[maemo-users] my two big fustrations with the N800 - please help me find aworkaround!

From: andrei raevsky raevsky.andrei at gmail.com
Date: Sat Jul 21 02:39:23 EEST 2007
On 7/20/07, James Knott <james.knott at rogers.com> wrote:
> My point is that since it is almost a general purpose computer, people
> should be able to do what ever they want with it, including PDA
> function.

I don't think Nokia ever claimed that the N770/N800 were "general purpose
computers".  It just happens that that is what they created, of course, but
that is an added bonus, if you want, not a stated goal.  The goal of these
units was to provide an unparalleled internet experience and in that goal
they have totally succeeded.  I have yet to see any handheld unit capable of
delivering the internet browsing experience of the N770/N800, in particular
when you consider price and size.

Anything beyond that was added bonus - even if that added bonus ended up
being HUGE.

Nokia added a couple of admittedly basic application which clearly are not
killer aps (-: the mail client or the RSS reader or the notes editor or the
media player will not get some technological achievement awards anytime some
:-).  The true killer ap is Opera and whatever else the Internet has to

You want PDA function: use Google calendar (or whatever else you like).

They way I see it, and please do correct me if I am wrong, Nokia fully
delivered on its promise when it made a small, light, wifi/bluetooth unit
capable of surfing the net with Opera.

Since they did base the OS on Debian GNU/Linux is was also probably apparent
to everybody that the unit had a huge potential (try getting a Palm, iPaq or
iPhone to run wget, top, netstat, ssh or nmap and you will see what I
mean).  So yes, the N770/N800 are *almost* "general purpose computers", but
not quite (no printing, no ethernet, etc.).  If the community really felt
the need for PDA capabilities they would be here.  However, that has only
happened with the "less than bleeding edge" GPE (or whatever its called).
So that just goes to show that the community is not that interested in PDA

I guess that I am lucky as one of the main thing I use my N800 (besides
surfing that it) is reading books and for that purpose FBReader is
absolutely perfect.  That is *the* killer ap, at least for me.  I was
however quite disappointed that originally the N800 could not play ogg
files.  So I, and many others, complained, and that has been kind off
addressed with kilikali, although what I wanted was an XMMS type of player.
But none of that involved Nokia itself, and that is how it should be.

I would even take that one step further: if I had my way, Nokia would stop
writing *any* applications at all.  Here is what I would want them to do:
create a small piece of hardware which can run Debian and let go and let the
community take care of everything else.  What is the best application on the
N770/N800?  Opera, which was *not* written by Nokia.  Nor was FBReader, nor
was Mplayer, not was Xchat, or Xterm, or whatever other application one
might see at the N770/N800 killer ap.  Compare these with the, shall we
kindly say, 'modest' pre-installed games.

The fact is that all the best aps for the N770/N800 were community written.
So why not take that one step further: let the community, maybe organized
and lead by Maemo, take it all over.

That would save Nokia plenty of money and the OS and application base would
be far superior.  I even wish that we could choose GNU/Linux or BSD to run
on these units.  Then we would have a *real* general purpose computer.

I suspect that it was the folks which want PDA functionality pre-installed
before buying which pushed Nokia to write an RSS and a mail client instead
of just installing an OS or, even better, selling the hardware without any
software at all.  But that would have been a hard sell not only to the
"suits", but even to the general public.  So what they did is, well, create
the N770/N800 series, a careful exercise in compromises.

Associating hardware and software just makes no sense.  You end up with
iPhones and other such Apple toys, not computers.

I hope that Nokia makes enough money and get enough visibility to eventually
become a provider of Internet Tablet like hardware which would fully and
totally rely on the community to populate it with an operating sytem and
applications.  On the spectum between a handheld Debian computer on one
hand, and a Palm/Apple toy on the other, I hope Nokia will choose to be as
close as possible to the former.  If not, the community will always have the
option of removing the preinstalled software and replace it with something

My 2cts.
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