Sunday, December 14, 2008

SMS - Servizio Mobilità Sapienza

Today I was thinking...that sometimes is good to take a look at what boils inside your country.
A friend of mine pointed to me this interesting service provided by the University of Rome "La Sapienza".

It is a nice use of the Google Maps API that results in a quite useful service.

Living in London I wish I could find a similar service provided by the Tranport for London.
May be I should just go and suggest them :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Friday, September 05, 2008 Community Council members are going to be elected!

In few days (September, 10th) we will finally know who will be the members of the community council.

Please note the ".org", the council will help us (the community) make our voice be heard at Nokia and, vice versa, will help Nokia in listening to the Maemo community.

This is going to be really helpful and the candidates seem to be really good.
This also marks the first of this kind of council established between a strong commercially closed company as Nokia (even if Nokia is struggling to become more open) and a strong open source community.

Let's keep an eye on this link and let's get the most out of it!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


I will miss this beaches in London. This one is near 'Spiaggia della Marinella' in Camerota, Salerno. Unfortunately the n810 is in the car, GPS location. However, this beach is awesome!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Maemo Summit 2008: going to berlin!

Today I have noticed that the Maemo team accepted my sponsorship application for the Maemo Summit 2008 in Berlin, September 19-20!

I was not expecting it. I am very glad about this.
I am still trying to figure out what to actually do there.
My idea was to talk (but not a real talk where you listen and I speak,but rather a session where we both speak, ask and listen) about issues in porting desktop applications to the Maemo platform.
I would like to also underline the importance of evaluating the platform potential before even planning to port the application.
This should lead to a better integration of the application with the Maemo platform.
Porting an application is not only a matter of redefining the UI (even tho this is another extremely important aspect of the porting procedures).

Usually we think about the mobile devices as a cut down version of our desktops.
Even tho it's always true, it is also true that the mobile devices, often, provide more new features that the desktop doesn't or cannot provide at all.

Taking the key aspects of the target platform into the right account when planning a port, is fundamental for the success of the port.

I will refine these ideas during the following weeks.
Looks like it'll be an interesting summer (job hunting in London, Maemo Summit in Berlin and a few conferences/workshops/meeting related to my research).

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Back on Xournal

Looks like too many people have the maemo extras-devel repository installed.
They should not. Or at least, they should know what the extras-devel repo is.
The maemo extras-devel repository is intended as a tool for the developer to test out its code before promoting it to the real maemo Extras repository (the one that's pre-configured in your tablet when you buy it, disable).

Today I've uploaded an alpha version of Xournal (packaged for diablo) on the maemo extras-devel repository. Thus, those people got the notification of an update available and went straight to the Application Manager in order to update.

I see here two mistakes:

1) they should have not installed the -devel repository (unless they knew what they were doing)
2) the Application Manager should TELL from WHERE the package is coming from

However, the next release of Xournal HAS NOT YET been released.
And I strongly suggest, whoever has the maemo extras-devel repo installed, to NOT update to the Diablo version yet.

Check out this ITt forum thread for more info.
My post #198 on that thread explain how to solve the issue.

Thank you.

Original post:

Today I noticed that Xournal has been selected as "The Pearl" in the Maemo Downloads section.

Right on time, I would say as this morning I woke up and decided that it's time to upgrade my Maemo SDK to Diablo and re-package Xournal in order to make it appear in the Diablo extras repository.

So, thank you Maemo team for choosing Xournal as the current pearl!

Stay tuned, it shouldn't take too much time.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Diablo has been released!!!

Cool finally they released it!

Going to update.

You can find it the usual place for the n810 and n800.

Here you can find the announcement.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

[UPDATED] Maemo: No Java and OpenGL ES support. Official.

UPDATE: Daniel Stone and Quim Gil further explained the status of the OpenGL ES and Java support in the comments to this post.
As they've pointed out, the title of my post is misleading in the sense that FOR NOW there is no support and no plan for it.
The "WONTFIX" part is, thus, temporary.
Daniel also went further and added a new comment to bug #1028

I will leave the original post below unedited.

This morning, during my usual e-mail check, I had a quick look at Maemo Bug Jar #9 and discovered this list of two bugs marked as RESOLVED: WONTFIX.

[This part is just plain wrong]
Thus, it's official: we won't get either Java and OpenGL ES support on the Nokia's Internet Tablets.

I was expecting it, but it's anyway sad to read that it's confirmed.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A-GPS support on the N8x0 is coming with Diablo

Looks like we will finally get really fast fix times, with our tablets, when Diablo will eventually come out.

ITT's forum user "qwerty12" noticed a nice "agps-ui" application to control AGPS on the tablet.
He went on and installed it and it works!

Other (lucky) Diablo (pre-release) users are reporting time to fix in the order of SECONDS!

Can't wait for the release of this new firmware.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

iPhone version of Google Reader on the N810

Today I was going thru my feed subscriptions on Google Reader when I hit this interesting post from Jonathan Greene (aka atmasphere).

With no further ado I pointed my n810's browser to the iPhone version of Google Reader...awesome.

This made me think.. why they had to wait for the iPhone to come out in order to make stuff like that ?
Why other websites feel being pushed by the iPhone and not by the pletora of tablet-like devices running at the wonderful resolution of 800x480 or lower (Nokia tablets, Asus EEE PC, UMPCs, and so on...) ?

Anyway.. I am now enjoying Google Reader a lot more than before on my n810.

It would be nice to try it out on the n810 with a rotated screen :)

From another point of view, I was also thinking: wasn't Apple advertising a 'real internet' on your palm when talking about the iPhone version of Safari ?
So... what's the deal with so many websites featuring trimmed down version of their pages specifically for the iPhone ?
May be lack of screen real estate ?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Xournal is skyrocketing...

Since I have released Xournal few days ago, a lot of people downloaded it and now Xournal is among the first 4 (yes, four!) most downloaded applications !
Thank you guys and thanks to Denis Auroux, the real developer of Xournal.

And thanks also for the great votes Xournal has got so far.

We're climbing fast :)

I was really surprised to see how many people downloaded Xournal, but really surprised to see that it was downloaded more than Canola or Maemo Mapper!
I would have never thought this was possible.

:) it's awesome!

UPDATE: We're second only to Pidgin...I can't believe it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Xournal available in Maemo Extras


I just wanted to let people know that I have just finished to port the latest Xournal (version to Maemo (sorry, only chinook for now).

The most interesting features of the new version are Pressure Sensitivity and Shape Recognition.
You can find more info about that on the Xournal page.

The Maemo port has a bunch of new features compared to the old port (version 0.4.1):

- The user interface has been fully hildonized
- Added pressure sensitivity toggle button (enabled by default)
- Added support for the Maemo File Manager (double tapping a .xoj file opens Xournal)
- Added support for the Backup/Restore application (the saved settings will be backed up)
- Menus have been shortened to contain Maemo useful options (Uncheck "Options->Shorten Menus" to get the whole menu items back)
- Color support has been greatly enhanced
- Help support added (russian translation also available, thanks to ITT forum member "sashabe")
- Overall size has been reduced to the bare minimum

You can find Xournal in the Maemo Extras repository, so just go to your Application Manager, enable the "maemo Extras" repository and refresh the list of applications.
Go to the Tools category to find Xournal and install it.
The full size should be a bit more than 1Mb.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed porting it.

Click on the image above to see it at full size.

Note: Xournal depends on the package "poppler-utils". It is actually in the "maemo Extras Devel" repository
( free non-free).
I will contact the poppler-utils maintainer to see if he can move it to "maemo Extras".
In the meanwhile you can use the install file that I have added to the Xournal page in the Maemo Downloads section.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Xournal chosen as "Featured Downloads" on OS2008 User Site

Today I was thinking...that wow! After the cool video tutorial at Internet Tablet School, Xournal made a second strike and this time on the OS2008 User Site (the old "tableteer", reachable only from a Nokia Internet Tablet).

Indeed, the description is not correct. I am not the developer of Xournal, but there are four developers behind it and I am not among them.
I only did the port to the Maemo platform.

Moreover, they listed Xournal with the blue tag, i.e. as a "Nokia or commercial partners" application.
I am glad they consider me at the very same level of a big organization, but unfortunately I am not so big, yet :-p

Anyway, I am very happy that Xournal and its port to Maemo went so far.


UPDATE: The OS2008 User page has been updated with the link to the video tutorial :)
UPDATE2: The OS2008 User's Site N8x0 specific version is reachable also from a regular desktop at this address: Xournal Featured on Tableteer

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Internet Tablet School made a tutorial for Xournal

Today I was thinking...that while waiting for me to finish the Xournal port, you guys should have something to do with the beta released so far :)
To help came the folks at Internet Tablet School who made a nice tutorial (Nokia N800 & N810: Take notes and doodle with Xournal) on some of the features you can find in Xournal (even though they missed the most important feature for me: Annotate PDF).

Simply jump here and take a look at it!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Mp3Tunes Locker for N810 coming

Today I was thinking...the mp3tunes applet on OS2007 was cool. So I went and installed it on my N810 with OS2008. It installed flawlessly, but it wouldn't show up when selected.
Looks like the applet is not compatible with the OS2008 new desktop.

So I looked around and my friend Google found this:

Auto-yncing with tunewath from Mp3Tunes

That's even better!
No need to be on-line to get your musinc with you.. just sync it (ahhh that magic word has never yet been used with an Internet Tablet) and off you go!

Can't wait for this app to be ready and usable on my Nokia N810.
This device gets everyday more interesting.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Apple cheating ? I don't think they need to...

This post is different from all the other posts. It my first post trying to comment something I read on the web.

This morning Google Reader showed me what looked like an interesting post to me " Mac OS X Secretly Cripples Non-Apple Software ".
Would really Apple be willing to use such techniques ?
I am a Mac user, but I am mainly a Unix guy who switched to Mac because he decided to begin using his computer, rather than configuring it 7/24.
After my switch to Apple I began meeting and facing Apple users. At the beginning they were mainly with my history (linux -> mac os x), but at some point Apple zealot users overwhelmed coming-from-linux ones.
At that point I started to understand what does it mean to be "an Apple customer" and why long time Apple ones are so loyal to Apple.
Apple, with Mac OS X, really makes a computer usable.
Windows is too cold. You click just because you know you have to click, not because you really know what are you doing.
Linux is still too geeky. It was made by geeks for geeks and only lately someone thought it would be mandatory for it being made by geeks for users.
Mac OS X was and is designed for the casual user.
A cellphone is designed to be used by the casual user (and many geeks usually complain about that as they wanted to unlock their phone potential).
Apple's Mac OS X is what Linux should have been and will never be (as for now that's what I think).
But Mac OS X has always been chosen and used by a minority of people, every Apple user knew it and they were fine with it. But not Steve. Apple needed to make money.
And the switch to a real OS (let me use this expression, please) was mandatory.
Now Mac OS X has grown a lot, it's mature enough to compete in the OS battle.
It has kept the initial design of being usable, but coupled it with the old robustness of Unix.
You (linux user) will never understand what that means until you own a Mac. Believe me.
Now... would this company be willing to cripple third party software by hiding "turbo APIs" ?
They want to sell Macs. They want to appeal new Linux users (usually switchers from Windows) to their platform.
Would it be wise to play these tricky games while being under the fire of the Penguins and the snipers behind the Windows ?
I don't think so.
They are clear: we are a company, we need to make money. We play fair. We give what we can give (without risking to loose money, while keeping ours shareholders happy), but we keep what we think can help us make more money (by selling hardware, i.e. having unique, easy to use [actually FUN to use] software).
Thus I went on reading the original post (an interesting one) and figured out what the author itself better explained later in the post itself. And the answer is "no, Apple does not need to use those cheats".

To sum this up, I think that Linux users should switch to Apple is they are not geeks and people should stop playing the war of the OSes.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Farewell dear...

Today I was thinking...that I also should write something about what happened yesterday. So here it is.

You were my first and only Mac, dear.
You served me well for 6 years, dear.
You never missed a day, you never had a fault, dear.
You were always on and always available, dear.
You were the last, before you a DOS machine, a Win machine, a Windows machine, several Linux machines, dear.
You were the best of all, dear.
You were small and portable, dear.
You were light and strong, dear.
You followed me everywhere, on the plane, on the train, on the car, on foot, in the lab, in the office, on the sofa, in the bed, dear.
You were all of this and more, but one day.. it arrived.
But yet it was not the one.
It was willing to follow me everywhere, even in places were you could not, during those nights with my friends, in the kitchen with my girlfriend, in my pocket, at the vending machines...
It was lighter than you, but not stronger, but it became stronger later.
It was smaller than you and more portable.
It was not the best as it couldn't replace you in everything, but still could do almost everything you could have done.
It was the last, after you.
It was always on, like you, but even more available than you.
It is going to never miss a day, it will never have a fault.
It will serve me for the years to come.
It is my last Internet Tablet.
It can now even bring me where I need to go.
It is the Nokia N810 that replaced you my dear Apple Powerbook 12".
But I will never forget.

Farewell, dear.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Xournal port and the usual story

Today I was thinking...that damn!
Weeks have passed away and I still need to repackage Xournal to properly make use of existing libraries.
I gave it a shot last week and I can say I am half way to finishing the re-packaging.
Unfortunately (and that's the "usual story" part) I have things to get done before the end of this week.
If I am lucky with the current code (at work), I will finish and have spare time towards the end of the week.
If not.. most probably we will see the finished Xournal port (not anymore labeled "beta") by the end of the next week.

I plan to get integrated some usefult suggestions that I have got from the ITT forum.
Moreover I will try to upload the port onto the Maemo extras repository.

Thanks for your patience!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Saturday, February 02, 2008


After a good japanese dinner, what's better than a warm sake (chinese)? That's the full sake kit. What i'm holding is origami paper! Cool! Thanks to Andrea, our fellow sake host.


A new Sushi place opened in Salerno. Pretty good!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Update on Xournal port development

Today I was thinking...that I should tell you guys that I am just too busy at work these days.
I should have a bunch of hours next week.
Things to do:

a) make it a real port. I should start from the debian sources (for ghostscript, xournal and imagemagick) and put the correctly made deb files to maemo extras-devel waiting to put them in extras.
b) fix the libart dependency (this follows almost automatically from (a) )
c) fix the icon placementes as noted in a post on the ITT forum and on a comment here on this blog

It shouldn't take too much, but I need at least an afternoon to make it.

Keep sending feedback on the port (particulary on improvements and on issues you may think are related to the port).
I have noticed that some requests should be made to the Xournal author
You should use the Xournal feedback channels to do that. I don't have the time to forward them and they are not looking at my port's pages.

So... see you next week.

UPDATE: next week has come and is almost gone already. I have been busy at work and busy preparing for two job interviews I am going thru these days. Wish me good luck about those and let's hope I will have some spare time this week end to fix the issues with Xournal.
Thanks for your understanding ! (as I am sure you all understand)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Internet tablet's family pictures...

Today I was thinking...that, well, I have the whole Internet Tablet's family with me for a while (until I sell my N800 and the 770 owner asks back for it)... so.. why not take pictures of all of them ?
So here they are:

Internet Tablets (2008) - 770, N800, N810

I hope you will enjoy them.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

It arrived!

Today I was thinking...why the heck the UPS is taking so long.. when.. IT ARRIVED!!!

Yes! My shiny new Nokia N810 Internet Tablet finally landed in my hands!
I had the 770, the N800 and now the N810 and I must say that it's definitely an improvement over the predecessors.
The screen has been MUCH improved in sensitiveness and readability (under the sun of Naples).
I found myself (even in these few minutes I'm playing with it) using the fingers A LOT more than what I was used to with the N800.
I do really think it's a different touchscreen. Not as sensitive to the touch as the iPhone, but still a lot more than the N800's one.

I'll post some pictures later.

Time to enjoy it :)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

ImageMagick for OS2008

Today I was thinking...that when someone asks, one should answer :)
So here it is...

ImageMagick 6.3.7-9 (latest, to day) version ported to OS2008.

Here it is the "Click to Install" file.