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Thread: The DragonBox Pyra Moves Closer As OpenPandora Successor

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    Default The DragonBox Pyra Moves Closer As OpenPandora Successor

    Phoronix: The DragonBox Pyra Moves Closer As OpenPandora Successor

    Michael Mozrek gave a presentation recently about his work as the project lead on the DragonBox Pyra, the slated replacement to the Open Pandora handheld Linux game system...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTc0NTE

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    Probably a correction is needed in the article:

    "The Pyra will feature a five-inch screen but it's "not being needed" and being too demanding on the CPU."

    It should be:

    "The Pyra will feature a five-inch screen, but not full HD since it's "not being needed" and being too demanding on the CPU."

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    Default Pricing...

    It sounds like Evil Dragon's learned a lot from the Pandora fiasco. I was on the Pandora pre-paid waiting list for several years and followed the drama on their boards during the time before and immediately after they started shipping.

    The one thing I didn't hear in the video was a target price - which I have to assume will be close to the Pandora, if not higher. The Pandora and Pyra are in a weird niche where most of the people who want them are either too young to afford them, or old enough to already afford/own more powerful laptops that they already use for emulation and Linux. It seems that the majority of emulation/Linux aficionados would be more likely to buy the much less expensive and nicer form-factor GCW Zero to fill that gap in their utility belt - even if it is way less powerful.

    Still, I wish ED nothing but success with it - and I'll take a harder look at the DBP when it gets to production and has firm pricing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3vi1 View Post
    It sounds like Evil Dragon's learned a lot from the Pandora fiasco. I was on the Pandora pre-paid waiting list for several years and followed the drama on their boards during the time before and immediately after they started shipping.

    The one thing I didn't hear in the video was a target price - which I have to assume will be close to the Pandora, if not higher. The Pandora and Pyra are in a weird niche where most of the people who want them are either too young to afford them, or old enough to already afford/own more powerful laptops that they already use for emulation and Linux. It seems that the majority of emulation/Linux aficionados would be more likely to buy the much less expensive and nicer form-factor GCW Zero to fill that gap in their utility belt - even if it is way less powerful.

    Still, I wish ED nothing but success with it - and I'll take a harder look at the DBP when it gets to production and has firm pricing.
    Well the target price is not know because there are still numerous elements to fix before reaching a final conclusion.

    As for your later point about the GCW Zero, it's not for the same crowd. The Pandora and the Pyra are for people who want a full handheld computer, keyboard included. The GCW Zero is only useful for emulation and not much else.
    There's still a market for that kind of positioning, because there's no other device out there that has gaming controls and keyboards in a single device.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3vi1 View Post
    It sounds like Evil Dragon's learned a lot from the Pandora fiasco. I was on the Pandora pre-paid waiting list for several years and followed the drama on their boards during the time before and immediately after they started shipping.

    The one thing I didn't hear in the video was a target price - which I have to assume will be close to the Pandora, if not higher. The Pandora and Pyra are in a weird niche where most of the people who want them are either too young to afford them, or old enough to already afford/own more powerful laptops that they already use for emulation and Linux. It seems that the majority of emulation/Linux aficionados would be more likely to buy the much less expensive and nicer form-factor GCW Zero to fill that gap in their utility belt - even if it is way less powerful.

    Still, I wish ED nothing but success with it - and I'll take a harder look at the DBP when it gets to production and has firm pricing.
    The video said he didn't know yet but expected it to be around 500 euros, which at current exchange rates is $676 USD,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke_Wolf View Post
    The video said he didn't know yet but expected it to be around 500 euros, which at current exchange rates is $676 USD,
    Ah, thanks! I must have missed that while multi-slacking.

    That price is about what I was thinking... My problem is that a lot of that money buys functionality that overlaps greatly with devices we already own, so it's really hard to talk myself into buying something that adds no value other than being an incredibly cool device. Maybe the docking station will be so awesome that I can convince myself that it's practical for something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3vi1 View Post
    Ah, thanks! I must have missed that while multi-slacking.

    That price is about what I was thinking... My problem is that a lot of that money buys functionality that overlaps greatly with devices we already own, so it's really hard to talk myself into buying something that adds no value other than being an incredibly cool device. Maybe the docking station will be so awesome that I can convince myself that it's practical for something.
    Well for me there's definitely a lot of value to the mini-computer concept, unlike a smartphone it's actually running a full powered OS and I can do things like code on the go, or use it for PDA functionality as a device I can actually trust with my personal information, on top of being set up nicely for portable gaming. That said while I do think there's a role for this kind of device, I agree that it falls into the category of being more expensive than that functionality is worth to me.

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    3vi1:

    Where the pandora/pyra doesn't overlap at all with other comparable devices is it doesn't spy on the user, and it has a software stack by default that adheres to the same.

    I think something that fits in a pocket and has a full keyboard belongs in its own category entirely. One can be good at other things, and i own such devices, but that combination is what i care about.
    Being made in Germany isn't just cool, that means something. Not-being made in certain parts of the world under a very different set of conditions also means something.

    Dual SD slots along with internal uSD/eMMC and eSATA is good for photo and video work. If the audio is as good as on the panda that isn't comparable either.
    I have a Gcw-zero too, but thats not a clamshell. Im glad there are good options for different things, but the phone-capability market seems to be a variation over the theme 'things done wrong'

    I would much rather pay 500€ for a device i own than consider the options equal.
    Last edited by kingu; 07-20-2014 at 02:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingu View Post
    I would much rather pay 500 for a device i own than consider the options equal.
    What other options exactly? The only other things in that category are WinCE mini-computers, and well... they're WinCE.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke_Wolf View Post
    What other options exactly? The only other things in that category are WinCE mini-computers, and well... they're WinCE.
    Most importantly it is different in ways other systems are flawed, not full on WinCE flawed, which is insult to injury, but if you have to go there you are considering options to pocketable clamshells with keyboard, and for that the Pandora hasn't gotten replaced by anyone else.

    This used to be a thing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra-mobile_PC. However I think the ancestry heritage to the Pandora is the IBM palmtop 110. Not a direct link, as it came to be as an idea of what the various state of open linux handhelds did wrong.

    What they did right was run Linux, which was cool in itself back then. I think they opened up more to tinkering as a result of being security-flawed initially more than anything else. As those people became the userbase, all of a sudden software, d-pads and connectivity fixed themselves, most prominently on the GP2X. The enginers at Gamepark, became gamepark holdings and while both existed at one point, the latter was more welcoming towards hackery and the former went bankrrupt. All very fine, but Gamepark holdings lacked the connection with their userbase that makes the Pandora the community device it is.

    Having a open ecosystem that you are allowed to tinker with, which has a free and copyleft side to it, is just as awesome today as what was on offer back then in the GP2X days and before. While things have gotten better, they have also gotten worse in terms of privacy. And that's unfortunately the crucial point to make, if a device lends itself to spying on me, it isn't my device, its someone else's by the nature of allowing them to do that. I could make it mine, but frankly I'm tired of doing it as a necessity, and I don't really want to support the companies that make me do it.

    The longer down you dig in bootloaders and firmware (2) the more ugliness there is to find , and it has then long since stopped being a trivial issue. If you manage to get past drivers, (some part of what www.replicant.us helps fix.)
    with modem control and shared memory with CPU on other devices ultimately it really comes down to a hardware issue, seemingly not by accident. And whatever you want to believe, there is always the safe stance in supporting someone who is on your team, in doing something about it. Except for the pyra, and the pandora (which has no modem) your options are few and far between, luckily they do exist. Most of it doesnt go past the board-only on offer, but if that wont stop you, then all the better for you. Novena laptop has something for both.

    On the 'it is a phone, mainly'-front, the GTA04A5, and the neo900 (if you want a keyboard) comes to mind, which are very nice initiatives.

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