Ahmed Eltawil's Blog

Archive for December 2008

It might look cool and you can’t resist touching it but can it stand against butterfingers? I am not saying that I suffer from a case of oily, buttery, or greasy fingers but sometimes you can’t help it. That’s what happened with me this morning while I was having my first cup of coffee with a blueberry muffin.

After a couple of bites and using my BlackBerry Bold’s trackball to browse the net for some early morning news, the trackball decided to stop working. It would spin but there was contact underneath. No friction what so ever.

Normally I would freak out and start googling for a solution and if that didn’t help then I would be looking into sending the phone for repairs but not this time. Why? Well, it did happen before.

The idea of a trackball looks and sounds great on paper and it performs quite well too but it scores pretty bad when it comes to protection against dirt, oil, or grease that smartphones are always exposed to. And NO, I don’t work in a kitchen nor am I messy when I eat.

So what do you do if your trackball stopped working due to oily greasy fingers? Well, you just need to clean it. A simple continuous wipe with a napkin over the trackball until it covers the entire surface of the ball will get it working again (at least this way worked for me twice). And if that didn’t work, then you either send it in for repairs or try to take the trackball apart and attempt to clean it yourself (something I advice against).

That being said, I also have heard and read about many BlackBerry users out there complaining about their trackball being either loose, squeaky, not working, etc. Therefore I totally see RIM replacing it with some other input device…oh wait a minute, they already did with the Storm. Oh well, we all learn from our mistakes.

But I must admit that I like the trackball’s backlight which gives it that ‘pearl’ effect. I think it’s soooo purty!

Windows Live Tags: BlackBerry Bold, trackball, smartphone



Wouldn’t it be great if BlackBerry devices came with a ‘Today’ home screen that displayed the users appointments, tasks, notes, and latest messages? Of course you might say that I can download those customized home screens from other third party companies as themes and install them on my BlackBerry. But my main question here is why didn’t BlackBerry include this type of home screen with all their devices since most of their users are business men and women who would find it extremely helpful?

I switched to a BlackBerry Bold from a Nokia E61 and that type of home screen was built into the E61’s OS and it was ON by default. Why? Because the Nokia E-series is built and marketed for the business sector (unlike the N-series). Aren’t BlackBerrys on the same route? If it is, then why didn’t BlackBerry see that useful when it was implemented on previous and successful Nokia E-series models?

To close that thought, I just want to point out to BlackBerry that most of their users would love to see a ‘Today’ type home screen built into their BlackBerry OS on any of their future devices. Make it configurable. Let the user decide if he or she doesn’t need it. But don’t neglect or ignore the fact that it isn’t necessary.

It’s always great to read and see all the new changes done to Windows Live services recently but I have to admit that whatever was done on the Windows Live Spaces side isn’t what I hoped for. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am certainly grateful for all the polishing and silver plating that was done on Spaces, but that’s not what it lacked or needed the most (at least in my opinion).

What about more functionality? More features? More options for bloggers? More options under commenting? We still don’t have tagging for blog posts yet on the site? More ‘good looking’ themes? And I am sure other users can come up with many other requests in a heart beat.

I love using my Windows Live Spaces account and I love to blog often on it. But I am missing a lot of blogging options that has been available on other popular and free blogging platforms for a long time now.

When will Windows Live Spaces add extra useful features and, more specifically, update their dated blog module?

Windows Live Tags: live, spaces, update, blog, tagging
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This is the first time I get an error on my BlackBerry Bold. As I was browsing the internet I decided to check out the mobile version of the Yellow Pages (http://m.yellowpages.ca). After I entered in my search criteria and hit search I got an error message saying: Input System error. The system is being restarted. 

I waited for the device to restart or even for the message to go away but nothing happened. So naturally I switched to the Home screen using the handy built in task manager and then I tried opening up the browser again. The message seemed to disappear. So I decided to give the Yellow Pages another try and see if I get the same error.

I entered in the url again, I typed my search criteria and hit search. This time the search results showed up on the screen without any error messages. For all I know it could’ve been a random one-time system glitch that I may never see again.

That being said, and as I mentioned before, this is honestly the first error message I got on my Bold ever since I bought the device more than a month ago. And it seems that the Bold was able to overcome the glitch without rebooting or getting stuck. Impressive? I guess so.

Windows Live Tags: BlackBerry, bold, error


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I’ve been trying to access my private picture albums (available only to me) that I created a few days ago on SkyDrive but every time I click on an album it gives me the following error on a totally blank white page:


Windows Live SkyDrive

I wonder if this is a known problem that is related to the last update or is it something only happening to me (which I really doubt). I am not in a rush to access those albums, but I am sure many users out there would be disappointed if they couldn’t access their private albums.

Update: Well, I tried again a few moments later and it seems to be working fine and showing no errors. It could have something to do with IE8 Beta that I am using.

Windows Live Tags: live, skydrive, error, update


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I actually thought I would be waiting longer for this MASSIVE update. This is definitely huge. I already took some time and played around with the updated Live Spaces to see what changed and what was added. Just like the screenshots we’ve seen recently on several blogs, the Windows Live Home has been totally revamped. Now, I can certainly make it my homepage since it’s displaying recent updates from my friend’s (plus there is more to it than just that). Windows Live Home can now be my portal to the internet when I first launch Internet Explorer.
It will take some time to get used to the new interfaces and find my way around them but so far I am happy with the experience and I think I noticed an increase in performance as well.
Windows Live Tags: Clubhouse, Windows Live, Update, Story


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