Dec 22

I know that the Q&A system needs improvements and we’re experiencing some outage due to the servers move, well that’s the reason why this is a challenge :)

The deal is, test the apps currently in Extras-testing in order to promote them to Extras and make them available for all N900 users, simple isn’t ?

Currently we’ve 82 free apps in Extras, so we need 18 more, to make things even simpler for you, I made a list with apps that in my opinion are ready for Extras. I chose the apps below because they don’t have any flaws reported so far, and also because they can be in Extras before the end of the year respecting the 10 days of quarantine required by the Q&A criteria. Feel free to suggest any app that I missed, commenting here.

Note1: I’m not saying to thumb up all of these apps, you should rate them according to the Q&A criteria, some will end up in Extras others don’t.

Note2: The links below might disappear when the packages are promoted to Extras.

Here is the list:

GPE Suite: Those apps don’t have the full Fremantle UI, but they’re usable, the author says that ported the apps for “completeness”, maybe if there’s enough interested he will improve them :)

Remember that the Software hosted in Extras-testing might have problems, so please report properly any problem found, you can find more information about the Extras-testing in these links:

http://wiki.maemo.org/Extras-testing

http://wiki.maemo.org/Extras-testing/QA_Checklist

We only need 18, but we’ve 50 candidates, let’s see the power of the Maemo Community :)

Nov 10

Have you heard about the awesome N900 ? Do you want to try it and know more about Maemo ?

If you’re based in Portugal this is the perfect opportunity to get your hands on an N900.
Thanks to the WOM World/Nokia folks, we’re hosting a small meetup about the Nokia N900 and the Maemo community, in the next Saturday in Lisbon at the “Mar Adentro café” (Maps) between 15:00 and 18:00.
I’ll give a small demonstration of the N900 and then will let people ask questions about the device and the community and enjoy some hands-on time with the device. If you already have an N900, join us anyway, you’ll not regret :) .

Due to the space logistics, I appreciate that those willing to attend contact me.

Oct 29

Are you a lucky N900 owner ? Want to help the Maemo Community ? This call is for you.

In the next Saturday(Oct 31) from 2pm till 7pm(UTC/GMT) we’ll host a testing marathon at #maemo-testing@Freenode, in order to make more awesome community applications available to end users. This marathon will be also a test for our community QA process, we want to test it and improve it before the N900 hits the shelves.
If you’re a developer, make sure your applications are in good shape before the testing marathon.

The information above was bit confusing for you ? Here’s a small FAQ:

What is a testing marathon ?

Basically is a ‘testing party’, where people together test software, report bugs, talk/send feedback to developers  in order to improve our community applications.

Do I need to be a developer to take part of the marathon ?

No, even if you can’t judge all the criteria in the QA checklist, you’re more than welcome, every small help has big value for us.

Do I need to be in the irc channel during the entire marathon ?

No, you can join/leave at anytime, but it’s recommendable to be in the channel at the beginning of the marathon, if you need some help or have some doubts.

I can’t attend the marathon, can I help in some way ?

Of course, you can test and evaluate applications at any time. Try to follow our community QA process and checklist and vote the packages under: http://maemo.org/packages/repository/qa/fremantle_extras-testing/

Still have doubts, want to discuss something ?

Join the discussion here.

Oct 5

For those that don’t follow regularly the maemo.org forums, here are some information relevant to Maemo Summit speakers.

  • You are encouraged to use the Maemo Summit 2009 template for presentations, available as odp and ppt.
  • The best format for the presentations is 16×9 since this is the proportion of the screens in use. Presentations with 3×4 format might get black strips on the sides or get slightly squeezed.
  • There are Windows laptops with Internet connection for speakers in the N900, N810 and N800 rooms. They are equipped with OpenOffice.org, MS Office, Adobe Acrobat and Firefox.
  • Bring your presentation to your session room in a USB stick around 9:30, 13:30 (Friday) or 14:30 (Saturday). Have copies in our laptop or online just in case.
  • You can use your own laptop if you really need to. At your own risk, we won’t change the schedule if you have problems. Definitely not recommended for lightning sessions.
  • There will be N900 devices for speakers willing to demo their software. These devices can be connected to the projector with TV-Out.
  • The N810 room will have 2 independent projectors. You can use them to have e.g. slides and a device demo in parallel.

Question and more useful information in this discussion thread.

Sep 15

The second day of the OneDotZero experience started again with a nice chat during the breakfast, this time without devices :) . Was very nice to hear the ideas of my colleagues bloggers about the current state of the mobile devices market and the prosper future of this area. We talked mostly about the new N900, making comparisons with other platforms and discussing our impressions as end users of the new Maemo OS. I think in general everybody was impressed with the device.

PUSH N900 workshop

At the afternoon Robbie and Adam picked us at the hotel and we headed to the BFI to attend a series of workshops around the Maemo platform.

The first presenter was Stuart Wells from Nokia that did a nice introduction of the N900 and the Maemo 5 OS, once again the new Maemo 5 shined in the big screen ;)

Stuart Wells

After this nice introduction, Gary (lcuk) jumped again into the stage for a brief introduction about the OneDotZero installation and his famous liqbase application.

Tom Johnson

Hacker call, the PUSH N900 contest was presented!

Tom Johnson from Hyper did a short introduction about the PUSH N900 competition, where everybody can participate, no need to be a coder/hacker. If you have some good ideas, go now to the PUSH N900 website and submit them, you will not regret for sure ;)

In order to whet the appetite of the audience, an incredible team of hackers from Tinker.it presented some cool hacks did in the last three weeks using some N900 devices and some Arduino boards.

Inspired with the 80′s they presented the four hacks bellow, actually using ‘gadgets’ from the 80′s along with a high end device.

Talk & Text

A Nokia N900 and an Arduino are hidden inside this old Speak & Spell. When you press a key, the Arduino detects which key you have pressed and sends that information over Bluetooth to the N900. A python script receives the information from the Arduino and uses pygame, to display images on the n900 screen that mimic the original Speak & Spell display. The voice synthesis is also generated on the phone, using festival, and open source text-to-speach engine.

N900 Rolodex

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuBEn2odoz8

“An Arduino connected to the Rolodex© detects the position of the wheel and sends that information over Bluetooth to the N900. Each position indicates a specific contact. A Python script receives the incoming information and uses the xtst library to emulate the key presses and screen touches that would be necessary to view that contact and, when you touch the screen of the phone, to place a call.”

Phone FM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWMiHJG3zAE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7tcM7m0nCM

“The N900’s Maemo platform uses the D-Bus messaging service to allow different applications to send message and alerts to each other. When you send a text to this phone, it transmits the contents of your message over D-Bus to a Python script. The Python script then uses pylast (a library for communicating with last.fm) to send the artist’s name to last.fm and receive the mp3 files and cover art generated for that artist. The script then controls the screen display and music playback using GStreamer (a library for controlling media playback that is included in Maemo 5.0) and the pygame (an open-source python wrapper for controlling visuals).

Playback to the radio is controlled by the N900’s built-in FM transmitter. The transmitter can be set to broadcast at any frequency, an the phone’s audio will be picked up by any nearby radio set to the right station.”

N900 ViewMaster

“A Nokia N900 is sitting inside the Viewmaster®. When you move the Viewmaster® to the left or to the right, you trigger a switch. An Arduino then sends a message over Bluetooth to the N900. A Python script receives that message and, using GStreamer (a library for controlling media playback that is included in Maemo 5.0), saves a frame from the camera as a JPEG. When two photos have been taken, numerical (a python library for manipulating arrays) is used to transform the size and color of the images, and pygame (an open-source python wrapper for controlling visuals,) is used to control the screen display.

Any 3D image actually needs two images. The two photos are taken several centimeters apart–about the distance between your two eyes. When you look into the Viewmaster, each eye is isolated to see only the photograph of what would be seen by that eye, and your brain resolves the two images into one 3D image. On the larger screen, the two images are colored red and blue and superimposed. The red and blue lenses of your glasses each cause one image to disappear, so each eye again sees a slightly different image, and your brain translates them into 3D.”

Quoted text and more information about this hacks can be found at the Tinker.it website.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/vdvsx/sets/72157622370715754/show/

Many thanks to the WOM World/Nokia crew (Donna, Robbie and Adam) for inviting me and for the very cool weekend at London.

Sep 15

Last week I was invited to London for the onedotzero event at the BFI, where Nokia were showcasing some very cool stuff around the Maemo Plataform.

The onedotzero event is basically a showcase for new artists from diverse fields, such as collaborative music, films, live performances, digital arts and culture.

Along with the WOM world/Nokia Crew (Donna, Robbie and Adam), that invited me, other 5 bloggers from around the world participated in the ODZ experience during the weekeend:

N900 hands-on

The ODZ experience started on Saturday morning with a meet and greet breakfast at the hotel. Donna brought some devices with her for a initial hands-on experience during the breakfast. Was fun to see the reactions of those less familiar with the Maemo platform :) . In general the N900 is a very cool device, I will not do yet another N900 review here, but I noticed some interesting things in the protos that we had access.

The software is now a bit more polished, the animations are smoother and the vsync issue completely gone. Although the software version that we had access isn’t the last one available at the moment, I’ve seen a more recent version in other n900 protos ;) , also some third-parties apps aren’t available (e.g Bounce) by default in this protos. The keyboard is also much better than the N810 or N97 keyboard in my opinion, I liked it a lot :) .
I didn’t spent much time with the device, in order to give the opportunity to my colleagues to discover the device and make great reviews about it ;) , but the N900 is clearly the best mobile device so far, for the Internet addicts.

Nokia & Maemo.org presentations

After some quality time with the devices, we went to the BFI to attend some presentations about the Maemo platform and the Maemo Community. There I finally met some “Maemoers” – Gary (lcuk), Andrew (Jaffa), Sebastian (crashanddie) and Jussi Mäkinen from Nokia/Maemo Devices.

Gary, Andrew and Jussi

In the first presentation Jussi talked about the history of the Maemo plataform and also did a great showcase of the OS in an big screen using the TV-out functionality of the device ;) , followed by a Q&A session. Jussi mentioned a lot our community in his presentation, he said that Nokia learned a lot with the community and the N900 and the Maemo 5 OS was designed with the input collected within the community in the last years, I really felt flattered for being part of the Maemo community :) .

Jussi

The next presentation was a showcase of the liqbase application by Gary (lcuk), he were very enthusiastic and very proud of his work during the talk.

Gary

The last presentation was done by Andrew(Jaffa), our current council chair, he presented the history behind the Maemo Community and all the interaction channels that we have. Was a very concise summary with some questions from the audience at the end. Andrew is actually a very ‘vocal’ person that talks about our community with a lot of enthusiasm and passion, great to see that.

Andrew

OneDotZero Installation
After a good lunch and a short touristic visit to some London points of interest (inc. the Nokia Flagship store), we finally had a chance to play a bit with the OneDotZero installation.

Me, Neil, Donna, Gerry, Jay and Robbie

The installation was composed by a Nokia N900 connected to 6 large projectors outside the BFI building beaming text onto a big wall. Using the accelerometer of the N900 we were able to change the text beamed by rotating, tilting and shaking the device, as you can see in the videos bellow. Kudos to Gary (luck) for the cool OneDotZero application.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fh0FRp0eqo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr1bk_NOtYs

More cool stuff to come ;)

Aug 25

GSoC is already over, and the Maemo Community had a very successful participation this year, all students successfully completed the program, some with more difficulties than others, but in general, I’m very happy with the final results.

I hope that all who had involved in our organization have had a very pleasant time and a great learning experience. Let’s hope that we can run similar programs inside our community more times in the future, with the knowledge acquired, the benefits for the community will be even bigger, for sure :) .

I would like to thank some individuals and some company’s which had an important role in our GSoC participation:

Our mentors: Eduard Bartosh(ed_), Eduardo Lima(etrunko), Florian Boor(florian), Gary Birkett(lcuk), Gustavo Chaves(glima), Luis Felipe Strano Moraes(lfelipe), Rafael Antognolli(antognolli), Thomas Perl(thp), Ulisses Furquim Freire da Silva(Ryback_) and all the others that don’t had an student assigned.

Our Students:
Amit Sethi(amit_usual), Andrei Mirestean(andrei1089), Andrey Popelo(apopelo), Feng Gao(derkaiser), Kasun Herath(kasun), Kirtika Ruchandani(rkirti), Lauri Võsandi(v6sa), Max Usachev(plastun), Thiago Borges Abdnur(bolaum) and Zachary Habersang(z4chh).

Our Community: Everybody that proposed project ideas and helped our students, especially the Mer guys (I’m looking at you Stskeeps et al ;) ).

Nokia: For sponsoring the trip & accommodation of the students and mentors that attended the Mozilla Maemo Danish Weekend held in Copenhagen, especially Quim Gil for the help given during the program.

Texas Instruments:
For the Beagleboard kindly offered to Kirtika, was a great help for her project.

Google:
For running this successfully program, especially the GSoC team(Leslie, Ellen et al) and the Melange team.

Here’s some screenshots of our students work, more screenshots can be found in lfelipe’s blog.

Shop-mate

Moncells

Maemo OE

Mnemosyne

Aug 5

The Maemo Summit is a showcase for the Maemo community, so it’s important to get the word out.

We are looking for help, specially from those who have designing skills, but everybody can help :)

You can help us promote the event in several ways:

* Create cool promotion banners, web badges or flyers.
* Write about the summit on your website, and add the url here.
* Help in the Summit merchandise design.
* Add banners/web badges in your website, put flyers in your work place/university/user group.
* Join the Maemo Summit groups in social networks.
* Spread the word about the summit, among your friends and colleagues.

Ideas, thoughts ? Come discuss with us

Jul 28

After run the cool Qt/s60 demos produced by Ariya on my phone, I decided to test if Qt is really cross-platform :P . Well, I’ve to say that I’m really impressed, the demos run smoothly on my desktop and as you can see below on my n810 :)

Digital clock

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuLySbZEcOk

Runs out of the box, I only made a small change in order to assign the device volume buttons to the three animation effects: Slide, Flip, and Rotate, because the menu doesn’t work, probably need some integration with hildon (I’m a Qt noob : ) )

Weather info

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XB04orP25iM

An propriety used in this demo (setOpacity) only exist in Qt 4.5 onwards, and the available version on the maemo repositories is the 4.4, so I commented some lines of code, my changes led to a bug as you can see in the video, the main weather state icon isn’t correctly updated. Note that the demo runs out of the box without any change, but due to the old Qt version used, the animations aren’t shown without a small fix.

The third Qt/s60 demo requires more changes, because of the use of  input methods,  let’s hope that everything run out of the box in Fremantle.

More information and the videos of the demos running on an s60 device: http://ariya.blogspot.com/2009/07/like-startling-sign-that-fate-had.html

Update: Qt 4.5.x is actually available for maemo4 under the extras-devel repository, see comment below (Thanks Kaitsu).

Jul 9

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAZh0BBOfs8

Yesterday I received a feedback comment here, saying that BlueMaemo can be used to control games in some S60 devices (Thanks Hath!!!), so just tried with my 5800 and the result is in the video above :) . Playing those games with the tv-out feature of the phone is even cooler :)

Required software and instructions here.

Note: In order to play Quake 2 in the 5800 you need to turn off OpenGL ES in the game menu.

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