Posts Tagged ‘How to:’

Gallery: Nokia N8 by Nokia N8: White Background Macro Photography (and using Photo Editor’s Highlights and Shadows)

November 22, 2010 14 comments

Prior to the Nokia N8 I relied on the N82 for product shots. Yes, I could have used a digicam but I just like the simplicity of sending a bunch of photos over bluetooth. No looking for wires, removing any memory cards, just click and send.

Anyway, I was checking out the N8 to see how it would fare and thought I’d share some of the raw unedited photos as well as on board photo editing. You can see full sized pics by clicking at the gallery at the end of this post.

The selection here are of the black and white shots of another Nokia N8. Being already black there’s not really that much of a drastic change.

Read more…

Categories: Nokia, Nseries Tags: , , , ,

Video: Topolino70’s N8 Camera secrets revealed – attaching lenses and tripod to N8

November 13, 2010 7 comments

Topolino70 has produced some of the most stunning Nokia N8 videos we’ve seen thus far including:

Among these include some really close up shots. But the N8 has an Active Hyper-Focal lens – i.e. no autofocus but everything beyond the macro region is in focus.

In the video below, Topolino70 shares how he attaches his N8 to a tripod as well as how to achieve similar close up shots with very easy, low tech “Rubber Band/Elastic Band” solutions. We say secret, he’s never really kept it secret that he’s just been attaching magnifying lenses or vivitar macro lens :p.

Great Job on sharing the beauty of Finland. Alas I am yet to find any beauty spots around Manchester.

BTW in terms of connection to tripod, there are retail solutions out there. I’m also looking for one although my DT-22 from N93 days is still quite ok for the job. (Though a tad lop sided since it has to bend to get landscape properly). Gorilla Pod an obvious must-have.

Video: Nokia N8/Symbian^3 How to: speed up homescreen swiping/remove perceived lag between screens

October 18, 2010 10 comments

Now for some reason or another, the Symbian^3 homescreen introduces a perceivable “lag” when switching between screens. This is apparently designed that way (due to the active widgets on screen). The homescreen lag is less visible when in landscape (where the swipe movement would be more obvious than a possible mispress in landscape. You could of course just press the middle homescreen button to switch, but that’s unidirectional. What happens if you just want to go to the one on the left? Press Twice? No.

I’m not sure this lag was designed at all (if the reason being due to prevent widget action confusion). If you go into


You’ll notice that your homescreen swiping is now INSTANT. The “animation” is obviously now gone but the trade off is an instant homescreen with no perceived delay. Were there an issue with widgets, shouldn’t the speed be the same? I don’t know what the reasoning is for the unecessary swipe delay other than to fire up the transition.

The much bigger disadvantage of this is that you lose the animations everywhere else too (though everything does become a pinch faster too). The theme effects which actually (for me any way, dunno about you) made S^3 that extra bit more palatable than S^1 (S^3 has other major improvements, don’t get me wrong).

I’m not sure why we couldn’t have had something like Maemo 5’s homescreen – which was both responsive but also WITH the active swipe animation – but that’s another story (a possible battery saving one)


Eagle eyes amongst you would note the unintended demo of the iPhone death grip. It’s T-Mobile. The signal is very, very bad and cycles around between having signal and not having signal regardless of being gripped or not. Tried SIM in a Samsung genio and it doesn’t even pick up signal here. O2 sim in N8 – full signal.

How to: Porting Apps from iPhone and Android to Qt

July 22, 2010 17 comments

Got an Android or iPhone App? Want an even larger audience and another distribution point? Port to Qt and get your awesome app on the Ovi Store. Forum Nokia has a helpful page on their Wiki detailing instructions on porting Android and iPhone apps to Qt.

The page was updated last in June, so now Nokia have 24 Million smartphones, and 41% of the GLOBAL smartphone market share (up from 40% and 21 million). Today, OPK mentioned Nokia expects 50 Million Symbian^3 devices to be shipped over next few years (though what exact time scale is not mentioned) Now also note the possible Millions of MeeGo devices, not just from Nokia, but from the 20 partners lined up to make MeeGo devices. Plus there’s the Maemo 5 crowd (N900 users).

The programming language for Qt is C++. Modern classes and functions that are familiar from other technologies make it extremely easy to adapt to this language. If you are experienced with the Objective-C or Java™ programming language, you will have your first Qt C++ project running within hours.

Qt C++ is ideal for application logic, and the script-like Qt Quick speeds up the creation of advanced user interfaces. You can also write native platform code and call it from Qt, to reach each and every feature of the device.

Selecting one approach does not tie your hands. You can freely code the network functionality with low-level Qt and make things look smooth with QML and scripts.

Qt provides all modern classes and functionalities familiar from iPhone and Android. This makes it easy to keep the application logic close to the original when porting

How to Proceed with Porting

WordPress Developer Story

As linked above, this is a neat one to take a look at as it’s first hand example of porting from iPhone to Qt.

To make a long story short, it is easy to keep the original structure of the application when porting from iPhone to Qt. You can directly rewrite the core code to Qt just by looking at the original source

Compared to many other platforms, tweaking of the UI is incredibly quick. You can set values, launch it on the desktop, and, if it looks good, add to the device style sheet and deploy for verification’

Forum Nokia Via @bperry

Video tutorials: Nokia E73 Mode tutorials with T-Mobile, from Ovi Store Shopping to setting up exchange/personal email

July 7, 2010 3 comments

T-Mobile’s given the Nokeeeya E73 Mode some excellent video tutorials to get even the most basic phone/Eseries/Nokia newbie up and running. They’re short and quick, but very informative.

Our demonstrator here is the lovely Jen.



CHANGING MODES (Eseries function and the namesake of the E73)






BROWSING THE WEB (through Web2Go?)








Videos: How to: Nokia N900 Custom Bootup/Startup Videos

February 11, 2010 2 comments

Want a change from the connecting people hands as your startup? With the N900 you can change the video at bootup/startup. This can be any short clip that the N900 is able to play. Preferably “.avi”. Instructions on how to do this yourself are at the end of this post. Below are some examples of custom startup videos:

1. Nseries N900

2. Blue sparkle

3. Here’s a really nice one, N900 vanishing

Read more…

How to: Fixing “Unable to install application” error on N900

January 5, 2010 17 comments

If you delved into the realms of “Extras Testing” applications, an app there may possibly have caused a fault in your N900 giving you “Unable to install __insert__app_name” errors. Since Christmas day I’ve been unable to find the answers to fix

  • Unable to install ‘Bounce Evolution’
  • Unable to install ‘Hermes’
  • Unable to install ‘MooBox’ etc.

Reinstallation/formatting memory card did not work.

Thanks to Jon Shipman’s reply in my plea post “How to Hard Reset your N900?” [not a tutorial] there’s now a working solution! By following the simple steps below (it’ll take a couple of minutes], you’ll be able to install applications again.

  1. From your N900’s Web Browser go to
  2. Download that file and install it (you may have to find the download using file manager. Once you open this file, App Manager will take care of installation)
  3. Open X Terminal on your N900
  4. Type
      • sudo gainroot
    • You’ll see “BusyBox v1.10.2 …../home/user #”
  5. Type
    • cd /home (not sure if this part’s necessary, I don’t understand this all, but this is how I got it to work)
  6. Type
    • mkdir opt
    • Refresh application catalogue in download. You’re done!
    • I was unable to reinstall “MooBox” before, but now it’s back. And so will a whole bunch more other apps now this error has been fixed.

    Many thanks again Jon!

    Now if the “unable to install error” was self inflicted by extras testing app, you’ll know to be more careful. If you ever do come into similar problems again however, you’ll know what to do. (Hopefully nothing worse than this)

    How to hard reset Nokia N900?

    January 3, 2010 128 comments


    You will need:

    • N900 (Charge up to at least 50%)
    • PC
    • Micro USB Cable
    • Your IMEI number (go to settings>About Product or under your N900 battery)

    Before you look at the instructions:

    Backup the N900!

    This process will wipe your photos and videos. Save precious data onto your computer. Simply drag and drop them over.

    For content such as contacts/settings/bookmarks/applications list, use the Backup application on the N900, but backup to a memory card only. Do not back up onto N900 as that will get wiped.

    You can drag files back over and restore backup from memory card afterwards.


    1. Download and install Maemo 5 Flasher (Appropriate for your PC operating System – these instructions are for windows so download the windows one)


    2. Download PR 1.2 and eMMC content. You’ll need your IMEI



    RX-51_2009SE_10.2010.19-1_PR_COMBINED_MR0_ARM.bin << Global Release (Will vary depending on which one you download)

    3. Move both .bin files to C:\Program Files\maemo\flasher-3.5

    4. Turn off N900. Connect MicroUSB cable but not N900. Whilst holding “U” on N900’s keyboard, attach to MicroUSB.

    The Nokia logo will appear and a USB icon in top right corner. Do not at any point disconnect the cable or restart N900 until step 9.

    5. On the PC, click Start>Run>CMD. You’ll see a black box appear.

    6. Type or copy and paste

    cd\program files\maemo\flasher-3.5

    7. Type of copy and paste PR1.2 >>

    flasher-3.5 -F RX-51_2009SE_10.2010.19-1_PR_COMBINED_MR0_ARM.bin -f

    note, the file name will differ slightly with each PR1.2 regional variant. The above is for global version.

    Leave it for a couple of minutes whilst it flashes your N900 with PR1.2.

    Wait until it says “CMT Flashed successfully”.

    8. Now copy and paste

    flasher-3.5 -FRX-51_2009SE_10.2010.13-2.VANILLA_PR_EMMC_MR0_ARM.bin -f -R

    Wait for it to finish it’s thing.

    You’ll know it’s finished when it says

    “Flashed successfully…..”

    N900 will attempt to restart.

    9. If N900 hasn’t already restarted, restart it manually. Congratulations, you are now on PR1.2 / Have hard reset N900.

    10. Restore your backup! For media files and whatnot, just drag and drop back to N900 from your PC.

    For contacts/bookmarks/settings/applications list, go to N900 backup app and restore. It’ll take a minute or two depending on size of backup and manually restart.

    Everything will be set back to how it was before the reset except for apps. With apps, N900 gives you an app list of previously installed apps and will ask you which ones (if any) you want to reinstall.

    After that, you now have PR1.2 / Hard Reset your N900.

    Ignore post below. That was before I learnt about flashing the eMMC bit too.


    N900: Do’s & Don’ts with App Manager + Hard Reset

    This is not a tutorial “how to”, this is an open plea for help “how to” for anyone out there who actually knows this answer.

    On Symbian phones, you can wipe your phone so it’s pretty much how it was when you first got it (software wise). This could be done via a code or by pressing simultaneously a combination of buttons whilst turning the phone on.

    As far as I’m aware, you cannot do this on the N900. Not that with normal operations you’d ever need to.

    But you might, if you try to delve into the (extras-testing) applications, which now I know aren’t really for public consumption. Since Christmas day (after an unfortunate application update) I’ve been unable to reinstall Bounce and a whole load of other applications.

    I have tried reinstalling firmware via NSU, flasher, formatting mass memory, restoring factory settings – NONE work.

    I’ve seen a few threads on of other N900 users who have experienced “UNABLE TO INSTALL __‘INSERT__APP__NAME‘___” but I haven’t found answers there.


    • unable to install ‘Hermes’
    • unable to install ‘Bounce Evolution’
    • unable to install ‘Moobox’ etc

    Other apps install fine, e.g. Mauku and Bullshit Bingo [great app to try btw!] but most don’t. My N900 [via a fault I have induced] downloads the app but that’s as far as it goes.

    Do any of you know if there’s a way to completely reset the N900? There maybe something very simple and very obvious but I don’t know what that is.

    UPDATE![04/Jan/10]Easiest solution is to follow hard reset instructions to flash/wipe your N900 clean.

    Huge thanks to Jon Shipman in the comments. He has worked out how to fix the “unable to install error!” Ahh, finally! So happy,  I get to try out N900 apps again!

    1. From your N900’s Web Browser go to
    2. Download that file and install it (you may have to find the download using file manager. Once you open this file, App Manager will take care of installation)
    3. Open X Terminal on your N900
    4. Type
      1. sudo gainroot
      2. You’ll see “BusyBox v1.10.2 …../home/user #”
    5. Type “mkdir opt”
    6. Refresh application catalogue in download. You’re done!
    7. I was unable to reinstall “MooBox” before, but now it’s back. And so will a whole bunch more other apps now this error has been fixed.

    Thanks again Jon!

    Excellent BACKUP software on the N900

    As I’ve learnt from this encounter, BACKUP is very well done on the N900.

    • Oddly it saves onto mass memory, not a memory card so unlike Symbian phones, you can still make backup if you haven’t got a memory card in the phone
    • Homescreen app/widget/bookmark positions are returned.
    • As are phone settings, contacts, call log, calendar and conversations. With applications, you get a prompt that you will need to reinstall them. The N900 proceeds to install those without fuss, though you could decide not to if you didn’t want to (nice to have that option)
    • Very fast, took under a minute. N900 restarts after confirming a “restore”
    • You can make several backups (date is noted, you can also change the name). This is great as sometimes, the latest backup doesn’t always have all the info you want (i.e. accidental deletion proceeded by a backup). This would make it perfect for testing apps that might mess up your phone. [if we had] hard reset, then this really functional back up and restore.
    • The only major thing that isn’t backed up are media contents on the N900, like photos/videos/music/docs etc. You wouldn’t really ever need to back up mass memory as firmware installations does not touch it. You can delete mass memory contents by formatting the N900. This will wipe the mass memory but phone settings/contacts etc are left untouched. It’s advisable to make a backup via computer (i.e. just drag whole folders to be put back later)

    When I find the solution, I’ll update this post.

    How to: Getting more apps to your N900 – Adding application catalogues to app manager.

    December 18, 2009 31 comments

    [Update: Be warned, some apps from this catalogue may harm your N900]

    As a N900 user, you might be aware that although Ovi isn’t yet officially ready for the N900, you can still get buckets of apps via the app manager.

    [App Manager>Download>Refresh]

    With the app manager you can download lists of applications from predefined “Application Catalogues”. (If you haven’t already, make sure all preloaded catalogues aren’t set to “disabled”.)

    If you’re new to the platform, you might not know that you can add application catalogues to the N900. A great one to try is extras testing“.

    To create a new catalogue go to:

    1. App Manager
    2. Hit settings, i.e. the bar that says “Application manager”
    3. Click “Application catalogues”
    4. Click “New”
    5. Enter in details as shown in screenshots below.

    You’ll get access to a bunch more apps than what’s available by standard ( – I think I must have tried out at least 20 in an hour),  and I think this catalogue gets updated more frequently.


    For PR1.2 firmware:

    Application manager --> Application catalogs --> New
    Catalog name:
    Web address:
    Distribution: fremantle-1.2
    Components: free non-free
    BEFORE PR1.2 firmware
    Application manager --> Application catalogs --> New
    Catalog name:
    Web address:
    Distribution: fremantle
    Components: free non-free

    [There’s also “Red Pill” mode for some more settings and packages, but if what’s said above is new to you, you most definitely will not need to check that out. It isn’t even intended for majority of developers or power users.]

    How to: Remove the back cover of the Nokia N900/Insert a wrist strap

    December 6, 2009 9 comments

    This is a quick video that shows how to remove the battery cover and also how to insert a wrist strap.

    The back cover mechanism has been gradually refined over the years with Nseries. I remember the flimsy connecting stubs of the N95 and N93’s battery covers; they were so weak, they broke if you looked at them the wrong way.

    Not so with the N900.

    Back covers: N97 and N900

    Like the N97, the whole N900’s back cover comes off, but the N900’s battery cover is much more secure.

    • Stubs are short, can’t break off (the first time I used the N97 I accidentally bent one of the stubs preventing me from putting the cover back on – until I bent it back.
    • N900 back cover is snug all the way around; I can remove the N97’s battery cover from 3/4 sides. This is why the battery and back cover might sometimes spring off when you drop the phone.
    • The plastic used in the N900 is stronger. The back cover of the N97 can be bent like a slice of salami – or more accurately like any CD. but not so with the N900.
    • You can only take the N900’s battery cover off the intended way. Just pull from that gap above the right stereo speaker (the side with the lock switch). It comes off pretty easily from this point, but no where else so you’ve got a safe, secure fitting.
    • Like the N97, to remove the back cover, just pull in one go. Don’t be scared, it won’t break – it’s pretty tough.
    • To replace, insert the back cover off starting at the camera end. Just push it all down till it pops back into place.

    The wrist strap bit is optional – I always need to have one for my gadgets – prevents 99.9% of all accidental slippages and drops when in use.

    • After removing the battery cover, on the camera side there’s a hole and a hook.
    • Feed the wrist strap through the hole and over the hook.
    • Pull to make sure it’s snug and replace battery cover.

    It’s much less fiddly than the N97 or a lot of other methods to insert a wrist strap.  Just continue feeding the wrist strap through the hole and you’re pretty much 90% done.

    Despite being clad in plastic, the N900 is a really solidly built phone. Excellent back cover and much improved wrist strap insertion.