I’d been hearing a lot of buzz about this little machine ever since Podshow’s sponsorship of it with a few prominent podcasters I listen to, like CC Chapman and Julien Smith. Yesterday I got to play with one of the boxes, courtesy of Peta Andersen, and I think one of these is in my future soon.

Why?

Take a look at this picture. What do you see?

Nokia n810 running terminal

That’s an n810, and it’s running terminal.

The n810 is a Linux box. Yes, it comes with all the shiny applets and stuff, but it also comes with a Linux distribution called Maemo. Maemo makes the n810 a big deal because it’s a variant of Debian Linux, and that means you get a command line.

Poking around a little more, that terminal is running bash, and apt-get is installed on there.

apt-get, if you’re unfamiliar with Debian Linux, is a package manager that lets you download and install packages from the command line. To install, say, wget, you’d type apt-get install wget when you’re online and the service would do the rest.

Why is this a big deal? Unlike my iPod Touch, which I still love, the n810 is a true portable computer. The existence of a bash shell and apt-get means that I can run most of my marketing software (a lot of the stuff I do is on the command line on my Mac, such as wget, perl, bash scripts, etc.) from a microcomputer in my pocket. That plus a large, tactile keyboard makes this little device a winner.

Now if only I could get a better price than $400…

If you’re a podcaster promoting your show’s coupon codes, you are welcome to post the codes in the comments.

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