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[23 Dec 2011 | | ]
N900 Speed Patch and Battery Patch for better performance

Besides overclocking, you can now install battery and speed patches to increase the performance on your N900. These guide will be broken down into 2 parts.
1. Speed Patch
First install it from Xterm using the following commands
sudo gainroot
apt-get install speedpatch
After installation, it might take from 2 to 4 reboots before the patch can be applied to the phone due to a bug. To check whether the speed patch has been applied, run the following command
ls  /dev/cgroup/cpu/user/
Then you should see some listing of files. Or when there is no error after installing for an instance.
If you are having the xterminal problem and it disappear after xterminal is loaded then do this to fix it
rm .cache/launch/com.nokia.xterm.pvr
If unexpected reboot occurs, the speed patch would be applied on the next proper reboot. To remove the speedpatch, just simply type this command:
apt-get purge speedpatch
2.Battery Patch
The patch works practically by going to an underclocked profile when keyboard and screen is closed. An overclocked profile is activated when screen is turned on. The patch can be temporarily disabled even with the screen off is by turning the screen off after opening the keyboard. This tip is especially useful when you are downloading some stuffs in the background and doesn’t want it to pause the process.
To install for kernel power users :
apt-get install batterypatch
To remove:
apt-get purge batterypatch
To install for non kernel power users:
apt-get install batterypatch-non-kp
To remove :
apt-get purge batterypatch-non-kp
To check whether battery patch is applied :
sudo gainroot
echo 1000 >> /proc/sys/vm/vfs_cache_pressure
Then lock the phone and unlock it then enter this command
cat /proc/sys/vm/vfs_cache_pressure
If it shows 100, then patch is applied.

Firmware, Headline, Maemo 5, Software »

[19 Dec 2011 | | ]
An update on NITDroid for the N900

NITDroid have been running over the years on the N900 and here is the current latest update :
Latest stable Android version running on the N900 is Version 2.3.7. Well this is practically a Gingerbread OS with Google Wallet support. This version is called N12 for NITDroid for the N900
N12 includes receiving and sending SMS successfully. However voice calls and camera are still under development
Here is a list with compatible games being able to run on the NITDroid itself. Overclocking and installation on internal EMMC would be suggested to ensure smooth game play.
And on the day the Ice Cream Sandwich source code is being released, a port of ICS has been done for the N900. Credits to the NITDroid developer drunkdebugger. Here is the link to the video : Video
Let’s hope more updates would come soon and we can get a stable NITDroid to replace Maemo for the N900.

Featured, Firmware, News, Software »

[20 Nov 2011 | | ]
Where’s Wally… Changelog? – Security Update and CSSU

For those using N900 with Community SSU package you may have noticed that your N900 wants to update to some kind of unknown version ‘21.2011.38-1′. What to do?
First of all the update is meant to update your certificates, removing the ones that were compromised, increasing security of your device (so you won’t end up installing software that was signed by invalid certificate). What if you’re using Community SSU and don’t want to brick your phone? There’s no simple answer to this question. I don’t have all of the answers, but let’s try to make it simple in this simple rules:
You don’t use CSSU. You can calmly update your N900, it shouldn’t brick after update.
You use CSSU stable. Well, this is longer story, according to developers you may meet some system issues after updating core system from Nokia having stable release of CSSU. The best way here is to wait for update of CSSU that will include all of security updates from Nokia.
You use CSSU testing. This is simple, at least it was for me. I wasn’t thinking much when upgrading, testing is testing, I was prepared to have some issues with new versions of software released by Nokia itself. Surprisingly it came with absolutely no glitches. Now I have this marvellous ‘21.2011.38-1′ version and it goes smoothly.
One thing before I get to footer. Remember to make full backup before you try to update firmware of your N900. I mean it: FULL BACKUP! This way you won’t end up with piece of plastic and silicon dioxide that you can kill some cockroaches with. This way you can always re-flash and bring back backup files.

MJ (see my own blog at j4b0l.com)

Firmware, Headline, Maemo 5, Software »

[22 Aug 2011 | | ]
Another Linux OS at its end

I have always had great respect for webOS, it was an amazing system that was ahead of its time.  Sadly some things don’t quite catch on like they should and now webOS has gone the way of the Sega Saturn. It’s a sad day indeed when it seems like HP only recently forked out around $1.2 billion for Palm, and already they have dug its grave.  While HP kind of hints that something could come of the system, they have pretty well ditched it themselves.  The death of a competing OS would usually be a good thing for us Nokia N900 lovers, cutting down on the competition for our variations of chocolate, but in this case I feel we end up losing more then we gain.

WebOS was built in a similar fashion to Maemo, laying its roots in Linux and openness.  It is that relationship that has helped both OS’s benefit from each other, between porting apps, to playing the games.  It’s a little sad that both of these systems will be going the way of the Dodo, but maybe that’s just where the market is going now?
At the end of the day, did it seem like HP really supported webOS?  In the same way that Nokia seems like it has supported Maemo, or Meego?  Even if they did or not is irrelevant and the perception of people is what is really key.  To most people, all of these products appear to not matter to the parent companies, and that there is disastrous apparently.  Maybe Meego needs to learn a thing or two before it makes headlines for the same thing?

Firmware, Headline »

[10 Apr 2011 | | ]
Video review on NITDroid for the N900

I will just post a video I made to show you guys what to expect when installing the NITDroid. The guide to installation of NITDroid is here.Video after the break. I hope you enjoy that!

What to expect?

The whole experience of using the NITDroid seems kinda cool for a change but the startup could be a bit laggy. I am not sure what causes this problem but I am sure they would iron out this kinks in the near future. One thing I like about the NITDroid is the Music player but I realised that everytime you play a song, the album cover picture would appear in your “PHOTOS” in your Maemo
The call, messaging, GPS ,camera functions and a few others are not working yet. The full details of the working and non-working functions could be found here.
The whole experience of the NITDroid can be seen in the following video. Hope you guys enjoy it. Another reminder, the installation guide can be found here
Conclusion
You look cool using this NITDroid on the N900. Your friends would be amazed. For those who just want to have a different experience on their N900 would consider to give it a try, but for those who are waiting for a fully functional OS, don’t install it yet as it would disappoint you.
Responsiveness : 6
Overall Experience : 6
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGg6Hhcszws

Featured, Firmware »

[4 Apr 2011 | | ]
How to install NITDroid on the Internal EMMC? (advanced users)

We’ve been looking on how to overclock NITDroid on the Nokia N900,  but there have been many guides to install the NITDroid which is the Android port for the N900 on the memory card. Installing it on the EMMC which is also the internal memory would increase the running speed on the N900 itself. So today I’m gonna show you guys how to install the NITDroid directly onto the internal EMCC itself with explanations.
1. First you would need to install all these for it to work
rootsh from application manager and wget from the following command in X-Terminal
apt-get install wget
2.Make sure you have backed up all your necessary datas just in case you screw up as we are dealing with the internal EMMC.
3.Next is obtaining fdisk which is also the formatting disk utility. To get this type the following command in X-Terminal followed by a enter after each line of command
mkdir -p /home/user/util-linux /home/user/bin
cd /home/user/util-linux
wget http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/pool/main/u/util-linux/util-linux_2.13.1.1-1_armel.deb
dpkg-deb -x util-linux_2.13.1.1-1_armel.deb root
cp root/sbin/fdisk /home/user/bin/
cd ..
rm -rf util-linux
NOTE: note that the second last command is ” cd then 2 full stops”
4. This will put fdisk in /home/user/bin/fdisk
5. Unmount /home/user/MyDocs using the following command
umount /home/user/MyDocs
6. Launch fdisk and telling it which MMC to use using the following command. mmcblk0 is the main internal EMMC
/home/user/bin/fdisk /dev/mmcblk0
7. Press p and this would list the following. Note that it might differ from those who are had partitioned their EMMC before and also using a memory card in their device
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/mmcblk0p1 2 884865 28315648 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/mmcblk0p2 …

Applications, Featured, Firmware »

[31 Mar 2011 | | ]
How to add extra commands in your power key menu?

Today I’m going to show you how to add extra commands in the power key menu on the N900 itself. This would be a shortcut to alot of people using the X-Terminal with the common commands every time they launch the X-Terminal.

One good example would be starting the X-Terminal automatically in “sudo gainroot” mode without having to type sudo gainroot.
So first type this in your X-Terminal in sequence

sudo gainroot
cd /etc/systemui
cp systemui.xml systemui.xml.bak (THIS IS TO CREATE A BACKUP INCASE YOU EDITED SOMETHING WRONGLY)
vi systemui.xml

You would see lines of codes. Don’t be afraid if you’re not familiar with any of these codes. Just remember not to mess any with the existing ones.
Go down until you have a empty space one line before </powerkeymenu>. The following is a template to get you started
<menuitem priority=” any number you prefer as this determines position of button” name= “any name you want here“>
<callback service=”com.nokia.xterm” path=”/com/nokia/xterm” interface=”com.nokia.xterm” method=”run_command” bus=”session” autostart=”true”>
<argument type=”string”> Type any command you want here but only one command</argument>
</callback>
</menuitem>
This would create a shortcut to directly launch the X-Terminal with a custom command given to it. For example if the above command were “sudo gainroot”, clicking on the shortcut in the power key menu would launch X-Terminal and directly type “sudo gainroot” for you without you typing it. It could be useful to alot of people who are using the “sudo gainroot” command everyday day in day out.
Till next and stay tune for more tips and tricks for the N900

Featured, Firmware, Headline, News »

[29 Mar 2011 | | ]
How to install Community SSU on N900?

I would like to give some tips on how do you install CSSU on the N900. As we know, Nokia has already discontinued the production of the N900. Therefore the community at the maemo.org has came out with their own software update on the extisting Nokia software update.
And this software update is CSSU or Community Seamless Software Update.
First you will need to click on the image below using your N900 browser (which i assume you are browsing on your N900)

Hildon Application Manager (HAM) will launch and begin processing (be patient.. It took me around a minute to 2 before any messages came out).
While waiting please don’t press anything
There are a series of installations for which it will prompt you with messages and warnings. Click “Accept” and “Done” for each to install.
Once this is completed, close HAM and go into the applications menu. Tap the Community SSU icon. This will run through a series of scripts to ensure the community repository are set up.
HAM will re-open and present a system upgrade called Maemo 5 Community SSU. Once installed, your device will reboot.

Once installed, you can check your CSSU version at Settings > About Community SSU
You should see your latest version as 20.2010.36-2maemo13 as on March 27th 2011
You can always check the latest version HERE
Your power key button should have something like this. You should see the CSSU features at your power key button menu.

 

Firmware, Uncategorized »

[26 Mar 2011 | | ]
How to overclock the Nokia N900?

Hi guys, today I’m gonna show you how to overclock your N900 to make it faster to run more applications at once without much lag. Overclocking is the process where you run your processor at a higher clock speed than the default set by the manufacturers.
Before getting started, you should have these two packages installed onto your phone
Kernel-power-flasher and Enhanced Linux kernel for power users (settings)
To install the above packages, go to X-Terminal and type the following

sudo gainroot

apt-get install  – -reinstall -y kernel-power kernel-power-flasher

After installing these 2 packages, restart your phone and go to X-Terminal and type this in sequence

sudo gainroot
uname -r

You should be prompted with a message such as this ” 2.6.28.10power46″
This means that you’re on the right track to overclocking your phone
Next type ” kernel-config show” and you will be prompted with something like this

So for example if you want to try the lv profile  (lower voltage than default) and also min and max frequency of 250 and 850, you type the following

kernel-config load lv
kernel-config limits 250 850

This configuration is reset to default factory settings if not saved upon reboot
If you do want to set an overclock profile to auto-load upon boot up, use the following command:

kernel-config load lv
kernel-config limits 250 850
kernel-config save myprofile
kernel-config default myprofile

Then you have just successfully overclocked your N900.
Important things to take note:
There are several profile name you can’t save as, so that you don’t replace any of the provided set of configurations given by kernel-config
These profiles are lv, ulv , xlv and ideal
And for the available frequencies available for use is listed down under “supported frequencies” when you type kernel-config show. Frequency above 1000Mhz is considered unstable.
For voltage comparison DEFAULT > LV > ULV >XLV >IDEAL
After all this I’m sure you guys can play around with different clock speed after overclocking your N900 using kernel-config. This also releases the full potential of the ARM A8 in your device

Featured, Firmware, Software »

[1 Feb 2011 | | ]
PR1.3.3.7-1 – Community Seamless Software Update

We can already consider that official PR1.4 update is just unconfirmed myth, but recent news shows that we can still get some more updates for Nokia N900. Community released its update repository for testing, stable version is still somewhere in the future, but we can already see that some work is being done, current version is also known as PR1.3.3.7-1 update.
After recent reflashing I’ve decided to take the risk and installing testing version of updates. Full instructions how to apply update can be found on maemo.org wiki along with other usefull informations. First of all, as its still considered unstable you need to be prepared to encounter some bugs, but also with using testing you can expect to have something new more frequently.

How does it look in practice? At first glance I haven’t seen anything new or modified, but I trust that bugfixes are really there. I’ve also encountered one bug, after update keyboard shortcuts didn’t work on homescreen, including screenshot Ctrl+Shift+P and the one I use the most – dashboard shortcut Ctrl+Backspace. Quick investigetion got me to bug report, which wasn’t fixed in Community SSU package yet, but it has complete solution for the problem described in comments for bug Bug 11813.
So my fellow N900 users, my suggestion is not to wait for any official PR1.4 firmware update, since it will probably never come from Nokia. It’s better to monitor status of Community SSU untill it becomes stable or if you’re not patient enough try testing version.

MJ

Featured, Firmware, Software »

[27 Jan 2011 | | ]
N900 is down – my chance for recovery in practice

Yesterday was my first day at work after sick-leave. I use my N900 as alarm clock, but when I woke up I thought I’ve slept it over. Some time later I realised that sound wasn’t working at all, no tone on call, SMS, mail and media player kept saying ‘unsupported format’ for all the music I use to listen to. What to do in such situation?
First of all don’t panic, try rebooting your phone, some services, like sound system may crash if you use your phone without reboot for long time. It didn’t help in my case.
Second thing to do is uninstalling recently installed applications, widgets, plugins, especially the ones from extras-devel and extras-testing because they may have done some changes to your system configuration or fill up your filesystem. It didn’t help me either.
Next, if you’ve made some power-user chages, try to remind yourself what have you changed and revoke the changes. I did some, this was most probably reason for my sound failure. Unfortunatelly I’m not a backup-person, I keep to promise myself that I will be soon to prevent such situations, but I’m too lazy. I think this was it, so not much to do, time to reflash…
Before reflashing try to copy everything that you have on your N900 (at least phone memory, since you can take microSD out for reflashing). You can also make backup using backup application and place it in safe place. I’ve also tried using Nokia Ovi Suite to make backup but it didn’t go up by even 1% in like 20 minutes, so I’ve done everything manually.
Finally reflashing itself, I’ve used the flasher-method, the simplest one with following parameters:
./flasher -f -R -F <image_file>
and it worked fine and it didn’t erase exactly everything, let me summarize results:
Erased data:

Installed software and software catalogues settings
Custom boot animation and led patterns
Mail settings and messages (gmail account, not sure what happens with exchange)

Data left untouched:

Data in MyDocs catalog (everything that you can view by plugging to computer) and apparently also in users home directory (with applications settings)
Ringtones settings (but not alarm tone)
Contacts with SMS and IM messages

This …

Featured, Firmware, Headline »

[25 Oct 2010 | | ]
Firmware update PR1.3 is out!

Not so long ago we’ve seen first news about Maemo 5 PR1.3 update and this time we don’t need to wait long. According to Maemo.org wiki and my own observation it’s already out. I’ve noticed Maemo 5 update in App Manager today around 2PM, so without much thinking I started preparations and installation.
At First I’ve encountered small problem when trying OTA update, but there is a way to solve conflicts in packages. Just open details screen, go to problems tab and see if you have any conflicts in packages (see the screenshots). Remember (or write down) package names. At this point you can disable all additional software catalogues, like Mozilla, Opera or extras-devel and extras-testing, it will speed up further steps. Close App Manager, go to XTerminal, then switch to root (using sudo gainroot) and for every package in conflicts type apt-get remove <package_name>. This will give you the list of packages to be uninstalled from your N900, but it’s necessary if you want to update over WLAN. Then go to App Manager again, check if there are some problems and repeat above steps until you can update.
When the update is possible it will download 83MB of data, you should be aware of that if you are using GPRS/3G connection! You should be also aware that during the update (which took me about 40-50 minutes) you won’t be able to make any phone calls (even emergency calls).
And most important thing, what is updated? There’s nothing on wiki. What I’ve found at first glance is that it looks that N900 works better with Nokia Ovi Suite. That’s regular user’s point of view, power users and application developers will find updated Qt 4.7.0 and Qt Mobility packages. It looks like application development for MeeGo can start just now with this. It was also mentioned that PR1.3 will come with possibility to dual-boot to MeeGo, right now I don’t have such functionality, but I assume that it may be announced on MeeGo Conference 2010 next month, I will keep you informed. Until then let’s enjoy brand new PR1.3 update!

MJ

Featured, Firmware »

[22 Oct 2010 | | ]
Running Mac OS X 10.3 on the N900

Toni Nikkanen shared a video that it’s possible to put Mac OS X 10.3 on the Nokia N900, although it is very slow! For me, it isn’t worth it. It took 2 hours to boot up! I don’t know about you, but I’m was keen on trying it out but I wasn’t patient. However, the project was just for fun to claim the title of making the N900 the first smartphone ever to run a full version of OS X.
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFjl3Ob3VpU
The Maemo forum had a few rather amusing reactions. Its good for the users that wish to buy the N900 but don’t like Maemo but Mac. In my opinion, I hate Mac on devices as its slow but good.
Users around the world enjoy a bit of the hack every now and then (although once is enough for many), no other person was able to achieve this. Toni  became the first person to run OS X on a phone — the Nokia N900. Toni’s hack relies on PearPC — a PowerPC emulator — to install good ol’ OS X 10.3 (Panther), but the mammoth sluggishness means it’s far from usable. Still, if you can spare 90 minutes for each boot-up plus plenty more for the cursor.

Featured, Firmware »

[15 Oct 2010 | | ]
PR1.3 Update with dual boot to MeeGo announced

With a lots of stuff that Nokia is doing around MeeGo the Maemo world was drawn to hardly visible background of events. But people working on Maemo 5 and Nokia N900 are still working on improving our mobile phone experience and they’re about to release firmware update PR1.3 soon.
Most of us have already been waiting for PR1.2 update that was delayed for some unknown reasons and it was meant to be major breakthrough in N900 development. It appears that PR1.3 will be at least equally important and will bring some really nice features to N900. First of all it was announced to be able to boot MeeGo, brand new open source operating system for Nokia phones. This will make software developer life easier and more productive if there will be possibility to develop to both platforms at the same time. If it comes to Maemo updates noone have actually announced changelog for new firmware but after few monts of work after PR1.2 was released I think we can count on something nice.
But let’s get back to reality, last time waiting for PR1.2 update that was announced to be ‘soon’ was quite long. So now you can sit back, enjoy reading announcement from Harri Hakulinen and hope that this time will pass quickly


MJ

Featured, Firmware »

[10 Oct 2010 | | ]
Is it possible to ‘brick’ N900?

Since Nokia N900 is pretty open mobile and you can do almost everything, many users ask about risks related with untested applications, low-level customization or installing other operating systems on N900. Let’s try to digest most important informations about Nokia N900 and possibilities to ‘brick’ it.
Light brick – malfunctioning software

First of all the word ‘bricked’ is used too loosely, it should mean that device is completely unusable and there is nothing that can be done to fix it, but in most cases it means that you may have some broken software, misbehavior of some aplications or main phone functionality.
This kind of brick or actually glitches may be caused by some software. I myself have run into a situations of heavy CPU load, widgets not appearing on screen after reboot (or at all), late ring on incoming call or homescreen responding only to changing desktops and opening dashboard. In these situations the problem was always in applications or widgets, since I always use extras-devel and extras-testing for my apps.
Solution: If your N900 behaves in the way described above (or similar) try to recall what software have you installed recently and remove it,check if it helps, if not…
Medium brick – malfunctioning system
In some cases you can run into situation when your phone doesn’t boot properly, reboots frequently or solution given above doesn’t work. This happens when application alters Maemo low-level configuration files, boot sequence, kernel settings or when you edit these settings by changing configuration files. This way you can make Maemo hang during boot making it completely unusable.
Around the web you can also find instructions how to install Android (or other systems) on N900 and failures in such operation also should be fixed the same way. Installing another OS on N900 alters boot process, that’s why flashing device should bring it back to normal.
Solution: For this kind of situations flashing the firmware should help, but you have to be aware that it may erase all of your data, so make sure to have quite fresh backup. Visit maemo.org wiki firmware update page and follow the instruncrions given in point 2.1, 2.2 …