Friday, February 16, 2007

An Initial Review of the Nokia 770

I'm usually quite far behind on the technology curve. For instance, I've never had anything that can play DVDs besides my computer, and I only got a DVD reader on my computer recently. And in the past, I've never had anything related to WiFi running at my house. I've never had a PDA and my cell phone isn't web-enabled or bluetooth-enabled. I guess you could call me a low-tech techie. This is interesting, especially since I make a living off tweaking, installing, configuring, and creating technology. And I haven't had any other serious full time vocation.

Somehow, I decided to to get a used Nokia 770. After a couple days of using it, I must say that I think it is great. It isn't perfect, but a pretty good device. Here I would like to share some of the positives and negatives. These apply to the device with their Internet Operating System 2006 installed.
  • It runs Linux! This is good in my books :)

  • It is compact, but not so compact that it lacks in screen space. It actually fits into my pant pocket!

  • It comes with some good software by default, including: a web browser, a simple mail client, simple jabber/googletalk messaging, a calculator, a clock, a PDF reader, chess, etc.

  • Unfortunately, it lacks some software which should be preinstalled on every portable device (ie. a good PIM, etc.)

  • Once you have the right repositories added into your device, installing programs is extremely simple. They have a nice Application Manager feature. Installing Gaim (IM program), SSH, VNC viewer, Xterm, a weather program, a star tracking program, a sudoko game, etc. was extremely simple. There is a development platform readily available (Maemo), and there are enough apps available to make me think that porting most applications that run on Linux is quite feasible.

  • The functionality related to WiFi is intuitive and extremely simple to setup and use. There still could be a bit more convenient by making hunts for wireless hotspots easier.

  • The menu interface is well designed and easy to navigate.

  • The file manager is simple, but seem to contain the necessary functionality

  • Unfortunately the battery does not last long, only around 3 hours. This is probably a symptom of its nice screen and WiFi connectivity

  • There appears to be no Bible software for the 770. I can load Bibles
    in PDF and text format, but it would be nice to have some Bible software
    ported, perhaps the GnomeSword project?

  • Being able to install stuff like Xterm, SSH, and VNC allows this device to become a very handy system administrators tool, whether in an enterprise computing environment or for a hobbyist

Those are just some initial thoughts. I may post more as I use the device more.

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