Author Topic: openvizsla......... still......  (Read 29794 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Smokey

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1592
  • Country: us
openvizsla......... still......
« on: May 14, 2013, 11:57:54 pm »
I don't think any hardware forum section dedicated to crowd funding would really be complete without talking about openvizsla at least a little bit. 
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bushing/openvizsla-open-source-usb-protocol-analyzer?ref=card

Asked for $17500..... Raised $81025.... 463%..... on Dec 22, 2010.... People are still waiting....

What happened?  From what I can tell they got in way over their head technically and instead of getting help they just kept floundering.... for years.....  Then they mostly stopped communicating with the backers or anyone.  No updated for long periods of time.  Their twitter feed which they linked has... 0.... posts.  The updates they did release showed the silly amateur PCB mistakes that would have never gotten past a real design review.  I guess when they said "we certainly have enough peer review within our team (of highly experienced embedded and EE experts)"  they must have been printing their own business cards.  It appears like they are still working on something, but all the updates are private.

What can we learn from this?  If you are not just running a scam and you take people's money you better be sure you can deliver what you say you are going to deliver.  Plus it's stupid to call something open source if you aren't going to... well... open the source from the beginning.  Just look at this forum.  Someone posts a schematic and within hours has the feedback of a handful of professional engineers.  For free.  It's one thing if you are going to make a product and sell it closed, but if you are going to advertize as open then why not take full advantage of the community that comes along with an open project.

I love this last comment (May-9-2013):
"According to the U.S. BLS my $250 in 2010 dollars is now worth $266.87. If I had invested that in Google on Dec 22, 2010 I would have $362. If I had flushed that money down the toilet I'd have the same thing I have right now."
 

Offline EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 30106
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2013, 12:05:59 am »
I believe that "bushing" who ran the campaign is the same person as on this fourm. i.e. the one who originally did the Rigol hack.
 

Offline Rasz

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2290
  • Country: 00
    • My random blog.
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2013, 02:06:55 am »
The sad thing is this project was attractive in 2010, it was still attractive in 2011, in 2012 it became redundant (3.0 became ubiquitous), and today it would be an outdated toy.
Who logs in to gdm? Not I, said the duck.
My fireplace is on fire, but in all the wrong places.
 

Offline swSteve

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 4
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2013, 09:20:13 am »

Hi

Wouldn't a USB2.0 analyzer unit still be useful since
even USB3 devices of interest
could be tested while connected to a USB2 host?

Steve
 

Offline Rasz

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2290
  • Country: 00
    • My random blog.
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2013, 09:48:01 am »

Hi

Wouldn't a USB2.0 analyzer unit still be useful since
even USB3 devices of interest
could be tested while connected to a USB2 host?

Steve

Give me an example of 3 devices you would need to debug USB 2.0 communications today (and its impossible to do in virtual machine or using Wireshark/USBlyzer).
I can come up with only one (new kinect at the end of the year) and it will be USB 3.0 only.
Who logs in to gdm? Not I, said the duck.
My fireplace is on fire, but in all the wrong places.
 

Offline tinhead

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1905
  • Country: 00
    • If you like my hacks, send me a donation
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2013, 11:22:14 am »
What can we learn from this? 

actually nothing else than "don't spend money on projects ran by hobby hackers"
I spend money as well on that thing, mostly because of this statement
"We have been working on this project in various forms for over two years now, and large parts of the
hardware design have already been proven"


Unfortunately it was not the truth, they bought first Altium licenses, then (instead spend money on proper
training) tried to design multiple times proto PCBs, then changed design (why?) designed once again something else,
announced "ohh, we can capture usb data frame" (what a joke, really, after a year of development? for world best hackers?)
lied about "wriong produced PCBs" (yeah, multilayer is not for hobby pseudo EEs, you need to know what you doing).

Even lied about "we have send proto to top backers, actually nobody from them in EU recieved every a proto PCB.
I wondering only why nobody started to screem already here, or was it simply the fact that bushing disapered?

They (bushing and pytey as well) are not even fair enough to say "f*, we have no money", not even to send the
protos (they posted 4 months agon protos beeing produced .. so where they are?) to backers, not even
to post cad or other project files.

The only good thing is, bushing (when not in jail) is from time to time on CCC events, so there is a good and
real chance to catch his ass.
I don't want to be human! I want to see gamma rays, I want to hear X-rays, and I want to smell dark matter ...
I want to reach out with something other than these prehensile paws and feel the solar wind of a supernova flowing over me.
 

Offline desowin

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2013, 11:57:52 am »
Give me an example of 3 devices you would need to debug USB 2.0 communications today (and its impossible to do in virtual machine or using Wireshark/USBlyzer).

On Windows you can use USBPcap to capture logs to analyze later in Wireshark. So no excuses for lack of open-source tool to do that in Windows!

http://desowin.org/usbpcap

As a side note, the USB implementation in DigiTech RP250 is horribly broken and it doesn't work in virtual machines.

I am the backer of openvizsla as well...
 

Offline firewalker

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2330
  • Country: gr
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2013, 02:23:55 pm »
On another thread (mu camera) someone had posted pcb photos an prototypes the the project came up.

Alexander.
Become a realist, stay a dreamer.

 

Offline firewalker

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2330
  • Country: gr
Become a realist, stay a dreamer.

 

Offline marcan

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 80
  • If it ain't broke I'll fix it anyway.
    • My blog
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2013, 08:39:46 pm »
As one of bushing's friends, I can at least vouch that he not a scammer, nor has he benefited personally from the project (in fact he's volunteered a significant amount from his personal savings).

The last news I heard is that the developers have received the (final revision) boards and are working on the firmware for them.

This project may have been a significant trainwreck the way it was managed, but it is not a scam, nor is it dead.
 

Offline swSteve

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 4
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2013, 04:43:47 am »

Marcan

I'm a US-based $1K backer of OV and I've received nothing.

After promising openness they kept the entire code-base and hardware secret.

What are we supposed to think?


Smart people are being denied the chance to help out.

why?
 

Offline EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 30106
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2013, 07:06:22 am »
Smart people are being denied the chance to help out.
why?

Well, from that aspect I can understand.
When you run a public campaign (or blog  ;) ) you have to very careful about accepting offers of help, as generous and genuine as they may be.
Even the best "experts" can come in and completely ruin things, waste your time, take you in wrong directions etc.
Ask 10 "experts" for advice on something technical and you'll likely get 10 different answers.
 

Offline swSteve

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 4
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2013, 07:28:05 am »
I can see what you're talking about. But this project was sold as open.

Meanwhile I was referring to the free peer review mentioned
In the first post of this thread.


I would not have contributed had they promoted it as a closed project.

That part was an outright lie.
 

Online BravoV

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6254
  • Country: 00
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2013, 07:37:32 am »
As one of bushing's friends, I can at least vouch that he not a scammer, nor has he benefited personally from the project (in fact he's volunteered a significant amount from his personal savings).

The last news I heard is that the developers have received the (final revision) boards and are working on the firmware for them.

This project may have been a significant trainwreck the way it was managed, but it is not a scam, nor is it dead.

As a good gesture, mind ask him to say a few words here since he is also a member in this forum, and we got few backers here as well.

Offline Rasz

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2290
  • Country: 00
    • My random blog.
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2013, 08:14:18 am »
Well, from that aspect I can understand.
When you run a public campaign (or blog  ;) ) you have to very careful about accepting offers of help, as generous and genuine as they may be.
Even the best "experts" can come in and completely ruin things, waste your time, take you in wrong directions etc.
Ask 10 "experts" for advice on something technical and you'll likely get 10 different answers.

On the other hand  there are those gold binding posts :) You cant know everything, and when you are struggling its better to ask for help than just sit on your ass (or on backers money).
Who logs in to gdm? Not I, said the duck.
My fireplace is on fire, but in all the wrong places.
 

Offline EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 30106
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2013, 10:04:58 am »
I can see what you're talking about. But this project was sold as open.

An "open" project does not have to be open during the development process, only when complete. (unless they specifically promised otherwise?)
There can in fact be big downsides to going open during the design process, as I can well attest to with my PSU series. You end up with a thousand people screaming at you to do it this way, do it that way, asking questions and demanding things which start getting you off track etc.
 

Offline EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 30106
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2013, 10:09:49 am »
On the other hand  there are those gold binding posts :) You cant know everything, and when you are struggling its better to ask for help than just sit on your ass (or on backers money).

Sure, but maybe they thought they didn't need help.

Notice I did not mention what the connectors are for, because when people know, that's when the flood of alternative suggestions start rolling in...
And if you run a project open like this, that can easily lead to derailing of a project.
 

Offline ddavidebor

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1135
  • Country: it
    • Fermium LABS website
openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2013, 10:45:28 am »
What are that connector for?

XD
Davide Bortolami,
Fermium LABS srl
 

Offline Andy Watson

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1718
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2013, 11:04:22 am »
I can see what you're talking about. But this project was sold as open.
.... You end up with a thousand people screaming at you to do it this way, do it that way, asking questions and demanding things which start getting you off track etc.
Ben and Phil have demonstrated that they are quite capable of ignoring any amount of screaming. They could have published the design for peer review and still ignored the replies (there are only 580 backers, not thousands). I backed this project because it was billed as "open", it's in the title of the project! As Smokey pointed out in the OP, they made silly mistakes which could easily have been picked up by the more knowledgeable backers (of which there are many). Once could be described unfortunate, but we are now on at least the third major revision of the PCB.

If as Marcan suggests, the "final" revision boards have been delivered and are being worked on, why hasn't Ben reported this on the project website or group forum. I do not believe Ben and friends are scammers but without a plausible explanation for all the secrecy it is very hard to give any credibility to their excuses.
 

Offline EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 30106
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2013, 11:48:33 am »
Ben and Phil have demonstrated that they are quite capable of ignoring any amount of screaming.  They could have published the design for peer review and still ignored the replies (there are only 580 backers, not thousands).

How can you know that? Just because they don't reply much? That's no indication at all I can assure you.
And someone who is constantly on the receiving end of this I can assure you it doesn't take much (or many people) to get you down, questioning yourself and your work, putting oyu off track, wasting your time etc etc.
Unless you have been in this position it's hard to understand.

Quote
I backed this project because it was billed as "open", it's in the title of the project!

Like I said, that does not have to extend to the design process.
If you think it does/should, then that's just your opinion and assumption.
Unless they specifically said they would share the info during the design process, then you can't just automatically assume they would do that.
And like I  said again, there can be good reason not share that info unless it's released or close to released. Many OSHW people do not release info until the project is finished.

Quote
As Smokey pointed out in the OP, they made silly mistakes which could easily have been picked up by the more knowledgeable backers (of which there are many). Once could be described unfortunate, but we are now on at least the third major revision of the PCB.

I won't argue that.
I am not going to defend them and the lack of delivery/communication etc, but I do know a lot about being on the receiving end of a lot of pressure from people to deliver something. And it is nly right to point out there can be a lot more to it than people are assuming.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 11:56:28 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline Andy Watson

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1718
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2013, 12:26:30 pm »
Ben and Phil have demonstrated that they are quite capable of ignoring any amount of screaming.  They could have published the design for peer review and still ignored the replies (there are only 580 backers, not thousands).

How can you know that? Just because they don't reply much? ...

Have a look at the comments section of their project page. It contains many, many requests begging for an update, or even simple confirmation that they are still on the planet.

Quote

Unless you have been in this position it's hard to understand.


I'll have to take your word on that.
Quote
[
Quote
I backed this project because it was billed as "open", it's in the title of the project!

Like I said, that does not have to extend to the design process.
If you think it does/should, then that's just your opinion and assumption.
Unless they specifically said they would share the info during the design process, then you can't just automatically assume they would do that.
And like I  said again, there can be good reason not share that info unless it's released or close to released. Many OSHW people do not release info until the project is finished.


This, from the homepage of the project " OpenVizsla will be a completely open design of a device ...", and "We will release schematics and design files under a Creative Commons license and we will set up a community to develop the device firmware, FPGA HDL, and client software."  Lacking any statement to the contrary I don't see it as an assumption to interpret  "completely open" as meaning, completely open.

 

Offline EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 30106
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2013, 12:37:44 pm »
Have a look at the comments section of their project page. It contains many, many requests begging for an update, or even simple confirmation that they are still on the planet.

As I said, that is no indication what so ever that they would be "immune" to comment bombardment from an open design process as you claimed.

Quote
This, from the homepage of the project " OpenVizsla will be a completely open design of a device ...", and "We will release schematics and design files under a Creative Commons license and we will set up a community to develop the device firmware, FPGA HDL, and client software."  Lacking any statement to the contrary I don't see it as an assumption to interpret  "completely open" as meaning, completely open.

They made no statement at all saying they would open the hardware design process before the unit ships or they deem it to be ready to be released. The only thing it implies is that once it ships, the data has to be made available, or possibly once the hardware if finalised.
Once again, there are good reason not to release hardware info before the hardware is absolutely final.
What if they released the info as you wanted early and you spent ages working on the firmware or hacking it etc, only to find they changed the hardware again before release and all your work was for squat. You'd be a tad miffed, yeah? (also, replace "you" with "anyone else")
Sorry, but I think you may have simply assumed too much here.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 12:42:52 pm by EEVblog »
 

Offline Andy Watson

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1718
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2013, 03:38:53 pm »
As I said, that is no indication what so ever that they would be "immune" to comment bombardment from an open design process as you claimed.
I don't think I claimed that they would be immune to comment, only that they appear to be able to ignore the screaming, or more accurately, they appear to be able to ignore the multitude of very reasonable requests for information (any information). With the wisdom of hindsight it would perhaps have been a good thing if they weren't so "immune" to comment.

Quote
They made no statement at all saying they would open the hardware design process before the unit ships or they deem it to be ready to be released. The only thing it implies is that once it ships, the data has to be made available, or possibly once the hardware if finalised.
I think we'll have to differ on the interpretation of "completely open", especially when it's put in the context "community", "development" of an already "proven" design.

Quote
Once again, there are good reason not to release hardware info before the hardware is absolutely final.

Those reasons are usually to avoid giving intelligence to competing developers, but this is not a competition.  Or is it? With all the secrecy that surrounds this project it is becoming increasing difficult to not reach the conclusion that (as another backer put it) "something fishy is going on."
Quote
What if they released the info as you wanted early and you spent ages working on the firmware or hacking it etc, only to find they changed the hardware again before release and all your work was for squat. You'd be a tad miffed, yeah? (also, replace "you" with "anyone else")
It would be most unlikely that "all" the work was worth squat, you (I) would have probably learned a great deal along the way. In the worst case scenario you could revert to the earlier hardware design and go-it alone.  Yes I would be miffed. But that's a "what if" scenario. I am considerably more miffed at the reality. The reality is that promise after promise has amounted to squat. Offers of help have been rebuffed. The budget, and more, appears to have been used up (but again, there's no sound information available). Ben's last communiqué was decidedly downbeat with regard to finishing the project. So it looks like the reality is going to be diddly squat squared. In your what if scenario at least we would have some hardware to fall back to.
Quote
Sorry, but I think you may have simply assumed too much here.
I don't think it is too much too assume the we share a common language, at least with regard to "completely open".
 

Offline Corporate666

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 2004
  • Country: us
  • Remember, you are unique, just like everybody else
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2013, 08:02:29 pm »
I think the very vast majority of people would get in way over their head if they started a KS project.  I started doing product development about 13 years ago, and the first 2-3 projects I brought to market were over budget, behind schedule, lacked features I intended to include, and had design 'flaws' (or maybe bodges is a better word?) that I would have changed if I had more time and money.

13 years later, and I know how to do it now.  And I *still* run into occasional problems.  But I am always sure never to promise anything, never to give ETA's to people, never to get caught up in a series of exaggerations to quiet nagging customers, etc. 

I think the OpenVizsla guys are almost certainly well intentioned, but they have no idea at all about product design or about managing it from a business standpoint.  They are clearly way in over their heads, or at least, way in over what they thought they were getting into.  I feel bad for them and I can sympathize.

Now is the hardest part... they can either develop an adversarial/spiteful view of their backers (who in some cases probably deserve it), or they can work overtime to get the damn thing done and be done with it. 

More likely they will do the former - as is the want of most would-be-but-naive product developers.
It's not always the most popular person who gets the job done.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 12045
  • Country: gb
    • Mike's Electric Stuff
Re: openvizsla......... still......
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2013, 11:05:30 pm »
"A man's got to know his limitations"....
I think the biggest mistake many people make is not to limit quantities of deliverable rewards to what they can conceivably handle - obviously it can take some experience to know what this might be, but allowing a $20K target to go to several hundred K is just silly.
You can always either extend after researching more if it gets popular, or just run another kickstarter later.
Youtube channel:Taking wierd stuff apart. Very apart.
Mike's Electric Stuff: High voltage, vintage electronics etc.
Day Job: Mostly LEDs
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf