Archive for 28 May, 2017

#Gnarbox Well, this is awkward

To summarise, in July 2015 I got all excited when I discovered the Kickstarter project Gnarbox. It was due to arrive in March 2016 (Gnarbox). There were in fact multiple delays, multiple promises of delivery, and multiple broken promises and missed delivery deadlines. Fourteen months after it was first due to arrive… it arrived. However, trust had diminished increasingly as each promised delivery came and went. Additionally, there were problems when they claimed to be delivering in late March 2017; people got shipping notices but still nothing arrived by late April. More trust was lost. Consequently, I cancelled my order. However, this is the series of events:

29th April 2017: Request made to cancel order, and receive refund by Kickstarter messenger. Picture 1 below.

Gnarbox interaction 20th May

Gnarbox interaction 20th May

4th May 2017: Delivery / shipment notice delivered by email.

6th May 2017: Gnarbox acknowledges cancel request via Kickstarter messenger.

19th May 2017: Gnarbox arrives! (shortly before 7pm), and I had to pay ¥900 for duties.

Gnarbox arrives.

Gnarbox arrives.

20th May 2017: I contact Gnarbox to ask what now.

22nd May 2017: Gnarbox gives a convoluted response, which hints at no desire to actually communicate, and is laced with assumption that I’d keep it anyway.

Reply from Gnarbox 22nd May 2017

Reply from Gnarbox 22nd May 2017

23rd May 2017: PetaPixel does a story on this device, claiming they started delivering in November 2016. In fact, the first deliveries were to their friends in February or early March 2017.

28th May 2017: I still haven’t used it. There literally is dust on the box, which had only been opened once. I’ve been using my iPhone or the Toshiba wifi card instead.

A 32Gb Toshiba wifi card is available for about 5,000 yen or USD$50.

A 32Gb Toshiba wifi card is available for about 5,000 yen or USD$50.

 

Will I use my Gnarbox? Why did I get it? For one main reason, and one lesser one. For in-field back up, and perhaps for direct to social media posting. Now, I’ll probably use it very little as memory cards are very reliable, and I’ve never lost one (yet). It’s already obsolete; 128Gb capacity is not very much, and now very small for videographers. Additionally, I was never really into social media until recently, but the quality of my new iPhone is really good and perfect for shoot-direct to social media. Finally, I now have a wifi SD card which does the job lighter, cheaper, and easier, and my next camera will probably have wifi built in. That leaves the elephant in the room remains; the Gnarbox photo & video processing. I mainly use Adobe PhotoShop Express on both my iPhone and iPad, which is a more mature product than the Gnarbox editor. Consequently, in 2017 the Gnarbox is a waste. If it were invented ten years ago, then absolutely it would have been used to death.

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It’s Golden Week in Japan. Enjoy.

It’s Golden Week in Japan, which is actually a few days plus a weekend of no-work. Golden Week is a collection of public holidays, and an agreement by companies to let their workers see their families. Right now, the highways and public transport systems will be clogged and backup for tens of hours as families try to get from city to city to see grandparents. This photo was take on Sunday, when Sakae closes off the main street that is lined with department stores in the centre of the trendy shopping area of the city. I missed the height of the day where there were stalls and shoppers moving freely between department stores. Japan is a very spending/shopping oriented culture. It is as if shopping is a national pastime. Update to the JapanesePhotos Instagram at: http://bit.ly/2qB1C5F. This photo, and others like it are available for sale in my Nagoya Gallery.

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Oh no! My #GnarBox shipping notice!

On Sunday I gave up. All the comments on a kickStarter were saying that only Americans and Germans were getting their Gnarboxes. There were some comments on technical issues including batteries not recharging, failed updates turning devices to bricks, and some SD card slots not working (it’s essential for them to be functional). The device is now totally 14months overdue, and despite delivery notices, weeks later, devices were not arriving still. So I gave up and requested my money back on Saturday.

On Sunday, I bought a cheap ¥5,000 ($50) wifi capable memory card, which does half of the job of the Gnarbox. The other half of the job the Gnarbox does is backs up memory cards, which I’ve never lost or had damaged.

Toshiba FlashAir wifi capable memory card

Toshiba FlashAir wifi capable memory card

Then today (Thursday) I get this notice, which means, they either didn’t look for my request or ignored it.

Gnarbox Delivery Notice

Gnarbox Delivery Notice

So, what should I do? Return it or keep it? I’ll probably keep it, as an in-field backup device. I’ll see how it goes. It wasn’t a huge outlay of money. Unfortunately, Gnarbox decided to use USPS as their courier, which means poor tracking. I have no idea where the package is, nor its estimated delivery date. It could arrive next week, six weeks, or lost in customs.

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