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[30 Oct 2011 | | ]
The best things remain in underground

Have you ever thought why all the best action movies involve organisations staying in deep underground for long time, starting huge revolution and changing the world? Why shouldn’t N900 go the same way?
Most of you probably know Matrix. One guy reaches higher level of consciousness and becomes saviour of the… let’s say of everything. But he starts among small group of underground fighters, willing to make world a better place. Open source is also like that. Loads of movies, computer games base on this idea and almost every time it works like a charm. Why not this time?
Nokia 770, Nokia N800, Nokia N810, Nokia N810 WiMax edition, finally Nokia N900, every single one of these devices became, in some way, an underground fighter for freedom on mobile phone market. The only fighters? Well, no, if we have a look at history we can find Openmoko project dedicated to mobile. Other areas of software development also have their own fighters, with most successful one – Linux – and minors like Haiku, more specialized like OpenWRT and many more. So can we save the N900? Sure, we just need to stay focused on our destination and keep fighting even if we have to stay underground for some time.
So what do we do now with our N900s? First of all we need something immortal, like idea. And we have it, the process have already started. Just like Linus started something developing his open source kernel, we have our own open source mobile. Now let’s gather people willing to fight for Maemo and form the ‘underground’, we can do it. Let N900 underground be, join us, be the part of new ‘silence before the storm’!

Maciej ‘j4b0l’ Jabłoński

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[8 Oct 2011 | | ]
‘Meet the editor’ – sounds scarry

Hello boys and girls! I think it’s time to finally reveal a piece of me, the guy who wrote quite a bunch of articles here. Let’s start with the very beginning…
Birth date, noone cares about birth date in nowdays age of broadband connections and anonymous access to global community, but I don’t mind. So my date is 1985-02-18. And yes, I’m like 26 at the moment.
Why this blog? If you like my posting you should be thankful to my friend, Dawid (it’s not a typo, it’s polish equivalent of David). He’s also pretty much involved but I was carrying a bit more free time to share in my ‘backpack of life’ so I was sharing my thoughts with you.
Why am I so involved… long story short is placed on my own blog, where I’ll try to explain what am I doing right now and what exactly is my background in many software-development subareas. For starters just have a look at:

my blog in general

a bit of ‘about me’

Anthing else you want to know, why am I so zealously devoted to N900 and Linux-based stuff? Anything out of my interests? Anything at all? Well… place it in a comment, I’ll try to answer but I won’t guarantee anything

BR, MJ

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[1 Sep 2011 | | ]
Nothing lasts forever

Although the journey we have all taken with Maemo has been an amazing one, we do have to admit to ourselves that everything with a beginning has an end; and that end may just be in sight.
I know I personally wish I could hold onto my N900 forever, even when it must be replaced I know that I will hold onto it and still use it frequently, but how long does that all really last?  Although Maemo is an open system, and a very open one at that compared to the competition, there are still closed elements to it.  These elements are controlled by Nokia, and heavily restrict what we can do to keep the longevity of our devices going.  It has been proven that Nokia do not open up these parts of the system, as they still have not done so to older versions of Maemo and care even less now then they did before.

 We could always continue on as we are now, but how long would that course really keep us happy, as we start to feel restricted in our actions, seeing everything around us evolve while our platform remains stale.  While Maemo was ahead of the crowd at its release, and still age’s well, there is only so long it can steam along on the aging hardware of the N900.  What’s more is the hardware itself isn’t built to last forever, I myself have had my handset replaced a few times already, the most one lasted for was 12 months.
But what about the community?  I have always preached about the community, and I still think it is an amazing one, but with the limitations already listed, how long will the pillars of the community stick around?  What happens when their device bites the dust and a simple solder job will not suffice?
We all will need to face the facts that nothing lasts forever, and as the N900 fast approaches its 2nd birthday, it’s an anniversary that will be marked by sadness as more people will break away from the device, or break their device.  I am hoping …

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[31 Aug 2011 | | ]
Questions and Answers – Nokia N900

As I look around the place, I often see many questions pop up related to the N900, features, issues and troubleshooting.  Many of these questions seem to be directed into the ether of the unknown, so I thought I would open up and give people a chance to ask Nokia N900 questions directly.

I will do my best to answer questions or anything written here (and not in Facebook), and if I don’t know the answer, I will attempt to find one (or maybe someone else reading will know the answer).  The answers given are things I would do myself on my own device, but do carry the disclaimer that if your device manages to blow up a small moon, it is not my fault. So let me have it, and I will do my best to be the friendly neighbourhood spider pig.

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[29 Aug 2011 | | ]
Care Service matters – Repairing Nokia N900

As much as I want to try and hide it, every device has its flaws.  When it comes to choosing a device we must weigh all the pros and cons of not only the product itself, but the company, and how it deals with its customers.
Recently my Nokia N900 has managed to surface its flaw, one that is well documented.  It’s the charging port, the little Micro-USB port that is attached by only a terrible few solder spots.  Now this is a flaw that only affects a small percentage of users, and I just happen to be unlucky.  This kind of flaw surfaces simply from use, due to the tight grip of socket and need for daily charging; what’s worse is the warranty is out by just a few months.

 Now this is the part where the company comes into it, because although Nokia Care made me aware of my lack of warranty, they did mention I could make a call to the Nokia Care line to sort things out.  The Nokia Care line, aware of the flaw advised me they would still repair it for free, even though it’s out of warranty.  It was actually a very pleasant conversation.
This is just one instance when Nokia has rewarded my trust in them, and I have had very little negative dealings with Nokia Care, although I know this isn’t the case with everyone.  It’s the reason why if possible, I will always choose Nokia, because as a company I still trust them.  I trust they will do the right thing and even when there are problems with the devices, the service comes in to make everything perfect.  There aren’t too many companies that have my trust like this.

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[14 Aug 2011 | | ]
While I breathe, I hope – Community SSU status

I’ve been away for quite some time, some of you may remember me from before, for the rest… I’ll leave this mistery unsolved for a while. But I’m back, with a bit less time than before, so I’ll be visible only time-to-time with my thoughts on Nokia in general and N900.
The qutote from Cicero in topic is not accidental, after Nokia made some astonishing decisions about future of Maemo, MeeGo and (yuck!) Windows Phone 7 I doubted in all of this community gibberish. I’m Open Source fan for quite some time and Nokia’s idea to abandon mobile Linux of their own, made me think it will be forgotten. But as we see from activity in Community SSU repositories on Gitorious, people are still interested in developing something new for N900 (and Maemo). So let’s have a look how is it going right now…
Since first release of CSSU we’ve already seen 9 major versions, including bugfixes, improvements and new features. The most wanted ‘portrait mode’ is already implemented for some parts of user interface, like status menu or Settings panel. Even task switcher automatically rotates available applications if available (and pretends to rotate if not), reorganising switcher to be usable in portrait mode.
Okay, so we have something new, but there was no update since May, so why the big words about hope and such? I’m following Community SSU activity feed and for July only commotion is like for April, May and June in total. I think that’s good forecast for another CSSU release soon.
Summarizing, there is still hope for N900, but we shouldn’t look for it in Nokia, but in community, as long as it exists. And since I’m still breathing, maybe i can find myself useful, do you have any ideas?

MJ

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[15 Apr 2011 | | ]
MUST READ: What the users want from the N900?

Since my 2 weeks here, it had been fun and I have been receiving lots of comments and emails on a few problems about the N900. The Nokia N900 users want more. Here is the summary:
Facebook Games:
Lots of you guys have been wondering whether I can play Facebook games on the N900. The matter of fact it is a yes and no. Yes if you happen to find a game that runs Flash version 9.4 and no if the version is higher. From what I know, addictive and popular games such as Farmville or Backyard Monsters are not playable just because they are running Flash version 10.1. Nevertheless you can still try your favourite Facebook games on the N900 using the following tweak. Tweak Flash Plugin Version V0.4.0-Maemo1
This is what the tweak does : “Tweakflashver alters the Flash plugin so that it reports a custom version to sites. This will NOT magically give you functionality not already in the plugin, but will allow to use sites that ‘require Flash 10′ even though the actual content works with Flash 9.”
Give your favourite Facebook game a try and do tell us in the comments box which game works and which doesn’t. Might compile all of them and post it in a single post
Video Calling Using 3G:
Everyone is happy that the N900 has integrated GoogleTalk and Skype as its IM service and video calling service. But what about 3G? It seems that it is not implemented on the device itself at the first place. So far there are no stable implementation for 3G video call just yet. If happened to find one, feel free to drop by in the comments box.
Multitouch Screen (Capacitive Touchscreen):
Everyone’s wish for the N900. If it were to have multitouch support, it would been a killer phone. So many new things could be implemented on the device itself. Playing games on the NITDroid or even ported webOS games is so much easier. It would attract more developers and end up being a phone hardware and software (hopefully) sufficient to beat the iPhone and other smartphones.
Simple Usage:
Mind my words …

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[7 Apr 2011 | | ]
Meet the Editor (Pang Zi Yang)

Pang Zi Yang
Editor/Administrator
Age : 19 years
Location : Malaysia
Hi readers, hope you guys enjoy my recent posts on tutorial, guides and tweaks. I hope to bring more meaningful updates and reviews in my upcoming posts. I will tend to post on how to work things on the N900 using a Mac rather than Windows cause I am a Mac and Linux user.
Tell me what you’d like to have here written about on this website. Tell me and Maciej your story with the Nokia N900. Simply give us your feedback because after all we are a huge community: We hope to reach 100.000 facebook fans in the next few months and to celebrate that mark we will hold for sure many constests just for you.
In the meantime…I’d like to ask you something: It’s rumored that we will have a Nokia N950 (and not Nokia N9…probably)…would you buy it? If yes, why? Which features you’d like to have there?
As a final note, let me introduce you PhoneRPT online magazine. It’s a must follow and is written in several languages – It was this magazine that made this blog possible.

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[4 Feb 2011 | | ]
Qt Certification in practice – my experience

Today I’ve became certified Qt developer (so today I’ll spend some time for self-promotion), my experience is now confirmed by propper authorities, so I can go back to coding for Nokia N900 and maybe other Nokia phones or even desktop computers (okay okay, and blogging sometimes ).
You may ask how does it look and what is needed to pass Qt Essentials exam. I was pretty stressed for some time, since it was part of my work plan, so I needed to pass at first attempt. I’m working in MeeGo Touch Framework for over a year now and I have some previous experience in Qt, these facts were my strong points. But on the other hand, while working on specific project you never use every single part of such complex framework as Qt, it touches actually every part of possible application functionality.
So what’s the secret recipe for passing the exam?
First of all taking Qt tainings from Nokia, free material available covers really huge part of Qt and it’s vital to at least know what the trainings cover. It’s good to take the training from someone who knows what to focus on, even when having all of the documents or presentations someone more experienced can show you what is important and how to organise your knowledge.
On the other hand it’s nice to have some real experience. To be honest practical part of what I know, the things that I’ve already done and I’m still doing using Qt, all of this became more understandable to me. Some of coding practices are not nameless habits anymore, I can say that now I know what I’m doing
Summarizing, to take the exam and pass succesfully I’d advise taking some training and courses, reading a lot and having some practical experience. It helps a lot, it helped me.

Maciej Jablonski, certified Qt developer

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[11 Jan 2011 | | ]
New year, new wishes, new rumors – PR1.4

After few days of vacation I got back to reality and tracking news about Nokia N900, Maemo, MeeGo and other things related to my work and hobbies. It seems like new year came with some uncertain news about PR1.4 firmware update.
For quite some time people were wandering if Nokia is about to release next firmware update. Since PR1.3 was announced to be the last official upgrade for N900 and MeeGo is under heavy development I think that this won’t change in next few months or ever. Lots of speculations appeared around the web, wishes of what we would like to see in next release (like this 5 things thread at talk.maemo.org) and lot of wishful thinking. Finally some people got really excited with uncertain news about PR1.4 coming this year struggling around this news in another thread.
What’s the fact? The fact is that Nokia is still holding that PR1.4 will never come, at least from them. All of the informations are coming from uncertain sources and none was supported by any official statement from Nokia. We can hope that something changes but we have to keep in mind that Nokia focuses on MeeGo right now, so if we’ll really have this update some day it won’t be as soon as 20011 Q2.
May the patience and hope be with us!

MJ

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[1 Dec 2010 | | ]
One year with N900 – what I’ve been using the most

Recently I’ve realised that I have my Nokia N900 for over a year now. It’s good time to summarize which applications, themes, plugins, widgets and accesories I’ve used the most. Of course you can have a look at whole blog, but this will be faster
First of all I’ve enabled extras-testing and extras-devel catalogues. There I’ve found some useful things and from the very beginning I’m using CPU/memory load widget, personal dataplan monitor and Desktop Inbox Widget. Over time more customization came with quick-launch and LED Pattern, i still have few shortcuts in status menu and personalized LED blinking for every event (for example SMS arrives with 2 blinks of orange light – similar to yellow envelope icon for Conversations, e-mail arrives with blue and white blinks – just like in e-mail icon). My boot screen remains changed, I don’t have annoying ‘Nokia hands’ anymore and using tools from the same category (currently it’s Theme Customizer) I always have homescreen icons aligned to grid of some kind. Most of this tools you can find in my ‘Do it your way with N900′ series.
Applications I use the most… well, this is a bit harder. For sure Phone, Conversations, Calendar and e-mail, this is what I use every day and I’ve noticed that N900 has marvellous support for Microsoft Exchange, the best I’ve seen in Linux (not counting virtual box with windows on board ). Apart from that it’s MaePad, my very first application I’ve been reviewing for this blog. Every day I’m also using standard Media Player with Last.fm scrobbler, about 80% of music on my profiles comes from my N900. When I’m going for further trip I tend to catch up with favourite shows using KMplayer with all of additional codecs support, works like a charm. And finally theme I use right now is Black Plastic, a bit modified with Theme Customizer, with my own wallpaper.
For accesories I use, it’s not surprising that I use few things from our store, like almost every part of N900 safety bundle. I find this stuff reliable, most has free shipping and I’m …

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[27 Jun 2010 | | ]
Nokia N900 Questions & Answers

We’ve got really big page of questions and answers under previous Q&A article, this is new place for all of your questions, feel free to ask here and we will be happy to answer!
Update: It’s difficult to answer question in time. Please post a thread at our N900 forum and you’ll get a reply faster.
MJ

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[14 May 2010 | | ]
Q&A: USSD-pad step by step

Lots of people ask me about USSD-widget recently claiming it’s not working for them, they cannot configure it properly or widget just doesn’t show on desktop. I googled a bit and found another way to use USSD codes (in the same project actually), that you may like. Just follow this tutorial.
First of all go to widget’s garage webpage in your N900 browser. There you can see 4 packages, not only widget itself. The thing I want to introduce is ussd-pad, let’s try this one.

If you already have ussd-widget installed you actually need to download ussd-pad only, if not install 3 packages: pexpect, ussd-common and ussd-pad (in this order).  To do this just click download link and choose to open in App manager for every of this packages.

After this you will have new application that shows phone-like keyboard where you can put the code to check account, charge or anything. For me there is no working codes I know of, so I receive something like “functionality unavailable” from the cell network.

This should help if you have no patience for widget configuration and basic one doesn’t work. Frankly I’m surprised that this package isn’t included in any of catalogues.

For more info on devel and testing catalogues visit Application catalogues tutorial
Please visit Nokia N900 Forum

Applications, Featured, Feedback, Maemo 5, Software »

[9 Apr 2010 | | ]
N900 Q&A – operator codes, bluetooth sharing, software sources

From time to time here and there I find questions regarding USSD codes. Most of people asking that question want to use some specific phone numbers or numeral codes to check account balance in prepaid, activate or deactivate services and so on. For this purpose you can use ussd-widget, which allows you to use this codes and receive reply from operator. Widget is easily configurable with very verbous help, so you shouldn’t have any problem using it.

Some people also ask about sharing various files via bluetooth. I know at least two ways of sharing files, first one is CuteExplorer mentioned in one of previous posts. The second method of sharing files is Petrovich application, which allows to share not only via bluetooth, but also e-mail, or sharing services like Ovi.

Another question that happens to repeat is about where to find specific software. I try to add information which catalogue contains what I’m writing about, so to remind we have additional extras-devel and extras-testing catalogues, more information in post ‘Another word on application catalogues – tutorial’ and every time I’m refering to that in footer. If you don’t know which catalogue you should turn on you can check on maemo.org Package interface to see where this package was already released, most common order is: extras-devel, extras-testing, extras. But if every of this ways of looking will fail try googling around, you should find something more than just one article.

For more info on devel and testing catalogues visit Application catalogues tutorial
Please visit Nokia N900 Forum

Applications, Featured, Feedback, Maemo 5, Software »

[5 Mar 2010 | | ]
Another word on application catalogues – tutorial

IMPORTANT UPDATE: one of users, Huschke, insisted on putting reasonable info on reliability of applications from extras-devel and extras-testing. I agree with what he is trying to say, these repositories are created for applications not yet approved by Nokia and Maemo community, even if hosted by Nokia and Maemo. These software packages are considered unsafe for your device! Before you add these catalogues please be sure you know what you’re doing.
Before I get to the point let me remind you about previous word on catalogues, where I’ve covered most of general informations about where to find packages I’m writing about. I will also remind that applications from extras-devel and extras-testing are there because they’re not completely ‘safe’ for your N900. This time I will give you step-by-step tutorial how to add them to your device. This thing was mentioned here and there many times, but some of you may have missed it.
First of all run your App manager as usual. Then open menu from toolbar and choose Application catalogues option, which will give you possibility to add new software download sources.
When you have it opened look if you already have extras catalogue, should be installed by default but may be disabled.
Open catalogue settings and uncheck Disabled field. If you don’t have this catalogue(s) add new with one of following settings:
For extras:
Catalogue name: Maemo Extras
Web address: http://repository.maemo.org/extras/
Distribution: fremantle
Components: free non-free
For extras-testing:
Catalogue name: Maemo Extras-Testing
Web address: http://repository.maemo.org/extras-testing/
Distribution: fremantle
Components: free non-free
For extras-devel:
Catalogue name: Maemo Extras-Devel
Web address: http://repository.maemo.org/extras-devel/
Distribution: fremantle
Components: free non-free
You can check weather package you’re looking for is available in extras, extras-testing or extras-devel using maemo.org Package Interface, which I’ve mentioned before. Just type word from package name and examine findings, package details will give you clue on where to look releases of what you need.

From now on I will try to include link to this tutorial every time I post info on extras-testing or extras-devel packages, I hope it will help you.

Please visit Nokia N900 Forum