Many thanks to everyone who donated, your generosity is amazing and I'm incredibly grateful.
This last year has been an incredibly rough ride for me and I really must apologise for the lack of updates. Unfortunately I suffered from a bout of major depression which left me unable to get much of anything done. Hopefully I'm over the worst of it now and I can get back to moving forward with several plans which fell by the wayside.
I've just finished rolling updates for devkitARM & devkitPPC, both of which are now available via the automated installer but I'm still digging through the changelogs to write up release announcements. Once that's done I'll be resurrecting a couple of hardware projects which should prove interesting although I don't want to say too much until I have something more usable.
I also need to gather together the material I've already written for the potential book and see how it looks from a fresh perspective. One thing that's holding me back at the minute is the lack of a decent cross platform editor to distribute with the toolchains - things would be so much simpler without getting into instructions on how to set up a bunch of different editors and allow me to concentrate more on getting people up & running quickly.
More updates soon, and thanks again for your support.
The Chipin seems to be doing quite well and I've had many messages of support for which I'd just like to say thanks.
I've now registered a limited company and I have an appointment booked to set up a bank account next week. The plan at this point is to set up a devkitPro associated online shop which will sell various homebrew related gadgets. I also have several homebrew related projects which have been festering in various states of incompleteness so I'll be digging though those, tidying them up a bit and see what's suitable for release.
Patater (of Introduction To Nintendo DS Programming manual fame) recently turned up with a patch to the buildscripts which will build a devkitSH4 toolchain. This will give us a set of tools suitable for Dreamcast Homebrew. We've been talking about doing this for years but never really managed to get around to it. I now have some Dreamcast serial port SD adapters to get code tested on hardware - I'm thinking about selling some of these through the shop assuming we can end up with a reasonable retail price.
The next iterations of devkitARM and devkitPPC are almost ready to go - still doing some final checks but hopefully those will go out in the next week or two.
We've hit 41% of the big goal now, with an average of $66.25 per donor, which is quite awesome. This makes me think that it's quite possible to reach the $5K with a little more incentive and publicity. Having sorted out quite a bit of the hardware I've acquired over the years I think some of it may be suitable for using in a prize draw for those who have been kind enough to donate. The main prize will be a gamecube complete with BBA, USB Gecko, SD Gecko and a 5.4" Gamecube LCD monitor with external composite input (very useful for other consoles - it's switchable between cube video & external video). I have two of these atm which I've found rather useful for dev and really I don't need both of them. I'll dig out a camera and get some pics up later this week.
We'll have a prize draw on April 2nd for that which won't be dependent on the chipin reaching $5K but hopefully it will
If you have flash disabled then you'll find a link to donate here.
Original Request: 19/12/12
I've been toying with the idea of turning devkitPro into a business and creating my very own ideal job for quite some time. For various reasons I've always managed to stop short of actually doing it but I think the time has come when I need to either do it or find a different way to earn a living.
As some of you may know from IRC conversations and some blog posts I suffered a breakdown some years ago due to stress related to working in the games industry. I'm not the first this happened to and I'm sure I won't be the last but it eventually led me to maintaining a popular and well respected set of tools for homebrew programming and I discovered that I actually really enjoy being a part of this community. Currently I'm classed as disabled with a diagnosis of Dysthymic Disorder which may be a symptom of another underlying problem which I won't say much about at the minute - I'm still exploring that aspect with my counsellor and it's difficult to say whether it's any one thing or a mix of many.
Right now I'm currently on Incapacity Benefit but, if you've been following any UK news, you'll know that our government are on a bit of a crusade to paint the sick and disabled as feckless scroungers who add no value to society. Rather than do something sensible like offer a clear path from benefits into work with support and understanding of the problems we face in finding and maintaining gainful employment it seems that we need our support network taken away until we have no choice but to work or starve. I might understand the approach if we had the potential for full employment and jobs were flexible enough to deal with the limitations of fluctuating mental health conditions but neither of those are currently possible nor does it look likely that they will be. It seems that the best escape for me would be to move forward with plans to make devkitPro my actual job but I could do with a little help.
There are various grants available to help with moving into work but the main condition is that a job should be for at least 16 hours a week, pay at least national minimum wage and be expected to last for at least 5 weeks. That works out to £495.20 (£6.19 * 16 * 5) or roughly $795 at current exchange rates but ideally I'd like to be able to get to around 6 months to get a bit of space to deal with startup issues and get some products together that people might be willing to buy. 26 weeks works out to £2575.04 or roughly $4138 so, allowing for paypal fees and some exchange rate fluctuations I've set up a chipin with a target of $5000 which should hopefully get things moving.
I don't intend to ever charge money for the toolchains directly - part of the philosophy with these tools is that everyone should have access to those, regardless of ability to pay. There are some other possibilities with some hardware prototypes I'm working on related to homebrew and some of the other systems that people use devkitARM for. A while ago I was asked by a publisher if I'd be interested in writing a book on homebrew programming, which actually I would but obviously that needs some other revenue to support me while it's being worked on.
I would be immensely grateful if those of you who have found the tools useful so far would support me in keeping them useful and improving them for a while yet. I'll try and figure out something cool as a reward for donors at this point but I thought I'd get the ball moving on the chipin and see how things pan out. The chipin is on the main portal page at http://devkitpro.org
I can usually be found on the IRC channels listed at http://devkitpro.org/wiki/IRC if you want to chat in real time but right now it's late & I'm off to bed. Thanks in advance for donations, advice and suggestions.