John Guan - Oct 19, 2021
October has arrived, and in Chinese traditional culture, October means harvest. Although the team has been working hard to prepare materials and mass production in the past few months, we still saw a huge impact on ZimaBoard’s schedule. I am very grateful for your support and patience in receiving this update!
We have noticed that recently, Kickstarter has given notice regarding the postponement of all crowdfunding products caused by global electronic material supply problems. However, it is fascinating that from the perspective of the ZimaBoard team, the supply problem has improved significantly from September to October! Take ZimaBoard, for example. We have completed the procurement of critical materials, finished supplier docking, and completed material preparation. For us, the hardest challenging stage was from March-August, when our design revision caused by the shortage of components and the soaring component price were fused into one after product: delay.
Now, back to today’s topic: the status quo and the next steps. After all, solutions are more critical than problems.
- 100% completion of procurement and stocking of critical materials. We designated the assembly and production supplier. NPI is started.
- CasaOS: a fully open-source home server operating system.
- Next step, vital feedback is needed.
So let’s start.
Critical material stocking is 100% completed, T0 mold opening is close to completion.
Check out the color mix of the mass-production model
Manufacturer site snapshot
In September, we visited and selected ZimaBoard’s mass production partner, and now we have started work related to the factory’s NPI. As you can see from the photo, the supporting manufacture is undoubtedly not a super large one compared to PC manufacturers. However, it is the high-quality services that impressed us. On the other hand, in this product category, their production management and equipment capabilities are sufficient to meet the needs of ZimaBoard.
Since the last update, we have completed 100% of the procurement of critical materials. For all scarce materials, the team has completed the procurement and preparation of materials through two methods.
- Establish direct cooperation with the original factory, actively negotiate, and secure the materials we need from big factories
- Directly purchase components in stock at 5-10x higher price than future
Our overall principle is to push ZimaBoard’s mass production preparations as soon as possible with a loss-making attitude to respond to the trust and support of global users.
At the same time, we started molding the ZimaBoard heatsink at the end of September, and T0 will be completed soon. We will cover this part in the next update.
CasaOS – a fully open-source home server operating system
We didn’t cover much on the idea of services and systems on the home server before, but the Zima team has been researching and developing home server related systems for more than half a year.
We believe that there is no fully open-source system designed for family scenarios in the existing market. There are all kinds of operating systems for cloud operation & maintenance, network systems, and professional NAS on the market for software developers. The three parts are isolated. However, we see no system connecting the household and daily life services for everyone’s need, let alone an open-source system.
To build an ideal home server, we have been thinking about the correct home server OS people actually want. Here are some of our understandings:
- Elegant, simple, intuitive interactive design is the foundation, which dramatically reduces the cost of general users to get started and set up home servers
- Easy installation and use of Docker and Linux applications
- Manage and access smart home devices, such as home lighting control, home surveillance, and other sensitive data
- Data and disk management, fast docking/backup/management of scattered media data from multi-user, multi-platform
Check out the current system (design to be updated when new rev. is released)
CasaOS is still in the version 0.1.x stage. The team is revising this system every week. In September, we are very grateful to everyone who joined our Discord community, such as Alex, Mikimite, xinity, Rhaedyr, and fjctp, who gave us valuable feedback and development support!
We chose the fully open-source model to push forward the construction of home server infrastructure as quickly as possible based on no commercial interests. And within this open soil, nurturing more and more exciting applications. CasaOS is compatible with almost all x86 systems and supports ARM devices such as Raspberry Pi. As a result, you can build an easy-to-use home server system in 5 minutes with your old laptop(no need to be kidnapped by Internet service providers in exchange for high-quality services).
If you are interested in the direction/vision that CasaOS is heading, we sincerely invite you to join our Discord server again:
Next step – small batch production, complete certification and mold opening
The team will continue to finalize the business contract, and pre-imported technical data work in the next one or two weeks during the NPI process. At the same time, the selection of certification suppliers is also completed. SGS will mainly be responsible for the certification of ZimaBoard, covering at least CE / FCC / RoHS and other standard certifications in the early stage. As mentioned earlier, the mold is in the final stage of T0. We will actively communicate with mold manufacturers to ensure the product’s solid quality and try to avoid the deviation between proofing and mass production.
Regarding your thoughts on the home server open-source system, we sincerely invite you to spend 1 minute on this Survey. It may contain only a few questions, but we are paying close attention to the issues: https://corexms5zykfqlhzgt8m.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2mkOOlZGKFr0R0O