Delving into the hacker edition for the n770
I updated my Nokia N770 with the ‘hacker’ edition of the Internet OS2007 last night. Rather than letting it be a brick, with all the attention on the N800 these days…
The update process was easy enough (as a backgrounder, also consider noting the SDK compatibility). Just download the correct flasher, which is currently at version 3, download the image file, and its a one-liner install. Connect the N770 to the computer via USB, press the power button, and automatically the flashing process begins.
Once that’s complete, and the N770 boots up, you’ll see the welcome screen. Here, you configure the device a little more – set the time and so forth. The software actually says you now have a N800. Setting up the wireless connection was a breeze, as was pairing with my Bluetooth phone. Yes, it got the Internet settings correct for mobile Internet – just select the country and the provider. Impressed I was, after having to futz around in Linux.
After the initial setup, the GUI is all pretty snappy. Turn it off and back on again, and you’ll see the GUI hang for about 20 seconds. This is a known problem, of course, one where I wonder why?
Installing applications requires adding a few more repositories. Getting xterm, and gainroot were crucial; no more do you need to enable R&D mode to gain root access!
Tempted as I was to install Skype, I failed miserably. Surfing the Internet, I found out that the processor was the likely cause, and it looks like there will be no sight of Skype in the future.
The Gizmo Project provided solace. I installed the version meant for the N800, and gave it a twirl. No problems whatsoever, so much so that I even had to make a test call to ensure that it was all good. Which begs the question – both Gizmo and Skype are proprietary, both deal with audio and VoIP, yet one works and the other doesn’t?
Video playback, was a little choppy. I never got to play the provided video about the N93, however, after waiting a while for it to load, I got to play the demo videos for the Ice Age 2 trailer and the Discovery Channel video (they were safely backed up on the RS-MMC card, from previous old images). Full screen worked too. However, sometimes, it would just crash the tablet, and it would restart – highly unpleasant.
The AccuRadio hit cast somehow didn’t work either, so I’ve lost my Internet radio. MP3 playback was not a problem however – on the flash as well as the RS-MMC card.
Web browsing is the same. It seems the rendering engine is proprietary and unlicensed for usage on the N770, so there can be no improvements. Consequently, you don’t get to try the new Mozilla based rendering engine in the browser – so no sweet AJAX love.
Did I already mention the numerous crashes, where the tablet keeps on restarting itself? I counted about 3 in under an hour of use, prompting me to give up and go to sleep. Simply web browsing can lead to a restart!
Note that this was a few weeks back (typed this up on my E61i, and just transferred it over). The N770 has gone back to its old position of sitting next to my bedside, because the hacker edition itself, doesn’t allow all the cool applications to be run. I’ll just end up using it as a mobile web test-bed, but sadly, I can’t even try the new Mozilla based rendering engine.
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