I freaking love my mobile phone.
It was one year ago on 28 Aug 2012 that I bought my first smart phone, a used Nokia N900. I’ve read about different phones and I knew exactly what I wanted. The N900 came out in late 2009. It’s pretty old, but there’s no other phone like it.
It’s pretty much a mobile Linux computer with a pretty and simple phone interface slapped on top of it. Since Linux is all I use at home it’s a perfect match for me. It’s all the power and all the tools that I use on my desktop computer in a form that can fit in my pocket.
It took me a while to really realize what made the N900 special. After all, Android is “Linux” too. The N900 is different in that it’s Linux like every other Linux operating system. It has GNU. It (mostly) follows things like the Linux Standard Base and Filesystem Hierarchy Standard. The package manager is “apt” from Debian. It’s Linux, just like I like it.
It’s also very different from the iPhone in that all N900 phones are unlocked, and anyone can become root and get full access to the device from the day they get it. That means I’m in control of my phone and everything on it. I can install anything I want, even older versions of software. I can develop software for it from any computer, including making software FOR the phone ON the phone. I wouldn’t want to, but the point is that I can.
The N900 had one successor, the Nokia N9, before Nokia moved all of their smart phones to the Windows Phone operating system. The people that worked on my phone left Nokia and started their own company called Jolla. And if you’re a rabid Linux nerd like me then you’ll be excited about the mobile phone they’re developing.
What makes the Jolla Mobile phone special? It’s open source Linux underneath with a shiny new easy-to-use user interface. It’s made by the same people that made the N900 and the N9. It runs Android applications (if you can’t live without some). And it comes out by the end of 2013. Yay!
…but sadly I probably won’t be able to get one when they do come out. (Boo!) It appears that all the pre-orders have been booked, and there might be some time before they are sold in the US.
It’s for the best I suppose. I need to save up money for it (unless Santa really loves me).
Until then, I’ve got pictures of the Jolla Mobile phone as my wallpaper on my N900. I installed all the ringtones and SMS tones from Jolla (they’re pretty cool). So until I get one, I can dream…