Planet maemo: category "feed:6f8015c0c6c3f487047a2ede545652f0"

zulla

Porient H9: So, is it Maemo? Let’s ask at CeBIT…

2007-03-15 22:51 UTC  by  zulla
0
0

Visiting CeBIT this Saturday, I’m sure not to miss the booth of Beijing Peace East Technology Development Co. Ltd. Chippy from UMPC Portal was there, already, but didn’t gather much new information.

h9_umpc.jpg

The ARM-based device comes with any feature you could wish for, including a harddisk, GPS receiver, WLAN, Bluetooth, USB, PCMCIA, SD and a kitchensink. Looking at the device’s screenshots, it appears to be running Maemo, yet the company or its Chinese developers haven’t appeared publicly on the Maemo mailing lists. The software package announced for it is also unheard of on maemo.org.

Quite a mystery device. Do you know more? Do you have suggestions what I should ask them at CeBIT? Do you have information about it? Let me know!

Update: I’ve seen the device at CeBIT. It’s running Linux, it’s not Maemo but obviously inspired by it, it’s a lot bigger than I expected, it’s quite fascinating, it’s not a real competitor to the Nokia devices. The full report with pictures will follow tomorrow.

Categories: CeBIT
zulla

Vulcan Flipstart: Underwhelming

2007-03-09 11:53 UTC  by  zulla
0
0

Small computers are great, so this was exciting to hear: After years of hype, the Vulcan Flipstart has finally become an actual product. Hopefully it will be shown at CeBIT 2007 somewhere.

Looking at the specs, photos and James Kendrick’s informative video, the product doesn’t look too promising, though. Pretty ugly design, no touchscreen, quite heavy and a rather high pricetag. What a disappointment.

The Raon Vega, the Sony UX, the Oqo and the upcoming Arima UMPC (to be sold in Europe by Medion and Gigabyte) all look far more advanced and better engineered.

All of these devices share a major problem, though: They are small bricks. Compare that with the Nokia N800, which weighs just a bit more than 200 gramms and runs for days on a tiny battery. The above-mentioned UMPCs need a big battery and still run a few hours, only.

Update: “Days?” Read Karel Jansens’ clarification below.

Categories: Computer
zulla

Maemo at CeBIT 2007?

2007-03-07 06:54 UTC  by  zulla
0
0

Will there be Maemo-related exhibits at the CeBIT this year?
I asked the same question on the maemo.org mailing lists, alas, no response. The CeBIT appears to be losing importance…

Categories: CeBIT
zulla

Not-so Killer App: Watching video with 770 and N800

2007-02-16 00:25 UTC  by  zulla
0
0

One of my favourite things on the Nokia 770 was watching TV recordings on the subway to work, transcoded using 770-encode. The 770′s pre-installed video player is quite limited in playback, but the Maemo port of mplayer is able to play files at higher resolution and bitrate.

Wes Carroll's Mouth Drumming on N800

I’m using the N800 to learn Vocal Percussion with Wes Carroll’s DVD: Too bad it looks stupid to practice beatboxing while watching it on the subway.

For the N800, the pre-installed video player has improved a lot and can handle larger files, although some new nasty bugs have shown up. mplayer on the N800 is still quite unstable compared to the 770 version. Thus right now, watching video has become a bit less enjoyable on the new device, but these bugs will most likely be fixed within short time.

It’s a bit disappointing that the video still needs to be transcoded to be suitable for the device, though. The following is a rather unfair comparison, but it shows the quality tradeoff between a transcoded video and the original DVD:

Video Quality Comparison

Click the preview to compare the transcoded video’s quality.

While I know little about embedded devices and may be naive about the hardware of the N800, the specs suggest that it might be able to decode DVD content at fullscreen resolution, and with SDHC coming up, it also brings the storage space to carry a full movie or two with you.

A very similar video format is used for DVB broadcasts. (Germany is switching to digital-only broadcast TV right now.) It is surprisingly easy to watch DVB TV through a multicast on a local TCP/IP network (we did that during the games of the last soccer world cup) and the N800 would be a perfect little portable receiver for digital TV or DVD streams.

But the software can’t handle DVD or DVB, yet. I hope that Nokia or 3rd party developers can overcome this limitation some time in the future.

Update (08/2007): Since I wrote this article a few months ago, Nokia has improved the video codec and the device can now play much higher bitrates than shown in the DVD comparison above. However, you still have to transcode video to a lower resolution and bitrate and you still cannot play a raw DVD-rip in fullscreen.

Categories: en
zulla

Killer App: ScummVM

2007-02-09 15:55 UTC  by  zulla
0
0

Years ago, I bought “Monkey Island 1-3″ from the bargain bin of a local computer game store, but never finished the game.

scummvm.jpg

ScummVM is an emulator of the Lucasarts engine and it turns the Nokia into a great casual gaming device. I finished Monkey Island 1 on the 770 and now I’m playing part 2 on the N800.

Categories: en
zulla

Minor Nit: Multiple account setting menus

2007-01-25 13:32 UTC  by  zulla
0
0

(Disclaimer: I really like the N800! Yet, I’m going to collect a few minor nits about Maemo and the N800 in this little series…)

Maemo comes with a central account settings controlpanel, but it’s not that central, actually: It only contains the Jabber settings. The Mail client has its own account settings menu. Both account settings are found through completely different menu paths on the device and it’s not very obvious where to look when you want to create or change one of your accounts.

accounts.gif

It would be nicer if accounts for all online applications such as Jabber and Mail were stored in the control panel.

Categories: en
zulla

Minor Nit: The disappearing bluetooth icon

2007-01-25 13:22 UTC  by  zulla
0
0

(Disclaimer: I really like the N800! Yet, I’m going to collect a few minor nits about Maemo and the N800 in this little series…)

While it’s wonderful that the N800 now supports BT keyboards out of the box, the BT settings are odd. You can easily make the BT icon disappear, and you have to dig deep into the control panel to make it reappear.

bt.gif

It would be nicer if the BT icon didn’t disappear, but just turned inactive/gray when bluetooth is off.

Categories: en
zulla

Nokia N800 – My Review

2007-01-23 23:18 UTC  by  zulla
0
0

After the first initial impressions about the new Nokia N800, here comes a full review.

Click to read 3510 more words
Categories: en