I've been running Android on it, but it also runs Debian apparently very well.
400dpi screen, enough to have 2 / 3 consoles open at the same time. It's most definitely saved my bacon a few times.
This project, well I can’t imagine why they spent all that time cramming a keyboard into it.
If you want a linux PC in your pocket, you can just install Debian on many Android phones.
I backed it there, travelled for almost a year on a bicycle with the Gemini in a bag and it's still running.
The Debian distro has its issues, though...
+ settings for screen-lock-on-idle aren't saved - sometimes I want the screen to be always on, but it doesn't work
+ screen brightness goes to 100% every time you unlock the screen (and to lower it again, you have to increase it first)
+ and a few other things in that ballpark
Maybe they fixed it, but a while ago the whole update process broke because of a bad Open Office package.
I'll switch to Android / Kali Linux (which wasn't supported in the beginning) soon.
EDIT: But yea, I would still recommend it if you want something super portable with an actual keyboard.
I don't know if I would pay the retail price, though.
Depends on the window manager/desktop environment you’re using, but there’s dozens of Gnome3 extensions that do exactly this. “Caffeine”, for example.
Edit: no wonder, Martin Riddiford, who worked on Psion 5 Series worked on Gemini as well.
I am eagerly awaiting the successor, the Cosmo Communicator (which is locked for shipping via Indiegogo: some are already trickling out). Faster, better, more refined by all accounts. But it's not a $200 toy, even at the early bird kickstarter price: all the smartphone features added overheads.
I owned the Gemini as well, but, before it got stolen, I was going to sell it because Linux on that device did not really work for me while Android was not productive (for me).
Honestly every time i learn about any handheld computer or gaming device i do a quick comparison in my mind with GPD's computers and outside of price the latter pretty much always come out winners (largely because they have zero competition in the real-PC-in-your-pocket space).
Any of the following, if I'm not mistaken:
Android / Android rooted / Debian / Sailfish / Kali
That hasn't been secure to use on the internet in a long time.
I still have it, but getting it working again is a couple weekend's of work. (Which makes me somewhat doubt the simultaneous claims of mainline Debian _and_ based on the same underlying hardware as the CHIP.)
I love the form factor that these kinds of computers present. However, the promise of a decent production line will always ring hollow. Many of these companies have popped out, had a small run, and vanished, leaving the customer with a paperweight or a security risk.
I'd love to have a device like this with the longevity of a Thinkpad (still using mine from 2012) or at least my Nexus 5 (2013, and still in use!) but it seems after a year or so these all just get abandoned.
Though, one of these weekends I'll get around to using these  to make it work again.
The web-based flasher really was the pits to deal with (forced to flash via Chrome was such a terrible experience). Thank goodness someone got a hold of the actual flasher before it all went up in smoke.
HN comments: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21369733
Are there any promising attempts at this?
Smartphone keyboards with glide typing function very well for language (i.e., no passwords and no programming). They have an important feature: they provide the input you want, not exactly characters for the keypresses you did.
If you consider the Chinese language, many people use the input either by drawing (elderly people) or with Pinyin, a phonetics script. In both cases there's a lot of software involved to figure out what people want.
The point is: programmers are a tiny minority who need exactly the characters for the keys they presses. Most other people just need text in their native language.
Google wrote about reaching "the next billion users":
If only. Because when people write nonsensical sentences and you ask what’s going on, the reply is usually "sorry, on mobile".
On the other hand you will never get my proper keyboard for work away from me.
While mobile keyboards are "alright" for messaging where you can get away with errors, they're not the kind of thing you want to be using for prolonged periods, ie. writing documents or long emails. They're slow, error prone, and tiring because of the unnatural thumb movements.
For any significant amount of typing and where accuracy is needed (a single letter wrong is more understandable than being replace with a similar dictionary word), keyboards are still preferred.
But indeed not only programmers rely on keyboards.
I have literally never been able to make those work acceptably well.
Now all I'd need is to figure out how I wanted access to my env. Eg, being able to ssh into a home machine and then work in emergencies seems valuable. But, that would involve exposing my machine. Hmm
Though I think I'd use Wireguard, but still. Some type of easy to manage VPN, with a Dynamic IP domain thing.
Any recommendations on the dynamic domain? Self hosting something might be neat
But this site has been recommended to me before-
I’ve recently installed Codeserver on a digital ocean server - https://github.com/cdr/code-server
I do almost all of my programming on it now. I think if I upgrade my phone to a bigger screen then this keyboard could mean I ditch the laptop when I travel
> 200 bucks
Real shame they stopped making them ages ago.
I am tired of having peripherals with built in proprietary batteries :(
Of course one of the big problems is that our portable monitors still need at least one of our finite set of hands, so it seems like we'll need AR/VR monitors before they become practical. But then if we have the free hands something more like a traditional keyboard would probably work.
They had a battery controller issue initially with the Indiegogo batch, but that has been solved on the ones you can get from Amazon now.
What also bothers me is the high price of these kind of computers. While I am sure there are people who appreciate that kind of power, I rather have something much more low spec but at a massively reduced price. Having a command line and simple tools for writing/coding does not need much horse power and a sub $200 would be much easier to justify on a second or third computer as $500+
It's perfect for travelling for me. I just wish it was slightly speedier and that it had a better trackpoint (which later models have sadly removed entirely).
Either way they can use the USB-C jack to send digital data to headphones and cheaper ones just won't work because they're built for the analog passthrough version of usb-c audio.
Of course the 'computer' experience should be more diverse thant this, but having a dedicated machine feels like the equivalent of having book without distractions.
When I was a child I had a second-hand BBC Micro for distraction-free programming. We had a Mac for other fun stuff, but I kept coming back to the BBC. I'd love to be able to provide that experience.
The keyboard looks unsuitable for programming (even though it has the squishy lineage of the ZX Spectrum), but I'm very tempted.
If there’s any object in human experience that’s a precedent for what a computer should be like, it’s a musical instrument: a device where you can explore a huge range of possibilities through an interface that connects your mind and your body, allowing you to be emotionally authentic and expressive. - Jaron Lanier
Inverse vandalism: Making things just because you can. - Alan Kay
Adults think that the best thing you can do for a child is to turn the child out like them. Think about that, that's got to be one of the dumbest ideas ever. - Alan Kay
By far the best way to invent a healthy future is to invent the children who will invent it. - Alan Kay
I made up these slogans because I discovered most adults couldn't deal with paragraphs. - Alan Kay
... from https://github.com/globalcitizen/taoup
Cool device, and would be even cooler if I could use just the monitor on it.
99% of the time remote is fine though, which again is why it's stashed away in a nook at the other end of the house.
I've been waiting years but you new to the queue have less wait, preorder now!
As for Gemini PDA, err.. battery life, and US keyboard mapping :-(
While technically still a "thumb keyboard" - which you probably wouldn't like - it was still wide enough to not make my thumbs cramp while composing emails and text messages, which I find anything narrower to do to me.
Plus - it was easy to access when you needed it - then slide it back, and there's your phone again.
If I wanted to buy a hackable mobile Linux device, I don't see why I would buy this instead of a PineBook Pro (when it comes out).
I would really hate typing on a silicone keyboard.
The silicon keyboard probably allows it to be smaller without fat fingers becoming an issue and this looks like a better form factor for my usage than the clam shell of the gdp. My big issue would be whether or not it allows for multiple keys to be pressed at once.
I can understand many mechanical keys types will not be feasible in a small form factor. But there are good mechanical key designs that are small to choose from. For example, the ones on HP calculators (ie HP48GX...) The DM42 (a modern HP42S clone) has nice mechanical keys.
So, maybe something like the Allwinner H5?
Right belt clip (from a scrapyard, looks like it was designed for the Nokia 3650):
1. Third Rail smart battery, integrates well with my iPhone 4S case and has microUSB out for other devices.
2. microUSB male to USB male, 3D rotating adaptor wire.
3. Thin microUSB male to USB female, to get power out of the Third Rail.
4. MicroUSB female to Mini USB male.
5. MicroUSB female to USB C male.
6. MicroUSB female to iPod dock connector male.
7. Lightning female to microUSB male.
8. Dock connector female to Lightning male (Apple OEM because smaller ones stopped working after iOS 8).
9. Kokkia i10s Dock male to Bluetooth, with track info and controls.
10. USB C male to HDMI female.
12. Bluetooth remote and FM radio with headphone port (Sony Ericsson MW600).
13. Triple retractable chopsticks (I use these more than you'd think!)
14. Mini pen (Zebra T-3)
Left belt clip (Speck Canvas sport):
15. iPod Video 5.5G, with DIY Converse sticker on the clickwheel.
16. Victorinox SwissCard (the scissors are so useful, though the knife was confiscated in Kuala Lumpur airport while transiting before).
I changed the iPod's hard drive for a Kingspec 128GB SSD, which gave me a lot of internal physical space. That's where I put the Linux computer, and more.
17. Toothpick (for lifting the iPod battery connector, fixing lost screws in friends' glasses, etc)
18. SD female to microSD male x2
19. 512GB SD with a backup of my laptop
20. PQI Air Card (shares SD over WiFi to my phone, so I can read camera cards).
21. MiniDP to HDMI adaptor (with the plastic case removed to make it smaller).
22. EspUSB Tiny WiFi keyboard that fits inside a USB port (please message me if you want to talk about manufacturing these)
23. CoreWind WiFi G25. The Linux computer! It has WiFi, USB host, and can install imobiledevice and mtp-tools to mount phones.
"Technical difficulties" that I can solve:
a. Eating (13)
b. Writing (14)
c. Opening envelopes (16)
d. Listening to music (15 + 11)
e. Charging your phone (1 + 3 + 2 + 4/5/6/6+8)
f. Mac to HDMI (10 or 21)
g. Copying your files from a computer (iPod as a USB disk, 15 + 2 + 6).
h. Having a backup of my files if my bag (with both my laptop and external drive) gets stolen (19)
i. Using an iPhone as a wireless microphone (audioGraph software for iPhone mic -> line out, then 9 to 12 to audio line in)
j. Using iPhone as a clicker, mouse, or Chinese/Korean/Japanese/Arabic/Russian/Thai keyboard on a computer without the engravings (22)
k. Copying files from USB to WiFi (23 + 1 + 3 + 2)
l. Copying files from SD card to WiFi (18 to 20 to 18 to 23, and 1 + 3 + 2 for power)
What I can't do:
m. Mac to VGA (this was a problem at a church in Taiwan)
n. iPad Lightning to VGA (this was a problem at a church in Switzerland)
o. WiFi to VGA (might solve m + n). Raspberry Pi Zero W can be configured to use AirPlay, and can do VGA over GPIO. EspVGAX is also interesting, but I'd have to paste text into the browser for every slide.
p. WiFi to HDMI (maybe with the OrangePi Zero 2 mini, which also adds Ethernet)
q. Mains and/or 12V charging (plugs are just too big though)
What do you mean with "p. WiFi to HDMI"?
p. WiFi to HDMI would be something like a Mirascreen/Chromecast dongle. Anything that supports AirPlay so that it will work with Apple devices. The Egoman DT302 uses the same chip as the Raspberry Pi (BCM2835) and has USB host, but is a bit long to fit inside the iPod. If I could find something similar with the dimensions of the Corewind WiFi G25 (50 x 30 mm) then that would be perfect.
Interesting, you use the inside of your iPod to store physical stuff as well.
I wish I could fit a Lightning to HDMI adaptor, but it's physically huge compared to the other adaptors, and I wonder whether Apple's likely to change to USB-C on future iPhones and iPads. Therefore I feel like WiFi is a more universal data source. Latency is slow, but that's not a problem for PPT slides.
A while ago I was building some cool products designed around it. It was just so neat and did all the tedious, not-fun things of board design.
Are there no Linux tablets (with a keyboard)? It kind of looks as though you would use this if you are a very tech savvy electrician...
Without a business case to service, would someone buy this only for the Company to be dead or to abandon the product?
Silicon keyboard will be a pain to use.
Case is too bulky to carry on person.
LORA/GNSS seems like a solution looking for a problem.
Screen is too small for dev work.
This doesn't manage to sit comfortably in any of the popular portable computer categories and I don't really see a niche for it.
However I don't see it succeeding either simply on the price. It's too high for the specs. I wouldn't do that for anything less than 4 GB ram.
I use Termux on my phone with a bluetooth keyboard occasionally and it works really well for light dev work. I wouldn't want to work in it all day, but if you're just hacking a shell script or some nodejs stuff you don't need a massive monitor.
Really can't see this taking off.