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RE[7]: Learning from the Spectrum Next on Kickstarter


The Next had a "board only" option that shipped recently. Thus has no case, keyboard, power supply, etc. Some wanted it because it was low cost, some because it was shipping earlier, and others because they wanted to install it in sn old Spec case.

When they started arriving, there was chaos.

Suddenly hundreds of different makes and models of monitors were in use. Thousands of programs were loaded. Different keyboards and joysticks were attached. Expansion memory chips were soldered in. Various makes of sd cards were used.

I have to admit it was incredible to watch. The development team did a great job of determining root causes so hundreds of issues were caused by (and provided clues to) by one thing.

Code was pushed out. One volunteer spent incredible amounts of time walking users through things. Communications was a bit sparse and terse, but what was said made it clear the team was engaged, working hard, and listening to users.

Honestly, I thought it was going to be something of a train wreck. Instead, they made it through.

In addition to listening and fixing at warp speed, there was a huge lesson that was totally happenstance.

Those who ordered the "board only" tended to be the tinkerers and people willing to roll up their sleeves. They helped troubleshoot problems and answered questions from the development team.

When the systems ship in a few months, I suspect it will go much smoother because of the board only trail blazers.

Maybe there is some kind of two step release of the Megs that will make sense as things progress.


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