[maemo-users] Nokia device usage

From: Andrew Daviel advax at triumf.ca
Date: Thu Mar 5 10:17:45 EET 2009
On Wed, 4 Mar 2009, Ognen Duzlevski wrote:

> I am curious to find out what people use their Nokias for. If anyone
> could share their usage patterns, it would be appreciated.

(N810, non-WiMax)
I use maemo mapper not infrequently. Mostly Google maps, preload the
maps from WiFi. Save a GPX file from http://gpx.geotags.com/, scp it to 
the tablet then open it on the road.
I have a 12V adapter and have used it on a car dashboard (2 rubber bands 
to stop it slipping) and on the stand on a motorcycle.
If the GPS is running already (a whole other thread there..) it's even 
feasible to use it for walking, figuring out where you parked your car in 
a big car park etc., maybe using Google satellite images if there's no 
detailed map.

I ssh to my desktop/server and run Pine there to to do email at 
meetings and conferences - the advantages of a 7 hour battery life and 
pocketability outweigh the big screen and performance of a real laptop. 
Even an EEE you have to carry, not pocket - to meals, to the washroom, 
to the bar ... the hotel corridors are full of people sitting on the 
floor next to power outlets, charging laptops and checking email, while I 
can sit on a chair with no wires.

I sometimes use Google widgets ("my google") to check news headlines 
while eating lunch. And I can just about update Indico (conference 
scheduler) to add items during a meeting. It's a bit slow, I admit, and 
jams up on complex pages from cnn.com etc.

I take notes (with vi :-) that I can later scp to my desktop. I
can do that walking or standing up.
I scp notes from my desktop to the tablet that I can refer to later. I 
guess I could do my grocery list but never thought of that .. nah, I can 
figure that hand-scrawled "b~0c~1" means "broccoli" :-)
As I have a Linux desktop at home and at work, and have set up SSH keys 
between them and the tablet, I can do things like ssh to home from work, 
then to the tablet charging on my home network, to retrieve some notes I 
forgot to upload earlier. And vice-versa.

I downloaded the gphoto2-compatible camera list to shop for a digitial 
camera. I've downloaded ferry schedules to refer to later, also athletic 
event schedules.

I have taken it on vacation with a bluetooth keyboard but I admit, when 
you've got a desk, suitcases, etc. you'd be better with a netbook at 
least. I've also used it on a sailboat, but the same applies. Although 
the tablet is easily tethered out-of-the-box to my cellphone for 
EDGE/GPRS networking, while I had some fun getting my old laptop to work 
with a USB cable.

I have taken a few photos with the camera. It's pretty awful, but better 
than no camera at all. E.g.

At one point I was listening to an entire Harry Potter audio book - 4M of 
MP3s ripped from about 8 CDs. OK if there's no background noise. I tried 
a bluetooth earphone but the volume wouldn't go loud enough to compete 
with e.g. traffic noise.

I've probably used it as a calculator a few times.

I've used it to map WiFi signal strength inside a building - ran Apache 
loaded with imagemapped floor plan images and tapped where I was to log
access point details from iwscan. (not the best app, but it's what I 
know). I also mapped signals outside with the GPS, riding around on a 

Re. GPS:
I have a Garmin GPSmap76 monochrome set for my boat, with NMEA 
and BlueChart nautical charts. The tablet can't compete - no charts, and 
Navit works only on unlocked ones. But on land, the tablet wins (assuming 
it's got a signal). The screen is bigger, and it's colour. (My daughter 
has a colour GPSmap76; the screen is even smaller than mine). I find the 
Wayfinder maps have too little detail on the screen, unless you are 
actually driving when you don't want detail. Maemo Mapper is better. On 
the Garmin, I have a copy of Roads and Recreation, Topo Canada and Enhanced 
Basemap. Loading maps is a pain - run Garmin's software under Windows, 
swap CDs in and out, make sure the unlock codes are right and the GPS 
unit is registered with Garmin (max 2 units), and you can't add just one 
map, you have to rebuild the entire set and upload them all (RS232 @ 9600 
on my old set, USB on newer ones). Maemo Mapper on WiFi is a snap 
compared to that. But, I admit, I don't have one of the newer car-mount 
sets with streetview and routing. The GPSmap76 is a pocket-sized set with 
a power/data port.

> First off, as soon as you touch the screen (even by accident), the
> lead disappears

I programmed one of the left-side keys to be "center" or whatever. I just 
squeeze that with my thumb and it centres nicely.

> have had no luck in actually ripping a DVD to a point it is actually
> viewable on the N800.

I pulled the mplayer recipe out of the Java program and substituted 
twolame (which was what I had on FC4). Ripped "Incredibles" OK. I keep 
meaning to rip some more, or some youtube music videos, but haven't got 
round to it. You can reduce the quality and size to the point that the 
CPU load is below 100%, so you don't have dropped frames.

I think I used
mencoder dvd://5 -oac twolame -twolameopts br=64 -ovc lavc -lavcopts 
vcodec=mpeg4:aspect=4/3:vbitrate=512 -vf scale=480:288 -idx -ffourcc DIVX 
-quiet -o jackjack2.avi

> If Maemo Mapper would use the *vector* OSM data

Navit. Well, that reads Garmin vector data. Yes, it would be nice if 
Maemo Mapper folded in the Navit code.

Andrew Daviel, TRIUMF,Canada

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