Official Blog: Did somebody say “Let it begin?”

August 12, 2009
Posted by: gruso

A new (well, day old) post on the official blog from EvilDragon. If all the desktop environment talk (Matchbox vs E17) leaves you feeling a little lost, never fear. We’ll pull together some information and give you a roundup soon.

Did somebody say “Let it begin?”

Yes, we did.

You’ve seen some requested videos during the last days, now it’s time for some more facts and information, eh?

Well, the review of the complete case and the keymat is finished. There were a few small issues that we already corrected and on Monday the company did tell us “Everything is ready, we can start when you are ready”.
And guess what – we were ready! Finally all issues of the case and keymat have been resolved and they are now working on the mould.

DJWillis has also made some progress with WiFi. Basically, he can communicate with the Module, only calibration doesn’t work yet. As soon as he gets this to work, WiFi will work completely – including WPA, etc.

Regarding software, we were discussing about using cpasjuste’s GUI as minimal launcher, since it is so much nicer than matchbox and it’s just a program you run, not a complete WindowManager.
So we’re currently thinking about using E17 as fully fledged desktop and cpasjuste’s GUI as minimal mode for the gamers who don’t want to use a complete desktop.
That way we don’t need two window manager and starting the minimal GUI is easy – just use it as autostart program.

I know there are still plenty of things to do – and the worst thing is that there won’t be many pictures while waiting for all companies to finish… but we’re still getting there, step by step.



  1. So close … I can almost touch the damn thing!

  2. Just being curious, so when do you think actual shipping will take place.

  3. @Scott: My guess is October.

  4. 2 months?

  5. Hopefully early October.

  6. As October = “2 months”, seems that everyone is in agreement… At least until next month! πŸ˜‰

  7. I think that’s the right choice. quite a few people were unhappy with matchbox and with E17 and cpasjustes launcher, we have the best of both worlds.

  8. I would love to get my Pandora with e17 as the full GUI. I have always had a soft spot for this window manager whenever I have used Linux. It looks great, and runs REALLY fast, and it will leave heaps of resources left over for any other applications running on the device.

    It will be nice to see an official Pandora theme, something pretty minimalistic to make the most of that 800×480.

  9. ❀

  10. Sorry but I prefered Matchbox – i’ve even been using it on my Jornada and wouldn’t use anything else.

  11. @ashdjones

    Have you ever used enlightenment? I would give it a try before discounting it. It provides a lot more flexibility in comparison to matchbox. A very similar system to matchbox could easily be created within enlightenment, whilst still allowing for more advanced layouts.

  12. Yeah, only two months from now!

  13. So they’re ready to start with creating the mould for the second (third) time? 😐

  14. @kollau
    they have gotten through the “correct minor things” part, which was an additional 15 days onto the 30 day mold production… now they are done with the 15 day part so its in the 30 day mold production stage.

  15. Heh, the waiting is a killer. At the very least this will be a fantastic starting point for a long line of killer products that use this type of chipset.

  16. @anon2 I agree I can’t wait till some of these devices come out. I hear the ipod 3gs, palm pre, and touchbook are all goign to be useing these and similar chipsets. Can’t wait!

  17. We’re passed all the minor case tweaking which leaves us waiting now for molds to be completed and then they can be used to fabricate the actual cases that will house the Pand. So 30 days to make the molds, which leads us to the actual product production time(I forget how long they say this part would take), add two weeks past that for shipping and another 3 for assembly then they have to be shipped back, and not only will they have to be shipped out to us, but they STILL need to do FCC testing on the final design granted this could be dont during the week that the first units get sent back to Craig, but honestly I dont think anyone will actually get their Pandora till December. No disrespect to you Gruso, but that seems a lot more likely.

  18. Yay! So it’ll be the most awesome Christmas present ever!

  19. I am confused, first I hear from Craig, it was going to ship in July, then from Debs, it was to ship in either August or September, and from what I see it could ship in December.

    Whats going on, we made our pre-orders in September 08, and now its going to be over 1 year late for delivery.

  20. @scott:
    There was a lot of trouble on the way.

  21. @Scott Rusoff

    delays are what is going on. the project such that it is has been delayed for various reasons, some predictable, some not. The general consensous is that the original timescale estimate was somewhat optimistic (by the current looks by a factor of 4) but since this is the first hardware this team has attempted to bring to the market from scratch that is probably to be expected.

    Your confusion over the ship dates is understandable, timescale estimates have been continuously optimistic. Couple this with the kind of PR (and by that i mean public statements of any kind) by some of the company members like you have above and confusion reigns happily.

    as i said previously, like a bad (i mean daytime) soap opera. Having said that, i put my money down and wait impatiently for something i think will be interesting. though of course in the meantime i have spent twice/three/four time as much on other toys meaning it is just as likely to sit next to my (unmodified) first edition gp2x for showing to other nerds.

  22. Even though E17 is as lightweight as they come in terms of WMs, but isn’t starting the minimal GUI from within the WM kinda defeating the purpose? One of the selling points of a minimal GUI is minimal resource usage, right?


  23. Why not to use awesome?

  24. What about KDE4? ~_^

    Actually, I guess Matchbox would be just fine as a lightweight environment. As a DE I would prefer LXDE but E17 might be also fine (I’m bit scared of Enlightement’s development _rush_… Doesn’t matter.)

  25. Hm, ~10 years ago when I was running Enlightenment it was the prettiest WM but also veryyyy sluggish and required topnotch (or at least very good) hardware to have a smooth experience. I thought E was the same now honestly πŸ™‚ Same with KDE took up much system resources. But if things have changed with E I would gladly see it on my Pandora.

    But even if I don’t like it I can always choose to run any other WM like xfce πŸ˜› I like xfce

  26. Why is wifi never completely working? It seems like that has been the same for a long time. Is progress being made or is something wrong?

  27. i concurr

  28. You are welcome to write the software if you want. Progress is being made READ THE BLOG POST!

  29. >Yay! So it’ll be the most awesome Christmas present ever!

    That’s what we said last year.

    >Whats going on, we made our pre-orders in September 08, and now its going to be over 1 year late for delivery.

    They just said November/December. They didn’t tell us which year.

  30. If some of you would look back at all the posts and information on the project and why delays sadly happened, you wouldn’t be wasting time whining why preorders were last year and why nothing has shipped yet. Please go back and read up on it.

    My take on it is later September when Pandoras get shipped.

  31. This is my favorite project. My blessin g upon you all.

  32. For the record, about a week ago I asked sales when they expected the Pandora to ship (since I have a preorder and will be moving soon) and they replied saying sometime in September. But they have been wrong before– just saying that that’s the current estimate from sales.

    Plus, since my preorder is probably one of the last, I don’t expect to get mine until October– even if they do start shipping in September.
    Either way, I can’t wait to get my hands on a Pandora πŸ™‚

  33. Even IF they ship ‘a few’ in September, it’ll only be from the initial 105 produced – from what I can see, volume production won’t begin until the end of September, add to that assembly, packaging, shipping….

  34. As a long time hacker or Maemo OS, I am begging whoever is listening, NO MATCHBOX, uggggghhhhhhhh

    NO MATCHBOX, you can not have a full desktop experience with matchbox.

    NO NO NO NO Matchbox….

  35. I happen to like Matchbox :p so there.

  36. i havent tried matchbox myself, but how about openbox?
    ghost1227 is already making alot of awesome themes for openbox!

  37. edit to above: for pc that is, hes not making pandra themes hemes…

  38. One thing we may be a good idea to add to the road map: all the ancillary stuff they’ll need before it ships: case, power adapter, anything else you can think of, shipping boxes/plastic protective sleeves/padding/and proper accounts to ship the final product.

    Any of these should be doable in parallel while the case molds are being created and the Pandoras are being manufactured, but if they’re not done by the time the finished Pandoras are delivered to Craig & Co, that could generate one more delay as we wait for them. (Hopefully not!)

  39. I’m sure they’ve been paralleling all this time, but yeah it’d be good to have updates on these too

  40. @Wardred – there’s also any SDHC cards that were ordered originally too. I ordered one, and as a ‘Star Buy’ (on the order page) I’m sure a few people opted for the 32Gb cards that were ‘in stock’ too. The branding was visibly SanDisk, I hope they don’t source something any less reputable in a rush to fill any orders.

  41. They appear to have been “parealleling” less than one would have imagined, if they aren’t even sure whether the power supply/charger will be a “traditional” AC/DC charger or a cheap AC USB style charger.

  42. I’d like to keep the core of the roadmap focused on the actual console. But a subsection for the ancillary stuff might be a good idea. πŸ™‚ We do know a couple of things; apparently the TV out cables are done, and they’re currently sourcing the right power supplies (they’ll be getting off the shelf items, so no manufacturing delays there). Mentions of both are in this thread:


    Re: Sandisk SD cards – they’re a regular stock item at both GBAX and g2px.de, so there shouldn’t be any problems with those.

  43. So… Is it safe to say that about a week after all the excitement of a big new video from Craig and the drama that was sd cards getting munched by macs that we probably won’t see this super video he was working on?

  44. @gruso – Thanks for all your work on this website and keeping us up to date on things. Keeping this thread to the big items works for me.

    It was actually that thread that prompted my comment, but having it in a subsection, or waiting until the big items are done before moving it to this one makes sense to me.

  45. It’s a pleasure. πŸ™‚

  46. Did somebody say “Let’s stop updating?”

  47. Ancillary item: Packaging.

    Do they have the boxes they’re going to ship the Pandora in designed with box-art et-all completed, or are we getting bubble-wrapped and taped components in a nondescript brown-cardboard box?

    I don’t care which really, the box would be nice but if they’re going to do the complete box thing, I’d like to know that it won’t hold up the shipping date to wait on those.

    It’s nice to know the completion date for construction, but the one I care about is the shipping date.

  48. Let it begin what ?
    Been a while since I get a real info about the shipping date.
    But the TV cables are done youpiii !
    Thu 17th September, dude this is way much longer than I was expected and still no promises.

  49. Let manufacturing begin. And yes, it’s way longer than anyone expected. But they’re finally making them. πŸ™‚

  50. my friend works at apple, and he says fcc clearing takes like 5 months…. this hasn’t happened yet. Can they ship it before its been cleared or what?

  51. “he says fcc clearing takes like 5 months”

    Oh jeebus…I dunno if I can handle that much more of a wait. o.O Someone tell me that isn’t happening…

  52. Let’s not freak out at a blog comment made by someone with a friend who works somewhere. No offence bosshawg. πŸ˜›

    Apparently, getting FCC certification directly from the FCC (which Apple probably does) is pretty slow. However, it can also be done through third party providers, which only takes a week or two. Word on the wire is that US customers have nothing to worry about.

  53. Are you sure about that, I am now starting to think the Pandora will not be released in 2009, and we will have to wait for it in 2010.

  54. @Scott – FCC is only required for devices that are sold in the US. it’s an import device so it doesn’t matter. We can get in trouble for owning one but they can’t get in trouble for selling one. And we can only get in trouble if (1) it gets held up in customs (unlikely) or (2) it actually DOES cause such harmful interference that someone reports it.
    CE will have to be done by then, and we’ll know of any potential radiation problems. I actually kinda want a non-FCC one – since they’re not versioning the Pandoras as far as I know, it might be the only way to know if you have a first-edition!

  55. On the unoffical roadmap it states the first assembled pandora will be done on Sept 17, will that be the only assembled Pandora that day or will others be assembled too.

  56. We don’t state that it will be done on that date, we’re just making an estimate.

    The 100 boards that have been made (and are currently undergoing testing at the factory) will be going into the first 100 Pandoras. Chances are they’ll assemble one to start with and show us some photos. But all going well, they should be able to make the first 100 right away.

  57. I got an email from Debs the other day telling me shipping will start sometime in September.

  58. I assume you mean two lady friends named Deb. Otherwise I say bovine excrement. I don’t think even craig would come up with that. November is a realistic estimate based on past performance.

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