Don’t Complicate Simple Things in Life

I’m pleasantly surprised that this post has some relation to the immediate previous two posts viz workability and the blackberry.  Let me explain.

On saturday last, I found the trackball of my blackberry phone not moving to the right.  It was working well in the other directions and hence I had to resort to some subterfuge to get to the place that I wanted but it was still very cumbersome.

I then thought of seeking the help of the universe by googling for a similar situation and was immediately gifted with several options.  I looked at a video of about 9 minutes that talked about cleaning the trackball.  The person on the video was showing how to take the entire phone to pieces in a very elaborate manner and getting to the trackball and cleaning it.  Being not so mechanically oriented especially with such sensitive devices, I did not find this route suitable for the situation on hand.

I then chanced upon another video which was just 49 second  long. Curious to know how this person managed to condense so much in a minute, I took a look at it and I was amazed.

As you will see in the video, the person just rubbed the front of the phone on a piece of paper in a pad several times and showed that it works.

Since it was something that I could easily relate to and do, I immediately jumped into action and rubbed the trackball portion vigourously on a sheet of paper and after a minute tried the trackball and wow! it really worked.

I then realized that there are atleast 2 ways of solving a problem: one that is elaborate requiring  some skills and the other that is short, direct and equally (if not more) effective.  All it takes is some exploration and a willingness to experiment.

What route would you like to take?



  1. Murali R S said,

    December 19, 2011 at 4:13 am

    Another way is to use a wet tissue on the track-ball for a few minutes. Alternatively, you can use a tissue dipped in any spirit (perfume or after shave), be careful that the trackball is not made of rubber (generally it is not).

    • badrirag said,

      December 19, 2011 at 4:31 am


      Thanks for sharing some more ways of getting the trackball to work.


  2. N Ramesh said,

    December 19, 2011 at 5:46 am

    Dear Netizens,

    The Best Solution to any problem is to avoid or at the least avert the same. And hence, it is ideal to not have a fairly costly, seemingly complex telecon gadget like Black berry or for that matter any other allied gizmo, when we can really do without it by having only a simple, basic phone to just talk and do a bit of SMS.

    How easy, simple, effortless life would then be ? Great and Peaceful, isn’t it ? Which is what I anyway follow in life ! So Be it !

    With Cheers and Blessings,

    Yours Gracefully,

    The One and the Only N Ramesh

    • badrirag said,

      December 19, 2011 at 6:55 am


      If people would have thought that way, we would be stuck with land lines. The choice of your life style depends on your needs and your desires. So each one can take up a gadget depending upon what he/she wants to do with that but that does not mean that maintaining them needs to be so complex. That is the point I am driving in this post.


  3. subramanien_kalyanaraman said,

    December 19, 2011 at 1:34 pm


    That’s why the track ball evolved into a track pad. But let me give you a couple of tips to deal with it (in 2009 I used black berry for a year – in my standards that is loooong since I change my phone on an average every 4 months – yes – both phones)

    We all know the dirt most often comes from the grease in your thumb, sweat and what not and it is impractical to wash your hands before you handle your blackberry (hell, we don’t even wash hands before eating do we?? J )

    1. After locking the screen, press the tractk ball down hard and move it in all directions. Try it a couple of times, then you are ready to use it normally.

    2. After shutting off your phone, remove the cover and the battery (this is so because you can never really shut off a blackberry – it only goes to standby mode – and that’s also why you have applications to be downloaded separately to boot the unit), then take your hanky, wet the tip in your after shave lotion and wipe the track ball. Do it several times, then let the unit dry for 5 – 10 minutes and then re insert the battery to power on. It should feel better. You have to remove the battery to prevent cross connected firing by the percolating spirit which is invariable. The other gender could use a nail polish remover with similar effect. No, it does not work with whisky or vodka.

    3. You could take it to a roadside mobile repair shop – these guys clean track ball for about 300 bucks (in contrast to authorized airtel service centre which will set you back by 5000 bucks as they claim to change the ball).

    4. You could of course, take it to the authorized blackberry chap (who will claim 20 days time since he has to send it to Mumbai – and you could do that if you want to stay away from your company mails)

    5. You could ditch the blackberry and get yourself a touch screen android (I own a dell xcd 35 running froyo and a sony ericsson xperia ray running 2.3.5 gingerbread – both are good). Just like the blackberry you will have to charge most androids every 12 to 18 hours depending on our use. The company will say 200 hours standby, but we buy phones to talk and check email and not put it on standby!!


    Dr K Sub

    • badrirag said,

      December 19, 2011 at 1:43 pm

      Doc Sub,

      That was a detailed ‘how to’ on making the blackberry trackball work better and I realize it was much longer than my post itself!! Thanks for sharing your loooooooong experience in handling different kinds of phones for our benefit.

      Your pricing guide made me resolve to ‘junk the blackberry’ if it doesn’t work rather than get it repaired at the authorized service centre given the cost viability and the price of bb nowadays. Thanks for the tip(s)!

      I am quite intrigued that the two posts (yours and Murali’s (incidentally he is the same RS Murali who was our senior at school and referred to in Mrs YGP as the person who contributed to the school getting the current play ground)) are about the problem on hand (that was eventually solved as well) and offering other ways to solve the problem, than look at the core issue that I raised using the blackberry as an example. (whew non-stop sentence)

      Life is simple and each issue in life has a simple solution which we either overlook or dismiss as too simplistic in our attempt to massage our ‘ego’. Any pointers towards that?



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