My opinion on next Nokia tablet

There is a new set of rumours on websites about next Nokia tablet. Name it N900 (speculation name) or Rover (which is internal name) or famous N00 which probably is on prototypes (Nokia uses N00 on proto phones and tablets).

As Jamie Bennett wrote on his blog it will be hard to sell this tablet. He compares it to netbooks but I see other device to buy instead — Touchbook which has similar internals but higher resolution (1024×600 instead of 800×480) on bigger screen (8.9″ instead of 3.5″). OK, it will not have GSM like N900 but I do not care about it — my current phone is good enough.

And then goes other problem — Maemo. I used Maemo 2005/6/7/8 on Nokia 770 and N810 and ok, it is fine and working system but… It is niche system — small amount of applications available and no other environments then Hildon one (chroot with KDE which runs in window under Hildon does not count).

And question is how open will it be for other operating systems/distributions — I hope that Nokia will not follow 770/n8x0 way.

Moblin 2.0 User Interface

Yesterday Moblin team released new UI for their system. And most of “Moblin team” are my colleagues from OpenedHand times. It is nice to see what they were working on during time when we no longer worked in same team.

I have to admit that I did not tried Moblin 2.0 beta. None of my machines use Atom cpu and I do not plan to check how it works on my desktop machine (1920×1080 is bigger then 1024×600 used by netbooks so results could be strange). I read Ars Technica review and watched introduction video on YouTube. But they show how many projects were used to produce one product. Maybe not finished yet but impressive enough to track it’s future.

Will I use it one day? Hard to tell — it looks like lacking some components like mail or IRC client (I do not like being forced to use IM client for IRC).

Sheevaplug arrived

Recently I joined group of Sheevaplug owners. It is amazing how small it is…

Sheevaplug

Simple tests shows that CPU is faster then OMAP3 used in BeagleBoard but this is not a surprise — 1200MHz compared to 600MHz makes a difference. And they are two different types of devices.

What use I have for it? Some native builds and it will be my local TFTP/NFS server — I just have to connect 4GB pendrive to it. Ah… I also have to install Ångström on it first as using Ubuntu is not in my style. Especially not with 512MB flash used as JFFS2 partition…

Some useful links for those who wonder how to get Sheevaplug working:

Cursing Intel

I am using Dell D400 laptop as my 32bit test machine and during conferences. It has Pentium-M cpu and Intel 855GM/ICH4 chipset. And this is where problem starts…

As I like to use text console on it I wanted to get XGA (1024×768) framebuffer on it. So first try was “use intelfb”. But “video=intelfb:mode=1024×768-32@60” or “modprobe intelfb mode=1024×768-32@60” results in same message:

[ 1760.280291] intelfb: Framebuffer driver for Intel(R) 830M/845G/852GM/855GM/865G/915G/915GM/945G/945GM/945GME/965G/965GM chipsets
[ 1760.280368] intelfb: Version 0.9.6
[ 1760.280471] intelfb: 00:02.0: Intel(R) 855GM, aperture size 128MB, stolen memory 892kB
[ 1760.289927] intelfb: Non-CRT device is enabled ( LVDS port ).  Disabling mode switching.
[ 1760.290251] intelfb: Video mode must be programmed at boot time.

The solution is to give kernel “vga=792” argument but it is not possible here as kernel thinks that 800×600-8 is highest available one.

OK, I can use X11 and terminal there — this works fine. But why kernel got so broken? Probably Intel developers do not test their changes on something older then i945 chipsets (and thats only because it is used in Atom based devices).

Looks like I need to do “git bisect” to check when it broke and then create some hack to get proper behaviour…