Well, it's christmas time and most of you here will probably spending some quiet days with their family.
I wish you all a very merry christmas - and as the end of the year is approaching, I'd like to look back into the past year and also a bit into the future.
1. Pandora - it was still a rollercoaster ride - with a happy ending
The first few months were awesome. Production was swiftly moving, everyone could get a Pandora from stock, I finally delivered the units to all my remaining preorder customers and even all 1GHz customers from Craig got their unit.
You think it's weird that Pandora production works flawlessly?
Sure, that's probably why we had issues with the LCDs for the next batch that was delivered in June.
440 LCDs, where half of them had dust below the touchscreen and a lot of those had calibration issues.
So 400 of those had to go back to be fixed... and that sure took a while, as the manufacturer needed to find out what went wrong.
So in August, we were running out of Pandoras because of that. We had a few older screens left, but you really couldn't call that "mass production" at all.
In September, we got 60 LCDs for testing - they were working fine on a quick test and all assembled into Pandoras and shipped...
Only to find out shortly after that those touchscreens autodestruct when you move the stylus at the edge of the screen.
Well, another two months until that issue is fixed...
And finally, in December, production has resumed and I've got 400 fully working screens!
So Pandoras are now back in stock, production is back to normal. Finally
2. Craig and his customers
That really was the saddest part of the whole Pandora story so far.
I can fully understand that Craig had a huge load of stress on his back, and it's sad to see where everything has gone.
But he really caused a mess, with the 1GHz preorders 2012 and also with the amount of remaining customers in 2013.
After I finally got the results of the survey Craig created for all remaining customers, it turned out that there are A LOT more customers left than there should. I still have no idea where that huge number comes from, but i don't even want to think about it.
It's more important to moved forward and help everyone here.
Wow, and it's really really awesome how helpful you all are!
While I can only offer Pandoras at production costs, you, the community, help out with donations as well.
So here is a little statistic:
- Customers who used the upgrade possibility so far: 92
- Number of Pandoras funded with the help of donations: 50 (36 have not used that voucher yet, they were probably waiting for the Pandoras to get back in stock)
- Total numbers of remaining customers from Craig (according to the survey): 445
So we're getting somewhere - let's continue to help everyone. Thanks for all your donations
3. Awesome software releases
2013 was a REALLY good year softwarewise.
Not only have huge quantities of new software been released for the Pandora, there also were some high quality releases - from all points of views.
Little but useful programs like MasterControl or the recent SixPair-Controller daemon, unique and useful applications like Streak's WIP PIM Manager, awesome emulator releases and updates (who would've thought we could get a fullspeed AGA Amiga, most-of-the time fullspeed Nintendo DS, and a very playable PSP emulator?) and also a lot of games, from ports for classic games like the Jedi Knight saga, to ports of Indie games and also completely new releases.
There's so much to do on the Pandora it won't get boring... I can barely keep up with playing everything I'd like to!
4. A peek into the Future
The Pandora sure still has a lot of potential. I'm pretty sure we'll still see a lot of new releases and updates.
But still, most of you already know I am working on a successor. More details will be revealed overtime.
I cannot tell when it will be finished - based on the whole Pandora story, you know how long that could take...
But let's hope it will be smoother run
In case you're wondering how this will be financed:
Well, you know I got money from investors for the remaining Pandora orders, right? That money will be back when all remaining Pandoras have been sold - and will then be used for the development of the successor.
I can fully fund the full design and production for both the unit and the case up to the final prototyping.
Only the mass production itself will need a lot more money than I have - but there are various possibilities to get that as well.
Maybe Kickstarter, maybe Preorders with part-payment, maybe something completely different.
Well, we'll see, but I'm sure we'll find a way to produce it once the prototype is running... but this could still be far, far away in the future.
5. Some special thanks
Well, finally, I'd like to give some special thanks.
Of course, a huge thanks to all the community and developers, as you keep everything going!
Special thanks goes to notaz - he helps both with low-level stuff and the OS. And he'll also be helping with the Pyra Also to skeezix and DJWillis - they might not have much time recently, but they're available when I really need them. And c4a is simply awesome
More special thanks go to Fatih. Many might've forgotten about him already, some have never heard of him. He's also one of the guys behind the Pandora - and he's still helping out a lot (e.g., he's the one sourcing stuff like the AC Adaptors or LCDs, and he's also the one who dealt with the chinese manufacturer to fix our LCDs). Yep, he's still helping out, even though most of you don't know this.
Of course, MWeston is not to be forgotten. He's the one who designed the Pandora PCB, and he still helps out each time I have some technical or manufacturing questions. Thanks - and I hope you really have a real awesome christmas time with your family!
Not to forget: Linux-SWAT, fantomid and p'tiSeb for taking care of the Tolouse Game Show and of course Link and ekianjo for distributing Pandoras in US and Japan as well.
There are many many more which I didn't mention by name here... my investors, the moderators, all the devs.
Well - we sure don't have to space here to mention them all. But I'm really happy to have such an awesome community backing me, helping as good as they can.
With guys like you, I KNOW the Pyra will be awesome, and even though it might be a hard way once again, I'm totally sure it'll be worth it!
Thanks - and all of you, have a very merry christmas, and a happy new year!