November 16, 2009, 8:04 am
The Nokia N900 has just started shipping and there are already a number of reviews of the device out on the net. I've had the opportunity evaluate a pre-release N900 for a few weeks now, and while you can expect a full review in an upcoming issue of Linux Journal, I wanted to give you a quick look into what the N900 is like from the perspective of your average Linux geek. If you've read any of my previous articles in Linux Journal, you'll know that I'm a vim-using, mutt-loving sysadmin who spends a lot of time on the command line, so hopefully I can provide a unique perspective on this device.
The N900 isn't Nokia's first pocketable Linux computer. The N770, N800, and N810 are all previous models of their "Internet Tablet" all running Nokia's Debian-based Maemo Linux distribution. The N900 is the latest device in the series and what makes it special apart from updated hardware is the fact that it adds cellular connectivity. This means that not only do you have a Linux device in your pocket with an always-on Internet connection (if you have a data plan), you no longer have to carry a separate cellphone. Plus, like the N810 before it, it provides a hardware keyboard, which I think is crucial for an interactive shell.