Best IM Client for BlackBerry

Someone recently asked me what Instant Messaging client I use on my BlackBerry.

Last fall I was looking for an AOL IM (a.k.a. AIM) client for my BlackBerry 8800. After much searching and evaluation, I settled on JiveTalk. It connects to virtually all IM networks (via gateways), and is a true IM client application – not a wrapper around SMS, like some products.

It’s not free, but the cost is minimal, and it’s truly one of the best products I’ve found. Highly recommended.

The Mobile Web … not ready for prime time

I’ve been using a BlackBerry 8800 for a few months now. Mainly for access to my company’s e-mail and calendar, but also for IM and Web access. This is the first BlackBerry, or Smartphone for that matter, I’ve used, and I must say that I’m sold.

Having a mobile Web browser with me all the time, I find myself trying to look up movie reviews while I’m browsing videos at Blockbuster. Or trying to do a price comparison for something I see at a local retail store. Or trying to find (and reserve) a book at my local library, that someone just recommended in a conversation. I don’t want to wait until I get back to a computer to do these things, I want to do them in real-time, from where I am.

Notice I said “trying” in each case above. Nearly every time I try something like this, I come away frustrated and disappointed because the Web sites are barely usable (and sometimes not at all) on a mobile device.

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These kids today …

My daughter is taking an accelerated math class in her elementary school, and was told she needed a TI-36X Solar calculator. This thing is incredible – it would have lasted me through college (granted that was …ahem…a few years ago). It has so many features, each key has three (and some four) functions. All for only $20. Amazing.

That got me to thinking about my first serious calculator – my trusty HP-15C (picture). Paid over $100 for it back in 1980-something. It got me through the latter high schools and early college years, until I upgraded to an HP-28S (picture).

As I was surfing around for info, I discovered folks were selling them on eBay … for hundreds of dollars!

 I’ll let you know what mine goes for. <g>