- WiFi (802.11g) w/ WPA support
- Nice web browser and RSS reader I’m addicted
- Form factor, the size is nearly perfect.
- Screen resolution – double what the Apple iTouch has
- CLAW IMAPS/SMTPS email (SSL/TLS encryption)
- Standby battery time over a week with minimal use
- Swappable Disk memory – SD, MiniSD, MicroSD supported (really just SD)
- Maemo-Mapper Rocks even without a GPS connected if you plan ahead a little; I’ll never need a paper map again
- MP3 and Video playback via mplayer; there are other solutions too.
- Linux computer for all that means
- PBReader for ebooks
- PDF Reader
- OM-Weather on the desktop
- Maemo-Recorder for sound recordings on the go
- Skype and Gizmo included. 3 months of free SkypeOut. Skype works as well for this thing as it does on PCs. Sound quality is comparable.
- Text entry sucks without an add-on or remote keyboard
- No PIM – I hear GPE or a PalmOS emulator cover this nicely.
- Package Manager Hell – dependencies get out of whack quickly
- MP3 playback battery life
- Nokia Charger – NOT USB.
- No screen protective case
- No RJ45 Ethernet – must use WiFi or blue tooth.
- Scroll wheel would be nice, but using your finger on the screen works well too.
Text entry is the main problem with this device. There are 5 ways to enter text.
a) finger touch keyboard that you have to toggle between numbers, letters and symbols – not an ALT key.
b) stylist touch keyboard that also requires toggling
c) handwriting recognition
d) remote in from another computer or
e) blue tooth keyboard
Yes, this system is a nearly complete Linux computer with most of the great things that means except full X/Windows. I’ve been using Linux since 1993 and found the lack of quick, accurate text entry troublesome. UNIX systems need typing. A portable USB keyboard would really help. That isn’t supported at this point, but because it is Linux, someone is working on it.
After seeing the Asus Eee form factor, I may recommend that PC instead. You get a full PC in a fairly small package, Linux/WinXP and no specialized software to relearn. Things that you are used to will simply work. By the time I have my N800, blue tooth keyboard, and charger, I have almost as much stuff as the Asus Eee brings self contained. AND the N800 IMAP doesn’t quite work the way I like yet. Also, the Eee price is almost the same as I spent for all the N800 + accessories + SD memory.
For day trips, the N800 is clearly the better form factor for mapping and longer battery life.
Memory expansion/swapping it key. There’s 2 SD slots available. 1 internal near the battery, the other swappable from outside.
Getting IMAPS working took a little hacking and a few days. Seems the built-in email program didn’t support entry of my complete password. A few special characters were stripped. I had the same problem with WPA key. Also, the IMAP password is stored in a plain text file. Unacceptable. I switched to CLAW email and was able to connect, but still don’t have other subscribed IMAP folders working. The good news is my password is encrypted in some manner.
There’s no PIM included. The included contact manager is worthless – like Motorola’s phone contacts. It seems to have been written by a college kid over a weekend. VCARD? What is that? LDIF import/export is what we all need. This is Linux.
There’s a whole list of applications available for it. You add "repositories" and can select what you want to load. I’ll bet some packages will conflict with others and I’ll be in package manager hell in no time. I’ve already run in to "incompatible package" errors trying to load some applications – like GPE the most talked about PIM for the N800. This is common in the Linux world since any developer can create a completely custom development system that will almost never match your system. You can also load .DEB files provided they don’t conflict.
Free applications are the rule here, not the exception. You’ve entered the Linux hacker world which is a good thing. Updates will be nearly constant which may or may not be good.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by some of the other capabilities. Maemo-Mapper is fantastic has a map replacement, but you’ll need much more disk memory than the 128M included. I ordered 8G and 2G upgrades since I planned to replace my 60G Zen media player. After a few hours of listening to music, the battery was nearly spent. I’m used to 11 hours of playback time. Standby time is what this device is designed for, not MP3 playback. The amount of battery on standby is impressive, but not endless. After just a few days, the device needs to be recharged. I did use the mapper for 45 minutes while driving. It has already replaced my Atlanta area key map. I’m in another test now. Turning the device off between use with morning and evening use for email and news web browsing. After 3 days the battery charge doesn’t appear to have dropped. Nice. This will help as I track through South America later this year.
Speaking of charging. Leave it to Nokia to require a specialized charger – NOT USB. That simply sucks. Now I get to carry a USB charger, Nokia charger and Sony charger AND a wifi router around the world. Perfect.
A belt clip would be nice too. As a nerd, I really miss my status symbol on my belt.
List of applications that I’ve found to be useful on my Nokia N800:
- GPS – Maemo Mapper
- voice memos – Maemo Recorder
- Outliner – NoteCase with encryption
- MP3 Player – Media player / mplayer
- IMAP email – both built-in and Claws
- File Manager
- ssh / scp / sftp / rsync
- PDF Reader
- Calculator – Free42
I still need:
- cross platform (winxp, linux, N800) password manager
- XLS File Reader – I like to track lots of things in XLS.
I had to write a few little scripts to push and pull files to/from my N800. I’ve said it before – rsync rocks! I grab user, /media/mmc1, /media/mmc2
Ok, so with all the traveling that I’m planning to do this year, I didn’t want to drag a laptop along, but still wanted to be relatively connected and recharged.
So I bought a Nokia N800. Comes with a worldwide charger and very long standby time for a device like this – 10 days. I know 14 days doesn’t work – recently left it in standby in my car as I went to Hong Kong for almost 2 weeks. I got to reset the date/time upon return.
The N800 is turning more and more into a multi protocol mobile communication device for WiFi connections. If you have a cell phone with a data plan, you can connect via bluetooth and usae it. I don’t.
- For the first day, I couldn’t get it to connect to my household Wifi. Thankfully, the 2nd day, it connected WPA2 and life was good.
- The web browser is really nice. Not just nice for a hand held, but nice for any platform. I have more trouble with Firefox on my laptop than I did with the built-in N800 browser.
- I spent toooo much time the first 3 days trying to find acceptable input methods (typing, stylist, handwriting recognition). I’ve decided to teach it the old Palm Graffiti. Well, that didn’t work – too much overlap between upper/lower/numbers, since letters and numbers aren’t entered into different parts of the screen.
- First thing I needed to do was upgrade the firmware from OS2007 to OS2008. Fairly easy and it seemed to be helpful with app compatibility.
- 2nd thing became obvious quick – I needed more disk. The included 128MB SD simply wasn’t any where near enough. Ordered an 8GB MicroSDHC.
- The default apps are lacking. Basically, it is a web browser with trivial video and audio playback. Oh, and you can IM lots of ways. I don’t IM, so who cares?
- That isn’t to say it didn’t come with other applications – it did. Email, SIP client, GoogleTalk, Skype, and a bunch of games that are worthless to me.
- The built-in contact manager is worthless. I’d be embarrassed if I were Nokia. Phone is an optional entry for each contact. Crazy. Even after I setup the SIP client, it insisted on using gtalk for phone calls. I HAVE A PAID SIP VOIP SERVICE! Let me use it!
- Ok, so I started grabbing free applications for this baby.
|Camera for quick picts||MPlayer for audio/video||GPS Mapping Software 3 kinds|
|ssh – fire, wheel, unix, ssh ….||a bunch of normal Linux tools||Weather|
|Claws for email||FBReader (an ebook and other file format reader – text if beautiful on this device)||PalmOS Virtual Machine|
|Voice Recorder (for quick voice recordings)||DiskUsage||Password Safe|
|rsync/grsync – fire, wheel, unix, ssh ….||HP 42 Calculator||FM Radio|
- The built-in video camera appears to be worthless. I loaded an app to snap pictures with it. Grainy is putting it nicely. For video conferencing, I could see where it may be nice, but I don’t do that today.
- FM Radio app – recently learned that the headphones are the antenna.
- GPS Mapping – there seems to be a bunch of software for this available. Probably due to the N810 having built-in GPS. Before I ran out of storage (128MB), I was able to get 1 size of detailed maps for Hong Kong and Atlanta. The zoom was bad, but what do you want when you’re missing 20+ detail levels? Can’t wait for that 8GB SD to arrive.
- I really need to get the SIP client working ASAP. I’d hate to be stuck without Skype-out as my phone when I’m out of the country. Also, wouldn’t it be cool if someone called my house and I answered when in Costa Rica or Hong Kong or Germany? That alone makes it worthwhile!
- IMAPS and SMTPS is working, but doesn’t work with my IMAP server folders … yet.
Ok, so what’s wrong that can’t easily (read free) be corrected?
- Sucky contact management – I’ve never seen anything this bad. Heck, an XLS file with autofilter is better. It is unacceptable for a pocket device with Skype, SIP, and email capabilities NOT to include a contact manager at least as good as Palm had in 1996!
- Text entry – the finger tip entry should be the default, not handwriting recognition or peck for letters. Palm Graffiti won’t work.
- Bluetooth N800 Keyboard for data entry, typing.
- How to delete the apps/games that I don’t want? Some that are part of the OS?
- How to reorder the applications in their lists and re-group them?
- Hotels have 100BT connections, not WiFi in the rooms – what am I to do since there’s no RJ-45 port? Ordered a tiny wifi router today.
They did do some things besides the browser well. 1-click installs using normal Linux tools, USB Drive when connected to a PC, SD memory (and all the smaller versions with SDHC up to 8GB), RSS feeds, Google search on the main page, World Clock shows local time based on where you click. There’s a bunch of GPS and phone connectivity stuff that I don’t plan to use too. Bluetooth connections for these devices is expected.
I’ll add more to other articles as I learn more. I’ve got to get a usable PIM app on this thing QUICK.
How much did this thing cost me? Nokia N800 Costs.
Here’s what you need to do before you call me.
VNC Method required for XP Home
- Install UltraVNC
- Forward your router ports for 5800, 5900-5901 to the PC to be helped
- Open PC firewall ports for 5800, 5900-5901
- Start the VNC Service (Start—>Programs—>Admin Tools—>Services)
- Set a VNC password and tell me what it is
- Connect to my web server so I can see what IP address you’re coming from.
- Call me and watch as I troubleshoot your PC.
Remote Adminstration Method
Alternatively, if you have WinXP Pro (only) – enable "Remote Administration". How to do this should be in the online help. Follow the firewall port forwarding instructions for your router. Open port 3389 – the RDP port. I’ll need a login on the machine.
- User Authentication/Management – Guest, Comment, Poster – 5 levels of trust (0=admin) all views are dependent on the current user role.
- Blog with comment ability for registered users
- Search across all blog data
- RSS / XML Feed
- Calendar – published – CalDAV or iCal
- Web file storage – WebDAV
- Todo List Manager with subtasks
- Contact Manager – LDAP xface
- Stock Links to Google/Yahoo Finance
- Picture Gallery
- Podcast Publishing Organizer
- REST/XML xface
- Link Manager
- AJAX where it makes sense
- Management – comment cleanup and block
- Site statistics
- Administrative searching – for edits
- Simple edits for the admin-level users. I should be able to click on any article and edit right there.
- If a DB is used, SQLite should be fully supported.
- Simple backups (files make this easier than databases); rsync is wonderful!
- Manage tasks quickly and easily.
- Get reminded anywhere
- Locate your tasks
- Share tasks – work together
Ok, I upgraded my Quicken from 2006 Deluxe to 2008 Premium. I do this mainly to get access to new and better stock tracking tools.
- I feel ripped off.
- 2008 is slower
- 2008 doesn’t appear to have anything in it that 2006 didn’t already have.
- 2008 fonts are larger and I can’t find a way to make them smaller
- 2008 wastes screen real estate for no reason I can figure out.
- News story updates still don’t work.
A newby to Quicken will probably like the new look and feel, it feels easier and simpler. I’ve been using Quicken since 1990 – heck, I can probably find a text-only DOS version laying around here that does what I need.
I’m sold, use Netbeans 6+ for Ruby on Rails development.
A good book on the subject (get the 2nd edition)