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Why the Pandora is the way it is.

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Blue Protoman, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. Blue Protoman

    Blue Protoman Well-Known Member

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    We've all seen some uproar on these boards lately. Rather than repeat ourselves and get frustrated, from now on let's point people to this very thread should they have any questions that get asked repeatedly. This is not for usage of the Pandora itself (such as about PNDs, emulators, etc.), but of the backstory behind it and why things are the way they are (like why the hardware isn't nuclear-powered, why it's so expensive, etc.). This thread isn't complete as of initial writing, so please post your ideas for improvements, citations, new arguments or questions, etc. in this other thread. The more you help, the better this gets.


    Also, could someone please pin this thread for all to see? Thanks.


    Before I begin;


    If you have any doubts or are in despair about recent happenings (such as boards shipped, RMA numbers, etc.), then please follow the Pandora Stalker, which reports everything that Craig, EvilDragon, and MWeston say via either these forums, GP32X, or their Twitter accounts. They don't hang out in IRC channels often, so no need to worry about that. Badgering everybody repeatedly will only piss them off. I'd also like to remind people that no other company is this transparent about its inner workings.


    The below information comes initially from the top of my head. If I'm wrong, or there's a citation from a higher authority from this scene, more information, or something, please let me know here.


    Now, let the information roll;


    This list is not comprehensive; there's still much that could be added.


    Hardware


    Why isn't the processor the latest and greatest? My Android phone is more powerful!


    The Pandora was initially designed in 2007 through 2008. Around that time, it was top-of-the-line. (More so when the NAND and RAM were doubled.) But as countless delays (practically all of which were out of OpenPandora's hands) surmounted, the Pandora fell behind the times. You can chalk that one up to technology's constant evolution. In addition, due to a good lot of behind-the-scenes workings, the Pandora is better able to make use of its hardware.


    Sources: 1


    So what about all these hardware flaws?


    Mostly the faults of the companies that produce the parts. There are five or six different companies that manufacture the parts (that's not laziness, that's normal; even Apple outsources its iProducts to a Chinese company). The nubs (aka joysticks) were initially made by a company that folded (hence creating one of the first delays). Then the next try at the nubs was found to be defective, so they had to be remade (costing a lot of time and money). And quality control has greatly improved; people often come here to post issues (this is a support forum), so it only looks like there are a lot of problems. As for better quality? The new nubs were solved ages ago, the new LCD cables (which are no longer susceptible to the Purple Tint of Death) just started being used, and the new boards (with a revised design to improve reliability, though not adding features) are being made. As for the cases? Well, the manufacture of those wasn't in control by OpenPandora as much as they would've liked it to have been; paint was used when it wasn't supposed to be, and cheap plastic was used by the company. There has been discussion of another company for cases, but this isn't going to happen for a while.


    Sources: Please contribute.


    Software


    How come it can't run Windows (or Windows games)?


    The Pandora uses an ARM processor, and any computer that runs Windows uses an X86 processor. You'd be trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. If it's open-source and doesn't rely on any X86 or Windows-exclusive stuff (like DirectX), then great! Otherwise, no can do.


    Source: 1


    Marketing/Sales/Backstory


    How come it costs $500?


    Various reasons. The Pandora is more expensive than some other hardware (such as the 3DS or certain phones) because most of these companies sell their devices at a loss (including Sony with the PSP) to reel in customers. Then they make up for these losses (and make profits) with game/app sales, developer fees, monthly service fees (like Xbox Live or phone contracts), and various other things. The companies that do this also sell other things not related to games or phones to make up for these losses. OpenPandora can't do this; they have no game developers or other services to pull money from (and as the Pandora promotes open development, they couldn't if they tried). They tried selling it at cost back when initial preorders were being taken, but this didn't work out, as Craig and EvilDragon were plunging further into debt. The extra money from Premiums has allowed for not only a bit more stability, but for more workers to be hired.


    In addition, cramming three ports (USB, mini-USB, and EXT), two SD card slots, a QWERTY keypad, gaming controls (including nubs), Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, a touch screen, and a fairly powerful processor into a device the size of a Nintendo DS does not come cheaply.


    Sources: Please contribute.


    The Premiums are pushing my Batch 1 or Batch 2 order back!


    Yes, that can't be helped. The only thing you can do is either be patient or upgrade to a Premium order to get your unit faster.


    Sources: Please contribute.


    I can't be patient! They're slower than dead cheetahs!


    The bottleneck (aka, the one simple thing causing this big issue) is not manpower on OpenPandora's part. CircuitCo (the company making the boards) simply isn't producing boards fast enough. (They did promise 500 a week, but to be fair, we haven't heard their side of the story.) Switching to another company is not simple; the Pandora's board is very complex. Practically no other companies wanted to make such small amounts of it (to say nothing of the business end, which would be a pain in the ass). OpenPandora is just working with what CircuitCo is providing them. If you upgrade to Premium (all the boards must be paid for up-front, aka before they're made), then you'll help speed it up a bit, in theory. In practice, that remains to be seen. Also, there's been a small delay due to wi-fi issues as of late.


    Sources: 1


    I shouldn't have to pay more money for something I already paid for!


    You're right. You shouldn't, and you don't. But if you couldn't, then the whole project would go bust, two great men would be eyes-deep in debt, and you'd never get your Pandora. The community that already surrounds it would collapse on itself, everything would stagnate, and you'd be stuck with an unchanging device (which, I might add, won't be able to be guarantee-ably serviced). And no one is making you pay more; you'll still get yours if you wait, and not have paid any more than you did for your initial order. Yes, it'll take much longer (another case of theory vs. practice) due to Premiums going out sooner, the shortage of boards, and the latest (as of this writing) hiccup of faulty wi-fi chips. But you're not being ripped off. Patience (or an extra $150, or thereabouts) is the only way out if you still want yours.


    Sources: 1
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2016
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  2. demonstar3

    demonstar3 Still Fresh

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    eheheh thanks for the new link :D


    *fanfare music plays*


    Congratulations, your Stalking level has increased!
     
  3. Middo

    Middo Member

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    Added this thread to the "New to the Pandora" section of The Pandora Bookmark.
     
  4. -Tj-

    -Tj- Active Member

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    Great post! Sticky plz. Tan-q. ^_^
     
  5. BaDToaD

    BaDToaD "Very" Old Timer

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    Yeah nice post BP. This really does need to be stickied for new forumites.


    SONY, you read everything. Job for ya ;)
     
  6. Jumpman

    Jumpman Advanced Member

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    "They're slower than dead cheetahs" LMAO! :lol:


    BP, your alright! Great post, right up there with some of Ed's best work.


    Hopefully it will help to calm the "Savage Beast", but I won't hold my breath. :p


    Chris
     
  7. Poem58

    Poem58 Member

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    All this hooplah, because of someone who said he didn't feel "upgrading" and paying another $150 was totally worth it. It was opinion, he was allowed to have it, despite that he felt insulted by the replies and cancelled and left. Enough already.
     
  8. Blue Protoman

    Blue Protoman Well-Known Member

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    But do we know WHY he felt it wasn't worth it? That's the question.
     
  9. Prometheus

    Prometheus Well-Known Member

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    I think this is worth stickying, as we once had a vaguely similar type of thread (albeit about what software likely could and couldn't be run, and why) over on the other forum, if memory serves.


    Anyone got any glue? :p
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2011
  10. may88

    may88 Well-Known Member

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    Use some sugru I know you have some. :p
     
  11. Poem58

    Poem58 Member

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    He made it perfectly clear and WizardStan went so far as to explain it in the thread. He felt that the costs added by the delays were not "totally worth" the added cost of a premium. He did not say the Pandora needed better specs or anything. He did compare it to his phones but that comparison was to the fact he personally felt that if the Pandora flat out sold for $500, he didn't think hardware-wise that it was worth it, due to what's available out there. Of course he made allowances for the form factor to which was one of the main reasons he ordered one. But everyone jumped on him and he cancelled and left. If people would have just taken a minute to understand what he was saying, which was his personal feelings on the "worth" of the "premium" price, then maybe no one would have slammed him and the project wouldn't have lost another customer. He wasn't new and was waiting patiently for his Pandora, but apparently saying he didn't feel going "premium" was "totally worth it" made him an unwanted element. Made me feel unwanted too. I wouldn't have ordered the Pandora if it originally sold for $500, so do I "not get it", is the device "not right for me" or am I a "troll?" The answer is NO. I just wouldn't spend $500 on a 3DS or a PSP either. Now if I had the money would I have gone premium. Well, If I had the money I might have upgraded to support OPT and get it early, but I too would not have felt it "totally worth it" otherwise.


    I don't have a problem with this thread either, although I think the thread title isn't exactly going to draw a new person to the forum to it. Maybe "Story of the Pandora" or "Pandora design and history" might draw better. "Why the Pandora is the way it is" sounds kinda odd to me, but hey whatever works.


    Also another note of thanks to Prometheus for mentioning that Sugru stuff, I'm sure I'll need to get some of that someday!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2011
  12. Seamus

    Seamus Still Fresh

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    Excellent report I was one of the people who waited and waited.


    Got really frustrated and wanted the Pandora immediately.


    Upset a few people along the way.


    When I got some extra cash I upgraded immediately.


    Best decision I ever made.If you can upgrade and keep the Pandora brand alive.


    This goes against a lot of my earlier post's.


    Have to go now playing Gran Turismo on pcsx rearmed at full speed no overclock


    (happy days)
     
  13. Poem58

    Poem58 Member

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    For the sake of OPT and the products future, thank you and enjoy your Pandora. I still await mine and still believe it will be awesome as I have never thought it being delayed has in any way made it any less capable as it was when I ordered it. I honestly thought I would have it or been gone by now, yet it's hold on me is greater than I anticipated! :D
     
  14. Phelsumania

    Phelsumania Member

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    I initially was dubious about purchacing a pandora, but i bit the bullet and placed an order for one and couldnt aford to eat for a month because my wages are so poor. But that must have been one of the best decisions i have ever made. I am so in love with m pandora ive only had it less than a month and i just can not seem to put it down, every time i use it it just seems to get better and better. The whole pandora team has done an incredible job, and the amazing community support and highly regarded developers that have joined in on this venture have made the whole Pandora experience an absolute pleasure. Ive hered lots of grubles on the internet about the Pandoras apparent price being to much, and personally i think The Team have been so fair and totally under priced it just for our benefit, After now using mine i personally value it at double what i payed for it and will deffinatelly be making a donation to pay what i believe is a fairer price and to help support further development of future pandoras for those who are still waiting to recieve theirs or are about to make a smart decision in ordering one. anyone that is still debating whether to get one the only advise i could give you is to put your order in as soon as possibe it will be the best decision youve made all year no doubts what so ever about that.


    Evildragon Craig and all dvelopers and coders involved your all my heros
     
  15. sporkbox

    sporkbox Member

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    It kinda sucks waiting to get your Pandora when you want to contribute so much to the community but lack the funds to upgrade your order. That said, anyone who preordered knew what they were getting into, and don't have much room to complain. That includes me.
     
  16. slaeshjag

    slaeshjag ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    One thing that's almost as frustrating; Upgraded order to make contributions, and then have your Pandora stuck in a RMA process...
     
  17. sporkbox

    sporkbox Member

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    Ouch, that DOES suck. We can be miserable together in this topic, haha.
     
  18. TheQuestForChaos

    TheQuestForChaos Still Fresh

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    I was wondering... Would it be a terrible thing to post the email for, I believe it is CC, the board manufacturer that will not get the work done, so that people in the community can write them some lovely letters. Perhaps get them moving so they are not bombarded with angry emails.


    Not to mention we could as a group, threaten to campaign agents them. Or we could praise them publicly for getting off their posteriors, their choice.


    I would figure some rules of engagement would be good, assuming the OPT would be cool with the community doing this.


    After all most of the delays are not OPT's fault, everyone is waiting on the boards, not the labor.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2011
  19. Hoodoo

    Hoodoo Member

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    Yeah. Help the project, buy mini metal gallow's pole for a CC executive!
     
  20. DaMummy

    DaMummy Soldier Paste

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