The experience for developers is bad
#1
I'll admit that I don't write code or develop for a living. But I don't think that's the major point of the Pine Time. It seems like a hobby/community participation device.

So, as an amateur (very amateur) coder, I'd like to make this point:

It's really hard to get code onto the Pine Time.

You have to take it apart and stick wires on the motherboard. That's... a tiny bit ridiculous for a device whose entire purpose is for hacking code. Why couldn't you just put a little port on the side that you could plug a serial adapter into?

Also, the device is flash protected to start. Why? That doesn't make any sense. That's like selling someone a kit car with the hood bolted shut so you have to get bolt cutters and wrench it open before you can put the kit together.

These problems add a dozen steps to the initial development process.
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#2
The current PineTime devices are expected to be sold only "for these units to find their way into the hands of  developer with extensive embedded OS experience and an interest in Smart Watch development." and the need to use special hardware to program them is also called out on the same page.

The challenges you are facing are, I think, the reason the above quote appears on the sales site. Right now there are lots of different developers (including me) experimenting with different tools, techniques and operating systems to make the PineTime do interesting things and/or to become usable once the back has been glued on (I don't think I have removed the back from my own device for several weeks now and I have still been busy developing for it all that time).

In short, although we don't yet know which approach will turn out to be best you should expect production watches to be shipped with the backs glued on (otherwise they will not be splash proof) and with a documented means for programming them over-the-air.
PineTime: wasp-os and MicroPython, Pinebook Pro:  Debian Bullseye
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#3
Can we solve this with a 3D printed back cover? Plus maybe a custom PCB? I'm sure this is something that we can throw money and solve ;-)

Personally I'm very happy with my 22 AWG Solid Core Wire sticking out permanently... Makes a great PineTime dock for shooting nice photos and videos.

I don't think we are ready to close the back cover yet... That's up to the hackers like me to implement OTA downloads on PineTime.

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#4
(03-06-2020, 08:11 PM)lupyuen Wrote: Can we solve this with a 3D printed back cover? Plus maybe a custom PCB? I'm sure this is something that we can throw money and solve ;-)

Using the magnets as SWCLK and SWDIO should be a very neat way to make the watch wearable whilst keeping SWD available for debugging and disaster recovery. The idea is to run thin wires from the SWD pins to the backs of the magnets and then carefully drill access holes from the other side so pogo pins can make contact with the magnet casing. There's probably some static risk but if a very find drill bit is used the risk should be pretty minimal.
PineTime: wasp-os and MicroPython, Pinebook Pro:  Debian Bullseye
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#5
Haha wow really hope not to do any surgery on my PineTime... There has to be an easier option for newbies... An accessory that they can buy (made by a third party) that snaps onto PineTime and exposes the SWD port hmmm...

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#6
All the readily available pogo pins I've found so far are either for 0.1" pitch or too long at ~16mm. Anyone know of any suitably sized pins? Without them we'll probably need to solder. There's also speculation in another thread that static may be the reason they're no longer able to program the PineTime, so some protection may be advisable.
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