Problems with closed source: Nokia N900

I own a Nokia N900 smart phone that I bought because it uses a Debian/Linux-based operating system called Maemo, believing that it's hackable.

Unfortunately, all of the core applications on the phone are closed source. The settings, media player, image viewing, camera, phone and email applications - all proprietary software that was not open sourced by Nokia.

Now, 4 years after the purchase, I'm stuck with a broken note taking application: When loading a notes file with bullet lists, I get an empty item added after each "real" list item:

Freshly written notes Re-loading after saving Saving and re-loading a second time

This bug is known since 2009 and has 4 duplicates, but since Nokia stopped the development on Maemo, the issue will never be fixed.

And again I am severely limited by the unavailability of the source code (look for osso-notes), forcing me to either abandon the phone or to find a replacement application.

Alternative to Maemo notes

After being annoyed about that bug for about two years, I searched the bug tracker, found that there is no fix and looked for an alternative. I found Conboy, a nifty little note taking application that can even be synced with the desktop.

Its file format is Tomboy's XML, which is - while not normal HTML as osso-notes wrote - still open enough to be useful when something really goes wrong.


Written by Christian Weiske.

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