2012/07/28

Top X essential Nokia N900 apps and more


Nokia N900 is still my all-time favorite mobile. So it happened I had to reflash my device and install every app again. I thought maybe I should list all the apps I see as essential for everyday use. Maemo has gotten some criticism in the past about not having enough software, which really is a ridiculous claim if you ask me. It is not always that easy to choose from the many available choices you have, as the repository is huge. There are of course plenty of other great apps you might want to install, but these should make your device somewhat more enjoyable and ready for day-to-day use.


Faster Application Manager

Built in application manager is slow and clumsy to use, this one is neither.


Catorise

Catorise organizes your applications menu into groups, so you'll have at least some hope of finding your application in a reasonable amount of time.




CuteTube-QML

Best Youtube (+ dailymotion & vimeo) viewer available.

Firefox

Maemo broeser is usually your top choice, but there are some sites that work better with Firefox. You should have it, if not for the features it offers, just in case you happen to need it.



Hermes

Fetch contact info and photos from social networks.




Erminig

Synchronize N900 calendar with Google.




Tickstill

It's a timer alarm, which counts both ways. Lifesaver in kitchen.




Petrovich

Share your files via Bluetooth or internet.


Conboy

Note taking application far superior to what comes with N900 by default.


Flashlight & Camera Lens Launcher

Use camera flash leds as a flashlight. Combine with CLL to get a nice menu to choose which one to launch on lens cover open.


And some more..

You might find these pretty essential too. I did.

AdBlock Plus - Block ads.
BackupMenu - Backup OS and programs.  Recovery tools.
Calendar Home Widget - Calendar widget replacement.
Mobile HotSpot - Shares your 3G connection via WLAN or USB.
Open Media Player - Replacement for the stock media player.
Recaller - Call recorder. Can record from other sources too.
Rootsh - Gives root-access to device.
Transmission - Torrent client.

You should also consider updating to Community SSU to keep your N900 as up-to-date as possible. Now, go enjoy your N900 :)

2012/07/23

Behringer Microphono PP400 phono preamp


Vinyl is back! Oh you knew already? What a surprise there. People are crazy in buying cheap, old and mediocre turntables, and if you're one of the many whose amplifier lacks phono input, and don't want to spend big buck on proper preamp, Behringer, as usual, comes to the rescue.

PP400 costs virtually nothing, Amazon sells it for 27USD and you can probably get it cheaper with a bit of research. So, the question is, is it any good then? In my experience, it does just about what you can except from a device this cheap. Actually, it does the same as more expensive choices out there do. I think it is pretty much perfect choice for a low-budget mid-fi setup. I myself tested it with a cheap Sony integrated and Pioneer PL-100 (entry level TT from 80's) equipped with AT95 cartridge. Sounded just like it should sound with that kind of gear, though I doubt PP400 outputs proper line level signal.

So, about the specs then, here's what Behringer says:

INPUT
Type RCA connector
Impedance approx. 47 kΩ
Max. input level -23.5 dBV @ 1kHz

OUTPUT
Type RCA and ¼" TRS,
stereo connectors
Impedance approx. 50 Ω
Max. output level +11.5 dBV @ 1 kHz

SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS
Frequency response RIAA
THD 0.06% typ. @ -40 dBu/1 kHz
Gain 35 dB
Signal-to-noise ratio 68 dBu @ 0 dBu, A-weighted
Input sensitivity 5.3 mV @ 1 kHz

And how does it look inside? Just as East-Germany as it does on the outside:


Inside we find V4580 opamp by CoolAudio with following specs:

Operating voltage (±2 ~ ±18 V)
Ultra-low input noise voltage (0.8 µVrms typ.)
Wide gain-bandwidth (15 Mhz typ.)
Ultra-low distortion (0.0005 % typ.)
Slew Rate (RL≥2KΩ) 5 V/µs typical


Coolaudio V4580M operational amplifier



This opamp is not the greatest, some say it is about the poorest you can get but I guess you could call it "OK" especially at this price, and Behringer seems to use this and other models by Coolaudio in a bit more expensive gear also. Overall the build quality is good and parts used are decent enough. PSU is very, very china but PP400 takes 12 volts in so no trouble here if it breaks.

As a conclusion:
+ Price (everyone can afford this)
+ Size (yes, it's very small)
+ Value (You get more than you'd expect for your money)
- Low output level
- Slightly thin sound

2011/12/25

Install Arch Linux on Nokia N900

I have moved the guide and discussion over to talk.maemo.org. See you there, or drop by at #maemo-alternatives on Freenode.

See http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=81892.

2011/12/10

Nokia N900 as USB WiFi router

Update:
If you want to use just 3G then you might be better with Mobile Hotspot.

Here's how to share your N900 WLAN connection through USB-port.

First, you'll need kernel-power, usb-networking-modules, rootsh and udhcpd packages installed to make this work. Once installed, open up terminal and create file routerup.sh with the following content:

#!/bin/sh
ifup usb0
echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
iptables -A POSTROUTING -t nat -s 192.168.2.0/24 -j MASQUERADE
iptables -I INPUT -s 192.168.2.0/24 -j ACCEPT
iptables -P FORWARD ACCEPT
udhcpd

Next, make routerup.sh executable

chmod ugo+x routerup.sh

Now, create file /etc/udhcpd.conf with following content:

start 192.168.2.20
end 192.168.2.30
interface usb0
opt router 192.168.2.15
opt dns 8.8.8.8 8.8.4.4


Create routerdown.sh

#!/bin/sh
killall udhcpd
ifdown usb0
echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward
iptables -F
iptables -t nat -F



and make it executable too.

You can use these scripts manually by plugging USB-cord (choose PC Suite mode) and then executing routerup.sh (and routerdown.sh when you're done) as root. Scripts wont work as normal user. Any modern linux system should now be able to get ip from N900 dhcp-server and have network.

If you need this connectivity often, you can put routerup.sh into N900's /usr/sbin/pcsuite-enable.sh before last line which reads exit 0, and routerdown.sh to /usr/sbin/pcsuite-disable.sh to use scripts automatically on PC Suite connection.

Windows users need  http://tablets-dev.nokia.com/MADDE.php to make this work, can't write more specific instructions because the lack of windows ;)

2009/01/23

Microscopic PAL NES / SNES power adapter mini-FAQ

Seems like there's alot of confusion dealing with NES and SNES power adapter (AC adapters, power supplies, whatever you call them) so here's (uh, almost) all you need to know of 'em. This is about european PAL models only. I'm not responsible if you break your console, yourself or anything else. Always doublecheck and if you're unsure of something, don't do it.

Q: So, what are the specs regarding power for my european PAL NES/SNES?

A: Officially, both take 9 volts AC. NES PSU is rated 9v or 9.8v 1.3A. Same applies to SNES.
Unofficially, you can plug in just about any 9V AC or DC adapter with any polarity into both NES and SNES and it will work (at least if the plug fits nicely in ;) and NES has been reported to work with as little as 410mA.
I personally use 9V DC 1A with my SNES without any problems, and actually, American SNES wich takes DC directly in (NEVER try to use those with AC adapter. NEVER!) is rated 10V DC 850mA which most likely is a bit overkill too and snes will work with less. In the innards of NES, that 9 volts is regulated to 5 volts, so it will work with up to 12 volts, with the side effect of regulator heating up more than usual, but it should not be an issue as the regulator is rated up to 18 volts. In theory, everything from 6V to 18V should work, but I'd stick with that 9V if possible. I have no information if this applies to SNES, and i advice you not to try anything than 9V or less, as SNES may have different power regulator (can anyone confirm or check it out perhaps?). There's also some talk of UK models having different specs but i cant confirm that and it sounds kinda silly to me, that there would be different PAL models. So, use your common sense.

Q: Should I buy overly priced (possibly used) official nintendo parts?

A: If you want to and can find one. I personally would recommend third party adapters, as both NES and SNES have somewhat rare sized plug. If you're buying international, check input voltage and wall plug so that it will work in your country. Other option is to buy those cheap adapters which have multiple plugs (most have right sized plug, some don't) and adjustable voltage. Or if you have broken adapter gathering dust, cut the plug from it and change it into any otherwise suitable adapter. You can even make your own 2-in-1 adapter that way, by getting proper plugs and wiring them to one power adapter.

That's it.