Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pearls of wisdom

A couple of years ago, my parents picked me up a Blackberry Pearl, the latest and greatest technological toy of the time. This was, of course, a pleasant surprise given that I had never before owned any but the cheapest of cellular gadgets. Apparently, they had scored an extremely solid deal at some kind of Chinese New Year banquet at which one of the benefactors was Rogers Wireless. While we never took the plunge and signed up for Blackberry's characteristic data plan, I appreciated the calendar synchronizing and multimedia features as well as the lovely QWERTY key layout.

Then, a few months ago, my Blackberry began to suffer some technical difficulties. The titular "pearl" trackball started to jam up when scrolling left and right, eventually giving up on these two cardinal directions altogether. I grew frustrated with my inability to play Brickbreaker and pondered taking the device in for repair (which would likely end up costing half of the phone's worth). I discussed this issue with many people in the course of casual complaining and smalltalk.

Recently, however, my friend Brutus offhandedly inquired, "How is the Pearl?" I replied dejectedly that my trackball was still broken. Not at all expecting any kind of solution, I was taken aback by the response. "I told you the Pearl is a bad system," Brutus replied. "It's like back when computer mice had trackballs - you always had to clean them. We should find out how to clean your Pearl." This had never occurred to me... was this the problem with my Pearl? Would Brickbreaker soon be making a comeback? Would I finally be able to scroll to my address book again without frantically thumbing my Pearl for five minutes?

Today, frustrated with studying for neurology (a course for which I have sworn off sleep for the last half-week and the next half-week to come), I randomly decided that today was the day that I would fix this bane of my technologically dependant life. So I Googled "How to clean your Blackberry trackball" and immediately arrived with an abundance of hits.

I selected the first YouTube video I saw on the list, and away I went. Pop out trackball. Check. Clean with lens solution and Q-Tip. Check. Air dry with compressed air. Check. Reassemble and enjoy. Having seen all the fuzzy-looking crud within the guts of my Blackberry Pearl, I was deeply satisfied with this cleansing experience. I fully expected an epic win and for my trackball to work like new.

Turn on. Scroll scroll scroll scroll. Nothing. The damn Pearl wouldn't move a nanometre! North, south, east, west... all were unresponsive. After disassembling my phone again, looking, poking, and prodding, I managed to restore it's original north-south functionality, but alas east and west appeared irrevocably MIA. My failure is only made all the more frustrating in light of the fact that every single comment under the video tutorial I followed expressed something along the lines of, "Thanks! That worked like a charm!"

Excuse me, sir. I think mine's a lemon.

2 comments: said...

what the fuck I asked you how the pearl was when we were in the car, then you said it wouldn't move, then I said you had to clean it, then you said you hadn't thought about that!

a_ndy said...

You know, I'm pretty sure that's what I said.