What is Blackberry?

The BlackBerry OS, only runs on BlackBerry devices. Hence when mentioning the name BlackBerry one can refer to either the OS and/or its hardware.

Original Blackberry (licensed under the
          Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.  You are
          free: to share -- to copy, distribute and transmit the work,
          to remix -- to adapt the work; Under the following conditions:
          attribution -- You must attribute the work in the manner
          specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that
          suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).) When BlackBerry first came out, the system was designed as a two-way pager with a real (not on-screen) QWERTY keyboard, which could receive and send email through its proprietary protocol and email relay service. Some time later, the system supported mobile phones service and a walkie-talkie service.

The next generation included a limited web browser. Nowadays BlackBerry supports third-party applications, a better web browser, Java, voice recognition; and usually comes with a built-in photo/video camera.

The BlackBerry OS is a fairly robust product although trashed the system configuration — not the OS itself — of first unit several times and practically destroyed the hardware of a second unit. The last model used before started using Android had version of the BlackBerry OS with kernel — no idea what these numbers mean in terms of the OS and its related technologies.

Perhaps the biggest plus (biggest sales pitch, for that matter) is the email service that allows a BlackBerry device to send and receive corporate emails — sort of a relay.

Of course, having a QWERTY keyboard comes very handy although it only has 35 keys, over 100 characters or less depending on model using ALT (alternate) and SYM (symbol) keys.

What has caught attention is the resolution for such a small screen (about 2.5" in most current hardware) with a resolution of 320 by 240 (65,000 colors, not shabby at all) to watch videos, read e-books using Mobipocket or go on-line using Opera Mini, (instead of its default web browser) via its 802.11b/g connection.

BlackBerry is a pretty descent OS tightly intertwined to the hardware that it was written (coded) and/or configured for. Nonetheless should point out is that once in a while you need to do a cold boot removing the battery to clean zombies (not to be confused with viruses) in RAM or memory overflows or other garbage data although it has Memory Cleaner (utility to clean up temporary data).

have not studied the inner workings of the OS. As a matter of fact, am not sure where could read about it, but should point out that some of these units are more powerful — higher microprocessor speed and RAM — than some of the desktops or laptops that have owned. It is exciting having that much power in a device that fits in hands.

The OS is fairly closed, practically no access for the user. have not yet found a way to explore its configuration files or any system files, for that matter.

The tree structure is similar to Unix as seen below.

            Device Memory
            + Home
             + /Device Memory/
              + Documents
              + Pictures
              + Music
              + Ring Tones
            Media Card
             + BlackBerry
              + documents
              + music
              + pictures
              + ringtones
              + system
              + videos
              + voicenotes
              + [user-defined subdirectories]
             + [user-defined subdirectories]

Note that the memory card (microSD) is mounted at the root as Media Card. Only in Media Card, the user has access to create, hide (changing attributes) and delete directories other than the ones needed by the system. Some program installations also write data to Media Card. In any event, mobile phones can be mounted as external disks via USB connection.

One thing that find fairly strange is that notes, tasks, calendar, contact and all configuration data is stored in the mobile phone and not in the microSD — not even transferable. In order to copy this data, one has to sync the mobile phone with a desktop using a proprietary code application. System configuration and user data are stored as a backup files, which can be used to restore the system or to transfer configuration files to another BlackBerry device.

One way a user can have some access to the system is via its Java VM. BlackBerry OS provides an SDK to code programs accessing all hardware including the trackball and as of late its touchpad.

By the way, wrote all the previous text and part of the source code for this page using the BlackBerry mobile phone had at the time just for fun and for no other reason.