Waiting in October

Discussion in 'Pyra News' started by EvilDragon, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. bzar

    bzar A Commando

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    These are just anecdotes, but: I've used my pandora as a USB gamepad and my dev setup is running on-device off an external HDD connected via USB. Both pretty much require me to use it with a connected USB device. Also you have to take into consideration the power cable, which may well be connected while the device is in use.

    Anyway, these are just special cases, and if you do consider only using the builtin controls without any cables connected, then having the connectors on the sides is no issue. I'd still argue that designing ports on a handheld based only on use cases where it can not be held in hands sounds kinda weird :p
     
  2. TrashyMG

    TrashyMG Sarcasm Dispenser Staff Member

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    Your hands are too delicate to hold the Pandora due to the pointy corners and now you say you can't hold it if any kind of USB anything is plugged in? I suspect your hands have the gripping capacity of a toddler.
     
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  3. ZXDunny

    ZXDunny Deep avatar

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    Ha, you got me. 

    Seriously though, I'm aware that my use case isn't the same as anyone else's. And the quip about the corners isn't entirely accurate - it's the edges that could do to be softened on the base, not the corners :p

    Anyway, I'm sure a lot of compromises were made due to the sheer size of the Pandora - and the funds/equipment available. I'm certain that although the Pyra will be refined in some regards and lessons learned, it will still look quite, quite ugly when it's released. And again, that's not going to stop me buying one :)

    D.
     
     
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  4. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    I suspect, however, that many of the things that are being seen as 'ugliness' are actually functional features that are not fully understood, or are being overlooked because they simply work so seamlessly.

    The lid seems to be a primary point of concern - so let's take a close look at it on the Pandora.
    *The center of the lid is not flat - it is a mild bubble/arch/curve.  This arch stiffens the lid and helps to protect the display on the other side of it.
    *The corners are very rounded.  There are two competing needs on these corners.  First, it cannot close in too quickly as there is a system board and screen in there - so wedge corners are out.  Second, it needs to slide in/out of pockets smoothly.  The relatively broad radius corners of the Pandora are the middle ground where these two priorities meet.
    *The screen is recessed inside a bezel.  As ED stated, that is needed to protect the sensitive pieces of the screen that extend beyond the usable borders.  There is more to the screen component than the piece of glass you see in front of you.
    *There sides of the lid arc downward to form the sides of a cave that the display sits in.  This outer rim serves two purposes.  One, it allows the keyboard to have raised keys - and the screen to clear them without touching the keys.  Two, it is actually a functional sun glare reducer (visor).  That second part is often overlooked, but that little feature allows you to run the back light at around 1/2 the intensity that would otherwise be needed both outdoors and in.
    *The lid opens up to show gaps to either side of the hinge.  This is the direct result of needing a big fat hinge for the wires running the display, back lights and lid LEDs to run through.  That needs a ~ 2.5mm diameter pipe -through- the hinge.  The only alternative to this would be to have an exposed flat ribbon cable connect through open slots between two smaller outboard hinges.
    *The lid looks fat/thick/chunky when compared to the latest laptops.  The actual thickness from the surface of the display to the back of the case is likely about the same as your favorite laptop.  This winds up being a 'minimum thickness' that is required to have a piece of plastic (case), an LED back light circuit board, the display and a touch screen overlay.  Even though the width and height of the screen on the Pandora/Pyra is smaller than the notebook's, that critical thickness measurement is unchanged - because it cannot be made thinner.  So, by proportional comparison, it looks 'chunky' since it's depth to width and depth to height ratios are so much higher.  That cannot be 'helped'.

    You will notice that all of the above is strictly falling to the favor of function over form.  Making the case larger than it needs to be to suite an individual's artistic aesthetic would be a mistake.  In the case of the Pandora/Pyra, minimizing the overall size of the result IS a critical functionality constraint.  The form that follows directly from the ardent attention to function is, in itself, an artistic statement.
     
     
  5. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    Sorry for quote crap-shoot result. Reply is to rygD statement and misquoted and I can't figure out how to fix it efficiently.

    Maybe - but I'll need a Pyra first so I can figure out what fits. From ED's reply, I might still be able to use the
     
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  6. ZXDunny

    ZXDunny Deep avatar

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    The Lid is actually about twice as thick as my laptop lid here :)

    The curve at the shoulders could have been made much less pronounced without impacting the "pocket-slide-in-ability" at all, and would not have affected the cable pipe one bit. The lip around the inner screen (which you claim is a sun visor) could have been tapered towards the bottom to avoid the sharp edge, and the lower case tapered up to match, but the rather odd placement of the number keys meant this would have impacted on the 1/0 keys.

    Just my thoughts - nice to see that most of these have been addressed in the Pyra. Still think it's going to look awful again though.

    D.
     
     
     
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  7. CFWhitman

    CFWhitman Member

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    Other than the crummy plastic and resulting paint job, I don't really have a problem with the way the Pandora looks (edit: incidentally, I'm not saying there are no flaws in the case design, just that the way it looks is not really one of them). I'm not saying it's pretty, but it's functional and not something I consider ugly either. Of course, it would be nice if it didn't have to be as thick, but that's just not possible with the other requirements. I was surprised about the remark regarding the gaps formed by the rounded corners of the base adjacent to the sharp corners of the lid because I couldn't care less about that. Incidentally, I have used the Pandora as a handheld with a thumb drive in the USB port. I have also used it with a Wi-Fi card in the USB port, but I would hope that won't be necessary at all with the Pyra.
     
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  8. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    Mmm...  I seriously doubt that.  If you measure screen surface to rear NOT including the sun visor plastics, it's pretty darn thin.  What laptop do you have that is half that thickness?  Again, the sun visor keyboard offset surround does not count.

    The pocket slide in capability isn't just to prevent snags.  It also decreases 'printing', allowing the device to be less pronounced in the pocket.  Again, overlooked functionality that results in an aesthetic that you would change - without understanding the impact.

    Any taper/line that the inside of the 'sun visor' takes would be reflected in negative on the keyboard's edges.  If the keyboard edges are going to be curved with no sharp lines, then that same contour should follow on the lid's mating surface.

    The form and design elements of the Pandora were, from a functional elements perspective, "correct".  It never looked awful.  It looked and still looks like function formed (instead of artist formed) design.  It is a minimalist function dictated design with as few flourishes as possible.
     
  9. bzar

    bzar A Commando

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    Pretty darn thin = about 8mm with a quick measure (without the edge). Just measured my wife's laptop screen to be 3-4mm thick.
     
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  10. ZXDunny

    ZXDunny Deep avatar

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    Well, the sun visor does bloody well count - it's the size of the lid we're talking about. You know, from a visual viewpoint. And it's ugly. The Pandora is ugly, no getting away from that. And yes, my laptop (from 2012, no less) has a thinner lid.

    D.
     
  11. TrashyMG

    TrashyMG Sarcasm Dispenser Staff Member

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    Sun Visor?, I just thought it kept the dust out when closed... I can't imagine it blocks any significant amount of sun light.
     
  12. klapse

    klapse Central Scrutinizer

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    Zxdunny, you are stating a subjective opinion (that you think the Pandora is ugly) as an objective fact ("The Pandora is ugly"). 

    That is stupid.
     
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  13. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    Remember that the Sun is effectively a super-intense point source light.  Try this experiment with a smart phone.
    Note:  Do not stare into the sun.  Do not stare at the sun's reflection directly on any screen.  If you fry your eyeballs that is your own fault.  Use a business card or an old credit card that you don't care gets demagnetized.

    Hold your smartphone vertical in landscape mode outside on a sunny day.  Hold a business card or other thick paper over the top so it protrudes about 1cm over the screen giving 'shelter' for half of the screen.  Adjust brightness so that you can see it 'OK' on the shaded side.  The unshaded side should look washed out in comparison.  Try with multiple angles and directions.

    Alternatively do the above experiment in office lighting.  You'll find it doesn't matter much then as the ambient light sources are much more diffuse.

    I think you'll find that the 'sunshade' on the Pandora is doing more good than you're giving it credit for - when there is point source lighting.
     
  14. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    I do not have my Pandora in front of me at the moment, let alone my calipers.  Could someone please get a proper measurement of the actual thickness from the surface of the screen to the back of the plastic on the Pandora?

    Yes - to do this you will need calipers an an object of known thickness to act as a spacer between the calipers and the screen or put a straight edge across the well to get a depth and thickness (overall) measurement to do the math from.

    The sun visor / surround / dust seal / lip that makes the lid strong, inflexible and stable should -not- be counted or shown separately.
     
  15. ZXDunny

    ZXDunny Deep avatar

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    No, it should be counted. It's the lid. That's what I'm talking about.

    D.
     
     
  16. rygD

    rygD Nihilistic Mystic

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    It looks like part of your reply is missing.  

    On the stylus thing, I think there are a couple of us that would be interested in one of a higher quality (size/length, feel, weight).  If the Pyra works with the previous ones I think it might be worth bumping that thread so others can try it, and maybe revisiting it with new ideas.  If it doesn't, keep us informed so we can toss you a bit of money so it isn't all out of pocket up front for you.  My red one is still the main stylus for my Pandora.  The only 2 things I would want different are a way to add more weight than I have already, and I would prefer a different color (I never found the right parts to swap, but it works fine so I stopped looking).

    I don't feel like messing with more quotes right now, but want to reply to the thing about the curve of the lid preventing printing.  While that may be true, I personally put mine in my pockets backwards to prevent the display side from being exposed to the outside world.  I put everything with a display or glass/plastic like that, with what I feel is the most fragile side facing toward my leg.  No clue if it will actually help, but it makes me feel better.
     
  17. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    Yes - my previous post got cut off.  You guessed the gist of it though.

    After I get a Pyra I'll fiddle around with the materials I already purchased when I did my Pandora stylus experiments.  So, I won't have hundreds in upfront costs for the experimenting around.  But - that also means that I won't have much for spare parts to share around once I figure out what works.

    I still use my red stylus too.  If I can find that thread I'll link it back here so we can continue the discussion there instead of hijacking here.

    edit:  Found it.
    I found the thread where I had my stylus ideas.  Post with Ryo's pictures showing what I ended up with (he took the best photos of it):
    https://boards.openpandora.org/topic/17068-stylus-ideas/?do=findComment&comment=369416

    If you want to continue the non-stock stylus discussion in the old thread, I think we can do that so we don't further derail this one.
     
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  18. bzar

    bzar A Commando

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    Apparently my quick measure doesn't count. Granted, I didn't do it with a caliper, but I'm fairly certain it's accurate at least within a 2mm error margin, making the lid without the lip 6~10mm. If you need a more accurate sub-millimetre measurement, sure, caliper away. But I'm confident the laptop screen I presented is within an acceptable measure of "half the thickness" to count. If that is still what this conversation is about.
     
  19. Yoyobuae

    Yoyobuae Very Active Member

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    I imagine for Pyra this will be fixed, but I just wanted to point out how on my Pandora the edge of the lid doesn't exactly match with the corresponding edge on the bottom part. I guess it is due to warping on the plastic (seems the lid edge plastic is actually a tiny bit curved instead of straight).

    Hoping the Pyra's case will only have curves where it's meant to be curved. ;)
     
  20. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    I have a theory for this on the Pandora...  no idea if it is accurate.  My theory is that the Pandora's mold results didn't line up well enough to close, so the molds were hand carved/modified to make them functional - which then led to an operational result but much lower precision.  Just a theory though.
     

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