Friday, May 30, 2008

How to connect a USB flash drive to your tablet using the USB cable

Okay, let's start from basic notions - why would someone want to connect a thumb drive to a Nokia tablet?

USB flash drives, which are sometimes referred to as thumb drives are basically flash memory cards with a USB connector. They could be easily carried around and can store up to 64GB of information. Most of my friends use these to make backups of important files or to carry needed files with them.

The N800 and N810 both come with built-in memory card slots, but both these data storage devices work identically but flash drives are capable of storing larger amounts of information.

The only difference is in the the plug, the USB plug in this case.

Well, when I started writing this blog posts, I didn't know that a similar article already existed, so please refer to this article to find out how to connect a USB drive to a tablet by using a USB cable:

Thanks for your attention and have a good day.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Internet Tablet School - Privacy Policy

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Permission is granted to temporarily download one copy of the materials (information or software) on Tablet School's web site for personal, non-commercial transitory viewing only. This is the grant of a license, not a transfer of title, and under this license you may not:
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In no event shall Tablet School or its suppliers be liable for any damages (including, without limitation, damages for loss of data or profit, or due to business interruption,) arising out of the use or inability to use the materials on Tablet School's Internet site, even if Tablet School or a Tablet School authorized representative has been notified orally or in writing of the possibility of such damage. Because some jurisdictions do not allow limitations on implied warranties, or limitations of liability for consequential or incidental damages, these limitations may not apply to you.
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General Terms and Conditions applicable to Use of a Web Site.
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Your privacy is very important to us. Accordingly, we have developed this Policy in order for you to understand how we collect, use, communicate and disclose and make use of personal information. The following outlines our privacy policy.

Before or at the time of collecting personal information, we will identify the purposes for which information is being collected.
We will collect and use of personal information solely with the objective of fulfilling those purposes specified by us and for other compatible purposes, unless we obtain the consent of the individual concerned or as required by law.
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We are committed to conducting our business in accordance with these principles in order to ensure that the confidentiality of personal information is protected and maintained.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Nokia N800 & N810: How to unzip files

Unzipping files on your tablet

Tablets, as well as smartphones, support various file formats and .zip archives is one of them. If you download a zipped file and moved it to your tablet, you may have noticed such problem - there's no way to unzip such file and view its contents.

But I’ve got a solution for you - there is one piece of software and it’s called Unzip. Unzip is completely free and can be easily installed onto your tablet. Once it's been installed you can unzip any .zip files (you just have to click an them in the File Manager)

Installing Unzip on tablets

1. First of all, in your tablet click on the globe and select "Open New Browser Window".

2. is your destination page

3. Enter "unzip" search query in the top right hand corner.

4. Find Unzip application.

5. Click "Click To Install" arrow. Say yes or OK to all of the boxes that appear.

6. When Unzip has installed successfully, close the Application Manager.
Okay, you are ready to rumble.

You can now unzip any .zip file by just double-clicking on it in the File Manager. Sometimes complex things could be very simple.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

PC Macintosh tablet related software

In my previous blog posts I featured, which is a superb source for various applications and games for your Nokia tablet but today I have even more news for you.

From now on, downloads section has one more section - on this website you will be able to find various Windows PC and Macintosh software, which has help you manage your tablet even more.

By visiting and clicking "PC" button you will gain access to a huge amount of software and downloads.

Just to give you a tip, on this site you will be able to find 770Flasher. THis is anunofficial program for the Macintosh with the help of which users can update tablet firmware.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Why the polarisation?

Perhaps the biggest problem is that it's difficult to know who exactly the Nokia tablets are primarily aimed at. Are they for the casual user who just wants to look at some websites while lounging on the sofa, or the enthusiastic user who wants a pocket-sized alternative to their laptop with a full range of computing features?

Obviously both of these people would get a lot out of the Nokia tablets right now. The tablets have an excellent and easy to use browser which can display almost all websites, even Flash and AJAX ones, but they also feature an open software platform that can give you most of the functions of a full-size computer.

However, going on from here, which direction should the tablets go in?

Until now, Nokia has favoured the more computing-oriented user as they've spent years courting the open source community, and deliberately made the tablets very open and "hackable" to appeal to serious hardcore computer users. The Nokia tablets have become cult devices, with very dedicated fans doing all kinds of things to push the hardware to the limit. Is this the future of the tablets?

If Nokia stick with the current Hildon interface for the tablets, there's a risk that more casual users will buy devices such as the iPod Touch, whose interface emphasises a small number of the most popular functions.

If Nokia step away from Hildon and go for a more simplified tablet interface such as Canola (which the ITS advocates), they risk losing most of the devoted fan base that they've built up since the very first tablet in 2005.

Neither option is particularly attractive, because casual users represent a very large potential market, while dedicated fans represent a lot of goodwill towards a particular product.

If Nokia tries to move in both directions, they run the risk of annoying everyone and pleasing no one.

So they're stuck. Or are they?

Can you please all the people all the time?

When we talk about the tablets we're actually talking about two things: the tablet itself, and the operating system and interface that runs on it. These aren't tightly bound together, you can change the OS and interface on your tablet if you want to.

In theory people could install whichever OS and interface they liked, and everyone would be happy. At the moment this is a pretty difficult thing to do, but it could be made simpler, especially if it was done using Nokia's official firmware update software.

That would be messy though, and potentially very bad PR. People might feel like they were buying a cheap half-finished build-it-yourself kit, the tablets would become the Ikea furniture of portable computing. It would also possibly make life very difficult for the Maemo software platform which Nokia has spent so much time promoting, especially if people changed the operating system as well as the interface.

What everyone needs

Nokia needs the tablets to be a complete "straight out of the box" product, where you can just buy it and use it straight away with a minimum of fuss, like a DVD player or a toaster.

Casual tablet users need an interface which lets them get to the features they use the most as quickly and easily as possible, without lots of junk they never use getting in the way.

Serious tablet users need an open device which lets them run as much software as possible and access as many settings as possible. They don't want to be shut out of anything by a nanny interface that spoon-feeds them unnecessarily.

Here's what the Internet Tablet School suggests

Casual users probably don't want to install or alter anything on the tablet. They just want to go ahead and use whatever comes with the tablet, and they want it to fulfil their needs straight away.

Serious users on the other hand are extremely enthusiastic about installing and altering stuff, the whole attraction of the tablets in the serious computing community is how open they are to alteration.

Given this difference, it would make sense to pre-install a Canola-like interface on the tablet to cater for casual users, but include something in the sales package (a booklet, a CD, a memory card full of software/firmware) to help serious users install a more serious interface.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Nokia N800 & N810: How to use the tablets to make free video calls over the internet

Video calling is very, very cool indeed

The Nokia N800 and N810 internet tablets both have built-in webcams: the N800's hidden in a round pop-out section on the left of the tablet, and the N810's mounted on the front. They're there to let you make video internet calls where you can speak and hear the other person in real time, just like a videophone.

This feature might sound very technical and nerdy, but it isn't at all. If you'll forgive the sentimentality, video calling is actually one of the most emotionally fulfilling features of the tablet. Being able to see someone's face when you talk to them makes the conversation feel far more intense, and gives you a feeling of almost being there with the person.

Because the tablet is portable, they can carry you with them as they walk round the house or wherever they happen to be. One especially nice feature is that you can show the other person the world around you very easily, as if they were seeing what you were seeing. For example you could give someone a tour of your house using the tablet's camera.

Video calling is wonderful for talking to people you haven't met in person for a long time, or for talking with people on the other side of the world. The call is free, so there's absolutely no worries about the cost either.

If you haven't already tried video calling on the tablets, we seriously recommend you do if you get the chance. It's really really good fun, and something that appeals to practically everyone, not just technology fans. Video calling will put a smile on your face.

Important info before we start

At the moment, there's a severe catch to this feature: you can only use it to make video calls to other tablets. Both you and the person you're calling have to own a Nokia tablet. You cannot currently call people who have webcams on other devices such as PCs or phones.

However, this may change in the near future as new versions of the tablet software are released. There are already unofficial hacks which allow calls to other devices, so it's definitely possible from a technical point of view, but the built-in official software currently only works with tablet-to-tablet video calls.

Also before we start, make sure you've updated your tablet's firmware

There's a bug on some tablets which causes video calls to cut off after a certain amount of time. This seems to be more common on tablets with older versions of the tablet firmware, so it's important to update your tablet to the latest firmware before setting up the video call service. You can find out detailed instructions on how to do this by clicking here, along with an explanation of what firmware is and why it's worth updating regularly.

Right, we can get started! First of all, have you got a Google account?

Probably the easiest way to handle a tablet-to-tablet video chat is using the Google Talk service. All you need to access this service is a Google username and password, for example you can use your Gmail username and password, or the username and password from any other Google service.

If you don't have any kind of Google account, you can create one during the setup process described below.

How to set up the video call software

On the N800 you can make the video call software launch automatically by simply pressing the camera on the left side of the tablet so it pops out. The N810 doesn't have a pop-out camera so you'll have to start the software manually.

You can manually start the video call software by clicking on the Contacts icon (the three orange figures on the left) and then selecting "New Internet Call".

You may be prompted to add a calling account when you first launch the software, but if you're not then click on the "Add Account" button to start the account setup wizard.

After the wizard has started:

1. Click Next.

2. Select Google Talk from the drop-down menu (it may already be selected). Click Next.

3. If you already have a Google account (that includes Gmail accounts too), select "Use Existing Google Talk Account". If you don't have a Google account, select "Create New Google Talk Account". Selecting this second option opens the tablet web browser and takes you to a page on Google's site where you can register a new Google account. After you've done this, close the browser to return to the wizard and continue with step 4.

4. Enter the username for your Google account in the Username section, and the password in the password section. Click Next.

5. Invent some name for the account, don't bother with a nickname if you don't want to. Neither name matters much, it's purely for your own reference in case you use more than one account on the tablet. If you want to, you can also add a picture to your account by clicking on the "Browse" button. When you've finished, click Next.

6. Click on Finish.

If you've entered your username and password correctly, it should now connect you to the Google server and display a large green dot at the top of the screen. It may also download contacts from your Google account onto the tablet.

If it can't connect, it will show a red dot with a white line through it. If this happens, first of all make sure the tablet has an internet connection.

If the connection is okay but you still have problems, it may be that you've entered your username and password incorrectly. To re-enter the username and password, click on the "Internet Call" menu at the top, then Tools, then Accounts, then select the account you're trying to use, then click Edit.

If you do all this and it STILL stays on the red dot, try again later as there may be a temporary problem with the connection to Google's server.

How to make video calls

Once you've correctly set up the internet call application, you can use it to make video calls to anyone else with a tablet who has also set up their tablet's internet call app.

To call someone, you need to find out their Google Talk username (which is the same thing as their Gmail address if they use Gmail). You then need to add this to your list of contacts if it isn't there already, by starting the Internet Call app (pop the camera open or click on its option in the orange Contacts menu).

If there are no contacts at all, you can click on the "Add Contact" button on the front page of the Internet Call app.

If you already have contacts listed, you can add more by clicking on the Internet Call menu at the top of the screen, then click on Tools, then Create New Contact.

VERY IMPORTANT POINT: When adding a Google Talk contact, write their username in full including the or part at the end. For example if a contact's Google username is "johnsmith12345", then you would have to add them to the contacts list as "". If you forget the part, it will not work.

After you've added a contact, Google will send a message to the other person's tablet asking if they're willing to accept calls from you. They have to confirm this on their tablet before you can start calling them.

Yes yes, enough with the setup. How do you actually call contacts?!

Once you've got a confirmed contact on the list in the Internet Talk app, you can call them simply by clicking on their name.

Bear in mind that they have to be near to their tablet to answer, and they have to have the green dot at the top of the screen.

How do I end the call?

Click on the red telephone icon.

How much does the call cost?


The call is completely free, though you may have to pay extra data charges if your tablet is connected through a mobile phone.

What about them calling me?

They do the same thing as you. Make sure you're near the tablet so you can answer it, and make sure there's a green dot at the top of the screen.

Green dot? What are you talking about? What is it? And how do I make sure there is a green dot at the top of the screen?

After you've successfully set up a Google Talk account on your tablet, a green dot will appear at the top of the screen whenever the tablet is connected to the internet. The dot indicates that your tablet is connected to Google Talk, and it means you can receive Google Talk internet calls (including video calls).

The green dot should appear automatically when the tablet is connected to the internet. If the dot is red, try clicking on it and selecting "ON". It will then flicker between the red and green dots while it tries to connect, and if it succeeds it will stay green.

(Incidentally, if you've set up the Internet Talk application using a service other than Google Talk, you'll still see a green dot but in that case it indicates it's connected to whichever service you set it up with. This tutorial assumes you are using Google Talk however.)

Does the Internet Call app have to be running to receive Google Talk calls?

No, all you need is the green dot at the top of the screen. If you answer the call, the Internet Talk app will open automatically.

What if I don't want to receive Google Talk calls?

You can disconnect from the Google Talk service by clicking on the green dot and selecting "Off", which will turn the dot red. No one can call you when the dot is red.

To reconnect to Google Talk, click on the red dot and select "On". When the dot is permanently green, people can call you.

How do I switch the camera on and off during a call?

The Google Talk service can be used just for voice if you prefer. The tablet camera can be switched on and off during a call.

On the N800, you can switch the camera on by simply popping it out of the side of the tablet. You can switch it off again by sliding the camera back into its hiding place.

On the N810, you can switch the camera on by clicking on the camera icon within the call window. When the N810's camera is on, the light in the corner of the tablet will glow red. You can switch the camera off by clicking on the camera icon again.

Note that switching the camera off doesn't end the call, a voice connection is still present so you can talk even without the cameras. To fully end the call, click on the red phone icon.

How do I make the video picture quality better?

The tablet cameras, like all digital cameras, work best when you're in daylight, so try to make calls during the day if you can. If there's no daylight, switch on as many lights as possible.

The picture will be best when you're not moving, because movement is the most difficult thing to transmit on an internet video connection. It's probably best if you sit down to make the call, and put the tablet on a table using its built-in stand.

Remember to keep checking the reference picture on the left of the screen, this shows what they're seeing of you, so you can adjust the angle of the camera if needed.

Which camera is better, the N800's or the N810's?

They're both the same camera technically, but the N800's camera can be twisted round to a variety of angles. The N810's camera is fixed and just faces forward, so you have to move the entire tablet to adjust its angle.

In practical terms the N800's camera is more flexible, but the N810's one works fine as long as you position the tablet itself correctly during a call.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Nokia N800 & N810: Hints and tips for using the web browser

Some hints and tips for using the web browser on the Nokia N800 & N810

The web browser is the most important feature on the N800 and N810 internet tablets as it lets you look at websites, which is the main purpose of the tablets.

The browser is fairly easy to use, especially if you're used to using web browsers such as Firefox or Internet Explorer on computers. However, there are still a few quirks and features which may not be immediately obvious, and that's what we're going to look at in this tutorial.

For those who are interested, the browser used in the N800 and N810 is called MicroB, and is based on the same Mozilla technology that Firefox uses. It is compatible with all the major advanced website standards such as Flash, Javascript and AJAX, and is possibly the world's best web browser on a pocket-sized device. The tablets are compatible with far more websites than the iPhone or iPod Touch because Apple's gadgets cannot display Flash-based sites.

How to open the browser

There are actually many ways to get the browser window to open. The three most popular are:

- New Window method: Click on the browser icon (the globe in the top left hand corner), then click on "Open New Browser Window", then enter the website address you want to go to in the address bar at the bottom of the screen (the one with the small globe next to it), then click on the green button to go to that address. You can open several new windows if you like, and you can switch between them by clicking on the icon featuring two white squares that appears in the bottom left hand corner and selecting the window you want. You can also close windows by clicking on the squares icon and then clicking on the "X" next to the window you want to close.

- Bookmark method: Click on the browser icon, then click on one of the bookmarks, and the site you selected will open in a browser window. If you already have a browser window open, the site you selected will appear in that open window. You can add your own bookmarks by going to the site you want to bookmark, then clicking on the small globe next to the address bar, then clicking on "Add Bookmark".

- Keyword Search method: Click on the Google search box on the tablet desktop, then type in the words you want to search for, then click on the arrow on the right of the search box. The results of your search will appear in a new browser window, or if there's already a window open the results will appear in that. You can change to a Wikipedia search if you prefer, by clicking on the Google icon and selecting Wikipedia. If you can't see the search box on the desktop at all, click on the "Home" menu at the top of the desktop, then "Select Applets", then tick the box marked "Internet Search", then click on "OK".

Menus in the browser

There are actually three separate menus in the browser window:

- The "Web" menu at the top of the screen, which is the most comprehensive and lets you access virtually all the browser's features.

- The Bookmarks menu, which is the small globe to the left of the address bar at the bottom of the screen. This lets you go to your favourite sites, lets you add a bookmark for the site you're currently viewing ("Add Bookmark"), and lets you remove and organise bookmarks using the "Manage Bookmarks" option.

- The Magnifying Glass menu, in the bottom right hand corner of the browser window. This lets you zoom in and out, choose whether to show images and lets you switch Flash and multimedia support on and off. It's also got a search function if you want to find a particular word or phrase on the page you're currently viewing. Do NOT tick the "Fit Width To View" option, see below for an explanation why.

How to refresh web pages

There's no "Refresh" or "Reload" button on the tablet browser, but you can refresh pages by simply clicking on the green arrow button next to the current page's address. For example if you're currently looking at, you can refresh the page by pressing the green button next to "".

However, this may not work on some sites which use a web technique called frames. Pages on sites that use frames can be refreshed by going to the "Web" menu at the top of the screen, then clicking on "Web", then "Navigation", then "Reload". If you're using the web at full size the Web menu won't be visible. You can still access the reload option though, by holding the stylus down on the screen to make a menu appear (don't let go until you've selected an option), then select "Navigation", then select "Reload", then take the stylus off the screen.

Do NOT use Fit Width To View

There is an abominable option on the tablet browser called "Fit Width To View", on the magnifying glass menu in the bottom right corner. Do not use this option. Make sure that this option is always unticked.

For more details on why Fit Width To View should be avoided, click here to see our special mini-tutorial on the subject.

How to turn Flash on if it doesn't work

If you're trying to access a Flash-based site (for example or and it doesn't seem to work, it may be that your tablet browser has Flash support switched off.

To switch it back on, click on the magnifying glass in the bottom right hand corner of the browser, then click on "Components", then make sure you have ticked the "Shockwave Flash" option. Also make sure the "Default Plugin" option is also ticked.

How to stop pages loading when they get stuck

As regular web users will know, sometimes websites get stuck while they're loading, and you may want to just stop the page loading.

If a site gets stuck while it's loading, or if it's just loading too slowly, press the small red icon in the bottom right corner which appears during the loading process.

You can retry the loading by pressing the green button next to the website address bar. Alternatively, you can give up and go to another website by entering a different address or clicking on a bookmark.

How to highlight and copy text on websites

If you want to highlight text within a text entry box (for example in an e-mail or forum post you're writing), just sweep the stylus over the text you want to highlight.

If you want to highlight text on normal web pages, you have to use a special "double tap" method. Tap the stylus twice near the text you want to highlight AND DO NOT LET GO AFTER THE SECOND TAP. With the stylus still held down, move it over the text you want to highlight and the text should change colour as you do so. After the text is highlighted you can let go. If you want to copy highlighted text, hold the stylus on the highlighted text and select copy from the menu that appears.

The "double tap" method can take some getting used to, but once you get the knack of it it should be fairly easy to use.

The reason there is a double tap method at all is because a single tap could indicate you just want to scroll around the page. The tablet needs some way to tell that you want to highlight text rather than move the page. Ordinary computers with mice don't have this problem because you don't use the mouse buttons to scroll the page, they have a scroll wheel instead.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Nokia N800 & N810: How to switch the tablet's blinking light on or off

The Blinking Light

The N800 and N810 internet tablets have a bright light built into their top left corner (on the N810 it's at the very edge of the corner, on the N800 it's under the direction pad).

This light can be made to blink during certain events. One of the most useful events is when the tablet is switched on but the screen is off, because the blinking light helps you find the tablet in a dark room.

Others find this light very annoying and wish they could switch it off!

Fortunately this tutorial tells you how to switch it on and off. It's very very very very very easy, you just have to know where to look.

How to switch the tablet "night light" on or off

1. Click on the sun icon in the status bar at the top.

2. Select "Display Settings".

3. Click on LEDs.

4. Tick the "Device On" box if you want to switch on the night light, untick it if you want to switch it off.

5. Click on OK.

That's it!

Getting the light to blink on other occasions

You'll notice from the LEDs menu mentioned above that there are many other opportunities for the light to blink.

However, these will only work if you are using the built-in applications which came with the tablet. For example you can only get the light to blink on new e-mail if you're using the tablet's own E-mail application.

If you are using the built-in apps, simply tick the boxes on the LEDs menu that you want to activate and click OK. To deactivate them just untick them and click OK.

Does the blinking light use much battery life?

No, not very much. It only flashes very briefly and it's just a small LED.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Nokia N800 & N810: Word processing with Notes and Google Documents

Word Processing on the Nokia N800 & N810

There are two main ways to do word processing on the internet tablets: using a word processing application installed on the tablet, or using a word processing application hosted on a website.

This tutorial will look at the two easiest options: the built-in Notes application, and the online application Google Documents.

Some general hints on entering text on the N800 and N810

- You can enter text on the tablets using their on-screen keyboards (a small one for styluses, a big one for fingers), or the built-in physical keyboard of the N810, or using a wireless Bluetooth full-size keyboard. The best option for large amounts of typing is a Bluetooth keyboard as it has proper full-size keys. Click here to read our tutorial on using Bluetooth keyboards with tablets.

- You can activate the large on-screen keyboard by clicking on the text entry area and then pressing the button in the middle of the direction pad.

- Whatever application or text entry method you use, remember that you have to click on the area where you're going to enter the text, so that the cursor appears in that area.

- If you ever want to highlight text you just need to move a stylus or finger across it. See the video above for examples of this in action. If you are using the N810's built-in keyboard or a Bluetooth keyboard, you can also highlight text by holding down shift and moving the cursor across the text you want to highlight.

- If you are using the N810's keyboard or a Bluetooth keyboard, you can cut text by highlighting it and pressing Ctrl and X, you can copy text with Ctrl and C, and pasted text with Ctrl and V. These are the same shortcuts used on most PC applications.

- You can usually increase the size of a word processor's text entry area by pressing the tablet's "Full Screen" button on the top edge.

Notes - A simple built-in word processor

If all you want to do is write text with a little bit of formatting (fonts, font sizes, bold, underline, italic etc) then Notes is a perfectly reasonable application for that purpose.

To access it:

1. Click on the Applications icon (the green squares on the left)

2. Click on "Utilities"

3. Click on "Notes"

Click on the main view to edit text, and start typing. The icons and menus at the bottom of the screen handle most of the formatting functions and can be seen demonstrated in the video above. There's also a menu at the top of the Notes screen lablled "Notes" which contains a few more options such as text alignment and file format.

The "Notes" menu also lets you send the document by e-mail using the tablet's built-in e-mail application: click on "Notes", then "Note", then "Send", then "Via E-mail". Alternatively, you can attach the document yourself within whichever e-mail application you use.

Google Documents - An online word processor

Google Documents is significantly slower to load than Notes because it runs on Google's own servers rather than on the tablet. However, the online approach used by Google Documents can bring some significant advantages over normal word processing applications:

- It lets you use exactly the same word processor on your PC and tablet.

- Because Google Documents stores your files online, it doesn't matter which computer you access your Google Docs account from, the same set of documents will always be visible and up-to-date.

- It lets several people collaborate on a single document, by giving each other permission to access the same file within the application.

- You can publish documents online instantly through Google Documents, either as a web page or as an entry on a blog.

You access Google Documents on the tablets just like you do on a PC, by opening a new web browser window (from the globe icon on the left) and visiting the address You can access it using your Gmail username and password, or you can register as a new user if you don't use Gmail.

To start a new document, click on the "New" menu on the left of the screen and select "Document", which will open in a new window. To edit an existing document, simply click on its title on the page you see when you log in to Google Documents.

Google Documents automatically saves documents while you're working on them, and even automatically names them using the first line of text that you type. If you want to manually save the file, click on the grey "File" button on the left of the screen and select "Save".

As you may have noticed if you've tried it, Google Documents is far more advanced and complex than Notes, so if you find yourself confused it's worth paying a visit to their Help section, by clicking on "Help" in the top right hand corner of the screen.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Internet Tablet School Companion

Since the Internet Tablet School launched last year, it's had an ever-growing audience and it seems that many people appreciate a tablet site aimed at beginners.

As a bit of an experiment, we've done something new: a book (just a short one though).

A portion of the cover price goes towards keeping the Tablet School going. If you want to show appreciation for what we've been doing, then click on our bookshop link below and buy a copy! :-)

The book is called The Internet Tablet School Companion, and it's been designed to complement the Tablet School website by providing tablet-related reference material which beginners can understand. The idea of the book is that you can look at it while using the site's tutorials or visiting other tablet sites. Most of the book is devoted to a Glossary section which lets you translate any weird tablet-related words you can't understand into plain English. The book also has some features discussing the past and future of the tablets, and an article on why tablets are better devices than smartphones.

The book does not contain any tutorials though, the tutorials will only be on the website.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Do you use the built-in memory card on the N810? If so, read this.

The N810 built-in memory card bug

There have been several reports of a bug on the Nokia N810's built-in 2 gigabyte memory card. If you use the built-in memory card, you may want to read this post as it will tell you how to fix the bug.

It's very easy to fix, so don't panic.

What is the bug? What problems can it cause?

The built-in memory card on some N810s was incorrectly formatted at the factory. This may cause files stored on the card to become corrupted, which means you wouldn't be able to open them. If your N810's built-in card has this bug, even if it works fine now, it may run into problems later on. For this reason, it's a good idea to fix this bug now before those problems happen in the future.

Does Nokia know about this? Have they fixed it?

Yes, Nokia now knows about it, they've documented it on their official bug-reporting website. They have presumably fixed the formatting process in their N810 factory, but there is nothing they can do about N810s which have already been sold.

Does this affect the N810's main memory, with all my applications and other files?


The main memory is separate from the built-in memory card. Any files stored on the main memory will be unaffected by this bug. The main memory's folders appear uppermost on the list of folders in the tablet's file manager, under the section marked "Nokia N810". Anything in these "Nokia N810" folders and sub-folders is unaffected by this bug.

Applications are all installed to the main memory, so the built-in memory card will not affect them either.

This bug only affects files and folders in the "Internal Memory Card" section of the file manager.

Does this affect all N810s?

No, it may only be a small percentage, but it's quite a tricky process to check whether your N810 is affected. It's actually much easier just to carry out the repair procedure below.

How do I fix this bug?

This bug is very easy to fix, all you need to do is reformat the card yourself using the tablet's file manager.

Before you do this though, you should be aware that formatting a memory card wipes all the information from it. If you have information you want to keep which is stored on the N810's built-in memory card, you should make sure you have a back-up copy of it somewhere else (such as on your computer). You can find out more about this topic by clicking here to read our tutorial on how to connect to a computer using the USB cable.

Another thing to be aware of: if you have used the built-in memory card to extend the N810's RAM, you will have to switch this extension off before you format the card. You can do this by going to the Control Panel (click on the Applications menu, then Settings, then Control Panel). Once you're on the Control Panel, double-click on the Memory Icon, then click on the "Virtual" tab at the top of the box. Make sure that the "Extend Virtual Memory" box is UNticked, i.e. make sure it is empty. Then click OK.

After you've backed up any information you want to keep, and made sure the virtual memory extension is switched off, you can format the built-in card. Here's how to do it:

1. Click on the Applications menu (three green squares on the left).

2. Click on Utilities.

3. Click on File Manager.

4. Click on Internal Memory Card.

5. Click on the menu at the top of the screen, select Tools, then Format Memory Card.

6. Click on OK.

The formatting process should now begin. After it's finished, the bug will be gone (if it ever existed on your N810).

Does this bug affect the N800?


The N800 does not have a built-in memory card so this bug cannot exist on the N800.

Does this affect my N810's ordinary separate memory cards?

If you've formatted your memory cards on the tablet itself, they should work fine.

However, cards formatted on other devices such as a PC may have problems. If you're unsure about a memory card, format it on the tablet using the tablet's file manager. Make sure you select the correct card when doing the formatting. Cards show up in the file manager with the name you gave them when formatting them, or the name they had when you bought them.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Nokia N800 & N810: How to connect to a computer using the USB cable

The Nokia N800 and N810 internet tablets can be attached to a Windows, Linux or Macintosh computer using a USB cable. In normal mode this lets you transfer files to and from the tablet's memory card (or memory cards if you have more than one). You can also use the same cable to update the tablet's firmware when it is in update mode.

Unlike Nokia's phones, the tablets do not have a PC Suite mode. They will not work with Nokia PC Suite at all.

How to transfer files onto and off the tablet's memory card or cards using the USB cable

The main thing to bear in mind about this process is that the computer never actually accesses the tablet itself. All it does is access the tablet's memory card or cards.

Another thing to bear in mind is that you can transfer absolutely any kind of file on and off the card or cards: music, video, text, anything at all. Not all file types will work on the tablet, but all file types can be placed on the tablet's memory card or cards.

Here's how to do it:

1. If you're using an N800, make sure you have at least one memory card inserted. If you're using an N810 its built-in 2 gigabyte card is enough, but you can insert your own card as well. You cannot access any of these cards on the tablet itself while you have it connected to the computer.

2. Make sure your tablet is switched on and has a good amount of charge left, and plug the smaller plug of appropriate USB cable into the socket on the tablet's right side underneath the built-in stand.

The N800 uses miniUSB cables, while the N810 uses microUSB cables. These two types have the same large plug at the PC end, but their smaller plugs are very different (microUSB has a much thinner small plug than miniUSB). If you want to, you can use a miniUSB or microUSB cable made by a third party manufacturer, you do not have to use the Nokia-made cable that came with the tablet. As long as it is a miniUSB cable it will work on the N800, and as long as it is a microUSB cable it will work on the N810.

3. Plug the larger plug of the cable into your computer's USB socket. Your computer probably has more than one USB socket, it doesn't matter which one you use.

4. After a short while your computer should detect the presence of the tablet's memory card or cards. Most computers will treat them as external drives, just like an external hard disk, music player or camera. On Windows PCs, the tablet cards will show up as drives named F: and G: or perhaps some other letters instead. The internal card of the N800 (the one in the slot next to the battery) and the built-in card of the N810 should be the drive with the earlier letter, for example F:, while the later letter represents the external card (the one inserted in the slot on the outside of the tablet). Note that you may see two drives listed even if you only have one card inserted in the tablet.

5. Some computers may automatically display the contents of the cards, while others may do nothing at all. You should be able to look at the contents of the cards using whatever file manager your computer uses (on Windows PCs you'll be able to find them listed as removable drives in My Computer). Once you've opened a window for a particular memory card, you can transfer files to and from it by just dragging and dropping the icons of the relevant files into or out of the card's window.

Alternatively, you can also use certain computer applications to transfer files to and from the cards. For example many computer music applications such as iTunes, Windows Media Player and Winamp let you transfer music tracks onto the tablet's memory card or cards. You can also use computer applications to transfer video files, or indeed any kind of file, as long as you know what the tablet memory card is on your computer.

6. When you've finished transferring files, do NOT disconnect the cable yet. First of all, exit any applications accessing the tablet's card or cards. Second, deactivate the USB connection so that the cable can be unplugged safely. This can be done on Windows PCs by clicking on the grey-and-green icon in the bottom right corner of the screen and selecting the memory card or cards from the list that appears.

7. When the computer tells you it is safe to remove the cable, you can do so.

The reason you have to make the disconnection safe is because the memory cards may be damaged if they are being accessed when the cable is unplugged. When you ask the computer to make it safe to unplug the connection, the computer immediately stops anything accessing the cards so that they cannot be damaged.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Nokia N800 & N810: How to use the built-in help

The N800 and N810 contain a large number of built-in step-by-step tutorials and a complete user guide, but a lot of tablet owners seem to be unaware of their presence.

Here's how to find and access them.

How to browse through all the built-in help files

Very very simple, just click on the Applications icon (the green squares on the left) and then click on help. You'll then see a long list of all the topics covered by the tutorials. Double-click on the topic you want to know more about, then click on the specific tutorial you want to read.

When you've finished reading a tutorial, just click on the X in the top right hand corner to close it.

How to get help for the feature you're currently using

Again, easy-peasy. Just click on the menu for the application you're currently running (this will be a grey bar at the top of the screen). One of the options will be Help, just click on it.

Applications runs separately from their help files, so you can close a tutorial without closing the app it discusses.

How to find the hidden user guide

For some reason the manual for the N800 and N810 is tucked away in the Documents folder. Here's how to find them and read it:

1. Click on the Applications icon (green squares).

2. Click on Utilities.

3. Click on File Manager.

4. Double click on Documents on the right.

5. Double click on User Guides on the right.

6. The user guide is displayed in all its different language versions. Double click on the language version you want (the English-language versions are near the bottom of the list).

7. The user guide will be opened using the PDF reader application. To turn a page click on the small arrows at the bottom of the screen, and to zoom in and out click on the magnifying glasses.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Nokia N800 & N810: How to turn your internet tablet into a "PADD" from Star Trek

If you're a fan of the TV and film series Star Trek, you may be familiar with the "PADD" portable computer tablet that many of the characters used.

Well, if you install an unofficial theme pack called "LCARS", you can turn your internet tablet into something that still works just like an internet tablet, but which looks and sounds like a PADD from Star Trek.

How to install LCARS on your N800 or N810

The installation process is very simple:

1. Click on the Globe in the top left hand corner, open a new browser window, and go to this address: This is the official website for installing Maemo applications, and Maemo is the software platform used by Nokia's internet tablets. Incidentally, is sometimes a very slow site even when you access it on a desktop computer. If it's too slow when you visit, try going back later.

2. On the Categories section on the right of the screen, click on "Desktop Environment".

3. Scroll through the applications until you see one called LCARS PADD, and click on its title.

4. Take a look at the information and comments about the application if you want. When you've finished doing that, you can install LCARS by clicking on the green "Click To Install" arrow.

5. Say yes or OK to all of the boxes that appear. As you can see in the video above, the installation may take a little while.

6. Don't worry if a web browser window automatically opens at the end of the installation process, this is just to show you the latest release notes for LCARS, which includes news on any new features or bug fixes, and instructions on various topics. Read this page if you want to, and close the browser window when you've finished using the X in the top right hand corner.

The installation should now be complete, but the LCARS theme won't actually be visible until you've set it up.

How to set up the LCARS theme on your N800 or N810

1. Click on the "Home" menu on the desktop and select "Set Theme".

2. Scroll down and select either LCARS PADD or LCARS Bridge, then select "Apply", then select "Close". These are both basically the same theme but with slightly different colour schemes.

3. Click on the "Home" menu again and select "Set Background Image".

4. From the "Image" drop-down menu, select the name of the image that matches the theme you just selected. Click on "OK". If the desktop looks a bit untidy with the new image, just rearrange some of the boxes as shown in the video above.

5. Switch off the tablet, then switch it on again.

The LCARS theme should now be in full working order, with all the correct icons, menus, backgrounds and sound effects.

The tablet works in exactly the same way it did before, but the interface has a Trek-ish feel to it and so do the sound effects.

How to go back to the original theme on the N800 or N810

This is slightly complicated, but it's still fairly easy to do as long as you follow all the steps below in the correct order. (Most themes aren't this complicated to remove, but most themes aren't as elaborate as LCARS.)

1. Click on the "Home" menu on the desktop, click on "Set Theme", select "Echo", click on "Apply" and then "Close". IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO THIS BEFORE REMOVING LCARS.

2. Click on the "Home" menu again, and select "Set Background Image". From the "Image" dropdown menu, select "Echo". Click on "OK".

3. Click on the Applications menu (the green squares on the left).

4. Click on "Settings".

5. Click on "Application Manager".

6. Click on "Show Installed Applications".

7. (Before the next step, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ALREADY SELECTED "ECHO" AS YOUR TABLET'S THEME, as described in step 1 above.) In the Application Manager, you now need to select the following items one by one and uninstall them by clicking on "Uninstall": lcars-complete, hildon-theme-lcars, lcars-sounds, lcars-extras, search-memory-alpha. Make sure you start with "lcars-complete", otherwise the others cannot be uninstalled.

8. Close the Application Manager using the X in the top right hand corner, then switch off the tablet using the power button, then switch it back on again.

The tablet should now be back to normal, with its original theme, background image, icons, menus, sounds etc.

The reason it's so important to select a theme other than LCARS before removing LCARS is because you should never remove a theme you're currently using. If you remove a theme while you're using it, it can cause very severe technical problems on your tablet. Always make sure that before you uninstall a theme, you have first selected some other theme through the desktop's "Home" menu.

Friday, January 25, 2008

More about the Nokia N800

The Nokia N800 was introduced in early 2007 as a replacement for the Nokia 770. It had a much faster processor, double the amount of RAM, and many other significant improvements such as a built-in camera for video calls, built-in stereo speakers, two SD-sized memory card slots and a built-in stand. It also had what many people considered to be a more attractive curvy steel-and-plastic casing. To put the icing on the cake, Nokia took the internet tablet range within its Nseries sub-brand, usually reserved for its high end expensive smartphones.

The N800 also had a new operating system, Internet Tablet OS 2007, which replaced the 770's OS 2006. There was no version of OS 2007 available for the 770, and software written for the 770 would not work on the N800. 770 owners, many of whom had only just bought their tablets in late 2006, felt abandoned by Nokia as the support for their tablet disappeared.

In late 2007, Nokia announced the N810, which was nominally the replacement for the N800. It too would have a new operating system, OS 2008, and featured a built-in keyboard and built-in GPS satellite navigation receiver. However, Nokia seemed to learn its lesson from the 770 fiasco, and the N810 wasn't really a replacement for the N800 but more of an alternative model. The N810's processor and memory is identical to that of the N800, and OS 2008 was made available as a free upgrade for the N800. An N800 running OS 2008 is technically identical to the N810, running exactly the same programs at exactly the same speed. The N800 even has some of its own hardware advantages to counter the N810's keyboard and GPS: the N800 has two memory card slots as opposed to the N810's one, and the N800 has a built-in FM radio receiver which the N810 does not have.

In truth, the N800 and N810 are the same tablet in computing terms, they just have different casings and different external hardware features. If you've bought an N800 it will receive support for just as long as the N810, because underneath their skin they are the same device.

Technical Specifications

Name: Nokia N800 Internet Tablet

Year of Launch: Early 2007

Weight: 206g

Battery Life: 3.5 hours browsing, 13 days standby

Wireless: Internet access through Wi-Fi (802.11b/g), internet access through Bluetooth-compatible mobile phones supporting DUN profile

Screen: 800x480 pixels, 65 thousand colours

Camera: 352x288 pixels in video mode

Storage Memory: 256 megabytes built-in, two SDHC memory card slots officially support cards up to 8 gigabytes each, unofficially up to 16 gigabytes each. SDHC slot compatible with SD, miniSD, microSD, MMC and RS-MMC card sizes.

RAM: 128 megabytes

Processor Speed: 400mhz when running OS 2008 (330mhz when running OS 2007)

Software Compatibility: OS 2007 or OS 2008 (depending on which firmware version is installed)