About a month ago I took the plunge into plug computing. I didn’t spend a ton of time in research, but I did survey the field to see alternatives and narrowed it down to Tonidoplug and Pogoplug. I choose Tonidoplug because I liked it’s media streaming capability and it’s lack of reliance on a persistent Internet connection.
On February 26th I ordered one, to be shipped on March 10. On the 9th, I find the expected ship date has changed to March 20-25th. Shortly after that, I find that Pogoplug is about ship an update to their firmware which would support media streaming. I found a good deal on the Pogoplug, bundled with a USB thumb drive for a net of $122 delivered and buy one. It was delivered this past Monday, March 22. It works as advertized, streaming works fine and was very easy to set up.
I find out yesterday, the 24th, that the Tonidoplug has been delayed yet again, now to “April 1st week”. When I ordered the Pogoplug I didn’t cancel the Tonidoplug and hoped to compare them and see how each evolved as I expect they will over time. If anyone has read my blog updates on my van, you’ll know we had to incur significant expenses and while $100 isn’t a lot money, at this time it’s enough to make me reconsider my decision, which I’ve done.
Today I asked CodeLathe to cancel my Tonidoplug order. I regret doing so as I was looking forward to working with it and the Tonido software.
The lesson for Tonido is simple, (simple to say at least), keep products in stock. When you advertize availability and therefore set customer expectations, make sure you meet those expectations. I think the product is solid and in some respects, better positioned in the market. I will continue to monitor progress and when possible, I may purchase one. Rest assured though, it will be when they are in stock
As an aside, I had at one point questioned out loud whether the original date was marketing driven (here is a quote from a post I made on the Tonido forum).
There are a couple of other plugs out there which have as good for the same price and better for a bit more, specs then the Tonido. Each says order now and will be shipped in April (and has since early March). I suspected after the first delay that all these guys are basically being shipped from the same supplier and all will arrive about the same time. By giving a low ball (my cynical guess) date, Tonido thought they could lasso those anxious users who wanted in early March (March 10 shipment promise) and didn’t want to wait until April To their credit they offered the $10 off, bravo Tonido, but I’d like to know if my cynicism is warranted.