I was a very lucky boy this year and Santa left me a Nokia N810 under the Christmas tree, it’s a Web Tablet featuring the OS 2008 Linux distribution, based on Maemo, 4.0 Like a good boy I sat at the table and opened up the ‘Pin up’ poster sized instruction sheet.

Read the instructions

Stage#1 “First charge the battery on your new Nokia N810”.
Bugger! Three hours later, well its got some juice in it hasn’t it?

Stage#2 “Insert your SD memory card” Arrgghhh! Frantic searching of boxes, wrapping
paper, family member’s pockets and refuse bins no SD card! I quickly jumped on
the Laptop to look on the Internet “What’s in the box?” phew there is no
SD card so why talk about it in the STAGE 2 of the set up then?

Stage#3 Is the usual button explanation diagram.

Stage#4 Here we go, setup wizard

Turn the thing on
OK so I switch it on, the first thing it wants to do is pair with you’re mobile
phone this is pretty straight forward. Next detect your wifi (If you have one),
set the date and time and that’s about it really as far as the initial setup is

How do I work it?
There are some very basic, and I mean basic instructions on what icon to click
on for a given application but no instructions on how to configure say your
email. Now I have a bit of knowledge so after a bit of trial and error I got
mine working, however if you are a bit of a novice make sure you select to
download the emails and not just the headers, if you select headers it will
only let you delete from the Nokia & the Server I prefer to leave them on
the server and let my main openSUSE box clear them off.

Installing applications
This is fairly straight forward from the ‘Installer’, you get some default
repos with a small amount of applications however you can add extra repos from
here https://www.gronmayer.com/it/ be warned there is a feature at the bottom of
the page to select all of them however one or two of the repo’s are up and down
like yoyo’s so your ‘installer’ might not refresh, simple solution is to
disable each one in turn until you find the culprit.

Updating the OS
BE WARNED!! If you update the OS software
it will wipe your N810 and act as a fresh factory install!!

By going on the Nokia website I found the software to download and install on
your computer you then use the infamous USB data cable to update your software,
basically it wipes EVERYTHING installs the latest base system you then have to
re-install all the applications and tools you chose before the update,
reconfigure them.

This is bad really bad it talks about backing up your data but not your
settings I did read on the forums that in theory your backup will have all the
settings but the word ‘theory’ worries me I doubt I will update again for a
long time, I didn’t mind too much as I had only had it a few days so it didn’t
take too long to set mine up again but if it had of been three or four months
down the line I’d have been pretty pissed off.

Transfer Data
In the box is a data cable but hang on where’s the software to stick on my PC
so I can talk to the Nokia? There isn’t any or at least not for the minute if
you plug it in to either Linux or Windows your PC just thinks it’s a Camera and
opens the Video/Images folder, I tried to transfer some files over which my PC
said was there but the Nokia couldn’t or wouldn’t see them.

you can do is set up a either a Windows share or an NFS share on your
Linux box the file manager will pick them up using the Wifi (If you have Wifi)
alternatively purchase a miniSD card have a card reader on you PC copy stuff to
the card then stick the card in the Nokia. I still think you should have some
sort of file manager software you can install on your PC so that you can
transfer stuff via the USB data cable.

After a while I got pretty used to it there is another niggle but I doubt there
is a way round it, you can have some applets running on the desktop I have a
clock, the weather and an RSS reader they can be freely moved around and here
is the problem they move too freely and they are a real bugger to move back to
where you had them before what’s needed is some sort of ‘Lock to desktop’

Just because the screen looks small don’t be fooled there is a neat zoom
feature so everything is viewable you just have to scroll a bit more that’s
all. The N810 has ‘Maps’ and a car kit so I suppose you could use it as a sort
of tom tom go travel map thingy but I’m pretty good with a road atlas and have
a good sense of direction.

I came across another problem which actually made me roll around with gutsy
belly laughs; there is a built in Webcam the instructions read: “In the top
left corner is a Webcam, when the red light is on it is working” WTF? How do I
turn it on mate? Trial and error again helped me discover that you go to
/Extras/Camera (I think I had to install the Camera software by the way) and
hey presto you have a nice orangey, grainy low quality Webcam but its useless!
its not tied into any of your applications all you can do with it is take
pictures of yourself!

As a media player it’s not the best IMO it plays music, it works, I just think
it doesn’t sound as good as my iPod.

Gripe List
1. Instructions are appalling; there is no printed full featured manual in the
2. No Syncing/communicating software either in the box or available for download.
3. The carry case for it is pants.
4. Applets cannot be locked in place.

Summing up

Given that it costs around £300.00
I think Nokia needs a slap on the wrist for items 1. 2. And 3. On my gripe list
but having said that I’m chuffed to bits all I need now is lots of people with
open wifi connections so I can stay on the net wherever I go, using my Nokia
6300 phone via Bluetooth could work out expensive!

The instructions are crap really
crap, there is a pdf file buried somewhere within the file system but that
would be a nightmare to read while trying to set up say your chat program
having said that I love it to bits I was pleasantly surprised that my sausage
fingers can use the keyboard pretty well and in conjunction with the stylus I
can nip round stuff quickly, once you have the applications setup any Linux
user will feel at home. I installed Pidgin and found another sad friend to talk
too on Christmas day. The signal strength is good and the build quality is
sturdy. Its one of those gadgets that just feels good in your hands.

I’ve yet to try out the voip
feature or the Bluetooth phone connection. I’d like to see if it picks up some
free wifi connections like Birmingham airport so that’s on my ToDo list. Oh and
the GPS Satellite works I think some Russian spy satellite picked me up with
strength 2

There are some instructions
available for installing KDE https://www.internettablettalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14680&highlight=kde

I love KDE but I’m too scared to
try it.

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