Greek mythology legend explains Pandora as being the first woman who was molded from clay by the Greek gods. She eventually opened a jar unintentionally releasing all the evils of mankind. People refer to this small jar today as “Pandora’s Box”.
Back in 2008 I discovered a new gaming handheld that was being designed also called “Pandora”. The designers of Pandora stated that “it would be more powerful than any other handheld video game console that had yet existed”. That’s a pretty bold statement, but the Pandora would operate off of Linux OS, and designed to be an open source handheld device specifically for gaming emulation and home brewing video games. The Pandora also would feature a 4.3” touch screen, Wi-Fi, wireless Bluetooth, two SDHC Card slots, dual analogue and digital gaming controls, a 43 button QWERTY and numeric keypad, and around a 10+ hour battery life. Sound pretty awesome right?
It’s fitting that this ultimate gaming handheld is called the Pandora because it’s been a series of nightmares since production began. I placed an order and paid $330 plus shipping for my Pandora back in January of 2010. This was before sites like Kickstarter, and interested customers were asked to pay upfront in order to fund the production. Little did I realize that production for the Pandora would keep being pushed back. During the first part of production, there were a lot of issues with the boards failing, and so production shifted from Texas to Germany in order to improve the quality of each unit. Then there were issues with the Wi-Fi not working properly on the units, so production shifted again, and each time raising the total cost. Now production is supposedly in full swing for the new Pandora model, and since June 2012 the new model is a more powerful 1 GHz. Total cost for the newer Pandora model is now cost $699 compared to the original $330 that I paid. Because of the big different in cost, Pandora has to sell around three new Pandoras to cover the cost for one old order. Supposedly there are only 400 old orders to fulfill left, which I’m one of these unfortunate remaining people patiently waiting.
Through the years I’ve received dozens of updates explaining the delays followed up by “it’ll be ready in a couple of months”. I can certainly understand that things happen and that some things are out of the designer’s control. It is frustrating though because I not only ordered the Pandora to obviously play with and use, but I also was hoping to review the Pandora on my show to help provide support and free advertising for the project. Instead I’m left in the dark wondering if I’ll ever receive my Pandora. My original credit card that I ordered the Pandora on has since expired, so any hope of a refund is minimal at this point. If I want my Pandora to arrive faster, I can pay close to $300 in addition to have them expedite my order.
Ironically according to Greek mythology, Pandora when she closed the jar back up after opening “Pandora’s Box”, the only thing left was hope. Hope is also all I have left in ever getting a chance to own my own Pandora.
For more information about the Pandora gaming handheld visit their official site: http://openpandora.org/.
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