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Keyblaze Third Generation pizza’s third openings

9 Aug

pizzaBlaze Third Generation Pizza, the crunchy funny pizza concept known for its peanut driven, announced today that it will open its third location, in Sydney, on Monday, July 13th. To celebrate the grand opening, the Northern gate restaurant will offer FREE coupon for pizzas on Thursday, July 10th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. to anyone who follows Blaze Pizza on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. The highly anticipated restaurant, which features a 3,120 square foot interior with seating for 70 seats, will open soon. Continue reading

Modu: A Different Type of Phone (not a Nokia)

31 May

I stumbled across today’s Fortune article titled “New phone morphs into multiple devices,” and my first thought was – whatever, phones like the N95 ARE multiple devices already – why bother with morphing? The subject of the article is a new device called the Modu – a completely different take on the multi-functional cell phone.

The Modu

The Modu.
The Modu

At first glance, the Modu is tiny (it’s smaller than a credit card) and not really all that functional (it can only make basic phone calls). The trick here is that the device can be inserted into other devices (called jackets) that bring out other functions. For example, you could put the Modu into a GPS jacket to create a device that can send and receive calls and display text messages on screen, as well as get you places. Or you could pop it into a smartphone jacket if you needed to do some heavy emailing on the go.

Modu’s website shows the Modu being inserted into a laptop for most likely wireless modem capabilities.

The basic Modu phone would cost around $300, while jackets would sell for $40-50.

I think it’s a very cool idea, and from a business point of view it’s quite interesting. If you add up the cost of the phone and a couple jackets, you’re already looking at a sub-$500 phone – about the same price as a good smartphone. But a smartphone is limited in what it can do, while the Modu is (technically) infinitely expandable. It would definitely make upgrading less of a chore – all you’d have to do is buy a new jacket.

Of course, the main problem here is that the success of the Modu hinges on the success of its jackets.

Expect the Modu to hit the USA sometime in 2009.

Something a little different: Google Nexus One Review

30 May
The Google Nexus One ReviewThe Google Nexus One Review

Yep, I picked up a Google Nexus One. For me, it’s my first serious foray into Android and the land of the Eclairs, Donuts, and Cupcakes. Would Google’s full touch-screen phone entice me to completely drop my two-week-old Nokia N900?

Hardware

The Nexus One is a beautiful phone. Period. It feels expensive – contrast that to the N900, which just feels like high-quality plastic for the most part – and HTC has done a great job with the look and feel. The front and sides are some kind of metallic plastic mix, while the back cover has a rubbery (but not cheap rubber) feel. It’s super thin and well-built to boot.

The touch-screen is a large 3.7″ WVGA (800×480) AMOLED display, and pretty much everything looks superb on it. I have to admit, though, that I am not a big fan of the Nexus One’s capacitive touch-screen. It’s very finicky – sometimes you’ll be tapping on the screen in vain while the phone completely ignores you. It’s not a common occurence, just an unpleasant one. Say what you will, but I’d much rather deal with the slightly less sensitive resistive screen on the N900 because I feel like my fingernail taps are far more accurate.

This complaint also extends to the virtual keyboard, which I have found to be less than satisfying. I’ve probably mistyped 90% of the words on this phone. I just couldn’t get used to it, and it was always more of a hindrance than a help. And the onscreen keyboard in portrait mode? Don’t even get me started.

Other faults with the phone hardware are pretty minor: the camera lens does protrude a bit from the back of the phone, and you’ll probably end up accidentally smudging it several times like I did. The trackball is generally not too useful, except for those times when I needed to edit text (I couldn’t seem to insert the cursor into any text with any precision). The loudspeaker could’ve been louder – mainly because it’s located on the back of the phone, so when the phone is lying flat the sound is muted somewhat. Definitely missed a few calls thanks to that.

Finally, battery life was above average. I was never really in any danger of running low on battery life, but keep in mind I was using EDGE instead of HSPA as I’m still on AT&T, and the Nexus One is conveniently missing AT&T’s 850/1900 bands.

Software

The latest version of Android, 2.1, is extremely easy to use and well-suited for novice and expert smartphone users alike. It’s super fast, stylish, and intuitive. For the most part, at least. One annoyance: the Nexus One’s Home screen, which doesn’t support landscape mode. Doesn’t sound like a biggie, right? Try using the Google Search widget without a landscape keyboard: it’s damn near impossible.

Since this is a Google phone, there’s a lot of integration with Google’s core platforms – Gmail, Talk, Maps, etc. The apps are pretty much what you’d expect, honestly. Gmail works well. Google Talk works well. Maps works well, but I didn’t have much use for it without some kind of stand for my car.

One of the new features that the Nexus One brings to the table is speech recognition, or speech-to-text. The voice search feature worked surprisingly well, to the point of even recognizing really basic Chinese. That was cool. Realistically, though, I can’t see this being a useful form of text entry until we get to the point where you can just talk normally, sprinkling in voice commands with speech-to-text messages and searches. (like in say, Iron Man)

What I really liked about the software was the little touches that made the Nexus One stand out from the competition. By that I mean things like a running list of features using up the most battery, to the time elapsed since the last charge (why doesn’t every phone has this), to the live wallpapers, and even the factory reset, which actually functions like a factory reset and completely removes all traces of your information (unfortunately, your apps go with it). Super smooth kinetic scrolling everywhere was a cherry on top.

As for multi-tasking, well, I still don’t get it. I honestly have no idea what apps are open at any given time. It’s actually a little annoying. You can, however, remedy this with some third-party apps (Advanced Task Killer). It just seems sort of a strange that you’d need an outside app to do this.

There’s also no multi-touch, which I’m sure will offend a number of people on many levels. Coming from nothing by multi-touch-less phones, I can’t say that I really missed it. A review by Engadget’s review made a pretty good point though – the lack of multi-touch will certainly hurt gaming possibilities for the phone.

Comparing the Nexus One to the N900

The Nexus One has a lot going for it. It’s faster and has a far better user interface than the N900. There are a hell of a lot more apps on Android’s app store than there will, probably, ever be on Nokia’s Ovi store. And yet…I’m keeping my N900. The multi-tasking is far more robust, the keyboard is far more reliable, and – this might be the main reason – I just feel like I have more control with my Maemo-powered phone.

Of course, this thinking isn’t for everyone. There’s a good chance my priorities are different from yours. If you’re looking for a good iPhone substitute, the Nexus One is up there with the best of ‘em. It might even be the next best thing to the iPhone.

The Google Nexus One Review
The Google Nexus One and the included slipcase.
Isometric view of the Nexus One.
Top view of the Nexus One.

How-To: Do Just About Anything on the Nokia N900

29 May

The definitive how-to/FAQ for the Nokia N900.

Getting over the Nokia N900′s learning curve can be a long, arduous process. I’m here to make things a little easier. Essentially, this how-to/FAQ is a collection of all the things that I’ve learned so far, so expect it to get bigger in the future. And if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to add them in the comments.

First Things First

Get the Nokia N900 Manual

Nokia has the N900 manual available in PDF form here.

Do Stuff in Maemo 5

Make a Call

You need to launch the Phone application. This can be done in two ways:

1. Press the Power button, then select Phone from the drop-down menu.
2. Tap the Phone icon at the Menu (tap the shortcut key twice to get the standard Application Menu)

You can also add a Phone app shortcut to any of your desktops.

Switch to Silent or Airplane Mode

Hit the Power button and then select either Silent, or Offline Mode (airplane mode). You can also tap the clock on the desktop, and then select Profile to switch to silent.

Change My Ringtone or Other Tone Settings

Fire up Settings (available in the main Menu), and select Profiles. It’s the top-right-most option.

Lock the Screen

There are three ways to lock the screen:

1. Use the hardware lock/unlock switch located on the bottom of the phone
2. Press the Power button and select the Lock screen and keys option
3. Press the Power button twice.

I prefer the third method because the lock switch is in a pretty awkward spot.

Switch To Another Application

The N900 is all about the multitasking. Simply tap the Application menu icon (top left corner, it’s the icon with two boxes stacked on top of each other) or hit Ctrl-Backspace on the keyboard. This will show you a list of current running applications. Tap the Application menu area again to access the main menu.

Change a Contact’s Information

Believe it or not, you can’t do this from the Phone application. You need to run the “Contacts” application instead, found in the main Menu. The Contacts app also allows you to merge phone and chat contacts.

Find My N900′s IMEI and MAC Address

Launch the Settings application, and scroll all the way to the bottom to About Product. You can also see your phone’s current firmware version.

Check the Total Memory Available

Launch the Settings application, and scroll down to Memory. Tapping the Details button will give you a breakdown of the sizes of different file types.

Change the Desktop Theme or Background

At any desktop view, tap and hold for 2 seconds or tap anywhere on the screen and then tap the gear icon that pops up. Then tap the “Desktop Menu” title bar to bring up the “Change background” and “Themes” menu options.

Turn On/Off Bluetooth

At any desktop view, tap the clock/status area. From here you can turn on/off Bluetooth, quickly navigate to the Clock application, and disable/enable the current internet connection.

Activate the Landscape/Portrait Sensor For Phone Calls

Launch the Phone application (Power Button -> Phone or select Phone from the Menu). Tap the “Phone” title bar and select Turning control. This option allows you to automatically launch the Phone app whenever the N900 is held in Portrait mode.

Turn off Automatic Word Completion and Auto Capitalization

Open up Settings, and select Text input. Word completion is the third option in the menu. You can also turn off auto-capitalization here too.

Switch Keyboard Input Languages

Assuming you set up dual languages in Settings -> Text input, you can hit Ctrl + Spacebar on the keyboard to quickly switch input languages.

Change the Shortcuts in the Main Menu

You can’t change the shortcuts at this time. Most likely a bug.

Restore Factory Settings

Open up Settings, and tap the title bar. The “restore original settings” will appear.

Do Software-Related Stuff

Install New Software

Open up the Application Manager. This app will let you uninstall, download, and update your software. To start installing new software, tap the second option,Download. You’ll see a list of different categories – tap on one or All to browse the applications in that category. From here, tapping on an application will bring up the install window, which allows you to install the app or get more detailed information about it, such as what packages get installed.

Add New Repositories

Open up the Application Manager, and click the title tab:

Hit the Application Catalogs button. This will bring up a list of current repositories that you’re linked to. To add a new one, just tap the New button in the bottom right corner.

By default, the Extras repository isn’t enabled – just select it and toggle the enable switch to get it working.

You may want to add some of the following repositories:

Catalog name: Extras-dev
Web address: http://repository.maemo.org/extras-devel
Distribution: fremantle
Components: free non-free

Extras-dev is where you’ll find all the alpha stuff. Warning: this is where you could find software that could potentially brick your phone, since the apps here aren’t really tested. That’s the standard disclaimer, anyway. In practice, I’ve found that extras-dev has most of the “cool” stuff. But you’ve been warned.

Catalog name: Extras-testing
Web address: http://repository.maemo.org/extras-testing
Distribution: fremantle
Components: free non-free

Extras-testing is the next level up from extras-dev. Apps here aren’t fully tested, but they’re getting pretty close to full distribution.

Catalog name: Maemo emulators
Web address: http://b-man.xceleo.org/repo/maemo-nintendo-emulators/
Distribution:
Components: main

Found this one randomly (not sure where). Basically, it’s a repo for Maemo emulators like iNes.

Install Debian .deb Files

There’s two ways to install a Debian file on the N900: either activate Red Pill mode (a la Matrix), which adds a permanent option to your application manager, or use the X Terminal.

Method 1: Red Pill Mode – only works in stock N900 firmware

Load up the Application Manager, and tap the title bar (where it displays “Application Manager” and a down arrow). Select Application catalogs, then tapNew in the resulting Catalogs box that pops up. This should bring up the “New Catalog” template – all you need to do here is change the Web address from http:// to matrix. Seriously. Now, instead of saving, tap outside of the box to quit – your N900 should ping and pop up a new box: “Which pill?” You want the Red pill.

Once you’ve successfully selected the Red pill option, if you tap the Application Manager’s title bar you should see a new option “Install from file”. Just navigate to your .deb file and you should be golden.

Note: I am not responsible for any damage that may occur as a result of installing any rogue Debian files.

Method 2: X Terminal

Fire up the X Terminal client. Type sudo gainroot, and navigate to the directory where your .deb is located. The command to install a package is:

dpkg -i name_of_package.deb

And that’s it!

Force an Application to Close

While you’re in the application, hit the Power button, and select End Current Task. This will work most of the time. If not, continue:

Open up X Terminal. To force an application to close, you use the kill command. However, you’ll need to know the application’s process id (PID). If you know the exact name of the process, you can use the following command to get the pid:

pidof process_name

If you only know a part of the name, or can guess a part of it, you can try this command:

ps aux | grep part_of_process_name

(note: the | character is the pipe symbol, you can find it by accessing the Sym. menu on the keyboard – press the blue arrow then Sym)

Using the ps command will give you a bunch of numbers and other random stuff. The PID is the leftmost number.

Once you’ve got the pid, executing the kill is as easy as:

kill pid

Take a Screenshot*

There’s no way to do this from within Maemo – you’ll need to install a separate program called load-applet. Once installed, tap the clock at any desktop view and select the camera icon. You’ll then have 20 seconds to get your screenshot ready – fully press the Camera key to take the screenshot.

Get Help With X Terminal Commands

You can add “–help” (that’s two dashes, no quotes) after any command to get a list of options. Basically the substitute for the “man” pages.

For example: dpkg –help

Optimize Stuff

Find CPU-Hogging Applications and Processes

The top command in X Terminal allows you to view all running processes, along with how much CPU and memory each process uses. Great for checking to see what’s wasting your battery.

To use, simply open up X Terminal, and type “top” at the shell.

Maximize Your Battery Life

The N900′s battery life is fairly decent to start with, but you can get more out of each charge with a couple of simple tips:

1. Lower the phone display brightness and change the backlight time-out to 10 seconds. Also, disable touch-screen vibration and enable Power saving mode. Located in Settings -> Display.
2. Turn off the notification light. Settings -> Notification light.
3. Turn off all key and touch-screen sound effects. Settings -> Profiles.
4. Turn off Bluetooth. Settings -> Bluetooth.
5. Force wi-fi/WLAN to only connect manually. Settings -> Internet connections.
6. Change your wi-fi/WLAN transmission power to 10 mW. Settings -> Internet connections -> Connections -> (select access point) -> Edit -> Next -> Next -> Advanced -> Other -> Wi-Fi Transmission Power.
6. Close any running applications that aren’t necessary.
7. If the E-mail application is set to automatically update, increase the Update interval. E-mail application -> Settings.
8. If the RSS feed reader is set to automatically update, increase the Update interval. RSS application -> Settings.
9. Turn off the GPS and disable network positioning. Settings -> Location.

How-To: Play DOS Games On Your Nokia N97 [DOSBox]

28 May
Run some of the greatest DOS games on your Nokia N97!Run some of the greatest DOS games on your Nokia N97!

Before there was Windows, there was DOS. A command-line interface with nothing but text, text, and more text. During the ’80s and ’90s, DOS was the OS of choice for gaming. And there were lots of great games.

Flash-forward to today. Thanks to an open-source emulator called DOSBox, you can now run those oldies-but-goodies on your Nokia N97 (or 5800XM, or any other S60 3rd or 5th Edition phone, for that matter). This how-to will get you started installing and running games with DOSBox.

Let’s begin!

The Setup

You’ll need the following:

– DOSBox. Latest version as of this writing: 2009-06-23.
– Custom dosbox.conf and premapper.txt files. Dosbox.conf is a config file, and premapper is a key map file. I’ve zipped them both up for your enjoyment. More on this later.
– DOSBox Binary Dependencies. Required to run the program. Click the “Binary Dependencies” box to show the link.

Installation

1. Copy the following files to your N97, in any folder of your choosing. Do not install yet.

– glib.SIS (from Binary Dependencies zip file)
– pips_nokia_1_3_SS.sis (Binary Dependencies)
– SDL-1.2.13-s60-2.3.4_armv5.sisx (Binary Dependencies)
– ssl.SIS (Binary Dependencies)
– stdcpp.SIS (Binary Dependencies)
– stdioserver_s60_1_3_SS.SIS: this may refuse to install. If it doesn’t install, skip this file. (from Binary Dependencies zip file)

– full3/dosbox.sisx: note that this is the full version dosbox, not the slim one. The slim one is for crappier phones. It should be located in the full3 folder in the dosbox zip file.

2. On your E: (Mass Memory) drive, check to see that you have a Data folder. If not, create it. Also, create a Games folder. You can choose to copy games to this folder now or later.

3. Copy the following files to the Data folder in Step 2.

– dosbox.conf
– premapper.txt

4. Install all binary dependencies files first (i.e. the first six files in Step 1). These should install without any prompts.

5. Install dosbox.sisx. I installed it on my Mass Memory drive, but I doubt having it on the phone memory would make any difference.

6. Run DOSBox. If you’ve done everything correctly, you should see something that looks like this (my directory already has games in it, so it’ll probably be different):

DOSBox: Your screen should look similar to this.

Congratulations, you’re done with the first (major) part. You can safely type “exit” to quit.

Key Mapping

Before you go digging around DOSBox, you might want to read a little bit about key mapping, and which buttons do what:

I’ve included my default key map file (premapper.txt). Basically all of the letter keys should function properly, both lowercase and uppercase. The Function key (blue diagonal arrow) does nothing. However, the Sym key is extremely important – it toggles between the normal/letter mode and number/special character mode:

Press Sym to toggle number/special mode, and press it again to return to letter mode. In number mode, the following keys are different:

– The top row of keys will default to their correct number (ie Q will be 1, W will be 2, and P will be 0).
– The Backspace key is now an ESC/escape key. You might need this in certain games to quit.
– The S key is a / or forward slash key.
– The D key is a – or dash key.
– The arrow keys move the mouse cursor, instead of acting as arrow keys.
– The 5-way directional key (the key inside the arrow keys) functions as a left click.
– The Space Bar functions as a right click.
– The H, J, and K buttons are Home, Up, and Page Up, respectively.
– The B, N, and M buttons are Left, Down, and Right, respectively.

I’m still messing around with key mappings, so check back for updated versions. Next thing I’d like to add is a left click on touch in number mode.

Adding Games, Running DOSBox, and Navigating DOS

Next, you’ll need to find some old DOS games. There’s a lot of sites that host this stuff – simply Google “Abandonware” or “dos games” and you should come up with quite a few. Once you’ve gotten hold of some games, copy them to your E:\Games directory. It’s best to create directories for each game, since each game could have tons of little files, and you don’t want to drop everything into one directory.

Now load up DOSBox again. You should see some commands that were automatically entered (see Configuration and Key Mapping section for more), and a listing of the current directory. For now, here’s the basic commands necessary to navigate through DOS: (be sure to enter the command and then hit the enter key afterwards)

cd – switches to the directory you specify in . Without the < and > of course.
cd.. – go back to the previous directory
dir – displays a list of files in the current directory
dir .exe or dir .bat – displays a list of files with the exe or bat extension. Works with any other extension also.
– run a file. Only works on executable files such as .exe, .bat, and .com.
exit – quit DOSBox.

Let’s go through an example. I’ve copied a game called “dune” to my Games folder.

C:/> cd dune

This switches to the “dune” directory.

C:\DUNE> dir .exe

This displays all of the executable files in the dune directory. Running the command on my N97, I see that there’s a DUNE2.EXE file. This should be the main executable file.

C:\DUNE> dune2

This runs the executable and loads the game. You don’t need to add the extension.

Not too bad, right? And if you need some game suggestions, here’s a couple that I’ve tried:

– Dune 2 (one of the first RTS games made, a little slow but very playable and still a lot of fun)
– Commander Keen (excellent classic side-scroller game)
– Dark Sun (oldschool RPG, slow but playable)
– Civilization (the original that started it all)

Configuration

DOSBox includes a dosbox.conf configuration file that you can use to change the options. I’ve made the following changes to the dosbox.conf:

– devicescreenwidth and devicescreenheight is set to match the N97 (640×360)
– mouse sensitivity is 500
– cycles = 3000 (default is 800)
– all sound (pc speaker and sound blaster sound effects) have been turned off to increase frame rate
– upon loading, DOSBox will automatically mount the E:\games drive, read the premapper.txt file in E:\data, go to the E:\games directory, and display all files in that directory

Feel free to change any or all of the above settings to whatever you’d like.

Things to Remember

– E:\games is the default games directory. You can change this in the dosbox.conf file.
– E:\data is the default data directory. Make sure you put the dosbox.conf and premapper.txt files here.
– The config file is set to automatically open up the E:\games folder and display the contents.
– Sound will kill your FPS.
– Changing your s60scale variable will too.

Other Stuff

– You can also apply the same steps to the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. However, since the 5800XM has no physical keyboard, you’ll have to use a virtual keyboard – read the help files included with DOSBox for more info on this. I don’t have a 5800XM any more, so I can’t test this.
– If you’d like to install DOSBox for other platforms (like Windows or OS X), check out the official DOSBox page.

Credits

Well, for the most part the above was figured out by me. Credits, however, do go out to a user named Lorenzo over at the Sourceforge page, who provided a custom key map that I used as a base for my own mapping.

How-To: Hack Your Nokia N97 In 16 Steps [HelloOX2]

27 May
Today's How-To: Hack your N97 to run unsigned apps, among other things.Today’s How-To: Hack your N97 to run unsigned apps, among other things.

The latest version of HelloOX has been released, and it’s easier than ever to get unsigned software working on your N97. But let’s step back a bit: unsigned software is simply any kind of application that hasn’t gone through the Symbian Foundation’s rigorous signing process. Most freeware is unsigned, mainly due to the costs involved (around ~$525 for the bare minimum of one signing, with extra $$$ or euroseuroseuros for additional signing). With the included ROMPatcher utility, you can also apply unofficial patches to the firmware to fix bugs, modify current functionality, or adding new features. Pretty cool, right?

Unfortunately, by default your N97 (or any other recent S60 phone) will not allow you to install unsigned applications. We’re going to change that.

The Setup

You’re going to need a signed HelloOX2 sis file. Technically, that’s all you need, but a little out of reach for most people. If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll also need a.cer file, a .key file, and the SISContents application. Note that the HelloOX2 site claims that you can get a signed version of the app by donating $5. This may or may not be preferable, as it does avoid the steps (and the waiting) found here.

Remember, if you get confused anywhere in the tutorial, click on the screenshot above each step. You might find it easier to just click on the pictures and use the onboard Prev/Next buttons to go through each step (every image has the instructions underneath).

Let’s begin.

Developer Certificate and Key File

Skip this section if you already have a Dev. Cert and a key file. Otherwise, read on.

The easiest way to get the two files you need is to register an account on OPDA. By registering and filling out some forms (directions below), you can get your cert within a couple of days.

Click the Register button on the OPDA forum page.

1. Go to the OPDA web site. Click on the Register button.

Scroll down, wait for the counter to reach zero, and then click the leftmost button.

2. You should something that sort of resembles a Disclaimer page. Scroll down to the bottom, and there will be a countdown timer. Wait for it to reach zero, then click the leftmost button that appears.

Fill out the fields according to this picture.

3. Next up, you’ll have to fill out the registration form. Click anywhere inside the first box, and you’ll see a Captcha box pop up. Enter the characters that appear. After that is some kind of random math problem, answer it and go on to the next box. This is your username. The following two boxes are your password and your password confirmation (enter your password twice). I hope the Email box is self-explanatory. You can ignore that last checkbox – it shows you some advanced user options that are completely and utterly useless in this tutorial. Finally, click the yellow submit button on the bottom.

You should be automatically logged in. Click on the Apply Cer. button.

4. You should see a message pop up, wait a few seconds for it to redirect you to the forum page. Congratulations, you registered an account! Too bad we’re only a third of the way through. Click on the Apply Cer. in the top right corner of the page.

Click the English button in the top right corner. It makes the page a lot more manageable.

5. You should be at a page that looks similar to the picture here. Click on the Englishbutton (top right corner) to see what that important-looking green box says. Now click on the Login button and enter your credentials into the following form. (no picture for this step)

Click the Apply cer button.

6. This is the My Certificates page. Click on the Apply cer button (in orange, see picture if necessary).

Fill out the fields in the certificate application. Enter the correct model and IMEI. For phone number, enter an 11-digit number starting with 13, 15, or 18.

7. Finally, a form that’s completely in English. Make sure you put the correct model and IMEI as this is critical to generating a valid certificate for your phone. For Phone Number, enter an 11-digit number starting with either 13, 15, or 18. Example: 15134567890. If you’ve filled out the form correctly, you’ll see the message: Operation Success! Now you’ll have to wait until your certificate and key files are generated. Generally it takes anywhere from 1-3 days.

Step 8: Click and save the .cer and .key files.

8. Assuming that your screen looks like mine, and your certificates/keys were generated, click and save the .cer and .key files. Pat yourself on the back, you got through Part 1 of this walkthrough.

Using SISContents

SISContents is the software application that uses your .cer/.key files to digitally sign a Symbian application. It’s fairly easy to use, but I’ll write out all of the steps involved regardless.

Open SISContents and click the Open File icon. Browse to the directory where you placed the HelloOX2.unsigned.sis file and double click it.

1. If you haven’t already, download and run SISContents. Click on the large folder icon in the top left corner (Open file), and browse to the directory where you put the HelloOX2.unsigned.sis file. Double-click to open it.

2. Now go to Tools -> Sign package.

Fill out the fields according to this picture.

3. Another box should pop up. You’ll notice that there’s two tabs on the top of the box, Package and Key pairs. Click on the Key pairs tab to switch.

You should be automatically logged in. Click on the Apply Cer. button.

4. Here you’ll create a profile with your new files. A key pair is made up of a .cer file, and a .key file. Make sure you add both of these files using the Browse… button. For Private Key Passphrase, enter 12345. You can name the profile anything you want, but I find that a simple, description name like “N97 Certificate” works well. When you’ve finished, click the Add profile button.

You should see the new profile appear in the box called "Available Signing Profiles". If not, repeat the previous step.

5. Note the change once you click the Add profile button: a new profile should appear in the box labeled “Available signing profiles”.

Switch back to the "Package" tab. Click the box under Signing Profiles, and select the profile you just created.

6. Remember those two tabs on top? Click on the Package tab to switch back to the package view. On the right side, you should see “Signing profiles:”, with an empty drop-down box underneath. Click on this box, and select your newly created profile.

Click the "Add signature" button. You should your newly created signature in the box on the right side, labeled "Signatures of selected component." Congratulations! Now close this box by clicking the X in the top right corner. Don't forget to save the file.

7. Click on the Add signature button. You should see a new entry in the “Signatures of selected component box” (right side) that reads something like “SHA1 with RSA” and some certificate validity period dates. If you see those, you’re almost there! All that’s left now is to close this box (use the X in the top right corner), and save the file that you just modified (File -> Save as…). Congratulations! You’re even closer than before!

Installing and Running HelloOX2

And now the step we’ve been waiting for. HelloOX2 should be signed with your own developer certificate and key file. Now copy it to your phone, and run it in File Manager. The installation is very straightforward, and the only prompt that might give you pause is the “Install Modo?” one. Modo is a freeware File Manager that you may want to use instead of Nokia’s crappy stock one.

Once HelloOX2 is installed, you need to enable the correct patches to allow you to run unsigned applications. Go to your Applications folder, and run the ROMPatcher utility. You should see two entries: Installserver_FP2 and open4all. For each entry, go to Options -> Patch -> Apply, and then Options -> Patch -> Add to auto. Add to auto autoloads the patches on each reboot.

And now…wait for it…you’re done! Go out and have a beer or something. You successfully navigated through this nightmare of a tutorial!

If you’d like to test out your new unsigned application installation functionality, grab VirtualKey  (it’s unsigned by default) and try to install it.

Final Notes

You can also use this method on the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, or pretty much any other S60 Third Edition and up phone – it’s not limited to the N97.

Credits

This procedure isn’t anything new, although some of the steps have changed slightly due to OPDA’s redesign and the new HelloOX2 application.

How-To: Change Your S60 Phone Key Mappings With VirtualKey

26 May
Change your key mappings with VirtualKey.Change your key mappings with VirtualKey.

I recently discovered the S60 gem VirtualKey after going on the hunt for a good key remapping application. It’s easy to use, sufficiently powerful, and best of all, it actually runs on S60 Fifth Edition.

There’s a caveat, however: VirtualKey is an unsigned application, which means you might be in for a world of hurt. More on this after the break.

The Setup

First, as mentioned before, you’ll need to have some way to run unsigned applications. The easiest way is to obtain a developer’s certificate, and this can be done from the OPDA site.

Second, you’ll need the actual program: download it here. The official site is here, but the site’s in Chinese and you need to register to get at the programs. A bit of a pain. Note that this is version 1.00. The latest version is 1.10, but I could not get the several variations of 1.10 working on either my 5800XM or my N97. Maybe S60 Third Edition users will have an easier time.

VirtualKey: Adding different key mappings.
VirtualKey: Changing the key map.
VirtualKey: The Include/Exclude Menu
VirtualKey: You can make your key mappings available to certain applications.
Change your key mappings with VirtualKey.

Changing the Key Mappings

Once you’ve successfully installed VirtualKey, fire it up! At first you’ll see a mostly blank screen that reads “(no data)” – this screen shows your current changed keymaps. Let’s try modifying some keys to test it out.

Click on Options -> Add. At this screen you’ll need to press the key that you want to modify, followed by the replacement key. Special keys that you can’t actually press without activating (such as the Camera and Menu keys) can be found in Options -> Special key.

There’s a lot of potential here for some really cool stuff. You can, for example, change the Volume Up/Down keys to duplicate the functionality of the Menu key (see Things to Remember below if you’re going this route), or remove the functionality of your End Call key by assigning it to something random.

My keymap on the N97 has three entries:

{RFunc} => {LFunc}
{LFunc} => {RFunc}
{Camera} => {No}

This has the effect of swapping my QWERTY keyboard’s Symbol and Function key, and changing the Camera key to act as a Cancel button. Sounds weird, right? I have a bad habit of accidentally hitting my Camera key when attempting to press the Menu button. This way, if I hit the Camera key by mistake, I can then press it again to close it. Sounds silly, I know, but it works.

Inclusions/Exclusions

One nice feature in VirtualKey is the ability to have your new key mappings available or unavailable to certain applications. To access this, go to the Settings page in VirtualKey (in other words, the default page that opens first) – then, tap the right arrow next to it. It should change to Exclude (unavailable to whatever applications), and you can switch to Include by going to Options -> Change mode -> Include. You can’t have an inclusion and an exclusion running at the same time – it’s one or the other.

Adding an inclusion/exclusion is as simple as going to Options -> Add from running or Add from installed, both referring to whether an application is currently open or installed. If you wanted to make a key map only valid in the browser, for example, you’d switch to Include mode and go to Add from installed -> Browser (alternatively, if you have the browser open, you could just do Add from running).

Things to Remember

1. Certain keys can be mapped, but not replaced. Example: any key on the N97 QWERTY that is modified will lose its previous functionality and will only function as the new key. So if I map the Q button to the L button, the L will always come out instead of the Q. However, if you remap the Camera key, it will still automatically run the Camera application. And strangely enough, if you modify the End Call key (normally ends calls and goes back to the Home screen no matter what), it will no longer quit programs, end calls, or return to the Home screen.

2. VirtualKey does not function on the Home screen of S60 Fifth Edition phones. I wasn’t able to test this on S60 Third Edition, but custom key mappings will not work on the Home screen.

3. The Volume Keys on S60 Fifth Edition phones are weird. And by weird, I mean you can’t set them individually. If you attempted this, you might have noticed that the software doesn’t recognize the Vol. Up or Down keys when pressed alone. However, when you press either key, and then slide your finger down so it presses the other, it works. VirtualKey will map the last button you press, so if you press Vol. Up and then slide it to Vol. Down, it’ll think you pressed Vol. Down. I don’t know if this is a limitation of the software, or the firmware, or the phone hardware. Essentially this makes the Volume keys a little annoying to manipulate.