My N900 experience compared to my FR experience (was: Re: [QtMoko] handset is (almost) unusable for voice calls with background noise)

Brolin Empey brolin at
Wed Jul 7 21:27:07 CEST 2010

Brolin Empey wrote:
> Anyway, I finally ordered a Nokia N900 from on Sunday. I
> expect the N900 to be more usable as a handset than my FR. Nokia
> released the N900 without USB Host support to meet deadlines because
> they could not have it certified for USB Host without fully working USB
> Host at the time of certification, but on Sunday I learned it is still
> possible for the N900 to use USB Host: there is a community project to
> make USB Host usage easy for end users. To be practical, I probably do
> not need USB Host on my N900 because it has a hardware keyboard and the
> Wireless LAN probably works easily, unlike my poor and frustrating
> experience trying to use Wireless LANs with QtMoko. However, lack of USB
> Host was one of the reasons I did not order an N900 months ago because
> the FR has USB Host. After I receive my N900, I will follow up to let
> this list know if my N900 experience is better than my FR experience.

I have been using Maemo 5 on my N900 for a few weeks now.  So far, my 
N900 experience is *far* better than my FR experience.

Unlike QtMoko, SMS works reliably on my N900.  Maemo 5 also has 
conversation view for SMS, which is far more usable than QtMoko, which 
displays only one message at a time.

Unlike my FR, my N900 is actually a usable handset, even with background 
noise.  I can even talk on my N900 on a public street while being passed 
by motor vehicles and pedestrians talking.  Two people have mentioned 
how much clearer I sound on my N900 than with QtMoko.

As I expected, I can live without USB Host on my N900 because of the 
hardware keyboard and working Wireless LAN.

My N900 works well with our access point at work, which runs DD-WRT on a 
Linksys WRT54GL v1.1.

My N900’s Wireless LAN connection was unreliable with my access point at 
home, which is a crappy Siemens Gigaset SE567 wireless ADSL gateway 
provided by Telus, my ADSL provider.  I wanted to replace the Gigaset 
SE567, which is owned by Telus, with a separate single-purpose ADSL 
modem + gateway running DD-WRT anyway because the Gigaset SE567 does not 
support WPA2 and traceroute does not work through it.  I was going to 
buy another WRT54GL to install DD-WRT on because I knew this combination 
worked well at work and I was already familiar with it, but I researched 
current gateways and ended up buying an Asus RT-N16.  My N900 works well 
with DD-WRT on my Asus RT-N16 at home.  I have not even configured USB 
networking on my N900 because the instructions on the Maemo wiki looked 
like too much hassle and I do not need a wired connection because I have 
a reliable wireless LAN connection at both home and work.

I know the N900’s kernel is relatively old (2.6.28.x) and the N900 is 
less open than the FR, but this does not matter to me because it is an 
acceptable compromise in order to have a far better experience with a 
more powerful and current device.

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