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    I had one of these, it was amazing. I could apt-get install aircrack-ng and the wifi chipset supported monitor mode and packet injection. It also supported host mode usb.

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      I had a 770 with a ThinkOutside wireless keyboard (which I still have - great piece of hardware, shame the company died). I mostly used it to run a full-screen xterm and vim. I wrote a lot of articles and a couple of book chapters on it while sitting in a cafe by the sea. I could fit the 770 in one jacket pocket and the keyboard in another - far more portable than any laptop I’ve owned and then a(n almost) full keyboard at the end.

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        I was compiling C on it and even having a running version of the openjdk on it. Amazing device.

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          I might have been the first person outside of Nokia to get USB host mode working on the n900, though the method I used was not reliable and it got entirely replaced.

          I fell in love with the n800 when it first came out for being a real pocket computer, and it may be part of what switched me from hardware design to embedded systems.

          When Nokia switched to Windows, it broke my heart and I wanted to have a funeral for them. Should have.

          Still have a working n800, n810, and n900 because I don’t really want to throw them away, but I don’t have anything to do with them either.

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            It was amazing, it’s such a magic feeling to write your own apps with qt. And overclocking, real widgets (like top and sticky notes) on the desktop, running the python script of the day.. I miss mine dearly.

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            Nokia was a smartphone pioneer (my last Symbian device was a E61 and I really enjoyed it) but Symbian was a steaming mess from a software/app standpoint. Apple rightfully cleaned their clock. It’s sad they couldn’t pivot to the new software reality with their excellent hardware.

            Edit to clarify, the underlying Symbian software was… fine. The system was snappy and responsive, I got good call quality and data transfer.

            The problem was built-in and add-on apps. There were at least 2 different browsers. Adding a new wifi network was a ridiculous dance. I e-knew one person with a successful application but it was still a very small side-hustle for him with not much income, and significantly, essentially no support from Nokia for his role as a developer.

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              As the N900 and the N9 show it, they did test the waters with Linux. However it was around the time that Stephen Elop was named as CEO and then they switched again to Windows mobile.

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                I remember all the discussion around when Elop went back to Microsoft, some of the more cynical discussion boards called it ‘Mission accomplished’.

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                  Indeed. It was the death knell of the company, however the internet grapevine has me believe that Nokia was a mess internally even before Elop’s arrival, and that it probably would have fizzled into irrelevance either way.

                  I am glad that at least some of the people working on Meego and Nokia banded together and founded Jolla, a company that I’ve supported since their start in 2011. The naysayers cling to the fact that some parts of Sailfish OS, their spiritual successor of Meego are closed source, and that disqualifies them from being a real “linux phone alternative”, but in my opinion they proved themselves over the last 10 years, way before Pinephone and Librem 5 were even a glint in their company’s eyes. :)

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                    Coincidentally, I found this random link on Twitter today, it was very interesting reading: https://www.tim-on-finland.com/blog/nokias-long-shadow

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                Edit to clarify, the underlying Symbian software was… fine. The system was snappy and responsive, I got good call quality and data transfer.

                More specifically: The Symbian EKA2 kernel was a great piece of engineering that is still ahead of Android Linux and IOs’ XNU in a number of ways. The low-level APIs that it exposed were designed for systems with <4MiB of RAM and so placed a huge burden on the programmer for memory management that made it difficult to write complex applications. Nokia’s solution to having a great kernel with a dated userland was to replace the kernel with Linux. They were surprised that this didn’t work.

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                  The one thing I remember from my Symbian smart phone owning days that sent me screaming was the fact that in order to write an application that did ANYTHING with network / sockets you had to have your application signed by BOTH Nokia and your telco vendor :(

                  I think… Not… Folks :)

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                    and your telco vendor

                    Is this a US carrier locking thing? Back in the day with the Symbian phones I’ve had, I would install random apps from various places (there was a cool Twitter client called Gravity, IIRC)… I don’t know how many of them were signed by Nokia, but I’m sure my carrier had no idea about any of these apps. Swapping SIM cards of various carriers never affected any apps.

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                      Yeah, US carriers mangled their phones badly. The worst offender was a certain CDMA carrier that forced BREW. Qualcomm’s aggressiveness was also why Nokia massively scaled back their presence in the US.

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                        Yup now that you mention it I was their customer. I’d forgotten about BREW.

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                        Note that I’m talking about developing applications, not just running them. You could download as many cheeky J2ME apps as you wanted without restriction, but the folks who developed them needed to get them signed etc.

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                          I’ve reached out to Jan-Ole Sur (developer of Gravity) to ask if he wants an invite here.

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                      I think a lot of Symbian users basically used their phones as featurephones as best, not realizing the smartphone functionality there. They mostly bought it because it was a Nokia. It didn’t help most Symbian phones shunned touchscreens unlike most early 2000s smartphones.

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                        Well, and even when they DID throw back the curtain and try to use the smartphone features the results were - underwhelming.

                        Most J2ME apps were laggy and unresponsive, had really awful control schemes etc.

                        Generally the ecosystem just makes me say “Meh” even thinking about it.

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                      *sigh* Still have two or three laying around. All but one broken, not sure if that last one would still run. :-/

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                        I had a Nokia N9 and it is still by far my most loved device I owned. However, even if Nokia would have been managed well, I don’t believe they would have competed well with Google or Apple. The whole platform, access to hardware etc. is far too big and successful. At this point, it’s not about hardware anymore, it’s about software and ecosystem. And I just can’t see Nokia would have succeeded in this.

                        Googles Ad revenue (for now) and Apples growing ecosystem make these devices valuable.

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                          It’s truly fascinating that all the early smartphone attempts focused on making it easy to run desktop applications on your smartphone. As it turned out, the interaction model with touch and small screens was just too different and everything had to be rewritten from scratch, but that wasn’t obvious at the time.

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                            I honestly fully agree. I didn’t own the 900, only the 800, and I gave that thing a hell of a lot of use. It was an amazing device, and it traveled the world with me in a very literal sense.

                            But I knew even back then, before the N900 shipped, that it was a dead end. To me, the N800/900 was always a bridge: it was Nokia experimenting with hardware design in an ecosystem where they knew that hobbyists would show them what the form was capable of. Unlike contemporary Ubuntu and similar desktop Linuxes, you really needed to be comfy using things like apt and so on in order to do useful things with the N800/N900. Maybe not the terminal literally, but a lot of Debian-specific (not even Linux-specific) details.

                            And the fact is that I don’t think the form factor was all that, either. Hardware keyboards were necessary in 2007, but not in 2021. The UI required a stylus to operate properly, and while it’s possible in a literal sense to engineer your way out of that and still keep Gtk as your toolkit, that’d have been a massively uphill battle. (Hell, the damn D-pad wasn’t reliably supported in a useful way!) And so on.

                            As much as I hate to say it, because they were every bit as proprietary as their adversaries, I think that Windows Phone and (my personal favorite) WebOS were much better also-rans in the phone space. Nokia would have had to choose one of those, or Android, eventually. I have a very hard time, except in retrospect and from a very specific point of view, saying Nokia made the wrong call trying to go with Windows.

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                            I briefly had an N950 Developer Edition and caught a glimpse of a post-N900 world. It was essentially an N9 with a slide out QWERTY keyboard. I remember going on a work trip and hardly taking my laptop out of the bag. The shell was solid and I loved the swipe gestures. I also remember destroying it by accidentally submerging it in sunscreen. Sorry, eBayers. 😔

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                              I loved my N900, but having 32 GB of flash but only 256 MB of RAM was very odd.

                              That said, I also loved my Lumia 520. I think a lot of Maemo revanchists forget what state Nokia was in at the time, and also forget that the Symbian team hated Maemo; trying to strangle it in the crib. The edict to WP was probably more politically possible.

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                                Indeed. That low ram-count (coupled with the balooning “modern web”) is the only reason I stopped using my N900 as daily driver.

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                                An F(x)tec Pro1 running Sailfish OS somewhat gets you there these days.

                                I test drove one for a month but in the end I did not use the keyboard that much and then it’s just a big and clunky device. Virtual keyboards these days are 90% good enough for me.

                                But to each his own and I can imagine someone longing for a N900 would really enjoy the device and OS.

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                                  N900 was not only terminal to server. It was httpd/php server.

                                  Best device I ever have.

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                                    I saw someone who had a Maemo-running device (Nokia N770?) at Ontario Linuxfest circa 2007 and had applied an LCARS skin. I was never much a fan of LCARS aesthetic but once it was real in front of me with a touchscreen interface, I wanted it. I lusted for an N800 but when Android came out in 2008, I was sold on it and went down that rabbit hole, unlikely to emerge.

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                                      I remember fondly the year I had with the Creative Labs Zii Egg, writing fun little apps in PlaszmaOS .. while my pals in the local hackrrspace were grooving on their N900’s ..

                                      I sure wish Creative Labs had followed through with the Zii Egg. It was a far, far better Linux-based handheld platform .. still .. I guess there’s OpenPandora and PyraOS ..