More Pandora 2 crap (MicroSD Split)


Binky

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When a (feasible) idea comes up, like


No room for SD slots + people want SD slots --> make it bigger (see above)


It would be nice to have feedback from the team.


Even making the P2 0.5cm wider on each side should make room for a full SD slot. - Is this possible?
 

Askarus

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I say: optimize it for the hands, not for the pockets! I can always adjust the size of my pockets (e.g. by buying different pants), but I cannot adjust the size of my hands!

Great words.


I got a pocket for my Pandora so I don't care about size.


As long as it fits well into my hands and includes everything I need it's great.

Even making the P2 0.5cm wider on each side should make room for a full SD slot. - Is this possible?

Those are easy numbers and adjustments I think.


Please, developers. Think of such solutions.
 
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Binky

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Remember it's a tiny computer.
This is what I think makes the Pandora great and I hope the development of the P2 will keep this basic idea.
The P2 will be a disaster if it doesn't..


It gets its fanbase (us!) from attracting devs with real Linux, and attracting users with versatile software/hardware capabilities.


Take a way the real Linux, you loose the devs


Take away the versatile hardware and you lose the users


Nobody wants another half-donkeyed android console
 

bismuthdrummer

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There's one thing we need to be careful here: Nobody is AGAINST MicroSD - not me, not Craig, not MWeston. It's about an additional slot (full sized or not).


The last quote I had from MWeston about that was:

I think it all comes down to size constraints. I believe we all want the P2 to be a bit smaller than the first one and hopefully thinner! If one full sized SXHC and one microSDXC slot were possible, I like it.

Thank you for posting the quote (hopefully MWeston doesn't mind, I would assume not but you never know).


Despite my feisty postings I am not angry, regardless of what you decide. We were getting a lot of hyperbolic and definitive statements that seemed to suggest it wasn't even possible.


What helps is when someone can reasonably state what the limits are so we all understand. It's not a democracy, but it sure feels better to know that the team is trying to accommodate the fanbase's dreams and desires.
 

Grench

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I sure don't care about mainstream.


I rather want to have a unique device than something that sells like hell.

The community is trying to help you (and the team) to create something truly unique, flexible and usable beyond anything else on the market. I'm hoping that you will be our voice of reason on the project.


The PII will have certain hardware requirements to fit the Android 'stock' OS. Accellerometer, GPS, multi-touchscreen will likely have to come along for the ride. If I recall, those are prerequisites for accessing the Google Application/Play store.


What I'm asking for is to include the bits that make it a Pandora only more so.


The basics - or stuff that really really needs to be there:


Dual core ARM CPU >= 1.5Ghz


1 GB RAM


Dual memory card slots so it can boot from one and swap in/out the other.


Comfortable in the hands


Durable and usable gaming controls


The best screen you can reasonably put in it - which is subjective and we'll just have to trust the development team on it since none of us are going to have the chance to see the testing.


All components having open source drivers for inclusion into a Linux desktop style OS.


The whiz-bang:


Quad core CPU >= 2Ghz


>=2 GB RAM


802.11g/n with 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz n capability up to 300Mb/sec


USB 3.0 micro port with OTG functionality (works as device and host)


~200MB/sec throughput capable via the USB 3


~200MB/sec throughput to dual SDXC-UHS-I card slots.


An internal microSD 3rd slot for the OS instead of using internal NAND.


A lot of that is nearly useless on 'just another android device' as nobody makes an 'app' that really requires >10MB/sec. However, on a general use computer, disk speed and capacity is the normal limiter in capabilities. 'apps' don't 'need' 5Ghz 802.11n networking - on computers it's like opening up a new freeway. Angry Birds Star Wars isn't going to care if you have USB 3.0. The USB 3.0 DASD box that I'm backing up and restoring data from sure could. The wired USB 3.0 to gigabit networking adapter will care.


So - will the Pandora 2 be:


1. 'Just another Android device in a pool of hundreds.'


or


2. 'The best pocket computer ever made that happens to be able to run Android as an option if you're afraid of penguins.'


It's up to you guys - where is the emphasis? Device or Computer?
 

Divpax

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I'm going against the consensus here I think when I say size DOES matter. The current pandora is just a little bit too chunky to be properly pocketable and while it's still obviously a magnificent machine I think any way it can be made more compact (within reason) should be attempted. I'm not saying we should sacrifice features as such but people should remember, the pandora is a handheld.
 

Binky

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You missed one, Grench


USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 FULL SIZE are absolutely key, must-haves for a pocket computer

the pandora is a handheld.

You've missed your own point there! :)


You mean the pandora is a pocket device


Tablets are handheld too...
 

Grench

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You missed one, Grench


USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 FULL SIZE are absolutely key, must-haves for a pocket computer

I rank full sized SD over full sized USB - though being able to use any USB key ever produced is nice too. Putting USB 2.0 on a device made in 2012 would be like putting wooden spoke tube-tires on a Ferrari Enzo.


"USB 3.0 has transmission speeds of up to 5 Gbit/s, which is 10 times faster than USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/s). USB 3.0 significantly reduces the time required for data transmission, reduces power consumption, and is backwards compatible with USB 2.0." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usb_3.0


So, where USB is concerned, 3.0 > 10*2.0
 

Binky

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USB3>USB2>USB1>nothing


I'd still like to know why the P2 can have its plastic section made wider by a CM or two. Would this not free up space for another full SD card?


Would 14 or 13cm wide be too big?


?
 
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A much lauded feature of Pandora is its PSX emulation...I REALLY hope Pandora 2 has all 4 shoulder buttons, even if in a horizontal configuration (and maybe click-able analogs for L3&R3 if possible) to fully take advantage of it. Worringly, this isn't even really being discussed by OPT. :unsure:
 

McLovin

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if i could wish for things the p2 should change:


much better wifi


mouse emulation on bottom plate - either touch or trackballish.


clip-in or screw-in holes for extensions, like additional shoulder buttons, always connected usb-hubs, peripherals, etc.


Make extension-ports easily accessible from outside.


real inset mini-joysticks instead of nubs


inset usb-port, so miniature-sticks won't stick out


MORE buttons, especially some accessibility when closed


And yeah, I would like to be abled to use the screen in closed state, so an icp2-like hinge might be a good addition.


Even if it would be bigger then the p1, it would definatly be worth it.
 
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mosschops

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i am thoroughly enjoy reading all of this, i do have a point to make myself.


On several occasions Craig has said that the basis for the P2 is to be the ICP2. We know the issues we had with the manufacture of the cases and their durability previously. the ICP2 would be a great testing ground for the design of the base, simply take the same materials, a slightly different design to incorporate hinges and a slot (maybe the design already includes this but it is just filled or covered) and slap in a different PCB. There half the design done & tested and a chunk of cost saved. I have no doubt if people are saying there is no space for SDcards then this has already been taken into account or at the very least what i have just said has been thought about and is part of the overall plan.
 

overgauss

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We need to clearly state the pros and cons of the storage types first. Then discuss preferences. The arguments so far are emotional and preference based. I've heard (paraphrased) "The P2 is a computer and needs the fastest speed and largest capacity." If you can afford the largest capacity SD, then you can afford multiple microSD's of the fastest speed. Then there is the function follows form argument. This is a non-argument as the function lost has not been defined either. The preference of using one lage card that can be easily swapped between user devices has been mentioned often enough. Very little has been spoken about cost, capability, and size constraints other than to reaffirm that SD=microSD in terms of speed, the newest SD>microSD in terms of cost/capacity (it takes a moment for capacity size to trickle down to the microSD format) and that the P2 should just be made bigger because...


Let's look at actual computing devices that also have form/size constraints. Let's identify why those engineers, who likely voiced the same ideas or concerns as everyone else in this thread did, went with the storage solutions that they did. Why did they choose SD vs microSD and vice versa, and is it relevant to the P2? Overwhelmingly tablet PC manufacturers prefer microSD. Overwhelmingly. Microsoft has even gotten into the microSD action with the Surface. Why? Is it because the tablet PC user won't swap cards as often as the P2 user? Why does the P2 user have to swap cards at all if the P2 has a USB port? Are their computing needs less than ours? Do they need less memory space than we do?


Is the argument that SD leads the larger capacity front now, just as relevant a year or more from now? How much does it matter that an SD card is more easily handled when a usb cable is just as easily handled? How many of us have a high speed camera that we need to swap back and forth the largest and fastest available SD cards with? It appears that the main reason why we need to use oversize cards is because of a perception that microSD's are not fast enough (debunked) and that microSD's are inferior because you can not pay $900 for a 256gb card just yet (oh yeah and that microSD's are just too small to handle).


Currently it is harder to fit more memory into less space. That's why the capacity lag between the two formats exist. However as die/internal chip dimensions shrink, memory capacity increases. Smaller die sizes of the chip means that more chips per wafer can be produced simutaneously, lowering the cost of the component. This last relation lowers the cost of microSD chips faster than the cost of SD chips. SD chips are easier to make but there are fewer produced per wafer. The reverse is true for MicroSD because each die is smaller in size than the die size of SD memory.


A recap from my perspective:


MicroSD offers the same functionality with lower end user cost although memory capacity appears to lag behind the newest SD cards. MicroSD also allows for size/form factor constraints adding space for more components and added functionality that wouldn't be present otherwise (unless you had a brick in mind or a 1980's era cellphone-Exaggeration!)


SD allows for higher memory capacity and higher costs associated with that higher capacity at the expense of form factor and reduced space for components or added functionality (unless you really didn't want, bluetooth, wi-fi, usb, micro hdmi, serial etc in something that looks like it is reasonably modern for a device coming out in the future.)
 
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_wb_

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Tablets are not PCs, your usage of the words "tablet PC" is confusing. Many of them (e.g. iPads) are not even Turing complete in practice - you're not allowed to run arbitrary programs on them. These are not general purpose computers, just netbooks without a keyboard - good for web browsing or PDF viewing, but not much else. Of course they don't need easily swappable storage - they essentially use storage in a read-only way. That's why Apple gets away with making the storage internal and unchangeable on their iPads.


The Pandora is a different thing: it is a mini-computer, not intended to lock you down in any way. Full SD has advantages over microSD, even though it is bigger. Just like a big battery has advantages over a small battery, and a bigger screen has advantages over a smaller one. It's all a matter of finding the sweet spot - in my opinion, we should make room for at least one full SD slot, even if that means that the X,Y dimensions will not be significantly smaller than those of the P1.


Your argument that microSD is cheaper than SD does not seem to be supported by reality. You seem to think that in the future, it will be easier to fit more memory in a small volume than in a bigger volume. That would be strange.
 

Grench

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Your continuous restatement of false information does not make it true.

If you can afford the largest capacity SD, then you can afford multiple microSD's of the fastest speed.
A fist full of slow, low capacity microSD cards can never equal one top line SD card. You may want to swap tiny cards that you have to pinch between your skin and finger nail to pick up - but you would be in a minority.

Then there is the function follows form argument. This is a non-argument as the function lost has not been defined either.
They have been defined many times. You choose to ignore them.


Functions lost with microSD instead of SD:


1. Maximum per card capacity halved during one part of the product cycle and quartered during the other. In a few weeks SD will max at 256GB per card. It will be 8-12 months before microSD hits 128GB.


2. Maximum per card data transfer speed halved.


3. Time to market for equivalent sizes/speed delayed 18+ months.


4. Pandora/Computer/Prosumer Camera interchange.


5. microSD's inferior structure places data at risk any time you have to physically move it in or out of any device.

The preference of using one lage card that can be easily swapped between user devices has been mentioned often enough. Very little has been spoken about cost, capability, and size constraints other than to reaffirm that SD=microSD in terms of speed, the newest SD>microSD in terms of cost/capacity (it takes a moment for capacity size to trickle down to the microSD format) and that the P2 should just be made bigger because...
The only way to make any of that true is to use very selective and incompatible or time-shifted sources for your data. The ONLY time microSD and SD become equivalent in price per (insert metric) is when you're comparing the bottom of both product heaps. At that point you're dealing with comparing 36 month old SD tech to 18 month old microSD tech.

Let's look at actual computing devices that also have form/size constraints. Let's identify why those engineers, who likely voiced the same ideas or concerns as everyone else in this thread did, went with the storage solutions that they did. Why did they choose SD vs microSD and vice versa, and is it relevant to the P2? Overwhelmingly tablet PC manufacturers prefer microSD. Overwhelmingly. Microsoft has even gotten into the microSD action with the Surface. Why? Is it because the tablet PC user won't swap cards as often as the P2 user? Why does the P2 user have to swap cards at all if the P2 has a USB port? Are their computing needs less than ours? Do they need less memory space than we do?
Yes. They need less memory space than we do. They are making 'networked devices' where the OS is controlled by the manufacturer (or re-seller). Their applications are tiny - and insanely expensive per MB. They do not take on general computing tasks but rather shuffle those off to the cloud. They do not generally house media - they access it remotely over a pipe paid for in $/MB.


The Pandora - and hopefully the Pandora II - are general use computing devices. It is a replacement desktop in the palm of your hand. It needs more space, more speed and can do many many many more things than any phone, tablet or other controlled environment device could touch.

Is the argument that SD leads the larger capacity front now, just as relevant a year or more from now?
Yes - it will be. Just as it has been for the last 5 or so years. This is directly due to the physical volume constraints of the two devices and the physical size of the chips you can shove into them. microSD has a volume of around 1/3 that of SD - and has to wait until process reduction makes chips ~1/8th the physical volume before it can reach a given SD card's capacity. So long as both exist, SD will always be both twice the capacity and twice the speed or 8+ times the capacity and the same speed as micro SD of an equivalent technology process. Physics is as it is.

How much does it matter that an SD card is more easily handled when a usb cable is just as easily handled?
Irrelevant if you want to boot off of the fastest, highest capacity media available. I want the Pandora II to be able to boot and read/write data twice as fast as you seem to. You DO realize you're arguing for a slower device with a lower capacity right?

How many of us have a high speed camera that we need to swap back and forth the largest and fastest available SD cards with?
Anyone who has a modern dedicated camera or camcorder pretty much fits here.

It appears that the main reason why we need to use oversize cards
Oversize? You mean larger capacity faster cards?

issi because of a perception that microSD's are not fast enough (debunked)
Not debunked in the slightest term. Gee - if I look at this microSD card released last month it's just as fast as this other SD card that released a year and a half ago. That means they're the same right? It's a fool's argument.

and that microSD's are inferior because you can not pay $900 for a 256gb card just yet
Bleeding edge tech has always had bleeding edge prices. It's expensive because at it's time of release there will be only one company selling it - exclusivity. It will come down as the market adjusts.

(oh yeah and that microSD's are just too small to handle).
On that one we're in agreement, although you were being sarcastic. I'm a man with man hands. To manipulate microSD cards I literally have to pick them up between my finger nail and the skin underneath it or use tweezers. Those little things break if you look at them sideways. They're made to be inserted into the back of a phone - behind the back cover - and never removed for the life of the device. They're simply not built for repeated insertion/removal.

Currently it is harder to fit more memory into less space. That's why the capacity lag between the two formats exist. However as die/internal chip dimensions shrink, memory capacity increases. Smaller die sizes of the chip means that more chips per wafer can be produced simutaneously, lowering the cost of the component.
So you understand what I stated above - that SD gets to be twice as fast and twice the capacity with a dual channel controller by using two of the exact same features that you'll find in a single microSD card.

This last relation lowers the cost of microSD chips faster than the cost of SD chips. SD chips are easier to make but there are fewer produced per wafer. The reverse is true for MicroSD because each die is smaller in size than the die size of SD memory.
Just when I start to think you get it - you prove me wrong.


Both card types use the same chips off of the same wafers using the same processes. SD simply has the volume to put a bit over twice as many of them in - and then stripe the set for speed.


Using the same process (lithography), SD will be twice the capacity (number of chips) and twice the speed (stripe over those chips) as microSD. It's that physics thing biting back again.

A recap from my perspective:
MicroSD offers the same functionality with lower end user cost although capacity appears to lag behind the newest SD cards. MicroSD also allows for size/form factor constraints adding space for more components and added functionality that wouldn't be present otherwise (unless you had a brick in mind or a 1980's era cellphone-Exaggeration!)
Per your examples, the user cost is only lower if you're willing to wait 36+ months for the tech to catch up with your wallet - bottom feeding the technical curve.


Nobody is asking for a brick. We also don't need something as small as a cell phone. Something in between with amazing capabilities - that's what we're after.

SD allows for higher capacity and higher costs associated with that capacity at the expense of form factor and reduced space for components or added functionality (unless you really didn't want, bluetooth, wi-fi, usb, micro hdmi, serial etc in something that looks like it is reasonably modern for a device coming out in the future.)

Nobody's talking about giving up the whistles for this. We're talking about retaining functionality we already have. It doesn't look good if the Pandora II can only have half the disk (card capacity) of the Pandora I. It doesn't look good if the Pandora II takes twice as long to load a photo collection as it takes the Pandora I. It doesn't look good if the Pandora II takes twice as long to load an emulator as it takes the Pandora I. It doesn't look good if the Pandora II has half the capacity for music libraries as the Pandora I.


microSD is ALL about sacrificing capability for aesthetics. Function following form.


We want our functionality back.
 

mcobit

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OMG, so much fuzz about sdcardslots... Just wait until the discussion about resistive or capacitive touchscreen comes up ;)
 
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Grench

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OMG, so much fuzz about sdcardslots... Just wait until the discussion about resistive or capacitive touchscreen comes up ;)
You're welcome to that one - I hardly ever use the touchscreen capabilities. I imagine that will be more important to those who use it as a 'device' instead of a 'computer'.
 

overgauss

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Tablets are not PCs, your usage of the words "tablet PC" is confusing. Many of them (e.g. iPads) are not even Turing complete in practice - you're not allowed to run arbitrary programs on them. These are not general purpose computers, just netbooks without a keyboard - good for web browsing or PDF viewing, but not much else. Of course they don't need easily swappable storage - they essentially use storage in a read-only way. That's why Apple gets away with making the storage internal and unchangeable on their iPads.

I can say the same thing about the distinction you are making. For instance the tablet comparison link right under the words Comparison of tablet computers says this...

Below is a list of available and upcoming tablet computers as of 2012, grouped by intended audience and form factor.
For instance using the Apple example is inadequate because swappable storage is not a requirement for the label PC and in fact includes things such as netbooks. Further, several of the tablets in that comparison run Windows 7, Windows 7 Home Premium (even 64 bit), Windows Vista, and Windows Starter! I'm not ready to define a PC by it's storage medium. How would you define the Surface? It only uses Windows RT. The Surface Pro uses Windows 8 Pro. Do either of these platforms count as a PC?

The Pandora is a different thing: it is a mini-computer, not intended to lock you down in any way. Full SD has advantages over microSD, even though it is bigger. Just like a big battery has advantages over a small battery, and a bigger screen has advantages over a smaller one. It's all a matter of finding the sweet spot - in my opinion, we should make room for at least one full SD slot, even if that means that the X,Y dimensions will not be significantly smaller than those of the P1.
Yes SD has advantages. Do you disagree with the ones I stated? Also we are not comparing one big battery against a small one in a vacuum. We are comparing two big batteries slots that range in capacity against two or more smaller batteries that also range in capacity. Your opinion is definitly valid, however is your opinion a valid argument? What reasons can you state that prove that we need to make room for at least one SD slot?

Your argument that microSD is cheaper than SD does not seem to be supported by reality. You seem to think that in the future, it will be easier to fit more memory in a small volume than in a bigger volume. That would be strange.

I'm saying currently it is harder to put the same amount of memory in a smaller space but that may not be the case in the future. The size of computer chips have consistently shrunk over the years, for example, and these chips have cache, onboard memory etc. If you have evidence that microSD is not cheaper than SD then share it. I've been asking for an economical analysis for some time now. I've shown with links where my point of view comes from and have asked others to show where my thinking has gone wrong. It appears you are the perfect person for the job! I'm not afraid to be wrong but allow for it by traditionally using the word "generally" instead of always to qualify my statements about pricing. Just show that I'm "generally" wrong and your job is done, and we can move onto other points of discussion.
 
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