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Who wants a free BlackBerry PlayBook?

October 31, 2011 Leave a comment

It has been entirely too long since we last posted something here, but I do have something worthy of removing the cobwebs today (and it’s got nothing to do with Halloween).  If you’re in the market for a tablet, you may want to consider the BlackBerry PlayBook.  The QNX-based tablet performs very well multitasking and browsing the web, but if you have a BlackBerry smartphone, it just gets better.  The BlackBerry PlayBook can tether to your BlackBerry smartphone to securely extend your data connection as well as email and BBM functionality.  Provided your phone is within bluetooth range and has a data plan, there is no need for a separate data plan for your new tablet!

So let’s get back to the title (let’s face it, you’ve only read this far to find out how to get your hands on that free PlayBook, right?).  The free PlayBook offer is a buy two, get one free deal, with an additional kicker: all 3 tablets will include a free premium accessory!  You have your choice of an HDMI cable, leather sleeve, or quick charging stand.

Description MSRP Our price You save
3 16GB PlayBooks and HDMI Cables $1,616.97 $1,099.97 $517
3 32GB PlayBooks and HDMI Cables $1,916.97 $1,299.97 $617
3 64GB Playbooks and HDMI Cables $2,216.97 $1,519.97 $697
3 16GB PlayBooks and Charging Pods $1,706.97 $1,099.97 $607
3 32GB PlayBooks and Charging Pods $2,006.97 $1,299.97 $707
3 64GB PlayBooks and Charging Pods $2,306.97 $1,519.97 $787
3 16GB PlayBooks and Leather Sleeves $1,646.97 $1,099.97 $547
3 32GB PlayBooks and Leather Sleeves $1,946.97 $1,299.97 $647
3 64GB PlayBooks and Leather Sleeves $2,246.97 $1,519.97 $727

I will throw out a few disclaimers now:

  • These prices are limited in both time and quantity and subject to change without notice
  • We typically only deal with local businesses in the Cincinnati, OH metro area and certain eligibility requirements may apply

If you are interested, please call our office at 513-892-0027 and mention this blog post.  Depending on the quantity you are interested in, we may be able to provide an even better deal, but I can’t stress enough that this is a limited time and quantity offer.

RIM is literally giving away free PlayBooks!…or are they?

October 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I read an interesting article on BerryReview indicating that RIM would give PlayBooks to early developers.  Supposedly, this is a quote from Mike Lazaridis himself: “All you need to do is create an Adobe AIR application for the BlackBerry PlayBook and get it accepted to BlackBerry App World and you’ll get a free one.”  There is some speculation on whether every PlayBook app will earn the developer a PlayBook, and RIM is not being very forthcoming with clarification.  At first I was pretty excited, but after thinking about it, I’m guessing they will give PlayBooks to developers whose apps meet an undisclosed criteria.  While they might accept and approve basic applications that might get a few downloads, the free PlayBooks are likely reserved for those who submit apps that will be downloaded by the thousands.

Regardless, it can’t hurt to try, right?  You know who has two thumbs and is going to shoot for a free PlayBook?  This guy right here, that’s who.  Head on over to the Tablet OS Application Development page on BlackBerry.com to get your SDK and get started 🙂

Upgrading from BPS to BES Express (NOT SUPPORTED)

April 24, 2010 7 comments

Okay, first and foremost, RIM does not support upgrading from BlackBerry Professional Software to BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express.  It can be done, but should you run into a problem, you will have very little chance of getting official support.  The steps outlined below are provided as is with no warranty, and as it is unsupported, this could break your BES and require a reinstall.

First, you will need to get BES Express installed on a separate server.  You cannot install BPS and BES Express on the same server :/.  Once you have both servers up and running, download and install the BlackBerry Enterprise Transporter 5.0 Tool from here on the server running BES Express.

Launch the BlackBerry Enterprise Transporter utility, and perform the following actions:

  1. Click Config, then BlackBerry Administrative Service, and enter the credentials you want to use to login to BES Express for this process. 
  2. <OPTIONAL> Click Config, then E-mail Notification, and define the e-mail your migrated users will see once moved to BES Express.
  3. Create a new User Manifest by clicking New in the section labeled Step 1: User Manifest.
  4. Verify connectivity to both the source and destination BESMgmt databases by clicking Configure in Step 2: BlackBerry Databases.  You will likely need to run the SQL Surface Area Configuration utility on the BPS server to enable remote access (disabled by default) for this to connect.
  5. Click Details in Step 3: Manifest Configuration to choose which user(s) you wish to migrate, and what you want the destination group and IT policy set to, then click Done to go back to the BlackBerry Enterprise Transporter
  6. Once your user manifest is in set, and your database connections are verified, click Preview in Step 4: Preview and check for any errors or warnings.
  7. Assuming no warnings were encountered during the preview, click Migrate in Step 5: Migration, and cross your fingers (In my experience with this tool, you can Ignore Warnings if you see a warning about Test BAS call failed, BAS assignments unavailable.  I don’t know why this error is thrown, but I migrated a few users with it, and everything went fine).

Vision One partners with BlackBerry

April 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Although we have sold and supported BlackBerry solutions for a while, Vision One IT Consulting is now listed on the BlackBerry VAR Locator.  As a matter of fact, we are 1 of only 2 BlackBerry VAR’s in the Cincinnati area.  We sell BES licenses and technical support contracts, we can help with design and implementation, as well as work with you to ensure you get the BlackBerry smartphone that meets your needs.

Check out our VAR profile here 🙂

iheartradio on Cincinnati Bell

March 12, 2010 2 comments

There is a mobile app called iheartradio available for BlackBerry, iPhone, and Android mobile phones that lets you stream your favorite radio stations.  They offer 350+ Clear Channel stations to stream, and I’ve been using iheartradio for BlackBerry for quite a while now.  I recently tried to share the app with a colleague only to be met with annoying error messages such as “Unable to fetch configuration data” or “Unable to connect to stream”.  After lots of scouring the Interwebs, I found a short but sweet solution here.  As it turns out, the problem was specific to Cincinnati Bell (the problem was occurring on a Cincinnati Bell 8900 Curve), and after adding the APN information, it works like a champ.

In case the link is later broken or that mouse-click seems too strenuous, here’s the solution:

From the Home Screen, go to Options –> Advanced Options –> TCP/IP and enter wap.gocbw.com in the APN field.  Afterwards, iheartradio should connect and stream your favorite stations!

Categories: BlackBerry Tags: , ,

FaceBook and BES Express

March 8, 2010 24 comments

Not too long ago we told you that Research In Motion had released BES Express, but I found my first problem with it soon after.  As you may or may not know, the latest FaceBook application for BlackBerry allows you to connect FaceBook to your calendar and contacts.  If you are not on a BES (or BPS/BES Express), this works ‘right out of the box’.  If you are on a BES of any sort, there is a special IT policy that controls whether FaceBook can connect to your organizer data.  If the BES does not have the policy (older versions of BES require a free policy add-on for this, it’s included in BES 5.0), then the settings will be grayed out on your handheld.  This is also the case when the policy is enabled (the IT policy in question is Disable Organizer Data Access for Social Networking Applications, which can be added to BES/BPS 4.1.X by following the instructions in this KB article).

Although BES Express is based on BES 5.0.1, the IT policy is not included, and you will need to download the ATTValueAddedApplications-PolicyPack.zip from that KB article mentioned above.  It has an XML file that must be imported into BES Express from the BlackBerry Administration Console (Policy–>Manage IT policy Rules–>Import IT policy definitions).  After the import, there will be a new section when you view the Complete IT policy labeled RIM Value-Added Applications, and this is where you will find the IT policy, Disable Organizer Data Access for Social Networking Applications.  As long as this IT policy rule exists or is set to No, connected BlackBerry smartphones should be able to connect their FaceBook friends to BlackBerry contacts, as well as connect their FaceBook calendar to the calendar on their handheld.

For more information on this specific IT policy, please refer to BlackBerry KB article 18427.

RIM announces BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express

February 16, 2010 5 comments

For the past few years, RIM has offered BlackBerry Professional Software to SMB customers as an alternative to BlackBerry Enterprise Server.  BPS was more or less a watered down version of BES (latest version was 4.1.4) with a hard limit of 30 users.  The server software was free, and included 1 CAL, and you could add up to 29 additional users by adding BES CALs.  Sadly, RIM killed the project a while ago, and while BES kept getting service packs and new features, BPS was starting to get stale.  My biggest pet peave was that BPS did not support Server 2008 (which was a big problem for SBS 2008 customers).

RIM just announced BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express, which seems to be the replacement for BPS (and I can’t even find BPS on www.blackberry.com anymore).  It won’t be released until next month, but as far as I can tell, it is basically BPS with a new name, and the following features added:

  • 30 user limit has been increased to 75 (or 2000+ if installed on dedicated server)
  • Works with *BIS and BES data plans, software and CALs seem to be free
  • Remote file access (Windows Shared folders)
  • Support for SBS 2008 and Exchange 2010
  • Web-based administration

This means that the BlackBerry solution for SMB customers will be ABSOLUTELY FREE.  There is no cost for the software, and CALs are even free.  Also, no longer will end users need the enterprise data plan, which most carriers charge an extra $10/month per line for.  This will mean new features and a much lower cost for SMB customers!

*EDIT: I just read on the BES Express documentation that a BES data plan is needed for wireless enterprise activation, as well as: “Over-the-air (OTA) updates require a BlackBerry Enterprise data plan.”  This means BIS users will need an updated data plan if they want to stay wireless :/