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Handhelds Software Wireless Networking Hardware Linux

Nokia's Linux Handheld 320

Nils Faerber writes "Today Nokia announced the introduction of the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet device along with the Open Source based Maemo Development Platform. With this new product Nokia enters several new worlds all at once. A new concept for the use of a handheld device, a new fully visible open source based development process and the explicit use of open source software in a commercial grade product. The typical use case for the Nokia 770 is to be the internet usability extension to your mobile phone or other wireless internet access equipment. It is extremely portable by its small formfactor, usable for almost all internet applications thorugh its exceptional resolution of 800x480 pixel and its multimedia capabilities by making use of a TI-OMAP CPU and a accompanying digital signal processor (DSP) core. The consequent use of open source software and technology basing on the Linux kernel 2.6, X11-server technology and the GTK+ toolkit the resulting new Hildon graphical user interface creates a fully new user interface experience for portable Linux devices."
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Nokia's Linux Handheld

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  • Good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @09:52AM (#12633619)
    If this gets popular, and as presumably the interface will be similar to all other Nokia products, people will realise that Linux is not necessarily hard to use.
  • Left-handed model? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by oni ( 41625 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @09:53AM (#12633626) Homepage
    I doubt there will be a left-handed model. Pretty much every PDA or device like this one has buttons on the left side, which I can't use because I'm holding the device with my right hand because I need to write on it with my left hand.

    Oh well, sucks to be me I guess.
  • No ethernet (Score:3, Interesting)

    by noisymime ( 816237 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @09:53AM (#12633627) Homepage
    I know it kind of goes against the whole portability idea, but no ethernet?
  • Battery Life (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AngryScot ( 795131 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @09:56AM (#12633663)
    3 hour battery life seems to be a little short if you are going to be traveling and want to use it.

    I suppose you could charge it in your car...
  • Stylus (Score:3, Interesting)

    by teiresias ( 101481 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @09:57AM (#12633667)
    I've been using my Gateway tablet for about half a year now and while the stylus works and works well, it's not something I felt the same level of comfort using as I do when I use a pen or pencil. My guess would be that the stlus seems to slip more over the very slick screen.

    In regards to the Nokia 770, the stylus seems to be the primary form of input and command for this device. Unless Nokia has changed the feel of stylus, this might hurt adopters of what looks like a neat PDA/tablet hybrid. Indeed, implementing a small keyboard similiar to the Sharp Zaurus PDA's would be very nice.
  • PDA please! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by johansalk ( 818687 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @09:57AM (#12633672)
    Looks exciting; can't wait for them to make a PDA out of it. I just wish they'd used regular SD instead of reduced size memory cards.
  • Compared To? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by simpl3x ( 238301 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @10:10AM (#12633814)
    What can you compare this to? The Palm devices? It seems to have a good screen 800 x 600, Wi-Fi... I can imagine teachers carrying something like this around to hold teacher edition texts, and accessing the school network. IMHO, this is very cool, and could open up a lot of opportuniity in web applications for verticle markets.

    I wish it had a sim card, and I hope that they offer a keyboard tray of some sort.
  • by sonny317 ( 300865 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @10:24AM (#12633951)
    If the screen is bright enough to be daylight readable as some of the outdoor press shots would suggest, you have a very compact, removable linux-based media engine with hi-res touchscreen and navigation buttons. If much of any developer community adopts it (hard to imagine it wouldn't), there will probably be support for all sorts of additional media formats and peripherals. Given that current sunlight-readable VGA touchscreens cost ~$3-5 hundred USD alone, this could easily knock the price of building a carpc setup in half.
  • by kerskine ( 46804 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @10:31AM (#12634022) Homepage Journal
    Just did a quick read of the licenses section of the FAQ. They've released the UI, Skins, and Graphics under the Creative Commons (CC) license. I guess they want to see maemo used on other platforms (assuming the license fee for the graphics is reasonable).
  • Re:Battery Life (Score:4, Interesting)

    by l810c ( 551591 ) * on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @10:34AM (#12634040)
    3 hour battery life seems to be a little short if you are going to be traveling and want to use it.

    It's only 1500 mAh, your average NiMH AA is at 2300 mAh each. This battery must be puny.

    An external battery pack would be a cool option. 2 AA's in a small tube with wire could provide nearly 10 hours.

  • No 3G/GSM? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ubera ( 107426 ) <oconnoat.tcd@ie> on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @11:03AM (#12634520) Homepage
    I think it's a pity that the rather beautiful design and obviously neat software doesn't include Nokia's core function: mobile phone connectivity (and not through BT).
  • by hemul ( 16309 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @11:11AM (#12634625)
    here []
  • by jonathan3003 ( 797920 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @11:20AM (#12634743)
    Similar (and better) devices already exist.

    See, for example, the PMA400 [].

    It is open source, linux based, has a 30gb hd, and has many other goodies.

    But it is still nice to see that a large company like nokia is offering such a product. It will definitely help to spread linux :)

  • it still sucks.... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by O2dude ( 460818 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @11:41AM (#12635055)
    what about audio IN? that way it would (shock horror) actually be useful, because we could (possibly) run skype on it.
  • Re:It will fail (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Combuchan ( 123208 ) * <sean AT emvis DOT net> on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @12:06PM (#12635318) Homepage
    Yes, we'll have wireless broadband everywhere, but only so you may legitimately download Approved Content(tm) from Vericingusprint, and they'll continue charging outrageous prices for even sending a kilobyte of data. Lord help you if you want unproxied HTTP or TCP with enough ports open to do any real work.

    That is, there might be broadband everywhere in a few years, just don't count on using it.
  • by javaxman ( 705658 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:24PM (#12636310) Journal
    That would make it usable to me. Virtual Keyboards suck, pure and simple, and as much as I like to surf the web, I'm not laying down $350 for something to look at websites with a tiny screen.

    IF the CPU ( uh, I don't see that in the spec, that makes me worry, folks... ) is powerful enough, and you could pack on external batteries to keep it going for 3 hours *while* actually using your Bluetooth keyboard, it looks like it could *almost* work as a more-portable laptop replacement. Something to type up notes on while sitting in the park or coffee shop, that kind of thing.

    Not that I'm going to run out and get one. I still look at this and think "but... maybe I just want a laptop..". On the other hand, if you could use a BT keyboard with it, it might be sort of like a low-power, extremely small laptop with a keyboard you can ditch when you're not entering lots of data... that does have a certain appeal.

  • by rillian ( 12328 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @01:58PM (#12636685) Homepage

    I talked to Uraeus about this a bit. The machine has combined ARM9/TI DSP cores. The idea is that you want the codecs running on the DSP, and apparently the free Xiph codecs we're included in the launch because there's no DSP port of the reference implementations. (There's no GCC back end for the dsp, although some folks [] are working on a related series.) This includes Ogg Theora, Speex and FLAC as well as Ogg Vorbis.

    Whether the ARM is too slow (or battery consumptive) to run the decoders on its own, I'm not clear but with everything open source it will be easy to check.

    I'll be a Guadec, where they are apparently also doing a demo, so hopefully will know more next week.

    In the long term though we need help with the DSP gcc port and someone to do hand-optimized asm for the xiph codecs. If anyone's interested, please let us know.

  • by skgala ( 886942 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @02:30PM (#12637018)
    1. Small keyboard that can be attached/removed when needed. 2. Hard Disk 3. Ethernet port

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson