Convince me NOT to cancel my order.

alan at alan at
Fri Aug 31 22:31:15 CEST 2007


Thank you for taking the time to respond.  I know how busy you are and your
taking the time to address my comments is much appreciated.

Your response reminded me of something once taught to me by a man I once
worked for and much admired, Dr. Russ Turner, former CEO of United Space
Alliance, now retired.

He told me that when you have to withhold information from someone, be
honest about it and always take the time to explain why it has to be
withheld.  Also, when you simply don't have the information, let the
inquirer know when you likely will have it.  This two simple rules go a
long way toward keeping people working together effectively.

If I abused the Community inbox with my frustrations, I sincerely
apologise.  I felt it necessary to call attention to the fact that the
community was now split into two camps, the haves and have nots.  As one of
the have nots, I was frustrated with the inability to participate due to
the limited quantities produced in the GTA01 runs, and even more frustrated
with the lack of ANY date information on the GTA01 backorder run or even a
Rough-Order-of-Magnitude date/month/quarter estimate for GTA02 availability.

Also frustrating for me was that the Interest List in the wiki was not used
in anyway to prioritize the orders taken and shipped.  I strongly urge you
to erect a GTA02 PRE-ORDER queue as soon as possible to help those left out
of the GTA01 fun to get a spot in line for the GTA02.  This will also help
you better estimate the production demand.

As for future Neo shaping...

We all like and appreciate style and modernity, but form should always
follow function and let's make sure we think carefully about ways that
people are likely to want to use this device considering the amazing
possibilities an open platform like this has.  I would love to be able to
whip out a blue tooth keyboard and post an entry to my much neglected blog
when I have the opportunity.  The freedom of Landscape or Portrait use
should not be limited to handholding or to the availability of specially
molded cradles.

Thank you again for your hard work and please understand that I share your
excitement for this project and sorry if some of my suppressed excitement
got converted to frustration.

Alan McSwain

Original Message:
From: Sean Moss-Pultz sean at
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2007 22:46:57 +0800
To: community at, alan at
Subject: Re: Convince me NOT to cancel my order.

Hi Alan,

alan at wrote:

> admin at
> IMHO, Your response here to Joe was uncalled for and frankly, rude.
> I also resent the implication that I and others are "disgruntled whiners".
> While gentleman may agree or disagree, there is little to no call for this
> kind response to such a minor observation or suggestion.
> My point is starting this topic was to bring attention to the fact that
> probably 500 to 1000 potential developers were likely to get saddled with
> GTA01 phones right before the GTA02s were released and that FIC staff were
> not providing sufficient information about likely delivery dates.  We are
> volunteers TRYING to put up our time and money to move this along, but due
> to understandable circumstances many of us are being left out.  FIC should
> be more open about the schedules if they expect volunteers to contribute
> time and effort.  It would also be quite understandable for a potential
> developer to be annoyed that he just payed for a GTA01 and the GTA02 come
> out within days.  FIC should proactivly mitigate this possible scenario.

I really wish we could give more accurate timing information. But please
understand that what you're seeing is a product being built from
scratch. We're not using reference designs. We're not using 3rd party
software. We're doing this from scratch. And _very_ publicly. You can
track on code and comments every day if you like. We don't hide
anything. Bugs and all.

Product development is messy. There are literally hundreds of components
in this device, all needing to be sourced with different lead times from
different vendors. If SDRAM becomes scarce, we suffer. If a vendor has
yield problems, so we do we.

I encourage you (and everyone else) to see this project for what it is
-- a truly unique opportunity to take part in the development of an open
phone. This is a personal dream of mine for years. Even though we've had
our fair share of delays, I'm still incredibly excited about where we
stand now.

Your support, by buying hardware, or just making constructive comments,
will allow us to grow and help change this industry. We're still small
now, but we've got grand plans ;-)

> More on the future shape of the Neo...
> Another reason to square off the bottom is to make it stand up on a flat
> surface or MORE IMPORTANTLY, sit upright in an off-the-shelf bluetooth
> keyboard.  You should not be restricted to landscape mode useage when off
> device keyboarding.
> Remember, were not just talking about a PHONE here, but portable
> microcomputing.

Try to think more about the complexity of this device. I don't know of a
single "microcomputer" that has 4 RF systems. FIC makes millions of
computers a year. I can promise you that it's significantly easier for
us to build a computer than a phone.


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