an easy fix. I’ll include the demonstration video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6oz_FHz0O8So it goes like this.
  • Get a flat surface
  • Put a piece of white paper on it
  • Lock the Blackberry
  • Turn the Blackberry face down
  • Rub it fast and lightly back and forth over the paper for a minute or so
  • Check if the mouse no works (unlock it first!)
You can use any colour paper, but white shows up any dirt that comes off best. My paper didn’t have any visible dirt, but the mouse now works, so I’d say its a good trick.

And it also lets me get on with writing Scarlet Fever, a webshort that occurs before In Depression and fills in some backstory.
 

Posted by on July 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

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Blackberry Memopad to PC Word

Without the Blackberry desktop software, I had been told it would be difficult to get the data off. I love a challenge. The problem with the desktop is that there doesn’t seem to be a build for one of my OS’s. Also, when I checked, Memopad files can’t be opened even if you do back it up. They are stored in a database, not as text files, and though you can download third party software to crack backups I prefer not to.

Now, I’m no Blackberry expert, but there is a workaround, and putting it here might save someone a few hours googling:

You will need:
  • PC Software to create Word files (e.g. LibraOffice or Word)
  • A micro-SD card
  • A micro-USB cable
  • A Blackberry
Instructions:

Step 1: Plug SD card into PC.

Step 2: Create a blank Word file for every memo you want to save.

Step 3: Install SD card into BlackBerry

Step 4: Open Memopad and copy a Memo’s contents

Step 5: Go to Applications/Docs to Go/Docs

Step 6: Find the Word Docs you created under Storage. Open one of the Word docs, paste the content in and save.

Step 7: Using Steps 4-6, paste each memo into its own word doc.

Step 8: Plug the Blackberry into the PC

Step 9: Enter Mass Storage mode

Step 10: Copy data onto PC

It may sound like a kludge, but it is easier then the Kobo / Linux custom build I was using which can only be detected over USB by devices running Puppy Linux.

Also, once the SD Card is in the Blackberry, you can create new word docs without uninstalling it. Plug it in through USB, enter mass storage mode and then access it as you would a USB drive to create or delete files as needed.

It works well enough to get this post off!

 

Posted by on July 2, 2015 in AuthorBlog

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Upgrading to a handheld

Well, today I decided to join the hand-held revolution; or truthfully to rejoin it after the death of my dearly beloved Psion Revo a few years ago. Being a classic early adopter I went for not an iPhone, nor a tablet…but a Blackberry 8900. (I thought they’d had a few years to get the bugs out).

Lovely bit of kit: palm sized, real keyboard, easy access through USB, previous user’s data all over it… No, the last one wasn’t expected or wanted.

I’d bought it at CEX for 20 pounds, so I disconnected it from the computer and dived back down to town. CEX weren’t happy, and to their credit immediately performed another factory reset and told me I could take it home while it completed. I hung around in-store just in case, checking messages as it reset. One did make me raise an eyebrow. Sure enough, after the reset I rebooted. All the old data reappeared.

I took it back up to the counter and showed them. The assistant looked a bit baffled, and paged through again so I asked:

“Could there be a storage card in this?”

Yep, when it rebooted, the screen had flashed up ‘storage media detected’. They cracked the case, fiddled with the insides and sure enough, there was a very old, green, and wonky looking micro-SD hidden in it. Every time they reset it, the Blackberry was restoring the data from back-up.

So, to make a long story short, SD out, contacts cleaned, factory reset again and this time it worked perfectly. How perfectly? I’ve written two short stories and this blog post on it.

I’ve even fixed the camera.

Next: A Challenge! How to get data off Memopad and onto a PC without Blackberry desktop.

 

Posted by on June 24, 2015 in AuthorBlog

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