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Re: ZX Spectrum Next Discussion

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:29 pm
by Seven.FFF
JoeZX is a spectacularly unpleasant and toxic guy all round.

He’s taken to hanging around indie game devs’ project updates and casting sarcastic aspersions about their commitment and motivation. Nobody really needs that kind of sniping from the sidelines.

Re: ZX Spectrum Next Discussion

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:43 pm
by Bizzley
emook wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:23 pm
The board only option has been delivered a long time ago, over 300 of them went out - it was said at the time if you dont want to wait for full kits back the board only - I'm sorry you didnt take that option
If we'd been told at the time that the full kit was going to be a good two years away - and even then it may not be ready - then I'd have taken the board only option at the time. To reiterate, send out the boards and PSU's (they do exist gathering dust somewhere don't they?) to waiting cased backers who ask for them and forward the bulky stuff on when it's done. Anything wrong with that idea that I've missed?
Oh JoeZx the MD? I have a permanent JoeZX filter these days. :D
Pity....it's a great rant :D

Re: ZX Spectrum Next Discussion

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:33 am
by ZxSpence
I've looked at the comments on the Kickstarter campaign and JoeZX makes an angry if perfectly valid contribution. Maybe he's finally learned that Kickstarter projects often promise the moon and then once they have your money they treat you with contempt like delivery is optional, the contempt often reinforced by outriders who fear that any negative criticism will demoralise the delivery team and make the situation worse. That's when the bickering starts and the flamebans. That's when egomaniacs get involved and get the backslapping of those thanking them for "weeding out the gene pool". THAT is toxic, not some poor sod who feels duped out of hard earned money rightly or wrongly. This is when it gets religious with heated arguments between those who have lost faith and those who still believe.

Read the front page of the Kickstarter when it was in attract mode, all done. All promises about keeping risks low and remember that people gave their money willingly on the back of a sales pitch, TWO years ago.

Whenever the project gets into trouble and things are late Henrique goes sullen and quiet. I get that, he cares and he's stressed out and the situation is beyond his control but various friends of the project have asked him to overcommunicate so the previous updates don't look like lies, the backers come on a journey with him but he fails to do it in the same market square the backers are waiting in. You have to hunt around, guess and read between the lines.

I have some sympathy, when things go wrong it's tempting to be like this but lashing out at the hand that fed the project is truly shitty behaviour.

The project will end either of likely two ways:

1. The keyboard will be delivered and everyone shouts yippee, but the Next brand is now tarnished so take-up and enthusiasm is nearly sub zero.

2. The project will not deliver that case, that keyboard (maybe something from radionics) and people may get their boards and the glitz and glamour of the next dies its final death and people use the platform but not how they would have. It's no longer a credible brand.

Terrible shame. There's a third worse one which with all the rework I fear the most but by this point your hackles are up and you want to flame me anyhow, so no point in making it worse.

Re: ZX Spectrum Next Discussion

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:45 pm
by Alcoholics Anonymous
Bizzley wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:25 pm
"Still waiting on news on the keyboard. There are a few different threads happening in parallel. Changes to the hammer size, domes, contact design which requires new tooling. Hoping to have results soon!"

Backers were told a month ago that minor changes were being made to the contact patterns on the membrane to fix the multi-keypress problem, the results of which would be known in a week's time. However it appears from the tweet that things are a lot more serious than that.
And still nothing has been tested because it takes that long to make changes. There is no update because nothing has changed: everyone is still waiting for the changes to be made and is still waiting to see the results. When they say "hoping to have results soon" it's a guess on how long it will take the partner to make changes and test. This depends on their timeline and their facility's availability.

Things are not more serious - what is mentioned is just more detail on what is being varied. Rather than trying one thing at a time, with three weeks between tests, several things are being tried at once.
Comments on the Kickstarter page are becoming more negative than positive fuelled mainly by the lack of information and updates. What details are available are being fed to backers from other sources such as the Twitter feed. The failure to renew the Certificate for their main website is just another example of the apathy and lack of concern for this project.
When people ask questions, answering them is a bad thing - got it. Posting something on twitter to make sure people know the wait is still on - bad. This post and several others here probably a bad idea too?

Come on, on the last point. I take personal offense at being accused of being apathetic and holding lack of concern. I (and others) donate hours upon hours of sparse free time to make the product as good as it can be. This does not change the reality of how long it takes to make something physical and to test it to make sure it works.

Having got that off my chest, I can return to mellow :) I don't intend to come across as angry, as I am not, but sometimes ridiculousness has to be reality-checked. There is no apathy in the project, no "we're satisfied since we have boards", and so on. This should be clear by how far the kickstarter goals have been exceeded in the machine itself in this time. Development never stopped once the kickstarter got your and my money.

However I don't disagree that Henrique could be more regular with the updates, even to say what the twitter feed said (ie nothing). He is a busy man as he heads his own software company and travels a lot and usually has to be reminded that it is time for another update. He prefers to wait for news - good or bad - so that he has something to say so if an update is not forthcoming it does not mean things are bad, it really means nothing happened. As Henrique is the only one that can do kickstarter updates, questions between updates can only be answered via other means like facebook, forums, twitter.

This June update is particularly important as there was an estimate for end of Q2 and I don't think that could be met even if the keyboard is approved on Monday because manufacturing slots still have to be scheduled and I'm sure the team would like to test the membrane in person beforehand. But the project is close - it's just hanging on this last bit to move. There are still things to do in the core and software but these things can be updated by the end user easily so it's not something that will hold anything back. The machine is already very good as-is.

Re: ZX Spectrum Next Discussion

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:57 pm
by hikoki
Are you tired of waiting for the collectables? keep yourself entertained with Nextbuild

Re: ZX Spectrum Next Discussion

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:52 pm
by Pegaz
R-Tape wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:38 pm
Hmmm....we are going to get the finished product this year...aren't we?
Yes, to be more precise, we are going to get the finished product by the end of Q2. ;)
Alcoholics Anonymous wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:45 pm
This June update is particularly important as there was an estimate for end of Q2 and I don't think that could be met even if the keyboard is approved on Monday because manufacturing slots still have to be scheduled and I'm sure the team would like to test the membrane in person beforehand. But the project is close - it's just hanging on this last bit to move. There are still things to do in the core and software but these things can be updated by the end user easily so it's not something that will hold anything back. The machine is already very good as-is.
Maybe it's time to stop setting any deadlines, then? Especially if you are not sure, you will fulfill them.
Responsible people dont do that.
Otherwise, someone would think that this Q2 deadline is given for only one purpose - to fool and calm the impatient bakers...
The same thing applies to updates. If theres nothing new to say, dont say anything.
Otherwise... you know...

Re: ZX Spectrum Next Discussion

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:10 pm
by Bizzley
Alcoholics Anonymous wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:45 pm
Come on, on the last point. I take personal offense at being accused of being apathetic and holding lack of concern. I (and others) donate hours upon hours of sparse free time to make the product as good as it can be. This does not change the reality of how long it takes to make something physical and to test it to make sure it works.
This wasn't aimed at you or anyone developing for the Next but rather whoever it is behind the scenes that is responsible for the Official Spectrum Next website going offline because they didn't get around to renewing a Certificate. If you are privvy to the inside dope on why this happened then by all means post it because at the moment "they just plain forgot" seems to be the front-runner. The same can be said for the lack of Kickstarter Updates - which both of us agree could be more regular - it's not your or anyone else's responsibilty to let Kickstarter clients know on here, on Twitter, On Facebook, in Comments etc. what is going on that's what the Kickstarter Updates are for. If the promised twice-monthly Updates are not being posted and only one person can do so then it's surely within the bounds of reason to ask why this is so? Having nothing to announce is obviously a good reason not to post anything but you know what, a regular fortnightly announcement saying just this would be much more appreciated than the radio silence we have now.

And can I just pick you up on the statement "so if an update is not forthcoming it does not mean things are bad, it really means nothing happened" and point out that it can also be taken to mean that things are indeed bad, they just don't want to say so. Isn't semantics fun :)

Re: ZX Spectrum Next Discussion

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:58 pm
by llewelyn
Apropos of nothing - I've worked in engineering making moulds for plastic injection moulding and it can be a bloody nightmare if there's the smallest error because the moulds are damned expensive and any change almost always means making a new mould. The costs of doing this can spiral up out of sight.

Re: ZX Spectrum Next Discussion

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:58 am
by Alcoholics Anonymous
Pegaz wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:52 pm
Maybe it's time to stop setting any deadlines, then? Especially if you are not sure, you will fulfill them.
Responsible people dont do that.
That's not possible either. Maybe you've forgotten what happened when there was no estimated delivery back in December? A constant barrage of people asking why there was no estimated delivery date, attacks on project scheduling, accusations of repeats of the Vega+.

The amount of frustration is much higher when you have an ongoing project with zero estimation on when it might be done.
Otherwise, someone would think that this Q2 deadline is given for only one purpose - to fool and calm the impatient bakers...
The same thing applies to updates. If theres nothing new to say, dont say anything.
It wasn't a bad estimate. The keyboard & membrane actually turned out well as you can hear from the reviews by people seeing it at the retro events. It is only a specific problem with the composite keys that needs resolution. Had the keyboard been 100% then this deadline would have been met. What is very hard to predict is how long each fix-it iteration is and currently that is 3 weeks which seems to be an eternity to backers.

Saying nothing, again, damned if you do and damned if you don't. People begin to speculate that things have gone very wrong. A certain portion of people behave like alarm clocks and demand updates in the days leading up to every two weeks. If nothing is said, the hatred and bile begins usually by the same small group of professional malcontents. But ongoing work that is not publicly known is no longer mentioned until it is finished. You don't have to go back many pages in this thread to read about the disappointment of 28MHz gone.

Whoever promised an update every two weeks made a mistake. Nothing happens in two weeks - it should be a regular update once a month even to say nothing happened, and extra updates for real news.

Re: ZX Spectrum Next Discussion

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:45 am
by ZxSpence
"professional malcontents" oh dear, paranoid much? From what I've read there's a lot of tongue in cheek ribbing on the run up to the next promised update.

However you say whoever promised an update every two weeks, well, thing is, it was promised. It's perfectly valid to report "we are still waiting".

Speculation is something you'll just have to endure. You've already adopted a bunker mentality, so hunker down. Being this late on a delivery this is normal territory. You should be asking for forgiveness not lashing out.