the itjerk

my adventures with technology

Tag Archives: nokia

t-mobile g1: the android

How’s this for an early adopter? I ordered T-Moble G1, the first mobile device to use Google’s Android platform. It’s actually an HTC Dream, but more about that when I get it. As I already was a T-Mobile customer (vintage Nokia 3390), the signup was painless… or was it? The total bill of $210 included a $19 “upgrade fee”, plus a two (2) year contract. I chose the unlimited web/limited text plan for $25/mo.

I have to admit, $200 for a mobile computer is relatively inexpensive, considering the price of the Nokia Internet Tablet, or something like a Treo or Blackberry. And who wants to have Apple’s iPhone when you can have your very own ANDROID? Actually, what really tipped it for me was the low cost data plan, and a recent visit to Microcenter. Yes, my wife did make me cancel my order to Dell for the Inspiron Mini 9 before I ordered the phone, but that was no biggie. I put my hands on Acer’s netbook, and realized it may be too small for comfort and – compared to the Android – too big to lug around.

BTW, I ordered the brown one, but don’t expect to see it on eBay for at least two years!

More at the end of October.

On the web:

nokia n800

Here's the upgraded model, another US$50 (US$399), stereo speakers, a camera, but still no keyboard:

sold it

With the announcement of the Nokia 870, I went ahead and sold my 770 on eBay. One lucky user picked it up almost immediately using Buy It Now. Overall I'm happy that I owned the device and look forward to owning one similar in the future. But not until the input is fixed!

Here's a link to Engadget's 870 shots:

overall thoughts on the nokia 770

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!


I recently received a "pushed" webpage from Gizmo, promoting their Nokia 770-compatible software for their telephone service. I didn't navigate to the page so I'm a little concerned as to how it "magically" appeared….

At any rate, I downloaded and installed the software and signed up for the service (after figuring out that a username MUST have eight characters!). Works pretty darn good. With the complimentary $0.25 that comes with a new account, I proceded to call-out my home phone. The call went through fine, except for a short delay when I was first connected. If I wasn't in shouting distance, I think my wife would have hung up because she didn't think anyone was there. But Gizmo turns the 770 into a sufficient enough WI-FI phone, though I think a headset may be preferable. And that's pretty cool.

Of course, it would be a lot more convenient if Gizmo could talk to Skype, or if it was compatible with other IM devices (like Yahoo or MSN).

In fact, where is all the IM software for the 770? It just comes with Googletalk, which again doesn't talk to Yahoo or MSN….

One the web:

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.

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: