A video. Again. Mostly about cases.

azouls

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would be great if @azouls could make an offwhite colored test-case to check if these visual imperfections get substantially less with a really light color.
if it is way better, we would have one option more to get unpainted cases quickly.
only problem is likely, not all want an offwhite case like me and 8bit. ;)
but hey, if it solves this problem for now and later on one could get other, maybe painted, cases...

edit:
maybe the case can get a rougher finish from the moulds too, this would hide the bugs even more.
@azouls, is it possible to make the finish look more rough without a lot of added work?
My friend i have tryed almost everything . Changed Matterials and colors (trust me it cost me a lot :D ) Transparent one is the best who hides most of discolors but doesnt solve the problem with leds . I had manage to Fix some Shrinking problems and some discolor problems but not all of them cause the companie who design the molds Gives the Feeding Inside the Item , Thats why Discolor happens . In Some molds i had changed the feeding cause i could. In some others Like the Keyboard and Screen were the feeding is inside the Item cannot be change by design but i managed to fixed them a bit. All the Improvments i have done was almost hand made and little by CnC .Best solution for discolor is Paint . Mechanical the Case is Good and more Tests will aprove that and if it needs more improvment here i am to give my best :) !!!!
 

bubblebee

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...but rather the time you'll spend getting samples, testing them, checking they look okay.
That's the point. A look back at the Pyra development story is enough to find another example: keyboard mat. How many iterations and reworks were needed there until everything finally reached production maturity? And the keyboard mat had no firmware or hardware. Why would that be different in another process of painting the case?
  • Selection of a company
  • Choosing a specific method of painting (there are certainly several options)
  • Company must be supplied with different colors of housings.
  • Company must find time to paint these samples.
  • Send back the painted samples.
  • ED examines everything very, very closely (we all know about his pinchiness).
  • From experience (see keyboard mat) the last 3 steps are repeated at least 3 times.
  • It is quite possible or even probable that the first elected company will screw up the matter again and the whole story has to be presented to a second company.
So now everyone can figure out how many weeks or months this story will cost us again.

And to clarify, it's not ED's fault that the individual development steps take a long time, because there are no simple things with such a complex device as the Pyra. But it is up to Ed to reckon with taking unnecessary risks once again and repeatedly postponing pyra development and its start of production.

As pmprog has already suggested, there is no apparent reason not to hand over the Pyra to all pre-buyers who would be more than satisfied with a non-painted case. Everyone else would like to wait the next few weeks or months for ED to find the painted casings good enough and ready for production.
 

rSl

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My friend i have tryed almost everything . Changed Matterials and colors (trust me it cost me a lot :D ) Transparent one is the best who hides most of discolors but doesnt solve the problem with leds . I had manage to Fix some Shrinking problems and some discolor problems but not all of them cause the companie who design the molds Gives the Feeding Inside the Item , Thats why Discolor happens . In Some molds i had changed the feeding cause i could. In some others Like the Keyboard and Screen were the feeding is inside the Item cannot be change by design but i managed to fixed them a bit. All the Improvments i have done was almost hand made and little by CnC .Best solution for discolor is Paint . Mechanical the Case is Good and more Tests will aprove that and if it needs more improvment here i am to give my best :) !!!!
thanks for your indepth answer @azouls.
you did a really awesome job improving these, less then optimal created, mould-tools, thank you *verry much* again for that! <3
i read from your answer that lighter colors were allready tried and did not make it that better looking, right?

so when all the pros are saying "paint it", i'm too for painting/hard-coating up this beauty!
[doublepost=1569854597,1569852871][/doublepost]on the other side it would be good to get the pyra as soon as possible into the hands of the ones who don't need that case-polish...
hmm...
maybe we need a press embargo on the unpolished cases, get it sooner but don't take pictures, yuck. :D

to sum it all up, for me the most plausible way is,
  1. create a first batch of cases like they are, to not delay release
  2. release pyra's superspecial first batch
  3. create coated cases
  4. release next pyra batches
  5. os is matured, cases are polished, show "final pyra" to press for reviews...
  6. get more customers
  7. take on world!
 
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We need a good impression. If I only sell 1000 units, I'm done for. To get the manufacturing costs in, we're looking at at least 3000 to 4000 units. The Pandora sold 7500 units - and demand was still there, but we couldn't get the Wifi chip anymore, so it's possible

I love you, man, I love your commitment to quality and that the Pandora exists and the Pyra is so close, but to play the devil’s advocate here — at the end of the day, what reviews, what forums, and what fans will say about this thing is about what it can do.

The specs get older with every passing month. If you can solve for paint and coating, and all the related testing, without delaying another few months, then go for it. In that scenario, do whatever you think gets you more sales, you’re the one with skin in the game.

But it seems out of touch to me to think that in a scenario where extra paint and coating means consulting suppliers, waiting for samples, testing etc.—all of which could be weeks/months—that it’s somehow going to be the difference. Every passing month is another challenge to getting Gizmodo or Engadget to do anything but scoff at the specs. And you need time after it’s out there to for the amazing community to show what SW can pull off. The specs continue to age then also.

If you want more people to buy this based on looks, don’t make it look like everything else. Make it more retro, and more unique. We’re sitting here talking about making it look like a 3DS... cobalt, black, red... make it a conversation piece. Make something bold. Make it look like nothing else.
 

Confuzzled

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Thank-you both to azouls and EvilDragon for taking the time to update us with facts and participate in the discussion.

I can see the commercial advantages in having coated/painted cases. Aesthetics do matter to many people, and EvilDragon is looking to make a commercially-driven decision here. I certainly won't object to a nice looking case.

For my part, I agree with others that a plain textured surface would be adequate. I have a calculator that has a textured black plastic back (it looks 'sandblasted') and painted metal front. The paint has worn off the edges and corners of the metal, but the back looks good: the texturing has been worn down on the edges and corners, but it still looks good: the front looks dreadful. Of course, deciding on a textured plastic exterior should probably have been done when the moulds were first fabricated.

We have to trust EvilDragon's competence to make the correct decision here. He has a lot more riding on this that any other of us (unless someone is an undisclosed funding 'angel'). He can probably be influenced by reasoned argument from relevant experience - armchair quarterbacks are not needed. EvilDragon wants (maybe needs) the Pyra to succeed, and we want to get our hands on a working Pyra too - so we are all on the same team. The important thing is to make sure he does not burn out or lose interest. The objective is clear, and we should be doing our level best to smooth the path so EvilDragon (and we) can succeed in reaching it.
 

Neelix

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I love you, man, I love your commitment to quality and that the Pandora exists and the Pyra is so close, but to play the devil’s advocate here — at the end of the day, what reviews, what forums, and what fans will say about this thing is about what it can do.
Have you ever watched an unboxing video? First thing that gets commented on, without fail, no matter what device is being unboxed is the finish of the device, because it's the aspect of the device people encounter first. It is literally the first impression that anyone encountering the device will have of it and when you are trying to sell devices (as ED has to do in order to break even, let alone make a profit) first impressions matter. Especially the first impressions shared by reviewers, and in the day and age of YouTube practically anyone could be a reviewer.

Several years ago I was doing a course in customer service. The instructor told us a story that has stuck with me ever since. He had previously sold mobile phones for a living in the days when having a mobile phone was considered to be something of a luxury, and one day upon opening a shipment of what were supposed to be black phones, they discovered that the entire shipment was pink. They didn't think they were going to be able to sell them, but as they had no other stock they had no choice but to put them on sale. They were somewhat shocked to discover that the pink ones sold like hotcakes in what was back then a whole new segment of the market, *because* they were pink. My point is that people can and frequently do make purchasing decisions based on appearance, so while what it can do is important, you can't just dismiss the importance of making it look good.

-Neelix
 

Djoga'Ro

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Make it more retro, and more unique. We’re sitting here talking about making it look like a 3DS... cobalt, black, red... make it a conversation piece. Make something bold. Make it look like nothing else.
Pump Hot Pink and Safety Orange plastics swirl-soft-serve-style into the mold. I might actually like that. :)
 

EvilDragon

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That's the point. A look back at the Pyra development story is enough to find another example: keyboard mat. How many iterations and reworks were needed there until everything finally reached production maturity? And the keyboard mat had no firmware or hardware. Why would that be different in another process of painting the case?
Nope, you can't compare that.
Even the very first version of the keymat did LOOK fine already. The printing and color were perfect. What we tweaked were physical issues, and these take a long time (at least 6 weeks for each change). First, you'd need to triple check WHAT needs to be changed (as moulds cannot be changed infinite times - they also wear out).
Then the change needs to be done, a new production needs to be planned, etc.

Getting coated samples usually only takes a few days. I've got about 150 cases here which I can ship out to various companies to get samples.

It's a LOT less complex than doing physical designs to a keymat.
 

levi

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As pmprog has already suggested, there is no apparent reason not to hand over the Pyra to all pre-buyers who would be more than satisfied with a non-painted case. Everyone else would like to wait the next few weeks or months for ED to find the painted casings good enough and ready for production.
Apart from the complexity of having two different types of case to fit depending on customer preference on top of the existing variables for main board (LTE etc) and CPU board (RAM size). He could add yet another set of buttons to the shop, but I'm not sure that's a good idea. The alternative is he emails everyone and everyone replies with their preference, I guess because hacking something into the shop buying screens is likely too big a risk. And that means he has to correlate the replies with the units he makes up, assuming even a majority of people actually reply.

At the moment, we're still allowing time for Toastbucket and anyone else who cares to make the system more stable and able to charge. He can spend that time selecting which company (of the ones he's already found a few of) to use for the coating.

My only concern is that he doesn't repeat the problems the Pandora had with their painting, namely that the tunnels the screws on the bottom fit into became too narrow to get the screws out at all reliably, at least with the screwdrivers I have (maybe an electric screwdriver which can provide a constant torque while you manage applying enough pressure to stop the driver jumping out of the head might be better, there's a first time for everything). But knowing ED that's just the kind of thing he'd be sure to check.
 
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bubblebee

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Getting coated samples usually only takes a few days. I've got about 150 cases here which I can ship out to various companies to get samples.
That's good to hear. So I may summarize again briefly: In your video, you have announced that there is nothing in the way of a production start, except a maybe necessary housing paintwork because of discolorizations. Since according to your prevoius post it should take only a few days (so maybe 3,4 or 5 days?), you get back the painted housings. It should then be no problem here and now to present a precise timetable, when the Pyroproduction starts and when we see the first deliveries. Really great. Then everything is in butter and my fears completely groundless and baseless. I'm relieved.
 
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levi

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That's good to hear. So I may summarize again briefly: In your video, you have announced that there is nothing in the way of a production start, except a maybe necessary housing paintwork because of discolorizations. Since according to your prevoius post it should take only a few days (so maybe 3,4 or 5 days?), you get back the painted housings. It should then be no problem here and now to present a precise timetable, when the Pyroproduction starts and when we see the first deliveries. Really great. Then everything is in butter and my fears completely groundless and baseless. I'm relieved.
Keymats need to arrive. I would advise against predicting the vagaries of the postal system and putting them into your gantt chart.
 

bubblebee

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Keymats need to arrive. I would advise against predicting the vagaries of the postal system and putting them into your gantt chart.
ED told in his video, that the 1000 keymats come next week, so where is the problem ?
 
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Djoga'Ro

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ED told in his video, that the 1000 keymats come next week, so where is the problem ?
In the same video he also said, that test software for production quality management needs to be prepared. Or am I mixing things up?
 

mclien

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OK, I'm a bit TL;DN at the moment, but did watch the video.
So, I would let that one to ED to deceit. I understand, that it might sell more units, if the look better with coating.
I myself would go for a bit if discolorisation, but constant look, instead of shiny in the beginning.

I don'tknow, of it might be possible to use 2 colors and get a marble effect, which kinda would hide the effect. As long, as we get additionally clear cases (which could be pained from the inside (courious to see how that looks). I really don't care. So whatever works better marketing wise, I'd say.
So... what about: Do the first 1000 without coating to all (pre-)preorderers? That way we would have our Pyras and while doing "marketing", we still can say: "Yeah, the case-finish is pre-production, but I surely bcouldn't wait to have mine, an will perhaps buy an additional case later.Same goes for an un-glued logo pn the lit for me.
 

ClockworkCoder

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While I agree, I think @EvilDragon is concerned about starting to circulate "less than ideal" versions which may get a lot of initial media attention. It's that first impression that may be key to success.

I'm sure there could be a clear caveat to indicate that certain cases are pre-production issue ones...
 

Grench

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Whooot, didn't expect that much drama!
You must still not know us very well then... Remember the multi-month drama over types of screws? Yes. We can obsess and dissect and propose changes and scope creep to anything.

The issue is: A LOT of users (even niche enthusiast users) care a lot about the looks.
I would like to casually put them off as a group of narcissistic posers. But, you are of course right. Potential sales are important.

I'm good with a mechanically correct (working shoulder buttons, won't crumple) case with cosmetic craziness. But then I signed up for that in being a prototype pre-pre-order. If one of the prototype pre-pre-orders winds up in a review setting, the reviewer would need to reveal that it -is- a prototype and that the final cases will have a more professional finish - and move on. I'm fine with or without coatings on the plastic. Call my desired finish for my prototype Pyra as 60% no coating 40% coating (I would take either), but I want a 100% mechanically working/correct unit.

Every single order after the eight prototype orders is, effectively, a production unit. There is no 'it's a prototype' caveat required. You can pretty much count on there being a half dozen or more 'reviews' resulting from the first two hundred pre-pre-orders. If even one of them spends more than fifteen seconds at the beginning of their You-tube video griping about how cheap and gad awful the thing looks and how they are ashamed to take it out in public for fear of being mocked by their brutal but equally narcissistic friends - that would be the 'conflict' to give them ratings.

So, after thinking about it, you're right to think about this one. Yes, we all want the Pyra out - as soon as it is ready.

Put a shiny coating on every post-prototype case you make. The ones who are fine/good with the plastics being 'raw' will more likely be fine/good with it being coated and be unlikely to RMA because the case is painted. The ones who are not fine/good with a substandard finish will RMA if the sticker inside the battery door isn't 'just so'. Paint all of the production cases to be as 'perfect' is as financially reasonable and move onward.
 

theredbaron

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You must still not know us very well then... Remember the multi-month drama over types of screws? Yes. We can obsess and dissect and propose changes and scope creep to anything.


I would like to casually put them off as a group of narcissistic posers. But, you are of course right. Potential sales are important.

I'm good with a mechanically correct (working shoulder buttons, won't crumple) case with cosmetic craziness. But then I signed up for that in being a prototype pre-pre-order. If one of the prototype pre-pre-orders winds up in a review setting, the reviewer would need to reveal that it -is- a prototype and that the final cases will have a more professional finish - and move on. I'm fine with or without coatings on the plastic. Call my desired finish for my prototype Pyra as 60% no coating 40% coating (I would take either), but I want a 100% mechanically working/correct unit.

Every single order after the eight prototype orders is, effectively, a production unit. There is no 'it's a prototype' caveat required. You can pretty much count on there being a half dozen or more 'reviews' resulting from the first two hundred pre-pre-orders. If even one of them spends more than fifteen seconds at the beginning of their You-tube video griping about how cheap and gad awful the thing looks and how they are ashamed to take it out in public for fear of being mocked by their brutal but equally narcissistic friends - that would be the 'conflict' to give them ratings.

So, after thinking about it, you're right to think about this one. Yes, we all want the Pyra out - as soon as it is ready.

Put a shiny coating on every post-prototype case you make. The ones who are fine/good with the plastics being 'raw' will more likely be fine/good with it being coated and be unlikely to RMA because the case is painted. The ones who are not fine/good with a substandard finish will RMA if the sticker inside the battery door isn't 'just so'. Paint all of the production cases to be as 'perfect' is as financially reasonable and move onward.
Which brings up a questions for me.

What kind of screw was settled on?
 
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