Not a volcano... but...


EvilDragon

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Unfortunately, I've got a pretty sad newspost today - which will also explain my lack of updates, posts and assembled Pyras.

Let's start with a quote from good old Lemmings:

"What the bloody 'ell 'appened"?


Well, we were all good. Assembly had restarted (still slow, but we are still using the remaining old cases), new cases had arrived, I was catching up with work which meant that I would also be able to spend more time assembling Pyras soon.
The rooms were setup, everything had mostly sorted, so after GamesCom, assembly should be faster again, I was even considering hiring another employee to help with work as it's just too much to handle at the moment.

That was the plan. But something happened. Nope, not a volcano. But much worse (at least for me).
When I came back from Gamescom, I first had to deal with Covid-19 again (but this was somewhat expected).
However, one of my customers (a REALLY loyal one, he ordered the GP2X from me and was active during the GP32 times) informed me, that someone is selling new wares on a marketplace that can usually only be found in my shop in Germany.
He bought one - and found it fishy that it had been sent from Ingolstadt (my hometown) as well, so he did contact me asking if I know the person.
And yes, indeed I did. One of my employees (no, don't worry, it's not Askarus or anyone from the community here).

After a bit of investigation, I found out that this was not the first time this happened. In fact, as far as I can tell, the employee had sold goods worth at least 16k EUR within the last year.
Yep, that's pretty shocking for a small shop as ours - and that's quite some damage. No Pyras have been sold, so that's some good news.

So now I had and still have to face multiple issues at once:
  1. One employee less - which means I had to handle shipping all the goods myself (so even more work)
  2. I have to deal with all the legal stuff with my lawyer as fast as possible to try to recover as much from that lost money as possible. I can't count the hours I've discussed the whole issue with him.. hours I'd rather have spent assembly Pyras.
  3. I had to get a new employee as soon s possible to get some work offloaded (she will start on October 17th)
  4. Well, and I'm missing 16k money, which meant I needed to temporarily get it from somewhere else.
What a horrible situation! I always expect bad things to happen - but I NEVER did expect something like this!
Oh well - this was quite a downer, caused me tons of extra work and is the reason, a lot of emails, messages, etc. to me have not yet been answered, no Pyras have been built during the last month and I didn't even have time to reply to any questions on the boards or similar.
I did not try to run away and hide - I was simply fully overworked, getting only a couple of hours sleep per day.

Well... but... not all is bad. I don't want to end this newspost with only bad news, so let's continue with some Pyra news as well!

The new cases - and a new color...?

Let's start with the new cases. They have been lying here for quite some time, but due to the issue mentioned above, I didn't find the time to contact the coating company.
Not that bad though, as we still have around 100 cases ready for assembly, so we can continue assembling Pyras.
The person previously handling the project has left the company, so I had a meeting with the new ones responsible.
They think it's possible to use a robot to handle the coating which will increase the quality, be faster and also a bit cheaper.
However, they don't have any of the dark chrome color left - and the minimum order quantity is 60kg, which is pretty expensive.
Back then, they had a bigger customer who used this color, so we could also use it, but that project is over.

So it's unlikely we can continue the dark chrome color - which is a shame, as I really liked it. They'll check what other projects they have right now, so maybe we'll get a cool new color instead!
The black color is no problem, of course, as it's a standard color.

I'll let you know and send you pictures once I know what other color we could get at the moment!

Help in assembly

As mentioned above, a new employee who will handle the shipping will be in my shop October 17th. I need to train her for a few weeks, but that should hopefully give me a lot more time later to assemble Pyras.
Additionally, askarus will be back helping regularly assembling units.

AESS almost working!

In regards of software, Nikolaus (@hns) has continued to work on porting the AESS subsystem from an older kernel to the current one.
This was A LOT more work than anyone anticipicated - but according to an email I received from him, it seems very likely he'll get it to work!
What's the AESS subsystem? Well, it's the hardware accelerated audio system of TI's audio chip we're using together with the OMAP.
At the moment, it's completely unused - which means, that all resampling, rerouting, etc. needs to be handled by the OMAP5, which means it slows down the system, heats it up a bit and doesn't allow to fully use the capabilities of the chip.
Without AESS, the audio chip always expects 96kHz audio - and the OMAP5 has to resample it whenever you play audio.

So this should improve the situation quite a lot!

That's it for the moment - I hope to have better news for you soon!

And... thanks again to everyone for your patience, support - even when I don't find the time to reply to anything during the last few weeks. Rest assured that this is not because I want to hide from any bad stuff, but simply, because the above issue caused so much time and work, that I simply couldn't do it.
Sorry again for that, and... you're all incredible, and I would've gone crazy without you a long time ago!
 

matzesu

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Thanks for this newspost, so my Dark Chrome PreePreeorder Pyra got much more worth as the color is much rarer ^^ nice ..
not that nice whit your ex employee,
I’m Exetetet about the progress on the Audio Issue
 

Null

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so maybe we'll get a cool new color instead!

I was waiting for this day to come.

c4198aa2f54fb1399177e0a2a83259b7.jpg
 

Arkay Firestar

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Apr 28, 2010
Messages
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Sorry to hear it, ED. The feeling of violation/betrayal is often as bad or worse than the monetary damage in such cases.

And speaking of cases, I was one of the dark chrome survey respondents and bummed to hear it’s off the table for now. If there’s more work to be done with the company to find a solution I just want to again put out there that I would be totally 100% happy with an uncoated clear case personally

Good luck getting back on track and finding good people to help.
 

Magic Sam

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Hi all,

@EvilDragon : I'm glad to hear you have fully recovered from COVID19, that was my main concern.

Regarding the issue with your employee: shit happens. Debt will be paid, money will be recouped somehow. But as far as I know one has only one life, one health, and that's what matters in the end.

I'm quiet disappointed with the Pyra but I'm 100% sure you're doing your best to sort things out. You can count on my full support as always. I joined this community in 2006-2007 if I remember correctly, and I'm not going anywhere :)

Cheers, Magic Sam
 

Trezker

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Mar 11, 2012
Messages
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Thank for the news, it's been a while. I hope the shit will stop hitting the fan enough that you can at least catch up on sleep.
 
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Askarus

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What!? WTF!?!?
I hope you lured that person into an ambush and beat him up quite a bit.
Alone. Without any witnesses.

At least now you know how I felt as some one stole my money twice at the Gamescom :p
 

levi

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Getting AESS working is good news, although if he's so far got it working on an older kernel, that's not the end of the road. But hopefully he understands the interface to the kernel well now so hopefully it won't be too much unexpected work to port it to the latest LTS kernel.

To me at least the news of an employee defrauding you, and the subsequent dealings with lawyers helps explain how things have gone slow and why we can't expect too much until this is more resolved. Hopefully this hasn't been too stressful for you. But for what it's worth as a keyboard warrior you have my support.
 

Librelism

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Sorry to hear about your 16k missing. I can relate. I gave a guy $400 5 years ago for something one time and never got what I ordered.
 

Askarus

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Sorry to hear about your 16k missing. I can relate. I gave a guy $400 5 years ago for something one time and never got what I ordered.
had that situation a few months ago on ebay-Kleinanzeigen.
Ordered an item for 500€ and never got it.
At that time I did not know that at the moment there are quite a lot hackers around which take over legit accounts with a good history to mock people.
Luckily PayPal sent me back the money, even if I did not use the "pay save" option as the seller did disable that option.
I did not know one could disable that option and fell for it.
 

directive0

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Unfortunately, I've got a pretty sad newspost today - which will also explain my lack of updates, posts and assembled Pyras.

Let's start with a quote from good old Lemmings:

"What the bloody 'ell 'appened"?


Well, we were all good. Assembly had restarted (still slow, but we are still using the remaining old cases), new cases had arrived, I was catching up with work which meant that I would also be able to spend more time assembling Pyras soon.
The rooms were setup, everything had mostly sorted, so after GamesCom, assembly should be faster again, I was even considering hiring another employee to help with work as it's just too much to handle at the moment.

That was the plan. But something happened. Nope, not a volcano. But much worse (at least for me).
When I came back from Gamescom, I first had to deal with Covid-19 again (but this was somewhat expected).
However, one of my customers (a REALLY loyal one, he ordered the GP2X from me and was active during the GP32 times) informed me, that someone is selling new wares on a marketplace that can usually only be found in my shop in Germany.
He bought one - and found it fishy that it had been sent from Ingolstadt (my hometown) as well, so he did contact me asking if I know the person.
And yes, indeed I did. One of my employees (no, don't worry, it's not Askarus or anyone from the community here).

After a bit of investigation, I found out that this was not the first time this happened. In fact, as far as I can tell, the employee had sold goods worth at least 16k EUR within the last year.
Yep, that's pretty shocking for a small shop as ours - and that's quite some damage. No Pyras have been sold, so that's some good news.

So now I had and still have to face multiple issues at once:
  1. One employee less - which means I had to handle shipping all the goods myself (so even more work)
  2. I have to deal with all the legal stuff with my lawyer as fast as possible to try to recover as much from that lost money as possible. I can't count the hours I've discussed the whole issue with him.. hours I'd rather have spent assembly Pyras.
  3. I had to get a new employee as soon s possible to get some work offloaded (she will start on October 17th)
  4. Well, and I'm missing 16k money, which meant I needed to temporarily get it from somewhere else.
What a horrible situation! I always expect bad things to happen - but I NEVER did expect something like this!
Oh well - this was quite a downer, caused me tons of extra work and is the reason, a lot of emails, messages, etc. to me have not yet been answered, no Pyras have been built during the last month and I didn't even have time to reply to any questions on the boards or similar.
I did not try to run away and hide - I was simply fully overworked, getting only a couple of hours sleep per day.

Well... but... not all is bad. I don't want to end this newspost with only bad news, so let's continue with some Pyra news as well!

The new cases - and a new color...?

Let's start with the new cases. They have been lying here for quite some time, but due to the issue mentioned above, I didn't find the time to contact the coating company.
Not that bad though, as we still have around 100 cases ready for assembly, so we can continue assembling Pyras.
The person previously handling the project has left the company, so I had a meeting with the new ones responsible.
They think it's possible to use a robot to handle the coating which will increase the quality, be faster and also a bit cheaper.
However, they don't have any of the dark chrome color left - and the minimum order quantity is 60kg, which is pretty expensive.
Back then, they had a bigger customer who used this color, so we could also use it, but that project is over.

So it's unlikely we can continue the dark chrome color - which is a shame, as I really liked it. They'll check what other projects they have right now, so maybe we'll get a cool new color instead!
The black color is no problem, of course, as it's a standard color.

I'll let you know and send you pictures once I know what other color we could get at the moment!

Help in assembly

As mentioned above, a new employee who will handle the shipping will be in my shop October 17th. I need to train her for a few weeks, but that should hopefully give me a lot more time later to assemble Pyras.
Additionally, askarus will be back helping regularly assembling units.

AESS almost working!

In regards of software, Nikolaus (@hns) has continued to work on porting the AESS subsystem from an older kernel to the current one.
This was A LOT more work than anyone anticipicated - but according to an email I received from him, it seems very likely he'll get it to work!
What's the AESS subsystem? Well, it's the hardware accelerated audio system of TI's audio chip we're using together with the OMAP.
At the moment, it's completely unused - which means, that all resampling, rerouting, etc. needs to be handled by the OMAP5, which means it slows down the system, heats it up a bit and doesn't allow to fully use the capabilities of the chip.
Without AESS, the audio chip always expects 96kHz audio - and the OMAP5 has to resample it whenever you play audio.

So this should improve the situation quite a lot!

That's it for the moment - I hope to have better news for you soon!

And... thanks again to everyone for your patience, support - even when I don't find the time to reply to anything during the last few weeks. Rest assured that this is not because I want to hide from any bad stuff, but simply, because the above issue caused so much time and work, that I simply couldn't do it.
Sorry again for that, and... you're all incredible, and I would've gone crazy without you a long time ago!
I had heard something terrible happened.

I'm sorry to hear that you were betrayed. That's awful.


We all appreciate you giving us an update. Any news, good or bad, is nice to have.


I am still excited for my pyra. And I will wait to hear more. Hopefully my unit is somewhere in the next batch.
 
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ingoreis

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Holy Sh..
..thats News..Dragonbox Shop Items stolen and sold in a Worth of around 16K Euro :eek:
Its realy a Shame that so bad Guys exist.
Good to hear you are not Bankrupt but 16K Damage is very very bad.
Maybe one of your Inshurance will help with "Stealing"
Best whishes for handling this with a better End.

Firstly i hope for a good Health of you EvilDragon.
I had Covid 3 Weeks ago too and its definly not Funny or Harmless like many People think.

AESS Audio Acceleration sounds realy good for the Pyra
-more CPU Power
-less Heat Production
and maybe we wen use the Pyra while Charging better because bit lower Heat

I would whish for a working HDMI Port because we can use the Pyra then as Desktop Machine.


Good Luck and do not forget to sleep with your Tons of Work.
 

rSl

tealifted
Joined
Nov 19, 2005
Messages
1,087
thanks for the update ed!
man, this ex-'employee' *really* sucks!!! here is hope you can get most of the stolen money back! what an asshole, grrr....
anyway, take care and get some rest soon.
cheers!
 

Bagpussawake

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
55
Location
Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Wow. that's awful for you. Thanks for the update, as bad as this is, I'm very glad to hear it's "only" theft from your business (I was getting a bit concerned by the lack of any news and was worried you were unwell after hearing you had COVID).

Anyway, it gives a bit more time (2 months?) for Nikolaus to get AESS working which will just make the Pyra even better when shipping starts again!
 
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mmielke

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2010
Messages
210
Well wishes, ED. I'm glad you are ok and you will be back up and going in no time! It's also great that Askarus and Nikolaus are assisting you. :)
 
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