Another weekend, another update!
Project Status & Expectations
Molds & Samples
No update from the manufacturer on the painting of the samples yet.
Over the past year I've learned that there are quite some cultural differences between the Netherlands and China when it comes to doing business. Some of it was learned through experiencing it myself, and others were taught to me by other Kickstarter campaigns and sourcing agents. For instance, in the Netherlands I got my dUltimate dice design got flat-out rejected by all of the companies (100+) that I contacted. They simply told me that the product was not a good match for their company and that ended the conversation. Very clear, but could be perceived as blunt. On the other hand, when dealing with Chinese companies that I contacted (30+) almost all of them were able to make the dUltimate dice... at least, that is what they said. I learned that Sometimes Chinese people say “yes” when they mean “no”. This made it difficult for me to navigate between the various companies to figure who actually had the equipment, expertise, and proof that they were able to successfully produce the dUltimate dice!
I am very positive when it comes to the chose manufacturer, but last couple of months I have learned something else: sometimes you need to be patient. There is nothing to win in pushing the manufacturer, when they say that they will do it, they will do it. Trust and a sort of personal relationship is important. Also, I also need to realize that I am probably a very small customer to them and as such will receive less priority over their much larger customers which they also have stronger/longer relationships with.
To not make any big mistakes on this cultural front I have the sourcing agent with people of their team based in China that are able to directly communicate with the manufacturer. This works well, but also takes a bit more time due to handing over information to another party. Hopefully this gives you some insight in the current 'delay/no-news' updates and/or it might just be an eyeopener as it was to me when I first learned about these cultural differences.
You can still make changes to your address information yourself by going back to the PledgeBox link in your mailbox. Before the dice will be shipped I'll send out a reminder for everyone to check their address information via mail & Kickstarter. For anything else you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
New LEN polygon RNG project
Last time we talked about what it takes for something to be random, but how do we measure this?
Statistically determining randomness
I'm not the first person that wants to quantify randomness. Thus, some libraries exist that allow you to run a suite of statistically engineered tests that together will quantify the randomness of a uniform random number generator.
I will be looking at the TestU01 and Dieharder libraries to figure if these are suited for testing the RNG that will be at the core of this project. (Note how beautifully 90's these websites are.) If these are unsuited then I will program my own test suite using these tests. So for the next few weeks it will be a lot of reading and programming to get everything working. Not sure how long testing will take, but one of the libraries suggested using 30,000,000 numbers, while other have suggested 240.000,000 or even more like 245,760,000,000 numbers(!) as input to properly determine the randomness of a source with the least chance that you're looking at local randomness and missing greater overall patterns. That is a lot of numbers compared to how many you'll roll a dice in a lifetime!
Keep on rolling!