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  • Pandora News

    by Published on August 27th, 2011 10:59
    1. Categories:
    2. Pandora News
    Article Preview

    Heres another update from the Openpandora Team:

    A lot of important things have happened behind the curtains, I'll try to summarize everything up here, though it might not be easy. I hope I can make myself clear and won't forget anything.

    One thing upfront:
    I saw some posts that asked if Craig simply ignores the Pandora right now, as you don't read any Pandora news from him.
    Craig is still in the team, of course.
    However, all he can do right now is wait for CC to produce and ship the boards. Well, and to take care about possible legal actions...

    I am mainly the one working on continuing the production in Germany, of course with a lot of help by Michael and Fatih.

    Craig uses most of his time to take care about the iControlPad, while I am fully working on the Pandora right now.
    I never was the smartphone gamer, but I love OpenSource stuff, so I'm happy to mostly work on the Pandora and not on the iCP

    This is just a quick information at the beginning of my post.



    Creating a business plan

    You all know that we're currently working on moving the production to Germany.
    This is a very important step and therefore needs to be done very carefully.
    We have no idea how fast and how many finished boards CC can provide us in the near future.
    So for my business plan, I am currently assuming the worst case scenario: Not a single board from CC anymore.
    That's highly unlikely, but better be safe than sorry.

    In case someone doesn't know exactly what a business plan is:
    It's basically a document you create, that includes a detailed plan of the total costs needed, any plans for production, how you plan to make profits, what issues there are left, what needs to be done, etc.
    This is absolutely essential if you try to get a bank loan or an investor, as they use the business plan to calculate their risks.

    I'm about 90% finished with that, I just need a few more quotations, including the most important one: The PCB production. I'll get that one probably within the next days.


    So... what IS the plan?

    Well, of course: Produce Pandoras
    That's the simple version.

    It's much more complex though. Moving the production costs money. Thanks to the production issues, we lost an awful lot of money as well.
    The goal of the plan is, to find out how much money is needed to start the production and how many Pandoras need to be sold to make sure the production will continue and we can deliver the remaining preorders as well.

    Altogether, there are 1200 preorders left (500 from me, 800 from Craig). This includes ALL preorders. Also the ones from Batch 2.
    While the plan is not yet finished, it looks like with 3000 units produced, we'll be able to fulfill all the remaining preorders AND have enough money left to continue the production.
    Right now, it looks like about 250.000 EUR is needed to get everything rolling.

    This actually sounds like a lot of money, but for such a production, it is not that much. And with 3000 units produced, the money can be paid back and everyone of you would have his Pandora!
    After that, profit starts.

    This is, as said, the worst case scenario. Every PCB delivered by CC will make things better.

    Where to get that money?
    I've got plans for that as well. Investors would be possible, I'll also try getting a loan.
    With a carefully thought business plan that shows that the loan could be paid back within a reasonable timeframe, this shouldn't be a big issue.

    I'd still love to get notch as investor. He was one of the very first preorderers of the Pandora, he seems like a nice chap AND he really supports indie stuff.
    I was in contact with him early this year and he was interested, however, I never got a reply from him since then.
    I guess he's just swamped with his normal eMail address, so he probably missed mine.
    If anyones in good contact with him, please let him know I'm trying to contact him. It would really rock if he would support us - and it would make things so much easier!

    BTW: Global Components (they will most probably produce the PCBs) are also interested in investing. That would also be great


    Preorders... again?

    Yes, there will probably be another preorder round.
    However, with ONE significant difference: NO money has to be paid upfront!

    What use is this, you might ask?

    Easy. Imagine you are looking for investors. Or you are trying to get a loan from the bank.
    Of course they are careful and will ask you: Are you sure anyone will buy that thing?
    Then you'll take out a big list with a lot of people who preordered already... and you win.
    That way, getting money will be WAY more easy!

    I'll inform you when that preordering starts - and then you can tell anyone who always wanted to buy a Pandora but didn't want to pay before it's available to go and preorder!
    But please don't order another one there if you're not interested in actually buying it later. It would just lead to problems.

    It will be exciting to see how much interest there is. But based on the daily "I want to order a Pandora"-mails I get, there should be quite a few orders.
    I also know some of you told me you'd want to get a few more units once they are available without prepayment.

    If this will be a success, getting a loan will be easy and production can continue!



    What... a new CPU? What the **** ...
    by Published on August 16th, 2011 13:51
    1. Categories:
    2. Pandora News

    via http://boards.openpandora.org/index....ad-2011-08-16/

    While the title suggests that there are NO news, this is not entirely true.

    Things ARE moving, but there's not much I can show you right now. I think I'll just summarize what happened during the last weeks.

    While waiting for the quotations from the different companies here in Germany for the PCB production, I was trying to catch up with the work I have to do - and that's A LOT.

    What is currently happening

    Pandora repairs
    I got quite a few Pandoras that need a new LCD Cable or nubs that I had to fix. As some might know I repair ALL of them (also the ones Craig sold), so this eats quite a bit of time.
    I finished repairing most of them, I get a few new ones each week, but I'm catching up!
    Repairing one unit approximately takes about 30 minutes, and you know I've got limited time... but I'll try to do my best!

    CircuitCo

    Also, I browsed through all eMails to and from CircuitCo, sorting out the important ones that prove that the issues we currently have are caused by them... that's done as well.
    Why I did this? Well, we MIGHT need all that... depending on how the whole situation with CircuitCo works out.
    My wish would be that they simply finish the 1000 missing PCBs as soon as possible and that's it. But we'll see about that...

    You know they sent about 50 PCBs last week - and while those were all working (seems they REALLY are using our new test!), we haven't gotten an update from them yet but will keep asking and I will keep you updated!
    On a funny sidenote they sent us an invoice for the production of those 50 PCBs... yeah, right. We shipped them over 300 broken ones that we already paid for back and they ask for money for the next 50 now? Awesome.

    Pandora Production in Germany

    I got a few further questions regarding parts that reached its end of life where we need replacement parts. And I already got one quotation from one of the companies, so things are moving there but I still have to wait for more.
    The first quotation is below to what I set as maximum limit for me, so this is a good start.

    I am also getting some up-to-date quotations for parts we have to get ourselves (LCDs, cases, etc.), so yeah, I'm doing a pretty comprehensive business plan right now with all costs involved.
    This is of course also mandatory in case I need to get more money for the production.

    I'll keep you updated about that, and as usual, I will dedicate everything I can to continue!


    Pandora Website

    Nothing has happened here, but basically, I am also planning a major revamp, as the current site doesn't make much sense.
    There should be more information about the released programs, the repositories, etc.
    The developers blog doesn't make much sense either, as the development is over already. It should be moved into an archive.
    I'd rather have some compact history about the Pandora, information about what's happening right now for new users, etc.

    This is also planned, I hope to find some time for that soon, but I won't bet on it, as there is so much more to do right now... ...
    by Published on August 9th, 2011 11:22
    1. Categories:
    2. Pandora News
    Article Preview

    via http://www.gp32x.com/board/index.php...dpost&p=955381

    Finally I can made the port (thanks to SplinterGU).

    Download BennuGD r263 for Open Pandora:

    BennuGD r263


    To identify the OS where BennuGD is running use 'os_id'.

    In Open Pandora 'os_id' is: "os_id = 1010" or "os_id = OS_PANDORA".


    ...
    by Published on August 5th, 2011 08:53
    1. Categories:
    2. PSP News,
    3. PS3 News,
    4. Nintendo Wii News,
    5. Xbox 360 News,
    6. Pandora News

    Could be very interesting for Homebrew devs out there:

    id Software will release the source code for Doom 3 later this year.

    Speaking at Quakecon 2011, id's technical director John Carmack revealed that parent company Zenimax was supportive of the move. He also challenged other developers to release their own source code, arguing that it helps the community.

    The source code will be available after the launch of Rage, which hits shelves in October.

    id's engine Id Tech Five will also go open source, but not until it's no longer used for official projects. Carmack speculated that this could be as long as ten years away.

    Carmack refused to talk about id's next big project, Doom 4, but did reveal that there were already plans for Rage 2. He also described a browser-version of classic title Wolfenstein as “off the table.”

    Quakecon is an annual gaming event held in Dallas, Texas, and and curated by id Software. The event will run until August 7.

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...-3-source-code ...
    by Published on August 2nd, 2011 22:23
    1. Categories:
    2. Pandora News

    Newly released/updated for the Pandora:

    The package contains SD card ready PNDs and fact sheets for the following emulatorsega 1.16-4 (SMS)DOSBox 0.74 (PC)GnGeo 0.8.3 (Neo Geo)GnuBoy 1.0.5 (GBC)gpFCE 0.4 (NES)gpFCE-GP2X 0.4 (NES)gpSP (GBA)Handy 0.5b (Atari Lynx)HuGo 1.1.0 (PC Engine)MAME4ALL 2.5b7 (Arcade)Mednafen r3 (Neo Geo Pocket/PC Engine/Others)Mupen64plus 1.5.r20110615.2 (N64)PCSX-ReARMed r8 (PSX)PicoDrive 1.80.0.899 (SMD)PocketSNES 6.5.0 (SNES)RACE 1.0b3 (Neo Geo Pocket)Snes9x4P v20110310 (SNES)UAE4ALL v1.1.1.19 (Amiga)Thanks to all authors for the hard work.Version 0.2 : DOSBox 0.74 (PC) addedVersion 0.3 : UAE4ALL v1.1.1.19 (Amiga) addedVersion 0.4 : Mednafen r1 (PC Engine) added + fact sheets updatedVersion 0.5 : Mednafen r2 (Neo Geo Pocket) added + fact sheet quick ref addedVersion 0.6 : Mednafen, Mupen64plus and PicoDrive updated

    Download Here ...
    by Published on August 1st, 2011 20:39
    1. Categories:
    2. Pandora News

    Newly released/updated for the Pandora:

    X-COM: Terror from the Deep - statically recompiled executable for Pandora. Original DOS X-COM: Terror from the Deep is required for playing.

    Download Here ...
    by Published on August 1st, 2011 00:23
    1. Categories:
    2. Pandora News

    via http://boards.openpandora.org/index....pe-2011-07-28/

    If you followed the recent threads you knew that I was visiting a company today which would be a good candidate to produce Batch 2 (and hopefully many more later batches) of the Pandora.

    Doing something like this is always exciting.

    Can the company produce the boards?
    Do they want to do the job?
    Can they do it for a good price?
    Will they help you with your project? Or simply do what you tell them to do?
    Are they friendly, open and honest?

    There's so many stuff swirling around in your head before visiting a company... the future of the Pandora depends on finding the right partner.

    Well, I'm pretty sure you all want to know how it went today, right?

    Right.

    The company I paid a visit today is called Global Components and is located in Oberhaching, near Munich. It's about 90km away from me, so it's not too far and I can easily visit them whenever I need.
    I arrived at about 11:10am.
    Do you know the rare feeling when you enter a building and just know you've come to the right place?

    Well, I had that feeling today. I had a real nice meeting and was greeted heartily.
    Everyone I've seen there was motivated, they have a great working atmosphere in there.
    For me, this is a very good and important sign. It's always a sign of high quality.

    The meeting was very assuring.
    First I was given a nice company tour. They got high-quality machines in every room, it looks very organized and tidy. I also saw some boards from current production runs and they use even smaller SMD parts than the Pandora.
    From what I've seen, I'm pretty sure they can easily produce our boards, and that's one of the most important things!
    I brought some pictures with me. Just a little insight into the whole company. I'm happy that i'm allowed to make a movie of the birth of a Pandora board as soon as production starts.

    As I had a Pandora PCB with me, their main technician took a look at it. He explained me some things I always wanted to know (like how PoP is being done and how the full population process works, etc.).
    He also suggested a solution to place the shoulder buttons way better so we won't have manually fix the plastic with some buttons.

    All in all, things looked pretty good for me. They agreed that they want to produce the PCBs
    I'm now awaiting a quotation from them (this will take a few weeks), then we'll need to check on the leadtime of the parts and while waiting for those, the production will be set up.
    This surely will all take a while. There's no company that can just get the gerber files and start with the production the next day.
    The PCBs will take a few weeks to produce, the parts have a certain leadtime and the machine also needs to be setup and programmed.
    However, once this is done, PCBs will be finished very fast. I'll get the amount of Pandora PCBs they can produce per week within the next weeks.

    Oh, on a side note they mentioned that they would try to help us fix boards with issues as well, in case CC doesn't really move forward here.
    I'll send them a few ones of them over, so that they can check if a repair is possible and much it would cost. So if CC doesn't do much, we might move the repairs of the remaining boards of Batch 1 to Germany as well.

    Parts, setup, etc. need to be paid upfront, so this is another issue we need to take care of. CC did cost us a lot of money, and we still don't know how fast they'll send us more boards - there still are 1000 missing!
    The iControlPad helps us earning money as well, which is great, but the faster we have the total amount of needed money available, the faster the production can start.
    That's why I'm also checking for additional solutions to raise money faster. I'll keep you informed on that!
    If anyone knows someone who'd like to support us, get in contact with me! I'm sure we can make some good deal here.

    Well, anyways, it seems we found a new company that can do the production!
    I'm very happy about that, as you never can be sure before visiting them.

    The next steps for now are:

    * Get a quotation from them, check what parts are needed and how fast
    * Make a proper new business plan (including total costs, estimated times, etc.)
    * Make sure to have money ready when payments are due
    * Try to squeeze as many working boards out of CC as possible

    Oh, and of course (as soon as got the top priority things done):

    * Continue to work on HotFix 6
    * Update the website (REAAAALLY needed!)
    * Fix the remaining RMAs
    * Check the remaining PCBs I got here

    I'll let you know any further steps that happen, as usual ...
    by Published on July 28th, 2011 12:24
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    36. Apple iPad,
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    38. Console Hardware News,
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    40. GP32,
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    Hi all its been too long but the hacking of the site a few months ago made us update security features and to the latest version of vbulletin.

    One of the downsides was a massive loss of positions in Google which is one reason for the bringing back of all the DCEmu Network sites whilst keeping the new DCEmu CMS system..

    But also since then no one has been able to register and even get their lost passwords back.

    finally last night Martin traced the bug that caused this and that side of the site is now working properly again, thank god.

    Ill be sending an August newsletter out detailing all the recent news and fixes on DCEmu in the next few days.

    This weekend im hoping to bring back the remaining sites inc the coders sites and open new ones covering PSvita, 3DS, WiiU.

    Thanks for now. ...
    by Published on July 26th, 2011 00:07
    1. Categories:
    2. Pandora News

    via http://www.gp32x.com/board/index.php...dpost&p=954515

    Hi there,

    so far I only posted this on the official boards, but seeing many devs are still exclusively active here, you may find this interesting, too.

    PNDTools (in the lack of a better name)
    is a simple and easy-to-understand GUI for opening, browsing, editing and creating PND files and
    NEW NEW NEW
    you can also view, edit and create PXML files with it (WIP, please send me feedback, see below).

    What does it do?
    • It can open a PND and display its contents in a tree structure
    • You can then extract data from the PND or add new stuff
    • It extracts the PXML and icon data
    • You can create a new PND from scratch or modify an existing one and save the result again as a PND
    • GUI for viewing and editing the PXML file (beta)
    • It has options
    What does it currently not do? (aka things on the todo-list)
    • Parsing of the PXML file and validation check
    • It does not work with PNDs using the ISO filesystem (and I don't see a good reason for why it needs to do so as SquashFS is the superior FS imo)
    • It only extracts PNG icon data (although probably 99% of the icons are PNG)
    • PXML "wizard" for creating a quick-and-dirty PXML suitable for most cases with an easier (non-tree based) GUI
    • better PXML element interface (buttons instead of a drop-down)
    • context menu for adding PXML elements
    • options for chosing the default PND extraction path (use program's folder, use user specified folder, ask every time for location)
    • Linux version (I am trying to set-up Lazarus, but I can't get the Virtual Tree View component to compile :S )
    • keeping the cmd open after executing chmod or squashtools
    What will it (probably) never do?
    • Have a browsing interface as good as 7-zip's and the same functionality
    This is a beta release, so a lot of bugs are to be expected and the program has a few known "quirks":
    • Currently it calls chmod 755 on all the PND data to ensure all necessary files are given the "executable" flag, this works, but obviously is not the "nice" way to do it
    • It only loads PNG icons from a PND
    • You will need to place it somewhere it has direct write access or execute the Program as administrator
    • It needs half of the cygwin dlls and the cygwin chmod because Windows does not know the "executable" file-flag (well it does, but modifying it is complicated and calling chmod was easier to do for now)
    • Only for Windows atm!
    • Drag&Drop is always recursive
    • You cannot replace files in a PND, trying to do so will simply result in no change. Delete the old files and add the new ones as a temporary work-around (this is also why moving nodes sometimes does not seem to work)
    • When creating a PXML file you have to create the HF5 compatibility elements (title and description) first (second respective entry in the drop-down) and then the grouped HF6 elements
    Download it here (Windows only, ZIP, 2MB)
    To "install" just extract the contents of the archive anywhere (the program will have write access, see above).
    Current version: 0.3.5beta, built 22.07.2011
    This is the beta version (PXMLTools branch), but core functionality is not affected, it just adds the WIP PXML editor.
    Source: Public GIT --- ZIP (last-update 05.06.2011, master)

    Media:

    ---The main interface---|---PXML Editor---

    How it works:
    When creating a PND no actual data is handled until you press the "Create PND" button, after which it will copy all data to a folder called "temp" and then call chmod and mksquashfs on that.
    When opening a PND it will extract (unsquashfs) the contents to a folder called "temp2" and add that folder to the tree-view, also it extracts the PXML and icon to a folder called "meta".
    If you want to access the data contained in the PND you can simply copy it from those folders.
    The folders are located next to the program exe and will be wiped before each respective operation.
    It is safe to remove those folders if you want to clear temporary data.

    Please try it, but be careful when doing so - I am not to be held responsible when data is lost or damaged, make back-ups.

    ---

    The PXML editor is not very user-friendly at the moment, but I wanted to focus on getting all the functionality in there and the next step will be creating a proper interface (especially for adding elements). I plan to make most of it context sensitive.
    For the moment just open an existing PXML file or create a new one from scratch, select elements to add from the drop-down box (those saying package will be added to the package element, those saying application...) and click "add".
    Multiple application elements are supported as well as every other part of the specification (HF6) - to add elements to a specific application element, just select it or a child node of it.
    In order to add multiple categories and sub-categories you will have to create the category first, select it (which should happen automatically) and then add the sub-category.

    To edit an element just select it from the tree-view, all attributes will be displayed on the right. ...
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