Remapping the N900 arrow keys

Posted by berto on December 17, 2009

Here’s a tip for those of you using an N900 with an English keyboard.

For those who don’t know it, this is how arrow keys are arranged in (some) non-English layouts:

N900 keyboard

Compare to the English layout:

N900 keyboard

My N900 has an English keyboard, and I like it because I use the X terminal a lot so having separate keys for the arrows is good.

However I miss the accents (in particular ‘ and ~) as I usually write in Portuguese and Spanish, and using the additional on-screen keyboard is not that convenient for a Jabber conversation.

Fortunately, arrow keys can be re-mapped to add extra symbols by editing this file:

/usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/nokia_vndr/rx-51

Just go to the end of the file and replace the ‘arrows_4btns‘ entry with this:


xkb_symbols "arrows_4btns" {
key <UP> { type[Group1] = "PC_FN_LEVEL2", symbols[Group1] = [ Up, dead_circumflex ] };
key <LEFT> { type[Group1] = "PC_FN_LEVEL2", symbols[Group1] = [ Left, dead_acute ] };
key <DOWN> { type[Group1] = "PC_FN_LEVEL2", symbols[Group1] = [ Down, dead_tilde ] };
key <RGHT> { type[Group1] = "PC_FN_LEVEL2", symbols[Group1] = [ Right, dead_grave ] };
};

With this, Fn+Up/Down/Left/Right will produce a dead circumflex/tilde/acute accent/grave accent.

If you want these changes to take effect immediately just type ‘setxkbmap us‘.

Hope you find it useful.

Update 19 Dec 2009. Since some people have asked: of course even if you only write in English or another language that doesn’t need accents, you can still add useful symbols to the arrow keys such as ‘|‘, ‘<‘ or ‘>‘. You can use any of these keyboard layouts as an example. See also this thread and this other one.

Update 10 Jan 2010. The information on this post is now (in expanded form) in the Maemo wiki.

Vagalume 0.8 released, now with support for Libre.fm

Posted by berto on December 14, 2009

Vagalume 0.8 has just been released. This is the first version to come with support for Libre.fm and the Nokia N900.

Here’s how it looks (click to enlarge):

Vagalume on a Nokia N900

We also have a new logo designed by Otto Krüja:

Vagalume logo

Many things have changed since the previous version. These are some of the highlights (read the full list here):

  • Implemented the Last.fm Web Services API v2.0
  • Support for Libre.fm and other Last.fm-compatible services
  • Support for Maemo 5 (Nokia N900)
  • New logo and other UI changes
  • Sleep timer (i.e. stop playback after X minutes)
  • New configuration setting to download free tracks automatically

If you are interested in Libre.fm or the support for multiple servers you should read the Vagalume FAQ.

Very important for N900 users: as you may already know, Last.fm does not allow streaming music to mobile phones. If you are Last.fm user and you have a Nokia N900 then you should really read the FAQ (and also this post).

N900 users will also notice that the UI hasn’t been completely adapted to the Maemo 5 style. That is going to happen soon, but since I didn’t want to delay this release even more, this version uses the classic UI.

A Moblin version is also in the works. Expect a release soon.

Updated 15 Dec 2009: Some users are experiencing connection problems after upgrading to Vagalume 0.8. This problem has already been fixed, so expect a new version soon.

Updated 16 Dec 2009: I’ve just released Vagalume 0.8.1 with the aforementioned fix (see changes here).

Updated 21 Dec 2009: And Vagalume 0.8.2 is out, with one more fix for another connection problem (see changes here).