Friday, 5 October 2007

Going mobile with the Nokia N800

As part of the LRC Best Scholar Award, award sponsor con[text] gave me a Nokia N800 Internet Tablet. It's not a phone, but rather a "wireless internet applicance" with a great 800x480 display, wifi, bluetooth, web-cam and an FM-radio.

And yes, it's a Linux device running the Maemo platform, with lots of great open source applications available. The device comes with a variety of software, including the Opera web browser, Skype (no video/sms) and Google Chat (with web-cam support), as well as a Media player with a variety of video/audio codecs. No calendaring application though, but there are open source alternatives (GPE Calendar) that does some synchronization with e.g. Google Calendar.

The device is not released on the Australian market, although it's available through several online stores. Free or cheap wireless access points are hard to come by in Brisbane (and in Australia in general), hence it's probably not the best market for such a gadget. Next task is to gain root access and figure out how to modify some settings. Brisbane is not in the list of locations, but I should be able to add that...

Well, I'm still happy with my 5-year-old mobile phone, and never really caught on the I-want-the-newest-gadget race, so I would never have considered buying this device in the first place. But I'm sure I'll be able to make good use of it.

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