Gemini PDA

Gemini PDA
Gemini PDA

Last year, I backed Planet Computer’s Indiegogo campaign for the Gemini PDA. Now, if I had this nice PixelBook, why would I need something like this?

Well, for one thing, I have always been a sucker for PDAs.  While I never had the original PDA, the Psions, I have owned a few over the years.  An Apple MessagePad, a Sharp Zarus, a WindowsCE device (forget which one), and many, many Palm devices (including a PalmPilot, Palm III, Palm IIIx, Palm V, Palm Vx, Palm m505, Tungsten C, and Tungsten T2 (which I still have)).

The main reason I liked them was the ability to carry my calendar, and have active reminders.  When I used a paper-based planner, I would miss things because I would be working on something and not notice the time.

However, with the advent of not dumb-phones (like a Sony Ericsson K series) which you could send an email to the phone, and have it show up as a text message let me only carry one device (the phone vs the phone and a PDA).  Then, about 10 years ago, the true smartphones hit the market with full integration into both work and personal email and calendars, and a fully functioning web browser, plus working turn-by-turn GPS based navigation.

Most of my employers in the last 20+ years provide me with a laptop for use both in the office, and on the road.  However, the current and former employers have a different model, and do not provide me with a laptop for travel.  So, I need to carry my own.

Now, while the PixelBook is thin and light, it still takes up space on a desk.  And, when I am visiting other offices for my current employer, desk space is at a premium, and the PixelBook does not really fit.  And, I have long made it a personal policy to not use my employer’s machines and network for personal emails and network use.

Enter the Gemini.  Why not use my phone  to read email and such?  The main reason is while I am pretty decent at using the on-screen keyboard, I find it lacking for long typing sessions.  That is where the Gemini is different.  It has a physical keyboard, and even though it is smaller than any laptop I have used before, I still find I can use it pretty well and type reasonably fast on it.  And the battery is pretty decent.

My last trip I ended up using the Gemini more than the PixelBook.  Things like Skype, uploading and editing photos, email, etc.  It worked pretty well.  I am thinking about the next trip, not bringing a laptop and just use the Gemini.  The display is nice, and when I am in the hotel room, I can hook it up to the TV over a HDMI cable.

Yet Another Trip To The UK

A while back, I was transferred to a new team at my $JOB.  This team is more aligned with what I normally do, so this is a good thing.  Plus, I know all other folks on the team, and I like them, including the manager.  The only drawback is that I am the only US-based person on the team, as the rest of them are in London.  Upside, I got to go over for some training and planning.

I had a bit more down-time in the evenings this trip which I knew about in advance, so I brought over my big camera and my travel camera, a Panazonic DCM-ZS40, and a Gorilla-pod and had some fun walking around.

10 Months on a Chromebook Check-in

So, way back in November,  I decided to use ChromeOS has my main OS.  And, then in January, I did a check-in on using ChromeOS for a month.  Fast forward to-day, and I am still using my PixelBook as my daily driver for all things.

I still use the R810 and the x260 to test new Linux distros just to see what is happening in that space, but not to do anything else.

The battery on the PixelBook last me most of the day when out and about, and the size makes it easy to carry.  Last month, I even used it to give a talk to a group I help run, and it worked flawlessly then.

I still want to do some things via the command line, so for a while I was using Chromebrew to get by, but that has a couple of issues for me.  The first is that a lot of what I wanted had not been ported to that system yet, so I had to go and build it.  The second, and for me more important, was that to use it, I had to turn off some of the security built into ChromeOS to make it work.  A couple of months ago, Google announced Project Crostini, which uses Linux containers to allow you to run a full Linux (default is Debian) image under ChromeOS, using all the default ChromeOS security, which makes it a big win in my book.

Add on top of that, that the PixelBook can run most Android apps, and I have everything I need currently.  ‘But, what about photography?’ you ask.  Well, I have found that I needed to rework my photo work flow, but I have found something that works for me.  All the photos that I have uploaded this year were posted under ChromeOS and so far, it is working for me.

4th Of July 2018 Trip Photos

This past week, the family and I headed to San Antonio for the 4th of July holiday.  I naturally wanted to take some photos, and we wanted to see some fireworks.  In addition, the eldest wanted to start looking at college campuses.

The trip was a lot of fun, and I did get some good photos (see below), but the weather did not cooperate for the fireworks.  There was some serious rain in the afternoon, and the Powers That Be(TM) decided to cancel the displays.

We did end up spending a lot of time wandering around the River Walk which was nice and relaxing.  Our favorite places were still there, so we enjoyed some good food and ice cream.

As you can see, the light was good, and the River Walk was nice and lush.

We did get to SA a few years back for the 4th, and we enjoyed it then, as well.

 

Reflecting on 12 years and counting….

I was reflecting on something today.  12 years ago today, I posted something on one of my first blogs (which has since been merged into this one).

In the years in between, I have had two photo blogs which I did a very good job up updating on a regular basis.

One of them, I posted almost daily  for around 8 years, with over 1950 posts.

The other, I took, processed, and posted a new picture every day for a little over a year back in 2009.  I tried to restart it two years ago, and did not get nearly as far.

This blog, I have not been doing as good of a job updating it (129 posts including this one in 12 years). But, I have tried to post at least once a month.  Most of the time, I can make that.   Sometimes, not as much.

Thanks for being on the ride as I am try to make this a bit better and more interesting than the occasional travel pics.

Another Trip to the UK

As I teased before, I was back in the UK for some meetings.  The original plan got all sideways when my main person I was meeting with left for paternity leave just before I got over there.  No worries, as I was able to use the time to meet with others and get some good work done.

This time, I brought my main camera over with me, and spent some of the downtime taking pictures, mainly in Bournemouth, as I was only in London for the Monday, and was in meetings all day.

Anyway, here are some of the pictures I took.  Enjoy!