Update to all future users of the MSXVR
¡¡Happy new year!! This is the year of the MSXVR and we all have to enjoy and live this moment, in this incredible and complex project.
The reason for this communication is to inform you about what has been happening since the start of the preorder fase until today. As you well know, the preorder started in September of last year, what is certain is that our planning was somewhat benevolent with our dates and a little bit of naivety on our side in the face of this mamouth task that we have, in this final analysis, we have put the best case scenarios and the setbacks that we have encountered along the way, that we would like to clarify with you:
• The management of the preorder was real madness. What is certain is that the response was good with a lot of interest and finally 70% of these people ended up formalizing their order. The number of units to be produced is 500 with the majority of these units having an owner.
• Although we already had a prototype for the enclosure defined when we launched the preorder, we did not take into consideration the time needed to adjust the design for the CNC version. In addition to this, we had to make some adjustments in the arrangement of the keys and pillars of the PCB for the keyboard. In short, all of these changes, 3D printing and verification, have taken up between 4 and 5 more weeks. Something more than necessary, because the mold is very expensive and we were not in a position to make the slightest error in its production. We have been told by the manufacturer that we will have the mold the first week in March. The injection and silk screen printing, a little later, a matter of another week.
• Another setback has been the configuration of the keyboards, the man hours involved in this has been unimaginable. We had to create a virtual display of the keyboards as it was the only way to be able to validate the aspect both with users and the manufacturer. Also, many users were a little bit confused with this, which is understandable as the interface was not very user friendly and was finally achieved on a one to one basis, which obviously took extra time. In short, between 2 and 3 weeks more, according to the manufacturer, we should have the different configurations the first week in February.
• The preparation of the PCB for the keyboard is also a delicate point, manufacturing it could begin this month of January, but we want to wait until we have the final moulded housing to be able to be 100% sure that everything is compatible, incase any micro changes need to be applied to the PCB, as we have already commented, we cannot risk committing even the slightest error when producing five hundred PCB’s that have to be thrown away.
• As for the main board of the computer, during these months, it has also been necessary to add components and check that everything works well together, such actions incur weeks just in ordering PCB’s and then assembly.
• Perhaps the biggest setback, has been the emergence of the RPI4B on the market. The new version of the Raspberry has had a lot of people wondering, including us, that why our computer does not have the most up-to-date version? And of course, all of this has left us a little agitated. So, since preorder, we have been studying a way to make the main board compatible with both SBCs. It has not been an easy task, and not only at hardware and software level there are other things that have needed to be taken into account. Although both boards look similar, they include differences and we want to be absolutely sure that all the differences have been taken into account. To top it all off and if that was not enough, at the end of last year it was communicated that the stock of RPI3B+ has run out until May/June, at least for the numbers we require. So to a certain extent, we have been forced to seriously consider the RPI4B as an option.
• In relation to the previous comments, it is our intention, although it still needs to be confirmed, to replace the current RPI3B+ for the RPI4B. The stock of the RPI4B 1Gb is not that reassuring, but having to wait anyway, we imagine that everyone would prefer the most up-to-date and powerful version, as in the not too distant future, many of us are going to want to upgrade the computer to the RPI4B anyway. So maybe in the long run it has done us all a favor.
• So the option RPI4B, for those who want it, will have the option to upgrade to 2GB or 4GB of RAM, with a corresponding additional cost.
• To be able to proceed with this update of these characteristics, we need to apply a series of tests, prototyping a final PCB and to validate it. We estimate that we will need between 2 to 3 months to send to production.
• In accordance with the new agenda as a result of the above mentioned, it would be in April/May when we will start thinking about the commencement of shipments within the European Union.
• A month before, we will release the list of extras and options available.
• For countries outside of the European Union, we will require a little bit more time, since customs requires us to certain documentation that we will not have until the computer is completely finished. We estimate the beginning of June. But rest assured that as soon as the Europen Union has been served, that the legalities required for the release of your computer will follow.
• Of course, we will be announcing the materials that we receive and keeping you regularly updated, to keep you reasured on our progress.
All said and done, the computer will be in your houses very soon, time passes like a breeze, at least for us, maybe not so much for you, but we all want the material to arrive with perfect functionality in every respect. We appreciate your immense patience and for believing in us. We can assure you that we are totally focused on this project and we have great desire and illusion for you to enjoy your computer as soon as possible. We will keep in contact and thank you very much!
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