the itjerk

my adventures with technology

Monthly Archives: July 2006

apple internet sharing with mac airport card

One very nice feature of Apple computers with Airport cards is the ability to easily share its network connection. Here's what I had to do to get my 770 to connect to the shared internet connection from my Mac Mini at work.

1. To share you Mac network connection, go to System Preferences > Sharing > Internet and click start. You'll see an up arrow inside the Airport icon.

2. Still on the Mac, open a terminal and type "ifconfig en1". The inet address, is the router you'll need, and for your IP just increment this a digit or two. The netmask is To get the Primary DNS, type "dig". At the end of the output is a SERVER line, jot down the IP there.

3. On the 770, open Connection Manager and go to Tools > Connectivity Settings. To setup a new connection, select Connections > new and let the 770 scan and find it. Give it a name then click next a few times until you get to the Advanced tab. There, click on the IP Addresses tab, uncheck Autoretreive and fill in the information from above. When you're done, click finish.

It's not the best connection, but it will get you on-line!


root, terminal and ssh in three easy steps

Well, I bricked my Nokia by running apt-get update (more on that later). No worries, I simply reflashed the OS using the Windows flasher. Here's the steps to install root access, termnial (osso-xterm) and ssh.

1. There are two ways to get root access; first is by flashing the device into r&d mode. This requires a linux box, and downloading the flasher frorm The easier way is to install the deb package, becomeroot, from the following link:

2. To install terminal, I first had to setup a new repository in the Application Manager. This is easily accomplished by opening the Application Manager under the Tools menu, selecting Tools > Application Catalog, and entering a new repository as below:

Web Address:
Distribution: mistral
Components: free non-free

Be sure enabled is checked and let Application Manager refresh itself. Then simply refresh click on Install New Applications and select osso-xterm to install.

3. Finally, I need to install ssh. As this requires me to be root and use the terminal, the two steps above must already be completed. First, open a terminal window and switch to root by typing "sudo su -". Next, run "apt-get install ssh" to install the ssh daemon. This uses the repository we setup above.

Easy enough. Now we really have turned our 770 into linux box! But as I mentioned above, be careful when running apt-get!

wsj review of the nokia 770

Walter Mossberg reviews the 770; his sentiments are atypical of reviews from the "consumer" perspective, but his "kludgy software" comment underestimates the open source beauty of this device.

flash memory card

My first purchase for the Nokia 770 Internet tablet was a new RS-MMC flash card. The unit comes with a 64MB card, but that's for little use other than creating a virtual memory swap-file. The unit itself has around 64MB of storage of userspace, so obviously adding another gig for music, pictures, movies whatever is a must.

Newegg had a 1GB card from PQI for around $27 delivered, and I had my new flash card in a few days time. Even though the card is MMC-Mobile, its fully RS-MMC compliant. Transfers to and from the card a stable although a little slower than with a SD card. In order to enable the virtual memory swap-fle, just open the Control Panel and click on Memory. When connected to any computer via a USB cable, the 770 shows up as a removable storage drive.

So, that's about the only thing I'll be purchasing for this, except for perhaps a keyboard…

Here's the link to Newegg:

first impressions of the nokia 770

Not sure how I missed the introduction of this product, but upon learning of its debian-based os I couldn't resist. It's more than a pda and less than a laptop. It's beautiful display supports WVGA (800×480), while its linux core allows all sorts of things an itjerk would love. Couple that with a price of $350, I was off to buy the Nokia 770 "Internet Tablet". As I live in Chicago, I was also fortunate to purchase it from America's first Nokia store, where I could give it a test drive, just to lay aside any lingering doubts. The Associates most certainly weren't geeks; no one even knew what "terminal" or "ssh" meant, but they did offer to flash the OS to IT2006 (Maemo 2.0). Of course, I wanted to do that! But it passed all tests (including WAF), and I was one satisfied customer.

To call the device bleeding edge would be an understatement. Physically, the internet tablet is an odd size, and after holding it for about a half hour my hands were tingling. The hard case is awkward to handle, and when you slide it under the bottom of the unit, it's hard to get the stylus out or plug headphones in. I still have no idea what the buttons on the left side of the unit are for, and have no clue whatsoever on how to cut and paste text. The single worst aspect of the 770 is the handwriting recognition. Why couldn't it be the same as Palm OS? That works like a charm. But if all I wanted to do was complain about the 770s shortcomings, whats the point of buying it in the first place? It's the ulitmate 2006 geek toy!

The unit shipped with Internet Tablet 2005 Edition. From all accounts, the upgrade to 2006, released just this month, was a must. On my Windows PC, I had to download an update to MS .Net framework first before I could flash the device. It's a simple process, even for the most technically incompetent. Later I read that there are Mac and Linux based flashers available from The appeal here is that the device can be r&d mode enabled (which gives your root access), and you don't have to have Windows.

I got the mac address for the unit from a sticker on the soft case, configured my wireless firewall, and in no time was using it as Nokia intended – surfing the web with the Opera Browser. But that didn't last for long…

Here's the important links: