May 17, 2010 - kenshinjeff

installing chinese input on the n900

The Nokia N900 is a qwerty MID touchscreen smartphone that’s running Maemo 5 Linux as it’s operating system.

– Running Maemo 5 = Running Linux = Many open sourced options
– Display of 800 x 480 @ 3.5″ screen
– QWERTY Keyboard
– 5 megapixel Carl Zweiss Tessar lens camera
– Supports Adobe Flash 9.4
– CPU running ARM Cortext A8 (500 MHz)
– Storage: 256 MB Nand, 32 GB eMMC
– Memory: 256 MB Mobile DDR, 768 virtual swap space
– GPU running PowerVR SGX 530 supporting OpenGL ES 2.0
– 3.5mm audio
– A2DP with Bluetooth v2.1
– Activesync (Not tried)
– SyncML
– IRPort

– QWERTY Keyboard has no ESC key. (I suppose you can remap it since it’s running linux)
– Weight 181 grams

Anyways, enough of the phone, let’s get to the main topic, installing chinese IME on this phone. Interestingly, penpower actually has free input software for the nokia n900. Of course, this is due to the hard work of the folks who are modifying mscim for n900 in the first place, but seriously, the pp software really kicks ass.

If you can read chinese, you don’t need this guide, and you can just follow the instructions here:

Otherwise, follow these steps:
– Access phone menu (touching the top left, where there are six squares)
– Select “More..”
– Select “App Manager”
– Select “Application Manager” dropdown
– Select “Application catalogues”
– Select “New”

Enter the following: (Only the web address and distribution are important.)

Catalogue name: Maemo Extras-devel
Web address:
Distribution: fremantle
Components: free non-free
Do not click the “Disabled” checkbox

– Select “Save”
The Application Manager will reload the applications you can install from this new repository.

– Select “Application Manager”

Search for, and install these applications in the following order:

– mscim
– n900-locales-ppchinese
– mscim-n900-ppinputmethod

At this point, you can go to the system menu, settings, language & region, device language > and select either “chinese prc, chinese taiwan, or chinese hongkong”

To activate/de-activate the PowerPen ime, hold the CTRL + SPACEBAR.

To de-activate certain input methods, you can goto system menu, settings, MSCIM input methods.

There’s several input methods, in my opinion, it’s better than the free stuff you can install on your windows computer.

– Stroke based keyboard input system (Select 木 three times, and a 森 will appear)
– There is another kind of stroked based keyboard input system but I’m not familiar with usage
– QWERTY Pinyin input
– Handwriting input

Very cool. Alternatively, there’s another method listed here which you might want to try:

HOW-TOS / really cool geeky stuff linux / maemo / n900 /


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