Back to USA & Windows Phone

We had a great time in Italy.  I've got a post of the trip at my other blog.  I like when you reenter the US and the Passport Control officer says 'Welcome Home'. I am also kind of glad to be back to my regular mobile phone.  I have been using a Verizon HTC Touch Pro recently.  For the trip, I got a Verizon Blackberry 8830 (think that is what it is called) Worldphone - so it would be easier to keep in touch with family and business at home.  When I returned home last weekend I took the BB offline and reactivated my Touch Pro. Observations - I have a little more appreciatation for the BB system now.  I still prefer Windows or Palm since they are so much more open and more flexible as far as applications go. What BB has going for it - in my opinion - is that it is VERY easy to use as a phone.  I've got a contact list with a few thousand contacts and I don't have to access any special screen to get into lookup mode - all I have to do is start entering firstname, lastname or company and the phone does a FAST filtering of my contacts.  Also, for emailing and text messaging the process seems very efficient.  It's just that doing other things becomes much more limiting than on my windows phone. One feature of BB's that I was unaware of - PIN messaging or BB messaging or whatever you call it.  This is like text messaging but here's the deal.  With text messaging while roaming it costs something like 5 cents to receive and 50 cents to send.  BB PIN messaging between and BB's regardless of the carrier and regardless of where they are in the WORLD are FREE.  My daughter, who is studying in Florence this semester shares an apartment with 4 other girls.  The other 4 girls all have BBs.  It costs like $1/min to make phone calls on these phones but they don't use them for talking - they use them for BB messaging - FREE.  So, when I returned home from Italy last weekend, I had my BB reprovisioned on a different line on my account and then shipped the phone back to my daughter to use for the rest of her stay abroad.  Now she can use the BB messaging too.  And one more neat thing about our modern age - Susan is leaving Friday (today) to visit some other cities in Europe for her spring break.  I shipped the phone to her on Monday and she received it on Wednesday - even after one failed delivery attempt!  Pretty cool. Ciao ( my Italy pictures )