Gefilte Fish Out of Water

BB Dramz
March 13, 2010, 3:16 pm
Filed under: Infrastructure, Struggles | Tags: ,

Not again! 

I’ve been mobile-golden for a while now, having put the last of the BlackBerry in Israel problems behind me last August.  But the Bold 9000 I bought used from another Oleh back in December has had trackball problems since I got it.  These were getting worse throughout February, to the point where it would refuse to roll in a certain direction, making it difficult or impossible to navigate to applications or within them.

I followed the advice I found in the forums on – like using a toothbrush on it or vigorously rubbing it upside down on a table, but these fixes only worked temporarily, leaving me with the same problem reoccurring. 

Finally, disaster struck.  I pulled the BB out of my pocket to use it, and pressing it no longer opened up applications!

Srsly, Girl.  The thing was instantly useless.  I couldn’t set my alarm to wake up in the morning, couldn’t look up your address, send you an SMS, use my camera, surf the internet, Tweet or nuthin’!

Knowing the next step  of using a micro-screwdriver to open the thing up and clean the ball from the inside was way beyond me, I did the next best thing: wedged a thumbtack underneath the ball and dug around.  When that didn’t work, I pried off the buttons around it, removed the ball and cleaned it myself.  But when I tried to apply pressure to the area that should have been activated by the pressed trackball, the BB wasn’t responding either.  It appeared the circuitry underneath the ball was fried, too.  (It actually probably wasn’t; it turns out it’s magnets – not pressure – that makes it work).  But if it wasn’t already broken, then I did the trick when I repeatedly pressed a screwdriver against the area attempting to make it work.


Crap – with impending moving expenses coming up and some bullshit housing tax (arnona) that had gone unpaid for months and needed to be taken care of (thanks to miscommunication by my suitemate and landlord), I did not have the budget to buy a whole new gadget.

Was this time to seize the moment and upgrade to the holiest of holy grails….

the iPhone?

Ugh, not now!  I know I’ll wind up with one of these or an as-good Android device sooner or later, but the timing was all wrong.  I’m such an addictive personality, that once I had this new toy EVERYTHING ELSE WOULD HAVE TO STOP.  I’d isolate for 4-5 days and just trick the thing out with a billion and one apps to make my life easier, possibly bankrupting myself in the process if I didn’t find what I needed in the free apps.  With a small business to get off the ground, there was no time for this.  Yet, knowing myself, it was something I was powerless to stop.  If I bought it, it would happen.

So, maybe I’d just buy a new BlackBerry, then feel buyer’s remorse for not joining the ranks of iPhone snobs.

Well, fortunately, neither of those things had to happen.  Bestie Anna suggested I try and repair it first.  (She reads a lot of books.)  I don’t know how this happened, but I managed to find the perfect shop in all of Tel Aviv to go.  See, since I purchased my BB used, I wasn’t entitled to tech support or service from my wireless carrier, although I could have still tried them and seen if they’d accept payment for support.  I wanted to try an indie shop first, but not one where I’d have some gum-popping adolescent not knowing what the eff to do and rolling their eyes.

By some miracle, I wound up at an indie shop staffed by techies and experts, who knew BBs inside out and knew how to repair this thing.  I worried it may have been fixable at first, but that I’d done so much damage to it after it broke, rendering it unfixable.  Fortunately, not.  These guys really were geniuses, and in only 24 hours (and a few false alarms, where I left the store w/ it “fixed” and had to go right back inside, b/c it wasn’t quite working perfectly yet), I was back in business.

300 shekels ($80) for this.  Def worth it !!!


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