Request: More Action like on the Good old Pandora Days


netcat

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I believe that when history is written the iPhone (or smartphone) will represent the peak of the digital boom. The culmination of our tech and ultimate commercial product: a television for your hand.
 

levi

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Before this latest wave of smartphones, they didn't used to be made on the advertising model. At least android phones are designed to spy on us, to track where we go, and these days even what we spend money on, and iPhones are reportedly not much better.
 

netcat

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It's an excellent example of us losing the plot. Phones suck at phoning. Now they suck at browsing. I do appreciate streaming music and comfy headphones. Because we are media whores. And compulsive shoppers. Phones are great for compulsive shopping. Not product research but forking over cash. This is regression and humanity is in decline. But it's still the golden age. Enjoy it while you can.
 
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EvilDragon

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Well, there are multiple things.
Back then, I was the one posting regular news, updates, congregating all the stuff out there, creating the file archives, etc.
I started as a simple news poster at gp32x.com but did a lot more later on.

I also was the voice of the Pandora stuff, the guy responsible for posting the news, and so on.
These days, I have so much work, I can't find much time for that. Without anyone else doing that... well, no new posts.

Also, back then, the GP32, GP2X and Pandora were simply amazing devices. There wasn't anything else.
Now there are tons of similar devices, the GPD series, the cheap chinese handhelds for Retro Gaming... so yeah, it's not as special anymore and not so exciting.

Then there's the issue that the Pyra has a lot of delays, still eats battery like hell and not so many are delivered yet.
There's still a lot we need to work on to make this all better.

And yes, we're all getting older. A lot of enthusiasm is gone. notaz fixed most of the flaws the Pandora had and optimized it into the fabulous device it was in the end.
notaz has so much these days though that he's not motivated to work on such things. He's still doing fine, but he's not doing any Pyra stuff. Which makes things even harder.

In general, it seems there are not that many developers that want to dive into things. There's a lot to do to fix the Pyra and make things a lot better, but it seems not developer want to work on them.
Which is really sad, as that was what made the Pandora what it was.

I'm trying to keep things going and improve stuff, but I'm no developer. I can't fix anything here myself, I can only organize stuff and beta test things.
Hiring developers is too expensive, and there's not much money to throw around with here.

I really hope this will change and the Pyra will not turn out to be a huge loss and the end of my business :(
The RK3568 should at least have a lot better support compared to the half-way abandoned OMAP5, so everything should work better out of the box and having more speed and 64bit with less heat would do the Pyra good. Really good.
 

Magic Sam

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Hi all,

@EvilDragon : I sure don't want your business to go belly up :( You invested so much into the Pyra (time, money, energy, etc.) it'd be only fair for you to make a profit out of it.

What could we do as a community to help you out ? Are there any pending tasks in need of a mere system administrator like me ? I can write Bash scripts, some Python too with some efforts. And I knew how to make DEB packages back in the days.

Cheers, Magic Sam
 
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logen

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Now there are tons of similar devices
Are there?

Here I am on my #200 Pyra, and it is easily the most enjoyable handheld computer that I've used. The last thing to even come close was the PocketChip.

There are devices out there that may fill niche segments, but none of them are truly a handheld general purpose computer.

i find phones miserable to use most of the time. Accidentally tap or type the wrong thing on a regular basis, not so here....

Also, with the death of the bezel... I don't even know how to hold a phone anymore.

In general, it seems there are not that many developers that want to dive into things
This is something I'd like to do, but I need some sort of mentor for guidance.
 

HelenF

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I've wondered sometimes if I might be good at the low-level stuff if I got into it. I have some experience with much simpler computers, but once you have an OS, things are rather different!
 

EvilDragon

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Are there?

Here I am on my #200 Pyra, and it is easily the most enjoyable handheld computer that I've used. The last thing to even come close was the PocketChip.
There are devices out there that may fill niche segments, but none of them are truly a handheld general purpose computer.

Well, yes, it depends on what you want to do with it. If you mostly want it for gaming / emulators, then there's the GPD Win series or also a lot of chinese handhelds.
If you want a nice Linux Mini PC, the GPD Micro PC is actually pretty nice.

But true, they are not exactly what the Pyra aims to be, so things are a bit different.
 

fusion_power

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Also, back then, the GP32, GP2X and Pandora were simply amazing devices. There wasn't anything else.
Now there are tons of similar devices, the GPD series, the cheap chinese handhelds for Retro Gaming... so yeah, it's not as special anymore and not so exciting.
That's the point. Today, there are tons of more cheap (and more expensive) Gaming Handheld devices in the market and almost all just work fine "out of the box". Not much tinkering required. That's a huge advance compared to Pandora/Pyra of course. Many of these Asian devices may lack of stuff the Pyra/Pandora offers, like removable batteries, physical keyboard and so on. But for many users this is not that important it seems. More important is the long-term-support for sure. And I don't see many chinese handhelds, may it Linux/android/Windows based, that have this. The Steam-Deck has it, it's a big selling point providing regular updates and long term support. I would always prefer a device where I can be sure the companies that made them don't forget about it after a year or so. GPD & Co. still have to improve there alot imho.
 

ClockworkCoder

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stuff the Pyra/Pandora offers, like removable batteries, physical keyboard and so on. But for many users this is not that important it seems. More important is the long-term-support for sure.
Those statements don't seem to follow (more important to who?). If long term support is important, then removable / fixable / replaceable parts must also be important (that's one other thing the SteamDeck has done right, at least)
 

fusion_power

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I just wanted to point out that many casual users don't care for physical keyboards or removable batteries in their mobile devices, but do care for regular and long term software updates. At least more people complain about lacking of software updates than lacking of removable batteries. Maybe not Apple users, but we all know Googles Android update politics.
 

logen

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People who have used physical keyboards on phones tend to miss them, but for the most part... you're probably right.

Considering what everyone has said here,I think it may be important to change our target market from retro gaming. Yes, it's an amazing retro device, but that market is filling up with cheap competitors.

Perhaps we should focus on the crowd who pines for the days of the old HP palmtops.

The pyra is the ideal computer for those people.

Bryan Lunduke's crowd, for example, would love this thing. once production ramps up and we can start selling units instead of preorders, we need to get him a review unit. His community is well aware of the Pyra, but if we can ship units, I'm sure there would be quite a few sales.
 

ClockworkCoder

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Perhaps we should focus on the crowd who pines for the days of the old HP palmtops.

The pyra is the ideal computer for those people.
Pretty much this. I want a full computer I can (almost) put in my pocket, and retro gaming on the go is a definite bonus. Add to that moddable and upgradeable (hopefully), and there is really no competition. "Casual" users may be interested, but only if they have patience, reasonable expectations, and money to spend.
 
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logen

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I want a full computer I can (almost) put in my pocket, and retro gaming on the go is a definite bonus.
Actually fits in my pocket with the case... Not a good look though.

"Casual" users
I don't think the pyra was ever for so called "casuals" While I welcome them with open arms, I don't think we need to focus on them.

Actually, until audio and standby are up to par, we really can't.
Post automatically merged:

I want a full computer I can (almost) put in my pocket, and retro gaming on the go is a definite bonus.
Actually fits in my pocket with the case... Not a good look though.

"Casual" users
I don't think the pyra was ever for so called "casuals" While I welcome them with open arms, I don't think we need to focus on them.

Actually, until audio and standby are up to par, we really can't.
 

levi

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Well, no Apple user are still drinking from the Steve Jobs waterfountain, despite him dying over ten years ago now. They still buy every iphone as it comes out, so they never notice if the battery on the old phone is dying.
 

comradekingu

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@levi
Apple is taking flak for their batteries and lack of repairability right now.
They also had to make a cheaper phone (they are a almost entirely a phone company).
I don't think the stock price is going to hold at all.
It doesn't have to be 20% of the total market to work for Dragonbox, it can get the faintest hint of a mention somewhere and
all of a sudden scale 500% with production ramping up.

I just wanted to point out that many casual users don't care for physical keyboards or removable batteries in their mobile devices, but do care for regular and long term software updates. At least more people complain about lacking of software updates than lacking of removable batteries. Maybe not Apple users, but we all know Googles Android update politics.

Casual users don't really buy specialty devices.
Judging by market demand, Fairphone outsold all other comparable products combined by an order of magnitude.
They made a big deal of repairability, and the type of modularity exchanging a battery entails, and have no long term software upgrades.

It is a specialty market in the very least because it is bought online, and most customers don't know about it already.
You need some kind of incentive to sell that. A lot of motives are already known, but tying that to a product is a missing link so far.
I guess people don't care or know enough to be able to tell what down-the-road support will be available.

Selling people on the idea that the Pandora had replacement parts made in 2021 is possible.
It could also be a more normie-friendly device and experience, and that is getting better.
How many more pieces must be in place before trying to go that route becomes a viable strategy?
 
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