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[28 Jun 2012 | | ]
Comix: A comics reader for the N900

Have a liking towards comics or manga and feel like reading some on the go? In that case you’d want a good comic reader application for your reading pleasure, and the N900 has a great one ported!

Comix is a pretty well known desktop comics and manga reader and the N900 has it, keeping all the wonderful functionality, which includes almost everything a good reader should have and even more.
Many viewing modes will make reading any comic layout you prefer, automatic page scaling, with high quality support, is there, flip-on-click and tons of things to set up make reading very enjoyable. Having a library is good for those of you who’d like to keep many comics on the device and organize them.
A particularly important feature is that Comix supports archives: zip, rar, tar, tar.gz, and tar.bz2 are all supported, which is great , because some comics can take a good load of space if you leave them as image or PDF files. Speaking of PDFs, it can handle them as well with conversion, which allows Comix to also be used as a PDF book reader, although I had trouble with certain PDF files and it takes a while for them to open.
Certainly, the scrolling is very smooth, and so is the page flipping.
So, if you read comics or manga, this is certainly something you should get!
Activate Extras-testing and fetch Comics via an appmanager or with
sudo gainroot
apt-get comix
from your X terminal.

Featured, Headline, Reviews, Software »

[27 Jun 2012 | | ]
Yappari: Whatsapp on the N900

Yes, all of you who’ve been asking me about Whatsapp on the N900 numerous times, you have read the title correct! The Whatsapp client was found by me during my browsing on TMO and I’m quick enough to report it to the readers.

Yappari is a growing Whatsapp client for the N900. It’s in alpha stage. So far, basic messaging and groups are supported, but with your support, the client might attain full functionality.
While I myself didn’t take the chance to try it (ethical reasons, I see no apparent licence of the client and I have to agree to Whatsapp’s TOS), I can guide you through the installation process.
Fire up your X Terminal. Make sure all the depends are installed, type in these commands:
sudo gainroot
apt-get install libqt4-core libqt4-dbus libqt4-xml wget
apt-get install libqtm-contacts libqtm-systeminfo libqtm-messaging
Fetch the .deb file from here and drop it into MyDocs (the 32gB directory). Don’t leave the terminal yet. After fetching, go back to your terminal and type in these:
cd MyDocs
dpkg -i yappari*_armel.deb
rm yappari*_armel.deb
Your phone will reboot and after that you should have a functioning client.
If you require further assistance, see the thread on TMO.

And the video how-to:

Featured, Games, Reviews, Software »

[26 Jun 2012 | | ]
OpenTyrian on the N900

Do you like shmup (aka shoot’em’up or STG) games? Well, you most probably have heard of Tyrian, an epic shmup from the nineties! If not, Tyrian is a great shmup for you to start from, especially since the libre version, OpenTyrian, has an N900 port!

Truly an epic game, Tyrian has tons of content. It features a full campaign, with purchasable weapons and a plot (not half bad one); and the arcade mode which plays more like a regular shmup. All that in 4 episodes with many levels.  For the adventurous, there’s a good load of secret content, from levels, to even minigames and new difficulty levels.
Forgiving easy difficulties and hardcore modes, such as SuperTyrian, will keep both a newbie and a pro interested.
The game plays without a problem on my N900, but, of course, playing with the keyboard is rather hard. Fortunately, playing with the stylus is sane, although not as controllable (you’ll still want to keep the keyboard out for the sidekicks). Oh, and a small detail you’ll need to know, to save press Ctrl-Fn A after you’ve typed in the savename.
To get the game, activate Extras-devel and type
sudo gainroot; apt-get install opentyrian
at your X Terminal. Remember to turn Extras-devel off when you’re done installing the package.
The package also needs the datafiles, which are not included. Either drop them into /home/user/.opentyrian/tyrian21 from your PC installation or just type these commands from your X Terminal:
mkdir /home/user/.opentyrian/
cd /home/user/.opentyrian/
wget http://camanis.net/tyrian/tyrian21.zip
unzip tyrian21.zip
rm tyrian21.zip
And you’re done! Into your journey to Savara!

Emulators, Featured, Headline, Reviews, Software »

[17 Apr 2012 | | ]
UAE4ALL: Commodore Amiga on the N900

Ever had or seen an Amiga machine? Well, if you did, there’s a chance to have a nostalgic rush to the past, if you didn’t, there’s a chance for you to see how the once living Amiga machines looked like. And all that with your N900.
UAE4ALL is a Commodore Amiga emulator, which will emulate the Amiga 500. For it to work, you’ll need a Kickstart ROM. Kickstart 1.3 works best, but 2.0 runs too and is required for some 600 games (Cannon Fodder, one of my all-time favorites, would need a 2.0, for example). Unfortunately, I can’t give you an exact link for the ROM, but you sure know where to find it, right?
I tried booting with both Kickstart 1.3 and 2.0 and most of the games I tried worked quite well.
One of the things you should note: controls are not very intuitive, so check out this FAQ page, which also might answer some of the questions you might have about the emulator.
Fetch the emulator form Extras with
sudo gainroot
apt-get install uae4all
and dive into Amiga classic programs and games!

Applications, Featured, Headline, Reviews, Software »

[16 Apr 2012 | | ]
AlmostTI: the N900 as TI Scientific Calculators

Are you an engineer or an engineering student? Then a scientific calculator is a must-have for you! AlmostTI will turn your N900 into one of the Texas Instruments Sci Calcs that beat pretty much every calculator app that is available for the N900!

AlmostTI is a Texas Instruments Sci Calc emulator and a really great one! It will emulate TI73, TI82, TI83, TI83+, TI83+ SE, TI85, and TI86 (some models will require you to locate a ROM for them, as the app doesn’t include it by default) and emulate them really well, making pretty much every single function usable! Writing code, graphical calculations, anything that a real TI can do, Almost Real TI can do as well.
See for yourself, fetch the emulator from Extras with
sudo gainroot
apt-get install ati85
The only thing I found weird is the lack of documentation. It took me some time to figure out that you need to tap the top-left corner of the screen for a menu that will allow you to choose which calc to emulate. The top-right corner quits the emulator.
Totally the best calc app for the N900, and a must-have for the engineers, ATI85 is something you would really like to have on your N900. Especially since real TI-eighties don’t actually fit into a pocket.

Applications, Featured, Reviews, Software »

[13 Apr 2012 | | ]
Recording audio with Recaller

Planning to have a phone conversation that might be memorable? Want to record a sound that your N900 plays? Or maybe use your N900 as a dictaphone? Then you need a good audio recorder, and Recaller is a great choice.

Recaller is a nice little widget designed to help you with recording just about any audio, be it system sounds (including internet radio or sounds from games), phone calls or the external sounds. All you have to do is to configure the widget to use a desired recording mode, and tap on it to start a recording, which will conveniently be stored in the directory you specified (MyDocs folder by default).
Recaller can record in three audio formats, the AAC, FLAC and WAV, all of which are perfect for recording voice audio (if you want high quality, go for FLAC, AAC gives you a smaller file but eats more resources for compression. WAV is fast, but the file will be a bit bigger than the AAC one). If you want to automatically record all out/ingoing calls, Recaller can do that as well.
So, grab this great little recording widget from Extras with
sudo gainroot
apt-get install recaller
and forget about having a separate dictaphone app!
Note that recording calls might be illegal in your country. Recording copyrighted music from internet radio streams is also illegal.

Featured, Games, Headline, Reviews, Software »

[11 Apr 2012 | | ]
Gargoyle: Interactive Fiction on your N900

Enjoy reading? Enjoy interactive fiction? Well, some happy news for you, in addition to Ren’Py for visual novels, with a Maemo port of Gargoyle you have tons of interactive fiction in your pocket!
For those who never heard of Gargoyle yet, it is a very advanced interactive fiction interpreter that supports many-many different formats, like z-machine (Inform), glulx, tads, agility, alan, hugo, level 9, magnetic, scare and more!
With that much formats you can play many sorts of fiction, allowing you to choose many genres and play famous games, such as the Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy or Zork. For those of you in search for fiction to read (or play, if that is how you prefer to say it), you can find game archives with the help of search engines. One of the most famous archives is IFArchive, which has games for most platforms Gargoyle can handle. Just grab the file for the game and launch it either from a command line with gargoyle [gamefile] or from a graphical menu.

Gargoyle can be obtained via the Extras catalogue with:
sudo gainroot
apt-get install gargoyle
GET it, but don’t forget a light source.

Applications, Featured, Reviews, Software »

[10 Apr 2012 | | ]
Currency Converter on your N900

If you have been a long-standing Nokia fan, then you sure remember the currency converter that Nokia always included in it’s older phones. Well, for some reason, there isn’t one by default in the Nokia N900 and many of you could tell that they needed one sometimes. Especially if your career has something to do with travelling. Fortunately, there’s a solution for that available in the Maemo Repositories.

Currency Converter is, well, a currency converter app and a quite good one. It supports 70 different currencies (pretty much every major currency is there and it’s just as much you’ll probably need) with updating exchange rates, and has a handy calculator built-in. Unit conversions are there as well!
Counting taxes, adding up different currencies, unit conversions, the app has all you need from a currency converter.
So don’t wait, get this must-have app strait from the Extras with:
sudo gainroot
apt-get install currencyconverter

Featured, Games, Reviews, Software »

[9 Apr 2012 | | ]
Wordsler: Quiddler for your N900

Are you a fan of word games? Well, I know I am, so when I found Wordsler in the repos, I just couldn’t pass it by.

Now, Wordsler is a fun word game, which is basically Quiddler, but on your N900’s screen. If you’re not familiar with Quiddler, the game’s simple: you are given a set of cards and you form words out of them. For every word you form, you receive points based on the cards you used. For example, a card with Q is worth more than the one with A, as there are less words that have the letter Q in it.

Wordsler has a few game modes aside from the standard Quiddler: Time Trial, which is pretty much self-explanatory and Online Challenge, where you can compete with other players online, adding quite some fun into the game. Wordsler also features an achievement system, which also adds some playing value.
I myself found the game a good time sinker, I have spent at least an hour playing after discovering it. So, if you want to check it out, grab it from Extras with:
sudo gainroot
apt-get install wordsler
And dive into Quiddler without physical cards!

Featured, Games, Reviews, Software »

[6 Apr 2012 | | ]
Slysics: Sleigh simulations on your N900

Have a like for simulation games like Numpty Physics? Slysics is something you’ll definitely enjoy.

Slysics is a fun simulation game where you build sleigh tracks and then watch the figure gracefully (or painfully) slide down them.
With not that many tools you can nonetheless build some really great simulations and you are only limited with your imagination. Build a giant track with a ramp to see how far the sleigh will travel? Maybe a beautiful scenery? Or a sadistic track full of traps and rough falls? You are free to do anything.
Slysics is currently available in the Extras-Devel, which you’ll have to enable before getting it with
sudo gainroot
apt-get install slysics
The game is moving on to OpenGL, which will soon bring it better graphics, but even with it’s 2D now, it’s still very fun.
A fun little time sinker, Slysics will sure keep you busy for quite some time.

Featured, Games, Reviews, Software »

[10 Mar 2012 | | ]
Vulture’s Eye: Nethack on your N900

Are you a roguelike enthusiast? Want to take your beloved NetHack with you? Or want to try it out?
Well, then you’ll be happy to know that a “Vulture’s Eye” Maemo port exists and works very well.

Vulture’s Eye is accessible from the Extras, so get it with
sudo gainroot
apt-get install vultures
NetHack surely can be played without it’s graphical version, but you should take in mind that the N900’s keyboard is not the best thing you can play roguelikes with. While having a dislike for “tiled” roguelikes myself, I found Vulture’s Eye very sweet to play with a touchscreen. It works very well, and still allows you to feel this dungeon atmosphere. Sure, sometimes you will have to slide down the keyboard, but most of the time you wouldn’t need it, and this allows you to explore the dungeon while you’re in a bus/queue/whatnot.
So don’t wait, fetch vultures from Extras and dive into the quest for the Amulet of Yendor!

Applications, Featured, Reviews, Software »

[8 Mar 2012 | | ]
Showtime: TV channel list on your N900

Do you watch TV often? Chances are you have your favorite shows and don’t want to miss them. Then you need a TV program, but why waste money to buy one when you can use Showtime?

Showtime is available in the Extras, so fetch it with:
sudo gainroot
apt-get install showtime
Showtime will show you a complete list of everything your favorite channels will air, complete with information and reminders! Just pick your region (there are many available), pick a channel and hit “Go”. Simple, isn’t it? And it’s free.
If you live in the UK, you can even perform remote recordings of your favorite channels!

Unfortunately, I did find some downsides. Mainly: I couldn’t get data for channels in regions other than my own and there’s no Unicode support (as you can see from the screenshot above).
Well, unless your country uses a language that needs Unicode for displaying, it shouldn’t be a problem for you and Showtime will serve as a nice TV app.

Applications, Featured, Reviews, Software »

[6 Mar 2012 | | ]
Track your running/walking with Pedometer Home Widget

Doing some running/jogging and wish to monitor all your stats without having an actual pedometer? Or maybe you’re worried about the efficiency of your paths? Well, then you can use your trusty N900 as a pedometer easily, with a Pedometer Home Widget.

Install a package with:
sudo gainroot
apt-get install pedometerhomewidget
And now you have a pretty effective pedometer as a widget, that can be configured to your weight-height and will give you detailed information about your speed, steps, burned calories, distance and time. A nice chart for all your weekly efforts is included as well. And you can use it for both walking and running.
The results are pretty good, although you will have to tweak the sensitivity settings and other things for best results. Especially when running. You will also want to keep your N900 close to yourself, to ensure it won’t receive any data from random bumps.
So get the package and enjoy your new functionality!

Applications, Featured, Headline, Reviews, Software »

[5 Mar 2012 | | ]
PhoneME: J2ME Apps much faster

Ever since J2ME have spawned, it has been widely used by pretty much any mobile platform. However, J2ME support on the N900 is rather lacking, which has become a problem, but not an unsolvable one. Some of you may have heard of MicroEmu, but as it is written on Java (SE version) itself, it is very RAM consuming, making apps slower. PhoneME is an alternative written in C, and while it is still in testing, a rather good one.

Since the emulator is still in testing, the most progressive version can be fetched through this link. Get the file and open it with your App Manager. Alternatively, do it faster via the command line:
sudo gainroot
dpkg -i cvm*.deb

After installation you will have several new items in the menu:
Run Midlet will run a specified .jar file. You can also use it through a command line:
/opt/phoneme/bin/runmidlet <path_to_jar_file>
Midlet Settings will, obviously, open up a settings menu, where you can customize a few things, like fullscreen launching or portrait mode.
Finally, there’s a preinstalled Opera Mini and Microemu-demo for testing using/testing purposes.
Well, I should definitely say that the performance of the apps is very, very good. Opera Mini starts up in seconds, unlike it did in MicroEmu and works very well, you can as well use it as an alternative browser.
Some other apps I’ve tried work just as well: sounds, network etc. are all functional.

A few downsides include the inability to handle .jad files well and some sound glitches, but that can be forgiven, given that the emulator is still in development.
So go and get it, it’ll be worth it.

Thanks to Salut Ct for yet another good suggestion. Have your own suggestions? Please leave them in the comments, we’ll definitely look into them and give you credit!

Applications, Featured, Reviews, Software »

[2 Mar 2012 | | ]
Sleeper: sleep with your headphones on

Prone to falling asleep while listening to music? But of course trying to do that with your N900 will simply waste battery life while you are sleeping. Well, then you want to stop the player, but you can’t really do that when you’re asleep, can’t you? Ah, but you can, thanks to Sleeper.

After installing Sleeper, you will now have a widget that, upon pressing, will start a timer. After the time desired will pass, Sleeper will pause your N900 or shut it down, depending on your settings. You can customize the look of the widget and the times you wish to use in minutes.
Sleeper is available in Extras, so fetch it with:
sudo gainroot
apt-get install sleeper
And enjoy Sleeper.
A simple, but maybe a life-saving widget, because, hey, sometimes it’s just nice to fall asleep while listening to some beautiful music, right? Especially if you have some sleep problems.