Ahmed Eltawil's Blog

BlackBerry Trackball, Bad Idea?

Posted on: December 16, 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

 

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