Mike Stone

Mostly The Lonely Howls Of Mike Baying His Ideological Purity At The Moon

I'm Still Waiting

04 May 2021

In recent years, I’ve been able to indulge in my gadget hobby a little bit more than I used to. This has taken me into the realms of Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other crowd funded campaigns. I can’t say that this has worked out badly for me since I’ve never had a product not ship. Sometimes, I’ve found myself waiting a very, very long time. I haven’t gotten anything new lately, and I’m still waiting for some of the things I’ve purchased to arrive. Maybe after these get here, I’ll look into new and interesting projects.

First and foremost, the biggest offender. I’ve been waiting for the Mycroft Mark II for years. It was supposed to ship in December of 2018, but here we are in May of 2021 and it hasn’t seen the light of day. They keep saying they’re getting closer and closer to shipping. I think that’s true, and I actually still expect to have a Mark II on my desk at some point. I’ve made it no secret that I wish Pine64 would come up with a Pinecroft as I think they’d do a better job with the hardware aspects of a Mycroft unit and then Mycroft could be left to focus on the software. Honestly I think that’s their strong point. Hardware hasn’t been a strength of theirs in the past. Seriously, both the Mark I and Mark II are based on a Raspberry Pi. It’s taken them three plus years to figure out how to do the Mark II and most of it is based on off the shelf parts. I’m anxiously waiting for it, but I half wonder if I could have saved time by just installing Mycroft on the CutiePi.

The CutiePi is another device that I’ve ordered that has yet to arrive. Unlike the Mark II, I order this one back in March, and it’s expected to ship in July. I’d like to give Mycroft a little bit of wiggle room here as the CutiePi is another Pi based device with many off the shelf parts, but the CutiePi also has a custom PCB and is based on the Pi compute module and not a standard SBC. From the sounds of things, the CutiePi people have a much more organized hardware unit and they’ve been able to turn this around on both a hardware and a software front much more quickly than Mycroft has. On top of that, a CutiePi might be as good of a Mycroft device as the Mark II. That remains to be seen, but I’m anxious to try that out. Also, since it’s portable by design it has a lot of tablet potential as well.

The last one that I’m waiting for is the Pocket P.C. from Popcorn Computer. Again, I’ve been waiting on this guy for a while. I put the order in last May. It’s been almost a year since that order was placed, and as of the end of April they were expecting to ship in June. I’m kind of regretting not going for the LORA version of this device, but at the time I didn’t think it was worth the extra expense, and I’m just not motivated enough to go back and change up my order now.

Sadly, of the three devices I’m still waiting on, I expect the one I’ll be waiting on the longest is the Mark II. The other two companies seem to have a better grasp of the requirements of shipping “custom” hardware. I do expect there to be a date, maybe even this year, where I have all three of these devices sitting together on my desk. Sooner is obviously better, but I’m still waiting.

Day 23 of the #100DaysToOffload 2021 Series.

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