Tag Archives: 770

Maemo, MeeGo, Mango and Me

Ever since the February 11 2011 Nokia event cheekily tagged as #NoWin and known colloquially as The Elopocalypse, I’ve struggled to cover Nokia’s present and abandoned strategies here with equal care.  Don’t be misled by my attempts of objectivity over Linux and Microsoft activities, though– it hasn’t been easy.  I’ve been moderating an internal conflict between a growing invasion of open source love versus a legacy of Microsoft development experience combined with strong curiosity.  Neither side has a clear advantage over the other for me and therein lies a conundrum.

I could have very easily avoided the whole controversy at the start.  When I assumed responsibility for Maemo internet tablet quality in the North American market, I could have taken the easy route and stuck to the basics.  That meant developing test plans, training auditors and inspectors, hosting Finnish and Mexican product teams, and making sure CES 2007 was supplied on time with 200 pristine N800s.  Nothing more.

But no.  I’m a device nut.  An admitted hardware geek.  As I’ve shared many times, laying eyes on the Nokia 770 tablet changed everything for me.  It put what I saw then as the future in my hands, literally and figuratively.  I could not just treat this product line as I did the various and sundry cell phones I also touched.  I took tablets personallyContinue reading

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Transitioning to MeeGo

As most readers already know, Nokia’s Maemo operating system for handheld devices and Intel’s Moblin for netbooks are merging into MeeGo.  I’ve already covered the introduction to MeeGo and what I think it means for the future of mobile devices, so it’s time to delve into what’s going on to make that future happen.

There are numerous aspects to cover, but I’ll highlight a few big ones.

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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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The gears of Maemo

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Since starting this blog after my last job loss I’ve taken Nokia to task over what I perceive to be shortcomings and errors, particularly in staffing and ambitious enterprise projects like Ovi.

But in the spirit of fairness and balance, and in preparation of my trip to Amsterdam for the Nokia-sponsored Maemo Summit 2009, I want to take a moment to acknowledge one team that I believe is doing a fantastic job: Maemo.

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MID use case: mobile auditing and inspection

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As promised, I’m starting the series on use cases for Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs), beginning with one that may seem unusual to many: mobile auditing and inspection.

This particular usage hits close to home for me, or at least it did when I worked for Quality Assurance in Nokia’s old Alliance factory in the United States.  My interest derives from the two roles I held there, first as a data analyst and later as a quality engineer.

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Why I love Nokia’s internet tablets

The wild bunch at maemo talk know well by now that I’ve been a hardcore advocate of Nokia’s internet tablets ever since a fellow engineer quietly placed a preproduction 770 on my desk a few years ago.  I have been on a rabid one-man mission to promote the touchscreen tablets ever since.

At least, it felt that way in the halls of Nokia, where as a quality engineer I found myself the sole evangelist for getting the tablet technology into corporate and industrial uses.  This was a consumer experiment, I was told, and the product agenda was very limited.  The same applied, I soon found, to the size and scope of the hard-working Nokia developer team involved.

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An alternate history for Nokia’s internet tablets

Many readers of this blog already know of my involvement with the launch of the Nokia N800 internet tablet.  I took a high personal interest in the product line that went beyond my normal duties, because I saw a great deal of potential for the devices and their technology.  That interest led me to constantly suggest ideas for software applications and use cases.  Unfortunately for me, there was a development agenda in place that allowed little room for additional exploration.  This agenda was deliberately conservative and is just now enabling maturity in the device family, four years after the first true Nokia Internet Tablet (the 770) was introduced.

But what if Nokia had taken a radically different approach?  That thought (along with musing over related possibilities) has been eating at me a lot lately as speculation around the next device grows.  So for sheer sake of a wishful, whimsical writing exercise, I decided to construct an alternate product timeline with the benefit of my own hindsight and opinions combined with a vast accumulation of user input.  Note that this is not intended to be reflective of reality!

So without further ado, let’s rewind a few years and play with the idea a bit (all hyperlinks are actual and not part of this fantasy)…

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