Thursday, August 9, 2018

Gemini - and the verdict is...

So, for fun and to see what it would look like I downloaded and installed Magic Dosbox Free and fired up some some old HP 200lx apps e.g.MM/lx (Note: most of the archived S.U.P.E.R database links are dead, however some other HP200lx software repositories e.g. D&A Software are still "live.") It all worked reasonably well, though the font is rather small as you can see! The programs use the F1 through F10 keys, so I had to have Magic Dosbox Free display them on a screen overlay, certainly not the easiest way to use them. However, when I used Deskdock to connect the Gemini to my desktop, the F keys were much more accessible using the desktop keyboard...



All in all, pretty cool, but not of any great utility!

When I originally received my Gemini in May the question I asked was: "Will the Gemini dethrone it and take over? Will I be able to go from two devices down to one? We'll know in the next few weeks or months!" with "it" referring to my venerable Sharp Zaurus!  The verdict is in and we now have the answer, and it is a "yes."

Not a resounding "yes" but a yes nonetheless. I still prefer the Zaurus' keyboard and screen, and greatly miss my IQNotes software; however the stand-alone, no built-in communication mode has finally done in the Zaurus. IQNotes has been replaced by other software (OneNote plus Notion), which while not as good for my use, saves to the 'cloud' allowing their use across handheld, desktop, and other devices. So, my Gemini is now my main device, despite its shortcomings - the keyboard is a little large/difficult for 'thumb typing,' and it has a problematic space bar and a genuinely horrible camera!

There's no Psion nostalgia here! As you can see from the header picture, over the years I used the HP 200lx for eight years, the Sharp Zaurus for fifteen years; and trialed (but did not switch to) another couple of dozen plus handhelds of various sorts... but, interestingly, never a Psion!

The bottom line? My collection of Sharp Zauruses will now be moved to the "closet of misfit gadgets" where I keep those that have been obsoleted but which I can't bring myself to completely discard!

Earlier looks:
Gemini - first look  (May 4th, 2018)
Gemini - second look (May 14th, 2018) 
Gemini - third look ( May 26th, 2018)
Gemini - fourth look (June 23rd, 2018)
Gemini - fifth look (July 3, 2018)
Some more Gemini (July 6th, 2018) 

Resource links:
Gemini PDA sub-reddit r/geminipda
Gemini PDA Tips

Online reviews:
Gemini PDA (in Japanese)
Gemini PDA Review: The Psion Series 5: Reborn
Gemini PDA: The Palmtop Returns (YouTube video)
Design Talk 42. Psion revisited in the Gemini PDA? Martin Riddiford, Therefore Design and Davide Guidi, Planet Computers (Soundcloud interview recording)

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