The Man who Inspired Me to Get a BlackBerry

I actually got an Android phone with a qwerty keyboard before this. It was affordable and robust with ordinary, thick, rather dull design. LG Pro C550 might not be the flagship smartphone for LG but it is made for a reason: to satisfy those BlackBerry addicts who want to switch to the Google’s more open ecosystem. Despite its relatively affordable price and the abundance of features, the phone was never a huge success sadly. The market’s poor reception murdered the next generation of Android phones with qwerty physical keyboard. Now, you can barely find a new product like C550. What a tragedy!

Android phone makers just don’t bother. It’s a choice every consumer has to make. You can have a great physical keyboard for the sake of productivity or a sleek, futuristic touch screen that won’t do for those with tendency of writing long long emails or compositions or a blog post.

The convenience of keyboard though, I have to admit, is won by BlackBerry. It is the best in its class. But the fierce competition of smartphone market doesn’t spare it from the mini apocalypse. BlackBerry is crumbling and expected to never regain its past glory.

That said, I got inspired by Peter V. Brett, who happened to be widely covered on several prominent websites like and in the end of April 2009. Brett is the person who inspired me to get a BlackBerry after reading how he typed his fragments of fiction stories on 3 smartphones equipped with qwerty keyboard instead of fancy touch screens like iPhones. He wrote his 100k- word fiction work titled “The Warded Man” during his long subway commute for 3 years. While I always complain why I can’t write in a serene tranquil environment, this man nailed it, he wrote it all in a crowded subway. I truly admire his dedication and unwavering focus, indeed.

The phone Brett got at the time wasn’t a BlackBerry but Palm Pilot with a stylus instead of qwerty keyboard. The speed of writing was slow on it. Then he got an iPAQ smartphone 6515 running on Windows Mobile. In late 2005, the iPAQ was just released and drew his attention. He wanted a mobile gadget that freed him from the immobility of a home PC. It was as if the smartphone had been made for Brett only. He later made a commitment to writing every day on it. It was a serious work. It wasn’t a brief essay consisting few hundreds words but a thick thick novel I can finish reading a whole month. He is a beast. Brett used his 45-minute commute time on daily basis to type the draft of his fourth book.

Brett used the HP iPAQ 6515 until September 2008 for around 2.5 years. He switched to HP iPAQ 900 after the previous smartphone froze up too often. It couldn’t handle the overflowing creativity of Brett, obviously. With the iPAQ 900, no more glitches disrupted his draft writing process.

Two reasons why he got these phones are the full qwerty physical keyboard and the ability to synchronize smoothly to Microsoft Word or another familiar, widely used word processor application. That way, Brett can easily sync the draft file to the home PC.

So there’s hoping, that my novel would be born from a BlackBerry. Let’s write.

(Image taken from

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