BB as a PDA
So I did some searching and could not find anything about using a BB as a PDA only. I have an old Sony CLIE with PalmOS and the touch screen is dying. I have an opportunity to buy a Sprint BB 8330 for cheap. Problem is I have T-mobile and the device is not compatible (as far as I can tell) with their network. So I am hoping to use this as a PDA/MP3/GPS device.
I am assuming that the BB can be used without a service. Is this true? Should I try to get it unlocked?
Can the GPS be used without a phone service AND data plan service? Can I download maps for it and use the free BlackBerry software? This would be awesome!
Since I am on Ubuntu Linux at home, can anyone point me in the right direction to sync with the BB on Ubuntu?
Thanks for the help.
- 12-06-09, 11:29 AM #2
Yes, you can use the 8330 purely as a PDA.
No, you cannot unlock the phone. It is a straight CDMA device (no SIM card)
No, you cannot use the GPS without a data plan, and considering how data intensive
GPS and its' related apps are it would almost certainly be foolish from a cost
standpoint to do so.
Can't help you on the Linux / Ubuntu thing.
- 12-06-09, 11:56 AM #5
You can use the GPS without a data plan and even use it.
The main problem is that you have to use a program like Googleak.
In essence what you are doing is downloading every section of an area of a map (from zoomed out all the way to zoom in all the way and every one in between) to your computer, setting up a structured tree folder perfectly, so that when you use a program like Trekbuddy, it pulls maps from your memory card instead of OTA.
However, as I did this on my old Pearl 8110 before I got a data plan on my newer phone, I can say from experience that it takes forever to download data from a region, takes up a lot of memory, and is difficult to get working correctly as everything has to be in a precise order and location.
Cliff-notes: It's possible, but not really viable based on difficulty and time spent to limited gain.
- CrackBerry Master
12-06-09, 12:16 PM #6
- 1,249 Posts
Wohoo! Finally a fellow Linux user around here
The only real solution to all BlackBerry + Linux is barry | Net Direct Inc.
sudo apt-get install barry
soccernamlak: Thanks for the info. I ride my bike a lot. It would be nice to have this work for 30 mile radius from my house. So I believe with a little work to set it up it would be valuable and not require a huge amount of memory.
Thanks all. Keep them coming.
- 12-06-09, 01:13 PM #8
correct. If any of what you just detailed were done an a non data enabled
BB the cost would be staggering.
Rather than give the OP a "Rube Goldberg" solution I went with a reality
Update on PDA use without any service.
Note: Always backup before you start installing a app in case something goes wrong.
So my biggest hurtle has been getting apps to use. I stumbled around on the Blackberry App Store and finally realized that I can't get anything from them as it all is downloaded over the air. No service. No dice.
I found a couple of apps that install on the PC and port their app through the Desktop Manager. Great, now to find apps that I can install that way. The below are free and after a few days of use work well.
What to Look For:
There is a way to download an app on the PC and then install it on the BB. You need to find one with 2 files at least. One ends in '.alx'. This tells the Desktop Manager what the program is and how to install it in the BB. The other file is the program that gets put on your device. It ends in '.cod'.
I found this site, CrackBerry.com, to have a great many apps in the store. Many can be downloaded and installed through the Desktop Manager. (Thanks CrackBerry.com) Now to install. Granted I plan on looking at other sites too.
To Install An App with Desktop Manager
With the zip file of the app you want extracted to a known folder on your PC, open Desktop Manager and connect your BB to the PC. Now select Application Manager in Desktop Manager. A window pops up with 2 choices. Click the add / remove button. Now down at the bottom of the screen is a row of 4 buttons. Click the 'Browse' button. Now navigate to where your app is on the PC. Select the '.alx' file and hit OK. Now find the button labeled 'Next'. It will then give you a list of changes (install and remove if you unchecked any apps) it will now do to your BB. Press the button for continue and let the Desktop Manager do it's thing.
The apps have I found:
ExtraLight: Nice way to convert the BB to a flash light
FileScout: by Emacberry.com allows browsing the storage of your device and it's expansion cards
Expense: by ProOnGo to track expenses and then export it to a .xlsx file. Note: I am unable to open the .xlsx file with OpenOffice at this time. I have not tried Excel 97 yet. I think I can get the data I just need to time to play with it.
Task Manager: This app uses Empower Central to work. Has a nice graph of battery life and shows the running apps, system info.
I believe I can now use the device as a PDA now. My 8330 came with Docs To Go with a Word file editor and SlideShow. Note: I had to create several blank '.doc' files and put it on my SD card. I could not create a doc on the BB but I can edit. With GridMagic and Expense I have the needed apps to handle my business needs.
The FileScout allowed me to maintain my system files since there is no other way on this BB. Not sure if it was Sprint or Blackberry that decided to remove that capability from the Media app.
I will be using the BB's password app, another requirement. The other password managers out there look better but my budget is small right now.
Overall I am very happy with the upgrade from my Sony Clie SJ20. Color is so nice to have. The screen is smaller but it seems to work great. I am loving the thumb-board. It is taking some time to get used to the track ball. I love a trackball on my PC but I am so used to tapping the screen to do what I want. I have not tried to get it to sync with Ubuntu yet (using company's WinXP system) or to use the GPS. I like the camera/video. I am also using the MP3 player quite a bit. Very nice. I only wish the ear buds would stay in.
Thanks all for the help. I will update with my ubuntu experience soon.
So my ubuntu experience can be summed up as dependency ****. I don't have the details right now but I am trying to find dependent software so the barry_ programs can install. Thinking of updating to v9.10 then I could use the package that is available. I am going to keep trying.
- CrackBerry User
12-21-09, 09:08 AM #19
- 53 Posts
[email protected] (we actually answer our e-mails individually ASAP!) and we should be able to help with any ProOnGo questions you may have, especially regarding exporting to other systems such as OpenOffice. Also note we are always up for adding new systems (such as adding more QuickBooks support at the moment)
I found out you can test the GPS receiver by opening Options->Status then typing "test". A menu opens and you can do a GPS test. I plan on doing that when I have 10 minutes on a sunny/partly sunny day. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will work. If it does I then need to find a way to mount it on my bicycle.
DaveHacker: I will be sending you a sample OpenOffice file tonight. I don't have excel in DocToGo on my device. If you have played with GridMagic before let me know. That is the only free spreadsheet I could find.
- CrackBerry User
12-28-09, 04:57 PM #24
- 53 Posts
[email protected] so we can help! We noticed the iPhone version (is it ok to mention the dark side here?) worked with Open Office so we were able to compare our BlackBerry version and get a fix out. Please upgrade by visiting www.ProOnGo.com from your phone for the download link. Again, thanks for giving us the chance to help here - we are always looking to integrate with new systems so now we can definitively say we support Open Office too. This is very helpful!
On the Plus side I did get Ubuntu to backup my Blackberry. I had to install the latest version Ubuntu 9.10 and then add:
This goes in the System's Software Sources in the other tab. More info here
https://launchpad.net/~doctormo/+archive/barry-snapshot I still need to get it to sync with Evolution.