I’ve had my n800 a little over two weeks, and the length of this post will propably explain why I haven’t posted about it before. I love the box, it looks sooo good, and the linux inside means that the scope of potential is just unimaginable… but… the experience isn’t perfect. I guess the experiece is very much like the windows / linux thing as a whole, what works is great, but sometimes getting linux “just so” can be more of an effort than in windows.
I’ve decided to write up all my notes, and bookmarks to make things easier for any other n800 n00bies Before we get started the compulsary screen shot !
You’ll notice that there’s not a great deal installed, and what’s there very much resembles a phone ( *shock* ) and very quickly you’re going to want something extra. Now you’re in a bit of a chicken and an egg senarior, some software requires root access (more on that later) and some have a neat “single click install”.
First place to look for “single click installs” is maemo.org/downloads but you’ll notice, that some of the icons are greyed out, so I’d recomend going though the pain (lots of typing / hand writing with a stylus is) of setting up all the application repositries. To do so, open up the application manager, click (menu) Tools -> Application Catalogue -> New and simply fill in the fields for each repo one at a time. After completeing this you’ll be asked to refresh the catalogue, if you get errors you”l have to go through each one singley disabling it, doing a refresh until it works, and then check that you’ve made no mistakes; on the other hand if it works you’ll notice loads of new cool things you can install.
If you’re new to linux, and don’t know about root, it’s basically the same as the “Administrator” account on windows… but with on exception root has NO RESTRICTIONS.. windows can (and does sometimes) stop the administrator from doing things (like deleting locked files) Unix / Linux will let the root account do anything, including wipe the file system, so use the root account with care.
You’re going to need root to do certain things, to use root you need to install “xterm” and “becomeroot” from you’re list of newly setup applications. Running xterm will give you a shell (like a windows dos prompt) where by you can directly type commands into the underlying linux, buy typing
sudo gainroot you’ll notice the prompt will change from $ to # you now have god like access to your box… at this point I recomend you change the root password from “rootme” to something more secure, type
passwd and follow the instructions.
(If that doesn’t work, read below, install ssh and see this)
You can get remote access onto your n800 via a couple of ways. If you like a GUI try x11vnc from here you can get a vncviewer (for windows or linux) download the .deb file and open it with the application manager. I had no problems getting this working, but I did find using the mouse and keyboard on my pc a little slow and un-responsive so ymmv
The otherway, and what I use is an SSH sesion, much quicker very usable, and like running the xterm from your pc. From the list of installable applications choose “dropbear server” and using a client (try putty for windows).
To connect to your Internet Tablet you will need to know its IP address. To find this open the Connection manager and select Internet connection > IP address from the menu. Tip – you may find it easier to use a fixed IP address.
you can ssh root@ipaddress (using the password you set before, see why I said to change it) of course to be safe you can ssh user@ipaddress, but you’ll have to change the password for user like you did before but in a $ shell.
You’ll also want to disable ssh from starting automatically, you don’t want some script-kiddy trying to hack your box whilst you’re connected to a wifi network, as root type
update-rc.d -f dropbear remove , then when you need it you can do
The 1st thing I noticed when I got my new toy was that I hammered the battery and only got about 1 -> 2 hours wireless useage. I can confirm that using adhoc wireless connections eat the battery, out in the world with proper AP’s battery life seems fine (3hrs+ online perhaps), but at home it really doesn’t last that long.
There are lots of things you can do, to improve battery life. 1st up enable “soft power off” , this will allow you to hold down the power button to but n800 into standby mode, really usefull for hitting before you put it back in your pocket. See this post here for a full set of instructions. Next up, tweak your wireless settings.. what you set here will depend on what you brought the n800 for, I would have thought most people would disable the “search for wifi” functionality as you probably don’t need it to automagically connect to a network whilst your driving or walking, so under the control panel -> connectivity set the search interval to “Never”. I’ve also screwed my Idle times right down so that it disconnets if I’m not doing anything …I haven’t yet been disconnected when I was doing something, but I do usually have to hit “connect to network” before opening a brower etc.
I’d also suggest using offline mode when you’re watching a video or something, that ways “stuff” isn’t happening in the background when you’re not using it.
End of Part One
I think that’s long enough, those few tips should be enough to make most users 1st experience better, in part two I’m going to talk about Apps, what I’ve installed and what didn’t get uninstalled