N800 – first gripes

My N800 arrived yesterday. I spent

most of yesterday afternoon playing

with it.

In general, very happy, but there are a few things which are annoying me right now:

* The contacts application is.. well, useless. I never expected much from it: I don’t think of the N800 as a PDA, and I don’t expect it to act like one. I certainly wasn’t expecting as full-featured a Contacts app as my P910i has.

The main purpose of the Contacts app is to store information about the Contacts from GTalk/Jabber. That’s fine, it’s very useful. Contacts can be grouped; this is fairly standard, most IM clients allow this, and even store those groups serverside. True to Google’s tags-not-folders, contacts can even be in multiple groups. All lovely and good.

There’s even a “Smart Group” feature, with a couple of pre-defined smart groups: Online, Recent, and something else that escapes me right now. It’s not the fact that I can’t modify these so-called smart groups that annoys me; nor is it the fact that I can’t create new Smart Groups. It’s the fact that they don’t work.

The “Recent” smart group features a bunch of people I’ve emailed/chatted to, at most, once, and fails to list the people I’ve just been chatting to or emailing. Even worse, the “Online” group stubbornly refuses to list any contacts -even those contacts that I’m chatting to, that are known to be online.

Presence in general is handled badly: there’s a column for a presence icon, but the only people who have anything there are a few people I’ve never ever seen online, and a few people with an icon indicating “unknown” – mostly addresses of people who don’t even have gtalk accounts.

In order to find out if someone is online, I have to open their contact details; then I’ll be told (accurately, too) whether they’re online or not.

* Second, the date is persistently, stubbornly, and inconsistenly, wrong. At 7pm last night, the N800 told me it was 8am this morning (13 hours fast). At 7am this morning, the N800 told me it was 8pm tomorrow night – 37 hours fast!

Using the time/date settings control panel applet thingy does nothing: I can set the time, I can click Okay, and the system clock moves nary an inch.

The only way I’ve been able to correct the time is by pulling up an xterm and running the “date” command, old-skool Unix style. Even this fix is only temporary – reboot, and the clock is back to it’s old incorrect setting.

Grr.

I’ve no doubt I’ll find solutions to both of these shortly – and if I don’t, I’ve got the source and can fix them myself.. still, they’re both major annoyances right now.

Oh, and one other thing: all the apps I installed via apt-get have loaded themselves into the “Extras” folder in the applications menu, and now I can’t figure out how to

get them to go somewhere sensible.

[Update 07/02/2007 0730] While googling for somehing else, I happened to stumble on the blog post announcing the release of the puzzle package that was the worst offender in polluting my extras menu. He pointed me in the right direction – a control panel applet called navigation.

The date issue has been solved for now by me setting my location to London. As well as the clock not being egregiously wrong, this has made my online contacts list useful.

Also, installed Gizmo last night and made a call to my brother. Few lag issues caused by my crappy intahweb connection, but aside from that, sound quality was very good…

This update written entirely on thumb-keyboard 🙂

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