[SATLUG] phone recommendations

Nate pixelnate at gmail.com
Wed Mar 9 11:52:21 CST 2011

On 3/6/11 7:06 PM, Greg Swift wrote:
> On Sun, Mar 6, 2011 at 18:50, bryan at beicker.com<bryan at beicker.com>  wrote:
>>   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.
>> --
> Nokia hasn't totally ditched MeeGo yet (and hopefully this doomed for
> failure trist w/ redmond ends soon enough that it never does).  We are due
> another device later this year, and hopefully this time its full band
> instead of euro/tmobile only, or maybe (even better in my books but
> unlikely) non-cellular.  They are also still opening new hiring slots (see
> their linkedin profile) for QT and MeeGo.
> Plus, despite their recent dabbling with the dark side, they've announced
> that they are gonna give the N900 a lot more love regarding MeeGo:
> http://thehandheldblog.com/2011/03/04/n900-meego-developer-edition/

I would say +1 on the N900. It's the most open device you can get right 
now. Two caveats: 1) It's GSM and you are on a CDMA network, 2) Maemo 
and Meego are both unfinished, unpolished OSes. They're good, just lack 
the polish of Android or iOS. Another thing to keep in mind that for 3G 
connections you'll need to check whether it is set up for T-Mobile bands 
or AT&T bands before you choose a provider. I think the N900 runs its 3G 
service on the bands that T-Mo uses.

FYI, the N950 should be coming out shortly.


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