Nokia, Linux – talk amongst yourselves

I got a new phone a month ago, a Nokia 6120 or something like that, with internet and shit. This involved finally crossing the line between having an electronic device and having a portable, under-powered computer. An UI that’s fancier but less ergonomic, a power-hungry screen and a laptop’s male-sterility-inducing level of heating-up (one of the first links I found about my specific model was a petition to have it recalled because of overheating issues). Also, this whole “internet” connectivity thing, while pretty impressive and fast (yo! I’m on the street, looking at my blog! Hey! I’m sitting in Dixie, browsing Google reader!), is actually a money-grubbing scheme to charge you exhorbitantly for bandwidth. The phone feels like a platform for Orange to spam me with pointless ads and downloads.

Also, there’s the issue of transfering stuff between the phone and my computer. There’s a USB cable, but the phone doesn’t simply mount as another drive, like any USB drive should. There’s actually some ornate synchronization protocol and some remarkably user-unfriendly tools for using it, which I haven’t managed to get to work. Also, many tools expect you to use a Bluetooth-enabled computer.

I found a good step-by-step tutorial on setting something up here: Nokia PC Suite for Linux with ObexTool on Ubuntu Gutsy. It’s actually not equivalent to the PC Suite thing, because it doesn’t synchronize calenders and contacts, which are hidden away on the phone in some arcane corner. But it works for transfering files (MP3s, photos). So, whatever.

4 thoughts on “Nokia, Linux – talk amongst yourselves

  1. bo

    There was a talk of a really kewl open-source mobile platform, with Google involvement, but i dont see it there.
    Maybe Apple convinced them closed source is safer.

  2. Dotan Dimet Post author

    Bo, that’s Google Android, which is still very much on.
    There’s also OpenMoko, which was featured in a talk in August Penguin: you need to get a specific manufacturer’s phone, but then you can mess around with (platform-specific) Linux distros as much as you want.

  3. Dotan Dimet Post author

    Here’s the presentation about OpenMoko from August Penguin; apparently, you have to presonally import the devices for development purposes only (something to do with regulatory licensing issues). It should be able to use your Orange (or other provider’s) SIM.
    Android-based phones haven’t been released yet – the first devices will probably start appearing sometime next year, and I presume once you get one, you can also swap in your SIM.

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