How they work:How Does the BlackBerry Work?

Technology can often be so dynamic, in our efforts to keep up with the leaps, bounds, and popular trends in the communications market.  

Technology can often be so dynamic, in our efforts to keep up with the leaps, bounds, and popular trends in the communications market.  

Imagine the days when you didn’t know what a cell phone was?  Or perhaps when you decided to buy one!  We have become so used to the mobile phone, and usually find that it quickly becomes something you cannot live without.

May be you have seen nearly everybody, from school children to business executives with a mobile phone held to their ear, or having a conversation with an inconspicuous earpiece.  

As if that was not enough, yet another tribe of a phone has emerged, the BlackBerry!
The BlackBerry is yet another class of a smart mobile phone.  

It can also be categorised as a PDA (personal digital assistant) When the BlackBerry first hit the market, sometime around 1999, carrying one was a symbol of being a powerful
executive or someone from the highest echelon of society.

Those who owned one either needed or wanted constant access to their emails, calendar and a phone.

The BlackBerry’s manufacturer, Research in Motion (RIM), recorded only 25,000 subscribers in that first year. But since then, its popularity has gone beyond expectations.

By close of the year 2005, RIM had recorded 3.65 million subscribers worldwide, and users describe being addicted to the devices.

While some people credit the BlackBerry with letting them get out of the office and spend time with friends and family, others accuse them of allowing work to infiltrate every moment of lives and getting rid of their privacy.  

As in PDAs, they do the same as a BlackBerry does, and the PDA made its debut several years before the BlackBerry.  But until recently, the only way to make the information on most PDAs match that on a person’s computer was to automatically or manually sync the PDA.

This could be time-consuming and inconvenient. It could also lead to exactly the conflicts that having a PDA are supposed to prevent. For example, a manager might schedule a meeting on the PDA, not knowing that an assistant had just scheduled a meeting for the same time on a networked calendar.  

A BlackBerry, on the other hand, does everything a PDA can do, and it syncs itself continually through push technology.

BlackBerry Enterprise Server or Desktop Redirector software “pushes,” or redirects, new e-mail, calendar updates, documents and other data straight to the user over the Internet and the mobile phone network.

First, the software senses that a new message has arrived or the data has changed. Then, it compresses, packages and redirects the information to the hand set.

The server uses hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) and transmission control protocol (TCP) to communicate with the handhelds.

It also encrypts the data with triple data encryption standard (DES) or advanced encryption standard (AES).   The software determines the capabilities of the BlackBerry and lets people establish criteria for the information they want to have delivered.

The criteria can include message type and size, specific senders and updates to specific programs or databases.  Once all of the parameters have been set, the software waits for updated content.

When a new message or other data arrives, the software formats the information for transmission to and display on the BlackBerry.

It packages e-mail messages into a kind of electronic envelope so the user can decide whether to open or retrieve the rest of the message.

The BlackBerry listens for new information and notifies the user when it arrives by vibrating, changing an icon on the screen or turning on a light.  The BlackBerry does not poll the server to look for updates.

It simply waits for the update to arrive and notifies the user when it does.
With e-mail, a copy of each message also goes to the user’s inbox on the computer, but the e-mail client can mark the message as read once the user reads it on the BlackBerry.  

People describe BlackBerry use as an addiction, and this is why. Not only do they give people constant access to their phones, they also provide continual updates to e-mail, calendars and other tools.