Nokia N900 Tips and Tricks


This page lists some tips and tricks for the Nokia N900. Its purpose is to provide direct access to useful information via comments and links to more complete pages.

Useful shortcuts

Additional shortcuts are available on that page of maemo wiki.

Debrick without reflashing

If your device hangs during boot with the second dot lit, you should take a look at the following post which explains how to Debrick without reflashing!

Reflashing the device

There is a page on maemo wiki documenting how to update the firmware of your N900. This is useful if you broke yours in some way while playing with it or in order to install a more recent version of the system.

The FM transmitter

The N900 has a FM transmitter. It can also act as a standard receiver.

If you want to test the transmitter, a simple way is to:

Note that the power of the FM transmitter is limited which results in a limited transmission range: you need to be in close proximity of your radio receiver. If you have difficulties using it in your car, this is probably due to the fact you have a too expensive one ... as discussed here.

USB Networking

The setup of USB Networking using the N900 is fully very well on maemo wiki.

Removing Nokia handshaking video at startup

Each time you boot your N900, you have to undergo the Nokia handshaking video.

Well, in fact, you don't! In order to prevent the video to play at startup and make the boot quiet and faster, simply edit /etc/hildon-welcome.d/default.conf in order to comment the filename entry as shown below:

oslo:/# cat /etc/hildon-welcome.d/default.conf
# filename=Hands-v32-h264.avi

Note that the video is availble

You can also change the video to play something different (as long as it is something that gstreamer is able to handle). You just need to put the video in /usr/share/hildon-welcome/media/ and put provide the name in /etc/hildon-welcome.d/default.conf.

This tip was found on that very useful page.

Mplayer and the N900 cameras

The front (640x480 - 0.3 megapixel) and back cameras (848*480 - 0.4 megapixel) of the N900 are both V4L2 devices. Respectively /dev/video0 and /dev/video1. This means that you can play easily with it using mplayer or gstreamer:

$ mplayer tv:// -tv device=/dev/video0   # back camera
$ mplayer tv:// -tv device=/dev/video1   # front camera

Unlike for the rear camera, you may want the front camera image to be mirrored. This can be achieved using -vf mirror option:

$ mplayer tv:// -tv device=/dev/video1 -vf mirror

Emacs: Listing directory failed but `acces-file' worked

If you have installed Emacs 23.1.93 on your N900 , may have difficulties to list directories content with Emacs complaining in the following way:

Listing directory failed but `acces-file' worked

Just add the following in your .emacs:

(setq dired-use-ls-dired nil)
(setq list-directory-brief-switches "-C")

Additional key on your N900 keyboard

You miss some keys on your N900 keyoard: take a look at that page about N900 keyboard remapping

Emacs: toggling fullscreen mode

If you have installed Emacs 23.1.93 on your N900 , you may be interested by information on how to toggle fullscreen mode.

Also think about reading the following tip in order to get the f6 key.