The FM transmitter on the Nokia N900 is one of my favourite features. The N900 was not the first Nokia to have it but the first to actually have a usable one. This was because you could boost the FM transmitter output and thus get clear sound even in slightly congested airwaves.
But in a city like Dubai or LA, its virtually impossible to get a station where there is no interference from other air waves and this makes the FM transmitter much less useful. But as with most of the N900’s other features, there’s a mod to make it even better and a simple hack can make the N900’s FM transmitter broadcast at anything between the 76.0Mhz – 107.9Mhz range. This means that you can go below the N900’s default 88 Mhz and easily find a clear station as there are no FM stations broadcasting at under 88 Mhz due to government regulations and other reasons. All you need is a FM tuner that supports these frequencies.
Here is how to perform the mod:
- The first thing you need to do is uninstall the FM Boost and FM Transmitter Widget if you have them installed. Also install any other app/widget that interacts with the FM transmitter. The reason I recommend doing it is because from what I have read, some users have had problems. For the majority it shouldn’t matter.
- Next, download this file, unzip it and transfer it to the N900. Make sure you keep in on the N900’s internal storage and not inside any folder.
- Open the Terminal and enter ‘sudo gainroot‘ without the quotes. If you do not have ‘rootsh’ installed, install it from the Application Manager before you enter this command.
- Next enter ‘cd /home/user/MyDocs/‘.
- Now enter ‘mv fmtxd /usr/sbin/‘. If you want to backup your default files first, use ‘mv /usr/sbin/fmtxd /usr/sbin/fmtxd_old‘.
- Followed by ‘cd /usr/sbin/‘.
- Now open the Application Manger and install an app called ‘FMTX Faker’.
- You will find it in the ‘Settings’ menu. Open it and confirm.
That’s it, the FM transmitter on your N900 can now broadcast at anything between 76.0Mhz – 107.9Mhz and the power is also boosted to 120 so you will not need the FM Boost application anymore. The N900 just became more awesome. Follow this TMO thread for more. Original hack by Jacek Milewicz.
PS: Please undertake the above at your own risk. It may also be illegal to use the above frequencies in your country. You have been warned.
The the MeeGo preview for the N900 first came out, in order to install it you need to make your own image and then flash it onto the N900. Things have moved along since then and a ready to flash MeeGo image is now available from Nokia’s own servers. So if you have been wanting to install MeeGo on the N900 but have been waiting for it to become just a little easier, the necessary guides are here.
But before you embark on the MeeGo journey with your N900, please keep in mind that this is still very much a developmental release and that it holds no value for an everyday users and if you think you fall under that category, its better to hold off. There also some issues with backlighting, which are being discussed here.
As you may be aware, we have been holding the ‘Maemo Master’s Invitational’ here on The MeeGo Blog for the past four weeks, and its time to move into the final week of the contest. Under this we have partnered with Nokia India to bring you the ability to purchase a ‘Maemo Masters Edition’ of the N900 that comes with special goodies including a Maemo Masters T-Shirt and a cool BH-214 stereo bluetooth headset.
So basically, you pay the same price that you normally would have, but also get to take home some very cool swag, I specially like the BH-214 which allows you to plug-in any headset that you like and turn it into a bluetooth headphone. Since this is the last week and I am feeling generous, I’ll make entering the ‘Maemo Masters Invitational ‘ super easy. There are three ways to enter:
- Simply comment on this post with a valid email address; or
- Follow @TheMeeGoBlog on Twitter and send us an @ reply letting us know that you are interested; or
For week 3 and 4’s winners, I’ll be in touch via email. Good luck.
Note: Only valid if you are in India.
Marco Barisione’s just released an app called ‘Ringtoned’ for the N900 that brings the ability to set custom ringtones for each contact in the N900’s phonebook. The best part about this app is that it integrates well with the N900 as there’s no standalone setup, you can asign a default ringtone from the Profiles menu as usual and for custom ringtones, just go to the Contacts application, select the contact and press the new ‘Set custom ringtone’ button in the menu.
- Search for ‘custom ringtones’ in the application manager after enabling extras-devel and refreshing the repository.
- To set a custom ringtone, open contacts, select the contact you want and goto options by hitting the name of the contact in the title bar. Select ‘Set custom ringtone’.
- The UI to set a ringtone is just like the one under Settings>Profile. When you are finished, press done and you are all setup.
The app is available from the Extras-Devel repository, or you can also download it from Marco’s personal repository here. Since this is the first release there might be bugs and if here is heavy load on the system, the ringtone might start after a slight delay. Future versions of this application should have the ability to set a custom ringtone for anonymous phone calls and for calls from an unknown number as well.
The inability to set custom ringtones for individual contacts has been something a lot of people have missed on the N900, but once again through Marco Barisione‘s fine work, the community has come through.
In my last post, I asked why couldn’t Nokia deliver a system wide portrait keyboard for the N900? In this post I am glad to tell you that the community has once again stood up to the challenge and produced a system wide portrait keyboard that can be used by any app automatically.
The ‘portrait-keyboard’ package by Robin Burchell and Frals is available in extras-devel and once installed, it replaces the inbuilt virtual keyboard and pops up in its place wherever you need to enter text be it Conversations, Notes, Web Browser and so on.
It features a landscape mode (pictured above) as well as a portrait mode (pictured below). After installing the package, reboot the N900 to get this working.
- No fast input. Multi-tap to enter a letter, it’s slow and *very* painful.
- Changing orientation results in the text you’ve written so far being lost.
- To use it, you’ll need to ‘killall hildon-input-method’ after installing the package (or reboot your n900)
- It’s (a bit) painful to use in landscape mode.
Possible future directions (but this is by no means going to happen overnight, these are all quite difficult – feel free to pitch in and help):
- Separate layout for landscape mode, for easier use
- Fast, predictive input
- Automatic capitalisation
This is a great start and eliminates the need of dedicated apps such as VertSMS (although it has a QWERTY layout as well). If you think you can contribute, talk to frals or w00t / w00t_ on #maemo, and see this. You can also follow this TMO thread for the latest. If you haven’t enabled extras-devel, here’s how to do it, the usual warning about software from extras-devel applies.
I can’t wait for the next update. Awesome work.
Just because speculating is fun, I am going to point you to this Nokia Italy Facebook page from which stems the news that the N900 might finally be getting the much awaited PR 1.2 firmware come Wednesday. We had been promised an update by the end of May so this seems just about right, unless Nokia plans to take ‘end of May’ really seriously and release it next Monday on May 31.
In any case I’m not too worried about when the update actually comes along, my N900 is performing well enough, yes I want the Qt goodness but frankly there are not many Qt apps waiting in the wings anyway. But there is one things I must say, Nokia has taken its own sweet the testing the firmware so I hope they deliver a fantastic update, an issue here will really have the users wanting blood.
Meanwhile the N900 PR 1.2 speculation thread and crossed 6800 posts and continues to serve as a great source of entertainment if you are trying to kill time waiting for the update.
[via: Maemo Italia]