5555

Ottawa-20111205-000645555. My work office is on the 5th floor of the building, and elevator number 5 was not working today on December 5. 555. But there is one more important five to consider: the five people, including myself, who were using BlackBerrys on my bus ride home. 5555.The fourth five of my day and the one which I want to talk about for a bit. (Picture at the right is one of my paintings I bought last summer)

I’ve wanted to write about BlackBerry and its parent company RIM for a while now but wasn’t really sure what to say. RIM has had a horrible year. If you pay any attention to what I call the big 3 in tech (Apple, Google and Microsoft) you would know that RIM this year has fallen far behind. Its share price is at its lowest levels in years and the buzz around the company is almost nil. It’s tough to say where the company will end up, especially while the other 3 are continually pushing new products which have consumer bases that are fanatical/evangelical about them.

But today on the bus showed me that people still care about BlackBerry. To see 3 people on the left of the bus with their BlackBerrys out and 2 others, myself included, with ours out on the right side, it was a telling reminder that the company might still have life. To be honest, the tech space is one of the most emotional spaces, arguably the most emotional place on earth to invest in. People wear their iPhones or BlackBerrys on their sleeves, display their MacBook Pro as the piece that differentiates them in a sea of PC users and their crappy Gateways (I had one which died on me badly).

When looking at my personal investing experience in junior mining small caps, much risker investing, where losses of 20% in a month are not uncommon should the slightest production hiccup occur, investing in the tech space is comparably safer. Also, by investing in companies worth millions rather than billions, you expose yourself to more risk.

So when looking at RIMs dramatic decline, it’s hard to say they have been that bad to dive over 60% this year, from a high of almost $70, to under $18 currently. Because if you go into what the company has been doing, rather than not doing you see a company making a recent $100 million dollar acquisition, having cash on hand, and trying to transition to what everyone believes is their last hope with QNX or BBX or whatever name the operating system for their new phones next year will be, is hardly a resume of a company on its way into oblivion.

With everything considered, whether BlackBerry and RIM get back to being number one in the smartphone game when it debuted or back into a favourable light with consumers and analysts as it was earlier this year, I’m just hoping that the iconic Canadian company gets back on solid footing. It’s hard to fight against the trend and popularity, where Apple and Google are so dominant in the tech space. However, to borrow from what Jim Prentice, a former Federal ministry leader in the Canadian government wrote so well in this piece for the the Globe and Mail said, I’m keeping my BlackBerry and cheering for RIM. And waiting patiently for my ordered PlayBook to arrive as well.

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I’m a Technophile

When I first got called a technophile, I shurgged it off. I was too busy playing with my new Torch, awaiting the arrival of my new laptop (with Blueray player), buying cheap Bluerays and thinking how I was going to set it all up to watch on my HDTV. Yup. Defintely too busy to care. But wait. Is being a technophile  a bad thing?

I wasn’t this obsessed with technology before. In fact, I remember knowing very little about technology in the past,  relying soley on my more technically savvy friends, to get their opinion on technology, whether that be phones, laptops, tvs, or other electronics. However, it got annoying to keep asking advice of others. I wanted to learn things on my own. Because what I found is that learning things on your own can be empowering and research is something that I enjoy doing.

In fact, I find research fun. Whether you are researching about a trip you want to take, the new job opportunity your interviewing for, or a hilarious Youtube video, I think we can all agree research is enjoyable. So armed with my love of research, I decided to take that into this new world of technology I was exploring and see what I could discover, which as it turned out, happened to be a lot of things.

Fast forward to late last year. December 2010. It took me months to finally settle on my laptop purchase. After losing my Gateway laptop in the summer (brands do matter people!)  I finally got the Sony Vaio EA series as reviewed here on my favourite, tech review site, CNET.com, a month ago.

I almost dived into a MacbookPro but couldn’t do it with a clear conscience.  (Note: Gripes with Apple are forthcoming). I was able to customize my Vaio, load it up with the sweet Blueray player I was talking about earlier, they tossed in Adobe photoshop for free, ir came with one of those sweet new Intel Core I3 processors and it all made me a happy camper.

Added to the laptop shortly thereafter would be the Blackberry Torch, after dabbling with the Iphone4 ( again like the MacBookPro couldn’t pull the trigger on Apple products), and suddenly I was diving headfirst into the world of techology. Next up, an external harddrive to store all of my favourite  TV shows like Prison Break, Breaking Bad, and The Big Bang Theory. Also, maybe it’s time for a tablet. The Apple Ipad looks pretty impressive. Hmmm but that Blackberry Playbook looks quite intriguing as well…