Just booted to the release candidate. It was nice to see San Francisco featured on the home and lock screens. All things seem set for the release. Things are not very snappy but still very usable. Wifi connected quickly and xterm was handy too (need to map the TAB key somehow)
All set now for the MeeGo Conference – and I am taking an external charger along since USB is not an option anymore.
I look forward to seeing some of you there!
Exciting news. Jukka Eklund, Product Manager at Nokia, just announced that Nokia will be officially directing efforts towards supporting MeeGo on the N900 as Developer Edition. For this purpose, there would be a dedicated team within Nokia who will bring full MeeGo support on the N900.
Up to now, getting MeeGo up and running on the N900, was done by the N900 Hardware Adaption team, whose progress has been slow and steady. But now with the support from Nokia, this should change very quickly. The Developer Edition effort will build upon the outstanding work of the N900 Hardware Adaptation team and bring it to point where it is “really usable as your developement device” with some key features running in “perfect” condition. And the most notable point about this effort is that it is going to be done in the open and documented on the wiki.
This should be great news to all who have been waiting patiently for a fully functional and usable version of MeeGo on the N900. If you can help, jump in!
Here is the entire text of Jukka’s email to the MeeGo-Dev list:
Date: Thu, 3 Mar 2011 13:36:19
Subject: [MeeGo-dev] Announcing MeeGo 1.2 Developer Edition for N900
I am thrilled to announce a little thing we started at Nokia. Basically we want to have MeeGo running in N900 device, so that it’s really usable as your daily development device. Basic Handset UX should work, phone calls, SMS, web browsing. So we are concentrating on a few selected features and polish those to be “perfect”. It might mean that we leave out some things in MeeGo 1.2 trunk for this edition, but that is not the default intention.
We are doing this fully on the open, and I hope this is an interesting project where we all in the community work towards the same goal: have a great MeeGo edition in the N900. This work is naturally based on the great work done already by N900 adaptation team lead by Harri and Carsten.
The wiki is up here: http://wiki.meego.com/ARM/N900/DeveloperEdition. It will populated with more information as we go, thanks for the patience.
Jukka Developer Edition product manager
In the new world order, MeeGo is no longer a priority for Nokia. This is a big setback for MeeGo and therefore GNU/Linux.
Nokia’s contribution to Linux and open-source started with Maemo and continued with a bigger extent into MeeGo. From what I understand, the amount of source-code opened was significant. Numerous GNU/Linux projects and open-source software companies benefited from its investment.
Relegated now to a mere R&D ‘project’ within the walls of Nokia, the future of MeeGo seems bleak. The momentum behind MeeGo will undoubtedly slow down if not die altogether. Its going to be a wait and see situation.
MeeGo is one of the most significant developments in the Linux world which has the best chance of revolutionising the mobile industry.
Of course, some would say that the MeeGo source is open to the developers but MeeGo as it is today is not production ready. A strong corporate sponsor is what it needed to change the world. Things would have been different if the deal was announced after MeeGo had some production-devices to show for.
Intel however is still optimistic. Lets hope it stays that way and MeeGo does not have to watch any more industry supporters jumping ship.
Its unfortunate to see Nokia’s priority make a complete paradigm shift from the openness of MeeGo to a closed and who-knows-what situation with Microsoft.
In its gambling bid to take over the American market, Nokia stands to lose in this deal. But the biggest loser is Linux in the mobile/handset world. It is safe to say that the market for a free and open platform that empowered cross-platform development has drastically shrunk and been taken over by a closed, proprietary, and singular world of Windows.
Meego seems to be progressing well and all indications point to MeeGo having a strong future ahead. With the backing of the Linux Foundation, the list of industry supporters is long and growing; and so is developer interest of which the forums and mailing-lists are a good indicator.
Intel’s MeeGo Zone is a good complement to the growing official MeeGo portal and wiki. So, it is no surprise that the MeeGo Conference 2010 is attracting a lot of attention. It should be a fun event. If only I could afford it! I have registered however with a request for travel-assistance. A little help would be enough to make the trip to Dublin. Let’s see.
Anyway, I have started playing around with MeeGo a lot more lately. I was impressed with the sheer number of options available to get the MeeGo Handset image on the N900. So far, I have been successful with the external MMC option.
– download weekly image, unpack, copy to MMC
– download weekly kernel and load via USB using flasher -l
Took a while to boot, ran fine. No way to Switch-Off however.
The SDK setup was straight forward too.
– download and install qemugl for Ubuntu 10.04
– download SDK image, unpack and get blah.raw
– sudo modprobe kvm-intel
– qemugl_cmd.sh blah.raw
This worked great. The UI is smooth and the transitions are fast.
It was also nice to see Fennec all snappy with Flash. Check out the screencast.
With so many different industries involved, the applications possible under MeeGo will be much larger than what Maemo could have ever achieved. Smartphones, Netbooks, Cars, Kiosks – it will be huge.
Even though Nokia won’t officially provide MeeGo-Handset support for the N900, I have a good feeling that there would be enough for the community to fill in the gaps after the first prime-time release.
I got my hands on an iPhone 3gS so out of curiosity, I have been using it for the past week just to see what the fuss has been all these years. When I received the phone, I couldn’t use it because it was iOS 4.0 and not jailbroken. Since I am with T-mobile, I couldn’t use it until the ingenious JailBreakMe.com online jailbreak came out. Unlocking was simply a matter of installing the free Ultrasn0w from the Cydia store.
So after a week of usage, here are my thoughts about the “Jesus” phone.
Blows the Maemo UI out of the water with its ease of use. Although the Springboard is limited to App-Launchers, it is just great to look at, simple and fast.
Nothing much to say here. The App ecosystem is huge and a smashing hit. A lot of them are great but a whole lot of them are mere substitutes for websites.
Installation from the App Store was fast. There was almost no lag switching desktops even when an app was being installed. This is a serious plus against Maemo which comes down to a crawl during an install from the Ovi Store.
Turns out that the Netflix servers can be tricked into streaming movies simply by changing the Safari user-agent to iPad’s UA on jailbroken iOS 4. This was awesome!
Exchange worked flawlessly with GMail. This made the temporary transition to the iPhone very easy.
Thats about it. Every thing else about the iPhone just made me miss the N900.
– The 3 MP camera does not come close to the N900’s.
– Multi-tasking is not intuitive.
– Moving photos, music and videos was not a matter of simply dropping folders. So that sucked by epic proportions.
– Tethering was not simple
– No integration of contacts with IM/Skype and SIP
– Keyboard! My typing speed on the on-screen keyboard was reduced drastically causing me to eschew texting and email as much as I could.
– Task Manager. I couldn’t find a way to see what tasks were running. I guess I am just spoiled like that.
– File Manager. It was also surprising that Apple has chosen to keep its file-system away from the user. This is just unacceptable.
Overall, I feel that the simple, pretty and dumbed down UI of the iPhone is the reason for its mass appeal. Its tight integration with iTunes leaves Linux users dry. Moreover, Apple’s SHSH blob verification controls on downgrading the firmware is appalling!
Anyway, I will be reverting to my N900 next week and let the wife run with the iPhone. The N900’s raw power and freedom is simply irresistible.