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Author Topic: Re: Official GCW Zero Updates - Sound Stutter  (Read 28627 times)

pcercuei (OP)

  • Posts: 1698
    • My devblog
Re: Official GCW Zero Updates - Sound Stutter
« on: May 02, 2013, 07:27:04 am »
This is a topic split from the update thread.

I am sure that many of us here are excited to see the working bootloader. We are very thankful for the progress made by our development team and it makes us eager to start shipping these consoles. However, now that our production console is awake we noticed a few unexpected issues that did not exist on the early units. These issues prevent us and the development team from being comfortable with delivering the consoles. Our biggest concern is a persistent audio "stutter" issue that needs to be corrected. We are trying to assess whether this issue could be solved with a firmware update or worse, it could be a problem with the kernel.

Seeing the console boot up was a light at the end of the tunnel for ourselves as well, so we want to keep up the momentum. If the problem turns out to be related to the kernel, then it will become a much more complicated fix for an average user. We are trying to avoid this as first impressions are lasting ones.

The issue we are experiencing is a very recent one so it is still a mystery to all of us. Justin and I have agreed on a preliminary plan to approach the problem. We will be communicating with the development team as they assess it. Once we have enough information to understand the scope of the issue and how to resolve it, Justin and I will then confer and make a judgment call on whether we can flash and release the units now or if we need to wait for an adequate solution. Again, this is an early plan for an unexpected problem but our goal remains unchanged- we intend to deliver a complete product as quickly as possible.

Most of all, we want to make sure you are satisfied when enjoying your favorite games on the Zero for the first time. Those who have been able to experience the Zero know this feeling and it would be a major disappointment for everyone involved in this project if we worked so hard but our fans were soured by technical issues.

Our plan still involves two shipments for each Special Edition order. Once we get the consoles out, we will start asking for your shirt sizes.

Now we will start to disagree.

As a core member of the official GCW Zero development team, I have to say I'm against yet another delay for such a tiny issue.
You make it look like the "audio stutter" issue is a critical bug that has to be fixed ASAP. But it's just a software bug. It will be fixed in time by a software upgrade.

Also, you say that "the issue we are experiencing is a very recent one so it is still a mystery to all of us".
To this, I will respond that it's been weeks that we are aware of this bug, it appears only on a couple of units (the 512 MB v1.1 prototypes?), and we didn't even start to try to debug it. It is not a "mystery" as we have yet to start to look at the cause. And maybe it can be fixed in a couple of minutes, who knows.

Finally, while I agree the OS should be polished for the KickStarter units, the people who bought the Special Edition units did so through this forum, or similar places across the Internet, and won't be afraid by seeing the kernel booting with lots of random text instead of a nice animated logo. There is a point where you have to stop trying to make the best product and release the damn thing.

EDIT: I also really hate the fact that you announce the "audio stutter" issue as critical to the public while nobody ever told us, the dev team, to consider it as a high priority task. It would have certainly been fixed already if you told us. Actually, neither you or Justin ever mentioned that issue to us; only qbertaddict and zear reported it. Next time, it would be good to inform us instead of announcing yet another delay.

Skelton-retired

  • Posts: 6894
Re: Re: Official GCW Zero Updates - Sound Stutter
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2013, 07:37:45 am »
Now we will start to disagree.

As a core member of the official GCW Zero development team, I have to say I'm against yet another delay for such a tiny issue.
You make it look like the "audio stutter" issue is a critical bug that has to be fixed ASAP. But it's just a software bug. It will be fixed in time by a software upgrade.

Also, you say that "the issue we are experiencing is a very recent one so it is still a mystery to all of us".
To this, I will respond that it's been weeks that we are aware of this bug, it appears only on a couple of units (the 512 MB v1.1 prototypes?), and we didn't even start to try to debug it.

Finally, while I agree the OS should be polished for the KickStarter units, the people who bought the Special Edition units did so through this forum, or similar places across the Internet, and won't be afraid by seeing the kernel booting with lots of random text instead of a nice animated logo. There is a point where you have to stop trying to make the best product and release the damn thing.

I share absolutely these words. I personally will ask for a refund for my SE if another delay comes.
Retired

Dexidus

  • Posts: 958
Re: Re: Official GCW Zero Updates - Sound Stutter
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2013, 10:24:18 am »
Yup, sounds like something fishy is up. Just sayin'.

I'm a dev too (albeit not on this project), and an audio stutter is by no means a deal breaker, and in fact, the SE pre-orderers (or at least most of then) are nerdy people like us - we're used to seeing boot logs, small quirks and whatnot, so i'd say if there is nothing else wrong with the project, let the SE's ship and release a software patch later.

BAFelton

  • Posts: 276
    • Open Consoles
Re: Official GCW Zero Updates - Sound Stutter
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2013, 11:49:20 am »
Thanks pcercuei for your answer.

RupeeClock

  • Posts: 234
Re: Official GCW Zero Updates - Sound Stutter
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2013, 01:48:40 pm »
I've been following posts on here for a little while now and commenting on the kickstarter occasionally, I think it is about time I took part in Dingoonity discussion if I am to be a GCW Zero soon.

I am a little concerned about the audio stutter issue, I would not mind receiving my unit with this minor issue provided the update to fix it is not complicated.

Reflashing the kernal is not as straight forward as updating the firmware after all, most users will be capable of doing the latter, but many users may not be capable of performing the former. If that requires opening up the system at all, that would put people off too.

SNESFAN

  • Guest
Re: Re: Official GCW Zero Updates - Sound Stutter
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2013, 02:07:48 pm »
You should be able to flash everything "over the air" if the problem is software related. Kernel and bootloader included.

If the problem relates only to the v1.1 512mb units then the kickstarter and normal units will remain unaffected.

While I'm not happy to see another delay, I'm in support of holding off until they find if that revision is a hardware issue. I would be fine getting a v2.0 kickstarter unit as long as the bezel and internal storeage is that of the SE models.

Xaijiqq

  • Posts: 450
Re: Official GCW Zero Updates - Sound Stutter
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2013, 02:24:00 pm »
 development team no worries you guys are the backbone and we love you for all the hard work

Yrx

  • Posts: 67
Re: Official GCW Zero Updates - Sound Stutter
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2013, 02:28:04 pm »
As my tuba teacher always said, "Ask me if I'm surprised."  ::)

Sensei

  • Posts: 75
Re: Official GCW Zero Updates - Sound Stutter
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2013, 04:32:51 pm »
Sorry.  I still don't get it.  Does the sound stutter all the time or only during boot up?  If it is a karnal problem it is not user fixable?

Sorry to be such a noob but what is the difference between the bootloader and the Kernal? I know it's a dumb question but I actually don't know.

pcercuei (OP)

  • Posts: 1698
    • My devblog
Re: Official GCW Zero Updates - Sound Stutter
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2013, 05:35:56 pm »
Reflashing the kernal is not as straight forward as updating the firmware after all, most users will be capable of doing the latter, but many users may not be capable of performing the former. If that requires opening up the system at all, that would put people off too.
When we find and fix the bug, we will release an OS upgrade packed inside an OPK. OPKs are applications in OpenDingux, much like APKs in Android. Put them in the "apps" folder on the root of the internal or external SD card, a new link called "OS upgrade" appears on the menu, run it, and congrats, you updated your system. You guys won't have to do anything more than that.

While I'm not happy to see another delay, I'm in support of holding off until they find if that revision is a hardware issue. I would be fine getting a v2.0 kickstarter unit as long as the bezel and internal storeage is that of the SE models.
It cannot be a hardware issue.

Sorry.  I still don't get it.  Does the sound stutter all the time or only during boot up?  If it is a karnal problem it is not user fixable?

Sorry to be such a noob but what is the difference between the bootloader and the Kernal? I know it's a dumb question but I actually don't know.
Apparently it appears all the time. The fact is, mth doesn't have that bug occuring on his units, and I don't have any unit (mine will arrive probably today). So it's a bit harder to fix it if we cannot reproduce it :)
The user won't have to "fix" things other by upgrading the system like I said previously. Nothing complicated for you to do.

The bootloader is a tiny program (~5kB currently) that will initialize parts of the system like the RAM, and then load the kernel from the internal SD. The kernel is Linux, it's the core of the operating system. It handles all the hardware, and make it accessible in a standardized way to the programs.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 05:44:17 pm by pcercuei »

Yertle

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  • Posts: 395
Re: Official GCW Zero Updates - Sound Stutter
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2013, 06:06:13 pm »
Reflashing the kernal is not as straight forward as updating the firmware after all, most users will be capable of doing the latter, but many users may not be capable of performing the former. If that requires opening up the system at all, that would put people off too.
When we find and fix the bug, we will release an OS upgrade packed inside an OPK. OPKs are applications in OpenDingux, much like APKs in Android. Put them in the "apps" folder on the root of the internal or external SD card, a new link called "OS upgrade" appears on the menu, run it, and congrats, you updated your system. You guys won't have to do anything more than that.

While I'm not happy to see another delay, I'm in support of holding off until they find if that revision is a hardware issue. I would be fine getting a v2.0 kickstarter unit as long as the bezel and internal storeage is that of the SE models.
It cannot be a hardware issue.

Sorry.  I still don't get it.  Does the sound stutter all the time or only during boot up?  If it is a karnal problem it is not user fixable?

Sorry to be such a noob but what is the difference between the bootloader and the Kernal? I know it's a dumb question but I actually don't know.
Apparently it appears all the time. The fact is, mth doesn't have that bug occuring on his units, and I don't have any unit (mine will arrive probably today). So it's a bit harder to fix it if we cannot reproduce it :)
The user won't have to "fix" things other by upgrading the system like I said previously. Nothing complicated for you to do.

The bootloader is a tiny program (~5kB currently) that will initialize parts of the system like the RAM, and then load the kernel from the internal SD. The kernel is Linux, it's the core of the operating system. It handles all the hardware, and make it accessible in a standardized way to the programs.

Sounds like the only thing we are waiting on are Justin and Pardue to decide to flash, test and send the units.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 06:09:14 pm by Yertle »

adolobe

  • Posts: 33
Re: Official GCW Zero Updates - Sound Stutter
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2013, 07:10:32 pm »
I say release it and let us flash the updates later. Heck everyone on this board for the most party has probably already flashed a Dingoo with Dingux at some point or another.

RupeeClock

  • Posts: 234
Re: Official GCW Zero Updates - Sound Stutter
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2013, 07:15:10 pm »
When we find and fix the bug, we will release an OS upgrade packed inside an OPK. OPKs are applications in OpenDingux, much like APKs in Android. Put them in the "apps" folder on the root of the internal or external SD card, a new link called "OS upgrade" appears on the menu, run it, and congrats, you updated your system. You guys won't have to do anything more than that.

If that is all there is to it, then a delay certainly isn't justified, the sort of users that adopt devices like these can easily perform a drag & drop update like this.
Thanks for clearing that up.

The update about the sound stutter sounds a bit more alarming than it really is.

Zoel

  • Posts: 60
Re: Official GCW Zero Updates - Sound Stutter
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2013, 07:28:23 pm »
Copy and paste from my other post.

Anyways I do not agree with Pardue's idea, delay the product some more to fixed a minor sound shutter bug, I know you want to make the perfect product for consumer hands, but the product has already been delayed so long, that delaying it any further will only make some people more frustrated. I mean for all I know when you fixed that bug, another bug will might appear leaving you to another delay trying to fix that new bug. I suggest them make a vote for SE user and let them decide if they want to wait it out or have it like this. If its not a hardware issue, then I am sure the average user can figure out, how to fix it. Unless their idea, was because they have already delayed the product for 7 months already, mind as well delay some more to fix more problems another month wouldn't hurt.


Yertle

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Re: Official GCW Zero Updates - Sound Stutter
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2013, 07:37:53 pm »
When we find and fix the bug, we will release an OS upgrade packed inside an OPK. OPKs are applications in OpenDingux, much like APKs in Android. Put them in the "apps" folder on the root of the internal or external SD card, a new link called "OS upgrade" appears on the menu, run it, and congrats, you updated your system. You guys won't have to do anything more than that.

If that is all there is to it, then a delay certainly isn't justified, the sort of users that adopt devices like these can easily perform a drag & drop update like this.
Thanks for clearing that up.

The update about the sound stutter sounds a bit more alarming than it really is.

Yeah, I'm not sure why Pardue would say,  "Once we have enough information to understand the scope of the issue and how to resolve it..."

And then have a core developer tell us that it isn't a big deal at all and is an easy fix once dealt with. I'm going to believe the developers over anything that comes from Pardue or Justin because the developers are the backbone of this whole project.

I know I have been a huge pain to most everyone on this board but this isn't the first time that Pardue or Justin have said something that hasn't made sense. I'm just glad that it was a core member of the GCW team to come forward. When I show contradictions I just get laughed at by most.  :o

pcercuei (OP)

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Re: Official GCW Zero Updates - Sound Stutter
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2013, 07:41:18 pm »
And then have a core developer tell us that it isn't a big deal at all and is an easy fix once dealt with.
Hey, I never said that.

RupeeClock

  • Posts: 234
Re: Official GCW Zero Updates - Sound Stutter
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2013, 07:48:20 pm »
And then have a core developer tell us that it isn't a big deal at all and is an easy fix once dealt with.
Hey, I never said that.

Yeah, I believe you said it was just non-critical, and easy enough for the user to apply the fix themselves.
I'd also just like to say thanks for helping this project take off, GCW Zero is a tremendous effort taking control of your own open handheld, than yet another Hong Kong or South Korean produced handheld that isn't really open.

Pardue

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    • GamingGems
Re: Official GCW Zero Updates - Sound Stutter
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2013, 07:52:37 pm »
This post has not been reviewed by Justin.

pcercuei, my most recent post was made with Justin and it reflects his feelings as well as mine, or to phrase that in a different way- it reflects the feelings of your CEO and COO. As the Chief Operations Officer, once I have an assignment from my Chief Executive Officer it is my duty to follow through with it because that is the person I answer to and I don't require any other discussion after that. When I discussed the PR release with Justin, he made it clear to me that he is not comfortable releasing the consoles if they have this issue. Sometime I will disagree and argue my opinions to him, but here I could not agree more. On my personal YouTube page there is plenty of evidence that fans of this device don't want to hear audio bugs during game play. If we release it with these issues it makes our device much less competitive against similar hardware. We have made a name for the Zero by showing how flawless the device can be and we don't intend to give that up for the sake of releasing it a little earlier. Also, not everyone is at the same skill level. I remember being new to Dingux and for a user at that stage a very simple task can become frustrating very easily.

All of my posts are reviewed by Justin before they become public unless I explicitly state otherwise (such as this one, but I did send a message to his phone warning him that I would be posting a response). The post last night is no different. You were on the developer IRC channel while I was there and I did announce that we were preparing to post a new update and my exact words to everyone there were: "I'm going to call Justin now to work on a PR release regarding the status of the consoles so if anyone here has something they want me to say, let me know now" I then forwarded a draft of the press release to both Justin and another developer who was online.

I am fine with differing opinions within in our team and you are more than welcome to send me a message if you have something you feel you need to say, but this is not the proper venue and you know that. Especially when the decision has already been made by your CEO, then a little bit of respect and allegiance should not be too much to ask.

lemmywinks

  • Posts: 2878
Re: Official GCW Zero Updates - Sound Stutter
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2013, 08:10:51 pm »
...... or to phrase that in a different way- it reflects the feelings of your CEO and COO. As the Chief Operations Officer, once I have an assignment from my Chief Executive Officer........

Dear me.......
Handhelds:
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RupeeClock

  • Posts: 234
Re: Official GCW Zero Updates - Sound Stutter
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2013, 08:14:17 pm »
If I may? It sounds as though Pcercuei's own concerns also come from a possible lack of communication, he came off as surprised that this issue he has been aware of for a while is suddenly regarded as high priority.

Ahh, it's not really my place though, I'm just thankful for all the work you guys have put into this project in any case.
I understand both sides, Justin does not want to release a possibly small fault with the system at launch, Pcerceui and others feel that they can accept the small issue provided they can also apply a fix for it.

If they system can do exactly what it is supposed to right out of the box though, then that probably is all the better, but at this stage further delays are quite concerning.
I can wait a little longer though, if you guys insist.

 

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