5 FREE BlackBerry Applications to Keep You Productive

P.C. Richard & Son has a variety of app-ready Verzion BlackBerry smartphones available. With thousands of downloadable applications from BlackBerry App World, it’s difficult to find the perfect app to suit your needs. Here are 5 high-quality apps to increase productivity, and they’re free!

If you could only download one app for your BlackBerry, Viigo  should be at the top of your list. This free application has something for everyone and gives you one-click access to news, weather, entertainment, live sports scores/schedules, markets, stock portfolios, flight schedules/status, movies, shopping, Twitter and more. You can also wirelessly browse, subscribe to, download and listen to your favorite podcasts on the go. Your days of typing URLs and waiting for your browser to load your daily sites are over.

Download Viigo from BlackBerry App World

WHERE is your one-stop shop for everything in your local area. They have it all: Restaurant recommendations, movie listings, cheapest gas prices, traffic updates, location-enabled coupons and more. You can also save your favorite places to “My Stuff” for easy access later. This is a great app for finding new places and exploring!

Download WHERE from BlackBerry App World

Vlingo converts your BlackBerry to a hands-free device and enables you to speak to open other apps, update your Facebook and Twitter status, call a friend, search the web with Google or Yahoo!, and send a text to other Vlingo BlackBerry users for free. Paid features include sending a text or e-mail to any contact, speak text to most applications, and use instant messaging services all with your voice. This is a great way to stay safe on the road if you REALLY need to respond to a text, though note that that’s not advisable. Paired with the free app DriveSafe.ly you’ll virtually never have to type on your BlackBerry again!

Download Vlingo from BlackBerry App World

BeamExplorer File Manager
Conveniently manage the files stored on your BlackBerry like you would on your computer. Cut, copy, paste, rename or delete your files, access your content automatically using their appropriate applications, create new Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, search your files, zip and unzip, and attach your files to e-mail messages, all for free! This application works with with the BeamReader PDF Viewer to open PDF files as well.

Download BeamExplorer File Manager from BlackBerry App World

Do you have a lot of people you correspond with over e-mail, but never make it into your contact list? Let Gwabbit scan incoming e-mails, find contacts, and put them into your contact list for you! How does it work? According to the description, “The client monitors opened emails. If a signature is found, the client prompts the user, and asks if the user wants to save it. It also searches the local address book to see if an address entry exists for that sender, and if so, asks the user whether he wants the information merged into the existing contact, or a new contact be created.” This free version lets your contacts know they’ve been added via Gwabbit, but the paid version does not.

Download Gwabbit from BlackBerry App World

What BlackBerry applications do you use to enhance your productivity?


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How to: use the different modes on your digital camera

Our “How To” series of blog posts are tips and tricks on getting the most out of your products available from P.C. Richard & Son. For an archive of past How To guides, click here.

So, you have a point-and-shoot digital camera and like to take pictures while you’re out on the town, at family functions, and on vacation, right? I’m sure you’ve seen, either on your camera’s dial or in the menu system, a range of photo-taking modes. Do you know what each mode does? Do you use them? If not, you may want to explore these features to get the most out of your digital camera. Here are some automatic settings you’d usually find on your camera and how best to use them.

Automatic Mode
This should be the mode you’ve been using if you haven’t fully explored your other options yet. Automatic mode is just that—automatic. It determines the best focus, flash, white balance, etc. based on the environment lighting. This is generally acceptable in most situations, but your camera misses some key points of information in this mode. Are you taking pictures of a sporting event with fast movement? Are you taking pictures of fireworks? These specialized situations are when other modes come in handy the most.

Portrait Mode
Another rather self-explanatory mode, this setting is best for taking a photograph of a single subject, or portrait. It focuses on what’s in the foreground and keeps the background out of focus. This brings more attention to your subject and portrays them in a softer way.

Macro Mode

Macro mode is perfect for photographing small objects such as flowers, handmade jewelry/crafts, and insects, or close-ups on larger objects like the buttons of a flute. This setting has a very small margin where your object will be in focus, so hold your camera very close. I recommend turning your flash off while using this mode, or your photograph will be very washed out.

Landscape Mode
This is a perfect vacation mode to use for those beach, mountain or hotel view shots. This setting makes sure that it keeps as much in focus as possible, so make sure to hold your camera steady (using a tripod or holding your breath is best) as it may use a slower shutter speed and any movement of the camera may result in a blurry picture.

Action/Sports Mode
Action, or sports mode increases your camera’s shutter speed, which eliminates blur in action shots. This makes it perfect for games, pets, cars, boats, or anything that moves.

Night Mode
Use night mode for those night, dark restaurant or low-light party shots to brighten your picture as much as possible. This mode really brings out background lights in an environment and can make really beautiful shots. Because night mode needs a longer shutter speed to work, a tripod or steady surface is recommended.

Beach/Snow/Fireworks Modes
These are other self-explanatory modes that help boost the quality of shots in the aforementioned environments.

You can improve the overall quality of your pictures by experimenting with these modes that come with most digital cameras. What modes do you use on your camera most often?


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FLO TV: Personal Television on the Go

Do you commute, have small children that need a distraction on long trips or at the grocery store, or need a new device for the gym? Have you heard about FLO TV, the personal, portable TV?

This sleek digital handheld device lets you view TV on the go with a 3.5 inch touchscreen and easy-to-use program guide. With integrated speakers and a built-in adjustable stand its easy to put on the counter while you’re making dinner, on the vanity while you’re getting ready, or at your desk while you’re working. It includes a unique variety of live, simulcast, and time-shifted programming on channels that include ABC Mobile, Adult Swim Channel, CBS Mobile, CNBC, COMEDY CENTRAL, The Disney Channel, ESPN, FOX Mobile, FOX News Channel, MSNBC, MTV, NBC 2Go, and Nickelodeon that stream via a dedicated nationwide network. Note, though, that because this is a nationwide service that you will not be able to view local TV affiliates. To view all of the channels supported by FLO TV Personal Television, click here and select “FLO TV Personal Television” from the View by Product drop down menu.

You’ll be impressed by the instant channel changing, ease of the touch screen, and the 5 hours of battery life while watching media compared to the hour or so you would experience on a mobile phone. It’s also about the same size as a regular smartphone, so it won’t take up too much space in your bag.

FLO TV currently has 6 months of free TV access, so check coverage in your area and try it today!


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Sweepstakes of the Century April Giveaway: Win a Houseful of Electronics from Sony!

We’re continuing our celebration of 100 years of P.C. Richard & Son by offering a sweepstakes every month this year. This month, enter to win over $10,000 in Sony electronics for your home, including a slew of TVs, Blu-Ray and DVD players, cameras and camcorders, and more. You could probably open up your own P.C. Richard & Son with all of the stuff you’ll receive!

This contest is open to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania residents over the age of 18 and the winner will be randomly selected from the entry pool. The lucky winner will receive 12 Sony electronics, amounting to a $10,120.00 value. These electronics include:

  1. One (1) 52” BRAVIA NX800 Series HDTV (KDL52NX800)
  2. One (1) 46” BRAVIA EX700 Series HDTV (KDL46EX700)
  3. One (1) 40” BRAVIA EX500 Series HDTV (KDL40EX500)
  4. One (1) 400 Disc Blu-ray Changer (BDPCX960)
  5. One (1) Blu-ray Disc™ Home Theatre System (BDVE570)
  6. One (1) Blu-ray Disc™ Surround Sound System (HTSS370)
  7. One (1) Blu-ray Disc™ Player (BDPS570)
  8. One (1) VAIO® Notebook (VPCEB12FX/BI)
  9. One (1) VAIO® L Series All-in-One 24″ Touchscreen Computer (VPCL111FX/B)
  10. One (1) 16GB HD Handycam® Camcorder (HDRCX150)
  11. One (1) Cyber-shot® Digital Camera (DSCW330)
  12. One (1) 9” Portable DVD Player (DVPFX950)

Entering is simple and there’s no purchase necessary. There are two ways to win:

Stop into your nearest P.C. Richard & Son store during business hours and locate the promotional displays at Point of Sale terminals throughout the store and/or ask a P.C. Richard & Son employee to assist you in entering the sweepstakes during normal store hours.  At the counter, there will be a computer where you can access the electronic entry form and follow the directions to complete it.

By Mail
On a 3”x5” card, hand print your full name, address, city, state, zip code, telephone number (area code included), date of birth and email address (optional) and mail in an envelope with proper postage affixed to: Houseful of Sony® Sweepstakes II, P.O. Box 1443, Midlothian, VA  23113. All mail-in entries must be mailed separately, postmarked by April 30, 2010 and received by May 8, 2010 to be eligible.

Only one entry per person will be accepted, no matter how many times or by what means you enter. For more details and further rules, check out the sweepstakes page. Good luck!

If you won this contest, what would you do with all these products?


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Performance Recap: Usher at the P.C. Richard & Son Theater

Usher celebrated the launch of his new album “Raymond vs. Raymond” by singing songs new and old at our P.C. Richard & Son Theater in TreBeCa on March 29, 2010. There were 200 fans in attendance who won tickets through the radio, our theater website, and our Twitter and Facebook contests. Our Facebook ticket winner had this to say about Usher’s outstanding performance: “The show was great. Usher did several of my favorite tunes including There Goes My Baby from his new album. I really enjoyed myself.”

Not only did he perform her favorite song from his new album, but he also sang Daddy’s Home, Let It Burn, You Remind Me, Confessions, Love In The Club and a cover of Stevie Wonder’s That Girl. You can view his cover performance here:

You can also view a photo gallery of his show on our Facebook page and fan clips of his other songs on our YouTube fan playlist. We here at P.C. Richard & Son were amazed to see Usher the very next day on American Idol; clear across the country from where he performed for us. Such is the life of a celebrity!

Were you at the Usher performance? How was it?



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