Sonntag, 23. November 2008

App idea for high-def camera: Face warping

Here's an idea that's been floating around in my "Maemo ideas" list in Maemopad+, but which I have not yet had time to look into, so I'm publishing it here in case anyone wants to implement it: Make photos with the camera on the internet tablet and then have morphing effects (like Cheese) and also a manual stylus-driven "power goo" (like Kai's Power Goo) mode.

I know, it's pointless, but having seen many people having several minutes of fun with the FaceWarp Java app that comes pre-installed on some Sony Ericsson phones, I can see this being a fun app for showing off the Internet Tablet to friends.

Does this sound like a killer app for the next device that is going to have a "high-def camera"? I don't know. It would be interesting if someone tries to get Cheese running on the tablets and have some fun with it. And of course, add these effects to the videophone app, too!

Dienstag, 11. November 2008

"N900" wishlist: Hardware scrollwheel

One of the things I've been thinking about recently is how I would like to have a scroll wheel (like all normal computer mice have) on the right side of my N800, just below the "Nokia N800" text. This way, I could easily scroll web pages and long texts without needing to use my finger on the touchpad. Using the finger on the touchpad has several disadvantages:
  1. You hide parts of the content you are reading with your finger
  2. You might accidentally click a link (in the browser)
  3. Scrolling through long texts means you have to sweep with your finger from the bottom of your screen to the top, several times
Apart from scrolling, this could act as a nice volume control in media players. Maybe even make the scroll wheel pressable, so we have another button (mute in media players?).

If you have an N800, please try this the next time you want to scroll a webpage: Move your finger over the top right side of your N800, between the "Nokia N800" text and the speaker holes. I don' t know if the scroll wheel would fit onto a smaller device like the N810 (or the "N900").

I think a touchscreen is nice, but having hardware buttons makes the device just easier to use in my opinion. I would even try to make touchscreen clicks by pressing the display, like it is done with the new Apple MacBook touchpads (see for videos). But there may be patent problems with that, so maybe this is the reason why we won't see that on the "N900". But think about it! Wouldn't it be nice?

That said, please also improve the D-Pad and hardware keyboard on the new hardware :)

Samstag, 8. November 2008

Get Avahi working on Maemo

Avahi is a service discovery service (phew!) for local networks (Apple calls this technology Bonjour). Among other things, its most basic functionality is to allow you to have a ".local" domain for your home network managed in a peer-to-peer fashion. This way, you do not have to remember the IP of your N8x0, but can use "threepwood.local" (if your N8x0 is named "threepwood").

The packages that need to be installed are "avahi-daemon" and "avahi-dnsconfd". There are some other avahi packages available (including GUIs) that you might want to try out. After installing, you should be able to ping your N8x0 from your Linux (with Avahi installed) or Mac OS X (works out of the box) machine.

The only problem: Avahi's daemons and D-Bus start in the same order (S20) on startup, and therefore Avahi gets to be first (alphabetical order), so you have to get root on your tablet and rename all S20avahi-* files in /etc/rc2.d/ to S21avahi-*. This way, D-Bus gets started first and after that, Avahi can start successfully (if Avahi is started before D-Bus, it won't work!).

After that, you can disable the HomeIP applet and start reading and typing IPs around your home network, but let Avahi/Bonjour do the hard work and you just type the easy-to-remember ".local" if you want to SSH to your tablet.

You can do even more fun things when you put "ssh.service" into /etc/avahi/services/ and install "service-discovery-applet" on your Gnome Desktop. This way, you can directly connect via SSH/SFTP to your tablet without needing to remember anything.

What are your uses for Avahi?

Donnerstag, 6. November 2008

Maemo and me

Hi there. I decided to do some postings about my trusty old N800 and some feature wishes/ideas. Maybe also the occassional rant. If you don't know me, have a look at my profile. Enjoy!