BackupMenu - backup & restore complete OS image
Rob Simpson has released an application which "allows you to make full backups of the RootFS(OS), and OptFS(extra programs), and then restore said backups." Rob explains his motivation: With a PC, you can use a program like Norton Ghost, or any number of free alternatives, and make a full image of everything you have. You screw the OS up, all you have to do is take your backup image, wait a couple hours for it to load, and you have everything back to how it was before. With the N900, all you have is a "settings backup" tool(which also keeps a list of installed programs). If you have custom applications or settings -not- backed up... Good luck. The application is only available in Extras-devel and, obviously, messes with the very lowest levels of your device. Care should be taken.
Expand PR1.2's USSD support with service codes
Whether you call it a hash, a pound, a sharp or an octothorp; you still can't dial numbers starting "*#" in the Phone application, even in the latest versions of Maemo 5 (where you can, now, dial "*" elsewhere in numbers). Joerg Reisenweber has now released a hack which enables you to dial these service codes (often used to set up redirections) from the built-in dialler: While USSD (e.g. "*100#") has been fixed in genuine dialer with PR1.2, the Service Codes (e.g. "*#67#" : query if calls are redirected when busy) still don't work out 'of the box' with most recent firmware, and not even with tools like USSD-widget. The package, starhash-enabler, is available in Extras-testing for those willing to try it.
K9Call - Qt based home-screen widget for T9-dialling of contacts
Benson Tsai has announced a (large) widget for Maemo 5 which allows the rapid dialling of contacts by using a T9-like method of name entry: K9 Call is a portrait oriented T9 inspired contact lookup and calling widget. Basically what it does is if you wanted to lookup someone who goes by the name "Test Unicode" for example, you would type in 8378 for (Test). The main rational behind using a T9 like system is that while in portrait mode, a number pad is significantly easier to use than a full on screen keyboard. The package is currently in Extras-testing.
Flash-based UK Radio Player for Mobile
Mesmotronic have a Flash-based radio player for UK stations and, although primarily targetted at Android devices, claim it should work on Maemo devices, like the N900 and N8x0, as well: The UK Radio Player for Mobile is an experimental, web-based application that enables you to listen to a wide range of British radio stations on any mobile phone that support Flash Player 9 or above, including almost all Android and Maemo devices; radio stations include Absolute, Capital, Heart, Kiss and Magic to name but a few. Unfortunately, in your editor's experience it was (very) slow to start and unreliable; but this could have just been a temporary flaw in his Internet connection.
FCam provides open source advanced camera framework
The N900 was the first Maemo device to have a reasonable camera; but it wasn't perfect. Nokia have now released a framework, leveraging Maemo 5's open nature, to create new camera applications which overcome some of those limitations: Stanford University and Nokia Research Center, Palo Alto, have created and released a new, open-source digital photography platform, called FCam, (short for "Frankencamera". It allows developers to create new capabilities for digital cameras, and users to take advantage of a whole new class of photography apps. The platform is available as a free download for the Nokia N900, starting today, A number of example applications, including "Low-light Assistant" and "HDR Capture", were released which use the library. All are open source and show promising results.
DropN900 - Dropbox client for Maemo 5
Dropbox is an online ("cloud") service to allow the synchronisation of files between various devices. Jonne Nauha has released an initial version of a client for uploading and downloading files for Maemo. Its features include: Login with your DropBox email and password, one time authentication; full DropBox access. Read/write to everything in your dropbox account; image file thumbnail preview, loading animations and showing results for actions. The package is only available in Extras-devel, and is still relatively raw. Only those willing to beta test (and with backups of any crucial files) should be giving it a go.
Restart system processes to re-optimise N900 without reboots
Talk user "JorgeFX" has released a shell script which kills various system processes in Maemo. These are then picked up by the watchdog processes and restarted, giving a quick way of simulating (parts of) a reboot: I'm posting what I think is a possible SOLUTION to the anoying problem the Nokia N900 has after 2, 3 or 4 days of continuos use causing the device to slows down till a point we just have to reboot. I wrote a script the refresh several processes like if you are rebooting your N900 but it does not reboot it or causes sudden battery drain like what happens when you reboot the N900. The script has to be run manually from X Terminal; and reception has been mixed, with some experienced users claiming it to be overkill.