Just wanted to give folks an update on my status. I know I've promised some screenshots and other posts that I haven't had time for due to an unexpected international business trip. I should be back on track now. So what did I see after my little trip? A new test version of Mer.
I followed the instructions at http://wiki.maemo.org/Mer/Documentation/Installation
for the SmartQ 5, which works exactly the same as the SmartQ 7 during the install except you need to name the image SmartQ7 instead of SmartQ5. The image, by the way, is located at http://stskeeps.subnetmask.net/mer/0...sting7.SmartQ7
So what have I encountered so far? Let me summarize my findings.
1. Mer is really much much faster than the default ubuntu OS that ships with the device. No delay in launching applications or using the OS.
2. I can run all of the programs I use on the Q7 on Mer. I was able to sucessfully install and run FBreader, Mirage Image Viewer, Comix comic book viewer, and Tear comes loaded default with Mer right now. Performance on ALL of these applications is better than on the default OS.
3. I've already discovered some bugs and today will be turning in my bug report. There are some glitches running certain applications and certain features of the OS are not finished yet - but hey - its only version 0.15 and it is fantastic so far. For example, I had to make customizations to get the SD card to mount automatically during boot and also assign functionality to the keys on the face of the device. These things will be fixed in a future image for the SmartQ 7 (and I had something to do with those fixes!
4. I noticed many great improvements in 0.15 over the previous version I tested (0.14).
5. I'm still learning what audio and video capabilities are ready for Mer - but I think those are still in development. Once they are ready, I'll be able to run a very nice application called Canola, which Nokia users will definately recognize as a nice multimedia player. For now, I'm using my iPod Touch for music.
So you might have gathered that I'm sticking with the Mer OS for the time being from the information above. I'll be actively helping with the testing of this OS on the SmartQ 7 because there just aren't that many folks with it and they need people to test Mer. Interestingly enough, the OS works well enough to surf the web and read ebooks. My advice is to wait until a later release for average users to install it on their device. If you don't mind technical difficulties, and want to help test Mer, please join us!
I also have to thank the Mer community for being so helpful. Their IRC channel is full of volunteers that are polite and helpful. It really is a good project full of nice people.