Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How to transfer data between BlackBerry devices

Getting the most of your smartphone


Getting a brand new BlackBerry smartphone can be a life-changing experience. But how do you transfer the loads of personal information on your old device to that shiny new Pearl Flip? Fortunately, you can complete the process quickly.
I've covered various aspects of the BlackBerry Desktop Manager in the past, including how to use the program to load, update or remove applications; back up and restore handheld data; add media files to a BlackBerry microSD memory card; and determine the amount of smartphone memory you're using at any given point.
This BlackBerry Tip o' the Week explains how to use Desktop Manager to quickly and easily transfer all or some of the personal data and applications on an existing BlackBerry smartphone to another. All you need to get started are two mini USB sync cables (like the one that came with your BlackBerry,) the Desktop Manager software and the two BlackBerry smartphones. (Note: If you're transferring data to or from a device with a micro USB port, like the new Pearl 8220 Flip, you'll also need a micro USB sync cable.)

Step One: Get BlackBerry Desktop Manager

First things first: You'll want to download or install RIM's BlackBerry Desktop Manager software, if you haven't already. To do so, either insert the BlackBerry user tools disc that shipped with your device and then install the software, or visit RIM's website and download it manually. The latest version of Desktop Manager is 4.6., though earlier versions should do the trick, as well. (Note: BlackBerry Desktop Manager only works on PCs, though RIM has promised similar tools for Mac users in 2009.)

After installing BlackBerry Desktop Manager, launch the program by clicking on the desktop icon created during installation. (If you chose not to create a desktop icon, locate the application in your computer's program files and then launch.)

Step Two: Connect your existing BlackBerry, and select device switch wizard

Next, connect your existing BlackBerry smartphone - the one storing your personal data and applications - to your PC using the USB sync cable, and then close any unrelated dialogue boxes that appear. You know your device is connected when your BlackBerry PIN appears in the bottom left corner of the BlackBerry Desktop Manger screen, next to Device connected (PIN).
When the BlackBerry is connected to your PC and Desktop Manager, choose the Device Switch Wizard option. On the following screen, click Switch BlackBerry devices.

Step Three: Configure BlackBerry device switch wizard

The Switch BlackBerry devices screen displays three columns: Current device ; New device ; and Options . The first field below the Current device heading should be labeled PIN and the value within should match the PIN digits in the bottom left corner of the application screen. If not, open the drop down menu beneath Current device and select the PIN associated with the connected BlackBerry. If your device is password protected, you'll also need to enter your passcode.

Because you new device is not yet connected, we'll ignore the middle column for now.
The Options section lists a number of options related to the device data that you wish to transfer to the new device. For example, you can choose to transfer all device data and options, as well as all third-party applications. Or you can pick just device data or only third-party apps. There are also options for updating existing applications--if updates are available--and you can manually select which apps you wish to transfer. (Note: Some applications are OS-specific, so an app that works with BlackBerry handheld OS v4.3 may not function correctly on a device running OS v4.5.)

Step Four: Transfer data from one BlackBerry to another

When you've specified what data and apps you want to transfer, click the Next button in the bottom right corner of Desktop Manager to proceed. A variety of progress bars will appear on screen as Desktop Manager scans your device and copies its contents for backup. This will take a few minutes, so be patient.

When the backup process is complete, another dialogue box appears asking you to select your new device. At this point, connect the new BlackBerry that you wish to transfer data and applications to and select the corresponding PIN from the drop down menu. Again, you'll need to enter in your passcode here if your device is password protected. Then hit OK. Another set of progress bars then appears to scan the application configuration on the new BlackBerry.
If you checked the Options box for Allow me to select applications to add or update option , a list of all the applications on your existing BlackBerry appears. You can then choose which apps you want to transfer from the old device to the new. To remove an app from the list, simply uncheck the box next to that application. When you're finished, click Next.
Patience comes into play again at this point, as it can take anywhere from five minutes to half an hour to complete the process. So sit back, grab a soothing beverage perhaps, and decide what to do next with your new smartphone.
Two factors worth noting: After transferring personal data and apps to a new BlackBerry, you'll likely have to log back into any programs that require a user name and password, so you may want to have your login information handy. Second, it's not uncommon to come across application errors when attempting to transfer apps from one device to another--especially if those devices are running different OS versions. The simplest way to proceed after receiving an app error is to remove the problem application from the list of programs that will be transferred using the instructions above. Then you can simply download a fresh copy of the problem app at a later time.

Ubuntu 10.10: 12 reasons to try it now

Have you been wanting to give Ubuntu a test drive? With the debut of user-friendly Maverick Meerkat, there's no better time.


As Ubuntu 10.10, or "Maverick Meerkat," hits the streets this Sunday, it's a pretty safe bet that legions of existing Ubuntu users will be updating to the new release. After all, it looks to be Canonical's most user-friendly Ubuntu Linux yet, and many of the new features promise to be must-haves.
For those in the business world who haven't yet tried Ubuntu, however, the reasons to download and give it a whirl are even more compelling. Here are just a few of them.

1. Speed

Ubuntu 10.10 is fast -- darn fast. Even the beta version could boot in as little as 7 seconds, according to reports. Who has time to wait around for Windows when there's work to be done?

2. Price

There's no contest on this one, because Ubuntu is free. Pure and simple. No investment whatsoever, unless you want to buy professional support later on.

3. No Commitment

You can try out Ubuntu without changing or affecting anything else on your computer through options like a LiveCD, Live USB, Wubi or virtualisation--all of which I've already described elsewhere. In other words, you have nothing to lose.

4. Hardware Compatibility

Ubuntu will play well on just about any machine you might have sitting around, so you could also try it out on a spare one to keep it off your Windows machines altogether--until you decide you can't go back, that is.

5. Ubuntu One

Ubuntu One is the personal cloud service that lets you synchronize your files and notes and then access them from anywhere. You can also consolidate your computer and mobile phone contacts and share documents and pictures with them. On the fun side, you can use Ubuntu One to buy music and get it delivered to the computers of your choice.

6. Windows Compatibility

With Ubuntu 10.10, a beta client for Windows also allows users to integrate their Windows and Ubuntu worlds by accessing files from either platform. You'll never have to worry about being unable to get at your Windows files.

7. Applications

Unlike Windows, Ubuntu comes with key business productivity software for free, including OpenOffice.org. Firefox is included, but there's also support for both Flash and Google Chrome. Anything that's not there already, meanwhile, can be found in Ubuntu's Software Center. Whereas finding new software on Windows is very much a hunt-and-peck process, with lots of time spent on Google - and your credit card - the Software Center gives you a central place to find and download thousands of open source applications - for free - in a matter of seconds.

8. Security

Ubuntu - and pretty much every distribution of Linux - is extremely secure, particularly compared with Mac OS X and Windows. No wonder experts have recommended using Linux for online banking, in particular--the others just aren't secure enough.

9. Multitouch

If you try the Netbook Edition of Ubuntu on a supported netbook, you'll be able to see for yourself the brand-new multitouch features in Maverick's new Unity interface.

10. Beauty

One key emphasis in the new Ubuntu is making it more beautiful and aesthetically pleasing to use. The Unity interface is part of that in the Netbook Edition, and the Ubuntu Font Family is another part. It's all just nice to look at.

11. It's Sociable

Ubuntu's new "Me Menu" lets you access your Facebook and Twitter accounts straight from the desktop. You can connect to all your favorite chat channels and make updates through a single window.

12. It's Linux

There are so many reasons for businesses to use Linux today, it's hard to keep track of them all. Security is one, of course, but there are also many other reasons Ubuntu, in particular, has become such a good business choice - far better than Mac OS X or Windows.
Ubuntu 10.10 will be available for download starting on Sunday from Canonical's Ubuntu site. Of course, if you can't wait until then, there's always the Release Candidate, which is ripe for the picking right now. Either way, my bet is that once you try Ubuntu for your business, you're going to want to keep it.

By Katherine Noyes | PC World
Follow Katherine Noyes on Twitter: @Noyesk.

Monday, September 27, 2010