News from the Pandora front!


That’s the weight of the packages fully packaged up with painted cases (unless our friends lied to us) – and getting the plane to UK on Monday. Yay!
We’ll probably get a tracking number on Monday (it took two days the last time we got a shipment from China), then we can be sure!

Where’s the rest of them parts?

The batteries just got custom clearance, and will probably arrive on Monday.
700 boards are there, they have the nubs already soldered on. Another 800 boards are already populated.
The rest of the nubs are in Texas, as they are directly soldered on during population.

4000 LCDs are there. 4000 stickers are there.
10.000 speakers are there. 4000 WiFi Antennas are there.
5.000 Quick Start Manuals are in UK and also will arrive on Monday.

All the other needed small parts are there.

Keymats will arrive together with the cases… well, and that’s all there is. Time to start assembly. Yay!

The OS and some software

The OS is also coming along. We installed an image to the NAND a week ago – it runs well and rock solid so far.
I tried quite a few things to break it – hard reset while it was running quite a few times, etc.
The OS survived. The only thing I managed to do was making the bootup hang when I did four Hard Resets while booting in a row – guess a hardware driver hang. Was solved by powering off and reboot again – and still the filesystem was fine and intact.

Looking good here. Bootup is still a bit slow (55 Seconds at the moment), but that’s something we surely try to improve in the near future. As a test, I simply removed some services that won’t be needed AFAIK and got a booting time of 33 seconds. It won’t make it in the first release (as we don’t have time to test if my removed scripts REALLY don’t break anything!), but it’s a nice view of what can be done. Switching to Upstart (a tool which enhances bootup by running scripts parallel instead of serial) will also make a difference. Stay tuned for OS updates!

Power Management has become better. The WiFi driver now supports power management – so with the standard OS settings, 7 hours with WiFi are possible. Without WiFi, it goes up to 13 hours at the moment.

For a basic OS, this is all pretty advanced already. There will surely be some settings that can be enhanced (i.e. Browser layout, MIME types, etc.), but we’ll wait for suggestions from you guys and will include the best settings in future firmware versions.

Also, in case you want to meddle around and break the OS (you should only do so on the SD Card, but some probably still mess around with the NAND I guess ;))
I will create a recovery bootsystem which allows you to restore the config files on your system or backup your home-directory.

Aditionally, notaz created a flasher (it’s the same one we use to install the OS for the first time). With that, you can copy some files on your SD Card and restore the image completely (don’t do this too often though, it will wear out the NAND over time :))

Various devs (me too, though I don’t think you can call me dev) are packaging up games, apps and emulators that are ported so far.

We have Stella, Hatari, UAE4ALL, DOSBox, Vice, Colem, Exaile, Free Heroes 2, Commander Genius, Angry Drunken Dwarfs, BattleJewels, Battle for Wesnoth, Super Mario War, C-Dogs, Pandora Panic!, Quake 2, etc. and more coming up…

Some stuff needs more work (notaz wants to improve PicoDrive more before Pandora release, UAE4ALL is just a direct port of the GP2X Version, runs fullspeed Amiga 500 games, but is not as compatible, PSX and N64 also need more work), but I guess that stuff will keep you busy for a while.

MAJOR thanks again to ALL the devs who have helped us with the OS – despite them having few time… THANKS!

I also suspect there are some devs among the preorderers who also like to port some games (or code their own ones).

I can’t await to see what’s coming from you guys – I’m sure it will be worth all the trouble we went through.