Unboxing of the Gemini PDA

What is going on here? An unboxing article on MyGNU.de? Well, this is the exception, since the Gemini is an exceptional device like Nokias N900 has been before and in the future hopefully the some day finished  Neo900 might be. Well, I do not want to stray away any further. About 13 month ago I have backed Planet Computers Gemini PDA Indiegogo campaign. Planet Computers has promised a device that is different from anything else, that is available for purchase. The Gemini is a PDA class clamp-shell device with a fully integrated keyboard and touchscreen that is designed for Android, but also capable of running Linux. No need to go through the specs here, everything interesting regarding these can be read on Planet Computers web page or on Wikipedia. Last week, after a long time of waiting, the parcel with the 4G version of the Gemini, the connectivity kit and the optional camera finally arrived. The order id has been in the 20XX range and the device is with a non UK keyboard, so the device is most probably from the third batch.

Gemini parcel

Parcel containing the Gemini PDA

After opening the parcel and removing some wrapping material one can see multiple smaller boxes containing the device and its accessories.

The opened parcel

The opened parcel

The boxes shown in the photo below contain from left to right, the leather pouch, the special HDMI adapter (only this one allows connecting an external display), the Gemini, the USB type C hub, the external camera addon and an additional charger.

Boxes containing PDA and accessories

Boxes containing the Gemini PDA and accessories

The larger box welcomes us with “hello” printed in several languages and contains  a smaller black box containing the manual and the cover removal tool (needed to insert a SIM card and a SD card), the PDA itself and (still in the larger box) a charger and the Type C to Type A USB cable.

PDA box

The opened PDA box

Below we have a closer look to the PDA well wrapped in foil.

Gemini in foil

Gemini wrapped in foil

After removing the foil we can see its full beauty.

Gemini PDA

The Gemini PDA

With the opened device we can see the the display and the German QWERTZ keyboard. The keyboard feels solid and has no wobbly keys like it has been reported by backers who have received devices from the first batch.

opened Gemini PDA

The opened Gemini PDA with display and keyboard

Phone manufacturers recommend to charge the devices a first time fully before using. Most probably this is a myth without any use than having a fully charged device, but anyway I did.


Charging the Gemini PDA for the first time

I am hoping you have enjoyed the photo series. Further articles regarding testing some aspects of the device, Linux on the Gemini, and hopefully some solutions will follow. Does it really contain a X27 CPU? We will find out later. Stay tuned for updates.


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One hundredth article anniversary

We, the authors of MyGNU.de are proud to celebrate an anniversary today. This is the one hundredth article published on this blog. But how does one celebrate such an anniversary? For sure, the best way is to write another article. Well, and perhaps drinking a beer or two.

Lets summarize some history. This blog, MyGNU.de started on November 29th 2008 – roughly three years ago. During these years Thorsten and I had the opportunity to provide useful information, helpful scripts and programs to you, our readers. – At least we hope so. This way we have been able to give something back to the open source community that has supported us in so many ways. We have written about solutions to many problems, regarding the Linux operating system, we encountered. It would be to much to write if I tried to mention every single article now, but some have to be mentioned.  For sure the highlights, that can be found on this website are SIV, the stereoscopic image viewer and vrtrack the headtracking driver for the Vuzix VR920 head mounted display.  The most popular download until now has been the Iptables Mirror target, which I ported to 2.6 and 3.x Linux kernels. The kernel module enables one to create a more active Iptables firewall by returning the attack to the attacker. In total it got 5897 hits until today. In the beginning some of the articles were shorter than the more recent ones, but with time our knowledge and writing skills evolved and some recent articles are of quite high quality. We hope you have enjoyed reading the articles and got some useful insights and information.

For the future we hope to keep on this way and improve our skills, to write better and more useful articles and software and publish these on MyGNU.de.

“So say we all.”

Well, now there is only one last thing to to do. To say thank you! We have to say thanks to you for reading, and we have to say thank you to our company the main-host.de GmbH for providing the webspace for this blog.

Happy anniversary MyGNU.de!

best regards and keep on reading


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Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge

We support the January 18th Wikipedia blackout to protest SOPA and PIPA. Show your support here http://tinyurl.com/7vq4o8g

Some other ways to strike from sopastrike.com

On Jan 24th, Congress will vote to pass internet censorship in the Senate, even though the vast majority of Americans are opposed. We need to kill the bill – PIPA in the Senate and SOPA in the House – to protect our rights to free speech, privacy, and prosperity.

See this timeline of SOPA and PIPA events and the activist backlash.

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Vultures-2.2.100 ebuild for gentoo

Some years ago I played nethack on my old PC. Nethack is a Diablo like RPG that was originally released in 1987. Before playing a game, you have to create a character. You can choose between different character classes: Archeologist, Barbarian, Caveman, Healer, Knight, Monk, Priest, Ranger, Rogue, Samurai, Tourist Valkyrie and Wizard. These classes have different abilities in fighting and using magic. Afterwards you can descent to the dungeon where you have to retrieve the Amulet of Yendor and defeat the bad Moloch. For some more information on gameplay and how to win see the links below the post.

By chance I discovered a maemo package for vultures eye which I installed on my Nokia N810. Vultures eye is a nice graphical frontend for nethack.


Which dragon shall I ride? - Vultureseye on the N810

Then I felt it would be nice to have Vultures Eye also on my PC. With a large screen and real mouse/keyboard input the game is easier to play, than on the small n810s touchscreen. Since the latest available Gentoo ebuild was far out of date and the sources for it are no longer available I wrote a new ebuild based upon the old one. You may download my new ebuild from here: [download#38]


vultureseye on gentoo

To use the ebuild it just copy it to /usr/local/portage/games-roguelike/vultures/. You probably have to create the directory. Then run

ebuild /usr/local/portage/games-roguelike/vultures/vultures-2.2.100.ebuild digest

Be sure to include the following line in your /etc/make.conf.


Then just emerge vultures and enjoy many YASDs. But beware, one can get quite addicted to this game.








gentoo bugzilla

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FlightGEAR 2.0.0 on GENTOO

I have searched for a 3D game on Linux and found this nice flight simulation. In Gentoos portage tree there is only an old version avaiable, so I wrote an ebuild for the new version. It compiles fine on my computer wth 64bit Gentoo – Linux.

The Power of my graphics board (nVidia Corporation Quadro FX 360M) seems to be enough for this simulation. The control is not easy, but with some time, you can fly around, like in a real aircraft.

What is FlightGear?
The FlightGear flight simulator project is an open-source, multi-platform, cooperative flight simulator development project. Source code for the entire project is available and licensed under the GNU General Public License.

HowTo install on Gentoo:

Download [download#37] file which include the ebuilds

cd /usr/locale/portage
tar -xzpvf ~/flightgear-2.0.0.tar.gz

Then you have to unmask the ebuilds in /etc/portage/package.keywords :
=games-simulation/flightgear-2.0.0 **
=dev-games/simgear-2.0.0 **
=dev-libs/boost-1.37.0-r1 **
=dev-util/boost-build-1.37.0 **
=media-libs/freeglut-2.6.0  **

now you can ’emerge =games-simulation/flightgear-2.0.0′

Have fun


UPDATE 04.03.2010:

Now it´s in portage, with two different lines. First of all I found out that freeglut 2.6 is needed for flightgear, so I put it in the ebuild. And the second is a patch witch is needed if you don´t use freeglut 2.6. So I think my choice is the better way.

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Happy Pi Day 2009!

Just in case Pi Day is new to you, we thought we’d list out the top Pi Day activities for you, so everyone can celebrate Pi Day this year:

  1. Bake a Pie with the symbol Pi on it, measure its diameter, calculate its circumference, and eat the Pie.
  2. Use a piece of string to “prove” Pi by measuring other circles’ circumference & diameter.
  3. Recite as many digits of Pi as you can as a team taking turns, or have a memorization contest and the winner gets to eat Pie first.
  4. Send your friends Pi Day eCards to remind them it’s Pi Day.
  5. Give everyone a “High Pi” instead of a high five.
  6. Get creative and write a song about Pi, or listen to music based on Pi.

Happy Pi Day 2009!

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Happy birthday www

The World wide web was invented 20 years ago. In March 1989 Tim Berners-Lee wrote a proposal suggesting hypertext documents. Without Tim’s invention we would not be able to present our content on MyGnu to you. So MyGNU says happy birthday www and thanks, Tim. For more information on the www and its history see Wikipedia:www.

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