October 30, 2006
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Although I haven't posted in a while, I've been using my Nokia 770 steadily at home and have made some definitive conclusions about it:
1. Text input on the 770 is the device's biggest weakness. Why? Hand-writing recognition isn't. No keypad, and it defeats the purpose of the device to use a bluetooth keyboard with it. That leaves us with tapping. Tapping is fine for urls, and a little ecommerce, but anything more than that is a real chore. Again, too bad they didn't use or mimic Palm's handwriting recognition.
2. It's a great web browser. Readable and very compatible. Great for quick looks on the web, and a lot easier to handle than a laptop. The only site I couldn't get to was my Yahoo home page (but it does work with Yahoo mail). Thanks Yahoo. The 770 works great as a remote for my Slimserver/Squeezebox.
3. Great Wifi. It just works. Wish it would automatically rejoin the last network after waking, but maybe I'm just overlooking a setting. Plus it doubles as a phone using Gizmo. Great when your in say, Amsterdam, and want to call back home for cheap!
July 24, 2006
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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.
July 20, 2006
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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 maemo.org. 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: