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[17 Jul 2012 | | ]
[How-to] Improve N900 performance: Collection of tweaks

Want more performance and power for your N900 and give it a go at competing against today’s hardware? I’ve decided to put up a small collection of patches and tweaks that could greatly improve the performance of your N900 here.

Note: The guide assumes you know what you’re doing, as some of the tweaks might cause damage to your system, so use those at your own risk. Also, some of the packages to be installed require Extras-devel to be enabled, read on how to enable it here if you can’t find the package. Disable it right after you’ve done everything!

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[13 Jul 2012 | | ]
VLC on the N900

There aren’t many users that haven’t heard of the VLC media player. It’s free software and is highly portable, but is there an N900 port? There surely is.
Note: the port requires you to fetch all the dependencies, and it will chomp up around 45 mB of your memory. Since some of them aren’t well optified, you’d want at least 20 mB in your rootfs.
The VLC port doesn’t have a package in the official Maemo repos yet, but VideoLAN’s repo has all the packages you need. Go and add it, either via the Application Manager (Name: VLC; Address: http://downloads.videolan.org/videolan/maemo/; Distro: freemantle; Components: free), or via Xterm:
sudo gainroot
echo “deb http://downloads.videolan.org/videolan/maemo/ freemantle free” >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/hildon-application-manager.list
After you got the repo installed, simply install VLC from the App Manager or run:
sudo gainroot
apt-get update
apt-get install vlc
After that, reboot and VLC is installed.
 
The port itself is fairly functional, although a bit unstable. I had a couple of crashes trying to open a video.
All the desktop functions are there, they work, and are put it a more tight menu, for better mobile integration. You know what to expect. The videos play smoothly as well.
And while I myself always preferred mplayer, VLC is a solid, well known player, and certainly is a nice addition to your app library.

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[12 Jul 2012 | | ]
Plans Plant: A powerful task manager

Like to have things planned out? You’d want a good task manager, and there is a really good one available just for your N900!

Plans Plant is a really powerful task manager. It holds a wonderful task tree system, with your parent tasks, subtasks, dependencies… The tasks can hold a lot of descriptive information (if you’d like to fill it out), can hold start-finish times and the time required to accomplish the task. If you need to print out the whole sheet you can export the whole task tree into an HTML file! Numerous projects/task trees can be held as well.
The unstable release (available in Extras-Devel) features even more neat features, such as the time counter, with which you can mark the tasks as started and it will calculate the completion percentage for you. It also features task priorities, task search and sorting.
Future releases promise to have a calendar view, more informative buttons, desktop synchronization and much more!
Perhaps the only little downside to the great app I found is a rather huge and non-intuitive interface, it would take you some time to figure out which button does what, how to remove/modify tasks, but once you get the grasp of it, the app is wonderful.
Fetch the stable version off Extras, or the more feature-rich version form Extras-Devel, you won’t regret it.

Have a problem? A suggestion? Leave us a message on our Facebook page, leave a comment or write an email, we’ll surely answer you.

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[11 Jul 2012 | | ]
Pomodoro time management on the N900

Ever tried the Pomodoro time management technique? It’s an interesting technique, which uses a timer to break down the periods of your work into “pomodoros”, 25-minute intervals. You take a break after each “pomodoro” and increase the breaktime after every fouth “pomodoro”. And it’s so easy to use with the nifty app on the N900.

The Pomodoro app on the N900 has everything for the easy use of the technique. It has a nice task list, which includes task editing, allows you to start-stop tasks and shows you complete info on the process. Pomodoro also has visual and/or audio alarms (with the feature to add in your own alarm tune) and a short usage guide for those new to the technique. Complete guide and a free book can be fetched off the website.
Nicely done, and certainly applicable to jobs or studies. If you’re interested, do fetch the app off Extras right now and make sure to check out the main website as well, as it features a lot of interesting information.

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[10 Jul 2012 | | ]
MeBook: A great ePub reader for the N900

Like e-books? Well, the N900 certainly has a fine choice of readers available. fbreader is a very well-known cross-platform reader, but there are many others. MeBook is one of them and puts up a fine fight.

One of the main things to love about MeBook is the interface. It’s beautiful, intuitive, very finger friendly and oh, so smooth.
The support for every basic thing is there: annotations, bookmarks, various screen modes, which surely includes portrait support and the ability to toggle between scrolling/page flipping among other things. The interface helps here too.
Reading books is fast, scrolling through several pages does not have any lag whatsoever, while being as smooth as ever. Of course, there’s support for a search engine and it’s very nicely done.
A few downsides would be: only one search engine (MeBook uses feedbooks.com, albeit the engine is great and you’ll find many books you’d need) and the lack of many cool features fbreader has.
So, should you keep it in your app library? Definitely. While it might be short on features the interface alone makes reading experience a very good one and all the life-needed features are there! Go on and fetch the app from the Extras, you won’t regret it.

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