# Nokia N810 Review
*Entered: in Alphaword on Alphasmart Dana* |
I received my new (to me) Nokia N810 yesterday afternoon. Thanks
to the repos at [meamo.org], I was able to install plenty of
software. I also managed to soft-brick the damned thing a few
About that last part, it turns out that on a device that runs
busybox, installing bash4 and running chsh is a bad idea. It produces
a boot loop. With the first instance of a boot loop, I had to remove
the battery and research flashing my N810. The stuff you need to
accomplish this is [here]. Now I had a functional, but factory
reset device, and had no idea which thing I did caused the issue.
So again, installed my packages, changed my shell in the middle of
this somewhere, again boot loop and again no idea why. reflash again.
This time I rebooted after each thing I did and was able to locate
the step that caused the loop. reflashed again. Aha! no chsh! So I
thought I was smart and ran /bin/bash4 from my .profile... boot loop,
Since I still wanted bash 4 instead of busybox sh as my shell,
the solution was to install roxterm which has an option in its
preferences to run a command and exit after it completes. I entered
/bin/bash4 as the command and checked the box to exit when it is
done. This works great. Roxterm also gives you more usable screen for
One of the things I wanted to use this device for was vim and org
mode files. By the way, emacian readers, there is no emacs package I
could find, so this may still interest you. There is a package for
vim 7. Old but usable. I wanted to keep things in sync, I could not
get the git package in diablo devel (I upgraded my device all those
times I reflashed, it's an RX44 even tho the seller listing on ebay
said it was an RX48, at least now it runs the last version of OS2008)
to work with my device, so I decided to use good ole scp to solve
this problem. There is also an openssh client package (I do not need
the server portion on this device). I wrote a few scripts: to scp my
org files from my laptop, to scp my org files to my laptop, and to
easily open my main knowledge base file in vim.
I had to edit the vim-organizer ftplugin file and remark out a couple
of functions that were not compatible with vim 7, but the main
functionality such as auto folding, works great. I had scp'd over
my existing ~/.vim and ~/.vimrc to the device and started removing
plugins that cried about python or existing under vim 7. Since
vim-organizer is specifically what I wanted to use, I spent more time
getting it to not throw errors while still functioning.
I put a 32gb uSD card in a mini-SD card adaptor and it works great.
I have everything I care about either opened from this card, or
symlinked from it. For example, I installed lxdoom and sdlquake on
my N810 and since I own the original games, I placed the wad and pak
files on the card, then deleted the shareware files and symlinked
my files in their stead. Works great. My org files also live on
the card, along with a backup of the device. The battery has been
averaging over three hours on a charge. I am planning on purchasing a
new battery for this device sometime soon to see if I can get longer.
Being from 2010, the N810 can handle wpa2 secured wifi just fine.
This is rad. The browser being geriatric, however, complains about
pretty much all ssl certs. Telling the browser this is OK does result
but I typically do not surf sites of that ilk anyway. It handles my
domain just fine.
Over all I am pleased with this device. It is a capable small form
factor Linux machine with a metal construction, functional wifi,
expandable storage, and a software repo. I found this N810 on eBay
for the princely sum of $39. An additional $4 for the miniSD adaptor
and an additional $7 for a USB charge cable. I have the original
charger, but a USB option is much more convenient. Less than $50 is a
real bargain for all this functionality in your pocket. The physical
keyboard makes it a nicer experience than using termux under android.
It is looking like I will be switching from PalmOS to Maemo as vim
alone can do most things I used Palm for.
I will be on the look out for a small backpack, preferably brown
leather. I don't have pocket space in warm months for my PMP
(personal music player), the N810, my phone, and the other things I
find useful. As far as carrying multiple devices go, I like devices
to be great at what they do. Sort of the hardware version of Unix
Philosophy. I do not carry anything typically if I am just popping
out to the store or running an errand, but there are times (such as
when I am working) that I like to have a number of items.