Looks like my decision to dump my Blackberry last year was a good one.
I carried a Blackberry (a real time wireless email device) for five years and, while still working for a living, it saved my butt more times than I can count. On September 11, 2001, Blackberries were the only communications system working in Washington. Amy and I communicated by email because the phone and normal wireless phone lines were blocked.
When the plane slammed into the Pentagon, I was in Washington. My Blackberry vibrated and the message was just two words: â€œExplosion,â€ it said. â€œPentagon.â€ I picked up my cameras and headed across the river.
My Blackberry allowed instant access to client emails. I could respond while sitting in traffic, while riding Washingtonâ€™s metro or while waiting to board a plane. It worked in Washington and the mountains of Montana. It even worked when we left Washington in 2004 and moved to Floyd County.
But the pace in Floyd is slower and the need for instant communications less. I replaced the Blackberry with a Windows-based PDA that allowed me to check my email on my schedule, not real time. A few weeks ago, the PDA was replaced by a Treo 700W Windows-based smartphone.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from Research in Motion, developers of the Blackberry, over a copyright-infringement suit that could shut down the systemâ€™s email service. RIM is scrambling to have an alternative service in place in case they have to shut down their service but their days may be numbered.
My old, faithful, Blackberry that sits in a desk drawer joins other forgotten electronic â€œnecessitiesâ€ of the past. Like my original Palm pilot, Sharp electronic organizer and Atari 800, it may well serve as a memory of technologies past.