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 !!!


A BOLD New World
December 31, 2009, 5:15 pm
Filed under: Infrastructure | Tags:

I saw an email from the Nefesh b’Nefesh Yahoo group that another Oleh was selling his BlackBerry BOLD 9000.  I’ve been using an unlocked (and I suspect, refurbished) Curve 8310 that I bought off of ebay and had someone transport over here.  After some initial dramz and having someone schlep it back to America to return it for me, then schlep the replacement back over here, I got it to work last summer, and I’ve been quite happy with it.  Until lately.  It’s been giving me the “hourglass of death” at random times, and really stopping me cold sometimes when I need to make a call, send a Tweet, or look up some info.

The BOLD sells for 4000 shekels in Israel ($1081 – yeah, they are crazy expensive here, which is why I had an unlocked one from the U.S. sent over here in the first place), and he was offering it for half that.  Since I’m otes-tay (Pig Latin for totes) poor of late, I couldn’t justify spending that amount.  I figured I’d let some time go by and then shoot him a lowball offer.  If it hadn’t been sold yet, it was meant to be mine.  Turns out, he had sold it the day before I emailed him.

But then, he emailed a day later.  The woman who had bought it from him returned it.  There was nothing wrong with it, he insisted, she was just an idiot.  So, I met up with him, and once I saw it, I knew I wanted it deep in my bones.

Screen so pretty!

I needed to transfer some funds, and so I had to wait a day or two to buy it from him.  Yesterday I picked it up.  And, I literally spent the next 9.75 hours tricking it out and apping it up with all the apps from my old Curve.  Except for the trackball being a little hard to roll left, a stupid BOLD phone feature that automatically creates unchangeable shortcuts on the speed dial list for “a,” “q,” and “w,” and the fact that it’s a little harder to type fast on it that it was the Curve, I’m totes in love with my new toy.