Nokia N900: A shell prompt on my phone…

Nokia <abbr>N900</abbr>

Nokia N900 — in all it’s glo­ry

I received the Nokia N900 that I bought on eBay last week today.  I’ve been play­ing with it… find­ing appli­ca­tions I want to use, con­fig­ur­ing things… learn­ing how to use it.  It’s a very dif­fer­ent world.  I destroyed my Palm Treo 680 last week (drop­ping out out­side a Tims) and I’d been using Treo smart phones for about 10 years now.  Because this left me with­out a phone, peri­od, I have been slum­ming with a wretched iPaq 6955.  It was an accept­able phone, and its fea­tures were amus­ing at times — but I nev­er got it paired with my blue­tooth hands free and at one point… at 40% it ran out of bat­tery and lost a lot of things — includ­ing my email account pref­er­ences — which it sub­se­quent­ly refused to allow me to re-add (claim­ing they were already installed).  Sigh.

Sad­ly, Palm and the Treo’s are no more. I’d get anoth­er one if they were updat­ed into the mod­ern era.  Since they’re not, I’ve been eying the mar­ket for a new smart phone for some time now — and the N900 has been con­sis­tent­ly top­ping my list.  When I broke the Treo, it just pushed me over the edge… get­ting a new smart­phone was the only solu­tion.

After Cana­da post’s email told me that they had deliv­ered my pack­age to its des­ti­na­tion (my super­mail­box, not my home), I walked out to get it.  Since then, I’ve been attempt­ing to make it use­ful.

There are things that are real­ly cool about this phone.  Out-of-the-box sup­port for WiFi and VoIP calls, for instance.  I’m sure that I’m going to have much to say on this phone in the future.  There are also some rather dumb things — the lack of IMAP IDLE in the sup­plied mail soft­ware, for instance.

But as I was look­ing for soft­ware on the inter­net — and find­ing a debian dis­tri­b­u­tion of pack­ages like openof­fice (?!?) that claims to be load­able on this phone, and as I was read­ing the instal­la­tion instruc­tions, I was direct­ed to the shell.  I was vague­ly aware that the thing had a shell — but like an iMac, the shell isn’t the first thing you play with.  Kin­da like set­ting the radio sta­tions in a Porche before you start it.

That caused me to look on my phone.  Low and behold: xterm.  And it works.  And I have a prompt and a filesys­tem and a work­ing bash shell.  With this kind of pow­er in the hands of peo­ple, will things be the same again?

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2 Responses to Nokia N900: A shell prompt on my phone…

  1. Pingback: N900fly: Extrememly Expensive Sport! - Random Scribblings ...Random Scribblings …

  2. Talent chuks says:

    I lik nokia n900!

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