Ubuntu and the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet

It’s been a few weeks already that I joined the Maemo contributor program, which entitled me to a good discount to get a Nokia N810 Internet Tablet.

While I’m proud I was chosen among 500 other contributors-to-be, it really was an ordeal to just get the device. I imagine it’s not easy to set this kind of program up, including coordinating discounts in differents currencies, inventory, shipping, etc. But this being Nokia and their third time running this kind of program, it’s very sad they chose not to tell when problems and delays occured, letalone the fact those happened in the first place.

Unfortunately the holidays came and went and the devices were available at full price for a good time before any contributor got their device. Combine that with dog-slow online stores filled with hungry Flash animations, rude customer service reps and it’s almost a miracle the N810 made it my door. I can’t see what the greater plan is in terms of building a contributor community. Maybe this is some kind of « Amazing Race » obstacle course, for sure the few remaining are the bravest.

Some of you will hunt me down and spam me with threaths and « die, ungrateful spoiled kid » messages, but in the end this won’t change my opinion that this is the worse consumer experience I’ve had in a long time, and I think it is unfair to just go about it like it doesn’t matter. I reminds me of the OpenMoko debuts. Who cares if a product is a precursor in technological freedom if it can’t even be delivered to developers on time ?

Now, going back to the topic of blogging about the N810…

As a full-time Ubuntu user at work and home, I am planning to report about everyday use with an emphasis on VoIP, free media formats use and support (or lack thereof) and generally its « level of freedom » in terms of applications and sync’ing. I don’t intend to write a single line of code – instead I chose to help with bug reports, documentation and some blogging.

For now I am just putting together any links directly related to Ubuntu or LInux in general at the Mobile Devices / Nokia page on the Ubuntu community docs wiki, and trying some of them. If anyone’s interested in contributing to that resource or just finding out about its updates, consider registering to the Ubuntu docs wiki site and subscribing to that resource.

I’d love to see Ubuntu installed and working on the Nokia devices, but just to be clear, I don’t intend to work on that nor do I have any personal or professional plans to do so. To be super-extra clear, I just want to see how well the open Internet tablet scores with Ubuntu – while making it better at it, hopefully. And no, this has nothing to do with Ubuntu Mobile.

Sad as it sounds, there may never be a « year of the Linux Desktop. Linux world domination by 2008 as Eric S. Raymond described it will most probably happen with mobile and embedded devices.


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