Tag Archives: maemo.org

Maemo 5 gift keeps giving

And hot on the heels of the little Maemo firmware update from the other day, here’s the other shoe dropping: http://conversations.nokia.com/2010/01/14/nokia-n900-software-update-part-2/

I think I hear the sound of happy N900s… not to mention maemo.org community members relieved to see the release accompanied by a Nokia announcement.  ;)  Oh, on that note: http://wiki.maemo.org/Maemo_5/PR1.1.

Fire ‘em up!

Post holiday present from Maemo… and Ovi

Twitter and maemo.org are buzzing with great news: you no longer have to wait on the Nokia N900 firmware upgrade I teased you about.  That’s right: a new update, 1.2009.44-1, is now available.

Lack of Nokia-generated buzz along with the version number suggests that this is apparently a minor release and meant as a precursor to something bigger to follow soon.  Yes, “soon” is a vague political word but I don’t have a date.

But it must be a banner day for Nokia as well as customers, though, because as small as this update may seem it comes with Ovi Store support.  That’s right, the long-promised N900 knob to the Ovi Store door is here.

Initial access success was reportedly mixed, as the greenlighting appeared to occur on a region-by-region basis.  Some URL tricks were necessary at first for some but the ever-resourceful maemo.org community figured it out quickly and had eager users buying games like “Angry Birds” in short order.

The Ovi Store access has also been said to be accompanied by a nice improvement to the Application Manager, something long requested and overdue.  Sorry, no screenshots yet– I still don’t have a replacement N900.  However you can catch a glimpse at some N900 technical blogs like maemo-freak.com.

Today proves once again that big things can come in small packages.  And it’s still speculative, but I’m betting these advents precede an announcement regarding T-Mobile US and the N900.  We’ll see…

Maemo community outreach: Dallas open source Saturday

This morning I officially kicked off my version of Maemo community outreach efforts, by joining my first meetup of the Dallas Open Source Saturday group.  We met at Los Lupe’s TexMex restaurant in Addison, north of Dallas.  The seating was decent and the breakfast tacos were very good in my opinion, but drawbacks for the location included lack of wifi, too much loud music/talking and inability to use TV for presentations.

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maemo.org community council 2009-2010: midterm assessment

Is the current maemo.org community council hitting a sophomore slump?

Before I go further, a disclaimer: I’m on it.

A gauntlet… or mild molotov cocktail… is thrown

The impetus for tonight’s analysis was a thought-provoking discussion on the community council mailing list this morning.  I’m not going to replicate who-said-what or plaster this post with immaterial details– what I am going to do is extract some key points and offer my perspective and suggestions on the subject.

The essential compliant posed was that some or all members of the current council are not fulfilling their roles and/or campaign promises.  That perhaps they/we got in over our heads.

I’m going to take issue first with the original complaint, and then cover the known gaps.

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Maemo rubber hits the road

I just got back from the Maemo Developer event held in Santa Clara, California December 3 and 4.  The tenor was more about developer outreach than training but that was not a bad thing at all– sessions like these are needed to cultivate interest, especially amongst commercial contributors.

The trip was made all the more… well, exciting for me because everything was last minute.  I did not know for sure I would be attending until a week or so before, then received three day notice I would be presenting on behalf of the community.  Halfway there on the plane it became clear to me (thanks to GoGo wifi and Ovi mail) after a couple of exchanges with Maemo folks that the event’s main audience would come from the business side of the software world, which meant more changes to my presentation.  By the time I got done there was so much text on the slides I tripped myself up trying to read it!

Ah, the benefit of time to practice… ;)

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Opening up to Open Source

It’s funny the turns Life takes.

I started programming in the eartly 1980s, on Timex Sinclair, Commodore 64 and TRS-80 computers in short order.  In those wild days when high-level languages were really coming into their own, free and open source software seemed more readily available than retail equivalents.  Hobbyist magazines, online bulletin boards and even the fledgling internet (pre WWW) were stuffed with code just waiting for eager learners like me to take and tweak.  There wasn’t much in the way of formal free and open source protocol at the time– that evolved soon enough though.

But as I evolved myself, from hobbyist to ad hoc developer for various employers, I found myself drawn in deeper and deeper to the closed source world.  I discovered I had a liking and knack for Visual Basic and thus fell into the Microsoft development vortex.

It’s a seductive and powerful sucker, too.  It was all too easy to be “bought off” by events with (ironically) free training, free food and even giveaways of free software.  I ultimately joined a Microsoft program that dumped thousands of dollars of tools in my lap for an embarrassingly small outlay.  Resistance was futile.

Yep, I was assimilated.

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It’s YOUR maemo.org council

Before I get into the details surrounding my participation in Maemo Summit 2009 and its aftermath, I wanted to make something clear:

As your newly-elected maemo.org council representative for the next six months, I expect input and feedback on what YOU expect.  So I’m not just begging for participation, I’m insisting on it.

The way I see it, there is a “currency” to complaints.  By that I don’t mean timeliness but rather value and cost.  Registering a complaint against an individual or organization is an implicit demand for response.  Usually the level of response is disproportionate to the original demand or request; i.e., more time and resources are spent addressing the issue than in presenting it.

So if you’re lodging a complaint, keep in mind that there is an expectation of further engagement on your part.  Dropping a little bomb into a discussion and running is trolling.  We can all do better than that.  Your bombs create craters that require filling; complainants should participate in that.  Such an effort takes many forms but it could be as simple as providing greater detail to your original issue or even nurturing it through to a conclusion of some sort.  Take ownership of your ideas!

Only a few hundred people out of perhaps thousands of potential voters bothered to indulge us in this past election.  I won’t go into the theories around that but I will say it is humbling.  It suggests to the current council we have no community-driven mandate and that it will be difficult overcoming the perception of a “government of, by and for the few”. We intend to face that challenge head-on.

One way to overcome the stigma of low voter turnout is high member follow-up.  Don’t just complain idly about issues– post clear, detailed and objective complaints or suggestions at talk.maemo.org and participate constructively in the subsequent discussion.  Try not to succumb to raw emotional impulses or appeals; stay objective and focused on your goal.  Be tolerant of minor distractions but firm in your resolve.

I am hoping you will use the Comments section of this blog, twitter, maemo.org channels or any other means you have of contacting me openly and honestly.  I will gladly respond in kind.  Together we can achieve Great Governance of maemo.org which will lead to other great things!  YOU decide what those should be.

:)

ASUS brings its own eBook to the table

Last week I stumbled across an article describing how ASUS was poised to enter the electronic book market and take on Amazon’s successful Kindle.  One critical (and useful) difference with ASUS’ upcoming model is that it follows the traditional fold-open book form factor rather than Kindle’s slate shape, but a possibly more alluring feature is its color display.  There is also mention of it possibly sporting speakers and a webcam for internet video chatting or Voice over IP (VoIP)– at a retail cost half of Kindle’s $300 USD.  !

As a longtime user of ASUS motherboards I’m impressed with their workmanship and hope it translates to this product line.  ASUS also has the brand recognition I believe to attract early interest to these products, especially if the proposed price and feature set make it to market.

On a related but more speculative note, this thread at talk.maemo.org introduced me to the Microsoft Courier.  Check that engadget photo out.  Deja vu, anyone?  It’s also going to have to compete with Sony, whatever Apple eventually amazes us with and others.

Some pundits confuse the prospects of these devices with those of smaller handhelds like the upcoming Nokia N900, but while the latter may function as a usable eBook that’s not its primary purpose and the smaller screens can degrade the book experience for many.  Likewise, the difference in portability will compound the insurance that the two families will occupy mostly distinct usage environs with only slight functionality overlap.

This particular product type has been promised as far back as I can remember, as a big-dreaming teenager inhaling as many science fiction paperbacks as I could afford.  I’m encouraged by the final arrival of this cool technology but concerned over what it might mean for future human eyesight.  At least paper doesn’t glare at you…

 

Thanks to maemo.org member Rebski for the Microsoft Courier find.

Social Physics

A quote from a longtime maemo.org member combined with a brief passage in the book I’m currently reading got me thinking lately about measuring social interactions and expectations.

The maemo.org member quote was in reference to my upcoming presentation on corporate-community engagement, and I’ll repost it:

What exactly does “success” mean for a community? That it’s still existing? That it’s growing? Is the fact that a community exists at all a success?

It’s hard to determine how the corporations are responsible for community success when that success is a lot harder to define than dollars and cents.

Hold that thought for a bit.

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