Tag Archives: n900

Sojourner Maintainer

fosdemI am the new maintainer of the sojourner app – a conference schedule viewer for Nokia N900 phone. Thanks to the original author Will Thompson for writing such wonderful piece of software that lets me fully enjoy FOSDEM since 2012.

I have added support for downloading schedule via HTTPS and improved event description display. It is currently possible to browse FOSDEM 2014 schedule and it should be ready for 2015 edition or other upcoming events.

The code can be found on Github. The latest binary package can be found in extras-devel repository or downloaded directly from Github release.

Fixed Nokia N900 GSM Module with a Paper Clip

N900 from the inside

I had a SIM card error on my Nokia N900 phone. It started happening last week, just before going to FOSDEM conference (during the same week I also managed to spill a bottle of water on my laptop and the screen stopped working;)

The error message read “All telephony functions, including emergency calls, are disabled due to a communication error. To recover, you might have to reboot the device”. I knew it was a hardware problem and I thought it’s the end of my favourite phone. Luckily I found this link: http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?p=1154781#post1154781. I put parts of a paper clip between GSM module and its shield using adhesive tape and it fixed the problem! I feel proud of myself;)

FOSDEM 2014 Sojourner App for Nokia N900

I have updated the Sojourner schedule app for Nokia N900 for FOSDEM 2014. It has been done in a dirty way – instead of recompiling the debian package I have added a new fosdem2014 conference file and updated the config file to use it.

One issue was that Sojourner does not support HTTPS protocol for downloading the schedule, and Fosdem 2014 schedule is only available through HTTPS. To solve this problem I have created HTTP proxy at the following URL: http://fosdem.loomchild.net/2014/schedule/xml and configured the package to use my proxy. Apache configuration looks like this:

There is another minor improvement – stripping of HTML tags from event abstracts and descriptions, because Sojourner does not support it. To do that I used mod_substitute Apache module. Here’s the configuration:


  • Old Sojourner version should be un-installed.
  • Dependencies (same as original Sojourner): python2.5, python-gobject (>= 2.16), python-hildon, python-notify, python-osso, python-dbus

Package download URL:

Update: I am now the official sojourner maintainer. To download the latest package please visit https://github.com/loomchild/sojourner.

Nokia N900 as a modem on French SFR mobile network

This is a short story about connecting my laptop to the internet using SFR mobile network. Initially I wanted to just use WiFi HotSpots, but as it was impossible, I reverted to accessing mobile internet using Nokia N900 phone as a modem.

SFR does not like my Nokia N900 – there is no mobile application for it to connect to a WiFi HotSpot. First of all, why do I need a special application, is standard username/password not enough? I know why, they do not want me to use a laptop to connect to their HotSpots, they want me to buy 3G dongle and pay monthly contact for it. I do not like this artificial limitation, because after all I am already paying a lot for mobile contract with 500MB data transfer and want to use it to the maximum.

Perhaps I should reverse-engineer their mobile app? Well, maybe next time, I do not know much about this matter and do not have too much spare time. It may also be very difficult if they use mobile network for authentication.

Instead of that I decided to use my N900 as a USB modem for my laptop to get mobile internet. I could possibly share my mobile connection using WiFi, but it is not so simple to configure and my Debian’s Network Manager is already configured for O2 network. After few tries with standard setup (Number: *99#, APN: wapsfr, Google DNS) it worked – I got an IP address. I was even able use ping, SSH and stuff. But strangely when I opened any website in my browser (Iceweasel) it loaded fine, but was completely blank.

It turned out that SFR is blocking access for most common browsers using User Agent string. All I needed to do is to change it to something else. I downloaded User Agent Switcher addon, put some ridiculous string as my browser name (“Telecomitalia” because it is my favourite company:) and voila – it worked! SFR, you will not stop me from using mobile internet with such simple tricks;)