How much longer?

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SevenFFF
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Re: How much longer?

Post by SevenFFF » Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:28 pm

There will be.
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varmfskii
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Re: How much longer?

Post by varmfskii » Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:15 am

That was s my general impression of Black Cat, he just wants to go on about how the Soviet solutions of long ago are all perfect and the only possible solution to a problem.
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Ped7g
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Re: How much longer?

Post by Ped7g » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:21 pm

He may be right, technically... but who cares, if the knowledge is encrypted in unknown language completely inaccessible to anyone outside of the original elder tribe, guarding their precious secrets jealously... :D

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Black_Cat
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Re: How much longer?

Post by Black_Cat » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:34 pm

Ped7g wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:21 pm
He may be right, technically... but who cares, if the knowledge is encrypted in unknown language completely inaccessible to anyone outside of the original elder tribe, guarding their precious secrets jealously... :D
Unfortunately, this problem is more psychological than technical. I see three possible outcomes for the ZX Next project:

1) Incredible - developers immediately throw obviously wrong method of keyboard development, and use the Russian experience. In this case, after 4 months, users will receive computers with a reliable keyboard.

2) Bad - the developers will experiment with a deliberately erroneous method, as long as all the reserves of money are over, and then still use the Russian experience. In this case, after 10-12 months, users will receive computers with a reliable keyboard. Some additional funding may be required.

3) Catastrophic - the developers will achieve an "acceptable" result for the obviously wrong method, and will launch computers into production. For a while, the keyboard will function correctly, but later all computers will start to fail extended keys. Replacing keyboards will not help, because after a while they will also start to fail.

Take a place in the first row, and watch as everything rolls into the abyss. I've been doing this for over a year. :)

Cthutu
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Re: How much longer?

Post by Cthutu » Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:04 pm

In the meantime, have fun with one of the two emulators out there (ZesaurX and Cspect). Use them and the myriad of tools to learn how to program the machine. I personally use Sjasmplus and Cspect to develop Lords of Midnight and a bunch of batch files linking them up.

By the time the machine arrives, you will have more knowledge about it. NextBASIC is particularly fun and easy to use. Look to my own Orb Run game in the Games/Next/Orb folder. Just select Orb.BAS and try to figure out how things work. I intend to write a tutorial later.

Or... do something else with your life, happy in the knowledge that one day a marvellously designed machine will arrive.

I understand you wanting to get your hands on it, but I don't understand when people want to sell their pledge. You've paid for it, and it will arrive some time. Even if you sell your pledge because you are short of money doesn't make sense to me. If the Next arrived tomorrow, would you still not be short of cash? I guarantee that if you sell your pledge, and the Nexts are shipped and everyone is enjoying the new games except for you, you'd be bummed. And over what? Some impatience?

Winfield
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Re: How much longer?

Post by Winfield » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:43 pm

Cthutu wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:04 pm
In the meantime, have fun with one of the two emulators out there (ZesaurX and Cspect). Use them and the myriad of tools to learn how to program the machine. I personally use Sjasmplus and Cspect to develop Lords of Midnight and a bunch of batch files linking them up.

By the time the machine arrives, you will have more knowledge about it. NextBASIC is particularly fun and easy to use. Look to my own Orb Run game in the Games/Next/Orb folder. Just select Orb.BAS and try to figure out how things work. I intend to write a tutorial later.

Or... do something else with your life, happy in the knowledge that one day a marvellously designed machine will arrive.

I understand you wanting to get your hands on it, but I don't understand when people want to sell their pledge. You've paid for it, and it will arrive some time. Even if you sell your pledge because you are short of money doesn't make sense to me. If the Next arrived tomorrow, would you still not be short of cash? I guarantee that if you sell your pledge, and the Nexts are shipped and everyone is enjoying the new games except for you, you'd be bummed. And over what? Some impatience?
I've got enough going on in my life besides my hobbies (if I ever get time for them) - it's just I remember every now and again that I'm due something I paid for. As time's going by, I feel the chance of receiving what I've ordered is dwindling month after month...

The cash isn't an issue (not that it's anyone's business other than my own) - it's more the matter of principle. There's impatience...and then there's impatience - we were originally expected to receive the item we backed around 18 months ago...

If a local store had an item on offer and it was expected by a certain date, I'd expect quite a few people to be cheesed off if they'd paid their money up front and still had nothing to show for it.

I'd be more bummed not receiving anything for my hard earned cash as opposed to paying a lot of money for an "idea" which has yet to materialise...

We've had months of waiting - it's time now for the team to come up with the goods.

Edit: and with all of the manufacturing problems of late, I wouldn't be surprised if some (if not all of) the "stretch goals" are compromised, due to the funds being used to get the main unit working correctly.

If this project ever sees the light of day, I doubt that all which has been promised will be fully realised.

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varmfskii
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Re: How much longer?

Post by varmfskii » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:56 pm

Winfield wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:43 pm

Edit: and with all of the manufacturing problems of late, I wouldn't be surprised if some (if not all of) the "stretch goals" are compromised, due to the funds being used to get the main unit working correctly.
Stretch goals:
There must be two: dev boards have two joystick ports, production boards must already have them as well
Box of memories: It looks like these boxes are already in hand
Nodes of Yesod: I can't see how the funds for completing the project are likely to have compromised this.
Internet toolbox: Some of these tools are already available for people with the dev board.
We play more: like Nodes of Yesod, it is unlikely that this is going to be compromised by the troubles.
The holy manual: It is clear that PDFs of these exist. It is possible that they would not make it into print should funds become too short.
Never forget: dev boards already have 1Mb RAM, production boards must have it already as well.
Make me dizzy: see Nodes of Yesod and We play more
Rex next: ditto
Expand me easy: see There must be two and Never forget
Stronger zx next: ditto

Conclusion there is *one* stretch goal that reasonably could be compromised by the trouble with the keyboard.
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Re: How much longer?

Post by Alcoholics Anonymous » Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:01 am

Black_Cat wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:20 pm
Watching the ZX Spectrum Next project is both funny and sad for me. It is funny because everything that the authors of the project are trying to invent, many years ago made by Russian, while at a much higher professional level.
Most Russian development has involved trivial improvements on the original machine. Some of the features that machines like the Pentagon got were due to errors in copying the original spectrum. Faster cpu, more memory, two sound chips, disk drives, all simple.

It is only recently that interesting things have happened, like the sprinter, atm, evo. Only ts-config is doing something similar.

Your statement would probably have more weight if you knew what a zx next was :)

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Re: How much longer?

Post by Alcoholics Anonymous » Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:16 am

Winfield wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:40 pm
...but how much longer do we have to wait?
It takes three to four weeks to make any sort of change and test. Once everything is settled (this includes making a few prototype machines for testing), a slot has to be scheduled for assembly. I don't think the lead time is too long on that but that always depends on how busy the facility is. Printing of manuals, creating the cases, do not take long.

I think the mould is still in China in case changes have to be made to accommodate a keyboard fix. That and the keyboard membranes would have to be shipped to the UK. I don't know what the timeframe for that is.

The keyboard problem is well understood and the solutions are known. Many solutions are being tried because they vary in cost and time. The solution chosen will depend on the best outcome of function, cost, durability. There is a certain best solution but as it involves modifying ~3400 PCBs, it's going to be compared against these other options. A kickstarter update at the end of the week will likely touch on this if the keyboard testing is completed this week.
If a local store had an item on offer and it was expected by a certain date, I'd expect quite a few people to be cheesed off if they'd paid their money up front and still had nothing to show for it.
This is not a store - the kickstarter was an investment to **begin** the physical development of the case and keyboard. The kickstarter also added stretch goals which meant the pcb had to be redesigned and that was done and delivered as the board-only option which about 440 people have had for more than a year.

Making a mold and designing this case is not a trivial nor inexpensive exercise. It takes months, and then it takes double that time when the partner decides there isn't enough money in it so it all starts over with someone else. The keyboard delays are noticeable because the change/test cycle is very long with this partner. The time to do these things is much longer for a small project like the zx next because these partners have higher priority customers. But the process has had fewer hiccups than expected, especially for the case as that was the most complex part that is potentially very expensive if done wrong. But for that, we thankfully had an experienced industrial designed in Rick (the original spectrum case designer) who made it a largely smooth process.
Edit: and with all of the manufacturing problems of late, I wouldn't be surprised if some (if not all of) the "stretch goals" are compromised, due to the funds being used to get the main unit working correctly.

If this project ever sees the light of day, I doubt that all which has been promised will be fully realised.
Because of the delay, the machine has seen a lot of development in the core and software which has far exceeded what was in the original kickstarter promise. People who have seen the prototype in person at retro shows over the past 4 months have all had positive reviews, keyboard included, aside from the composite key issue.

You are in a good position though - passing along your pledge shouldn't be a problem.

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TheSMoG
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Re: How much longer?

Post by TheSMoG » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:15 am

Winfield wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:59 pm
I'm thinking of selling my pledge - if anyone's interested, let me know.
I'll gladly buy your pledge.

As for JoeZX above he's an obvious troll which is about to be hit with a tremendous disappointment when he sees everyone get a Next he didn't pledge for :) But that's okay, thanks to Mike Dailly's CSpect he can emulate one if he can figure out which key to press that is.
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