On July 7, the update said “At this point we’re going to start doing updates every Thursday…” That worked exactly once. After that, the updates were 1-3 days late for the next three weeks and then… silence.
The lesson I’ve learned from this project is that Robert X. Cringely (a.k.a. Mark Stephens) is not a man of his word. He is not someone who can be trusted and thus his credibility as a “journalist” is gone.
“Mineserver LLC was started more than a year ago by the three Cringely brothers, now 13, 11 and 9. They worked through several generations of hardware and software looking for the right combination at the right price point — $99. The result is that, unlike many Kickstarter hardware projects, for the $99 Mineserver™ virtually all development work is already done so risks are minimized. If we had cases we could start shipping tomorrow.”
If this was true, they should have shipped as soon as the cases arrived -> Blatant lie No. 1
“We have a reliable supply of computers. The Linux OS, Minecraft server, and admin apps are tuned to operate well together. The dynamic DNS service is globally distributed and protected from DDOS attacks. All that still needs to be finished is the final case tooling, which is coming from a U.S. supplier. That tooling — and pre-ordering a large enough supply of other components at volume prices — is what the $15,000 is for.”
Nice to see that everything was working already and it only needed some bits and pieces -> Blatant lie No. 2
“Full production will begin at the start of November and our goal is to deliver all Mineservers™ — burned-in and tested — by Christmas.”
OK, this may not qualify as a lie because intentions aren’t facts. Well, didn’t happen as we all know.
“Of course with generally pre-teen production labor there may be glitches. Halloween is coming, there’s volleyball, cross-country and the science fair, but our production process is honed and simple, testing is automated, and long-suffering parents can always help out if needed.”
Production, testing and parents -> If this was true, we would either already have the results in hand or would be confident about the progress or would be informed. Three in a row!
“This is not rocket science… That’s next year.”
Oh, come on. Seriously?