MWeston: What he says on the first 100

July 5, 2009
Posted by: gruso

A nice, lengthy post from MW. Thanks to mosschops & emil10001 for the heads up.

Hey there,

This first 100 debate might not be as big of a deal as you might think. It’s likely that the time difference between the first 100 and the next 1000 will only be one week if any delay at all. The first 100 will be going nowhere until the case is done and shipped since we are no longer shipping out bare boards to anyone. They will go through very rigorous testing, over and over again. They will be used to establish the test procedure for the next batches of thousands. It’s even possible that all 4000 will be done testing at the same time the cases show up and they will all start going out immediately after being put together.

I would say 95% of the parts are in Texas this week and the remaining parts (some connectors) should finally ship this week with the taxation stuff better understood. The case molds should be going to production this week as well. Dave was hoping to have it done this past week but it didn’t happen so it seems reasonable to assume an extra week is all he will need.

The mold creation is the long 45 day process that will involve several reviews and tweaks but we are getting the mold company involved with this so that the time is used as efficiently as possible. We’re not making anymore CNC/SLA prototypes because it seemed like every time we got one, something new was not quite right on it. It got to the point where we had to ask ourselves if we made the error, or if they did! This could go on for years if we are attempting to trust prototypes to get it exactly right. In fact, I don’t think any company does this. I think we are to get it very close and fitting together and then allow the plastics company to make it perfect. I’m sending them everything they need to build a Pandora unit so that they can tweak the molds to have the tightest tolerances and guaranteed fit for the tens of thousands of units that will get squeezed out after this. By taking us out of that equation, there is no need to ship us anything or get approval on little things that could add weeks to the process. We stay involved in the major decisions and wait for real test units to ship to us for approval before pumping out thousands more.

Based on these calculations, it looks like the end of August to start seeing fully assembled units and then shipping to customers in early September. Having to ship things back and forth around the world really sucks, but it’s unavoidable on this first batch due to taxation laws. Only the developer units provided free of charge to those involved with Pandora’s development can ship direct so, in a way, shipping to developers first is the only way this can be done without needlessly wasting time. πŸ™‚

Let’s hope this is the final “in two months” calculation and we make it well before being one year late. What a nightmare this all has been. I really wonder what 2007 me would have said if current me went back in time and told him what was in store for the next 24 months. Ah, who am I kidding? I’m a sucker for punishment. I’m sure I’d still be right here. πŸ˜€




  1. took a while for it to get posted here.
    Well, another 2 months..

  2. as much as an uneasy feeling i get when craigix discusses things, mweston sure puts me at ease. even if it is still ‘two months’

  3. Wow… another two months. Saying it with emphasis for humour does not really make it funny. It just makes it bloody obvious how often we’ve been sold the same line…

    Cue the usual fanboy howls of protest…

  4. Isn’t it great?
    The modling process was to take 30 days.
    Now it is 45 days. Well, thats life I guess πŸ™‚

    Just see it that way:
    if end of august doesnt hold and it will be delayed again for 2 months, it will be end of octobre begining of November. So we are close to a ONE YEAR late πŸ™‚

  5. it was last august when we ordered our pandoras…

  6. So much for having it before PAX

  7. Thx for the update Mweston. you are a wise man and your stoic attitude is very much appreciated from french customers πŸ™‚

    Can’t wait to get my pandora. Dingoo is really cool, but Pandora is da sh*t πŸ˜€

  8. Well well well, So not all the parts are there and testproduction of the boards hasn’t started yet because of this. We will have to wait…wait…wait…

  9. my patience is finishing… staff has no guilt on the money lock from banks or errating about the time to get pandoras shipped(3 months when having the shop page and the paying time), altough is to risked say 3 months in a beginning, it would be better to say one year altough it’s ok because if craig would say in pandora homepage that console will arrived approximely between 8 and 12 months(without counting the money lock and the delays from third companies) maybe the demand would be lower and then craig would have less money for the prototype, the shipments, etc. My father gave me the money for the pandora and he doens’t understand the money-lock from banks and doesn’t trust this could be real

  10. Had a chat with future me last night. He said that if I knew the final release date i’d end up on the floor crying like a baby.

  11. I said to myself the next time the release date were pushed back, I’d ask for a refund. That was four months ago, and it’s been pushed twice. I really want that refund, but I can’t ask for it because the developers keep making it seem like it’s so close it’d be worth waiting for it.

  12. lol ashdjones

    Yeah, I just went back and had a chat with myself in February. Told me to pull out and wait for the second batch to avoid going crazy over this whole thing. Whew! πŸ™‚

  13. That it, refund time.

    By the time this is at my doorstep, all kinds of ion and tegra platforms will be on the market for the same price.

    It was a great project from the beginning, it would’ve been awsome to have a year back.
    Now, a palm pre is faster and also opensource.

    Now my refund will be 210€ instead of the 270 i paid months back. I feel fucking cheated, but thats life. A big fuck you to the devs. Constant lies.

  14. future me went back in time and had sex with yo past momma

  15. Hi Fanboy here. Why you looka so sad? 😦

    No lies just over optimism and a belief that whilst shit happens it’s got to stop sooner or later.

    Took a wee trip to early September. The other me was still waiting but sitting by the front door listening for the postman.

    Hang in there guys. We’re very close.

  16. Hmmn, I guess I don’t understand. This was supposed to be me providing some good news. Rather than the usual predictions, I was trying to say what was going on right now. I tend to get a little too specific and then all the questions and doubts start. That’s on me.

    Everything I have said other than the one extra week for Dave to finish the last of the design changes is exactly what ED told you in his last blog post. Perhaps I’m too technical and not as graceful in the wording but I like to talk to people like they are my peers and my equals and that they already know exactly what I’m talking about and what it takes to do this.

    People always say we should stop with the best case predictions so I figured saying September was smart and then we still try to get some done earlier. The mold company gives us worst case times and then they try to be done sooner as long as major errors are not found (hence the 30-35 day quote from some time ago).

    Deso, I hope that you or anyone who is thinking of canceling their order will reconsider. Real production begins in two weeks. You’ve waited all this time and now that it is so close, you want to leave? Nah, stick around. Keep yelling at as, rant in the forum, but stick it out. We’re finally wrapping this thing up. It will be worth it in the end. πŸ˜‰

    I honestly don’t think you will find any other device as open or easy to use as Pandora. Ion chips are going into netbooks (and mini-PCs) and run the usual x86 stuff. Yawn! Tegra is going into the Zune HD. That’s the only device I have ever heard of with it so far and you know the Zune will not be open. The Palm Pre has been ‘hacked’ to be open but they’ve already closed that up with the next firmware upgrade right?

    Trying to open a device made for the big commercial market will always be a hack job. It’s the only truly unique feature about Pandora that sets it apart from everything else. I really don’t think you will get that from anything else destined to come out any time soon or even next year. I personally have plans to try and work with the community on any hardware hacks, mods, or accessories we can think of and the hardware will be getting a bit more open after release with the availability of documentation on my site. All of this on day one. No guessing, no ripping parts off of boards to find traces and someone involved to lead you in the right direction. That has to count for something.

    Look at this community and look at the nature of the entire project. Don’t worry about some over eager predictions and realize what you are a part of. That’s why I’m still here as are all these other unpaid devs. There never has been any intentional lies, but as soon as things seem to be on track for one delivery date, Craig likes to share it. I can respect some frustration from customers on that one.

    When I think about the endless possibilities of what people could do with this thing once it is in everyone’s hands, it brings back the excitement I had when this all started. The entire OMAP3 open source community has only begun to take advantage of all the cores and features of this chip. Accelerated media players and DSP bridges and good, stable 3D drivers are finally being put to use, so this really is about the best time to jump in. It’s all still very cutting edge stuff. People who say the hardware is dated in other topics are staring at their overheating, little brownish-white phones a little too much, I think. πŸ™‚

  17. A week or two until the case molds go into production? That’s HUGE news. It’s pretty much the last physical piece holding things up…that and the snafu with the shipping. Thank you MWESTON for this update.

  18. Thanks MW for the additional comments. πŸ™‚

    Just to correct a couple of other points:

    > “it was last august when we ordered our pandoras…” (mr. doug)

    No, they opened on the last day of September. Or 1st October in some parts of the world (including mine).

    > “Now, a palm pre is faster” (Deso)

    Faster than Pandora? How did you get this impression? The Pre uses and OMAP3430, Pandora uses an OMAP3530:


  19. Got to say, I’m not supprised by the reaction I only made my order a month or two back and was told at the time it would be the end of June then saw abit of news that said July.

    In all fairness the guys doing this don’t have PR guys to hide behind and they do seem to work extremely hard, some things like the UPS problem couldn’t be expected.

    Can’t really say September is brill news as the Pandora was ment to be a kind of Birthday present to myself for next week.

    I need the Pandora in the end though, I’ve looked at alot of devices over the years none of them come close to what I want all round from a portable device.

  20. @mweston

    I don’t know if you will come back to read comments here or not, but i will put in my two pennies worth (for what it is worth).

    1) yes, your posting isnt that much difference to ED’s. It isnt also that much different (technically) to the one Craigix posted about having a finished unit by the end (presumably) of july.

    The extra delays here and there are frustrating since we paid upfront (though the nature of the project makes this understandable) and especially since the delays here and there add up to a considerable amount of time during which publication of “news” has been variable in it’s nature and quality.

    2) the project has a whiff of the “new console” the kid down the street said he had except you could never get your hands on it because every time you thought you would get close some excuse came up. it becomes very easy to believe that the “new console” never existed (until the day you finally see it, when it becomes obvious it hasn’t been around that long). This may seem an odd analogy but those of us old enough to remember (especially in the uk) will remember the 12-18 months delays of the release of the Megadrive/Genesis etc. and the rich kids who supposedly had this hot new console but never actually did until it came on general sale or maybe that was just me.

    3) PR or lack thereof, cumminication or lack thereof between team members (most recent example ED says no more boards being shipped on their own, craigix says we will ship boards if you promise to be nice) has been a massive issue. The official website is not updated enough. we as users have to trawl through forums, setup our own unofficial news blogs (which is excellent by the way) to harvest comments from all over the shop. This means there is no way to manage the news or the comments, one upset person will pull a couple more out which due to the nature of the internet etc looks far worse than it is.

    4) microsoft has steve ballmer OP Ltd has craigix

    5) my sense is that people are just frustrated and/or pissed off at some/all or more of the above. Come the day the postman knocks on the door there will be dancing in the street, music playing, possibly celebrating until someone finds an issue. Hopefully the delays will mean that any issue is software based and everyone will carry on after a dev has been whipped into shape.

    6) people are frustrated, this is the internet. anonymitiy + frustration = people shouting their keyboards off like this (though i have to say im more than happy to stand up and say what i have said in public so people can throw eggs at me). If people were waiting for delivery of a goose that laid golden eggs there would still be people bitching and saying they are going to go buy a bargain bucket at KFC instead.

    7) people will get bored partway through long posts and honda a goosestep so wibble wobble you can beachhead anything you hippo.

    8 ) 7 is a joke

    9) why are you posting here when you should be working your fingers to the bone making our machines?

    10) 9 is also a joke.

  21. The best quality control is to do it right the 1st time
    compare to nVidia with their defective “bumps” == $1/4B+ and
    over a year of heavy duty denial
    A 11 month gestation is not that bad,
    actually typical development time


  22. > The best quality control is to do it right the 1st time
    That’s the point!

    > It’s the only truly unique feature about Pandora that sets it apart from everything else.
    Well said, MWeston!

  23. God dammit, another delay. :-F

    Seriously, with Moore’s law and everything, by the time this thing is in my hands, my phone will have more power.

    ‘most powerful handheld’, yeah, right.

    I feel cheated.

  24. I give OPltd one last chance. If I don’t have my Pandora until end of September year 2009 I will cancel my order. No matter if they announce it’s only one month, one week, or one day away.


  25. Look on the bright side, Christmas might be more exciting?

  26. I’ll wait for the Pandora. It’s going to be that good and I have a life to keep me busy while they tweak so no problem there.

    Two questions though:
    1. What happened to those 5 perfect boards that were recently produced?
    2. Where the heck can I get a Tyme Masheen so I can talk to my old self?


  27. Thanks for posting that comment, mosschops. I think you nailed every irritation I had.

  28. +++ mosschops
    PR or lack thereof…You said it

    There has only been a few updates in what the last 10 months @ OpenPandora

    1. Current Status
    2. Happy new year of the Pandora!
    3. Updates for December
    4. Sold out!
    5. Final Preorders


  29. How the heck did you guys think you were shipping on November 30th?

  30. The November target was way to optimistic, they already acknowledged that.

    But the global market ‘crash’ set them back months. A lot has changed from that moment. Where I work we produce high quality embedded products. Stuff that has to survive for 15 years while standing outside.

    And we lots of problems with the manufacturing process. Build quality has been reduced, stuff is never delivered on time, sometimes some manufacturing tests are just skipped so we get faulty equipment. It’s a real hell, slowly getting better, but still a hell.

    So I take my hat of for the OP team. They are doing great, and to hear that the manufacturing goes ok is a huge thing.

    I don’t have a preorder, but if someone wants to cancel his preorder, I wouldn’t mind taking it over. I kinda was counting on xmas as release date for the Pandora anyhow.

  31. Hi Daid,

    If you want you can take over my order ( or if anyone else wants to…)
    Please ontact me on michelvw@gmail.com

    Thanks in advance.

  32. /me wonders if gmail will block all the requests that Deso will get as spam πŸ˜€

  33. …because they will be so many… (just in case my point was unclear)

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