Gary Krakow’s BlackBerry Is Broken And He Is Really Upset About It… by Robb Dunewood | Sep 30, 2008 | BlackBerry | 23 comments Gary Krakow, Senior Technology Correspondent for the TheStreet.com, has a jammed up trackball in his BlackBerry 8820 that won’t allow him to scroll up or down and he is pretty upset about it. [Via] Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related 23 Comments Grammar Police on September 30, 2008 at 12:33 pm I don’t have a trackball Blackberry yet. Is this true? Reply Stu on September 30, 2008 at 12:37 pm BS – i have found that if I pop out the track ball and clean it out with some condensed air, it’s fine. I’ve had my curve for a year, dropped it hundres of times, the thing has taken a beating and yes, every once in a while the track ball gets a little stuck, but it takes two minutes to pop it out and clean it. Sometimes, even reinstalling the software upgrades fix it to. This guy is annoying and soo over dramataic. If you drop the iphone once, it’s done. The blackberry is built tough and to last, I’ve never had a serious issue with the hardware and as I mentioned above, I abuse the hell out of it. Reply Urthona81 on September 30, 2008 at 12:40 pm Stu is absolutely correct. It’s really simple to open up and clean out the little rollers. Honestly, could you over-react more? Reply Sean on September 30, 2008 at 12:45 pm Yeah total BS the trackball comes out very easy and is simple to clean. Reply michael on September 30, 2008 at 12:54 pm Never had a problem with my 8830 or my 8330. Sounds like user issues. Reply dave on September 30, 2008 at 2:47 pm wow, this just proves that GK AND the IT department at “thestreet.com” are idiots. perhaps if they stopped shoveling pringles into their mouths and then using their trackball, they wouldn’t have an issue. replacement trackballs on amazon are like $20 for a 5 pack. Get over it. Reply Nancy. M on September 30, 2008 at 2:59 pm My trackball in my Blackberry Curve is a little gummy. Will I void my warranty if I take it out and clean it myself or should I just take it back to the Verizon store? Reply Norman R. on September 30, 2008 at 3:11 pm I don’t know about the warranty but it is very easy to clean. Just use a small micro screw driver to carefully pop the silver ring surronding you your track ball out. Once you do that there should be a little plastic piece that holds the trackball and the track ball itself. Clean the gunk out and pop everthing back into place. You should be scrolling like new when you do. I cannot believe that those tech guys from the video never tried that. Reply Robb Dunewood on September 30, 2008 at 3:23 pm Norman R. is correct. This is very easy to do, however, I believe that you do void the warranty if you break anything when you do this. I’ve done this several times myself, but, I am very comfortable working with small fragile parts. If your device is still under warranty and you don’t feel comfortable doing this DON’T. Take it into the store and let them do it. Reply bluehorseshoe on September 30, 2008 at 4:42 pm Funny you say that Robb…when I had my Pearl with TMO, my trackball was shot too (after 1 yr.). Wasn’t just from dirt, just use. Heavy user. Anyway, I brought it in to the store to let them fix it after cleaning it a couple of times myself. At some point, cleaning it won’t do it anymore if it gets a bit worn. Sure enough, the kid at the store thought he was the sh*t and popped it open only to break the plastic piece around the ball. Better yet, they couldn’t find a replacement in the store, so I had a makeshift part trying to hold the ball in place. The plastic is a little sensitive around the ball, so be careful with that piece when taking it apart. Happily, my VZW ball hasn’t had any issues at all (slightly different build). Not as accurate as the original Pearl or easy to use, but can endure heavy usage. I’ll refrain from commenting on heavy usage, cleaning, pulling out, screw drivers and balls. 🙂 Good thing we’re not talking about the dingleberry. Reply Richard Ward on September 30, 2008 at 4:59 pm I wonder when my ball will get old and warn. Still chugging along though sometimes it acts up. It’s still better than the “D-Pad” navigation I had on my HTC phone. BlackBerry for the win again. Hands off my ball! Reply CBlackberryNY on September 30, 2008 at 5:57 pm Trackball? Even RIM learned they don’t need a trackball. “”We don’t want to do these,” he said. “We want to do a leapfrog product that’s way smarter than these phones and much easier to use. So we’re going to reinvent the phone.” The iPhone does not use a keyboard, nor does it use a stylus, as many smartphones do today. The device uses new technology called “Multitouch.” “We’re going to use the best pointing device in our world,” said Jobs. “We’re born with 10 of them, our fingers.” Multitouch is far more accurate than any touch display, according to Jobs. It ignores unintended touches, supports multi-fingers gesture. “And boy, have we patented it,” he added.” -Steve Jobs Jan 9, 2007 Gary upgrade to state of the art…. http://www.macworld.com/article/135813/2008/09/iphone_survey.html?lsrc=rss_weblogs_iphonecentral Nancy, back in the old days although I never had problems with the thumb wheels or trackballs on any of my blackberry’s I would always stop by any of my service providers locations and let them do their jobs. Certainly the service provider branded on your BB should handle any easy fixes to keep you and your device happy and then you don’t have to run the risk of accidently breaking something while trying to fix it. Reply Tashanna on September 30, 2008 at 10:06 pm Had my bb over a year and haven’t any trackball issues. I have 2 blackberries. Plus from what I know, it’s easy to clean and even take out the trackball. Reply Jim on September 30, 2008 at 11:10 pm I cant believe the “IT” guy doesnt buy a gross of trackballs from http://www.cnn.cn and replace them himself. They are about 3-5 dollars each, and it takes just a second to change. If the reporter really looked< he’d find a ton of postings about this Reply mike on October 2, 2008 at 12:44 pm OK this guy is an absolute idiot. Everyone I know who has a Blackberry absolutely LOVES them. The guy is a retard. Obviously he just needs to go back to a regular phone because he is not smart enough to use a smartphone. Dumbass! Reply CBlackberryNY on October 2, 2008 at 6:06 pm Mike, Before you start calling people names like “idiot”, “retard” and “dumbass” you should take a step back and learn something for a change. Gary has enough experience in the industry to back up his opinions. If RIM was smart they would be reading and acting on Gary’s words. “Gary Krakow is MSNBC.com’s Emmy award-winning Technology guy, cell phone addict, audiophile, ham radio operator and all-around gadget guru.” “Gary Krakow is TheStreet.com’s senior technology correspondent.” “Veteran NBC Journalist Gary Krakow, With 34 years’ experience as a journalist – the last 27 of them with NBC – Gary Krakow has seen all the best and worst technology that’s come along. ” “Seasoned tech pundit Gary Krakow” Reply bluehorseshoe on October 2, 2008 at 6:44 pm @ CBlackberryNY I swear you’re hellno, but I’ll continue on… Mike may have used some harsh words for someone who is allowed to express their opinion and thought, but his criticism of Gary Krakow is dead on in my opinion. You’re quotes of Gary’s experience is meaningless. I could do the same with Dick Cheanny and George Bush regarding their political experience, but where would that get anyone? We could do the same for some of the execs on Wall Street, but what good would that do with those so called ‘experts and their years on the street’? It was also my observation that the way Gary was ‘touching’ the trackball would lead me to believe two things: 1. He never really ‘used’ a blackberry before on a full time basis… 2. He was working it to fail on the video. I myself had a trackball issue with my original BB purchase and returned it for a replacement. No problem. I’ve had it now for close to a year (11 months) and I’m a ‘heavy’ user…extreme. No issues at all. These are electronic instruments that will have issues. If the vendor refused to replace the item, then we’d have some issues to really discuss. Perhaps he should do a clip on the iPhone and how the second generation product still cannot copy and paste or tether, or how my Mac Book Pro ‘laptop’…as much as I love it, can iron my shirts after an hour or two. Reply CBlackberryNY on October 3, 2008 at 2:32 pm bluehorseshoe, You and mike are entitled to have your own opinions however the quotes were done to point out Gary’s been in the business and has creditability. Even without creditability even you might agree it’s un-wise and rather silly to call someone you don’t know, and know nothing about “idiot”, “retard” and “dumbass”. Do you honestly think someone in Gary’s position, with his years of experience has “He never really ‘used’ a blackberry before on a full time basis…”???? Why not allow the critique without name calling and having a fit? Of course Gary could be bias like the rest of us but even you admit there are failures with the BB trackball (which other than copying the iPhone, RIM is solving with the 9500 series. PS the “problems” you have with the Apple products named are again your opinions, to others those are “No problem, No issues at all.” The point is again you are entitled to your opinion, others see things differently. What did mike add to the discussion other than name calling and showing his lack of knowledge that Gary might just know what he is talking about and have the years experience to back it up, not be called names. It’s also rather interesting you bluehorseshoe felt the urge to try and defend someone who made a post using poor judgement. Reply Reyas on October 3, 2008 at 5:10 pm I have been using a 8830 since it came out on Sprint. I have used compressed air to clean once. I have also used a wet finger method once. Took all of 3 minutes to goolgle those tips. Not difficult at all. Reply Reyas on October 3, 2008 at 5:34 pm I was going to let this go but… The tech guy kind of surprised me with his response. Granted everyone has the right to pursue an issue as far as they see fit. Maybe the tech guy has been overloaded with other work issues and decides that he will let the carrier fix the problem because its on warranty or because of priority rather than spend time to look into an alternative resolution. That said, each and everytime I come upon an issue with hardware or software I turn to a search engine. Which like I said in my previous post gave me the answers in about three minutes as I picked up the tips on blackberry forums and crackberry for dust removal on the trackball. I have also turned to search engines which landed me on a site to help me remove the hard drive of my mac laptop. Basically the answers are out there in the wild and whether you choose take the time to search for answers or talk badly about a product is up to you. I search. Reply steveo on October 5, 2008 at 9:38 pm I’ve had a Pearl and a Curve, and I like them. The track ball is the weakest link in this design. RIM already knows this, and their tech support hates the trackball. Unfortunately RIM is having trouble finding a replacement design that users like using as much (when its working right). They will find something better and you won’t see trackballs (of this type) on any new RIM products after about 2009. Reply mike on February 5, 2009 at 12:30 pm listen guys its not that hard to fix this inner workings of it. mine broke last night into like 5 seperate pieces and rebuilt it in 20 mins once i figured out how it went back together. stop over reacting and do your jobs. if you want help feel free to email me ill show u how to do it Reply Cruisemissile on September 14, 2009 at 9:29 am Poor guy… Thanks Gary, Now I know how to clean my balls without bein called a dumbass. 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