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The Aiptek DV3500 digital movie camera is Linux compatible, and this was always a good sign especially for a camera which was on one of those special cut-price deals in Lidl. In fact, despite the documentation which pretends it's a naff Microsoft-only camera, it is a direct BULK STORAGE USB device. This meant it was possible to use it as a memory stick long before those things became fashionable!

My own Aiptek DV3500 was bought on a cut-price deal at Lidl and proved very good value-for-money, it being possible to take low resolution digital movies in a interesting locations on my travels to different tax havens. It was not a snazzy camera and not the sort of thing that would attract attention from thieves. The masked robbers who strangled me in Belize didn't steal the digital movie camera. However, the police did! Yes, some dishonest members of the San Ignacio police stole it, along with a two dollar Belize banknote and a few coins when they performed a no-warrant search on May 27th 2007 ! It's a shame and a scandal, and it's my opinion that you can't move to a country where the police aren't to be trusted. It's a shame about Belize, as the country has been sold down the river by a few dishonest cops.

The police who stole the camera had no idea about photographic equipment as well as having no idea about public trust, and they left the bag and the memory card, but stole a different memory card for a different camera. I would expect they would be equally clueless about plugging the camera into a computer, and probably sold it on for a few dollars.

If you have bought an Aiptek DV3500 digital movie camera in Central America, either in Belize or in Guatemala for example, it just might be the one the police stole from me! Mine is easily identifiable as it has no protective camera lens plate, and the focus is fixed, it being adjusted earlier. The good news for you, if you've bought the stolen camera, is that I don't expect to get it back! However, I would like you to squeal on whoever sold it to you.

At least the Canon Eos350D was worth stealing! And, at least it was stolen by masked robbers whose trade was to steal from people, rather than by characters in police uniforms masquerading as guardians of the law!

Other information about the Aiptek DV3500 generally:

It's a standard bulk storage device, which means in Linux it can be mounted by this command:

mount /mnt/pen

...and then the images are in /mnt/pen/dcim/100media/

Unlike a later model, the Mustek DV5300, the Aiptek DV3500 attempts to keep the date. It's not very good at this and tends to reset if you change the batteries, which you have to do quite often. Rechargeables are recommended, and it takes two AA cells. These are much easier to recharge than three AAA cells as per the Mustek DV5300. On that later model they gave up on the date altogether!

The Aiptek DV3500 can take movies, still images, and sound samples, and is also an MP3 player. The movies aren't bad, but the stills are considerably worse than a 1.3 megapixel stills camera. The movies are .asf , which we hear is a naff Microsoft format. This had compatibility issues with some of the early Linux display codecs, but that is now solved.

For an item sold cut-price in a bargain store, the Aiptek DV3500 was excellent value-for-money! That's why I have replaced it with its equally cheap successor, the DV5300