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Link Dump / N900

Lots of links and interesting tidbits come my way. Most are KDE related, sometimes computer science. I thought I’d clear up my backlog of items for once.

Some folks have asked me what I think of the Nokia N900. Blog posts like that by Dinesh or Ben prodded me, but what worked best was spotting an N900 in the wild. See, I know KDE and Qt developers have this device. Nokia kindly ensures that we have access. But does it get used by anyone else? The Register (a UK IT publication I like to read) is ferociously anti-Nokia, so I rarely read any good news. Combine that with decidedly poor availability of the N900 in the Netherlands — none of the telco’s carried it — and it’s felt rather lonely with one. The device I’m using is one of those handed out at the Maemo summit in Amsterdam. I didn’t attend, but someone who did passed the device on to me.

Now, I’m not necessarily a smartphone user. I tend to move from home to office by train, don’t have lots of "road warrior" in me, and I can stand being offline for, say, an hour while moving between one location and another. I love the Nokia 6300 form factor. Small, sturdy, makes phone calls and is a nice mp3 player as well. In a pinch it can even load up buienradar.nl or another website. That said, I may as well start with what I perceive to be the downsides of the device — which should be no surprise here. Size and battery life. The thing is heavy, which makes longer phone calls a drag. it lasts two, maybe three days on a charge if it sees little use and doesn’t hook up to a wifi hotspot — the latter is a real drain. Compare to the week I get with the 6300 or three weeks with a 2310 (again, I’m not a heavy phone user, so standby time is actually most important to me).

Software-wise there are a few annoyances (setting a ringtone is much harder than it needs to be) but I really appreciate the openness of the platform. Debian packages? Pre-built VM for development? SSH out of the box? An XTerm? Ticks all the boxes for me. IRC over SSH to irssi running on a server is just what I always do — hasn’t anyone built Quassel for this device yet? Software updates are a little slow, but I appreciate it that it also flags updates for third-party apps. I have an early release of KDEPIM-Mobile installed, which needs an update, and there’s Marble too.

The keyboard is nice as long as you’re not using emacs. All in all I’d say the N900 is the smallest laptop I’ve ever owned — and it makes calls, too.

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2 Responses to “Link Dump / N900”

  1. Nikhil Says:

    First.

    Thanks for the link to the kio slave!

  2. Dinesh Says:

    Even I find the battery life a bit disappointing… And yes, even though it is an excellent device, this is not a Phone for everyone(especially if somebody is looking for just a smart”phone”)…

    What really appeals to me is the openness of this device. I’m supposed to do a course project with Panda 3D (a python library for Game development) and viola!! somebody already ported it to N900!!

    => N900 really rocks!! :D