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Nokia Leaks Phone With Full GNU/Linux Distribution

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the rocket-in-your-pocket dept.

Cellphones 621

An anonymous reader writes "It is now clear why Nokia has been so slow with S60 updates: the upcoming N900 just left everything else in the dust. Unlike Google's Linux platform, Nokia is not intentionally breaking compatibility with real distros, choosing instead to bring you the unmatchable power of GNU/Linux on your phone. This is the most awesome device I have ever seen: MAP3 CPU/GPU, 3,5" 800x480 touchscreen, keyboard, Wi-Fi, HSPA, GPS; 5-MP camera, CZ lens, 32 GB storage, SD slot; X11, VT100 terminal emulator, APT package manager. Estimated price without credit: $780 (N.5800: $390, iPhone 3GS: $750). Developers should note that even though the current desktop is still GTK+, Qt will be standard across all Nokia platforms in the near future (less powerful phones will use Qt on the Symbian kernel). Users can download flashing software from Nokia, and patches can be submitted at the Maemo site."

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Hmmm (2, Insightful)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146087)

"bring you the unmatchable power of GNU/Linux". Cheesiest. Line. Ever. On /.

Re:Hmmm (1)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146217)

The year of Linux on the mobile device?

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29146245)

bring you the unmatched power of GNU/Linux

I just fixed that for you

Re:Hmmm (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29146441)

Yes, but does it run ... never mind.

Re:Hmmm (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29146523)

Hey, it doesn't do Windows!

woohoo! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29146099)

Yay!

Re:woohoo! (3, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146273)

unmatchable power of GNU/Linux on your phone

Yay!

Estimated price without credit: $780

Crap, I can't afford one. I lose phones too often; I'm on my third phone this year. When I had a Razr a few years ago I got insurance on it, and the insurance company cancelled me when I dropped the third one in the toilet trying to answer it when I was taking a piss. The way I go through phones I'm lucky to be able to afford the $100 one I have now.

Of course, the Razr was expensive at first, at least I'll be able to get one of these in a few years.

Re:woohoo! (1)

stevey (64018) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146375)

Losing a phone once I can understand, but after the first time I'd be taking a lot more care where I put it!

If nothing else you should consider getting phone insurance - the premium won't be huge and if you lost phones as often as you suggest it practically pays for itself.

Re:woohoo! (1)

SilverEyes (822768) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146417)

When I had a Razr a few years ago I got insurance on it, and the insurance company cancelled me when I dropped the third one in the toilet trying to answer it when I was taking a piss

Losing a phone once I can understand, but after the first time I'd be taking a lot more care where I put it!

If nothing else you should consider getting phone insurance - the premium won't be huge and if you lost phones as often as you suggest it practically pays for itself.

Second paragraph, third sentence.

Re:woohoo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29146433)

I agree about being more careful, I've yet to lose or break a phone after maybe 9 years.

If nothing else you should consider getting phone insurance - the premium won't be huge and if you lost phones as often as you suggest it practically pays for itself.
Maybe you should try reading the whole comment you're replying to.
-- gid

Down the Pan eh? (1, Informative)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146405)

If you are that accident prone why not buy used phones. You know the ones that people chuck in a drawer when they get their next shiny new toy.

Get them unlocked and you are good to go.
My skinflint cousin does it this way.
He then signs up for sim only contracts.

Err, so just like the Pre? (4, Informative)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146113)

The Pre runs a practically normal Linux distribution. Granted, all the applications are written in Javascript and not some compiled language using C, but I look at that as a good thing.

Re:Err, so just like the Pre? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29146145)

Presumably also it does not spy on you like the Pre does.

Also remove the word 'practically'.

Re:Err, so just like the Pre? (4, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146175)

Firstly, if it only runs javascript applications as you say, then it's hardly any more of a "real distro" than Android is.

not some compiled language using C

There are other compiled languages besides C. There are a lot of them in fact...

but I look at that as a good thing.

I suspect from your previous comment that you are terribly unqualified to even understand the implications of what you're saying, or to make that comment at all.

Re:Err, so just like the Pre? (2, Interesting)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146269)

Firstly, if it only runs javascript applications as you say, then it's hardly any more of a "real distro" than Android is.

Why?

What's the difference between, Javascript as the language and HTML/CSS as the GUI, or using Python as the language and XML to do the GUI? And yet the first is "not a real distro", while the second is. Why?

There are other compiled languages besides C. There are a lot of them in fact...

Yes, but the real question is, "since when is being compiled a requirement?"

I suspect from your previous comment that you are terribly unqualified to even understand the implications of what you're saying, or to make that comment at all.

I suspect you're a language snob who dislikes Javascript for no rational reason.

Re:Err, so just like the Pre? (1, Troll)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146305)

Wow, this got modded flamebait *seconds* after it was posted. *Seconds!* Some moderator has a real stick up their ass...

I'd love an explanation of how this posting (which says I suspect someone dislikes Javascript for no rational reason) is more flamebait than the parent it was responding to (which says applications made with Javascript can't possibly exist in a "real" distro.)

Re:Err, so just like the Pre? (3, Insightful)

e70838 (976799) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146363)

I would like to give an answer, but this would remove all my hopes to recover a better karma

Re:Err, so just like the Pre? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29146403)

Sir_Lewk has fanbois in powerful places eh?

Re:Err, so just like the Pre? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29146499)

You got modded flamebait because the certain mods don't give a shit what moderation stands for. You don't need to cry about it, it was basically moderation trolling.

Re:Err, so just like the Pre? (4, Informative)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146397)

The distinction between "full distro" and "non-full distro" is one that the slashdot summary defined, and is not nessesarily something that I agree with.

That said, the summary makes it pretty clear that it's using the term to make a distinction between a phone that uses a traditional userland and interface, and one with a custom-ish one that doesn't really support "native" (poorly defined, I think most people understand what it's trying to say though) linux applications. I'm not trying to inflect my believes here.

I suspect you're a language snob who dislikes Javascript for no rational reason.

I never said anything was wrong with javascript, I'd be unqualified to properly insult it even if I wanted too. Your insulting assumption is I assume the reason you're modded flamebait.

Re:Err, so just like the Pre? (1)

pedestrian crossing (802349) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146427)

HOLY WAR!!!

Re:Err, so just like the Pre? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29146527)

My son chose vi.

Emacs for life!!!

Re:Err, so just like the Pre? (1, Funny)

cicuz (1414125) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146543)

.. Batman!

Re:Err, so just like the Pre? (1, Flamebait)

Miseph (979059) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146513)

"What's the difference between, Javascript as the language and HTML/CSS as the GUI, or using Python as the language and XML to do the GUI? And yet the first is "not a real distro", while the second is. Why?"

What's the difference between a semi-truck and a sportscar? That's what your question boils down to. Both can get you from point A to point B, but getting them there is going to be quite different. It's not that you couldn't move freight with a sportscar, it's just that a tractor trailer is much better at it... but if you're just going to the store and want the trip to go quickly and want to look cool en route, that sportscar is probably gonna be your best bet.

"Yes, but the real question is, "since when is being compiled a requirement?""

Since people started using languages that need to be compiled before they aren't just cryptic plaintext? If the best tool for the job is a language that needs to be compiled, then you'll have to compile or deal with a sub-optimal tool.

"I suspect you're a language snob who dislikes Javascript for no rational reason."

I suspect that you're a script kiddie who is under the mistaken impression that Javascript is the best thing ever because... um... it just is ok! There are things Javascript does very well, but that isn't the same as doing all things well.

Re:Err, so just like the Pre? (5, Informative)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146189)

The Pre runs a practically normal Linux distribution. Granted, all the applications are written in Javascript and not some compiled language using C, but I look at that as a good thing.

You realize that it doesn't matter if the device runs Linux when the development environment is locked down, right?

You don't have to hack C or C++ to make programs for this device either; PyGtk has emerged as the most popular programming platform for third party developers of Maemo software.

What Nokia is bringing to the table is completely different from Android / Palm - it's a full, open Linux, no strings attached. You can develop software using the tools you want to use, instead of sticking to Java or Javascript.

Re:Err, so just like the Pre? (1, Offtopic)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146473)

Is Firefox locked down because its interface is written using XUL and CSS? Palm is doing essentialy the same thing.

The Palm contains no DRM. The native GUI toolkit is XHTML, CSS, and Javascript, yes, but that fact alone doesn't make it "locked down". If you need compiled code for performance reasons, you can write a browser plugin or use dbus to talk to a compiled daemon.

Re:Err, so just like the Pre? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146565)

You forget the best part.

It's not locked to some "app store" with "approved apps"

This alone will make it explode ahead of the iPhone and Andriod phones.

Re:Err, so just like the Pre? (1)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146195)

I read there is going to be a new Palm(not a Pre) coming to AT&T later this year or next year. I'm hoping it will be much like the Pre, but more refined and it wont spy on me.

Think I'm asking for too much?

Re:Err, so just like the Pre? (1, Flamebait)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146321)

I'm really looking forward to writing cell phone apps in QT4. The way Apple, Google, and Palm have caged their apps into power-hungry slow interpreted virtual environments is crazy. It's a cell phone.... code should be compiled. Anyway, there's tens of thousands of great apps for Linux that would easily port if the phone companies allowed it. For example, I see that the espeak speech synthesiser was ported to Android, but to do it required a custom negotiation with Google! You can't just port C apps to Android, iPhone, or Palm Pre... you need special permission. Similarly, all the great close-sourced apps, like speech recognition and high-end GPS navigation, are all compiled apps and require negotiated contracts for support on the phone. All we geeks get to write are pretty interpreted interfaces that call the pre-compiled stuff.

OpenMoko was on the right track with their Linux phone. Unfortunately, the company behind it is more paranoid than Apple, and has sucked all the fun out of developing for that platform. I think the concept of free, open-source software must translate to "innovative way to suck a few bucks out of geeks" in Taiwan.

Re:Err, so just like the Pre? (1, Informative)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146431)

You seem to have a significant mis-understanding of iPhone software. The iPhone is based on a C kernel with an Objective-C interface/library layer. Both of those languages are compiled languages. All third party "native" apps for the iPhone are compiled Objective-C apps. The compiler is gcc, and the target is either x86 for the emulator or ARM for the iPhone. And Objective-C on the iPhone allows the direct linking of C or C++ libraries.

It's true that Apple locks down their App Store, but that's a separate business decision, not a technological one.

Re:Err, so just like the Pre? (2, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146495)

I take it you're not even interested in trying to make an app like the barcode scanner on my Google phone... which not only scans barcodes and QR codes and such, but does so with a real-time video view (instead of making you take a snapshot with the camera when you have it exactly right). Obviously not having those capabilities, even as a possibility, is a good thing.

Bah! (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146117)

About 6 months ago I bought an E71. As an ex Psion 5mx[1] user I'm really disappointed. It's buggy and has an incredibly clunky interface. Just my luck that they won't be bothering to fix anything. First Nokia I've owned and probably the last.

[1] It ran EPOC, the ancestor of Symbian. Clean, simple, intuitive and reliable.

Re:Bah! (1)

donstenk (74880) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146333)

I have had Nokia smartphones for 5 years and I agree with you. My last (until a month ago) is a E61i, great phone with a terrible and slow interface. Instead of buying the E71 or 97 I got an iPhone which, of course, is great but expensive.

Re:Bah! (1)

jewps (800552) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146545)

I don't know what kind of E71 you have but mine is awesome. Easily one of the best handsets I've used, and I have used tons over the years being in the industry and all (was anyways). The build quality, all the way to the speed and features, is top notch.

Symbian isn't so good, but at least it is fast on the E71, some-what.

Corrections (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29146125)

It's not MAP3.. it's OMAP 3

And the VT100 term emulator is based on gnome-terminal (at least it is in older maemo and I see no reason for them to have written a different one)

Re:Corrections (1)

Pepebuho (167300) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146501)

can it run VNC?

is it actually a phone? (3, Informative)

Speare (84249) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146139)

I searched for the word "phone" throughout that linked article, and nowhere did it mention things like, oh, talking and listening and dialing. No "3G" or "GPRS" mentions either. The N810 and N800 and (N)700 Internet Tablet models look just like this, but WITH NO PHONE GUTS. A few screenshots look like they have phone features, but it really seems odd that a review/preview just doesn't even mention such obvious things. Maybe it's just Skype for all I know.

Re:is it actually a phone? (2, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146201)

WHAT?

Of course it's a phone, it runs Linux! :-P

(I swear sometimes slashdot could post an article on a rat eating plant and if said plant ran linux it would be proclaimed the coolest thing ever.)

Re:is it actually a phone? (3, Funny)

SilverEyes (822768) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146353)

As if an article on a rat-eating plant isn't awesome enough? I'm not really aware of plants that eat anything larger than insects or small amphibians.

Re:is it actually a phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29146451)

it course it would, we finally had something to replace all the windows-running nuclear plants

Re:is it actually a phone? (4, Informative)

radish (98371) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146211)

Well there's a screenshot of a dialler, and the status screen shows an IMEI number, so I'm going with "yes it is a phone" :) Nice hardware for sure, and open-ness is a benefit for us hacker types, but they need to work on that UI. Still, interesting!

Re:is it actually a phone? (1)

steve6534 (809539) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146213)

You can actually see the SIM slot in it so it must be a GSM capable phone.

Re:is it actually a phone? (1)

mriya3 (803189) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146243)

in this image http://www.mobile-review.com/review/image/nokia/rx51-n900/pic24.jpg [mobile-review.com] you can see a SIM card in its slot. So I would say it can actually be used as a phone. Plus you can spot a speaker hole next to the screen (on the left)

Re:is it actually a phone? (1)

quarterbuck (1268694) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146249)

At a price of $750 it is more a computer than a phone anyway. BTW, the author did mention that this was not a review but just "first impressions" .
I'll ignore the stupid summary and slashvertisement just for the fact that (s)he did not break the article into 10 sub-pages for page count.

Re:is it actually a phone? (1)

proverbialcow (177020) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146291)

I searched for the word "phone" throughout that linked article, and nowhere did it mention things like, oh, talking and listening and dialing.

That's because they want to gloss over the side-talking component. =) Plus, when they talk about the microSD slot, they only show it in a picture with the cover off...

Re:is it actually a phone? (1)

hemanth.hm (1196427) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146301)

Unmatchable power of GNU/Linux on your "phone", it says but what you are saying is the fact i feel. Linux stuff [h3manth.com]

Re:is it actually a phone? (4, Informative)

Efreet (246368) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146339)

To quote TFA

"I thought it wouldn't make much sense to go through all features of the phone just yet - I'm not lazy, I just have to leave some bread for Nokia's announcement guys!"

So I suspect you didn't read TFA very well.

Re:is it actually a phone? (2, Informative)

MynockGuano (164259) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146547)

I tried to RTFA, but apparently the author assumes that I spend day and night reading his website and know the story behind all his half-alluded-to technologies. The only bit of coherent information I was able to garner from that pile of misspelled words, glued together with condescension, was how great the author thinks he is for being all "insider" and stuff.

Re:is it actually a phone? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29146425)

HSPA is a form of 3G. So yes, it's a phone.

$800? (3, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146155)

How can you justify that cost? For $800, you could buy a netbook, a basic smart phone, plus hookers and blow.

Re:$800? (4, Funny)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146199)

In fact, forget the smartphone and netbook...

Re:$800? (2, Funny)

Anonymatt (1272506) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146477)

You don't meet your hookers online and then call them?

Re:$800? (3, Informative)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146207)

Miniaturization. I can't fit a netbook in my pocket. Close not quite.

Re:$800? (2, Informative)

SilverEyes (822768) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146365)

Your problem is that your pockets aren't big enough.

Re:$800? (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146573)

depends on how big your pockets are.

Re:$800? (1)

andre_pl (1607319) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146233)

What planet are you on? this seems pretty reasonable as far as smartphones go. granted IMO they're ALL ridiculously expensive. but this seems about on par with what I would pay for an android or pre phone. (Candian Citizen here, I can't even get my hands on a pre yet, and an android device will run me about $700 CAD) I've been saving up to buy a nice smartphone outright (dont want to get locked into an expensive data plan with rogers) and was trying to decide between an HTC android phone and a Palm Pre. but this looks like it might be a better fit.

Re:$800? (1)

greenguy (162630) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146261)

That's what I'm thinking. Well, not verbatim. I was actually thinking for that much, I could get a desktop computer, a netbook, and a cheapo cell phone.

Really, this looks cool, but not $780 cool. Guess I'll wait for the N1000.

Re:$800? (0)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146267)

"For $800, you could buy a netbook, a basic smart phone, plus hookers and blow."

Your ideas intrigue me, and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:$800? (1)

sardaukar_siet (559610) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146421)

Totally inaccurate: depends on the hookers and blow SO MUCH.

Re:$800? (1)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146505)

If you subscribe to a service contract on most services they will subsidies the cost. I use Softbank (Japan), the cost of my phone in cash would be close to $900 if you converted to US currency, but it's completely free with my 2 year service contract (I have unlimited internet, cheap calling, and a variety of other services so averaging $450 a year is nothing). If I cancel the contract I pay the remainder. The same is true for the iPhone, I think I heard you get it for several hundred dollars in the US but without a service contract the device is outrageously expensive, no?

Re:$800? (1)

doconnor (134648) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146591)

One advantage is you only need one device in your pocket instead of a bunch of them.

The other advantage is your netbook wouldn't be able to connect to the Internet through the cell network.

Open Source ? (4, Interesting)

bug1 (96678) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146169)

Are the drivers it requires open source ?

Do Nokia playing nice, are they prepared to go out of their way to obey licenses or are they just interested in 0 cost rather than libre software ?

Re:Open Source ? (2, Informative)

bug1 (96678) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146239)

To answer my own questions....

Apparently this device is based on Maemo, from its website; "Maemo is a software platform that is mostly based on open source code" (emphasis mine)

Expect proprietary blobs wherever they can get away with it.

Re:Open Source ? (2, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146435)

Nokia seem to be in compliance with other versions of their linux tablet OS so there is no reason to suspect that this will be any different.
If by some chance it has phone functionality, it will almost certainly be like the OpenMoko phone where the phone functionality is in a blackbox on a seperate baseband CPU.

Nokia bought Trolltech (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29146173)

So it should be no surprise that they go for Qt instead of GTK+ in the long run.
Which is a good thing, actually.

Shell apps? (2, Interesting)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146179)

I've been thinking about one of these new Linux phones for my next upgrade. What kind of access does one have to the shell? Can one using an ssh client? How does one transfer data to a Linux workstation? Can one install more shell apps (e.g. ipcalc, tdl and remind)?

Re:Shell apps? (4, Insightful)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146229)

What I wonder is how long it will be before these phones *are* your computer and you just plug in a fullblown screen and keyboard wherever you want to sit and work. We're essentially there, just nobody does it yet.

Re:Shell apps? (1)

Ctrl+V (1136979) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146387)

What I wonder is how long it will be before these phones *are* your computer and you just plug in a fullblown screen and keyboard wherever you want to sit and work.

Or this plus a built-in projector [digitaltrends.com] Maybe throw in a virtual keyboard [thinkgeek.com] for good measure.

Re:Shell apps? (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146237)

From what the slashdot summary seems to be saying, you would do all of these things like you normally would with a linux workstation install. If that is the case it could be what I've been waiting for, for quite a while.

Re:Shell apps? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146359)

For the N800 systems, Nokia even provided Maemo VMware development images where you could build your own apps, and shove them over to the tablet.

You needed to jump through some hoops to get root (ssh) access, but the info was all available on the Net.

Re:Shell apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29146455)

1. root access xterm via busybox environment.

2. yes, ssh is available (both client and server)

3. scp, usb, smoke signals...pretty much any method that would work with a "normal" PC running linux will work with this

4. yes...the device uses a pseudo-standard debian software library that one can download new apps from. Kismet is a handy one ;)

Re:Shell apps? (4, Informative)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146525)

Yes, Maemo is pretty much a full Linux distribution. You can ssh into the device and ssh out from the device. On the N810 (with a large enough MicroSD card) you can even install a full Debian distribution. It's still ARM, so don't expect it to be as fast as a Desktop, but everything works (mplayer, pidgin, Open Office, VNC client & server, etc).

Re:Shell apps? (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146553)

I have an aged nokia n-series that is a clamshell design, runs the psion OS. I've got an ssh (putty!) client for it. For the win32 crowd, they still have a remote desktop client. (not fun to use on a tiny screen I imagine)

Most Americans don't seem to realize that Psion OS had tons of apps written for it waaay before Apple got started.. As a longtime n-series owner, I could never get the buzz for an iPhone. It did far less than my n-series and was more expensive.

An maemo phone is exactly what I was waiting for. I'm happy to pay for it up front. $700 is a bargain for a device I mostly control.

There is a pretty good pre-review out (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29146185)

Mobile Review got hold of one and has an article with specs and photos:

article [mobile-review.com]

TFS (1)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146357)

Mobile Review got hold of one and has an article with specs and photos:

article [mobile-review.com]

This is the same article linked to in TFS(ummary)

most awesome? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29146191)

This is the most awesome device I have ever seen

someone is clearly not familiar with the LHC.

Two rival factions (5, Funny)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146223)

I like how there are two rival Slashdot cellphone factions.

There's the "phone should just make phone calls and not have all this shit added on!" faction, which is pre-dominant in a lot of stories.

And then there's the "I can't possibly get by with a phone that doesn't have VT-100 emulation!" faction, who are probably all rushing out to buy this thing right now.

I, uh, don't really have anywhere clever to go with this idea though...

Re:Two rival factions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29146407)

To be perfectly honest, I think a phone should just make phone calls, send texts/email and have VT-100 emulation, without any other shit added on.

Re:Two rival factions (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146515)

If you are going to mutate a phone into a general
purpose computing device you might as well do it right
and put the device under the full control of the end
user.

Why is this takings so long.... (1)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146231)

I think this is fascinating news. But with all this functionality being delivered across so many platforms...

WHY do I still have a PC?

If someone figures out a way to get the device to output to a display and input from a keyboard/mouse. Even if there is another pc involved it would still be useful to many.

Re:Why is this takings so long.... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146551)

Probably because this device has 256 megabytes of RAM and costs almost 800 dollars, while any old piece of shit from the dell sales circular has at least 2 gigabytes of RAM and costs 300 dollars.

features or benefits (4, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146247)

OK, nice spec 'n' all -but what will I actually be able to do with this puppy that I can't do with my "ordinary" smart phone, or PDA or computer or whatever this turns out to be?

I don't buy an appliance just because it runs Linux or X11 - however I *might* buy one if these features add new functions, or make existing ones easier. So far as what I've already got is concerned, the only thing that comes to mind would be the ability for me (and not anybody else) to log into the phone remotely and use its functions across a network connection.

Other than that, my experience of smart phones is that the keyboard's too small for serious word-work, the screen's too small for almost everything (esp. watching movies) and it's also far too dim to use in daylight. The music player's nice and the camera while limited is good enough for "happy snaps", almost all of which are discarded or ignored as soon as they've been taken. I.e. all features, but few benefits.

So come on Nokia, don't try to impress me with megabytes and gigahertz, tell me what I'll be able to do now, that I couldn't do before. That's where the sales are.

Re:features or benefits (1)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146345)

Hate to repeat myself, but as you said... the screen/keyboard are too small for serious work... But the rest of the hardware is completely competent and in some ways better than a typical PC.

What this new crop of phones needs is a mechanism to drive an external display and keyboard.

Re:features or benefits (1)

andre_pl (1607319) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146361)

I wont need to run a VM and 2 shit proprietary apps just to put a ring-tone on my phone. thats a plus in my book.

Re:features or benefits (1)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146411)

Well usually, Linux is a very fast operating system, where or not this translate to the phone GNU/Linux I don't know. One thing that will be nice is that since it is Linux and open-source, theoretically you could have a free app store and not have to pay the 3.99 you pay for a lot of iPhone apps. The terminal emulator could be extremely useful for IT people in that theoretically you could trouble shoot boxes straight from your phone if you have a wireless connection and install VPN onto the phone so that you could VPN tunnel into your network through a firewall and trouble should Unix boxes.

linux? (0, Redundant)

curtix7 (1429475) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146255)

but will it run linux?

No, it runs CP/M, on a 2GHz Z80A (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29146453)

There's also a plan to port VMS across.

Red Pill / Blue Pill option . . . ? (2, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146257)

. . . as an owner of an N800, I would like to know if they will still provide the "Easter Egg" / "Red Pill / Blue Pill" option for installing all the cool (and usefull) apps.

Unfortunately, these also could make it easy for some dork to brick the thing.

Re:Red Pill / Blue Pill option . . . ? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146481)

Sorry, I guess I should have provided a link: http://wiki.maemo.org/Red_Pill_mode [maemo.org]

WARNING: Red Pill is not intended for use by users, power-users, nor the vast majority of developers. Red Pill mode is very likely to break your tablet and should not be used unless you know exactly what you are doing.

A great market idea! (2, Interesting)

JohnMurtari (829882) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146351)

Folks, I think they new they had to make a strategic move to keep/increase market share. If they do deliver and make it a great open source platform running Linux -- they could have a LOT of applications. Could be a fun device!

Yeah but (4, Insightful)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146355)

can it make phone calls without dropping signal? I'm still waiting for that.

gtk+ - not Qt?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29146369)

I really like the Qt developerment environment. The interface builder is intuitive and the Qt framework is an excellnt design. Creating a development environment wsa easy - includes were just the include directory and the libs were in the lib directory as it should be. All in C++ by the way and the documentation is top notch. I was building my first Qt app in 20 minutes.

gtk+. Creating the build environment took over an hour of hunting down include directories in places that I would never have thought there would be includes. The same goes for the lib directories. Glade I found to be a pain in the ass. The interface produced is a generated xml file that is read at runtime. Its all in C - win32 GUI programming is a piece of cake compared to gtk+ - I love C, but when it comes to boilerplate GUI code, it's mind numbing.

What's my point is relation to the article? They're moving away from any mobile UI standard - Qt or Java - and they're moving to a UI framework that's overly complicated.

gtk+ was spawned from the GIMP, btw.

Now, I'm sure I can't be the only one that dislikes developing in gtk+, meaning, this new platform may not take-off like some folks think it will.

Re:gtk+ - not Qt?!? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146581)

Maemo is actually not a new platform, though it hasn't run on a phone before, and it is gradually moving off gtk and towards QT, it just hasn't gotten there yet.

Maemo is a very nice platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29146439)

Disclosure: I've been a fan of Nokia S60 smartphones for a while, despite the quirks and interface 'uniqueness' (s60v5).

I picked up an N810 (last display model at a store) recently and was very impressed with the OS2008 release of maemo. It's a beautiful interface on an easy to use platform. I like the form factor for a tablet (but heavy for a phone). I think the N900 shows a lot of promise. I do hope that it is fully functional as a phone.

I'd love to be able to kill -9 a call from a command prompt someday :-)

argg (1)

GetTragic (21640) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146549)

True or false: It is a good idea to make your watermark an arrow pointing into the background.. and stamp it on every picture.... in a random place for each picture.

cli? (1)

anonieuweling (536832) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146559)

How is the commandline environment of this device?
I experienced how lacking the situation on the N810 was, so I do hope they improved their installation (depmod, module autoloading, ethernet over usb, gpsbt library hacks, package manager doesn't know all libs, etc, etc

cool - results? (1)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146567)

This is cool, really cool. A full Linux machine in your pocket. Wow.

Though I do wonder how useful it will actually be. Can Linux bypass the desktop and go straight to the next big thing? User interface and good design are important on such small devices (and frankly, most phones fail more or less), and they're not exactly traditional strongholds of the Linux crowd.

Nevertheless, this is certainly something interesting.

Nice, but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29146587)

But, will it blend!?

Awesome (1)

dandart (1274360) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146589)

Sounds great. I can't wait for Qt.

When the price comes down a bit (5, Interesting)

killmenow (184444) | more than 5 years ago | (#29146595)

This will likely be my next major phone upgrade.

I own an N800 and an N810 and do some Maemo development work on them. They're IMHO awesome devices. I don't know or care about Nokia in general but they have been steadily improving this line of devices since the N770 and I just cannot begin to tell you how slick they are (again IMHO).

I use skype and gizmo to make VoIP phone calls on them at any Wi-Fi hotspot and they are just fun to play around with. The biggest problem with them, in my experience, is people expect them to be phones and don't get the idea that it's just a handheld PC. Adding cell phone capability with the N900 (and increased horsepower) will, I think, cross this device over from enthusiast toy to a more mainstream "smartphone" even though I think the term does the device a dis-service.

It's just more than a phone. I've never used a cell phone that had a web experience remotely close to the desktop/laptop world. The N800/N810 is 100 times better than any cell phone @ web browsing. The games available (for the most part if it runs on Linux, it'll run on these devices and I've enjoyed playing MAME games on mine), the productivity tools, the multimedia capabilities, etc.

I've never developed apps for the iPhone but I've tinkered with BlackBerry development, Android development and Maemo development. While I think it's not as well-documented perhaps as Android or BlackBerry, and getting set up to do development on it is not as simple, it's easily manageable and *much less locked down* than the other platforms. Developing for Android isn't too bad but I think it still is a bit more locked down, developing for BlackBerry you are also definitely limited by what RIM (and the cell providers) will allow you to do. I hope that with Maemo 5 and the new cell-phone stuff, Nokia doesn't cave to cell providers and start locking shit down on these devices and instead keeps to the spirit of the original open-ness so I can still write apps that do what *I* want them to do, not what T-Mobile wants them to do.
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