The N900 and the Dragons

For now, besides a very small part on Ovi Store, all the applications for N900 are available through (Hildon) Application Manager, which can integrate any Fremantle (maemo 5) repository.

The distance between safest “Nokia repo” and riskiest “Extras-developer repo” is the distance between “I only install golden release so my precious doesn’t get hurt” to “My balls pockets are big enough”.

I have read tones of comments and discussions, authored both by simple mortal users or mighty devs, saying anything else but Nokia and Ovi repos are so risky, that one should never even imagine opening those doors when left home alone …

I can’t help myself telling you one thing: extras, extras-testing and extras-devel repos are indeed containers of early releases, unbaked apps and maybe dangerous code that can impact on your absolute gadgeteer life order…


Do you remember why have you bought this device?
Did you want the most beautiful device, but you mistakenly didn’t choose an iPhone?
Did you want the most feature rich, but you did’t choose an N97?
Or did you hear from your friend he’s finally got his new N900, but you forgot this friend of yours is a linux freak?

If none of the above, I have some breaking news for you, my dear N900 owner: you may have some balls!

The next issue in question is “Why did I really buy this device for?”

If you’re a dev you’d never ask such a question, so hush.
For all the others the question is still up: some of you have found yourselves looking at one half baked device, definitely not an iPhone killer, who lacks that many features and apps so you’d better think to swap it with a Nexus One or iPhone 3/4. On top of that, Nokia decides to free navigation on almost all its devices but N900!

The question remains, because you actually didn’t really missed the point that much when you decided to buy one maemo (5).

And the answer is simple: you felt bold enough at that time!

Now what do we miss here…? You felt bold, you have accepted so many brakes: over-delayed N900 launch, over-priced device, over-delayed shipping, lack of navigation, Gravity, dictionaries, portrait mode and more, now you feel like N900 might not be ready for you.
Would you like to know why?

Because we got scared back.

All the things that can transform this ugly brick into a starship seem to be hidden behind high fences, where you are not really allowed but with the risk of bricking the phone.
So be it, then! Let’s brick our N900 testing apps and feeding back the real hard working guys that built them!

Remember, it’s not a big effort to test apps and signup into maemo community for feed back and talk (! The real burden lies on maemo guys who are trying to build something from scratch!

What should we do?

Signup into, put your arse at work, test apps, feed back on them, discuss, explore your first open platform device, learn linux syntax, brick your phone!! Dare to brick your N900!

Nokia itself has long fortgotten to dare, so dare of its instead! Grow your balls, cause nobody else can! Use your N900 as a tool it is, not as a jewelry.

This is a rant against “there be dragons outside Nokia repos”. So what?!

(Appdownloader by Daniel Wilms – comments, votes, the real thing in version 0.1-1, extras-testing repo)

This entry was posted in Geek Zone, Maemo, Mobile and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The N900 and the Dragons

  1. Pal says:

    `Mr Green: If you want to compare apples to apples, how come you’re comparing a computer to a phone?

    • Mr Green says:

      Comm’on, I love N900 but this is far from being a computer. At least if we’re talking about 2010 AC: 1 GB Nvidia GPU powered; 1 TB HDD, and 8 channels audio, running WOW… Calm down a bit, it’s just a 10 years ago computer.

  2. Pauli says:

    “On top of that, Nokia decides to free navigation on almost all its devices but N900!”

    There seemed to be some uncertainty about that. Is this confirmed, now?

    • Mr Green says:

      It’s confirmed that “eventually” N900 will also have free navigation… See Reuters press release

  3. Mr Green says:

    Actually it is overpriced, comparing apples to apples: iPhone 3GS is fully loaded and ready to go, N900 isn’t; iPhone is marketed as milestone, N900 isn’t; iTunes has some thousands of apps, N900 had, at launch … 20? All together, N900 has almost the same price as N97, a device that was really pushed by Nokia. All the communication credit for N900 goes to maemo / linux community, so the marketing costs were a quarter comparing to any other phone in the market.
    Believe me, I AM comparing apples to apples, but I’m also afraid all we have to compare is Apple to Apple in terms of product, price and publicity…

  4. Tor says:

    “over-priced device”? Well, it’s expensive enough for sure, IMO no phone should be that costly. But compared to an iPhone 3GS it’s cheap. Comparing apples to apples, mind. I walked past the airport electronics shop the other day, and the price of a no-contract N900 was approximately 725 Euros, including 25% VAT. A 16GB iPhone 3GS was 1090 Euros, a 32GB iPhone 3GS was a whopping 1210 Euros. All non-subsidesed, without contract (apples to apples, remember). The N900 also has 32GB of internal storage (in addition to the NAND holding the OS/firmware). Compared to those iPhones the N900 looks like a bargain.

  5. Mr Green says:

    Right! edited. Thanks

  6. subcore says:

    “extras, extras-testing and extras-devel repos are indeed containers of early releases”

    that’s NOT TRUE !!!
    “extras” is the stable repository and does NOT contain early releases or beta software. that’s what -testing and -devel are for!

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