Fix Your Nokia’s White Screen Of Death

Today the Nokia brand can be found on a range of well-screwed-together Androind phones and a few feature phones, but as older readers will remember that before their descent into corporate chaos and the Windows Phone wilderness, there was once a time when the Finnish manufacturer dominated the mobile phone landscape and produced some of the most innovative and creative handset designs ever created. It’s for some of these that [Michael Fitzmayer] has done some work providing tools revive the devices from an unfortunate bricking.

The N-Gage was the phone giant’s attempt to produce a handset that doubled as a handheld game console, and though it was a commercial failure at the time it has retained a following among enthusiasts. The flaw comes as its Symbian operating system fills its user partition, at which point the infamous “White Screen Of Death” occurs as the device can no longer reboot. Rewriting the flash chip used to be handled by Nokia service tools, but these can no longer be found. His fix substitutes a “Blue pill” STMF103-based dev board that connects to the Nokia FBus serial port and does its job. It’s possible that it could be used on other Symbian devices, but for now it’s only been tested on the N-Gages.

It’s easy to forget when a smartphone is defined by iOS and Android, that Symbian gave us a smartphone experience for the previous decade. For those of us who still pine for their miniaturised Carl Zeiss Tessar cameras and candybar form factors, it’s good to see them receiving some love.

Thanks [Razvan] for the tip.

Windows 95 Running On An N95

windows

We’ve had this same hack submitted by two people, pointing to two different(translated) sources(translated) today. It seems with a recent version of dos box, you can load windows 3.1 or windows 95 on N95 or N85 devices. They’re both in polish, so they may be the same people posting in different places.  If you can follow along, there seems to be sufficient information to do this yourself. We don’t know why you would want to, but you could. You can see a video of it in action after the break.

Continue reading “Windows 95 Running On An N95”

25C3: Nokia Exploit Stops All Inbound SMS

[Tobias Engel] released a serious Nokia vulnerability today. By using a specially crafted SMS message, you can block the recipient from getting any future SMS messages. The attacker changes their Protocol Identifier to “Internet Electronic Mail” and then uses any email address 32 characters or more in their message. The recipient will receive no indication that they got the message and no other messages will be allowed until the phone is factory reset. You can see a demo video here. This affects many different varieties of S60 phones and no fix is known.

[Thanks fh]

Gizmodo’s Guide To Smartphone OSes

Gizmodo’s in-depth look at smartphone OSes provides you with the pros and cons of each, allowing you to make an educated decision, if you’re in the market for a phone that also has email, a web browser, a calendar, and a decent contacts manager. If you’re attracted to the open source Linux-based Android by Google, you’ll also have to keep in mind that there aren’t that many business features. Other contenders include the Blackberry by RIM, which is great for email, but is completely closed and proprietary. The Apple iPhone is very pretty but lacks some basic features. They cover Symbian, Windows Mobile, and Palm Garnet too. It’s certainly a handy guide since most people haven’t used all six.

Real Time Gas Monitoring

With the weather getting colder, [Daniel] decided it would be a good idea to monitor how much energy his gas heating was using in real time. He used a Nokia 6680 cameraphone to monitor the heater’s flame through the sight glass. PyS60, a Symbian implementation of Python, checks the image sent by the camera and measures how much blue flame is visible. These values are stored in a SQL DB on the phone that can be polled over Bluetooth. At the end of the billing cycle,  he’ll be able to correlate the amount of gas used with what the phone reported.

[Thanks, florent bayle]

Open Source Symbian


Nokia recently announced its plans to purchase Symbian and formed the Symbian Foundation with the intention opening the software platform over the next two years. Symbian is already present on 60% of all cellphones in the world. With such a massive install base, open source Symbian has a much better chance of taking off than platforms like Android, which are starting on the ground floor.