Sunday, January 20, 2008

Connecting the N810 to Internet via 3G

You have to follow these simple steps (I suppose Bluetooth is already on for your phone and your N810):

- Pair your N810 and your phone (N80 in my case) via Bluetooth. This is achieved in the N810 by going to the Control Panel, then choose Phone and add a New one. You'll see your phone and if you follow the wizard you'll pair them forever for automatic connection between every time that both BT interfaces are turned on.

- In the Control Panel, choose Connectivity, then press button Connections and then New. Follow the wizard, name the connection (for example, I named it Yoigo over BT) and , for the type of connection, choose Data Packets. In order to configure the Data Packets connection, you should enter the Access Point Name (internet for Yoigo), the Dialing Number (*99# for Yoigo), and your username/password with your provider (both empty in my case). In fact, the autonfiguration message, that Yoigo sends to your phone when you first turn on your phone and connect to their network, creates a network connection profile for the phone to act as a GPRS/UMTS modem and it looks like the N810 read its information and filled automatically all the details.

By the way, from now and on, it is very likely that your N810 connects via 3G when its BT interface and your phone's are both on. If you press on the connectivity icon in the systray of the N810, you can tell it to connect automatically to any connection, to WiFi or to phone (and additionally to always ask before establishing any connection).

Weird behaviour of N810

Reflashing the N810 fixed a problem that started happenning to me this week. Headphones only played through the left channel.

After reflashing, stereo audio sounded in a perfect way once again. I've been enjoying it for some hours and... the bug showed up again.

If I move the connector a bit I can make both channels sound OK but a slight movement makes me lose the right channel again.

Playing sound through the external speakers is fine. This is really weird and pretty uncomfortable.

[ADDED about one hour later]

I rebooted the N810 and both channels are back in headphones. Not without problems, because I could not turn it on. I had to let it rest and then it turned on. I hope I am not starting to suffer another bug.

Beware of the red pill

For the owners of an N810, if you enter Red Pill mode (which means that you gain root access to the OS), then you'll find that there are lots of updates related to the very core of the OS.

Well, do not update all those libraries if you do not know what you are exactly doing (as it is my case). I have just installed an update that consists of the installation of all the packages available for the OS and now "la cacharra" resets when it is booting.

I am reflashing it again with the Nokia Internet Tablet Software Update Wizard :-)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Internet Radio Stations in spanish

I have been struggling with Radio Stations streaming their air broadcasts through the internet in a way that is playable with the media player of maemo. Basically, this usually means streaming the RealPlayer way or some Windows Media Player ways.

And I do mean struggling because the web pages of many of these Radio Stations are filled with "web players" with a lot of JavaScript, some Flash and whatever other web techniques that make non-desktop browsers complain. It is true that some of them had a simple \ tag with its href attribute pointing to an RTSP or an MMS URL to just click on it and open maemo's media player. Thanks to them as they save some work to maemo hunters for Internet Radio Stations.

Well, enough speech, let's get to it. I hope it is useful (and not only for Nokia N810 owners).

Radio Nacional de España - Radio 1

Radio Nacional de España - Radio 3

Radio Nacional de España - Radio 4

Radio Nacional de España - Radio 5

Radio Nacional de España - Radio Clásica (seems to not be working)

Radio Exterior de España

Onda Cero (Asturias) (you have to choose the local station in Onda Cero's web site; this is the asturian station)

Europa FM

Kiss FM

Bon appetit! :-)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Best mobile phone of 2007

The guys from Xataka (a popular Spanish blog about gadgets) have published the results from their poll to guess which is the best mobile phone of the last year.

iPhone looks good and feels great but I cannot vote something not allowing MMS and SMS to multiple recipients, with no 3G support and no SDK to program non-web applications (by now).

Anyway, I have to agree is that if, without these and some other important not supported featuresl, what are the rest of the phone and mobile OS makers to do when they bring the next generation of iPhones? At the same time, we know the rest of the people are not being lazy (Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, the Linux army). 2008 is a very promising year for the mobile gadget fan.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

IM improved in maemo

OS2008, the OS in the N810, includes IM software that allows you to get connected to Google Talk (allowing videocalls), AIM and SIP.

If you want to use other IM protocols and services, you have to install Pidgin. But a project called RTCOMM lets you integrate your Pidgin contacts in the default IM client, which is just great in order to save resources (and one entry in the systray :-) ).

I hope the guys at maemo do their best and support all these additional protocols by default without having to install anything. Not necessarily implementing the client-side for all of them, maybe just by allowing automatic integration with Pidgin.

RTCOMM has its limitation (like being unable to allow to add new contacts -it has to be made using Pidgin's UI-), but it is a great piece of software.

WiFi on the N810 (or size does not always matter)

I still go on testing the N810 I have recently been given. Sometimes (more often than what is desirable) I need a time to work at home along the weekend. Sara is getting older (19 months soon) and she is a non-stop baby. So I went to my parents' home (just 3 floors below my flat, in the same building) in order to work a little. I wanted to be connected to my WiFi but, as expected, 802.11g did not get there in the proper way.

Luckily, my sister lives in a flat in the middle of my parents' place and mine :-) Another AP available so I tried to make use of it. Low-power signal. The Thinkpad X60s sees the 2 APs I have at home and my sister's, but it refuses to connect to any of them. Not only that, I already commented in another post that, in low signal environments, the drivers go crazy and the WiFi interface dies. In a way that, sometimes, it makes me have to reboot the laptop.

Incredibly, the N810 sees the 3 APs and it is even able to connect without any problems to the closest one (my sister's). Sometimes (very seldom), the connection drops but it gets connected once again some seconds later. No driver dies, no software mystery.

If you read the comment sent by Frade to the previous post, now you can have an idea of what he means by "don't forget to fill bugs with your suggestions, ideas or bugs (if you find them! :D )". He is not being pretentious at all. The machine is damn good and, what is more important, the software too. What many IBM, Lenovo or Intel engineers don't seem to able to make, the open software community can achieve it.

Thanks, Linux. Thanks, maemo.

Monday, January 07, 2008

N810 upgraded

After a backup of all the sensitive data, it has been upgraded to the latest release by now. It is great that all the data related to access points registered, email accounts, email folders, IM accounts, etc. are back after the upgrade.

The backup includes information about all the applications installed before the upgrade. So it tries to download and install again applications not included by default in the release. The only failure is that apps not included in the official repository are not reinstalled. For instance, I had to manually install pidgin, vagalume and canola. In the case of pidgin, all my preferences and accounts were there after re-installation.

I had never seen such great backup utility and transparent upgrade procedure. It is a pity that Nokia does not do the same about all their devices (thinking of the N80).

Nokia N810

The Three Wise Kings brought an N810 to me. I am starting to use it and I am in love with this gadget. One of things that has surprised me is the autonomy of the battery after a full charge. I have been playing with it yesterday (all the afternoon and evening through) and I had to go to bed before it ran out of power. Of course, with Wifi and Bluetooth enabled.

I have started to download and install additional software but I am making a stop in order to upgrade its OS2008 operating software (a particular flavour of Linux especiall developed for this platform -N770, N800, N810-). Afterwards, I shall read the dozens of blogs out there and know about the lot of tools available.

I guess you'll often read about this toy here.

Nokia Europe - Releases by date

For those of you dealing with Nokia gadgets, you may find this page useful: a list of Nokia software releases sorted by date (please take into account that the page belongs to Nokia Europe O:-).

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Fixing the mobile operator name in Windows Mobile (useful for Pointui Home)

One of the things that I would love to get fixed in Pointui Home is the fact that the operator name is too long and does not fit the space allocated for it in the screen. Besides, it is untrue (Vodafone E) while my operator is Yoigo.

I guess that this is because GSM networks provide certain information (mobile network code, mobile network country, operator name and network name, for example) to our phones, and some phones are not using the proper information.

For instance, Pointui Home displays the network name as stored in the registry in Windows Mobile, in \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\State\Phone\Current Operator. Windows Mobile is missing the operator name (Yoigo). So we can change the string to Yoigo and show a more accurate information and a shorter string. Well, not that easy... As we switch our phone off and on, Windows Mobile will replace again the string value associated to that entry in the registry to the network value provided by the operator. You can override the value again, or you can create a program that periodically does this task (there are some available).

The fact is that Yoigo is operating on Vodafone Spain network and that leads some mobile phones to make users unsatisfied with the information displayed on their phones' display.

[ADDED SOME MINUTES LATER] I guess that it would be possible to permanently display the string that we want for our operator by adding a key to the registry entry
\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\RIL\OperatorNames\ named like the mobile network code and with a value equals to the string that we want for our operator. I have to try it.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Pointui Home reloaded

I have not had the time yet in order to comment Pointui Home and its update tool has made it jump to version 1.01b. In fact, this afternoon it updated to version 1.01a and this evening it made it to this version.

You can see the changelog here. It is great not only that they show what they changed, but that they declare known issues taken into account for future releases.

I love that they think of users wanting to customize their tool, although it is achieved by having to write some entries in the registry. Fast prototyping is great!

Pointui Home

I have been trying the 0.92 beta version of Pointui Home, a new UI for Windows Mobile that I already commented (very briefly). It is time to go to bed now, but I want to say that I love it.

I'll comment it in detail soon, but I can advance that -although it is a beta, it has bugs and there is a lot to do- it is a great approach to iPhone-like UIs on Windows Mobile and I recommend everybody to try it. Remember that it is FREE.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008