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


Best Youtube (+ dailymotion & vimeo) viewer available.


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.


Fetch contact info and photos from social networks.


Synchronize N900 calendar with Google.


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


Share your files via Bluetooth or internet.


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 :)


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:

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

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

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