Thursday, December 09, 2010

Synching your N900 with Google (Mail, Contacts, Calendar) with no third-party tools or service.

Today I was thinking...that it's time I keep my phone in sync with my Google stuff (e-mails, contacts and calendar)

I started by clearing up my Google Cntacts ( as they'll be later loaded into the device and because it's much easier to work from a desktop than from the device itself.
If you already have (and most probably that is the case here) contacts on your device, I'd suggest to export them in a file, mail them over to yourself and load them in Google).
Google contacts also helps you spot duplicates, but it's not the perfect tool in the world, so go scan your contact list once more.

As for the Calendar, be warned that only the main Google Calendar will be synchronized over. I cleared that a bit and moved a few events over.

I then went on the N900 and cleared the N900 calendar. You can skip this step as explained later.

To sync Mail on your N900 you have two valid options: use regular Gmail account in the default N900 Mail client (Modest) or use Nokia Messaging. The latter brings push e-mail, but if you don't care, then just set-up a Google Gmail account and you're done.
Also Nokia Messaging brings you a better control on when to synchronize your e-mail (like which days, what hours, if in roaming, minimum battery charge and intervals).

I configured IMAP on Google Gmail and configured which folders (labels in Google terminology) I wanted to sync. Registered with Nokia Messaging and entered my Gmail credentials. On the N900 it's just a matter of selecting Nokia Messaging and enter its credentials.
What's cool it's that Nokia Messaging shows as one single mail account in Modest, but it can be configured (on the Nokia servers) with multiple mailboxes (Nokia's terminology for Mail Account). I do let him handle my account as well.

For Google Calendar and Google Contacts I use the Mail for Exchange (MfE) client provided with the N900 itself.
This client is really picky (it's a bug, but that's all we have) so follow the instructions carefully.

First of all it expects a clean calendar and a clean contacts roster.
You don't have to do either now.
Anyway, start MfE and enter you Google credentials. Note that "User name" HAS to be your full e-mail address (actually I didn't without the suffix, but that's what the whole Internet agrees upon). Leave Domain empty.
On the next screen type in:


Leave the other untouched:

Port: 443
Secure connection: Tick

On the next screen UnTick e-mail (we've already covered that and it won't work anyway).
Leave calendar, tasks and contacts ticked.
As "First synchronization" choose "Delete items on device" (I found out it needs it, you may be lucky and try to leave them, but if you exported and loaded them on Google, you won't need them there now anyway).

On the Next screen tap on Advanced and scroll down to "Calendar and tasks".
If you didn't delete the N900 calendar as above, you will need to use a different one.
Tap on "Calendar" and choose "Create new". It will create a new "Mail for Exchange" calendar when synchronizing.
Keep in mind that if you get any errors and need to re-start, you NEED to have a clean calendar (either manually delete it from Calendar or Create a new one).
I never ticked completed tasks, so I am not sure it works.

Click on Save and go to the Next page.
It should synchronize everything with no errors.

When it has completed, tap on Finish and then on Details, sometimes it doesn't sync Contacts, if that is the case, tap on Synchronize Manually, it should sync them this time.

Unfortunately in my case, MfE forgets the configuration when I close it, so I don't know if it works stable over the days.
But before closing it I did try to update contacts and calendars and they were correctly kept in sync everytime I clicked on Synchronize Manually.

So, there you have it, hoe it works for you as well!

PS: later I'll update the post with screenshots and clean it up a bit.

Friday, September 10, 2010

First MeeGo conference is around the corner

So, the first MeeGo conference will be upon us in two months and it's time for me to wrap up what's been going on with me and the transition from Maemo to MeeGo.

First of all, I hoped to have more spare time to dedicate to the completion of the Maemo version of Xournal. The latest version in extras-devel still need some fixing and at least a bunch of features before pushing it to Extras.
I still plan to finish it BEFORE starting some work on MeeGo.
Weird enough, even though I didn't touch it lately, some users are reporting crashes in Xournal. I do experience it myself.
I have, on my N900, the latest dev version (not in Extras, but with not many new changes) and it has always worked fine until few weeks ago I got a message from a user complaining it was crashing for him.
At first I thought it was an isolated case. But then I grabbed my N900 and Xournal was crashing on me as well! As soon as the File Dialog tries to appear, it crashes.
I have no idea, yet, of what is happening. It clearly seems some other app we've both installed changed some shared library. I'll have to try on my girlfriend's N900 and see what's happening. Her version (older, I think she's using the Extras one) seems to work fine and she hasn't installed that much crap anyway.

So, the plan is to complete the Maemo version, push it to Extras and then start working on the MeeGo version.
Hopefully by that time, the MeeGo SDK would be stable enough.

Only big issue is, again, time. I already dealt with a customer go-live deadline in July and moved to East Canada to follow a new customer go-live process since then. I can't speak of any go-live date as this is confidential, but I can tell you that a news we recently got ourselves will mean even less spare time for me and thus Xournal.
But I still think I'll manage to fix this issue, add a few feature to Xournal from the desktop version and push it to Extra before the conference.

Speaking of which, I do wish I could attend and I did apply for sponsorship, but I am not sure it'll get accepted. Flying from Canada is expensive and my contributions to MeeGo sum up to none so far.
However, that won't mean I will stop supporting Xournal and working on it for Maemo and/or MeeGo :)

That, I guess, is good news for Xournal users, right ? :)

Last thing, a user on the Xournal thread on is willing to help and I still haven't got time to wrap up a small e-mail highlighting the parts of the code where he should concentrate most... that says how much spare time I've got :/

Anyway...I'll make it work :)
Sooner or later, I'll make it work and have a final stable version of Xournal on Extras with a few new useful features.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

MeeGo 1.1 Handset UX (unstable) running on the N900

Today I was thinking...that it'd be nice to share a video of the recently "released" unstable version of the MeeGo 1.1 Handset UX running on the N900.

So, with no further ado, here is the video:

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Testing Windows Live Writer

Yeah, I know… it’s Windows, but this Windows 7 has been cool on my Dell Mini 9. So far, so good…

This is were we live now

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

MeeGo is born, what about me?

Today I was thinking...too much.

Too many news in the last few days. Coupled with my imminent relocation to Canada. Coupled with Xournal demanding more and more time.

Anyway.. I gave up thinking. MeeGo didn't Go, it Came and it's going to stay.
Maemo went. And I say goodbye to it. I will miss the brand.

So now, as Maemo developer and as Maemo community member I need to choose.
And I suppose the answer is easy to reach.

MeeGo came and I am going to jump on it.
Why shouldn't I ?

I was going (actually... let's use the proper word: forced; I was forced) to move to Qt anyway.
From my developer point of view nothing will change.
If Maemo 6 was about to arrive, I'd have to learn Qt anyway if I wanted to stay up to date with it.

I hate thinking I need to rewrite to whole Xournal UI because of that.
I had to postpone a few ideas (HRW and better 'background' tools) to when the Qt transaction of Xournal will be completed.
And I don't like that. I wanted to have some fun implementing new features, whilst now I need to re-concentrate, again, on the UI.
Sure I will have the opportunity to learn Qt, I will try to implement the Xournal "Next Gen" UI that Patricia kindly developed for Xournal.
But I planned differently and I am forced to change that.

I hope Nokia won't change idea again. I hope THIS is their commitment. And that they will stick with it.
The Qt UI has to be the latest mobile UI that Xournal will have. Please.


Sunday, February 07, 2010