Owning a BlackBerry and still living happily

Owning a BlackBerry and still living happily

BlackBerry can be your best friend as it can keep you in touch with family, friends, colleagues and clients.

There are a ton of applications to stay you connected with the world like; Pushmail, BlackBerry messenger, MSN messenger, GoogleTalk, Yahoo messenger, Facebook, etc. To top it all, Google Latitude is there to show even your location.

When we are new to BlackBerry, we really enjoy all this stuff. We feel that the world is in our hands now and we are controlling it, but as the time passes by, we realize, we are not controlling the world with BlackBerry, but BlackBerry is controlling our world.

With a friend in the north and a cousin in the south, morning in a client’s city and night at the colleague’s place, you are badly trapped. With different messengers ringing round the clock, you find yourself in a state of “no escape”.

BlackBerry-LogoTo keep BlackBerry your best friend, think in advance. Which applications to install and which not to. What is more dear to you, a good night sleep or the attractive ringtones of different messengers.

Also, never add your customers to your BlackBerry messenger because you can sign out of all messengers, but the BlackBerry messenger.

Furthermore, BlackBerry messenger even shows the message status. So if someone has sent you a message, they can even see when the message was delivered and whether it was read. Hence, if you have read the message but not replied to it instantly, you are leaving a negative impression on the sender about yourself.

Delete or change the default BlackBerry email signature which says something like, “Mail sent by BlackBerry…”.

Although this signature has a great impact on the one who reads it, but at the same time, people can mind if they know that you own a BlackBerry and still not responding to their email instantly.

There is no smartphone in the world like BlackBerry, but be smarter than your BlackBerry. Think smart and stay happy.

Twitter as a field-force monitoring system

Twitter as a field-force monitoring system

There has long been a need for a real-time field-force monitoring system where people working in field can report their activities on the spot and management can view it, making sure that what has been reported has indeed been performed at the same location.
Let me explain you this way. Most of the companies have sales force hunting for prospective clients. By the day end, the sales staff needs to submit a report of their activities. If the activity report says that the person visited 35 prospects on a certain day who knows whether these prospects were actually visited. Even if we believe this, how can the management find out how much time was wasted in unofficial activities between one meeting and the other.

2011-03-16-twitterWith the use of smart phones, installed with a Twitter app, this can very easily be done because every tweet has time and most interestingly these apps can post tweet’s location.

So now, things will work like this. The manager has a Twitter account and his sales force as well.

John Doe, a sales representative visits Amalgamated Chemicals and meets their procurement department. All he needs to do is just tweet the meeting summary immediately after the meeting. This will record tweet’s physical location, as well as the time and the manager can see the activity in real time along with the location on the map where the tweet was made. The location will confirm that the visit was actually made. If the manager wants, he can even tweet back for any instructions.

The next prospective client is hardly a mile away from the first one but manager has no idea about this distance. Looking at the time difference between one meeting and the other and taking a look at the two physical locations on the map linked to the tweet, manager can even see if any time was wasted between the two meetings.

The use is just limited to one’s imagination. You can use it for sales force, maintenance team, courier service, surveys, delivery, logistics, mobile medical teams and more.

And yes, one thing very important. Do not use personal Twitter account here. Make another one for this purpose only otherwise you will end up spending more time in Tweeting than doing work.

Earthquake and Tsunami Detection System

Earthquake and Tsunami Detection System

2011-03-14-earthquakeScientists have invested a huge amount of time in inventing some truly effective early warning system for the detection of earthquakes and tsunamis, but so far they have not had any reasonable success.

This does not mean that we should doubt the abilities of scientists, but just that sometimes we simply need a breakthrough and breakthroughs usually take time.

With the increased frequency of earthquakes and tsunamis in the recent past and the amount of loss chained to them, I think scientists should now think in a different angle.

It has long been believed that birds and insects have the ability to sense natural calamities well in advance, this can perhaps be the perfect time to test this belief.

2011-03-14-birdsScientists should take advantage of this sense God has gifted to birds and insects. Coupling it with latest computer technologies, they need to monitor the behaviour pattern of these creatures in normal conditions, weather changes and natural disasters. Once they start understanding behaviour patterns, computers can then easily generate early warnings.

Basically what we need now is to use nature to get warned against the moods of the nature. I am sure, after a few calendar changes on the wall, we will have such a system.

Business Communication Basics

Business Communication Basics

2011-03-02-bcThough this blog is all about technology and business, I have not written anything about business yet, so here is my first blog post in the ‘business’ category.

What is business communication?

In simple words, the way of communicating in the business world is called business communication. Just follow some simple guidelines and you will enter the basic circle of business communication.

Elements of a good letter


  • Identify and write to your audience.
  • Use language which other party can understand, for instance, if you are addressing your letter to the department of human resources, avoid using highly technical terms that only engineers would understand.
  • Be short but to the point.

2011-03-02-dontsDo not…

  • Do not use e-abbreviations like;
    • Plz, thx, b4, u r, etc.
  • Do not use smilies like;
    • : )
    • ; )
    • : -)
    • : (



  • There is always a space after punctuation marks like;
    • There is always a space after a comma.
    • There is always a space after a full stop/period.
  • “Cannot” is one word and should not be written as “can not”.
  • If a word is abbreviated, there is always a full stop/period after it like;
    • Mr. Barry
    • Dr. Watson
    • University’s English dept. has an old building.
  • Stick with either U.S English or U.K English – whichever is followed in your country.

Be formal



  • Use “thank you” instead of “thanks”.
  • The word “thank you” is already quite polite so better not use “thank you very much”. Just “thank you” is enough.
  • Use..
    • Let us instead of let’s.
    • There is instead of there’s.
    • Do not instead of don’t.
    • Cannot instead of can’t.

Proper business letter formats


  • Business letters use four common letter formats.
  • Variations differ from country to country.
  • All proper business letter formats are acceptable but the block one is more common.

Block letter format

  • The common block letter format is formatted with all of your text flushed with the left margin. Paragraphs are double spaced and all line text single spaced. The margins are a standard word processor setting of one inch.

Semi-block letter format

  • For the semi-block, the only difference between the semi and alternative block is as opposed to have the body text justified left, the first line of each paragraph is indented (has a tab before it).

Other formats

  • Alternative Block Letter Format
  • Simplified Letter Format

Back to letter format


  • Try using block letter format.
  • Date formats are different in different countries so use a date format which is not confusing.
  • The perfect date format is: January 26, 2011 (Full month name, space, date, comma, space and then year).
  • Remember, the date in this format is not like 1st or 26th. It is just the number.
  • There are no commas in address or salutation.
  • Salutation can have a colon like Dear Mr. Barry: – but not necessary.
  • Business letters should be typed and printed out on standard 8.5″ x 11″ white paper.

Sample letter in block format

March 2, 201XThe Managing Director
Amalgamated Chemical Industires
23022 Catalina Harbor Ct
Tx 77494USA

Dear Sir

Subject of the Letter

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc suscipit libero sit amet magna vulputate porttitor. Cras scelerisque facilisis mollis. Aliquam placerat elementum iaculis. Sed in euismod tellus. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Integer a erat enim, vel semper massa. Nulla vel velit sit amet nulla pulvinar blandit ut ac tellus. Fusce felis erat, mollis vel suscipit et, adipiscing quis velit. Nam ornare tortor sit amet metus consectetur ac dignissim magna vestibulum. Ut turpis quam, gravida quis accumsan id, feugiat vel diam. Ut non nisl nisl, id semper leo. Sed risus ligula, adipiscing nec molestie eu, scelerisque sodales lacus. Praesent in tortor nec velit dapibus ullamcorper vel vel nisl. Duis sem risus, aliquet a rutrum vitae, commodo et turpis. Suspendisse potenti. Morbi sem nisi, auctor sit amet fermentum pellentesque, placerat vel elit.

Phasellus ut lectus neque, eu volutpat dolor. Nulla vel massa sed metus egestas varius. Fusce dapibus, arcu at vestibulum pellentesque, tortor massa scelerisque libero, ut eleifend justo lacus at mi. Curabitur tristique magna sit amet arcu vestibulum posuere. Proin nisi quam, sagittis vitae faucibus quis, porttitor non sem. Mauris risus turpis, pharetra a consequat quis, adipiscing et enim. Nullam eget turpis eget ipsum interdum ornare. Pellentesque felis dui, mollis venenatis mattis et, blandit ac urna. Integer auctor, enim nec fringilla volutpat, nulla sem lobortis leo, nec cursus velit erat ut libero. Praesent lacinia eleifend metus, at gravida ante sodales nec. Duis et massa nisi.


John Doe


Email formats

The above block letter format is perfect for emails as well.

2011-03-02-timeEmails and timings

When sending emails, timings matter a lot.

  • Try to write an email or respond to an email when you feel the recipient will be on their desk.
  • Mobile phones are good to reply, but late night replies are not considered professional.
  • When replying from mobile phones, better not to reply in late hours because out of the office time emails get lesser attention and by the time these are read, later emails are stacked over them.
  • Most of us find convenient to write emails or reply to them in late office hours but by using the email scheduling feature in your Microsoft Outlook, you can schedule the email to be sent at a certain time to make sure it is received when the recipient is on their office table.
  • Weekend emails are also less effective so use the scheduling feature.

*British English used in this post.