back to article Pre-order your early-bird pre-sale product today! (Oh did we mention the shipping date has slipped AGAIN?)

Good Afternoon, Alistair Dabbs. Do you still write in the direction of Hi-Tech, didn't you? Perhaps you will find fascinating the following information. Yes, I still write in that direction. I am hoped to it finding fascinate. It's easy to mock. If the roles were reversed, who knows what kind of mangled Mandarin I'd be …

Well said.

I refuse to do the crowdsource, kickstart, "just hand over your cash now & we promise to send you stuff later" classic pig in a poke nonsense. Either you have it now & can hand it straight across, or you don't & I'm not parting with my money.

20
4
Silver badge

Re: Well said.

I refuse to do the crowdsource, kickstart,

In general, I agree. I have done it in a few cases though - a certain well-known prog band from the 80's that used to have an alcoholic front-man (not that that narrows it down much) have crowdfunded their last few albums. And a certain French Prog streaming radio site has funded their ongoing costs that way.

In both cases I had previous experience of the entities involved so I guess a slightly modified rule would be "don't get involved in crowdsourcing unless you know the people involved or can afford to lose the money involved.."

23
1
Bronze badge

Re: Well said.

Absolutely.

Also nice to read a proper Dabbsy rant.

9
0
Silver badge

My Nigerian uncle would be turning in his grave at the thought of such underhand tactics in taking money off people. The poor bugger won the state lottery a few years ago and just can't give the money away...

64
1
Thumb Up

Excellent HHGTG reference

Brings back nostalgia-inducing memories of recording it (on VHS tape), and playing it back frame by grainy frame to read all the detail (and thus the gags) in the animated bits.

17
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Excellent HHGTG reference

VHS tape? On true way to experience HHGTTG was on cassette recorded from Radio 4

(I remember first encountering it when it was originally on as a teenager but only managed o catch a handful of episode so I was surprised when later I heard the whole initial 2 series to discover that I'd the way I'd managed to put the episodes I'd heard together in what seemed like a plausible storyline had got series 2 before series 1!)

18
3
Bronze badge

Re: Excellent HHGTG reference

I did that as well but found it difficult to read the small print

14
1
Silver badge
Windows

Re: Excellent HHGTG reference

Hah!

I spit on your VHS and raise you a Betamax!

9
1
Silver badge

Re: Excellent HHGTG reference

I see your Betamax and raise you one set of bootleg tapes on Video 2000.

4
0
Joke

Re: Excellent HHGTG reference

Videotape? You were lucky.

We had to wait two months for the Wandering Minstrel to visit our village where, on the green, he would recite from memory the most recent episode, which he'd learned by hanging around outside rich folks' houses in The Big Town that had a "wireless set". And charge us two bushels of wheat each for the pleasure.

You try telling kids today that, and so on and so forth...

4
0
Bronze badge

Re: HHGTG radio series

Have the collection in a nice 12CD box. Have found that once ripped to an ipod, and played on shuffle, it is just as entertaining, and makes almost as much sense.

1
0

Re: raise you one set of bootleg tapes on Video 2000.

Anybody wants an actual Philips VR2022 complete with remote and a few spare tapes, let me know - free to to a good home, yours for the postage (NB I think it has a genuine cast iron chassis with lead ballast)...

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Excellent HHGTG reference

I was lucky enough to hear the original first episode on the repeat of the first airing of the radio show, and every subsequent episode on first broadcast.

Somewhere or other, I have some tapes with the whole of the first airing of the link episode and the second season. If I could find them, I think that they would be like gold dust, because the first broadcast of the second season went out before it was really finished, and had some different sound effects and music on the later repeats.

I also had the link episode (the one with the Frogstar fighters) on tape. This was not heard for many years, as it was broadcast twice in the same week, and then neither repeated nor put on the original commercial tapes. It only became available again when the second season was put on CD.

Frogstar Fighter, class C - "That makes me really angry. I think I'll take out this floor"

Zap... Rumble, Crash

Frogstar Fighter, class C - "AAAAHHHHHHhhhh........"

Crunch!

Marvin - "What a depressingly stupid robot"

0
0
Silver badge

Grow your own Unicorn

I saw the above at my local Morrison's pop-up garden centre (an otherwise vacant bit of paving they monetise during the summer). It turned out to be genuine. It's a variety of pepper.

8
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Grow your own Unicorn

When living in the Bay Area 15 years ago I remember being amused by the signs that a farm near Half Moon Bay used to put beside the road advertising "naked ladies and mums" (meaning they sold a variety of lily plus chrysanthemums)

10
1
Silver badge
Coat

Pah!

That photo is obviously fake, the flag isn't waving, and the shadows are going the wrong way...

31
1
Bronze badge
Facepalm

I want unicorns!

when can i expect delivery. oh, wait...

4
1
Silver badge
Devil

Re: I want unicorns!

So, you're a virgin then? Pretty brave of you to let this crowd know!

5
4

Re: I want unicorns!

You can order them now, and they are actually in stock:

http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/e5a7/?pfm=Search&t=canned%20unicorn%20meat

5
1
Anonymous Coward

The IT industry was founded on products that were often late and didn't deliver their promised functionality until version 3 - if ever. Nowadays things are quite different.

21
1

Yes, now the functionality NEVER arrives, but with first class excuses like EOL components...

8
1
Silver badge

Bah!

Personally I won't back anything that doesn't intend to ship with a self-flying shoulder-station-keeping mini drone that can fly for a week on a single one-hour charge, film my comings and goings as a live blog in any of the formats envisaged in the next ten years, and do so with Dolby Umpteen plus one surround sound to boot, all while deftly and aerobatically dealing with issues raised by crowding on subway trains, elevators and at urinals.

12
1
Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Re: Bah!

Nice product concept. Send me £100 now, and I'll ship you one of the first production models* -->

* In 2030**

** May be delayed due to our dodgy uranium suppliers letting us down

6
1
Thumb Up

My Vega+ console...

...will be with me any day!

7
1
Silver badge

Re: My Vega+ console...

I believe I've still got a Psion IIIa mains adaptor on order.

And a test trial of a Dyson robot vacuum cleaner which "should be availabe shortly".

Oh wait, the former was circa 1993 and the latter circa 2001.

1
0
Silver badge
Pint

"We promise to launder process each transaction transparently from your source currency via Bitcoin, Ethereum, Linoleum and Perineum before we vanish entirely in a puff of blockchain."

Now THAT'S comedy!

21
1
Anonymous Coward

PerineumCoin

After hashing enough perineums any blockchain miner would end up gassing the canary!

7
1
Silver badge

"Yes, I still write in that direction. I am hoped to it finding fascinate."

I misread that as feeling fascination, and now have an annoyingly catch song by The Human League stuck in my head.

Any reference to the genius of Douglas Adams is always welcome as well. I have rarely in my life laughed as hard as I did the first time I read the argument about man disproving God because of the babelfish, and shortly afterwards proving that black is white before being killed on the next zebra crossing.

10
1
Silver badge
Angel

Kickstarter's not all bad...

I've funded two projects and got the products on time. You may wonder, what life-changing notions induced me to part with my hard-earned cash when they didn't actually exist yet? Pure silliness! Both projects also had attainable goals and a solid plan to get there.

First was The Gentleman's Single Use Monocle, "The world's first Disposable Single-Use Unlubricated Monocle, for the On-the-Go Gentleman." Yep, it's a sight gag item and was cheap.

I'm actually proud to have helped Kickstart the game "Exploding Kittens". Huge success and has spawned sequels and expansions. I figure I'm doing my part to make the world a stranger place.

17
2
Silver badge

Kickstarter's about 99.995% bad

I've backed exactly one project, it delivered on time and was great.

However, since then I've noticed that every single electronic device is either impossible or clearly outright dangerous.

The most recent I noticed was an international socket adapter with a tiny "self-resetting fuse".

Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any such devices rated for use with mains supplies - the "fuse" contacts will simply arc over and either weld shut or literally explode the first time the fuse tries to trip.

Perhaps they have invented one that somehow gets the minimum 6kA rated arc suppression into a space smaller than a sand filled BS1362, but I doubt it.

However, Kickstarter don't care, and as I am not a backer I can't ask very simple questions like "What's the breaking capacity of the fuse?"

4
1
Pint

Re: Kickstarter's about 99.995% bad

I also have backed exactly one project - LOHAN. I got what I paid for (a mug), but not what I hoped for (launch).

(Icon: Beer for the (grounded) plucky playmonaut.)

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Kickstarter's about 99.995% bad

My one Kickstarter was for the Carmageddon reboot. A touch late, but at least they delivered. Helped it was a very popular franchise in its heyday.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Kickstarter's about 99.995% bad

I used Kickstarter to pay for an excellent coffe-table book on the history of the Empires of Eve.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: Kickstarter's not all bad...

+1 for exploding kittens.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Kickstarter's about 99.995% bad

My one Kickstarter was the Adapteva Parallela board. An overpriced toy that I've still not done anything with, but they had the full design on display, so it was just a matter of getting the manufacturing started.

They did have an end-of-life problem with one of the components, but they managed to get a hand from a supplier, but they were serious hardware types and seemed to have good connections.

Even so, they almost didn't make it, and I see so many projects with far weaker credentials than them making far stronger claims. I'm always sceptical.

0
0

waiting patiently...

I haven't fallen for any of that stuff since I pre-ordered my Spectrum...

11
1
Silver badge
Flame

Re: waiting patiently...

Exactly, pre-ordering is nothing new, companies have been taking us for a ride since the days of the home micro. Pre-ordered products were invariably extremely late, underspec'd or already obsolete. Often the best you could hope for was to cancel for a full refund with a lesson learned.

6
1
Bronze badge

Wow, that PGS thing looks like a real cut and dried scam. No prototype, check. Ridiculously low price, check. Unlikely claims, check. Company based in country where it is functionally impossible for foreigners to win court cases, check. Taking cash directly to avoid KickStarter rules, checkedy check.

18
1
Silver badge

PC Games

Glad Dabbsy is sceptical.

I had the SCUMM engine (Symbian version) on my Nokia E65 (Early 2007), and managed to run PC "Beneath a Steel Sky". Just as "broken" on it as on PC. I think I had DosBox too. Main issue was no mouse and no QWERTY keyboard.

Big companies too are into vapourware launches.

Famously Project Xanadu, long before the replacement for GP2X (still not really out), or Duke Nukem (was it Forever waiting).

Then there was the "new" Osborne that killed existing sales, except it didn't exist!

7
1
Silver badge

PaperSoil

PaperSoil: Sounds like a shit idea.

7
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: PaperSoil

It takes the piss.

1
0

In my day they called it Vaporware

Vaporware was a popular term in the first decades of personal computing, applied to everything from products that arrived months (or years) after promise, to things that never existed at all.

13
1
Silver badge

Re: In my day they called it Vaporware

It is even worse now. I tried to go for buying or backing games with prototypes I like and am happy with "as is". No risk of faulure then?

Nope... as revisions and updates can undo all the good and deliver a broken product.

Thankfully the early adopter discount means I've broken even on the games I've "backed" as half end up good (or I can keep old working versions) and half end up never complete or spun off into oblivion.

I would never risk it with a phisical product.

2
2
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: In my day they called it Vaporware

Great! It works on my posts too! 50% likes to dislikes. ;)

4
0
Silver badge

Re: In my day they called it Vaporware

"Vaporware was a popular term in the first decades of personal computing, "

What do you mean "was"?

We get a regular stream of salestwunts trying to flog us stuff (invariable only for MS platforms, which we don't use) and if we're bored we like to start asking technical questions about the product, usually to find that XYZ feature isn't ready yet and will be in version 2.0, etc.

It's on par with pulling the wings off flies, but more satisfying.

3
0

Re: In my day they called it Vaporware

It's not just Kickstarter/Indiegogo types either. Logitech are notoriously bad, or good - depends on your viewpoint - at taking money upfront for goods and not delivery for months, assuming they deliver at all. They make their customer support mechanism particularly challenging to (a) identify and (b) having done so through sleight of hand or gawd knows what by referring customers to technical support forums.

I have to add I've been bitten by Kickstarter too, anyone recall the PopSlate II promo for the iPhone? They exceeded their goal, took the money which was blown then promptly terminated the project when found out https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/03/21/popslate_indiegogo_fail/

0
0

Babelfish

Going back quite a long way, as a member of the Birmingham Sci-Fi group I recollect a lecture / chat from one of the guys' who did the HHTG graphics in the original telly series. The Babel Fish was what they got the deal on; but it wasn't computerised it was purely rostrum camera. It also spent the whole special effects budget for the series.

Please Sir, can I have some more?

I think the TV series speaks for itself as to whether the question was answered.

Simon

4
2

Re: Babelfish

And that hand-animated sequence on the BBC version still far outshines the slicker movie version.

6
1
Silver badge

Re: Babelfish

I too think it does.

But I also think that's partly due to what our generation thinks what "real" computer graphics should look like.

2
0
Silver badge

Re: Babelfish

"it wasn't computerised it was purely rostrum camera."

Considering _when_ the series was produced, that shouldn't be a surprise. The real surprise is how so many digital effects try to ape it.

3
0

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017