[SATLUG] phone recommendations

bryan at beicker.com bryan at beicker.com
Sun Mar 6 18:50:47 CST 2011


>  What phone can I get WITHOUT a data plan that
> supports wifi, skype and scp/ssh?

I have a Nokia N900 that I'm using with the AT&T GoPhone service.

With GoPhone, you have 2 basic choices:

1) 25 cents per minute, 10 cents per text
2) Unlimited minutes/text for 1 dollar per day (only on days you use it)

I don't make that many calls, so $100 per year covers my entire usage. 
This is significantly cheaper than any other service that I've ever 
found.  It is pretty much voice-only, but these days open wifi networks 
are pretty easy to find.

To transfer my service from my old $20 clamshell to the N900, all I had 
to do was take the SIM card out of the old device and slide it into the 
new device.  That's it.  No other configuration.

The Maemo linux distribution on the N900 is pretty neat.  There are not 
too many phones out there that have a terminal icon on the home screen 
(with full unlocked root access) in it's default install.  Since it is 
based on debian, all the normal programs like ssh and vim are just an 
apt-get away.  The N900 is the last in a line of at least 3 
mini-tablet/pda devices (the N700/N800 did not have phone support) that 
run Maemo.  Nokia has unfortunately always treated this line as a 
"bastard child" threatening to replace gtk with qt, deb with rpm, 
rewrite the whole software gui, etc...  I have always been a gtk/Debian 
fan, so I'm never planning on changing from Maemo to Meegoo - especially 
now that Nokia has ditched Meegoo as well.


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