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Maemo moments.
Things have been a bit lumpy in the Maemo community this week. It started with the repositories crashing last weekend – and oddly, no-one was around to fix it till Monday. Even the host is on has 24/7 emergency service so I was a bit baffled. The whole event with tech things being unsteady has felt vaguely ... unprofessional. And as Nokia are the bill-payers for that end of things, it’s faintly worrying about the level of their genuine commitment.

It’s aggravated a lot of people, and I get the feeling that tempers are getting frayed. The newcomers are now here to stay, whether the old-timers like it or not. The place will never again be what it was six months ago, and there’s a lot of pain and grief about. For a really good analysis, I point you to Tabula Crypticum – Texrat's blog on the subject.

So what has My Mo been up to this week? Well, he showed on Friday how much a bit of high tech can be useful with spiritual practice.

I was part of a team running a quiet day. Apart from the usual simple things such as keeping me in touch with both personal and work email (and twitter!) while I was away from the desk, I expected Mo to pull his weight.

On arrival, while people were gathering I plugged him into a little portable amp, and left him to provide some drifty music from my ‘celtic’ playlist. Which was fine.

Mid morning, we were running a ‘sharing best practice’ session on relaxation. I plugged Mo into a digital projector which had a yellow ‘video’ input, and people arrived to see a candle (the one from Ovi) flickering on the screen. Then, as people settled down, leaving the candle still running I opened an mp4 file. I have a large high quality file made from a DVD which features streams, trees, waves on a beach – glorious, relaxing stuff. People settled into it and relaxed. Then we cut to the actual sharing bit: I flipped open Xournal and took notes onscreen. As someone dyspraxic enough have lousy handwriting, being able to write with a stylus on a little tablet was an awful lot easier than fighting with a whiteboard or flipchart! And the file has been saved as a pdf, for emailing round afterwards! We talked a little about using ‘fun’ to relax – and I cut to the opening of one of my children’s TV programme videos. Then finally, when the session ended, I pulled up the candle again – it had been running in the background throughout – and we extinguished it to show the session was concluded.

Just before lunch I had the task of leading a meditation: I did a simple guided imaginative meditation about a beach. And then turned up Mo, again plugged into the amp, to play an mp3 file of the sound of waves on the sand.

After lunch, I got a little tiny bit of free time – and managed to nip into the glorious grounds of Epiphany House and take some photos of the winter trees. Of course, I happened to have a rather good 5mp camera handy. ;) Those shots will appear on my tumblr account over the next few days and weeks. And as I build up a collection of good photos, I can create a folder...a slideshow for the next time we’re leading something like that.

The other fun thing I’ve been doing is a little bit of wiki-editing. Those well up in the Maemo community will know the name of Frals. Indeed, one feels one should bow while typing it! N900 shipped without the capacity to send or receive media messages – and Nokia have made it clear they don’t plan on providing it. What they are doing is supporting the Amazing Frals in the task of adding this feature. And he’s well on the way.

As part of the testing, people from all over the world have been setting up their n900s for MMS, and providing the parameters for their network providers. Somehow, the task of collating them into the wiki got out of hand, so I decided to step in and help out a bit. Every day or two I collect any parameters in the thread on talk.maemo and add them to the wiki, if the poster hasn’t done so already.

Which, I’m guessing, is why I got an (unjustified!) reputation for knowing about parameters. And received a private message which left me baffled. It was in Polish – at least, I think it was Polish. The only bits I recognised were “fMMS” and “Orange Polski”. I took a leap in the dark, googled some parameters and sent them back with a disclaimer (in English) that I was only guessing as we hadn’t had them confirmed. I got back a reply (in English) that the poster had tried them before without success, but now found them to be working. I can only guess he PMed me in Polish at first in an absent moment. Though I’m mildly chuffed at guessing the right answer to a question I didn’t understand!

If you’re an n900 user and haven’t tried fMMS yet, it’s overdue time you did.

So that’s been my week in Maemo – and Mo’s week in my world.

Someone looked at Mo wired up to a projector and asked “Is that a phone, then?” Sneakily I replied “No, it’s a pocket computer that happens to have phone facilities too”. I swear I heard Mo purr.
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Orange Polski


2010-01-23 10:40 pm (UTC)

Muszę przyznać, że fMMS części Polski był wesoły. To wstyd, że nie było publicznej post: (
Nawet jeśli nie byłoby miło z mojej strony udzielenia odpowiedzi na "Polski" przez Google Translate, ten wpis w całości wykonane mój dzień:) Mam tylko nadzieję, back translation będzie coume prawidłowo.

Niech żyje komputer kieszonkowy!

Re: Orange Polski


2010-01-24 01:39 am (UTC)

Amusing :) I wouldn't rely on Google Translate too much, tough. I've had to read it about twice to get it ;) -- evad

The daft thing is I didn't even think about using google-translate! Mind, seeing 'Orange' and fMMS was enough of a clue, I supose.

Didn't post on the open board since the poster (who as far as I can see from other posts is perfectly fluent in Englaish) to be embarrassed. I suspect it was just a brain fart. I didn't think to check the posters other posts either or I'd have asked for a translation.

That'll teach me to proof read before I submit!

thanks for sharing this


2010-01-24 01:55 pm (UTC)

this is creatrive and practical and humanistic use of the N900 thank you for sharing it.

the servers were not so much down as undergoing major upgrades. this limited service. recall the fact that they host FREE software to millions.

Re: thanks for sharing this


2010-01-24 04:37 pm (UTC)

Glad you enjoyed it.

My impression with the servers (rightly or wrongly) was that the upgrade happened flawlessly on schedule and with due warnings on the Friday, and then things went pear-shaped on the Saturday - which is why there was no-one around to fix them. I've no doubt it was a glitch following on from the big sever move, but not quite 'part' of it. We'd had news the move was over and all was running fine. The free community software is of the highest calibre - I certainly wouldn't call THAT unprofessional, and I'm very grateful for it. But I understood that the hardware on which it's hosted was part of Nokia's end of the deal, and was suprised someone as significant as that used a host without weekend cover. I wonder whether Nokia's own servers are on the same host. I got the impression (which may be mistaken) that the community and council was a bit powerless in all that.

Re: thanks for sharing this

2010-01-24 08:46 pm (UTC)

Doing major upgrades on a Friday - sometimes not the best idea :-)

Re: thanks for sharing this


2010-01-24 08:50 pm (UTC)

Now that's indisputable. :-)

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