“Debugging the Internet”
Backers, as we’re on the verge of shipping your rewards, it’s time to go back to the Spool website to check that we have your reward and shipping address correct. Many of you international and Canadian backers forgot add the shipping charge to your pledge, and now you can do that through the site. We have thousands of boxes to pack, and this will help things go quicker for everyone.
The last mile is a tough one. We’re committing the money our backers have entrusted us with to manufacturing, and we need to make sure it’s well spent.
The development process is a marathon — and with most products, it’s hidden from you. (An extreme example, Apple worked on the iPad for 8 years before it was released!) But thanks to Kickstarter, the ups and downs of our product development are open for you to see. By following along with us, you’ve gained a new appreciation for the effort that goes into any manufactured object.
Our new engineer (welcome New David!) worked nights to get the sensor boards finalized, and you are beholding his handiwork here. We’ve got the first batch of circuit boards back from our assembler, and you can see that they look great on the surface. But there was too much variation in the process, and it’s led to shorted-out components in many of the main boards. New David is focused on solving this with our manufacturing partners, and after some adjustments, the final boards are in production.
The resistors shouldn’t touch.
Tiny — that tilted chip is 50 thousandths of an inch (1.3mm) long.
On the software side, we’ve been steadily folding features into Spool as we test them for production, and strengthening the foundation that the website rests on. (We’ll be showing off more on this front next week.) We uncovered a show-stopping bug in the way that Twine talks to the Internet while using very little power — after a while, some communications never get through. David spent days diving down to the atomic level of the Internet to find exactly where packets were getting lost and why, but after “debugging the Internet,” he’s defeated the bug.
We promised to try to keep these updates shorter, so to quickly sum up what else we’ve been working on: ordering parts, negotiating with shipping companies, filling out paperwork, creating packaging, reading up on laws, scrambling to get more Twine Aqua colorant, leasing office space, testing magnets, getting married, answering emails, and looking for new teammates to work with us. We’re not only building Twine —we’re building a business, because we want to do awesome things with you for a long time.