Pyra christmas update :)

Discussion in 'Pyra News' started by EvilDragon, Dec 25, 2016.

  1. Kippykip

    Kippykip BFG 9000

    Sep 6, 2016
    Only problem is you need someone else to have a pyra with also the same applications to decode it.
    And knowing my mates, they're going to stick with their... iphones... *shutters*
  2. Binky

    Binky Death's Steed Staff Member

    May 28, 2003
    16A (TO)
    Focussing on niche/unconventional devices does seem like a better idea than trying to design yet another smartphone.
    There are lots of smartphones. There are even a handful of moderately ethical/secure smartphones.

    An iCP3, or a bluetooth ebook reader, or a ultra-low-power, open-source smartwatch, or any of various other ideas people have suggested, would probably be a better idea than joining a market that is already so crowded.

    (says the guy with zero experience running a business)

    A Pyra dock would still be nice, though.
    Murakami and ClockworkCoder like this.
  3. Xcl4m4t10n

    Xcl4m4t10n Advanced Member

    Dec 18, 2009
    Kippykip likes this.
  4. Christoph.Krn

    Christoph.Krn Very Active Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    rygD likes this.
  5. mecksg1

    mecksg1 Very Active Member

    Jul 20, 2010
    i can maybe help with the 3d print of this. i have one now and can print these for people if they want one
  6. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

    Oct 3, 2008
    I just had a thought - @EvilDragon, why not make the mold for the eSATA as part of the mold for the dock? I.e if. you're already going to be making at least a 2 part/piece mold, adding in 2 small parts/pieces for the eSATA port's plastics shouldn't add much to the overall? Both are likely to have similar sales volumes, right?
    Magic Sam likes this.
  7. ClockworkCoder

    ClockworkCoder Chaotic Neutral

    Jan 21, 2016
    I was going to say the same, although it would only be a choice of whatever PLA I have on the reel at the time.
  8. mecksg1

    mecksg1 Very Active Member

    Jul 20, 2010
    thats true, i could probably get different PLA that matches the pyra's hopefully but might have to do a default 2 colors only if people are ok with that
  9. ThinkPad

    ThinkPad Very Active Member

    Dec 21, 2012
    I am sorry but in terms of progress this "Christmas update" is very similar to the one from Dec 30, 2015

    Do not get me wrong, more than everything I want Pyra to be finished,
    But come on! Sometimes I wonder if the fu*king PGS will be released before the Pyra...

    Even this overpriced and underpowered device is released tomorrow,
    It will be useful only as a piece of rock. No matter what "fancy security features" it have, this hardware was already outdated 3 years ago.
    oskda likes this.
  10. TrashyMG

    TrashyMG Sarcasm Dispenser Staff Member

    Jan 18, 2010
    @ThinkPad, the last bit of challenges have been extremely difficult. ED and Nikolaus are two people doing what GPD does with most likely several dozen people and what any major companies do with 100+ people and much more resources. The process has been transparent, it's not like ED is hiding anything.

    The PGS is a fictional device never intended to be made, only to scam people in crowd funding campaigns.
  11. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

    Oct 6, 2008
    Somewhere off the coast of the EU
    I do worry that ED has maybe ended up with too much work on him, with him handling communication to the pre-orderers, and running his shop, and developing a new machine, and soon manufacturing the Pyra. We saw him handle three of those four tasks during the rebirth project with ease, but perhaps actually bringing a new machine up from nothing is a step too far. It's impressive enough the he can maintain a day job and all of this extra stuff on the side, but we all have our maximum bandwidths.

    But at least things should get better from here on in, as a whole effort to build a new machine from scratch shouldn't need doing for a good few years now thanks to the modular nature of the Pyra (although IMO a pyraphone project would be of comparable scale). And if the Pyra and her sisters are successful, maybe ED can employ someone to handle his shop orders, especially during big holidays like christmas and easter, as well as speed up prototyping with more runs. I know I wouldn't want anyone other than ED making my Pyra though!
  12. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    Yep, sadly :(

    Finishing the last few percent is always hardest and takes longest, unless you have money to throw around.
    Give me 1 Million and I could've done the same within a few months... we would've just produced more inbetween samples than trying to figure out what exactly it could be.

    I also didn't expect it to take THAT long, but oh well...

    However, we've still come quite a long way compared to December 2015...
    • December 2015, not even the basic moulds were finished. Now we got tweaked cases, except for the battery cover and the stylus, that aren't perfect yet (though perfectly usable).
    • The production run of the CPU board had issues as well. Only 2 out of 20 produced CPU boards worked out of the box, this time it was 29 out of 30.
    • Similar to the mainboards, but these also had many more issues that have been fixed now (battery connector position, etc. Quite a few parts were replaced).
    • The touchscreen in December 2015 was unresponsive und degraded the image quality. Now we have over 1000 LCDs with a perfectly responsive and crystal clear touchscreen.
    • We spent a few months trying to get the rotator to work properly. Thankfully, we don't need it anymore now, but it's still time lost.
    • The keymat... I'm actually a bit annoyed here as well, they actually got worse with each revision, so I'm hoping it's fine now!
    So basically, yeah, there's nothing REALLY visible that happened.
    We had a prototype in a case, that hasn't changed yet, but it's a LOT under the hood that has happened.

    Except for the keymat and the CPU Board, everything is now ready for mass production.
    The case could be used as is. But it would have a hard-to-open battery cover - and as we have to wait for the CPU board and the keymat anyways, it doesn't make sense NOT to make that little tweak to fix the battery cover as well.

    So the difference between December 2015 and December 2016 is:

    December 2015: First working prototype in a case, but none of the parts were fitting well together
    December 2016: Working prototype in a case with all tweaks applied and all parts lying at GC ready for mass production.

    That's quite a huge difference :)

    But yes, I never expected it to take this long myself... but there were many drawbacks (most boards not properly working, 1,5GHz CPU-Board-Issue, Rotator-Chip not working as it should, etc.) that did cost us A LOT of time, sadly.
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 28, 2016, Original Post Date: Dec 28, 2016 ---
    It certainly IS too much work. Back in the Pandora days, all I had to do during development was communicate with the community and later work on the OS mainly with DJWillis, skeezix and notaz.
    My shop also was WAY smaller back then.
    When I organized the Pandora production, the device was already finished, so it was just a production, nothing else :) Still very complex to handle, but nothing compared to a new development.

    This time, I have to handle all the different companies, talk to the community, handle the money, etc.
    And the shop is grown A LOT (heck, I shipped out over 100 orders today... myself).

    But yes, once we got it finished, it'll get a LOT easier for me.
    Updates will mainly be CPU board upgrades, maybe some case or mainboard tweaks, but we will NEVER have to restart from scratch. :)
    And even when we have to, we would have a lot more fundings properly, which'll make things easier.

    So no worries about me, I'm fine, but there just are times where getting replies from me will take a while, as I have a lot of other things to do :)
    oskda, pilotgrrl, Link and 23 others like this.
  13. Magic Sam

    Magic Sam Forever Homebrew

    Aug 10, 2007
    Innsmouth, MA
    Hi all !

    @EvilDragon : 2:30 AM :mad: Shouldn't you be asleep at that time, dreaming of mountains of gold and whole cities in flames, like a good dragon ? ;)

    Cheers, Magic Sam
    rSl, remjey, ashcloud and 1 other person like this.
  14. benoitb

    benoitb Very Active Member

    Jan 13, 2011
    I am admirative of people like you. I know I could think and dream of achieving what you do but never actually have the guts and willpower to see it come to fruition.
    rSl, elwing, 0x14f and 5 others like this.
  15. rygD

    rygD Nihilistic Mystic

    Feb 28, 2014
    And to top it off he continues despite naysayers. That would probably be the part that gets to me, if I had the money and ability to even get something like this started.
    rSl, spud42 and ClockworkCoder like this.
  16. kabaiakh

    kabaiakh Very Active Member

    Aug 7, 2015
    I am a pretty outdated hardware myself.
    Some parts would need to be replaced.
    In the morning, I no longer boot up as fast as I used to.
    But I try to keep my software up to date.

    Maybe that's why I prefer open and secure platforms, even if mature.

    'Home-crafted' works like Pyra or Neo900 consume time.
    Progress is a very old idea, but we still tie our shoes.
    Link, rSl, AVahne and 8 others like this.
  17. Caine

    Caine Hardcore Member

    Jun 5, 2008
    Progression is not all that different from what we saw with the Pandora.
    Communication is a whole lot better and I am more confident in the quality this time around.

    Basically we are just witnessing the 80-20 rule in action here. The last 20% takes 80% of the time.
    My estimate for delivery has been around March 2017 for a while now. I am now confident that we won't make it by then.
    Perhaps during the summer of 2017. Though I am a pessimistic person, so let's hope that I am wrong.

    Let's see if I can channel my pessimism to construct a worst-case analysis here. Whenever ED says that something is almost final or 99% finished then you have a delay on your hands as it means there is a very hard to fix 1% remaining. So the negative interpretation of ED's summary could be as follows:
    • Clock frequency is not under control. Someone offered to help but a fallback scenario to deliver at lower speeds has been formulated.
    • Mainboards are delayed, Pyra is not a priority customer, perhaps in January.
    • Keymats, design not final at least one more sample iteration is required.
    • Cases, good enough quality for prototyping. Needs at least on more iteration for final production.
    • Prototypes, best case a prototype run at the end of January.
    • LCDs, Done. Awaiting unit assembly.
    • Mass production. Batteries are ready (and losing life on the shelves), LCD's are ready. All parts except: PCB's, casing, keymats, boxes and cabling are ready... So basically we have LCDs and the components with which we populate the boards.
    • Sata/USB adapter. We will only make a bare PCB and the design of a shell. If you want a shell around it then you need to print it yourself.
    Let's assume we actually have prototypes in January and we need only one more iteration on the cases, the keymats and the PCBs. Halfway of February we will know what needs to be adapted, halfway/end of March those will have been redone and validated so start of April we can begin actual mass-production. At this time, per the first post, we need 6 weeks for PCB production. So I'll put those at the end of May. Then final units need to go through testing, assembly and shipping. First orders to arrive at the end of July.

    Realistic case without too many setbacks (like a volcano or something), people start receiving their units begin of Q3.
    dTal, el joker and error like this.
  18. AndiTheBest

    AndiTheBest Active Member

    Aug 29, 2011
    Ried im Innkreis, Austria
    Wow, what have been changed to get a so much higher rate of working units?
  19. Eight Bit

    Eight Bit Advanced Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    I think some knots need to be cut in regards to the case color. Still hoping for a light c64c off-white unit.
    rSl, Skin-nl, tarator and 1 other person like this.
  20. error

    error Very Active Member

    Oct 22, 2012
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Don't forget Hofstadter's law..
    It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law.
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 28, 2016, Original Post Date: Dec 28, 2016 ---
    If I understand correctly, the reason things are taking so long is basically had to start over from scratch designing this product.

    My question is, once the Pyra launches, how much work will the next hardware iteration take (Pyra 2)? Hopefully, substantially less, as we'll be able to reuse a lot. Or, how hard would it be to just slot in a better SoC and keep as much as possible the same (Pyra 1.5)?
    Agricola likes this.

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