BlackBerry takes a lickin', and dies

My BlackBerry got run over by a car, but restoring its replacement to the desired state proved surprisingly easy.

BlackBerry squished by a car
BlackBerry squished by a car Adam Richardson

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, I've been very busy with a lot of traveling that hasn't left many brain cells free to do blogging. Thanks to Tim for holding down the fort in my absence. Now, on to business...

Recently my BlackBerry got run over by a car. You can see the results here, it's not pretty. Actually, I think it held up pretty well considering it got hit on a busy street. It's rather a mystery how it got there, as I hadn't been anywhere near where it was found.

A kindly woman named Shawna saw it, stopped to pick it up, and had the savvy to take out the SIM card, put the card in her own phone, and see if any text messages had been left indicating the owner. "It's what I'd hope somebody would do for me," she explained, thus boosting my faith in humanity. As luck would have it, I'd sent a text to it in just such an eventuality. My hat is off to Shawna for her effort and for thinking of that solution. Only in Silicon Valley!

Work was able to get me a new one within a couple of days so my withdrawal symptoms were minimized. But here's what I found interesting about this process: Once I got the new one and activated it, everything came back -- and I mean just about everything. Of course the email, texts, call logs, calendar and so on, those are to be expected. But what surprised me was that it also restored my theme, the location of icons on the main screen, ringtones and profile settings. In other words, it restored all the things that you painstakingly customize over time and which take almost equally long to get back how you liked them. It instantly created a doppelganger of my old phone as though nothing had ever happened. The only item that didn't get restored for some reason was my text shortcuts, which is a bit of a pain.

The iPhone may be sexier, but to my knowledge it couldn't pull of a trick like this. Kudo's to RIM's system, this turned a potentially painful event into one that was pleasantly surprising. Not that I will be trying to repeat it again any time soon.

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Tech Culture
About the author

    Adam Richardson is the director of product strategy at frog design, where he guides strategy engagements for frog's international roster of clients, envisioning and creating new products, consumer electronics, and digital experiences. Adam combines a background in industrial design, interaction design, and sociology, and spends most of his time on convergent designs that combine hardware, software, service, brand, and retail. He writes and speaks extensively on design, business, culture, and technology, and runs his own Richardsona blog.

     

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