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Nokia N810 and 770 Internet Tablets
Documentation Updates

James F. Carter <>, 2006-03-24, updated 2008-03-15

This writeup about the Nokia 770 ITB is a work in progress, and it's crossed my mind that if a person reads it once and then returns to see what progress I've made, it will be very hard to spot the changes. Therefore I've added a blog-type section here. Most recent entries are at the top.


Back in January I got a Nokia N810, and finally I have revised my web pages to cover it. Major new material can be found in:


Joe Dopp <joe at> pointed out that a new WLAN hotfix was posted recently. I installed it successfully, but the patched driver appears identical (the installation script and documentation have been improved). But the hotfix (either version) makes the alarm clock crash the operating system! The description and instructions have been updated accordingly.


I applied the newly released hotfix for memory corruption caused by the WLAN driver. Links and application procedure are here.


I've been bedeviled by what appeared to be corruption in the flash memory. However, Tilman Vogel filed this bug report pinning the blame on the WLAN driver. Here you can find more details, plus in previous paragraphs the symptoms I was seeing.


I noticed that there is a new software catalog which covers all Maemo versions, which has a search feature, and which doesn't require you to download 2.5 MB of screenshots (from servers that may be down) whenever you want to look at it. I've replaced all the catalog links in this writeup.


One of my major wishes has been granted: the Mogg package, which is a codec for Ogg Vorbis that runs on the DSP , by which Osso Media Player can play Ogg Vorbis files.

I got a box full of Bluetooth stuff from Amazon. The Bluetooth keyboard works great (HID profile); the Bluetooth headphones are not supported (A2DP profile). The networking writeup was updated with a more complete section on Bluetooth.

Various sections that mention Ogg Vorbis and Bluetooth were updated accordingly, such as the wish list.


There is a new version: Maemo-2.2 Gregale. This is a bugfix release following Maemo-2.0 Mistral and Maemo-2.1 Scirocco. The Mistral writeup was updated to mention the bugfix releases, which I forgot to do after installing Scirocco.


The major addition is a fictional RFP for a new PDA for the President of the United States. I've also tried out some new software: leafpad (text editor), kismet (wireless monitor), minimo (Mozilla web browser for cellphones), and gnumeric (spreadsheet). I've discovered that Opera is more stable if you avoiding opening new windows. I had two more bitrot incidents. Some other pages got minor edits.


Someone wrote in saying that he had trouble installing my Bash package. I've found that when the Maemo Application Manager has trouble installing a package, it's often easier to figure out what went wrong by running apt-get from the command line. So I wrote up the procedure.

As a demo of apt-get I wanted to install Gnumeric, but there's one dependent library that I couldn't locate. So I did Evince, the Gnu multiformat document reader, specifically including PDF. It seems to work well. Evince is discussed here.


Besides being overloaded at work, I've been improving the standard keyboard (en_US) for the Hildon Input Method. The resulting VKB file is posted and so is a dumper script that can read any of the files in /usr/share/keyboards, so other people can hack their own language files. Here is the writeup.


I found out how to inspect the original root filesystem image, to check for corrupted files on the ITB. (They were all OK.)


I'm putting all my hacked scripts online (read the warning and DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY). And I added a note about two memory errors.


Pages updated for Maemo-2.0: hacking and Scratchbox. And the Mistral writeup was cleaned up as promised. I got to try out WPA (802.11i) -- see here for the result.


I've updated all the pages for Maemo-2.0 Mistral, except for the pages on hacking and on Scratchbox. Those come next. And I'm going to remove duplicated material from the Mistral writeup itself.

Good news, I found out how to be myself, at long last. Hacked scripts will be posted after I live with them for a few reboots.


Have a look at the memory writeup. I wrote a script to decode /proc/$PID/maps and now I know how much the RAM is overcommitted, plus I rewrote this whole section.


Big progress -- I've created a Debian package cache and populated it with my favorite packages that haven't appeared in the Maemo package catalog: bash, less, pine and ntpdate.

I've done some work on being myself, but the main result was that I horked my ITB several times. Wish me luck, I need it.

See various other miscellaneous updates in the Maemo-2.0 writeup.


I have some first impressions of Mistral in its report page. Summary: I like it. GizmoProject VOIP, a Skype clone, is cool in theory but non-ITB issues keep me from using it effectively. A lot of packages available on Maemo-1.1 have not yet been ported to Maemo-2.0. Those that have, I've made a real Debian repository so I can easily re-install them if I destroy my filesystem.


Mistral is here (around 2006-07-08). I've downloaded the root filesystem image and made local copies of as much of my favorite applications as I could find, and have started upgrading. Here is a report on Mistral.


I've found that the ITB's clock is not all that stable: over about 5 hours of about half standby and half operating, the clock was 0.17 secs slow, or 9.69e-6 less than the correct rate. Informally I think I've seen considerably greater errors. I wrote a script to sync the clock, but there's no cron daemon, and I haven't identified the dbus signals for when the internet becomes available. Bummer.

Sergio in Italy was asking me about an issue, and pointed out a useful Wiki writeup. See here for details.


The Maemo software distribution area now has a file Nokia_770_SE2005_5_2006_13_7.bin which appears to be a bugfix release of Maemo 1.1. I installed it. (Note, reflashing the root filesystem replaces all your hacks and installed software. Back up first, and follow the procedure starting with Using the Flasher.) So far I haven't located the changelog. One improvement I noticed is that when you suspend the ITB with the network active, it emits a sound like strangling a cat; formerly it would just kill the network silently.

Beware, there's another little detail with this image which isn't so nice: it looks like the only timezone is Helsinki. See here for what to do about it.


I'm back from my trip. We had a great time, and so did the ITB. Read the trip report.


Just some cosmetic cleanup, and I marked off done items in the to-do list.


OpenVPN works. The version in the Maemo catalog lacks LZO compression and my server requires it, so I compiled it myself, statically linking the LZO library. I made it into a Debian package. When I get back from vacation I'll put my packages online.

I went PIM-crazy today: I entered the trip itinerary into the GPE calendar app, and a bunch of phone numbers into the contact manager.


The main work for yesterday and today was to rewrite the downloader for Science Magazine in Perl, taking responsibility for translating on-site URLs into relative links to local files, and to download two more issues -- this time with all the figures and none of the garbage. It turns out that you need a recursion depth as high as five, but if you do that with wget, it thrashes around in a bunch of robot-excluded directories and makes a real pest of itself.

In addition I installed GnuPG and my front-end script for safely viewing and editing an encrypted file. This file now has my and my wife's passport numbers and other sensitive information that may be needed on our trip.

I discovered the file that stores user-trained glyphs for handwriting recognition, so if I mess up a training glyph I can just revert that file. Maybe we can get this project moving.

When the display goes idle I was hoping to see a signal on dbus, but there wasn't one. So I still haven't found out how to to detect when the machine should clam up (forget secrets).


Started this blog. On the index page in the summary of good and bad features, some of the items didn't quite say what I wanted, so I rewrote them and added links to more extensive discussion.

I also tried to set up OpenVPN (leaving the secret key encrypted). Unfortunately the current version (openvpn_2.0-1maemo2_arm.deb) does not do LZO compression, but my server requires it. So OpenVPN is stuck for the moment. It should not be too hard to build the library, and it occupies 127 Kbytes on i386, but I'm going to hold up all such projects until after my vacation.


Progress has been very slow on the Cryptographic Vault. I made a little progress, and added a new section for this topic.


Being myself: at last I can use my proper loginID and survive. See the link for how.

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