How much longer?

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Winfield
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Joined: Tue May 30, 2017 3:00 pm

How much longer?

Post by Winfield » Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:40 pm

Before anyone flames me for this post (and I'm sure there will be many other people who are thinking along the same lines)...

Yes, I understand that there have been a few problems in getting the ZX Spectrum Next ready for us lot who have stumped up around £250 in advance to fund it via Kickstarter over 2 years ago...

...but how much longer do we have to wait?

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sol_hsa
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Re: How much longer?

Post by sol_hsa » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:57 pm

I agree that some kinds of best / worst case estimates would be nice..

Ped7g
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Re: How much longer?

Post by Ped7g » Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:47 am

Until it is shipped.

I'm not sure what you are asking, they keyboard is currently of sub-par quality, typing random characters when compound keys are used (delete, arrows, etc... i.e. keys which will be used often enough for you to notice). It takes several weeks between iterations (actually this last one seems to me rather long, I **guess** the membrane manufacturer could have deliver a bit faster (at least another failure report), if they would want to, but I **guess** this project already run out of their internal budget and now it's just at mercy of situation).

Best case estimate is receiving working keyboard prototype next week, producing the cases with keyboards, shipping it to UK, assembling it in SMS factory (where the boards are awaiting), printing manual meanwhile, and shipping it = probably 6-18 weeks from now.

Worst case estimate is redesigning the keyboard design multiple times and do all this prototyping and testing steps again and again for another few months, before reaching the state described above = "Q2" estimate then may become real again in very very bad case.

Also as the core team is paying extra "storage" fee for every day the boards sits in the SMS factory, and very likely nobody ever buffered the budget for this kind of delay, I guess there's already someone's personal money subvention going on, and you can bet that person is not happy about any day extra. It's not like the core team has a working next and they just keep it for themselves for fun, it's hurting them more than £250 ...

JoeZX
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Re: How much longer?

Post by JoeZX » Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:33 am

its simple.

they are out of money, in denial, lying /Q2, sure LOL/, communicating a shit.

keyboard design is flawed from the beginning, beyond repair, but they will not tell you that.

refund and go, this is another Vega+.

bye.

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sol_hsa
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Re: How much longer?

Post by sol_hsa » Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:28 am

So even in the best case we're looking at 3-6 months? I think telling this would be honest..

Personally I'm willing to wait until it's done, and I've been a bit worried about the finances, brexit and all. Hope everything turns out fine in the end.

JoeZX
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Location: Slovakia

Re: How much longer?

Post by JoeZX » Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:46 am

" I think telling this would be honest.."

100% sure it would be.

but they told me to shut the fuck up .. followed by BAN.

so I left, this project is rotten.

Ped7g
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Re: How much longer?

Post by Ped7g » Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:07 pm

I don't know... I just guess, that even if the keyboard prototype will work this Monday, it's just final step of pre-production phase. There's still some time to press the cases and keyboards, and I don't think the factory has empty line just so, i.e. it will would have to wait for free slot on the line, that's probably anything from couple of days to months. Then shipping will be done probably with ship, and as the filler in larger compartments to keep shipping price down. Google says shipping from China takes 6 to 8 weeks (although 3000 of Next cases ... how big is that? Maybe it can be used as filler for air cargo? But I think that's too large, filler for ship cargo will be probably perfect fit). Assembling at factory and shipping from UK will take probably another week. So even in ideal case I think there's no chance to get under 8 weeks... basically any "no news" week means +8w as bare super optimistic minimum.

" I think telling this would be honest.." - hmm... but they don't keep it like secret, I'm not using any extra information, just going by what was written in official updates. They posted all important info there (boards in SMS in UK, membrane issues, and cases being produced in China, completion and shipping will happen at SMS if I recall the old updates correctly).

It's just common sense applied, having some rough idea about manufacturing and how things work.

JoeZX: I believe you are full of stupid shit, and Next will happen. I really don't believe this will be another Vega+. Heck, in the worst case, they may just use 3 layer membrane, for the price of the keyboard feel being ruined, they can now "deliver" KS within 3-4 months, there's no more issue with it (unless there would be completely no money to even manufacture the thing, and I still believe the core team is very serious and will deliver, I'm really not worried about this part at this moment).

The membrane issues and extra delays are quite annoying, then again how the Next in 2019 vs 2015 vs 2025 make it any much different? It's retro 8bit hobby toy, important stuff in life goes on completely different tracks, and I believe the Next will arrive just at the "right time" for most of the people, because it basically can't be late, there's no point to stress about it being another few months off the estimates. But it better should be ready and work well. And not break after 2 years (of course I feel very sorry for the people, who will not live enough to see it happen, like Rick, for those the few months difference may actually mean grave difference, but that's hopefully very minor group of KS backers).

Of course I may be wrong, and you may be correct, then I will apologize to you for that call above. But at this moment of time I have no issue to believe in this project and my main worry is to work on the high quality tools, so I can eventually do some Next production (sadly instead of working on my own stuff, I happened to look for some Z80 assembler, and somehow ended rewriting 80% of sjasmplus to make it work... but finally it's mostly fixed and solid, so maybe I will now get back to my original ideas... but I'm afraid I will be hit by lack of graphics conversion tools soon, which will cause me probably to write something myself, which means another year gone...)

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varmfskii
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Re: How much longer?

Post by varmfskii » Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:18 pm

JoeZX: I have a *working* caseless ZX Next. It is a beautiful piece of machinery that works pretty well. It has a keyboard jack for a PS/2 keyboard, and so will the final machines. It is the appropriate size to fit in a standard ZX Spectrum case and has a standard ZX Spectrum keyboard connector. People are using the caseless machines replacement cases and keyboards for a ZX Spectrum.

What this all means is that should the final machines be released with terrible (even practically unusable) keyboards (the worst imaginable case for this project) people will still be able to use either PS/2 or ZX Spectrum keyboards to make the machine usable. In other words, there is no way that the final product for the ZX Next will be another Vega+.
Backer #2741 - TS2068, Byte, ZX Evolution

Winfield
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Re: How much longer?

Post by Winfield » Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:59 pm

Thanks for all of your replies (positive and negative)! 🙂

Ped7g: I was simply asking how long we have to wait until we get some product for our hard earned cash - yes, I'm aware that the team are currently looking for perfection, but the previous "incarnation of perfection" (the original ZX Spectrum) has been around for over 30 years...

varmfskii: yes, I agree, that if in the "worst case" the keyboards don't work...but, if I didn't want a working keyboard, then I wouldn't have ordered a "ZX Next Accelerated"...

I'm thinking of selling my pledge - if anyone's interested, let me know.

Ped7g
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Re: How much longer?

Post by Ped7g » Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:23 pm

" I was simply asking how long we have to wait until we get some product for our hard earned cash " - fair, but unfortunately the answer is nobody knows at this moment (at least not with meaningful precision, "within 10 years" is very likely 99.9% accurate answer, but doesn't help much). But by using google and common sense, I'm pretty sure we shouldn't expect it to be less than 8 weeks from now (and "now" is moving until working keyboard is announced).

"looking for perfection" .. hmm... I have my own doubts about the board design itself, and overall... For a 250 pound toy it seems reasonably polished, but for me level "perfection" is quite further away... (and keyboard which does type random characters instead of moving cursor is not "subtle imperfection which can be just ignored easily").

Again, I can easily understand if you are unhappy with the current status, and I can sort of understand if you want to sell the pledge. All of that makes sense.

I *personally* don't feel it's so gloom, and I don't mind much to wait few more months because I'm busy with preparing tools and maybe even some production for it, and I'm pretty sure the Next will be delivered before I will release some stuff, so for me these delays are almost insignificant - except that I didn't pledge for board, and emulators are currently very flaky, if you try to push things to the limits (they are fine to try some Next SW and to develop simpler things, but I'm one of those guys who read the docs, try first thing I have on mind, and find out some bug/inaccuracy in everything around... karma...). So in this regard the missing product on my desk is making me sometimes furious... Then again there are always some nice guys around with boards willing to help me from time to time to test some code and report results, so I can still progress, slowly, but progress. But that's my personal situation, and I can easily see it will not apply to majority of backers, so it's tough.

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