One day all cameras will be like this
First up, before any waffle, here’s a video showing off what I’ve hacked my N900 to do:
Awesome. Simply awesome. This is how ALL cameras should work. In case you didn’t watch the video, or quite grasp the coolness of what you saw, here’s a quick recap.
- I take a photo on my N900.
- It’s automatically in iPhoto on my mac… without me doing ANYTHING. It just happens, automatically. I don’t have to plug in any cables, or do anything. It’ll work where ever I am in the world. Oh, and I’ll know where I was because the N900 geotags photos.
- I edit the photo in iPhoto.
- I browse the photos on my N900, the edited version is there…. again without me doing anything.
Pause for a moment, let that sink in. This is how cameras should work. You shouldn’t have to mess with memory card readers, cables and manual copying. The photos should just magically appear in the library on your computer. And then if you edit and retouch them, that new version should be on your portable device (again, magically) so you can show them off to your friends and family. This is ace, it’s a killer feature for me. I hardly ever carry a “proper” camera, mostly because Nokia smartphones have had such great cameras for a while, they’re perfect for point-and-shoot snapshots.
Why does this make the N900 so great?
This is why I wanted to try out an N900, because I thought I’d be able to hack it to do cool things. And I can. Why? Because it’s based on linux, closely related to a desktop linux and most importantly it’s open. This means I can use scripts I prepared on my desktop *nix system (a Mac, in this case). I can use software written orignally for desktops, recompiled for the N900. There’s a wealth of software out there, all free, and I can look into the source and see how it all works. And the N900 is linux, so how it works under the hood is familiar to me, and so I can hack it to do new stuff so easily. I had this working withing 24 hours of getting the N900. That’s amazing, name any other phone you can create new, genuinely useful functions for that quickly. And I spent a lot of that first 24 hours working, or sleeping or doing other things with the N900. I wanted a trial N900 to answer the questions missing from other reviews. How easy is it to hack? Can you make it do cool stuff? The answer so far looks like “yes”.
How do I make my N900 and Mac sync like this?
UPDATE: Get the how-to here.
Well, it’s a pretty involved process, so it’ll take me a while to write it up from my notes. Plus I’ll wait till I’ve tested it a bit more and it’s working ok. But you’ll want to be familiar with shell scripts, compiling software, and the unixy parts of OSX. I’ll update this article to link to my how-to once it’s written.