on the cheap and sleazy side (www.cheapandsleazy.net)

Words by Charity Chainus, HTML by G.D. Warner

Gemini Redux a Trois

An Update on Life With a Gemini


After much encouragement on the part of a few of my fellow starving students over at the the Yahoo group, CourtReportingStudents, Gemini Girl Charity Chainus joins us once again for an update on her life with the Gemini Writer. In this piece, she addresses some concerns presented by a fellow starving student who is on the fence about the Gemini ... but scared off by Charity's unfortunate experiences with the PDA.

Of course, it goes without saying that if there was a Newton version, I'm sure her PDA experience would have been a little bit better ...! Alas, that's another whine for another time.

In the meantime, I'll shut up and let the Gemini Girl do her thang.


Gemini Love

I still love the Gemini keyboard design and concept. That was never a complaint.

Gemini Toys 1

Gemini Toys

I owe the people at Neutrino Group an apology. As a *totally* burned out ex-hardware/software helpdesk troubleshooter and instructor, one of my major burn points are customers who complained about problems without giving me the courtesy of first cluing me in that they were having problems.

I know better than that.

I have tried the Gemini Silver update for the HP iPAQ and it works nicely. The job paging feature is immensely helpful when trying to find the start of a "job" section for readback. And, yes, it keeps the screen color I've chosen when I switch between the steno and review screens.

I still get an occasion odd garbage stroke so the next thing to do would be to swap out the PDA interface cable before swapping out the keyboard because the problem does not occur when hooked to a laptop. Am I going to go that next step? No.

And no, I haven't pushed the PDA battery since the software upgrade to see if performance destabilizes, or let the battery die completely to see if Gemini and Crosstalk get erased. I suspect this is a problem inherent to PDAs, this erasing of anything (installed software, data) not part part of permanent core memory. But what do I know about PDAs--it's my first one, no one I know uses one, and I never bothered to read the entire HP manual word for word, just skimmed.

I'm not going to pursue usage of the PDA. I find that while I was initially enthusiastic of the idea and jumped the gun to purchase it, my interest has since cooled. For me, a PDA will never replace my Daytimer(™) or my laptop. The PDA is going to be an Xmas stocking stuffer.

An expensive lesson?

Well, yes, but so is school.

Unnecessarily expensive then?

Maybe. Rather like a gym membership I used to have. Despite best efforts and intentions, I couldn't get the hang of regular use despite one or two cool features.

I find my cheapie laptop more useful and, at 4-lbs and the size of my Discover magazine, it's acceptably portable. My goal is real(no notes)time. With the PDA I may be faster but it's because I take shortcuts that won't translate and the rest is conflict-heavy.

So do I go with inconsistent, on-the-fly shortcuts and bad stroking habits that I'll have to unlearn later for realtime, or just learn it right the first time and build a conflict-free dictionary while I'm at it?

Besides, I like playing Bards Tale IV or Dungeon Seige II or wordprocessing some pre-translated RTF notes into correct legal format during a lunch hour.

Can't do that with a PDA.

So some questions I kicked up in my "Gemini Redux" article on Glen's www.cheapandsleazy.net I have no interest in resolving since I've abandoned the idea of a PDA.

When I graduate, I'll be getting whatever's the latest wireless Gemini keyboard, but until then a cheapie CoolGear Serial-to-USB adaptor works between my keyboard and USB ports-only laptop.


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