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Twitterbox on the N900

Unfortunately, the much loved Gravity Twitter/Facebook client for S60 hasn’t been, and seems as if it may not get ported over to Maemo. Perhaps when Symbian goes full Qt for developers and is widely adopted, we’ll see an easy transition. Having said there, are really no flagship clients for the N900 either. Witter is under development and is slowly coming along, I personally don’t like the current UI – but the code revamp will allow Daniel to make changes for the better. Mauku? Well, just not enough features but it does have an easy-to-use backend and clean interface. I’ve been using Hahlo or Dabr since I got my N900  – but all that changed when I got a hold of Twitterbox.

Twitterbox is a Twitter-only client, written with the power of Qt and has a very nice interface and experience. It is still alpha, but it’s very useable. Here are some screenshots and a rudimentary look at Twitterbox 0.1.1.


Nice graphical icon depicting the Twitter bird:


First window, login screen. The “Remember Me” button doesn’t work, and there’s also a small bug – when selecting the password text box, the cursor stays in the username box. I enter the password first, then username:

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Since these are stills, you don’t see the nice sliding animation and progress rotation icon. It’s nice. Trust me:

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While updating the followers feed, the text becomes visible under the progress cursor, probably due to a recursive transparency function. Not a hard fix, hopefully it’s cleaned up soon:

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The only feeds you can currently view are Followers. There are no tabs, no auto-updating timeline and no search/mentions/DM functionality. It’s an alpha release and was garage’d less than a month ago. It’s also completely open source, thus far and is headed by 3 gentlemen (Mikhail, Marcus and Rodrigo) – who also head Twitter Local for Maemo and have a slew of nice projects over at Zagaia.


So check it out and be sure to support and report any bugs or issues you have with it!


18/03/10 Posted by | N900, Software, Software Reviews | 7 Comments

Sygic Mobile Maps: A First Look!

I’ve managed to get my hands on a copy of Sygic Mobile Maps for my Nokia N900. Along with some backyard voodoo, I’ve got it working with my local map of Canada that I joinked off an Android device. I will be giving it a thorough review within a week or so – which should give Sygic some time to get their purchasing and server back in order. Perhaps they can finally agree with Nokia on moving it into the Ovi Store.

Here are some screenshots and extremely early preview thoughts of Sygic Mobile Maps 9 for the N900.


Start up time is fast. The splash screen is shown briefly, and then the map selection window:

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I’ve done some black magic and imported an available Canadian map, edited the MLM to include it…and tada. Loaded, located and then pinned on the map:

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Tapping on the map brings you to the main menu, with arrows to pan left and right for more features:

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You can jump into the settings, and make preferences changes:

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There are also advanced preferences, which are very nice to toggle:

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When entering text, the onscreen keyboard is nice – but doesn’t go a way when you slide out the physical QWERTY:


Navigation and location entry is easy and straight forward:

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Same goes for free-hand map browsing:


POI and all the other things you’ve come to love are also there:

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Maps and menu colors change once “nightfall” is detected:

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And finally, yes – it does support full portrait mode, but there is no “fullscreen” mode, so it looks very goofy:

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That’s all for now. I’ve had it for about 1 hour in total and haven’t had a chance to actually test the veracity and functionality of routing and navigation.

I will do so in the next coming week, maybe I can finally get a video up, and hopefully get some more subscribers with Sygic who can post their thoughts. Twitter is probably the fastest way to field any questions.


18/03/10 Posted by | N900, Software, Software Reviews | 2 Comments

Maemo. The Mobile Open Platform King.

Take chains off, take rings off. Maemo is the MOP.


All jokes aside, I have come to the conclusion that Maemo is currently the most open mobile platform out of the “smartphone” contending OS list. The only platform that currently attempts to claim this, is Android.

Okay, so a slew of devices that do not ship with full level root access, aren’t able to get root access officially and require semi-serious hackery in order to get half-pants suid shells. Bringing old 2009-11 local kernel exploits in order to leverage a privilege escalation vulnerability? G1’s shipping with pipe redirections to a terminal running as root? If my face could fall off from laughing, it would.

How easy is it to get root on the Nokia N900? Install “rootsh” from the extras repository and type in “gainroot” or “root”. You’re now super user. You have unfettered device access. It’s like running with scissors. So exhilarating.

How about an HTC Droid Eris? Find a locally (or remotely, good luck though) exploitable vulnerability, most likely from within the kernel, as Google has stripped down and replaced modules and a hectar-ton of binaries, using an x86 advisory – find PoC or fully functional code, port it over to ARM – including shellcode and required assembly, try to debug shellcode being jammed into a stack ON the device and then execute the payload. You can use many exploits that been patched or you can luck out with a simple race kernel priv-drop or a much more complicated kernel hole.

So, which would you rather futz around with? I’d rather be developing stuff for my device and enjoying it. Top props go to all the unofficial Android devs who are making the rooting happen, but it’s a real shame that Google doesn’t find a way to secure their platform and still provide “open access”.

If Maemo had a mascot, I’d insert the obligatory picture of an Android being smashed/eaten/peed on by it. This will have to do.


23/02/10 Posted by | News, Rant, Technical | 1 Comment

NeoPwn Merges with BackTrack. Produces BT Mobile for #N900

BTMobile NeoPwn (of OpenMoko fame) has officially been “swallowed” up by the big bangers at BackTrack and Offensive-Security. Good news for anybody interested in mobile infosec and pentesting. While many of us were making single step repositories for hosting personal compiled sectools, BT Mobile will bring all of this into a single bootable image for the N900. The biggest news with this announcement? Development. BackTrack recently hit RELEASE-4 and encompasses some of the best security, vulnerability assessment and exploit development tools. It brings this all into a single bootable CD, DVD or USB key. From instant on, to instant own.


We’ve already seen w3af, metasploit, nmap, aircrack-ng, ethereal/wireshark, ettercap and a PLETHORA of other network fiasco and penetration testing tools, running on the N900 in full native glory (by yours truly). A Debian chroot brings ALL the rest, with full official ARMEL repositories and on-device compilation environments.

It also seems that wl1251 has been patched and we have full RFMON with LIVE injection. Yay.

Let the games begin!

Deets over @

More info once the info becomes official!

23/02/10 Posted by | News, Software, Technical | 1 Comment

Automagic Profile Switching for the #N900

Having my phone know when I am busy, know when I am sleeping, know when I am in a movie, meeting or class is paramount to me. One of the main reasons I had previously camped with Windows Mobile and S60 – was how easy it was to setup automated profile switching; via calendar, GPS, cell-ID or day and time.

Although there are no “full blown” applications to do this for the N900, it’s open enough that it’s trivial to do so. Today, we’ll be looking at SES (system event scheduler) – by Andrew Stanly-Jones which is a QT wrapper for alarmd (think: cronjobs+easy IPC through dbus. Golden stuff!). SES is only available in extas-devel. Heed all warnings before enabling the repo.

Upon starting the application, you’ll be kicked into portrait mode (it does not currently officially support landscape mode, AFAIK) and given a simple screen with saved events and an option to schedule a new event.

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You can select which Profile to be started, what days of the week and what time. This does include the Online/Offline profile for when you sleep. Unfortunately isn’t not possible to edit an already saved event, you’ll need to delete and create a new one by holding on the event and clicking ‘Delete’


Overall it’s works beautifully and I’ve been using it since day 1 with my N900. It has yet to fail me, and I rely on it to keep my device quiet when I’m in class, turn it on when I’m driving in my Jeep and then silence again while I’m sleeping.

Many people have requested Tweakr support, and I’m sure we’ll see it (or a fork from Tweakr to integrate profiles differently) – as well as calendar support and much more, if not from Andrew, then from another great developer.

I need more stuff to do, please tell me what you’d like to read about.



Peace peace.

02/02/10 Posted by | Software, Software Reviews | 1 Comment

#N900 LED Modifications

As with the N800 and N810, the N900 uses MCE (Mode Control Entity) for controlling a lot of the user-input and user activity hardware, such as the display (on-off and dimming), keys and touch screen, light sensor and LED. We’re interested in the LED functions. Let’s take a look at the file structure, here’s a snippet of my mce.ini from /etc/mce/mce.ini

The last section of the LED entries looks like this;



I’ve put the important bits that control color in bold. The LED can display yellow (rg), white (rgb), blue (b), red (r), green (g) and purple (rb). In order to change a color, simply open the file in an editor, I use nano – you can use leafpad or vi by running the following command (as root, you’ll need rootsh) in a terminal;

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Scroll to the bottom, make your changes and then exit and save. It’s a good idea to back up this file using the following command (as root);

cp /etc/mce/mce.ini /etc/mce/mce.ini.bak

Now you can either restart your device, or simply issue;

killall mce

Your display will dim and your changes are now in effect.

Danger. The above settings can hose your device and require a FIASCO reflash. Proceed at your own caution.


Up next? Timed profile switching using cron wrapper; SES.

27/01/10 Posted by | HOWTO, N900, Software, Technical | 1 Comment

N900: Unboxed. Love Ensues.

I have finally received my N900. I’ve done a lot of SDK work and am finally ready to work directly on the device.

Here are some shots from when I opened up the box.

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I do plan on starting to do some video stuff shortly. I borrowed an N900 to record the N900 unboxing, yes . Expect more videos and more posts once I get some confidence, equipment, confidence and a little bit of confidence to record stuff 😀

Stay tuned for the next HOWTO on changing LED notification colors so you can easily differentiate between SMS, IM and emails.

26/01/10 Posted by | Hardware, N900 | 1 Comment

N900: Shipping Out

In preparation for my N900, I’ve ordered and received – not one, but 2 PhantomSkinz screen protectors, for the ridiculous price of $9.42. Shipped. Yup. Can’t beat that with a stick.

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I’ve used ZAGG before, and while their customer service is just plain old amazing, I didn’t like the rubbery feel, the higher price point and more importantly – the time it took for fulfillment. 3 weeks and 2 orders to fill a warranty for a friend of mine who wrecked her invisibleshield beyond repair? I also had to pay for shipping, but no big deal. I decided to try PhantomSkinz out after looking at these pictures. I also ordered myself a nice faux-leather holster for times that I am rock-crawling (in my Jeep) or rock-climbing (with my hands, I nick named them Johnny Moss and the Jester) so to keep it secure from certain death.

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Kinda bulky looking, but I don’t plan on clipping it on all that often.

After reading some “horror” stories with the daughterboard on the N900 lacking solder-through points and the microUSB module simply sliding out the housing, I decided to file a spare USB to microUSB cable I had.


I grabbed a set of metal files from my toolbox and worked on the ridges of the “claspers” on the cable until they were flush.


Tested the pins for proper voltage and polarity using an ohm-meter, cleaned the metal shavings out using some rubbing alcohol and plugged my old Zaurus in. Success. Plugged it into my E71, detected and mounted it. Great.

Now I just need an N900 in my hands.


23/01/10 Posted by | N900, Updates | Leave a comment

Sideloading Nokia/Ovi Maps

For those of us who don’t primarily use Windows or OS X, let’s get to know how to get Ovi Maps data directly onto our devices so we too can have fun and free navigation. This guide is specifically written for Andrew Currie of Open Attitude since he’s new to the whole “internetmobile” thing.

Before you do any of this, you’ll need to have run Ovi/Nokia Maps to create the required files and folders. Go ahead and run it, let it load completely and then exit.

Now, download the map data for Ontario (this means you, Andrew). No voice included, only maps, weighing in at roughly 47MB. Next, you’ll need to either connect your device to your workstation via microUSB cable (use Mass Storage Mode if you’re using an S60 device) – or have another way of accessing the microSD card (adapter or card reader, for example).


Once you’ve got r/w access to the vFAT partition, you need to unzip the above mapdata directly to \cities\diskcache\ on the media.


Uncompress the map data and transfer it over. Just drag and drop it, simpleton.


Overwrite everything it asks you to. Ensure you’re replacing files and it’s going into the proper directory.


Once that’s done, unmount/disk sync your media volume – reboot your device and fire up Ovi/Nokia Maps. No more grabbing maps OTA.

You can grab all of North America, Europe and Asia from their respective links.

This works on all current S60 devices that are capable of running Ovi Maps 3.0. Mapdata is different for Nokia Maps 2.0 – but why bother? Nokia has announced free lifetime Ovi Maps. What? You didn’t get your invitation?


Check it out, straight from the source.


21/01/10 Posted by | News, Software | Leave a comment

Metasploit on the N900

First post is a nice HOWTO; running metasploit on your N900. Both msfconsole and msfweb will work beautifully, albeit WEBrick is ridiculously slow in serving up requests for some reason.

4291338727_de1987eb1f_o msfweb on the N900

Firstly, you’ll need to add the extras-testing and extras-devel repository. If you don’t know how to do that, I suggest you cup both hands and place your head inside the void – you lose at the game of life. Stop crying, the above links will tell you how to activate.

Once you’ve updated your package list to include the above repos, you’ll need to install libopenssl-ruby (libopenssl-ruby1.8 might work too). You’ll also need the following ruby packages, I’ve modified and optified them to save as much space as possible:




Install them using ‘dpkg’ and then you’ll need to sym/softlink the libcrypto and libssl shared objects, so that any packages compiled against 0.9.7 that don’t force fault on explicit versions, will still work.

ln –s /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/

ln –s /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/

Now, if you have subversion installed, you can checkout the metasploit daily source snapshot. If you don’t use SVN, well – I’ve trimmed down, streamlined and modified a few files from the most recent svn co; no aux, no externals, no docs, no msfweb data at all.


H.D Moore has advised me that the metasploit team will be looking into embedded functionality in the near future. He recently got an N900 of his own so – boom, there goes the neighborhood.

If you don’t want to use db functionality, skip installing ruby-sqlite3 and save yourself the 100KB of space. If you do checkout from svn, you’ll run into a lot of stdout’d errors due to version inconsistencies with rails, sqlite and ruby. Annoying, but merely warnings. Fix it yourself by patching out the deprecation stuff, or use my tarball.

Now, go do whatever it is you do with these awesome tools;

Metasploit on the N900. Successful exploitation.

That IS a meterpreter shell in my pocket AND I am happy to see you.

21/01/10 Posted by | HOWTO | Leave a comment