Late December Casual Community Update
#1
Star 
Happy New Year!

Here is a super casual end of year update. I've been rather busy these past 2 weeks, and will be busy for another week or so, but after that I'll sit down and write a proper update for mid-January 2020. By that time PinePhones ought to be shipping and there will be plenty to talk about.

Let me take this opportunity to say that I am very thankful to you all for helping PINE64 grow into what it is today. Its been quite an exciting (and stressful year) and we appreciate you being with us throughout this journey. You have shown patience with the delays and a high degree of understanding at various hiccups and shortcomings; this tells me we've fostered a great and mature environment that we all can be proud of.

I'd also like to thank all developers from within the community and the partner projects. I hope and trust that we managed to make a friendly and enjoyable framework for us to cooperate and work in. On our end, its been a real pleasure as well as a lot of fun.

Last and not least, a shutout to moderators on the forum, in particular to @evilbunny who's been quietly at it for years, and our newcomers @tophneal and @Arwen for doing a great job on here. And a very special thank you to @fire219 for getting the forums and website in order ... and endlessly fixing broken bridges in the chats (hopefully something we can further improve in 2020). 

FOSDEM 2020

Its hard to believe it but FOSDEM 2020 is just a month away. What the hell happened to 2019 ... it feels like it just began and now its over. Anyways, we'll have a stall on Sunday (Feb 2) so if you're around make sure to pop by and say hello. On Saturday we'll be walking around, checking out stalls and going to talks. We'll probably linger at some befriended stalls too. So if you see me or TL feel free to stop us for a chat. Also, I know a nice secret spot nearby the Free University of Brussels with decent food, so you're welcome to PM me if you wan to join me for lunch.

We will be making a couple of announcement at or just a day before FOSDEM starts, but I expect that the PinePhone and Pinebook Pro will still steal the show on our stall. Speaking of the PinePhone, for those of you who will be rocking your PinePhones at the conference we may just have something special Smile So make sure to take your PinePhone with you if you're attending.


Pinebook Pro (ISO & ANSI)

ISO Pinebook Pros have already gone out and, from the looks of Twitter / Mastodon tweets/toots, many have already been delivered.
The ANSI keyboard batch will start going out at the beginning of January. I am looking forward to hearing how you ANSI folks find the keyboard - I have only tried the prototype keyboard, so I am keen to hear how the end-product turned out (I'm an ISO person, so won't be getting/using an ANSI version). I hope and trust its on par with the ISO offering.

If you have ordered a Pinebook Pro in the last ~7-10 days or so, then your unit will ship out later in January (after Brave Heart PinePhones). So please do not bombard the shipping or pinebook team with questions such as 'why hasn't mine shipped yet?', if you placed an order just recently.

The default OS Build has gotten some major improvements in recent weeks and more are coming in January (we've got some nice tweaks in the works). Full acceleration for Chromium, improved performance and rock-solid stability of Firefox and support for (many/ most) USB-C docks are just some of the highlights of the default Debian OS in the past month. Regardless of if you want to run mainline OS images such as Manjaro, or novel alternatives such as Q4OS or Ubuntu MATE, lets take a minute to recognize the work @Mrfixit2001 has put into this default build. It's amazing to always have a good out-of-the-box experience and a solid image to fall back on.

I am also happy to let you know that we'll soon be seeing Recalbox for the Pinebook Pro. I for one am very much looking forward to that!

Lastly, huge shutout to those who helped draft the welcome letter for the Pinebook Pro! I highly appreciate your help.

PinePhone

There is currently so much happening in the PinePhone sphere that I literally have no time to cover it all. I've recently released a video showing 4 OSs running on the PinePhone. I have been told that the video is garbage - and I appreciate that it true - but just turn off the audio and your experience will improve by ~40% Wink  

The Brave Heart edition phones will ship some 5-7 days later than we initially anticipated. This has nothing to do with production or some issues - the reason is simply that Pinebook Pro ANSI need to be shipped first. As to why the decision was made to ship ANSI Pinebook Pros before Brave Heart PinePhones, I don't know. My guess is that Pinebook Pros, as a batch, take up physically much more space and hence its preferable to clear them out first as they take up much space. This is just my guess. 

In anticipation of your questions regarding why these devices can't ship at the same time: there is only one shipping team and they can only handle one device at a time. PinePhones and Pinebook Pros are manufactured at different factories, shipped using different means, and probably also require different paperwork when crossing into Hong Kong. I know you're all eager to get your devices - but its just a few days delay. Thanks for your patience!  

Speaking of shipping, you'll get a shipping notification from PINE64 once your phone ships out. In my experience, tracking for Asendia is so-so but shipping is rather quick (some 10-14 days to EU). Here is my experience with getting the PinePhone in a nutshell: the parcel was registered as outgoing in HK then there were no more updates until it reached the destination country. When It reached Europe,  I plotted the tracking number into the local couriers tracking system and got updates where the phone is. BTW, I wasn't asked to pay tax and it looks like most EU based devs weren't asked to pay import tax either... *fingers corssed*.  

TL posted a picture of the PinePhone Brave Heart packaging. Packaging is from recycled materials and, if you decide not to keep the box, we encourage you to recycle it too. 

Inside box you'll find:
  • The PinePhone (with a screen protector installed ... if you love it, great. If you hate it, peal it off).
  • A welcome letter,written by the community (many thanks to those who offered suggestions and help!)
  • A high quality charging USB-C cable (its a really good cable - use it)
There is no USB PSU  included. We assume most of you have a modern-ish Android phone that has a PSU capable of outputting 15W, so we decided not to bump the price nor add another thing to the landfill. In the event you don't have a 15W charger, then you can use chargers with lower wattage (will take longer to charge) for now and wait for suggestions / reports from community members to learn what PSUs work best.

Lastly, I've seen the see-though silicone (soft) case for the PinePhone and it really does look good.

PineTime

Current batch of PineTime dev kits has now started being delivered for a week or so. There seems to be a lot of cool developments in the PineTime area - for the first time, I've seen the PT connect to an android phone, obtain time data from it and sync correctly. From the looks of the short video by JF also shows BT and battery status on the GUI, and the push-button working (to turn off the LCD).

Given how short time the PineTime has had, this is really quite impressive stuff. Even more impressive is the amount and depth of engagement we have witnessed so far from the development crowd. This is very cool stuff and I have high hopes that a real daily-driver candidate OS for the watch will emerge in the first half of 2020, so the PineTime can be sold to FOSS enthusiasts who don't necessarily want to (or know how-to) write their own code.

Stuff that doesn't fit under the headings above

I know many of you want more information about the PineTab early-adopters edition - don't worry, it's coming. I'll have some solid information in the January community update. In short, it's still happening but our focus right now is on getting Brave Heart out the door and getting everything for FOSDEM ready. So stay tuned for now.

Thanks to all who answered my poll regarding how we did and what we could do better. Approx 40% indicated that the one thing they'd like to see is more shipping options and 30% had no complaints at all. Another 10% felt we could do better on communicating with the community and 15% felt that the store support was lacking. We already have started looking at shipping options; for instance, we're experimenting with Asendia for the PinePhone Brave Heart edition. If this turns out to be success, then I think we'll be considering this as an alternative to other shipping methods. It falls somewhere in the middle between the standard shipment and DHL in that its faster and all-around 'better' than the standard option while being significantly cheaper than DHL. It also - from the limited experience we have - limits the likelihood of you being charged import tax in some geographical areas. As for store support - I think it has improved significantly already over the past year, and I am certain that it will further improve in the next 12 months time.

Speaking of store support, a kind request to everyone waiting for a Pinebook Pro or/and PinePhone; I understand that you are really excited and want your device as soon as possible, and this prompts you to seek out answers. I really get it. But unless you feel like we've missed your shipment after having done some research on shipping dates, rather then emailing support post a question on the forum or in the chats. Support emails are filled with 'When is X shipping?' questions and this detracts from support staff getting back to people who are experiencing issues with their orders or equipment. For those who do not know, dates can usually (if not always) be found in latest blog posts and on social media (twitter / mastodon) as well as on the forums (someone usually asked a shipping question already, and its been answered). You can usually also get a quick answer to this question in the chats.

Lastly, thank you all for doing such a great job on the Wiki! Especially the Pinebook Pro wiki looks absolutely great now and is filled to the brink with useful information. I think this is the new golden standard for wiki pages.


That is all for now!
You can find me on IRC, Discord and Twitter


  Reply
#2
(12-30-2019, 06:58 PM)Luke Wrote: Happy New Year!

Here is a super casual end of year update. I've been rather busy these past 2 weeks, and will be busy for another week or so, but after that I'll sit down and write a proper update for mid-January 2020. By that time PinePhones ought to be shipping and there will be plenty to talk about.

Let me take this opportunity to say that I am very thankful to you all for helping PINE64 grow into what it is today. Its been quite an exciting (and stressful year) and we appreciate you being with us throughout this journey. You have shown patience with the delays and a high degree of understanding at various hiccups and shortcomings; this tells me we've fostered a great and mature environment that we all can be proud of.

I'd also like to thank all developers from within the community and the partner projects. I hope and trust that we managed to make a friendly and enjoyable framework for us to cooperate and work in.  On our end, its been a real pleasure as well as a lot of fun.

Last and not least, a shutout to moderators on the forum, in particular to @evilbunny who's been quietly at it for years, and our newcomers @tophneal and @Arwen for doing a great job on here. And a very special thank you to @fire219 for getting the forums and website in order ... and endlessly fixing broken bridges in the chats (hopefully something we can further improve in 2020). 

FOSDEM 2020

Its hard to believe it but FOSDEM 2020 is just a month away. What the hell happened to 2019 ... it feels like it just began and now its over. Anyways, we'll have a stall on Sunday (Feb 2) so if you're around make sure to pop by and say hello. On Saturday we'll be walking around, checking out stalls and going to talks. We'll probably linger at some befriended stalls too. So if you see me or TL feel free to stop us for a chat. Also, I know a nice secret spot nearby the Free University of Brussels with decent food, so you're welcome to PM me if you wan to join me for lunch.

We will be making a couple of announcement at or just a day before FOSDEM starts, but I expect that the PinePhone and Pinebook Pro will still steal the show on our stall. Speaking of the PinePhone, for those of you who will be rocking your PinePhones at the conference we may just have something special Smile So make sure to take your PinePhone with you if you're attending.


Pinebook Pro (ISO & ANSI)

ISO Pinebook Pros have already gone out and, from the looks of Twitter / Mastodon tweets/toots, many have already been delivered.
The ANSI keyboard batch will start going out at the beginning of January. I am looking forward to hearing how you ANSI folks find the keyboard - I have only tried the prototype keyboard, so I am keen to hear how the end-product turned out (I'm an ISO person, so won't be getting/using an ANSI version). I hope and trust its on par with the ISO offering.

If you have ordered a Pinebook Pro in the last ~7-10 days or so, then your unit will ship out later in January (after Brave Heart PinePhones). So please do not bombard the shipping or pinebook team with questions such as 'why hasn't mine shipped yet?', if you placed an order just recently.

The default OS Build has gotten some major improvements in recent weeks and more are coming in January (we've got some nice tweaks in the works). Full acceleration for Chromium, improved performance and rock-solid stability of Firefox and support for (many/ most) USB-C docks are just some of the highlights of the default Debian OS in the past month. Regardless of if you want to run mainline OS images such as Manjaro, or novel alternatives such as Q4OS or Ubuntu MATE, lets take a minute to recognize the work @Mrfixit2001 has put into this default build. It's amazing to always have a good out-of-the-box experience and a solid image to fall back on.

I am also happy to let you know that we'll soon be seeing Recalbox for the Pinebook Pro. I for one am very much looking forward to that!

Lastly, huge shutout to those who helped draft the welcome letter for the Pinebook Pro! I highly appreciate your help.

PinePhone

There is currently so much happening in the PinePhone sphere that I literally have no time to cover it all. I've recently released a video showing 4 OSs running on the PinePhone. I have been told that the video is garbage - and I appreciate that it true - but just turn off the audio and your experience will improve by ~40% Wink  

The Brave Heart edition phones will ship some 5-7 days later than we initially anticipated. This has nothing to do with production or some issues - the reason is simply that Pinebook Pro ANSI need to be shipped first. As to why the decision was made to ship ANSI Pinebook Pros before Brave Heart PinePhones, I don't know. My guess is that Pinebook Pros, as a batch, take up physically much more space and hence its preferable to clear them out first as they take up much space. This is just my guess. 

In anticipation of your questions regarding why these devices can't ship at the same time: there is only one shipping team and they can only handle one device at a time. PinePhones and Pinebook Pros are manufactured at different factories, shipped using different means, and probably also require different paperwork when crossing into Hong Kong. I know you're all eager to get your devices - but its just a few days delay. Thanks for your patience!  

Speaking of shipping, you'll get a shipping notification from PINE64 once your phone ships out. In my experience, tracking for Asendia is so-so but shipping is rather quick (some 10-14 days to EU). Here is my experience with getting the PinePhone in a nutshell: the parcel was registered as outgoing in HK then there were no more updates until it reached the destination country. When It reached Europe,  I plotted the tracking number into the local couriers tracking system and got updates where the phone is. BTW, I wasn't asked to pay tax and it looks like most EU based devs weren't asked to pay import tax either... *fingers corssed*.  

TL posted a picture of the PinePhone Brave Heart packaging. Packaging is from recycled materials and, if you decide not to keep the box, we encourage you to recycle it too. 

Inside box you'll find:
  • The PinePhone (with a screen protector installed ... if you love it, great. If you hate it, peal it off).
  • A welcome letter,written by the community (many thanks to those who offered suggestions and help!)
  • A high quality charging USB-C cable (its a really good cable - use it)
There is no USB PSU  included. We assume most of you have a modern-ish Android phone that has a PSU capable of outputting 15W, so we decided not to bump the price nor add another thing to the landfill. In the event you don't have a 15W charger, then you can use chargers with lower wattage (will take longer to charge) for now and wait for suggestions / reports from community members to learn what PSUs work best.

Lastly, I've seen the see-though silicone (soft) case for the PinePhone and it really does look good.

PineTime

Current batch of PineTime dev kits has now started being delivered for a week or so. There seems to be a lot of cool developments in the PineTime area - for the first time, I've seen the PT connect to an android phone, obtain time data from it and sync correctly. From the looks of the short video by JF also shows BT and battery status on the GUI, and the push-button working (to turn off the LCD).

Given how short time the PineTime has had, this is really quite impressive stuff. Even more impressive is the amount and depth of engagement we have witnessed so far from the development crowd. This is very cool stuff and I have high hopes that a real daily-driver candidate OS for the watch will emerge in the first half of 2020, so the PineTime can be sold to FOSS enthusiasts who don't necessarily want to (or know how-to) write their own code.

Stuff that doesn't fit under the headings above

I know many of you want more information about the PineTab early-adopters edition - don't worry, it's coming. I'll have some solid information in the January community update. In short, it's still happening but our focus right now is on getting Brave Heart out the door and getting everything for FOSDEM ready. So stay tuned for now.

Thanks to all who answered my poll regarding how we did and what we could do better. Approx 40% indicated that the one thing they'd like to see is more shipping options and 30% had no complaints at all. Another 10% felt we could do better on communicating with the community and 15% felt that the store support was lacking. We already have started looking at shipping options; for instance, we're experimenting with Asendia for the PinePhone Brave Heart edition. If this turns out to be success, then I think we'll be considering this as an alternative to other shipping methods. It falls somewhere in the middle between the standard shipment and DHL in that its faster and all-around 'better' than the standard option while being significantly cheaper than DHL. It also - from the limited experience we have - limits the likelihood of you being charged import tax in some geographical areas. As for store support - I think it has improved significantly already over the past year, and I am certain that it will further improve in the next 12 months time.  

Speaking of store support, a kind request to everyone waiting for a Pinebook Pro or/and PinePhone; I understand that you are really excited and want your device as soon as possible, and this prompts you to seek out answers. I really get it. But unless you feel like we've missed your shipment after having done some research on shipping dates, rather then emailing support post a question on the forum or in the chats. Support emails are filled with 'When is X shipping?' questions and this detracts from support staff getting back to people who are experiencing issues with their orders or equipment. For those who do not know, dates can usually (if not always) be found in latest blog posts and on social media (twitter / mastodon) as well as on the forums (someone usually asked a shipping question already, and its been answered). You can usually also get a quick answer to this question in the chats.  

Lastly, thank you all for doing such a great job on the Wiki! Especially the Pinebook Pro wiki looks absolutely great now and is filled to the brink with useful information. I think this is the new golden standard for wiki pages.  


That is all for now!
 
  I was really impressed with DHL delivery, of my first ISO Pinebook Pro.

  Hong Kong to Arizona, USA in less than 48 hours.

     Asendia's 10-14 days just does not sound quite as  ...  inviting to me.

   Can the purchaser pick which service they prefer ?

*********************************   ?

SO  Is this usb-c cord usb-c at both ends  ?         OR  usb-A  at one end  and usb-c at the other  ?

 **********************************

 I see most of the chargers are still usb-A  with a cord that has the usb-c at one end
      LINUX = CHOICES
         **BCnAZ**
               Idea
   Donate to $upport
your favorite OS Team
  Reply
#3
Pine-team is everytime a surprise, thanks for the already mounted screen protector!, I don't know the reason why common smartphone producer is not capable to do the same! (as you can understand, I'm not verygood with precision hand work Tongue  )
  Reply
#4
(12-30-2019, 08:16 PM)bcnaz Wrote: Luke

Thanks to all who answered my poll regarding how we did and what we could do better. Approx 40% indicated that the one thing they'd like to see is more shipping options and 30% had no complaints at all. Another 10% felt we could do better on communicating with the community and 15% felt that the store support was lacking. We already have started looking at shipping options; for instance, we're experimenting with Asendia for the PinePhone Brave Heart edition. If this turns out to be success, then I think we'll be considering this as an alternative to other shipping methods. It falls somewhere in the middle between the standard shipment and DHL in that its faster and all-around 'better' than the standard option while being significantly cheaper than DHL. It also - from the limited experience we have - limits the likelihood of you being charged import tax in some geographical areas. As for store support - I think it has improved significantly already over the past year, and I am certain that it will further improve in the next 12 months time.  

 
  I was really impressed with DHL delivery, of my first ISO Pinebook Pro.

  Hong Kong to Arizona, USA in less than 48 hours.

     Asendia's 10-14 days just does not sound quite as  ...  inviting to me.

   Can the purchaser pick which service they prefer ?

I agree. I'd rather pay more for the fast and efficient shipping DHL offers (USA) than risk a lost package (due to longer transit times) and slower shipping. At least for dev units of devices where i want to get them ASAP.

(DHL shipped in about 3 days to me after departing hong kong, two days early from the estimated arrival)

I also have a very bad USPS post office near me that looses packages all the time. I'd rather not deal with them if i can.
  Reply
#5
Good move:

(12-30-2019, 06:58 PM)Luke Wrote: There is no USB PSU  included. We assume most of you have a modern-ish Android phone that has a PSU ...
Good god! Finally somebody gets that most of us have a flippin' closet full of quintuplicate power plugs! THANK YOU for not shipping another!!!!!  Big Grin
  Reply
#6
(12-30-2019, 06:58 PM)Luke Wrote: Speaking of store support, a kind request to everyone waiting for a Pinebook Pro or/and PinePhone; I understand that you are really excited and want your device as soon as possible, and this prompts you to seek out answers. I really get it. But unless you feel like we've missed your shipment after having done some research on shipping dates, rather then emailing support post a question on the forum or in the chats. Support emails are filled with 'When is X shipping?' questions and this detracts from support staff getting back to people who are experiencing issues with their orders or equipment. For those who do not know, dates can usually (if not always) be found in latest blog posts and on social media (twitter / mastodon) as well as on the forums (someone usually asked a shipping question already, and its been answered). You can usually also get a quick answer to this question in the chats.  

Yes, it's the mistake of an over-excited newby to send emails asking when something will ship. Many of us have seen both sides of that. Folks, please pay attention to Luke's request, or you will delay your own shipment (heh).
  Reply
#7
(12-30-2019, 06:58 PM)Luke Wrote: Speaking of the PinePhone, for those of you who will be rocking your PinePhones at the conference we may just have something special Smile So make sure to take your PinePhone with you if you're attending.

I hope to have my PinePhone with me at FOSDEM, but what if it hasn't gotten to me by then?
  Reply
#8
*Who* said the Pinephone video was bad?  Turkey. Cross them off your list of people to listen to forever!

It was great seeing the different OSes, their look and feel, seeing what they can (and can't! thank you!) do.

An idea for when you ship: if the shipping notifications are sent by Pine64, include download links with install instructions to the 3 or 4 OSes that are closest to having all functions. It's not easy for the newbie (me) to figure out where all the moving targets are at.The devs are working so much that the situation changes by the day. I know it'll keep changing after you ship, but if we at least had some starting points it would help a lot.

Thanks for all your work, the devs work, and the hard workers at the factory putting these together for us!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
OS: Debian 10/Buster. KDE. Pinephone Braveheart arrived February 11! Not getting anything else done. Don't tell the boss.
  Reply
#9
Happy new year to you as well!  Thanks for the update and appreciate the info and all the stressful work you and the team have been doing.  It may not be fast, issue-free or always fun, but as I watch what has been happening in the digital and device world over the last many years, I feel that it is important work you all are doing.

I ordered a PinePhone, but since I also ordered a PBPro sometime back in November, I'm happy with them arriving in any order Wink  All of the posts on Twitter recently from others receiving their PBPros have got me super excited to start playing around and doing tons of coding when my own arrives.

The 4 OS video was fine and loved seeing it.  If by "garbage" the complainer meant that it wasn't long enough, then I might agree Big Grin  

Exciting times.  Thanks again!
  Reply
#10
Seems like you need a system where people could enter their order number, and see the estimated shipping window.

I can help! You can pay me in hardware!

Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk
  Reply


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