Our Next Meeting: Wednesday 18th July 2018
DigiKam and other photo database software - All

It is now very easy to take photos and virtually every phone includes a good quality camera. But is there anyone with a perfectly catalogued and organised photo collection?

Duncan has been working on demonstrating a Linux based system for cataloguing his photo collection, which should be interesting. Please come along with YOUR experience of managing your photo collections he asks.

I think everyone will have something to contribute to this meeting, but don't worry if you have not got something to demonstrate. (Ed.)

Our Last Meeting:

7.30 p.m. Wednesday 20th June
Bourne Vale Social Club, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE

This will be formally written up later but for now the salient points are that the Chairman's report gave a resume of the previous years activities and was accepted as a very detailed account.

The Treasurer's report was also accepted as an accurate statement of accounts However he reported that will be somewhat low on funds once our current liabilities are met and with uncertainty on our future membership numbers we should increase our subscriptions to £15 pounds per year. Visitors will still be free.

The Committee were re-elected en bloc as everyone was willing to carry on in their current posts and no nominations had been received.

The Gemini

The formal part of the evening was followed by a presentation by Gareth of his newly acquired Gemini clamshell PDA from Planet Computers.

See http://www.planetcomputers.co.uk

Here are some pictures to show what it is like:-

Inspired by the Scion Series 5 organiser, and with a keyboard from the same design studio, the Gemini is primarily Android based with an early dual boot of Debian Linux as a preview option. The Android side won't go into landscape mode unless you choose developer mode in which case it thinks it is a tablet.

There is no graphics acceleration because the ARM does not have a driver for it.

So none of the desktop is accelerated. There are ways to get this in Linux. Chromium will play BBC News video fine but with Firefox it is a different story.

Libre Office was so slow you had to wait for typed characters to appear on screen but with anti-aliasing off it is fine. The Gemini has an 64GB SSD for storage and 4GB of RAM. Not all of the promised accessories are yet available in the UK including the USB hub so he cannot currently use a mouse. It is a Mediatech 10 core processor. The processor is organised with blocks of CPU which are called in dynamically as required by a performance governor which ensures that not more than four are running. There are 4 slow blocks, 4 quick blocks and 2 very fast blocks. This is to optimise the battery life and heat output.

There is a 4G SIM slot and a telephony stack and you can answer a call with it closed and it can use a microphone at either end so it doesn't matter which way you pick it up. He believes it is the only device on sale in the UK apart from the Apple Watch which has an e-SIM so it is not tied to any network, although EE is the only network offering this. It has WiFi and Bluetooth and 2 USB sync ports, a camera and microphones. There is a keyboard key analogous to the Scion key which you can configure. You can reconfigure th Keyboard if required.

Battery life is quite usable although Gareth had not really had time to test fully.

Out of the box it is an Android.

To get into Linux you hold the power key on and then hold the Google assistant button on the side until it buzzes and then let go of the power button. After a few seconds it should boot into Linux.

There is Graphics acceleration with Chromium, but not with Firefox. They may move to Wayland in future instead of X. Firefox works fine as a browser but not for things embedded. Gareth's work requires him to use an encrypted drive but he could do this with a USB drive set up for Linux. He only needs the data encrypted not the operating system. It is an early version of the machine from a very small company. The Raspberry Pi when used as a media saver requires a licence to unlock codes on the processor.

The Window manager is community supported. The Mediatech flash tool is annoyingly only available for Windows.

You must use a scatter file which tells it all the partitions on the drive. It charges on the left hand side port only.

Gareth showed it streaming from BBC video which easily handled. Down streaming from media servers at home requires a plug-in and there is no VLC yet.

Gareth purchased it primarily for work to avoid having to cart around a heavy laptop and for this the performance is quite adequate, particularly as much of his work is using an IRC client.

The Gemini is being produced in batches and availability is now improving. The current release is currently shipping with Android 7.1.1. ("Nougat").

Thanks Gareth for this detailed and interesting presentation especially when busy with redecorating his bathroom!

Future Programme

At the Committee meeting held recently we decided on the following list of future events, but as always, if someone else would like us to introduce some other topics we would delighted to accommodate them.

ICENI Future programme

ICENI Future programme 2018/2019
July 18th DigiKam and other Photo database software. All
August 15th Summer Social Evening - TBA All
September 19th Programming languages All
October 17th Robotics and Augmented Reality All
November 21st Slide/Video Evening All
December 19th Gadgets and Party Evening All
January 16th Winter Social Evening - TBA All
February 20th NAS + RAID + storage solutions All
March 20th New Devices and hardware SSD All
April 17th Mac Evening All
May 15th AGM - Computer Surgery All

The Social evenings dates and venues are just suggestions at this stage.

Meetings are now on the Third Wednesday of the month unless otherwise stated.

Our meetings are held at the Bourne Vale Social Club, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE , for a map and other details please see the website.


Membership fee currently £15, visitors free.

Special Notice - Insurance

"ICENI does not have any Insurance cover for computers or other equipment so please be advised that you bring machines to the club at your own risk."

However many household insurance policies will include cover away from home often with no increase in premium. (Ed.)

Our Website and Email

Our website URL is


Email to: iceni@woolridge.org.uk

I am open to suggestions on what people would like to have included in the website. If anyone would like a copy of the CD of our old newsletters this could be arranged.