Archive for the 'Maemo' Category

Maemo Talk

Today, we're launching Maemo Talk!

Think of it as itT v2.0. It's an ad-free site that will report on everything Maemo. It is not officially part of nor affiliated with Nokia, but the site aims to showcase what's happening in, as well as from other Maemo enthusiast sites.

It's still

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work in progress. There are a few more things we are revealing soon so, keep an eye on the site. Also, we need volunteers to blog about Maemo and the Nokia N900.

Let us know if you want to be part of the team.

Check it out:

Comments and suggestions welcome as always.


'RogerSWhen I first encountered the Nokia Internet Tablet, I thought, “Gosh what a great e-reader!” I've

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used each NIT as an e-reader but I learned what it's great at is, well, doing the internet thing. As its name suggests.

I thought GPS was a natural win. The big screen made maps easier to read than on most dedicated devices. Still, I used my tablet for email more often than GPS.

The voip calls with visuals blew me away. Except no one with a tethered connection bought into cam-calling.

The 770, the N800, the N810 — these were all complete computers! They meant I didn't have to lug around a laptop just in case I had real work to do. But I did most of my real work on a real computer and my wife never got the hang of using a NIT. My son's friends found the iPod Touch easier for surfing and he never cottoned to it.

With its touch screen, I didn't need a keyboard, but I liked the N810 keyboard. The keyboard made apps easier to port anyway.

And Flash! Once it became clear that “internet” meant surfing without sideways scrolling, email, and videos on YouTube, the internet tablet excelled at giving me the internet.

Well, excelled in lots of circumstances. Without a cell-plan data connection the walkaround web had no impact on NIT users. The Apple iPhone has a minuscule segment of the smartphone market but generates 50 percent of mobile web use. Apple's genius wasn't in the interface but in browbeating AT&T into affordable web access.

Does the Nokia Internet Tablet have a real future? We have a $200 netbook and it's easier for conference notetaking than an N810. I have an Amazon Kindle 2 and I can get books for it that aren't available for FBReader on my NITs. Half the cars have GPS built-in now anyway. So what's the sweet spot for the Internet Tablet?

Doh!. The internet, same as it's always been.

Except these days, “the internet” means Twitter, too. With multi-tasking so I can tweet full-screen and use multiple screens to follow several hundred people (in more than one group). With keyboard and touch-screen and audio and photos too. And from anywhere I might be, um-m, walking around.

I can tweet from a phone now, thank you very much, but making sure it fits is no piece of cake. Tweeting means editing down to 140 characters without having to struggle. And reading (following), tweeting and surfing simultaneously? Hey, where's my computer again? At least Maemo was built for us to do more than one thing at a time.

I expect there will be lots of cellphones released this year that have keyboards and screens of a satisfactory size and cameras. Just having good specs won't draw much attention. But if the next NIT can ace the Twitter test and fly the Flash flag, it'll be very much in demand.


Nokia has just announced the new Maemo 5 SDK. The 100% open source, pre-alpha release is currenlty aimed at platform developers allowing them to take a peek at the new Kernel as well as new components coming to Maemo for the first time, notably OMAP3 support, cellular data connectivity, high-definition camera support, and harware-based graphic accelleration.

A new revamped UI and a new media application framework is expected to be released soon, taking advatage of the new OMAP3 architecture, as well as the built-in graphics acceleration. Because of this, support for OMAP2 devices (Nokia N800, N810) will not be officially provided. An invitation is extended to developers however, to build variants of Maemo 5 that would work with older devices.

A complete list of the contents of the Maemo 5 SDK after the jump.

Continue reading ‘Maemo 5 Reveals its Features’


I'm sure a lot of you have been trying out the latest release of Fennec (Alpha 1) already on your Nokia Maemo devices. If you haven't heard of Fennec, it's the highly anticipated mobile browser from Mozilla, mobile version of Firefox as others would say, that is currently on alpha

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stage, and primarily being tested on the Maemo platform.

Madhava Enros, Fennec's User Experience Lead gives us a quick walktrhough:

Fennec Alpha Walkthrough from Madhava Enros on Vimeo.

Fennec Alpha 1 will work on both Diablo and Chinook (install). If you don't have a Maemo device, you can try Fennec on your desktop as well (Windows, Mac, Linux).


I met Reggie in Berlin before the Maemo Summit, and he was working on his presentation, What Users Want (which will be posted soon, btw). I looked over the notes that Krisse Juorunen of Internet Tablet School had sent him and made some suggestions. I thought about how the tablet is being used today and how it might be used — which was exactly what Ari Jaaksi asked a group of Maemo users the next evening.

I ended up putting my thoughts down on paper (unable to use the hotel's power converters with Nokia's AC-4U battery charger!). I hadn't put in for a speaking slot, so making notes was just a way to keep my head in the topic while Reggie was working on his slides. He didn't finish till 4 a.m. on Thursday night, so I kept writing. Here is what I wrote up but didn't say at the Maemo Summit:

What more do we want?
In Ari Jaaksi's talk at OSiM World, he characterized the reception of the 770 Internet Tablet as people asking, “What is this PDA that doesn't have PDA functions? What is this phone that isn't a phone?”

No one had seen a mobile device like this, explicitly designed for internet use: a full computer without a keyboard, without a hard disk, which fit in your pocket and was light enough that it didn't act like an anchor.[1]

A computer you could use standing up. This was cool, but what was truly revolutionary was that you could surf the internet while on the move. Continue reading ‘Talk-talk: What I didn’t say at the Maemo Summit’


As the Maemo Summit came to a close on Saturday afternoon, I was sitting down at the front of the rmeeting room, looking for an outlet to charge my Internet Tablet. An unexpected and oddly stirring session on where we were going had ended abruptly, and now the microphone had passed from the audience back to the stage. The last words of these eventful two days were being issued by the same keep-things-moving ringmaster who had enforced the five-minutes-and-not-one-second-more lightning talks, and in the same keep-things-moving tone.

And I found myself calling loudly for the microphone, interrupting things simply to prevent the benediction from being pronounced on our assembly.

Some three hundred people were about to leave the Maemo Summit, having experienced an extraordinary feeling of optimism and gratitude. Happiness, you might even say.

Achieving that result was no small accomplishment.

I didn't particularly have anything to say. But if there was one thing I knew, it was that there was a more fitting tone to close on than merely reminding everyone of the last item on the day's agenda.

So when the microphone was hurriedly passed to me — What? We're ending now! — I just spoke about what I was feeling: gratitude. And that gratitude was most focused on the ringmaster standing in front of us then. Because of course the person most responsible for the Summit's having taken place and had such remarkable results was Nokia's Quim Gil.

I don't know if I would say Quim has a thankless job, but surely in his role of interfacing with the Maemo Community and, as he says, “promoting intelligence at,” he has to field more of our negativity and dissatisfaction than anyone else at Nokia.

Quim is forceful and optimistic and more tolerant of benighted foolishness than anyone has a right to expect. (Anyone expressing that foolishness, that is.) I know this from my own dealings with him, in which I have evinced rather more than usual of my benighted and dimwitted side.

From the initial notion of a Maemo conclave — which he suggested spontaneously if not off-handedly during a cab ride — to organizing the schedule and then orchestrating its execution, every part of the Summit bore his fingerprints.

In no small measure, the remarkable vibrations we experienced resulted from Quim's efforts, his passion, his optimism and tolerance and forcefulness.

We have a lot to thank him for — and others too, but let's focus on one thing at a time.

I hope that our thanks for all Quim did to bring this Summit into existence and make it so eventful will help balance against the manifestations he experiences of our less gracious side the rest of the time.

At least we can say that we — people here and everywhere who make up the Maemo Community — are consistent in our behavior: we are always going to hold someone responsible for something that just happened.

In this case, it's you, Quim. This has been a great experience for all of us. Thank you.

Well, that's what I was trying to say, when I said whatever it was I actually said. I kept it short and didn't mention any of the traits of the magnificent I've identified here, but I figure Quim needs much more of our gratitude expressed than he usually hears, so I have permitted myself to add the unexpressed subtext of that verbal thanks here.

Plus I don't work behind the scenes, so I don't know who the unsung heroes of our Maemo Summit are. Our gratitude extends to them as well, of course, but for today, Quim will have to stand in for everyone's contributions. He'll need to apportion our thanks to the deserving others on his own.

Note: Part I: What I didn't say and Part II: What someone else said are in progress.



Up until last week, getting Maemo developers, Nokians and what Reggie describes simply as “enthusiasts” all together in one location, a Maemo Summit, seemed to me to be a good idea. I was wrong, I realize now: not a good idea.

A brilliant idea.

We all know the next steps in the development of this “mobile internet device” niche are critical — critical for Nokia, for the market itself, for the users, especially those first adaptors (that would be us, the posters and readers of itT forums), the recently dubbed “Maemo Community.”

At several disparate points in the summit, speakers noted how putting, say, coders and UI designers on the same team made for faster progress, fewer missteps, information being communicated with less noise.

Having the Summit took this idea of integration a level higher: instead of all the misconceptions that occur from separated contributors, whose every written note can be misinterpreted and its tone wildly misconstrued, now three-dimensional humans exist in the spot where virtual constructs and avatars stood.

The takeaway
In four days in Berlin — two at OSiM World (Open Souce in Mobile) followed by two at the Maemo Summit — I learned about enough interesting developments and projects to occupy a mere 10 or 12 days a week to follow completely, and participate in some.
Continue reading ‘Takeaway from the Maemo Summit’

As a nonce word, the pronunciation of maemo isn't something you can check in a dictionary. And given its provenance, I'd venture that most people first encountered this word in print, and not orally.

Should each vowel be pronounced, making this one really short three-syllable word? Could be.

Should the first syllable be pronounced the same as the month of May? Makes sense.

Or does a followed by e represent the ae diphthong, which if really stretched out would be “maaa-eee” but which English speakers consider a long i: “my”? Well, yes, why not?

I've heard all these pronunciations used at OSiMWorld the past couple days, plus the “two-and-a-half-syllable” variation (really short e) and the “silent a” (“me”-mo).

Now some might argue that, as a trademark, Maemo's pronunciation is properly decided by Nokia. But I figure if Sony couldn't dictate that its corporate name be pronounced “sunny” (intended as a slang-y spelling of “sonny”-boy), that argument doesn't hold water.

Someone said this evening that “I expect it to be 'may-mo' but I think of it as 'my-mo'.” Me, too.

The first Maemo Summit begins Friday in Berlin. Since this event is birthing the Maemo Community to formally represent all the non-Nokia participants involved in our pocket revolution — that

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would be us enthusiasts, the users and developers — I'd like to point out that one good reason for preferring “my-mo” is simply how it subliminally confers this new status. Maybe Nokia has the trademark, but it is sharing ownership with us. With me. And now it truly is my Maemo.



The OSiM Maemo Developer Session today has previewed interesting topics to be discussed in detail tomorrow at the Maemo Summit. Below are some updates and some of the new and updated technologies that we can expect in future Maemo devices:

Newly adopted technologies:

  • Meta Tracker – content search and metadata tools
  • Pulse Audio – sound server replacing ESD & ALSA
  • OHM – Hardware management daemon
  • gUPnP – seamless connectivity between devices
  • upstart – fast system boot & stop

Updated technologies:

  • Gecko – now integrated with
  • Bluez – now with A2DP
  • gstreamer – now with openMAX
  • GTK+ – pushing mobile optimization
  • Telepathy – now with Farsight2

New contributions to the open source community:

  • to
    • HSPA/3G enablers for OMAP3 ->
  • to
    • stlc45xx.aka – the much awaited WLAN driver
    • DSME – hardware watchdog & thermal monitoring
    • MIDAS – media player application framework
    • Calendar engine – iCal RFC 2445 implementation

Maemo Fremantle:

  • SDK to be released soon
  • list of packages now available
  • incremental weekly releases unitl final version




Dr. Ari Jaaksi has just finished his keynote speech over at OSiM, revealing a lot of juicy stuff on the future of Maemo. Check out the the upcoming Maemo 5 (5th generation) highlights:

  • online anywhere with cellular connectivity over HSPA for broadband anywhere
  • powerful computing with TI OMAP3 processor – for better performance and better graphics performance
  • photo sharing with hi-def camera – imaging and photo-sharing
  • Nokia is now Gold Sponsor of Linux Foundation, has contributed code today for 3G/HSPA cellular (data) connectivity for OMAP3 to Linux kernel
  • no news yet on backward compatibility for older devices





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