Saturday, May 26, 2018

Random charts - U.S. budget


Gemini - third look

OK, let's start off with the technical specifications. When I first unboxed the Gemini, I was struck by how solid and well-built it is. The case opens nicely, and closes with a nice click. It's a little heavier than I expected - at 320gm it clocks in heavier than my Zaurii (SL-C1000 at 278gm and SL-C3200 at 298gm).

Fortunately, I have not had any of the problems reported by backers who received the initial batch/lot that was shipped (e.g. keyboard problems; the "wrong" processor - a MediaTek X25 instead of an X27, etc., etc.)

The screen is beautiful, the keyboard is OK (more about that later). I normally keep the screen brightness close to the minimum (with Adaptive Brightness turned off), which is fine indoors. However, outdoors I need to crank it up a little for visibility (easily done by Fn + N)...

I used the unlock tool to open the case and put in the SIM card; it takes a microSIM (or a Nano SIM with an adapter) and a 256GB SD card. Initially I used an ATT SIM, but no matter how I tweaked the APN settings, etc. I could only get 3G even though It seemed that I should be able to get 4G (ATT does have local 4G coverage and the Gemini has the appropriate bands/frequencies).


Then I switched to my T-Mobile SIM and lo and behold, 4G. Issue (?) solved!


As I said earlier, I am trying the Gemini out to see if I can transition from my current setup (HTC U11 phone plus  Zaurus) to just using a Gemini. I've tried several different handhelds over the years (see first look for some of them) and have always gone back to the Zaurus which has the best blend of features - instant on, size and pocketability, screen, keyboard, some must-have software (IQNotes - see here and here), etc. I haven't yet tried to set up any Linux distributions, I am waiting for Planet Computers and others to do the heavy lifting until there is a set of software and easy instructions to follow/use.

So, how's it going thus far? Well, only carrying the Gemini (in a belt pouch) has freed up a pocket! However, I'm not thrilled by the keyboard. I have to say it does what the makers claimed they would achieve - if you put it down on a flat surface you can type rather well for such a compact keyboard. Unfortunately, that is not how I use it! I've been 'thumb typing' on my Zaurus for over fifteen years, while walking, standing, in meetings, etc. I hold it in my hands while doing entry. This is tougher to do on the Gemini - the keyboard is actually slightly too big for comfortable thumb typing (for me at least, see pictures below). This is exacerbated by the fact that on the Gemini I don't have "sticky" Shift, Fn, or Cntrl keys, like I do on the Zaurus... pressing the Shift or Fn key and then the next key is so much easier while thumb typing than trying to press two keys simultaneously! All this on top of getting used to the different layout of some of the keys.

Oh well, I will persevere for a while to see if I can break through this 'barrier'! So far, the signs aren't particularly auspicious, my entry rate has dropped in half and the number of typos I make has trebled or quadrupled. Ugh!


Some accessories:

So far, I have purchased a few accessories. Beside the belt case (scroll down towards the end of this) I have also bought:


Earlier looks:
Gemini - first look  (May 4th, 2018)
Gemini - second look (May 14th, 2018)

Resource links:

Online reviews:

YouTube reviews:

Friday, May 25, 2018

Random charts - U.S. income


In 2014, household income was unevenly distributed: Households at the top of the income distribution received significantly more income than households at the bottom of the distribution. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s estimates:
  • Average income among households in the lowest quintile (or fifth) of the income distribution was about $19,000 (see Summary Figure 1). 
  • Average income among households in the highest quintile was about $281,000. 
Furthermore, within the highest quintile, income was highly skewed toward the very top of the distribution: Average income among households in the bottom half of the highest quintile (the 81st to 90th percentiles) was about $151,000; average income among the 1.2 million households in the top 1 percent of the distribution was about $1.8 million...

Means-tested transfers and federal taxes cause household incomes to be more evenly distributed. In 2014, those transfers and taxes: 
  • Increased income among households in the lowest quintile by $12,000 (or more than 60 percent), on average, to $31,000. 
  • Decreased income among households in the highest quintile by $74,000 (or more than 25 percent), on average, to $207,000

Monday, May 14, 2018

Gemini - second look

Here's a second round of pictures and screen captures of the Gemini I received earlier this month!


And screen captures of the Android side of things (I have not yet set up the dual boot/linux side; I am waiting for folks to figure out and troubleshoot all that, so that I have an easy set of instructions to follow!) The following are screen captures (both landscape and portrait) of the desktop, browser, apps list, images, Uber, Canary, and the Gemini in split-screen mode:

Although you can carry the Gemini in your pocket "unprotected" I have looked and found a couple of cases that work for it... 



The top case is larger than the bottom case... and is a great fit for length and width, though it will handily accommodate something much thicker. The Gemini is 'looser' in the case.. The bottom case is an exact fit, in fact it initially takes a fair bit of effort to get the Gemini into (lengthwise) the case. However, I think the leather will slightly loosen with use over time; and overall the bottom case is nicer (leather vs. faux leather; also I'm not that keen on the red part). They are both the same price, and rather inexpensive.

That's it for now... more to come!

Earlier looks:
Gemini - first look  (May 4th, 2018)

Resource links:
Gemini Planet
Gemini Troubleshooting
Gemini Planet: Tips & Tricks
XDA Gemini Forums
OESF Gemini PDA Forums
Planet Computer's Gemini Developers Forum