Dude, where's my UniPod?By Chris Williams. Published: 27th Apr 2004, 17:04:17 | Permalink | Printable
Starts with P, rhymes with 'denounced'At the end of March this year, drobe.co.uk exclusively revealed the UniPod - Stuart Tyrrell Development's mega-combo podule with USB, IDE and 100MBit NIC ports. Initially, users feared it was a cruel April Fool hoax and now that the cards have yet to arrive in users' hands and coupled with the deafening silence from STD, many now wonder if it actually is merely a joke.
But it isn't, says STD, it's just still in production. Perhaps, at least then, we should all be reassured that there is still such a level of demand left in the RISC OS market for new podules, even if they are pre-announced.
Matt Edgar, of STD, admitted to drobe.co.uk today that demand has outstripped supply, explaining: "As the initial [UniPod] batch is completed by hand, they go out as they become available. Everyone who has talked to us has been told that because of the demand there is a queue. People who have posted us a cheque with their order have joined the queue, but given how busy we are they have not all been contacted.
"Feedback on the first few has been used to implement some speed and compatibility improvements. There is obviously some interaction between time spent making one off podules and tooling up for a production run, and this has had to be tweaked. The production batch is due very soon now and we expect to be on top of outstanding orders by the middle of May."
A RISC OS dealer, who is re-selling UniPods, confirmed recently that production units should be available after the Wakefield show, which is held on the 15th and 16th of May.
STD also recently suffered email and telephone problems, first with a fire below Manchester city centre that destroyed teleco equipment, and then later when they were forced to change their web and email hoster.
"I am in the process of confirming all e-mail orders, obviously if I've not got an e-mail I don't know that this is the case, and people may feel that they are being ignored," Matt continued to explain.
"The phones have been very busy, partly as a result of people trying later from the phones not working of a few weeks ago, partly because with Stuart [Tyrrell] not having been around a lot recently, the phones have been busy. We've not vanished, though."
STD have also had to deal with the clearly more smarter end of the userbase, who have allegedly sent in cheques with no contact or delivery details attached and also users who have posted STD random boxes of podules, without having contacted STD first to arrange any 'trade-ins'.
"It is our standard policy not to charge cards or cash cheques until product is ready to be shipped. This is the case in this instance and people will only pay for the Unipod when we send it to them," Matt concluded.
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