[Scottish] 2 way pagers

Craig Perry craig at onemanstudfarm.co.uk
Mon Nov 15 22:00:28 GMT 2004


I'd better admit a vested interest before i write a reply - i work for 
tmobile, but i'll try not to favour any particular network unfairly.

The blackberry's are good (read: above average) little devices, 
batteries last a good wee while, pretty solid (i've dropped mine loads 
of times with no adverse effects). These devices are designed for right 
handed people though, so if like me your left handed, you'll just drop 
it all the time if you attempt one handed operation. The actual 
blackberry service is provided by the manufacturer of the device, 
Research in Motion, this means the service from each of the vendors is 
pretty much the same, as its RIM thats really the service provider, the 
only thing to distinguish networks selling these is cost, model of 
blackberry available, network coverage, everything else to do with the 
service is the same across all uk networks.

Vodafone are offering the new blackberry "charm" devices, well that was 
the codename for them, dont know if thats the name they've been released 
under? T-Mobile wont be releasing these for a few weeks yet, we've got 
them with the trialists just now though. These are basically just 
blackberrys but nicer, with a proper colour screen and bluetooth etc 
built in. Generally much more usable, but moving away from the original 
two way pager idea.

I've also got one of the p900s, great little computers, i mean phones. 
Very versatile, only bad thing is you cant really put it in your pocket, 
lest the sensitive touch screen be destroyed by your keys/spare change 
scraping it. You do get a rather naff looking pouch to put it in which 
will attach to your belt, so you can look somewhat like a high tech 
batman. Please note you will not need a sign on your back with an arrow 
pointing to the device saying "steal me, easy target", if you choose the 
batman esque look, as the device/belt clip stick out that much any 
common thief can see the opportunity.

The p910 is just a general tidy up of the p900, but it will have support 
for the blackberry instant email service available soon. Some have even 
suggested it will fully support the blackberry service, i.e. it will 
allow wireless calendar syncronisation between your exhange/domino 
server and it. The down side if this is true will be that you will lose 
the ability to edit word/excel documents etc as the blackberry service 
only allows read access to this type of document (actually it converts 
the word file into a proprietary, patent encumbered binary-xml format 
before spewing it over the air), whereas the p900/p910 is capable of 
opening word/excel files natively and editing them then emailing them 
back to someone.

The new MDA III has just been launched on tmobile, these are quite good 
too, basically pocket pc 2003 + ipaq 6310 (in a different case) + phone 
all in one package. Again these will have built in blackberry support 
soon too.

Seen as this is a linux list - just to bring this back on topic here is 
a status of the linux support for each of the above devices: -

    * Blackberry:
          I have written a driver - currently in alpha quality, which 
allows for a messy way to get the device to spew the address book out to 
a CSV file. This driver is not currently released as my employer are 
dragging their heels (still!) over allowing me to open source it. (read: 
if you dont tell anyone you can have a copy). Other than that there is 
no support i know of for these devices under linux.

    * p900/p910 - works fine as long as you use bluetooth or IrDA, if 
you want to use the cradle - good luck, but you'll need a p900 cradle as 
the cradle for the early p800 and the new p910 are not supported. Even 
with the right cradle, there's not much you can do, and generally i find 
the bluetooth solution alot better. There are howtos for hooking this up 
to ximian evolution in much the same way the device supports being 
hooked up to outlook/notes. File transfers work fine as well.

    * MDA III - limited support using the ipaq kernel module (which 
incidentally i used as a starting point for my blackberry driver), for 
synchronisation at least. But you can get this device to talk syncML so 
sync works the same way as the p900 above. File transfers work fine. 
With wireless networking built in there are a few other options are well 
so you wont be stuck.

Damn that was a bit long. Hope it helps though!


Kyle Gordon wrote:

>On Monday 15 November 2004 12:16, Daragh Mc Grath wrote:
>>Hi Guys,
>>A pal of mine in Glasgow is looking at getting a two way pager, more for
>>personal use than IT usage, but that's by the by! Who are the providers
>>over there and what sort of costs are involved? Any stores / websites
>>you could point me toward?
>Does it have to be using the pager/sms system? There's a few companies out 
>there offering Blackberry devices, and also the SonyEricsson P900/P910 
>apparently has an improved IMAP client these days, which you can use over 
>Scottish mailing list
>Scottish at mailman.lug.org.uk

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