The Final Countdown

April 13, 2009
Posted by: poisonedv

New post from the official blog! Exciting.

Yep, we’re still alive!
And we all do hope you had a very happy easter and some free days.
It’s time for a very comprehensive blog post – the best prediction we can give at the moment.
It definately is kinda hard to predict some stuff, as communication between the various timezones is taking some time…
For example, if I send the battery layout to Michael to check it for sizes and afterwards he sends it to the Chinese factory… geez, there are three VERY different timezones involved…
Anyways, back to the topic. I had quite a bit of work to do during the easter days, I created the battery label (not only the part you already seen, but the label with exact cuttings and measurements).
And I had to translate the complete GP2X WIZ Manual into german language (about 70 pages… whoooopsie… yeah, I know it’s not Pandora related, but I do multiple things at once ;))

Okay, now onto our (best case) prediction…

Our current plan is to build a half dozen prototypes for rev3 by the end of April or first week of May (depending on how far the devs get with the software).
Michael will test them thoroughly with a new kernel from Notaz/DJWillis. The tests will mainly be to make sure the boards were manufactured properly (since they will be from the company who will provide production quantities) and to make sure they were soldered properly.
So basically, our final hardware test will start soon!

We’re trying to make sure we can build up to the first 500 units in May (at most). The next 3500 should be finished in June.
The transparent case should arrive within the next few days. After that, we can finally start the moulding process!
It does seem like the best date we will have cases is the end of May. After they arrive, we can finally start shipping, as the boards will be ready at that time.

Some things can and will be done in parallel, so that that stuff will be ready when the Pandora is finished:

– Get carry cases manufactured
– Do CE and FCC (CE will be done with one of those Rev3 Boards, FCC can’t be done before we have the first final unit)

I guess this is the most comprehensive route map you ever got, eh? We’re getting there 🙂

And again: A BIG thanks to all of you for sitting this out with us. Every one of us does owe a LOT to you!

Thanks to B-ZaR for the tipoff.



  1. Wohoooooooooo finally, end of June I might get my Pandora.

  2. Meh i was hoping for may…
    But now they say that in best case scenario we MIGHT get it in june :(.
    It’s starting to take some time… now.
    Ooooh well still can’t wait to have my pandora.

  3. Yeah im pretty angry. theres alot of stuff on the horizon, stuff WITH gaming controls and not run by incompetent people. im probably going to end up getting something else and seeing how much pandoras go for on ebay

  4. Bah, I wish they’d stop giving us “best case predictions”, because those have always proven to be hopelessly optimistic. Anything can (and most likely will) happen in the next 2 months to delay things a bit more… Plus don’t forget shipping (and potentially customs) delays.

  5. I’m not holding my breath for June.

  6. Yeah im pretty angry. theres alot of stuff on the horizon, stuff WITH gaming controls and not run by incompetent people. im probably going to end up getting something else and seeing how much pandoras go for on ebay
    by poisonedv April 13, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Could you give me an example of some of these products? You’ve got me curious.

  7. Woo. There’s news.

    Haha, PoisonedV is *always* angry.

    I do agree with the “best case” comment from Chris H, though. I can’t remember the last time a project I worked on came in under its “best case” time estimates. I’d add another 50%.

    Still, looks like progress is being made. I’m hoping to take my Pandora to SIGRAPH instead of a laptop.

  8. I am form spain and in august i go to live to finland… I hope get it soon… or maybe someone get a free pandora….

  9. Meh. A bit dissapointed at the “2 month” estimate (isn’t Pandora always just two months from shipping?) but despite the somewhat gloomy outlook I was FAR happier reading this earlier on the official blog than I was reading no update or the (sadly too often trivial) forum.

    Thanks to ED, if you ever read these comments. We’d rather less optimisitc dates, but your Blog update as usual hit the spot in terms of forthright information delivery 😀


  10. Yeah, at least they’re being more realistict this time but it’s hard not to laugh at the fact that it’s still “2 months away”.

  11. The last few weeks have been dreadfully painful, now it’s in two months, at best. Ack.
    Of course, giving up now means getting back 50% of the money, so I don’t think I’m going anywhere. I can certainly understand those who are very very pissed, though I can’t say that I am.

  12. What happened regarding this, then?
    I thought they were supposed to have started in on the boards more than a month ago.

  13. I might just get my last year’s birthday present a week or two after this year’s birthday 😦
    Oh well, I will be getting two birthday rewards in the same year, that is the positive side for me.

  14. Anon, that was a ruse to light a fire under people to get them to throw down some bones.

  15. Jeez. It’s like some people don’t understand what it means to be an early adopter. If I had a real job (instead of trying to start a business at the moment). I’d totally would have pre-ordered one of these even if I knew it would be a year until I could get it, and that there was a possibility of failure on their part.

    I think what they are trying to achieve is pretty fantastic, and definitely very risky for them. I applaud their efforts.

  16. @slembcke I think you’re missing the point. Regardless, this is the best course of action.

  17. Yeah, the point is nobody knew it was going to be a year. Another point might be that I said to people on the forum that it was ok, it was still coming soon back in December. I don’t like to give false hope to people.

  18. Well that is deeply disappointing. When I first considered the Pandora in May last year, the estimate was end of August (2008). From then the cascade of missed deadlines that are still continuing until today.

    I liked the Pandora instantly because back in May 2008 it had a superior hardware platform. A nice clean processor with a 3D acceleration core, and a stable platform to develop for. Not gaming as such, that was an added extra. But like many others have already said, there are other devices coming out (in slightly different form factors, to be fair) with the OMAP3 platform – the Palm Pre the most publicised by far.

    Not that I don’t still want the Pandora, it’s just that for the next time, guys, get a *dedicated* team together. Living together for half a year dedicated.

  19. Please! I’m freaking happy its coming in 2 months! or even 3.. Sure it’s been a wait. But you got to be patient and let people prove them selves. Everyone knew what they where paying for, and that this happens! Life works in many ways. I’ll always have my Pandora with my at all time!

    Happy Faces and Lets CountDown!

  20. @QazzaQY2K Countdown to what? Don’t get me wrong, I am glad they are taking every step with a “measure twice, cut once” philosophy. They have no other choice, really. Things still *could* be five months away.

    At the very least, the software should be very solid by the time it finally gets in our hands.

  21. The thing that irks me is they flat out lied to all of us many times now. Not that things didn’t work out as expected cause of unforeseen delays – they just flat out lied. Bank fiasco or not – when they were saying things like ‘might get some out by christmas!’ stuff there is no way that ever in any reality could have been a possibility when things like the time between getting the mold made after the CNC case takes 30+ days.. and it takes X weeks or whatever after that to get FCC approval, etc etc. So .. basically they either intentionally lied to all of us just to get our cash.. or they lied because they were incompetent and had no idea how long anything took and made up a date and acted like it was based on some sort of realistic facts.

  22. Anon2 – no, that wasn’t an attempt to light a fire, I was honestly asking what happened to it. MooThekow’s, on the other hand…

  23. Its taking a while but, I don’t have a problem with it.I know they are doing their best and it is hard for a couple of homebrew/hacker guys to make a console.I don’t think some people understand that this isn’t some kind of full-fledged company.I am very happy that they are having the success they are right now.Cheers all!

  24. i bet theres gunna be another delay after june…

  25. I would have to say that, given the delays with the case, FCC approval, etc – along with the fact that these have been “standard times” (e.g. it’s not like the FCC were on a deliberate “go slow”) – one cannot help but think we’ve been lied to.

    There is simply no way in hell it could have been done by Christmas. None. There are only two logical conclusions – they are grossly incompetent planners or they flat out lied to us. Given they seem to have the skills & smarts to put some of these things together – I would have to lean toward being lied to. Likely to get some cash flow.

    And yes, I have paid for it. Twice now.

  26. So if they already were lying to us back then, how can we know they aren’t lying this time???

  27. Izolo- alright, that was half true, I didn’t have any specific devices in mind, but there are a great deal on the horizon if you keep up to date on the gizmodo, engadget etc pulse

    Anon- they probably are. People just about it, but it is always ‘2 months’. Order in semptember, hey it will be out in December. In january craigix predicts march. In march we hear may, and now we are hearing june.

  28. why cant we just have a master list with dates and time lines on the front page and just start crossing things as the come. Instead we get many of the same posts and questions over and over..A community project where we are left in the dark for the most part unless we want to read hundreds of post to try to find something solid and flammed if we didnt read through them all to find a answer. we need one solid moderator thread with solid updates and facts , users can uses other threads to discuss so the info is not burried and asked again in other threads ..

  29. Calm down on the accusations guys. The team has admitted that they had little idea of what they were in for when they started this project. We’ve been told time and again about the reasons for delays – banks freezing funds, people walking away from the project, component supply, and yes, a little too much optimism early on. But it seems people forget all this stuff as soon as they read it, and revert to being Angry On The Internet whenever there’s another update.

    At the end of the day, these guys are forging ahead and making this product. If the updates are making you angry, then step back from it and come back in a month. For the record, I think this is a good update. We know so much more than we did last year about what’s needed to get this thing made, and we also know that most of that stuff is done.

    @SofaKing: I agree, something like that would be good now that we’re on the home stretch. A daily Twitter from the team would rock, too.

  30. I can certainly understand the anger, as I have been waiting for the Pandora for about a year myself, but honestly, doing any type of electronic device is a long road from planning and development to actual production. How long has Cortex A8 been out now? Three years? How many devices can you buy right now at Amazon with a Cortex A8 processor? (Preproduction devices do not count). Things in business almost always go behind schedule. That’s true whether you’re a small business or a large company like TI, Palm, or Microsoft (anyone around here remember the Cairo project back in 1998?). As an early adopter and an investor, you take the risks that come along with the possible rewards. I think these guys have done well for all of the hoops and hurdles which they’ve jumped through. Sure, I would like a quad-core Cortex A9 pocketable device with a wearable 1920×1080 display in translucent sunglasses right now, but realistically, there is still nothing on the market that is quite like the Pandora, especially for us Linux guys who won’t be tied down to an iPhone or other proprietary platform. The only good device is one that you can actually buy, and until we get some better devices (Nokia, I’m looking at you with Maemo 5), I’m quite happy reading the news every week here.

  31. spinning this around to look at it from another perspective, i expect that there is a part of the team that feels all kinds of stupid and ashamed and for great lengths of time, demotivated by the problems the project has faced since pre-orders. having 4000 people essentially knocking at their doors all day every day wanting their blood (or at least their pandoras) must be more draining than anyone can imagine. i reckon i’d have had a nervous breakdown by now for sure.

    all in all this is a great project, where we will eventually see some great things happen but sadly i think the community will need to build up its enthusiasm again for a fair whie once things come out. just think, all this time people could have been writing games for the pandora if it was on time or for other consoles if they werent waiting on the pandora when instead everyone has been moaning on the messageboards. hopefully though it will mean that people have been stockpiling ideas for when it is released.

    i am still excited though. kinda wish people didnt only see things from their own perspective of disappointment, suspicions and anger. people may feel like they are important but each individual is only actually 0.025% of the investment in this project so arent all that important.

  32. The fact that the keymat is not even mentioned in the blogpost tells me that we will have to wait way longer than 2 months.

  33. hurr I was hoping for May or end of May as well.

    haha can you guys send all parts over to the US? then I assemble it myself to get away from FCC delay 😥

  34. renegadechic ive kind of been thiking the same thing here, obviously the situation sucks but it’s not like they INTENDED to make the situation suck. i don’t think ED and craig and mweston etc are out to get us

  35. @Anon3: The keymat was mentioned by MWeston just the other day (it’s only two blog posts before this one). It takes around 25 days to make, and it has already been ordered. As of last week, the factory still had some questions before they proceeded. As long as those questions are resolved by the time the case mould is ordered (which takes around 30 days to make), it won’t cause any delay. The two moulds can be made simultaneously.

  36. They really haven’t had any more or worse delays than GPH or even Sony and others, things happen especially in a learning experience such as this one. Head down and forward, ever forward guys, at least there are no corners being cut and shipping it out before it’s ready. Going to be sweet and I don’t resent a minute or a dollar of it.

  37. This is my preferred source of Pandora news due to the comparative lack of vitriol – I’d REALLY appreciate it if we could keep nastiness down to a minimum 😀

  38. I think “The Final Countdown” is a very misleading blog title

  39. well before saying that no corner have been cut we will have to experience the Pandora a little while and see from there. For now things work on paper, on video but we still have to see if the product delivers at the level of our expectations. Looks like it but…
    It has been said already but funny how GPH gains additional respect since the beginning of Pandora cause it takes effectively a lot to pull a project like this. GPH is not too bad finally.

  40. Take all the damned time you please, but it better be damn good.

  41. I’m not as upset as most people posting here. If you compare the Pandora to the Nokia Internet Tablet series, you see the difference between an open-source project and a commercial project.

    Maemo 5 was announced on September 7, 2008, at which time the specs of the next Internet Tablet were revealed. But Nokia hasn’t made any official product announcement and hasn’t shown any prototype N9xx’s in renderings, photographs, or videos. Nokia never asks for input on hardware design. The next Internet Tablet is rumored to have a slide out keyboard and to be planned for release at the *end* of this year, but no one really knows. In the past, Nokia has never given their community any notice when a new model is being released; rather, at some point, the current model suddenly drops in price by a huge amount, and then a week later a new model is released.

    One of the consequences of receiving project updates is that you actually have some clue about what is going on as it happens. I understand that the money is important and it’s hard to be disappointed. But unless there’s some angel investor who **doesn’t want to put his money into something else that would have a larger potential return** because he just loves emulated games and wants to give 3,000 people the chance to get a $350 device, this is how an open source hardware project has to work. The way some people talk, it sounds like they would rather wait until something is available on Amazon or at Walmart before they know anything about it. Part of being involved is supporting the project completion, even if things get held up.

    We aren’t really paying for product development but rather for manufacturing. And we could have canceled our pre-orders if we wanted to, just like if we had pre-ordered a commercial product on Amazon or Buy.com and if it didn’t get released as expected. Sure, the re-ordering process and the lack of credit card transactions were a pain. But I’m pretty happy about getting the project updates. I think it has all the advantages of being involved in an exciting project, which is almost always a pain in the ass, without having to do any work. How can that be bad?

  42. In ED’s new blog post, he mentions that the Rev3 boards are being produced as prototypes.

    Anybody know the status of the Rev4 boards?
    Are they the version which will ship in first batch Pandora’s?

  43. Guys, please, calm down. Play with something else in the meantime or occupy your time with something that you enjoy doing. Let’s give the development team a break. They’re working as hard as they can and they must really feel down with all these negative comments…

    Just a little more patience, that’s all. It’s not like they are making you wait on purpose! Believe it or not, these things happen, especially when there’s not a big corporation behind a product like this.

    And no, they’re not mean. No, they’re not incompetent… No, they’re not anything negative your minds can think of just because of your anxiety. They are just regular guys with a really ambitious project in their hands (and with a great responsability as well), doing the best they can.

    Thanks for the good news, EvilDragon. And as I read someone on the forums post: “let’s expect for the worse, but hope for the best”.

    Good luck to you all and relax a bit ;). Bye.

  44. i don’t think ED and craig and mweston etc are out to get us…

    No, but they did make some (at best) misleading comments when they were out to get our money. They may not have it in for us and I am already assuming (given my payment) that they are producing the device they said they would. Doesn’t take away from the countless “final deadlines” and “any day now” delivery dates they’ve peddled whenever they wanted us to pay them money.

  45. Words like “mislead” and “lie” imply full knowledge on their part. So, did they plan the whole thing to go the way it has and lie about it, or did they know the future was uncertain and lie by saying it wasn’t? If you believe either of these things, you either haven’t been paying attention to their statements all this time, or you’re too frustrated to remember them. And for those calling them incompetent, try comparing this to what real, “competent” companies do.

  46. @Possum: I’m not an expert in business but pre-ordering a pandora doesn’t make you an investor. It just makes you an investor.

    “investing: the act of investing; laying out money or capital in an enterprise with the expectation of profit”

    Also, you’re talking about the cairo project: I don’t think anyone paid for it in advance.

  47. it just makes you a customer….


  48. @ “g”

    “Words like “mislead” and “lie” imply full knowledge on their part. ”

    i have posted this on the interview comments, but it is also valid here.

    the below are quotes taken from Chip’s interview dated 13/04/09

    “We’ve had multiple problems with availability of several parts along the way, but we have everything we need to start manufacturing now”

    followed by

    “We’re still waiting to test some minor changes to the prototype case and there is some certification that needs to be done yet.”

  49. [troll]

  50. If you guys want to discuss Chip’s interview, please do it in that blog post. As I stated over there mosschops, I don’t know what your point is, but if you’re saying that those statements are contradictory then you’re incorrect.

  51. Personally, I’m a little disappointed, and still suspect that that July/August will be more likely for the first 500.

    I am right in saying that the first batch of 500 are the test batch Craigix mentioned? These 500 people will get their Pandoras first to check that there are no faults (and have them for a little while) before the remaining 3500 are manufactured. This makes Sept/October more likely for the vast majority of customers.

    I hope it arrives before September – Imagine the comments if people have to wait over a year from first pre-orders.

  52. Do-da-loo-doo Do-da-loo-dat-doo
    Do-da-loo-doo Do-da-loo-dat-do-dat-doo
    It’s the Final Countdown.

    Sorry, Europe is stuck in my head now.

  53. “mosschops”

    The first statement was about parts. The second was about testing. Don’t waste everyone’s time with childish paranoia.

  54. The late date is a bit disappointing, but the outcry is more disappointing.

    Since late last year, many have been complaining about no estimated dates were given by the team. Several posters have commented that dates would only cause more anger when they slip due to what ever reasons. Now that the team tries to give us their best guesstimates, guess what happens?

    I am not their fanboy, nor am I an “investor” as some would say. I am just a customer who don’t throw out words such as “liar” and “incompentent” so easily.

    Everyone knew before laying down their hard earned money that this is not a well established company that has been producing these types of electronics. AFAIK none of them have worked in such establishments. If big companies can slip on their dates, why do you have such a hard time believing that this start-up company can have these problems?

    Hey, I’m just as disappointed as most of you are for not getting it before July. This was suppose to be my Birthday present last year. It won’t make it to be my present this year. My wife’s been nagging on me for “wasting” money on something that I have yet to hold on to in a year. Yes, it’s frustrating, but IMHO their reasons for delay are “acceptable”.

    I am sure they want to roll this out ASAP, so that they can get it out there and be recognized and hopefully more buyers will come.

  55. So I’ve just heard that poisoned was kicked off for some of his comments on this blog, which I think is ridiculous. The reason people wanted him on the team was that he wasn’t just mindlessly taking slaps from the pandora team, intended or not. Furthermore, it is no gruso who runs this blog, it’s mazza, last time I checked.

    It wasn’t even a blog, it was a comment. A comment he could have left if he wasn’t author, his demotion changes nothing. His blogs were all perfectly civilized delivery of information. Bring back poisoned!

  56. It wasn’t the first time Kyo. For the record there are no hard feelings with PV. If you want to discuss it further, there’s a Community Blog thread in the forums.

    Mazza is indeed the blog founder & admin. I’m an admin as well.

  57. oh well, at least if we are going to have all this delay, we will now expect an incredibly awesome device… am i right guys?

  58. Honestly, so? I’ve complained about it too? Oh no, stone me. You know there’s this thing called free speech. I understand that it’s limited on the internet, and I understand that it would have been inappropriate if he had made a post with his rage, but he didn’t.

  59. As I said, feel free to raise it in the forums.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: