Question To Opt: Was It Worth It?


Bosbeetle

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So now units are leaving the nest and customers seem happy (overall) was is worth it? Was it worth all the hassle with economic criseses, volcanos, factories going nubs up (pun intended) stressfull times and last but not least whining forum members :p

I think you guys are writing history as we speak. So this question will also shed a light on another question will you be going on, I know pandora 2 is far far away but if this experience has put you down to much I can imagine not even trying :D Focus will probably be making the pandora even beter than it already is.

In short how do you, team, look back on the last 1,5 years? And how do you vision the future?
 

craigix

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It will probably be easier to answer this at the end of the year. It is fun being in this industry right now though.
 

Bosbeetle

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craigix said:
It will probably be easier to answer this at the end of the year. It is fun being in this industry right now though.

Yeah maybe the question is a bit premature. The handheld business seems to be in a very exciting stage right now because of smartphones and such. I think your product has a bit of a revolutionary position in this all and I think it will rub off on bigger companies as well in the future. Lets hope the general public will at one time say we don't want your jailed hardware!

Nice to hear you're still having fun, thats a good sign :D
 
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EvilDragon

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Heh, I'm still the one guy being nervous :)
Will people like it? Does it work? etc.

I'm always like that when it comes to project. Can work like hell and help as much as possible, but I'm always nervous. And with such a big project, I always wonder why I haven't had a heart attack yet :)

But luckily Craig always stays cool, the devs manage to fix all issues and now we're shipping.

I definately wouldn't have been able to pull it all through, but I'm glad we're such a mixed team - it works out fine :D
 

Bosbeetle

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EvilDragon said:
Heh, I'm still the one guy being nervous :)
Will people like it? Does it work? etc.

I'm always like that when it comes to project. Can work like hell and help as much as possible, but I'm always nervous. And with such a big project, I always wonder why I haven't had a heart attack yet :)

But luckily Craig always stays cool, the devs manage to fix all issues and now we're shipping.

I definately wouldn't have been able to pull it all through, but I'm glad we're such a mixed team - it works out fine :D


Funny how on the forums you tend to come over as being really calm and sensible and craig once in a while seems twichy :D But now you say its the other way around. The fun thing is that it was not only a mixed team as characters go but also you were miles apart, how was it to finally work together last weeks?

I think this project has been all about communication between devs between customers etc etc. I truly think this is the only piece of hardware where I felt really connected to the production of the product and that on me has the effect of the pandora becomming so much more than just a handheld. :)

(I do say fun to much)
 
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DJWillis

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Stressful for sure but there is something cool about thinking 'I helped make that' I guess. I think everyone involved would share that view, plenty of snags and the like but things could be a whole lot worse ;).

It's also good that new people are starting to pop up who are interested in hacking about with the OS and tweaking/improving things and that is very nice to see.
 

Bosbeetle

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DJWillis said:
Stressful for sure but there is something cool about thinking 'I helped make that' I guess. I think everyone involved would share that view, plenty of snags and the like but things could be a whole lot worse ;) .

It's also good that new people are starting to pop up who are interested in hacking about with the OS and tweaking/improving things and that is very nice to see.

And it will probably just get better this machine has so much potential :) I am curious when the first pandora driven robots will pop up :D
 
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hch

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EvilDragon said:
Heh, I'm still the one guy being nervous :)
Will people like it? Does it work? etc.

well, if it helps you, you at least got one happy customer :)

the pandora is by no means a perfect machine, but it really feels unique. and it was worth the long wait.

i hope you have the courage to continue!
 
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Dead1nside

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You all are really fearless and dedicated. The developers who are helping you out, pro bono it seems, are also to be commended. It's perhaps a little sad but I don't even have my Pandora yet but I get excited every day seeing what news happening, what possibilities there are still left to explore -- we're just at the beginning in that respect, and that's the best part, hopefully where you guys can sit back a little and relax a bit more.
 

Uh...Clem

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Bosbeetle said:
craigix said:
It will probably be easier to answer this at the end of the year. It is fun being in this industry right now though.
The handheld business seems to be in a very exciting stage right now because of smartphones and such.
And the Nintendo 3DS is to be revealed at E3 2010, 15 - 17 Jun.
 
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authoreyes

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You guys give me hope.

In this day and age of mega-corporations running the world, it makes me so happy to know that a band of scrappy, intelligent people can still produce something amazing.

I get so defeated sometimes looking around our landscape of strip malls and Starbucks and vacuous consumerism, that at times it feels like no one does anything for passion anymore. Regardless of the minor failings that may seem huge at times, the bigger picture is you have done something that not many people can ever say they have done. In that respect, this project is already a major success (but I'm sure money would be nice as well :) ). And, judging by the initial reports, I haven't seen anything that would point to people not liking it.

And ED, please man, don't have a heart attack!!!
 

WizardStan

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EvilDragon said:
But luckily Craig always stays cool
Are we talking about the same Craig? Craig "WHAT'S YOUR ORDER NUMBER?!?!" Rothwell? :p
Just kidding. :D
 
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EvilDragon

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Yeah, hehe. If I take a look what happened in the project, Craig sure was the one who stayed calm and solved the problems :)

But I'm still a bit scared... seeing some people who really seem to dislike what they got, be it either software or some hardware trouble.
But that's me - I'm always scared :D I usually hate risks.

I know the software will be fixed, but some early adopters have trouble with it. The PCB seems perfect to me, the biggest flaws lie in the case, we do know that (and wished we had the money to make it perfect), but for me, those flaws are minor, don't make the system unusable. I'm still using my prototype which has worse shoulderbuttons than any of your units, and I still love the device :)

For me, it's the dream handheld I wished I had back at the GP32 days :)
Controls are perfect, hardware is powerful.

Sure, OS, SDL, etc. still need a lot of optimization, but we're working on that - and the more devs help us here, the better it will be.

None of the programs use NEON yet - imagine how all SDL apps would fly away as soon as we have some dev who optimized SDL to use NEON :D

Whereas I know the potential, some reviews sound like they expected EVERYTHING to work flawlessly already... which makes me a bit sad, as it was known that that NEVER would happened from the beginning, as you need more devs to do that.

Oh well... still scared... but happy we finally shipped. And from now on, the units we build can only become better, as we get more experienced in assembly and learn more and more things to especially take care of while building :)
 

renegadechic

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EvilDragon said:
Sure, OS, SDL, etc. still need a lot of optimization, but we're working on that - and the more devs help us here, the better it will be.

None of the programs use NEON yet - imagine how all SDL apps would fly away as soon as we have some dev who optimized SDL to use NEON :D
i really hope that with devices in the hands of many people, more widespread development can be implemented with a much larger team to get improvements moving quicker.

where there are issues or possibly refinements of what is there currently, it would be good to have a place where these areas could all be listed and distributed amongst volunteers. without the hardware before there seemed to me less widespread drive for this but now momentum seems to be exponentially accelerating. its been great seeing all these games and emulators getting ported but i do look forward to the time when everyone starts getting right into the nitty gritty of everything.
 
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Monk

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EvilDragon said:
seeing some people who really seem to dislike what they got, be it either software or some hardware trouble.

EvilDragon said:
Whereas I know the potential, some reviews sound like they expected EVERYTHING to work flawlessly already... which makes me a bit sad, as it was known that that NEVER would happened from the beginning, as you need more devs to do that.

I disagree somewhat (wow, ther eis a shocker). I think most people are generally pleased with their Pandoras, but see it as vital to contribute back to the project to improve. They may be unable to actually FIX the problems with the nubs, the shoulder buttons, the ABXY buttons, the various case issues etc. but if they don't report it, neither can you. They MUST report every problem, however small, as their contribution to the community "all help" aspect as they possibly can. To not report EVERYTHING that could be better would be to disrespect thte community aspect of the handheld device.

To a degree, with the Pandora being delivered about a year and a half late (after a year and a half of "Two Months") yes, some people will be expecting closer approximation to perfection. After all, we've been reading things like this over and over for nearly 2 years:

craigix said:
I should add in that it's such a big deal as this is one of the most advanced portable devices ever made, and it isn't Sony or Nintendo, it's us. So after all the work these tests must be as near to flawless as possible.

and

craigix said:
After having a complete unit for a few days now I can say that using the stylus on the LCD feels completely natural. I actually forgot that people thought there would be an issue with it.

I've let a few people have a go on the Pandora, ie non-geeks, and they picked it up and played minesweeper (plus the other built in touch games) without issue.

I think it feels more natural than if the LCD was on the lower half (DS style). I'd be very surprised if anyone had an issue with it. The screen does not move if you push it with the stylus, you would have to push it so hard to do that you would probably damage the LCD before it moved.

All in all I now think the Pandora is even better than we expected, it's a gadget like no other I've ever had, it really is like having a laptop, PDA and games console all in one. The weirdness of messing around on a paint program, typing in terminal and playing Quake all on one system is fantastic. It's something about being able to go from touch screen to keyboard to game controls, nothing feels forced, it's all very natural.

You are *REALLY* going to like this.

and even

craigix said:
It's pretty much done, yes.

...

The thing I'm most happy about is that I can hand the Pandora to someone and they just know how to use it, that goes a long way to making me very happy about the design

...and on, and on, and on. We've been told for a year and a half that it's finished, ready, done - and we've been told for a year and a half that it's getting BETTER than it was when it was ready/finished/done. So there is like an anticipation of 18 months worth of "better than perfect" from the most vocal of your actual critics (here I mean people who will be critical, not vapourware twits).

I can't honestly say that it's an untenable position to expect things to be running REASONABLY well a year after Craig said he could just hand a Pandora to "someone" and they will immediately know how to use it. However, I'd expect the most vocal of users to be forum members - in which case they already know how few people have been working on the software/firmware over that time.

As with the hardware, if they can't actually port apps or fix bugs/add features in opensource software, how can they contribute? By pointing out what's wrong!

I definately see how it can be disheartening - scary even. But these people shouting at you? They have two motivations. The first is to get what they feel they've paid for - not just in terms of money they paid over a year ago, but also in terms of their commitment to the project. They want what THEY have been expecting, or as near as possible. The second is to help YOU and the community to get the best that you and they can - to be active participants, and contribute at least their knowledge and their opinions.

EvilDragon said:
But that's me - I'm always scared :D I usually hate risks.

I know what you mean. When the first fiasco rolled over us, my wife was amazed that I was willing to keep an order with you guys. She was surprised month after month after month. It's not my style at all.
 
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Jumpman

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Well Ed, let me say you guys did a damn fine job, and I personally find the Pandora to be very nice, and of a higher quality than I ever expected.

I always kept my expectations at a realistic level, and honestly you guys delivered a product that despite everything, is better than anything in this price range and class. I'm taking it to my buds weekly poker game this thursay, so I will get some feedback from a diverse set of individuals, and see what the public may or may not think. As only one friend there has even heard of it.

I also plan to attend the Classic Gamers Expo here in Vegas at the end of july, so that should be a wonderful event to show my unit off. Hopefully some of the hiccups and bugs are corrected by then, but I still think for a handful of guys, and a dream, this system goes above and beyond.

I've been playing video games for 30+ years, and the Pandora should stand proud among the best the industry has to offer. Sadly, you will never please everyone. I have an ipod touch, which I just bought a month ago, and I'm loving it. It provides another unique video gaming experiance, but it also has many flaws, and is far from perfect. Nothing delivers everything to everyone, that's just not possible.

Now, just focus on delivering more units to the masses, and many more will love it, and many more will hate it, but that's just the way it goes! ;)

Chris
 

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EvilDragon said:
None of the programs use NEON yet - imagine how all SDL apps would fly away as soon as we have some dev who optimized SDL to use NEON :D
The only main problem onto the Pandora-Story is not the OPTeam or the Device itself, it's actualy only the lack of coders, that can make advantage out of the complicated OMAP Features I guess. ^^
Semms pretty hard to make usage of the DSP, the NEON or even the SGX Unit. AFAIK, many people use SDL and AFAIK SDL only can do stuff in pure Software and as long nobody starts to optimize this and other Software to reach the Hardware of the Pandora, we won't see much general speed ups into the Pandora Software.

So I also hope, that we get these "full Access" to the Pandora Hardware some day and things get really funny. :D
 
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