On Tuesday night at 8 p.m. Eastern time, technical problems cut off more than five million BlackBerry users in the United States from their cherished wireless e-mail. Service was restored 10 long, data-starved hours later.
“I started freaking out,” he said. “I started taking it apart. Turning it off. Turning it on. I took the battery out and cleaned it on my shirt. I was running around my hotel like a freak. It’s very sad. I love this thing.”
At 6 a.m. Wednesday morning, full of anxiety about the prospect of spending a traveling day untethered, Mr. Gold awoke and made a beeline for his still motionless phone. At 7 a.m., it started vibrating with activity. “I breathed a sigh of relief,” he said. “Life was good.”
Elaine Del Rossi, chief sales officer for HTH Worldwide, an insurance company, reacted to the severed electronic leash with several panicked calls to her office in the belief that the company e-mail system was down.
“I quit smoking 28 years ago,” she said, “and that was easier than being without my BlackBerry.”
Even at the White House, officials complained that the blackout had badly disrupted their morning routines, and a spokesman, Tony Fratto, pleaded with reporters to be patient with him.
The BlackBerry blackout, just like the power failures of yore, could have even helped in the romance department — if couples could actually connect. Robert Friedman, president of the media and entertainment division of @radical.media, a production company, said the disruption gave him “a lot of free time on my hands to spend with my wife, although I couldn’t find her since her BlackBerry was off.”
When! At least I have a treo! I lost my treo a couple of months ago - it was a dark day. What are we coming to? Do these devices actually help us reduce or increase our work load?
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