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I will attend the GF of 4 feb 2011
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Pandora Production Samples
Saturday, 17 April 2010 10:19

On the openpandora community forums forum member El Jefe just posted some links to pictures of fully assembled Pandora production samples. Nice!

Pandora Sample

Pandora Sample

The full thread:


Pixels by Patrick Jean
Thursday, 08 April 2010 18:18

One of the guys at work stumbled upon this YouTube video. N-joy!

Open Pandora WiFi issue resolved?
Wednesday, 07 April 2010 19:05

Last tuesday EvilDragon updated the Open Pandora DeveloperBlog with an article called Back on Track! In the blog EvilDragon explains why assembly of the Open Pandora's hasn't started yet.

The good news is that is seems that the WiFi issue has finally been resolved. It looks like it was not a compiler alignment problem as suggested on the forums but rather a faulty traceline on the PCB resulting in an an unstable clocksignal resulting in unstable WiFi. Luckily hardware guru MWeston found the problem and solved the puzzle.

Interestingly the article states that there exist a Rev2/3, Rev4/5 and even a Rev 6 board for the open-pandora. This makes us wonder, what Rev board will you receive? Which Rev boards went to the Devs and wchich are in the first batch? And except for the added resistor for fixing the WiFi are there any other minor changes between revs which might result one board rev being more moddable than another?

CraigX is confident that the Pandora's will be shipped before the end of the mont. Where have we heard that before. We'll just have to wait and see... again.

Open Source Handhelds
Monday, 05 April 2010 19:57

EvilDragon, a member of the Open-Pandora team recently talked about open source handhelds including the Pandora at CeBit 2010. Checkout the YouTube clips below (in Geman with English subs).

EvilDragon's speech on Open source Handhelds

@ CeBit 2010 Translated / Subtitled

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Our Thoughts on Open-Pandora
Monday, 05 April 2010 12:21

Did you hear of the Open Pandora project? We did... almost two years ago. The open-pandora claims to be the ultimate gaming handheld, a mixture between a PC and a gaming console. The software is completely open, although the hardware isn't.


The specs:

  • ARM® Cortex™-A8 600Mhz+ CPU running Linux
  • 430-MHz TMS320C64x+™ DSP Core
  • PowerVR SGX OpenGL 2.0 ES compliant 3D hardware
  • 800x480 4.3" 16.7 million colours touchscreen LCD
  • Wifi 802.11b/g, Bluetooth & High Speed USB 2.0 Host
  • Dual SDHC card slots & SVideo TV output
  • Dual Analogue and Digital gaming controls
  • 43 button QWERTY and numeric keypad
  • Around 10+ Hours battery life

The pro's

With a Pandora in hand one can enjoy life. That is, all aspects of linux on a handheld, 10+ hours of batterylife and a lot of emulators. Yes, people buying this device are foremost emulator addicts and a whole bunch of emulators have already been ported or adapted to fit the Pandora. The Pandora has a touchscreen just like the NDS but it also has two anlog controls, a D-pad, four fire-buttons and two shoulder buttons for optimum gameplay. Like the PSP it has a TV-out so you can n-joy playing games on your TV-screen.

The con's

I can think of only two. First, I do not like the position of the spacebar. The spacebar is situated completely on the righthand side of the lower row on the keyboard. However, ye olde spectrum dudes are accustomed to a spacebar at that position, so I guess it's a matter of taste. Second, I'd like to go online when on the road, but there's no GPRS/UMTS dongle built in. Sure you can put one in via the USB slot but I do not like stuff sticking out of my gadgets because eventually they will break or tear or just get lost. Having online gameplay anywhere would certainly give this powerhouse an edge over the big boys. But it wasn't to be.

Not a con but a side effect of producing in small batches for a niche audience is the price. It's a bit steep, US 333 dollars excluding an extra battery, shipping or TV-cable. We paid £365.12 to openpandorasales for a potential Pandora with full option. This sum includes: 

  • Pandora  -  EUR 298.22 (includes VAT at 15%)
  • TV OUT   -   EUR 15.37
  • CASE      -   EUR 15.37
  • BATTERY -   EUR 22.28
  • ADAPTOR -   EUR 7.29
  • DEV FUND - EUR 15.00
  • STYLUS -    EUR 5.08

and then there are the sipping options:

  • Air Mail Shipping -  EUR 17.56
  • UPS 24/48 Hr  -      EUR 36.97

The setbacks

After two years of setbacks and delays it looks as if the OP-team is finally ready for assembly of the pandora handheld. First batch production wil encompass a meagre 4000 units with a second batch planned for later this year. The units will be assembled in the UK instead of Texas US by the OP-team and community volunteers.

It looks like most of the OS will be finished when the first batch ships although there are some major issues with the WiFi driver for the onboard WiFI being "unstable". Chances are that your Pandora will be shipped with a WiFi-dongle to be able to update the firmware as development continues. Recent forum threads suggest the unstability of the driver might be caused by byte alignment problems during compilation. Ifso maybe some well placed pragma's will do the trick and driver-hell will be a thing of the past. We'll just have to wait and see. 

Forum members were eagerly awaiting an assembly date for the first of april but the Chinese company producing the molds for the casings and keymats performed some last minute tweaking which shifted the deadline... again. So close to the finish some forum members are getting impatient, strange because if you have the stomach to wait this long, why not wait a couple of weeks longer for a near optimal product? Some even want the OP team to sell the Pandora as a DIY-kit. But for now, this seems to be out of the question because for common folk the LCD-ribbon cacle will likely get damaged if handled or assembled incorrectly. Also, there is some soldering to do which leaves the question of warranty when something goes wrong when you missolder.  

The team behind OP

From the forum we can deduce that there are about four brains running the hardware development side of the project, MWeston, CraigX, EvillDragon and Fatih. Apperently the 4000 units form the first batch are divided among the latter three to sell in their shops.

More info and detailz plz

Want to know more? Then checkout the open-pandora website or go directly to the community forums.

Dev Competitions Updated
Sunday, 04 April 2010 10:28

Just so you know, there are currently 3 contests running in which you can compete:



These contests have been added to the eventlist. For more details click on the links to visit the competition website. There can find out what to win, an explanation of the rules, contact information and submission deadlines.

GadgetFriday Update
Monday, 22 March 2010 00:35

Okay, so our template remained broken a lot longer than promised. Oh well. Nobody noticed. So we're back. For the time being we borrowed a free spritual Joomla! template from www.siteground.com. Although we are beer drinking nerds, we also have to meditate sometimes to empty the brain thinking of annoying bugs or design pattersn in Tcl, Python, .NET, Java, Delphi and so on.

The good news is dat the site is up agian. Time to start pimping our own new template.


GadgetFriday goes Joomla 1.5
Sunday, 01 March 2009 18:57

As of today we upgraded our CMS to Joomla 1.5. Unfortunately, the upgrade broke our template so ChaosDav is currently modding one of the default templates to suit our needs. In the next couple of weeks we'll be adding extra modules and components to create a more enjoyable enduser experience.


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