Goodbye, Blackberry

An ancient Blackberry (circa 2002).

It’s astonishing to me to see how quickly the Blackberry has become irrelevant.  Seriously irrelevant.  Like 1% of the market.

Just until a few years ago, it was the mobile device to have.  I wrestled with getting rid of mine.  I finally made the switch over to an iPhone in 2010.  It was a difficult choice mainly because of the keyboard as I could crank on it.

I was lampooned for keeping my Blackberry.  Laughed at.  Mocked.  Ridiculed.  But it was my companion for more than 8 years and I was loyal, dammit.

Early White House days

I remember when I got my first one at the White House in 2002.  I was amazed by it.  Astonished at the power.

This was one of the earliest models.  No phone.  Just email.  Just black text.  And an orange shift-key.  But it made work so much easier.  You could carry around your email.  It was crazy.

So I carried around my Blackberry.  My pager.  And my Motorola cell phone.  All the spokespeople at the White House had the same set-up.  You had to have all three to stay connected.

No home on the range

It was funny as at that time there was no data service for the Blackberry in Wyoming though.  So whenever I went home, I’d have to drive down to the Colorado border just to pick up my email (which was essential when I’d be the on-call spokesperson at the White House).

So when I traveled home for the holidays, I’d have to drive 3 or 4 times a day down across the border to have all my email downloaded so I knew what was going on.

I’d head down on I-25.  Go a couple miles past the border until there was an exit and park myself on a bluff and wait for a few dozen (or a few hundred) emails to download.  It could be a half-hour wait.

But it was a tremendous advance in technology.  I’d drive the 14 miles to get the text email messages on the little screen.  Wow.  This was so much better than the Palm Pilot I had two years prior (which had no connectivity) and really did very little (but was all the rage).

Blackberry holster

At Schwarzenegger’s office I ridiculously carried around three Blackberries.  All holstered on my belt.  One for the governor’s office, one for the campaign, and a personal one.  What buffoonery.

The security guys would laugh as I’d unload them and put them on the metal detector when entering the Capitol.  I thought nothing of it. What a dumbass.

I still have a couple of my old Blackberries.


I see that Blackberry is making another feeble attempt to come back.  They’re releasing a couple new phones in 2013.  Good luck.

As Led Zeppelin said, “There are two paths you can go by…”

I don’t see how Blackberry can avoid the Netscape one.  But we’ll see.

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