Great news! I have now received all necessary materials for prototypes, although I have not yet had the time to deal with their assembly. In the meantime, several tests and trials keep me busy (but more on these on my next post).
As for the prototypes, I am setting up a page with information on how to order. It may still contain inaccurate information, but I am confident it contains most of the essential parts of the procedure.
I want to confess that it felt embarrassing to write all these disclaimers at the end of the page, but after all I guess it is best to explain what people should expect from a prototype. The bottom line is, it may work or it may not work for you (and especially if you build it yourself without the necessary experience and tools, it is very possible that it will not). Even ready-made tested boards may fail to work with some USB host controllers, or with platforms other than the x86 (the latter for performance reasons).
Bottom line, your mileage may vary; you are buying an exotic — though cheap — gizmo to experiment with, not a consumer product. It is always good to remember that I am not attempting to fool anyone into buying and I am not making any financial profit out of you buying prototypes. The one who really benefits from spreading out prototypes is the project itself, not my own wallet.
Within this week, I ‘ll be able to set the final price for DIY kits (assembled boards will follow). Note that it may be wiser to wait a bit for a couple of boards to be assembled before you order a DIY kit, at least to verify that the current lot of PCBs and materials are OK. You never know, there may be some part that is not appropriate or a glitch in the PCBs. One working board will disprove all such cases, so when I announce that, it will be safe(r) to order DIY kits. If you cannot wait, however, you may just as well order a DIY kit before I assemble any boards. It is up to you.
I will not write any further posts on prototypes, except perhaps for announcing the availability of assembled boards. All this story has consumed too much of the energy that I had available for this project, and there are lots more to do. The ordering page will be updated though, to reflect changes, so you may consult it to see what is new.
I truly hope this whole prototype business will go OK and it will end up with you, the readers, doing happy experiments and contributing to the project your experiences, your firmware and driver patches, and your observations on bugs that need fixing. Time to wish good luck to all of us — and and of course to the project!