Microsoft Maps for Nokia N800

February 4, 2008

The best map web site for the Nokia N800 palmtop computer is Microsoft Maps. Neither Google, Yahoo, nor Mapquest work. Google has mobile maps, but they are delivered via a Java applet to mobile phones. The Nokia needs regular web pages, but without hard coded assumptions that your screen is large.


Three cheers for VTA – and Web 0.5

January 25, 2008

Too many web designers take Web2.0 to mean making their site look glitzy and trendy, at the expense of quick easy and accessible use. Yahoo used to deliver great content, fast and easy, and it worked with any browser. Now service after service is UPgraded so Opera no longer works, etc., and it’s all so s…l…o…w. But it’s beautiful and trendy, it’s Web 2.0.

So three cheers for Santa Clara County’s transit agency, VTA, for taking a step back to a simpler time, maybe uglier, but much more functional. They could provide bus schedules only to high bandwidth client devices in the Windows/Apple mainstream, with the latest Flash version, with lots of trendy navigation features that work great so long as you’re sitting at your desk instead of, say, wanting to take a bus somewhere.

Well, they’ve got the interactive maps and PDF’s, but in addition they give their timetables in a radical format that enables a myriad of other uses and applications called … (drum roll) … plain text. Let’s hear it for Web 0.5!

Stowaway Sierra Bluetooth keyboard with Nokia N800

January 22, 2008

The keyboard manual omits some critical information on how to pair the keyboard with your palmtop computer tablet. Alan Williamson’s blog fills in the gaps. Once paired you don’t have to do it again unless you wipe your tablet clean, as to install a major OS update. Open Bluetooth from the control panel or from the connection tool, click devices, choose the keyboard, edit, and check connect. Then press your stylus into the tiny pinhole button on the top edge of the keyboard.

When you don’t use the keyboard for a while and it goes into power saving sleep mode, you don’t even have to reconnect. Just type a few keys and it wakes up with connection intact, and after a few seconds echoes the keys you typed onto the screen.


Nokia N800 tip from a 7 year old

January 7, 2008

I love my N800 tablet computer, but the included slip case is very poor. It protects the screen from scratches but nothing else. It doesn’t even close, so picking it up facing the wrong way is an invitation for the computer to slip right out onto the floor. Fortunately the N800 is built fairly tough, but still a case that encourages computer dribbling is not a good idea. Various camera bags are expensive and the wrong size.

My son pointed out that a Nintendo DS Lite case is just the right size to accommodate an N800. I got one at WalMart for $20. It has light foam padding, a velcro closure, and a carrying strap. It is labeled "Nintendo DS(tm)" which might attract sideways glances at business meetings, but might also cause a pickpocket to pass you by. From my son’s point of view the best part was that it also came with 3 extra DS stylii and 2 or 3 game cartridges, which were his reward for the tip.

I see there are also hard shell cases for the DS Lite which may also fit the N800.