Sunday, September 5, 2010

N900 - More Apps

Here are some new apps I've discovered recently:

MediaBox - An excellent All-In-One Media Center. A while back zoutube just stopped working, it's no longer being developed & seems like no one is stepping up to the task. So I started looking for another YouTube client & it seems there's only one left that still works, that's MediaBox.

FCamera - Advanced camera app that shoots RAW and allow full manual control.

Movie Finder - Find theaters, movies and show times on-line. Works very well even in Malaysia.

qTranslate - Translator app that uses Google Translate.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Faster Kinetic Scrolling in Menu & Phone App UI Fix

If you are like me, you might be slightly annoyed by the much slower scrolling in the main menu on the PR1.2 firmware. Well fortunately there's now an unofficial hildon-desktop update that addresses the issue.

Read more about it here.

This is how to do it:
You'll need to have rootsh installed first.
Download this file to the N900.
In the terminal:
$ sudo gainroot
# dpkg -i /home/user/MyDocs/hildon-desktop_kinetic_2.2.138-1+0m5_armel.deb

That's it. Reboot the N900 & it's done. The kinetic scrolling is now about the same speed as before the firmware update. Also as a bonus, the little UI twitching glitch in the phone app has also been solved on this update.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

N900 - Missing GTK icons after upgrade to PR1.2

I had encountered this anoying little bug after i upgraded the Maemo firmware to PR1.2. It only happens in a few apps so I didn't immediately notice it. The issue is that a few stock GTK icons used in some apps such as cbrpager, abiword, gnumeric and kmplayer were missing. A broken link icon was shown it their place.

Took me quite a long time to look for the solution and I had almost given up. Today by sheer luck I finally came across the solution posted in the forums just 3 days ago.
Here's the Link

In short, here's the solution. In the Terminal:
sudo gainroot
mv /usr/share/icons/hicolor/48x48/mimetypes/gtk-* /usr/share/icons/hicolor/48x48/hildon/

That's it. I'm happy now.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

N900 - Applets, Widgets, Plugins and Utilities

My last 2 posts have been about the useful applications and fun games you can expect to find on the Nokia N900. Today I'll be listing some of my favorite little applets/widgets/plugins and utilities.

Status Menu Applets:
  • Wifi Switcher - Lets you totally switch off the Wifi chip by unloading the kernel module. It will save some power when you don't have wifi.
  • Flashlight - Turns on the LED Flash permanently for use as a makeshift flashlight.
  • Simple Brightness Applet - Quick access to the screen brightness controls.
  • Wi-Fi Signal Applet - A simple 1-10 number beside the Wifi icon to indicate signal strength.

Home Screen Desktop Widgets:
  • systeminfowidget - CPU & RAM usage percentage.
  • Desktop Command Execution Widget - Run arbitrary shell commands and output on the desktop.
  • Personal Dataplan Monitor - Displays mobile data usage stats.
  • Personal IP Address - Just displays your IP address.

Plug-ins and support add-ons:
  • MSN (pecan) protocol plug-in - Support for MSN Chat protocol in Conversations and Contacts. Pecan version works better for me than the standard or pidgin versions.
  • Extra Decoders Support - Support pack for various media formats. Such as ogg, flv, rmvb, mkv and WebM.
  • Subtitle Support - Adds subtitle support to the media player.

  • Extended Call Log - A more verbose call log list.
  • QCPUFreq - Allows CPU frequency scaling adjustments.
  • Shortcutd - Lets you assign shortcuts to the proximity sensor & camera focus key.
  • tweakr - Enables some small tweaks, such as desktop align to grid & additional profiles.
  • maenotify - Displays notifications on the lock screen.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Some Games for the N900

Following up from the list of the most useful apps I found. This one is dedicated to the games. So lets get right too it. Again in no particular order:

  • Angry Birds: You shoot angry birds at greedy pigs using a slingshot. Works kinda like worms & although it sounds cruel is actually loads of fun. The first 21 levels are free. Pickup the Level Pack 1 for 42 more levels. Highly recommended.
  • Color Flood: Gradually fill the screen until it's all 1 color. Sounds mundane but is rather difficult & addictive because you gotta do it in 25 moves.
  • Crazycat: A real simple Flash game of capture the cat. Takes a surprising amount of strategy to corner a crazy cat.
  • EightyOne: The best sudoku implementation on maemo. There are at least 4 others that are shit in some way.
  • Airport: An air traffic control game. See how many planes you can guide to land safely & avoid collisions. So far 35 for me. (I know, I suck!)
  • Electric Beams: Move beams of electricity to light up all the light bulbs. Simple & fun game. Not much replay-ability though.
  • Hex-a-hop: Jump around on a puzzle of hexagonal tiles that break-up behind you. You gotta break them all. This game will last a while, it's got a lot of levels & it gets progressively harder and more complex as you go. Highly recommended.
  • Kobo Deluxe: A top down view, all directional space shooter. Simple premise, destroy enemy ships and bases & stay alive. This game would be shit if you had to use the arrow keys on the keyboard to play it. But it's support for using the accelerometer for direction and the proximity sensor for the trigger makes this games very playable and enjoyable on the N900. Highly recommended.
  • SolarWolf: A similar game to Kobo Deluxe except you don't shoot anything, instead you just pickup stuff while avoiding getting shot. Plays with the accelerometer & is pretty entertaining.
  • Wok: Frantically shoveling stuff to the side with a rectangular wok using the touchscreen. Sound bonkers but is actually kinda fun.
  • VoR: Variation on Rockdodger. Navigate your ship through an asteroid field. But Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1. Plays very nicely with accelerometer. See how long you can survive.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

2 months with the N900

It's been about 2 months since I bought the Nokia N900 Smartphone/Tablet. Just updated to firmware PR1.2 a week ago over wifi & it went smoothly, nothing except for a couple of settings were lost.

The main reason for me getting this device was so that I could remove the need to carry around a Linux netbook wherever I go. In this respect the N900 really exceeded my expectations on what I could do with it. I expected to still need my netbooks in some cases such as when I'm traveling on business. But as it turns out, I've not used my netbooks AT ALL this past 2 months. So it looks like I might be selling them off soon.

Today I'll list some of the apps that I use regularly on my N900. I'll only mentions apps that are not pre-installed on the device. So here it is in no particular order:
  • Storage Usage: Shows usage of the various storage devices and even lets you deep dive to find out which folder/app is consuming the space.
  • Panucci: An excellent audiobook/podcast player with great bookmarking features. (Love the pizza icon)
  • GPSJinni: A app for monitoring GPS signals, it's very useful for getting a lock before starting your map application.
  • WifiEye: An app to visualize the Wifi signals in an area. It's great as a site survey tool for deciding where to put an access point & which channel to use.
  • Sygic Mobile Maps: A commercial in-car navigation app. It's car friendly interface makes it miles better than Ovi Maps. It's pricey, but it's quality. Incidentally, the Ovi Maps on the N900 does not support turn-by-turn navigation.
  • Ncalc: A calculator app with a simple UI that makes more sense to me than the built-in one.
  • Password Safe: An app for securely storing all your user names & passwords. Indispensable these days.
  • fMMS: A must have if you want to send/receive MMS. Although I don't use it often, I do want to be able to receive MMS.
  • MGutenberg: Lets you browse, download & read ebooks from Project Gutenburg. It also works very well generally as an ebook reader.
  • CBRpager: Comic book reader. Cuz I read alotta comic books.
  • MussOrgsky: A meta-data editor for your music collection. It lets you edit album/artist/title and even the album art for your music.
  • zoutube: A pretty sweet YouTube client. Even though you could watch YouTube videos right in the browser, using this app the video is fullscreen, plays very smoothly and even allows you to download the video.
Well, that's enough for today. What I've listed is only a fraction of the apps I have installed, but are the ones I use more regularly. Next time I'll get into the games.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Exploring the Nokia N900

Haven't been posting lately cuz was bz with work & life. I'd gotten myself a Nokia N900 & just had to try posting to my blog from it. Using an app called MaStory. Looking good so far. I'm starting to get used to the small keyboard, it's actually not as bad as it looks. Well that's it for the first post. Hopefully I'll be blogging more with this baby.