Using a Blackberry Classic in 2021 with self-hosted services
I want to use a phone with a qwerty keyboard.
- Unresolved envy. As a kid with a flip phone I was always envious of blackberries.
- Nostalgia. These devices remind me of ‘simpler times’.
- Technical Challenge. There are many technical aspects involved in making a dated phone usable in the future. These have been exciting to solve and plan around.
- Now. This
blackberry-2021.mdfile will serve as the living documentation of this project. The Blackberry Classic is ordered, expected to arrive July 2nd.
- If SMS and data function on the Blackberry Classic, the plan is to utilize an ssh application to remote into a vps as a specific user.
- This user will exist just to run
weechat: a chat application that supports multiple protocols.
weechatwill have a matrix plugin installed.
- On the vps there will be a matrix server running that only I will use.
- Also on the vps
matterbridgewill be running.
matterbridgewill connect to my personal discord, slack, and facebook messenger accounts and forward all channels to their related channel in the matrix server.
- I will then be able to read all my messages using ssh connected to weechat.
- For notifications, weechat has a trigger that can run a script when my name is mentioned. I will write a python script that passes the message containing my name through sms to the blackberry itself. Whenever the blackberry is connected to weechat, this notification trigger will be disabled.
- I will also need to make sure keywords like
@everyoneare captured as “highlighted”
This project could be or will become impossible to implement. I am not sure if SMS, phone calls, or data will work with this device. I have a current verizon sim card that I will try to just put into the phone and see if it works, I also have a U.S. mobile sim card that I will try to activate. If neither of these options work, this project has little hope. The only other option would be to use my current iphone as a wifi hotspot and utilize the blackberry’s wifi connection in order to use it. The implementation steps below are for either wifi-tethering or mobile network usage.
|1||Create a plan||Here it is!||✅|
|2||Purchase a domain||❌|
|3||Purchase a vps||❌|
|4||Install and document
|5||Install and document
|6||Install, configure, and document Matrix weechat plugin||❌|
|7||Install and document
|8||Create channels in Matrix server for Discord||❌|
|9||Create discord bot according to Matterbridge docs||❌|
|10||Configure Matterbridge to connect discord channels to Matrix channels as inout||❌|
- Integration with my workplace chat app, hopefully something like
- Integration with Facebook Messenger for personal communication, though I may switch to Telegram or Whatsapp as both are more natively supported by Matterbridge
- Add logging from this vps and my other vps into channels in Matrix
Jun. 30, 2021: Received the Blackberry Classic in the mail. My verizon sim works on it with 4G LTE as well as sms and phone calls. This is a great sign. I have installed FDroid and connectbot to try some basic ssh action with a new DO droplet.