Before I get too far, I want to briefly mention the Nokia N900 platform. That is, the operating system.
As I had said before, I felt that Nokia had gone about as far as it could be S60 -- the Symbian-based operating system that powers many of its smartphones. A number of Sony Ericsson smartphones also run on Symbian. Originally, Symbian was a consortium of hardware and software manufacturers to create a platform for mobile devices, including handheld computers and mobile phones. One of the lead Symbian firms involved was Psion, which later renamed itself Psion Teklogix. Psion was a British maker of handheld computers, going back to 1980 when it got its start making software for Sinclair computers (marketed in the U.S. under the Timex/Sinclair brand name).
Enough of the history lesson. Let's get back to the present day.
The N900 runs on Maemo 5 (pronounced MY-moh) -- which is a Linux-based operating system. That's good news for people who don't like Microsoft and want an alternative to Apple. For developers, it means a somewhat familiar SDK, although I'm certain that any programmer will tell you that it's not a simple matter to jump from one platform to the next.
I was interested in seeing what Nokia had to offer with Maemo 5. I'd read many positive reviews of the OS -- enough to convince me to buy the N900.
One nice feature of Maemo is that you can update the OS via an Internet connection. Remember the days when you had to bring your phone back to the store to have the software upgraded? That was just a few short years ago.
I'm not a programmer, so that's about all that I have to say right now about Maemo 5. Next, I'll try to offer my views of the phone in operation and what I like and what I might improve.
- Nokia's own Maemo site: This appears to be a marketing tool for the N900. Includes news about the latest apps.
- Maemo.org: They're actively involved in a great deal of consumer software development.
- NSeries Blog: A Nokia-hosted site for quick updates and news about Maemo.
- Maemo-apps.org: This is a site that I've just found, and the site name is self-explanatory.
- Forum Nokia: This has links to SDKs for those who are interested in Maemo software development.