[maemo-users] Getting started with a 770, tips?

From: chombee chombee at lavabit.com
Date: Tue Feb 23 17:50:57 EET 2010
I flashed the 770 with OS2007HE and am pretty happy with the result.
Everything seems to work better, run faster and crash less. I'm pretty
sure the OS2006 it came with had corrupted the file system and memory
card (which I reformatted in OS2007).

There are a couple of problems.

1. The device occasionally reboots itself suddenly without warning. I've
no idea why. The sounds usually stop for a few seconds first but the
device continues responding as normal, then it reboots. There's no
obvious logs or anything left behind. I'd like to get to the bottom of
this. Any suggestions where I might look?

2. I enabled the option in the control panel to use 64MB of the 2GB
memory card as additional swap space. Unfortunately this seems to have
had the effect of making the entire card a read-only filesystem. When I
try to turn the option off again it fails, saying something like 'failed
to remove swap space'. If I take the card out, as soon as I re-insert it
OS2007 seems to find the swap space and start using it. I took the 2GB
card out and replaced it with a 1GB one and was careful not to enable
the swap option. The 2GB card is useless now unless I can do something
about it from the terminal or use another device to format it.

3. I would like to get rid of the Nokia logo (with picture of hands) and
sound effect at boot. The Powatool package from meaemo.org/downloads
says it does this, but the package fails to install saying spomething
like 'incompatible with existing packages'.

Lots of stuff works well, here's a quick report:

Touchscreen text entry on the 770 actually works much better than I
expected it to, but I think a hardware keyboard like the N810 has would
be much better for text input.

Email still hangs and fails to receive email from my home account
(lavabit.com, IMAP SSL) but I set the account to use the POP instead of
IMAP and that works. It handles the IMAP server for my work email just
fine. I quite like this simple email client and the way it merges both
accounts into the same Inbox, Sent folder, etc. I think it's just right
for the 770. I can ssh to my server and run mutt, but OS2007's email
program works better, it supports the touchscreen and the GUI is
designed to be easy to operate on small touchscreen devices like the

I got the Osso X Terminal (Advanced) installed and this terminal does
the job just fine. I've been using the terminal to ssh to my server,
which is how I get a lot of stuff done on the 770. Very nice. I
installed leafpad and am using that as my $EDITOR. As far as I can the
only text editor that came installed is vi, but leafpad is much easier
to control on the 770.

The media player works well for playing internet radio and any podcast
files that I put on the device.

The file browser is nice and just right for this device. Image viewer

The web browser just about works but it's very slow. Turning off display
of images in webpages helps, but this option seems to sometimes enable
itself again. It seems best to stay out of the web browser as much as
you can, as it's a sure way to end up with your 770 becoming
unresponsive and wasting a lot of your time.

I don't like the RSS feed reader either because it shows you only
previews of the feed items, to read them it opens the web browser with
(usually) disastrous results. I setup a text mode feed reader
(newsbeuter) on my server and have been using that over ssh instead,
works quite well. When feeds don't contain the full articles I open the
webpage with links (over ssh).  I find that reading feeds in text mode
has the effect that I read the full text of a lot more articles now,
whereas with desktop or web-based feed readers I tend to skim many many
items and not really read anything. Now I subscribe to less feeds and
look for feeds that contain decent-sized articles to read.

I didn't find a podcast program for the 770, but I've setup a text mode
one (hpodder) on my server and have cron run once a week to download
podcasts. I can then use rsync on the 770 to download any new podcast
files from my server onto my 770's memory card, then play them back in
the media player. This is working nicely.

The PDF reader looks alright but there's no way to turn pages in
fullscreen mode, and if you reopen a PDF it starts from page 1 and
there's not way to get back to where you left off. I guess it's just for
viewing PDFs, not really an ebook reader. I might try out FBReader as an
ebook reader on it, it supports more formats than just PDF too. But I'm
tempted to run a text mode ebook reader (even just less) in a screen
session on my server.

That's about the extent of what I've been doing with it. I noticed the
scratch and notes programs, they look nice but I think they could never
compete with a paper notebook and a pencil. They'd be so much slower to
use. The games that came installed on it look surprisingly good (and
maemo.org/downloads has bomberman!), but I haven't played with them

On Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 03:28:03PM -0500, chombee at lavabit.com wrote:
> Hey,
> I just got a second-hand Nokia 770. There's quite an overwhelming amount
> of information on maemo.org and elsewhere, and much of it probably refers
> to the newer tablets, so I thought I'd ask for some pointers on getting
> started.
> First of all, how can I find out which firmware and OS version the tablet
> is running? And how can I upgrade to the latest versions that will run on
> the 770?
> And second, where should I look for repositories and other places to find
> applications for the 770? I was really hoping, since the OS is
> debian-based, that I could get a terminal emulator and use apt to install
> things like mutt, nano, vim, ssh, mplayer, hpodder, etc. There's a lot I
> could do with a terminal and access to the debian repos.
> I found two "Osso X Terminal Emulator" entries under OS 2006 on the maemo
> downloads page but neither works. I also found this
> <http://770.fs-security.com/xterm/> but haven't tried it yet. I guess I
> first need to figure out which version of the OS is the newest that I can
> run and then look for software for it.
> The applications that came with it look quite good so far but I really
> need a decent email application. The provided one seems nice and simple
> but doesn't work. First it would hang for a long time while receiving an
> email, soon the application stopped even opening. I managed to install
> Claws Mail from maemo.org but that crashes a lot too, as well as hanging
> for hours at a time trying to download thousands of emails. A terminal and
> mutt might be ideal.
> Thanks
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> maemo-users at maemo.org
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