# [maemo-users] N810 for $180 From: Peter Flynn peter.flynn at mars.ucc.ie Date: Wed Jun 17 01:01:21 EEST 2009 Mark Haury wrote: > I'm using GPE myself, but I've spent 6 months trying to fix the botched > data import. There's just no way to reliably import data or specify > corresponding data fields. Yes; the apps seem to have been designed by someone who has heard PIM apps described, but has never seen any. > I have yet to get Abiword to import or export Word or OpenOffice files; The new version I mentioned here a couple of days ago sems to open all the ones my Windows-using colleagues send me. > ... which is exactly the problem; you have to encode everything > specifically for the tablet. You can't just drag-and-drop existing files > (unless they're really low quality) onto the tablet and go. I wouldn't expect to drop an full-rez video onto a small device and expect it to play. The CPU just won't take that kind of strain. > Actually the calendar is the easy part; Erminig syncs GPE Calendar with > Google Calenar very reliably. That's the one sync that *does* work. My > problem is that I need to be able to print mailing labels etc. from the > contacts, which can't be done from the tablet in any way, shape or form. Not so. You can export records from GPE Contacts to a VCard file, and then run the file through vcf2csv and awk to create a file of LaTeX \label{} commands which do the job just fine. Something like:$ vcf2csv -i contacts.csv | awk -F"	" '{print "\\label{" \
gensub("&","\\\\&",1,$2) "\\\\" gensub(",","\\\\","G",$11) "}"}' \
>labels.tex

(that's a TAB in the -F argument to awk).

> There's been a lot of hype about the new crop of "MID" devices, which
> are basically clones of the Nokia Internet Tablets, but they're being
> very slow about actually coming to market. The Asus R50A is an example,
> but seems to have similar problems with unfinished OS and apps. I guess
> the price point keeps these companies from dedicating many resources to
> sorting them out properly because of the fear they won't sell well and
> make money, so it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

What puzzles me a little (and perhaps some of the developers here can
comment) is that not that many years ago, a 64Mb desktop was perfectly
capable of running a full Linux distro. Not blindingly fast, but usable.
Given a decent ARM chip, and a 16Gb SD card, I would have thought it not
impossible to run something equivalent on a pocket device, assuming the
device drivers can be written. I'm not a hardware engineer, so there may
be something missing in this, but what I am running on the N800 now is
extremely close to what I was running on my old Dell desktop. I have
heard of moves to port Ubuntu to handheld devices, I think.

Nokia had most of the right idea, but if the OS and apps are the
problem, there are people willing to make them work provided they have a
sensible and standards-obedient platform to target. Unfortunately the
manufacturers are approaching the problem from the wrong end (misled by
Marketing, as usual).

///Peter