Thursday, March 4

How to delete a custom ringtone on your BlackBerry

Why am I blogging about this? One reason is that I know if I write a blog post about it, I will remember THAT even when I forget the details, and I can come here to find the magic information once again. In effect, my blog begins to substitute for my memory. As I'm sneaking up on 50 this year, my short term memory has become increasingly...well, short term. It's in there, and then it's gone like a wisp of smoke.

But that's sort of what the Internet is supposed to be, isn't it? Where we, all of humankind, brain dump everything we know for the benefit of everyone else and so WE don't have to remember things any more.

HOW-ever! The second reason I'm blogging about this is that it drove me nuts for weeks, and I couldn't figure out how to do it from fiddling with my BlackBerry alone. Now, I'm a pretty darn good fiddler, when it comes to geeky technical crap, so if it was making me nuts, I can imagine it's been doing the same to some of you. I decided to search for the answer tonight, and I found it in the forums at Crackberry.com. If you use a BlackBerry and you don't have that site bookmarked already, then you have missed something wonderful. But that's okay! You can browse there and check it out, just as soon as you're done reading this.

Now, where was I? Yeah...custom ringtones.

At some point, one of my contacts picked up a custom ringtone. No matter what profile I had active, when she called me, the phone would ring. Loudly. With a clang-y bell sound. No problem, I thought, I'll just nip off to my Contacts, edit her entry, and no doubt resolve this little problem in no time flat.

Except that when you Edit a Contact, all you can do is CHANGE their custom ringtone. You can't define whether or not they get one. So where does THAT come from? It turns out to be in the Sounds option.

Pick Sounds (that's the place you change from ringing to vibrate to silent, and so forth). Scroll down to the bottom of the list and you will see an option for "Set Contact Alerts." This is a list of everyone who is activated for a custom alert, which you can so efficiently change through their Contact entry, but HERE you get to determine who's a special snowflake and who is not.

So I selected Set Contact Alerts and, lo and behold! There she was. I highlighted her name, pressed my BlackBerry Menu key, and picked Delete. After confirming the deletion, things were exactly how I wanted them.

Now, when my friend calls me, it'll play the same stupid music that sounds like the theme song from an 80s action TV show (think: Magnum P.I.) as it does when everyone else calls me. My kids will try to stop you from asking me what the music is, because they cringe every time I say "it's the theme song for Action Dad!"

Don't tell them this, but I live for those moments. You see, someday I'm going to be dead and gone, and my kids won't remember all the times I got phone calls in their presence. They will, however, smile and laugh with each other when they reminisce about their dad's stupid ringtone music.

And as long as the memories of me make them smile, then my work was done well. That's a long way from removing a custom ringtone on a BlackBerry, I admit. And I'm sorry if I dragged you somewhere you didn't want to go. But that's ALSO the nature of a blog. It's my mind, and what's in it. I sit here and I write, and you get to see a small part of what I am with each post.

Now you know I'm a geek AND a dad, and the latter is more important to me. My tech gadgets don't influence why I do things, or really even what things I choose to do in the first place. I find tech that makes my life easier.

But I make decisions that change my life, for the sake of my kids.

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