USB host mode on N900 possible
Leonid Yegoshin and others have succeeded in mounting a USB memory stick through the N900's USB port. Long believed to be physically impossible, the hack involved a powered hub (to provide the necessary power to the flash drive), a modified kernel and replacements to some of the power management code at the base of Maemo. In posting to talk.maemo.org, Leonid said, Success! I just was able to mount USB stick via self-powered HUB and read it. Details will be later, but now - modified kernel. I am looking into right modification. In-depth technical details followed, but it's still a long way from the user-friendly USB modes which were available on the N8x0.
MeeGo N900 hardware adaptation layer goes open source
Harri Hakulinen has announced that the work Nokia has been doing on ensuring that MeeGo provides a good reference platform for MeeGo on ARM is going open source so that anyone can contribute. In the announcement, he says, As indicated in my previous mail about "MeeGo for N900" status, we were planning to open up our MeeGo work around N900. Now I am happy to announce, that we are there ;) [...] Like any other MeeGo project, it is open source project for all applicaple purposes, and does NOT directly have links to any potential Nokia product or potential product plans. So, based on this or any other of my posts, please do NOT start or continue speculation of upcoming Nokia MeeGo releases. That is practically not helpfull, and mostly only takes our time when we need to explain our words and actions in detail to various directions. We're still a long way from knowing whether the "Handset UX" and reference applications will provide a day-to-day usable environment for typical users; but these are all positive steps on the way to that - even if the community has to maintain it.
Efforts underway to get 3D drivers working on N8x0
Carsten Munk has revived efforts to get the 3D drivers, which have been made available for the N8x0, into a usable state. Following on from previous discussions, where they were more theoretical, this focuses on actually getting the drivers and libraries to play nice. As it really should be possible. Low-level hackers are invited to participate.
NITDroid gets Android 2.1 with working touchscreen
Android is currently winning the race (for mindshare and volume, at least) for the next-generation mobile platform. "NITDroid" is an effort to continue the porting of Android to Nxx0 devices. The N8x0 got a working Android 1.x; and now the N900 has the current version, 2.1, with working touchscreen. Engadget reports the news, saying, this looks to be the most proactive effort yet to get it functional enough for lay N900 users (read: us) to actually install. Eclair's now up and running on the device, complete with both keyboard and touchscreen support -- important fundamentals, we reckon -- and it looks like there's enough chatter on the subject going on over in Maemo's official forums to keep this ball rolling. There is still work to do on the radio (Bluetooth, WLAN and 3G) but the video looks like speed won't be an issue.
MeeGo to use btrfs as default file system
A recent thread on the meego-dev mailing list revealed that MeeGo will use an advanced new filesystem, called btrfs, by default. This filing system - the code which describes how, and where, files will be stored on the device - has been causing excitement in the Linux community recently for some of the promises it delivers. However, the announcement was met with some surprise as many hadn't yet considered btrfs production strength. Arjan van de Ven outlined some of the reasons though, including writable snapshots. This feature opens the door to features in MeeGo 1.1 like atomic package updates (already a Fedora 13 feature with btrfs) but also the "Restore to factory defaults" becomes easy: just blow away the snapshot and create a new one and the device is as new. You can even use it to have "true multiple users" in the system, both users have the whole device for themselves with a boot time switch. Efficiency of the metadata storage on 1-2GB file systems (such as the N900's eMMC) and the runtime performance of the filesystem were cited as possible downsides by others, though; including David Greaves and Jeremiah Foster. Both responded to an invitation from Harri Hakulinen, the Nokian heading up the N900 adaptation layer, for further testing from interested parties.