In this edition...

  1. Front Page
    • Playing DVDs on N900 with USB hostmode
    • Saturday before MeeGo conference: team-based lollipop stick bridge building
  2. Applications
    • Use MaePad on Nokia N8 via mobile web interface
  3. Development
    • Qt on Google's "Skia" graphics engine
  4. Devices
    • Running MeeGo in Maemo chroot (part 2)
    • MeeGo 1.1 on a HTC Nexus One
    • USB hostmode on N900
    • Indamixx announces a MeeGo-based multi-touch tablet for music applications
  5. Announcements
    • Peregrine is VoIP/video/IM chat for Qt & MeeGo
    • Radio RDS driver & decoder for N900

Front Page

Playing DVDs on N900 with USB hostmode

Normally videos don't make the front page, especially when the topic is covered by number of items. However, in the case of Mohammad Abu-Garbeyyeh's latest video - demonstrating USB hostmode - we've made an exception. Joerg Reisenweber's announcement on maemo-developers is covered in the `Devices' section. Mohammad's video shows him playing DVDs on the N900 with a modified kernel and a custom mplayer build. [...] (Note: video is playing solely on CPU power, mplayer is not accelerated by the PowerVR, which explains the framedrops) More information on USB hostmode is later in the issue.

Saturday before MeeGo conference: team-based lollipop stick bridge building

With a week to go to the start of the first MeeGo Conference, the community have been organising events (beyond spodding and drinking) for the prior weekend, for those arriving early. Dave Neary is organising a "Maker's Contest" where, instead of building funky Qt applications, teams have to build a pretty, load-bearing bridge out of lollipop sticks: Each team will get 100 lollipop sticks and a glue gun with one glue stick. No other materials may be used for the bridge. Teams will have 1 hour to make a bridge which should span a 40cm gap. Dave is looking for local logistical assistance (including weights and rope for testing the bridges); so start forming your teams now!


Use MaePad on Nokia N8 via mobile web interface

We covered MaePad's new MaePadWeb interface - a new web front-end to the popular MaePad text and sketching application - last week, now Thomas Perl takes us through a guided tour of the web interface on a Nokia N8: But does it work on mobile devices as well? Of course! Let me present you MaePadWeb running in the Symbian web browser on a N8-00. The adventerous can still test the beta release through Extras-devel (as it is -devel, it may eat your cat).


Qt on Google's "Skia" graphics engine

Robin Burchell's continued Qt hacking has led him to 2D graphics engines, specifically, Google's Chrome and Android render: Skia. The astute, regular readers I manage to have might have wondered why I have recently been playing with Skia, Google's 2D graphics rendering library, notably used in Chromium and Android. Well, now that my experiment is in a semi-usable state, I decided that it's probably about time I let the cat out of the bag and started talking about what I've been doing. Likely of most interest to Qt hackers, those of you looking at Qt graphics should read the post.


Running MeeGo in Maemo chroot (part 2)

alan bruce has started in on his new guide to booting the MeeGo handset release in an Easy Debian chroot on Maemo. Part 2 in the series is now available. I would like to document my process for getting MeeGo Handset to run in a Maemo chroot on the N900 using Easy Debian, so you don't have to multi-boot your phone. [...] In this post, I show you how to start the Meego Handset 1.1 "desktop" in a Maemo chroot, using Easy Debian and the image file you made using instructions in the last post. This method provides a lower-impact way of testing out the MeeGo Handset UX releases as it doesn't impact the day-to-day usability of your device.

MeeGo 1.1 on a HTC Nexus One

MeeGo's improved portability over Maemo has been demonstrated, once again, with the continued progress on the Nexus One port: As you know, MeeGo could be worked on the NexusOne. It was v1.1 development release that time. Then I tried if MeeGo 1.1 final release could work on it. Of course, It could be work. and We've made it more responsive to running. Lots of screenshots and a full, rather involved, walkthrough are available on the blog.

USB hostmode on N900

Progress continues with USB hostmode support for the N900 thanks to the significant efforts of hackers like Paul Fertser, Mohammad Abu-Garbeyyeh and Joerg Reisenweber. A beta release of the enabling technologies is now available: This release has been tested by a few of us, but it has worked perfectly on all devices. You will need to a female to female USB adapter, and the stock USB cable. Paul has found out that it is impossible (at least at the time of writing) to detect speed changes while VBUS is running, so for now, you have to select speeds manually. The announcement walks you through the installation (which requires a custom kernel) and describes the speed settings to use for different types of device.

Indamixx announces a MeeGo-based multi-touch tablet for music applications

A new music-creation oriented tablet from Indamixx is, apparently, based on MeeGo. Indamixx, who have previously done Linux-based laptops using tablets and netbooks, are now readying a multitouch tablet based around the current-generation, dual-core Intel Atom chipset. The Linux OS means you can run the terrific tracker-for-the-rest-of-us Renoise, as well as a variety of free software. Launching May 11, 2011, the tablet will feature a dual-core Atom, 2GB of RAM, 3 USB ports, 1 VGA port, ethernet and audio I/O.

It's interesting to note that the only announced MeeGo devices so far are all tablets, and yet MeeGo's Tablet UX hasn't even been formed yet, with each vendor creating their own UI on top of the MeeGo Core.


Peregrine is VoIP/video/IM chat for Qt & MeeGo

basysKom have announced a new, open-source, Qt project which seems to deliver the same capability as some of the closed Nokia applications on Maemo: integrated VoIP/phone and IM communication. The new project, Peregrine, reuses the Telepathy framework (already used on Maemo and desktop IM clients like Empathy) and is hosted on gitorious: We at basysKom decided to develop a Messenger that provides telephony and instant messaging unified in one solution. We want to create a new fully integrated and lightweight solution, that works cross-platform and also

Radio RDS driver & decoder for N900

It's been known since the early days of the first Fremantle code drop that the FM receiver in the N900 was capable of receiving RDS information from FM broadcasts. Unfortunately knowing you can and actually being able to access and decode them are two different things. Nils Faerber has now released a driver and userspace decoder which allows you to receive and decode RDS information. I would like to announce a little patch and binary module that is rotting on my harddisk for some time now... First thing I did when I got my N900 was to hack the radio-bcm2048 driver to output proper RDS data to /dev/radio1 so that one can write proper userspace decoders - which is what I started next ;) More work will be required to make it end-user friendly, but the enterprising hackers and application developers out there may want to take a look.