Project update 21 of 21
A couple of days ago, on January 21st, I shipped all the rest of the orders. That is, all orders that weren’t shipped in December and also new ones received since then are out. Orders starting from January 18 will be fulfilled by Crowd Supply from their own stock. And here we are, with the μArt fully realized and all orders fulfilled, the campaign is officially nearing its end, or at least my role in it is ending very soon. I hereby offer you this one last update.
As a short reminder for those who haven’t read my previous article, you can track your shipment here assuming you’ve chosen registered shipping during payment. All others should allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.
If you remember that I’ve contributed drivers to mainline Linux, you’ll be delighted to know that those are now included in Linux 4.20 that was published in December last year. If you are using a rolling distribution, you probably already have it, while others usually have a way of installing a "backports" kernel. For Ubuntu 18.04 users for example, the UKUU utility will make it a child’s play to update your kernel. If you are on a laptop with USB-autosuspend turned on for aggressive powersaving, you might need to turn it off for the μArt to access its GPIOs. This is something one of my backers reported to me (thanks Brecht!), and I have already submitted a patch to fix this. Chances are it will be included in Linux 4.20.5 already (due in a week?), which will fix the GPIO interaction under autosuspend.
On the μArt’s own website, I’ve published the configuration utility that was in the making a couple of weeks earlier. It lists some information about your adapter once an authentic μArt is recognized, and lets you change its LED- and GPIO-configuration. Look for it under the site’s Resources/Utilities section. I will also publish some Linux example code there to show how to develop custom applications that use non-standard baudrates. It is not specific to the μArt, non-standard baudrates just simply require some extra steps to access under Linux for any serial device, but really, this only concerns the software developers among you.
I’ve learned a lot from the μArt campaign. This wasn’t just my first crowdfunding project ever, it was also the first time I’ve brought a product to the market on my own. Hence I’ve gathered knowledge in various areas such as finance, legalities, product photography, image retouching, communication, marketing, injection moulding, supply chain handling, to name just a few from the top of my heaad. It was a perfect learning experience even if, in many areas, I’ve only scratched the surface. Meanwhile I think it was also successful. I’ve actually delivered, my numbers will be black as soon as Crowd Supply buys some stock, and current feedback from backers indicates that my buyers are very satisfied with what they’ve received.
This doesn’t mean that everything went perfectly, though. For starters, there was a 6-9 week delay compared to the originally planned shipping date. This was due to some unforseen manufacturing problems that I’ve never seen before (this was my first product, but since I work in the field, this definitely wasn’t my first PCB/electronics production run). Nevertheless, I’ve received basically zero complaints from my backers (LOL, quite the contrary), and I feel it is very important to let you know how grateful I am for your patience, understanding, and support regarding this matter. But this is also something I’ve learned from, and next time I intend to exercise more control over my suppliers to avoid such delays happening again.
So… what’s next? Well, I’m starting work on my next project, so you probably haven’t seen the last of me here on Crowd Supply. I’d like to say openly how great they are, my experience with Crowd Supply is very positive. You cannot imagine how much they’ve helped me in both subtle and also far-from-subtle ways with their service and advice. I can only recommend them! And as far as the μArt is concerned, my dream regarding this project is that there will be enough interest to produce a second batch in 2019 or 2020. So if you like what you receive, spread the word and recommend it to others :)
But enough talking, I generally tend to rant way too much. Dear backers, enjoy your μArts, and thank you very-very much for your support and for the many kind words I’ve received via e-mail. In case you need anything or would like to ask something, you can always contact me here. I’ll publish an update if anything really needs to be said, but this will likely be the last time I bother you with a regular μArt project update. See you in the future, Karoly signing off (for now).