BlackBerrius Maximus - All for One and One for All

When last we spoke, I was trying to choose my "device of choice" among my many BlackBerrys. I have settled (at least for now) on my Storm. It does pretty much everything I would want a device to do. So much so, that I posed a challenge to myself - "what if I didn't use anything that was electronic for an entire day - except my BlackBerry Storm?"

Now, this was intriguing - I would have to find a way to do everything that I needed with my Storm - or not do that particular task for a day. Could I do it? How much could I do? How many things could I give up? This was a good challenge for my new "do everything" device. How would it hold up? How would I hold up? Read on to find out!

I prepared for this day the evening before. When I went to bed, I didn't set my trusty Timex Analog Alarm Clock - I put the Storm in "Bedside Mode" and set my alarm for 5:45. The alarm went off without a hitch - the "William Tell Overture" roused me from my slumber and my day of one device had begun.

Thankfully, my toothbrush is not electric - so that was a task I could accomplish, but there would be no shave with the Electric Razor today - one strike for the Storm. Maybe the boys in Canada can put a little trimmer into the next model! No worries, though - I work from home and had no plans to see anyone that day.

Fortunately, my beautiful wife Gloria offered to bring me coffee (which she often does) so I didn't have to face the reality that I could not make coffee with my BlackBerry. While perhaps bending the rules already, I made the determination that since I made the rules in the first place, and since the first cup of coffee was very important to the rest of the day - I could live with this little "grey area" in the rules.

It was about 10 degrees and the streets had ice and snow on them, so there would be no bike ride today - it was the weights for me. Now, usually, that is a job for my iPod Touch - using either Pandora or Slacker radio or one of my playlists. Not to worry, my Storm has about 4 Gigs of Music, many of my playlists and I found that as long as I disable "Compatibility Mode" - Slacker works great for streaming (even caching) Internet radio on my Storm. I put on the "Classic Rock" station or my personal "Springsteen" station and have a great workout.

Showered, dressed and at my desk by 7:30. My usually activity is to power up both my computers and run the SlingBox on the MacBook and check my emails and start working on the PC. Today was going to be a "No Computer" day. Again, - no worries. I don't have to sit at my desk, I realize, -since I'm not using my computers. What a nice change; I can sit at the table and eat my breakfast.

Instead of reading the New York Times on my PC, I just click on my NY Times icon on my Storm - all the days stories - all the news that I need. Just to be sure, I go to my browser bookmarks and go to and then the Wall Street Journal Site - OK, enough news - I feel "caught up" on the World's events.

Usually, at this time I am half watching "Sports Center" on my Mac (via the SlingBox) and reading my email. Not a problem, I found that while not made for the Storm, it is possible to get the SlingBox public beta to work. I click on my SlingBox icon and turn to ESPN and I am seeing how my Celtics just won again - nice.

I don't need to mention Email on the Storm - I only have 9 email addresses that I use daily - so I actually have room to have one more set up - all my Email comes through and I spend the next hour and a half or so reading and responding to email. I type furiously on my Storm, answer my emails, return texts from my kids (don't they know they are not supposed to be texting at school!) and every so often check the forums at and then a quick look through my channels on Viigo.

My business partner, Martin, needs me to look over a PowerPoint and a couple of Word documents - no problem - Documents to Go works well for me and I can even track the changes in the editing mode. I shoot the documents off and follow it up with a phone call.

Back at my desk, I look through some papers and then I return a few more phone calls. I plug in some headphones and fire up a playlist in the media player while I continue to respond to my emails. Now, I have a problem. It is almost lunch time and I can't use the stove or the Microwave. Then it dawns on me - I fire up Google Maps and find the local Pizza shop up the street. I look at the "street view" just because I can, and then I call them, place an order and have them deliver my lunch - all from my Storm - perfect!

Lunch time is usually time to take a break and either play "World of Goo" on the Mac or "Tiger Woods" on the PC. Today, I just go to my video player and continue watching "The Dark Night" in beautiful widescreen on my Storm. The Blue Ray version had a "portable" digital download that I was able to convert, remove DRM and load on my Storm - very cool. One quick game of Nintaii and I am back to work. I did miss "Flick Fishing" on the iPod - but maybe that will come to the RIM App store someday!
More emails, more phone calls - all the time listening to Slacker or a playlist. My Calendar alarm goes off telling me to go to the bus stop to get my daughter - no need for a watch today, and I don't even miss it.

I edit a few more documents with Documents to Go, check the news and weather and realize that I really can't get that afternoon cup of coffee. I wonder if Unity 4 Life can make coffee. ...Nope - it can't....not yet.

Then, a bit of panic sets in....did I make an appointment on my computer yesterday for late this afternoon? Was I supposed to be somewhere? Uh oh, what to do - I didn't sync my Storm last night - so I might be in trouble. Then it dawns on me, I have Google Calendar running on the PC, but I didn't have it on the Storm - just my other three BlackBerrys. I quickly download Google Apps, sign in and go to my Calendar - sync - I was right - I had a phone call scheduled - but I now had the number and time on my Storm so I'm the only one that had to know I had forgotten about it (sorry never knew I forgot about you, right?)

The work day had come to an end and I survived pretty well. It was my night to cook dinner - but Google Maps and another delivery took care of that just fine. Unfortunately, the Dishwasher counts as electricity - so dishes had to be done by hand.

I checked in after dinner with my Online Classes that I teach - responded to my students, answered some more emails and played an old fashioned game of Scrabble with my wife instead of watching TV. All in all - it was a good and productive day with just my Storm.

Let's recap all the things my Storm took the place of that day:

1. Alarm
2. Watch
3. PC
4. MAC (Slingbox)
5. TV
6. iPod
7. Refrigerator and Oven (using Google maps and the phone for delivery)
8. Internet Radio for Music (used Slacker and
9. DVD player
10. Video Game Player
11. Web Browser, Newspaper

Would I want to use only my Storm every day? I don't think so - but if I had to, I could. I know you are wondering about Battery life. I did make it through "almost" the entire day without needing a charge - I was pretty impressed. Now, if I could only get this thing to make coffee and start the Microwave - it might just be perfect! My Storm is "All for One" - all my devices for one day and "One for All" - One device for almost all my needs. Until next time.... Maximus, out.

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