ZX Vega+ News

(Unauthorised and Unofficial)

Vega+ Shipping Dates

  • End of September 2016
  • October 2016
  • In time for Xmas 2016
  • February 2017
  • A "few weeks" from March 10th 2017
  • Summer 2017
  • 8 weeks from August 9th (October 4th, 2017)
  • Mid October 2017

Daily Blog

The Vega+ daily blog is now so long that by default it only shows the last 14 entries. If you wish to read the full history, click the button below.

Jump to latest blog entry

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Wednesday 16th August, 2017

George Cropper (Funky Spectrum) returns with a new video called The Vega+ - The Untouchables and reporting that YouTube has checked out his content, determined it is not harassment and all his strikes have been removed. The video is one of George's longest, with a 17 minute commentary of the current state of the project.

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Thursday 17th August, 2017

Backer Paul Hargreaves manages to obtain a refund by asking (9 times) if the link regarding Suzanne Martin is true. The full post:

https://realcrooks.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/ms-suzanne-martin.html

Wow! If this is true then I’d have NEVER got involved in this crowdfunding campaign. I would NEVER be involved knowingly with something associated with a person with this criminal record.

Consider this request #9 for a FULL refund… order #2565.

(Will be doing this daily btw now until I either receive a working Vega+ with the 1000 games on it or my refund!)

Paul Michael Hargreaves refund question
As knowledge of Paul's refund becomes public knowledge, the floodgates open as many backers that have had their refunds refused/ignored post the same message. In response to these refund requests, RCL ignore the requests and instead post the following comment:

Deliberately sharing malicious, false and unsubstantiated content is not only a breach of community guidelines it may constitute a number of criminal offences. We again ask you to cease all contact with RCL personnel and to refrain from sharing what is clearly malicious material.

Apparently sharing a link to the daily blog is also a breach of community guidelines:

Phill Saddington
The Internet never forgets, neither will we – https://web.archive.org/web/20170712143839/codetapper.com/zxvega/daily-blog

Retro Computers   Campaigner
Deliberately sharing malicious, false and unsubstantiated content is not only a breach of community guidelines it may constitute a number of criminal offences. We again ask you to cease all contact with RCL personnel and to refrain from sharing what is clearly malicious material.

Sharing link to blog is in breach
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Friday 18th August, 2017

A backer receives confirmation from Cyril (Indiegogo Customer Happiness) that PAUL ANDREWS is still listed as the campaign owner. He asks on Indiegogo "Why is PAUL ANDREWS still marked as the Campaign Owner, RCL?":

~~~~
From: Cyril (Indiegogo Customer Happiness) [mailto:support@indiegogo.com]
Sent: 18 August 2017 11:11

Hi Lee,

Thanks for reaching out. Please see the campaign owner’s contact info below:

Campaign Owner’s Name: PAUL ANDREWS
Campaign Owner’s Email: retrocomputersltd@gmail.com
Website: http://retro-computers.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/retrocomputersltd/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sinclairzxvega
~~~~~~

Paul Andrews still listed as campaign owner

The ZX Vega+ information previously hosted (and taken down) on codetapper.com is moved to a new server after a large number of free offers to host it. The replacement (unofficial and unauthorised) website is discovered and links appear on Twitter and the Indiegogo comments section within an hour of the site going live.

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Saturday 19th August, 2017

Force-refunded ex-backer Richard asks Suzanne to confirm whether the allegations about her are true. Suzanne Martin decides not to answer the question, and instead blocks Richard.

Are links on Indiegogo about Suzanne Louise Martin true (in Spectrum 4Ever)

Richard posts a comment on the Indiegogo campaign informing other backers of what happened.

20170819_are_links_on_igg_about_suzanne_true_blocked.png
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Sunday 20th August, 2017

Several people on the Indiegogo campaign attempt to gain their refund by posting a similar message to Paul several days earlier. The refund requests are unsuccessful, and RCL reply with the following message several times:

Posting malicious anonymous links will not result in a refund and posting this again at any time will result in your account being placed on hold and a complaint being made to Indiegogo. We suggest you remove this and any other abuse. Whilst the “blog”: is anonymous your details are not and we strongly advise you to remove and cease from posting this content to avoid further action being taken against you. All our rights are reserved in this matter.

Backer Lee Staniforth posts a similar message asking for a refund, and RCL threaten that posting the link again will see his account placed on hold. RCL suggest that Lee removes his comments, even though there is apparently no way for a backer to do so:

Retro Computers   Campaigner
Posting malicious anonymous links will not result in a refund and posting this again at any time will result in your account being placed on hold and a complaint being made to Indiegogo. we suggest you remove this and any other abuse.

Lee Staniforth
"we suggest you remove this and any other abuse." Please tell me how to do this?

Retro Computers   Campaigner
Go into the comments section on your account and delete your earlier comments.

Lee Staniforth
Ah, RCL, unfortunately that option is only available to Campaign Owners of an open and active campaign. Us lowly backers do not have the option of removing our comments - keep up.

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Tuesday 22nd August, 2017

Backer Paul Spann announces on facebook that after having more than 30 refund requests ignored he has decided to recover his money through small claims court. Paul used the RCL address on the homepage for his claim:

Retro Computers Ltd
10-14 Accommodation Road
London
NW11 8ED

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Thursday 31st August, 2017

Backer Daniel Newby's Indiegogo account has been suspended, and all his posts from the previous 4 days have been deleted. Daniel posted well over 1000 comments on the campaign in an attempt to get his refund:

Daniel Newby profile showing over 1000 comments

The campaign itself has seen over 400 comments removed from the campaign in the last 24 hours. Some of these deleted comments appear to be from at least one known member closing their Indiegogo account, but this is not the case for Daniel Newby. Daniel has now created his own Twitter account so you can follow him there until his Indiegogo account is re-instated.

With the Vega+ due to be released in approximately one month, it seems strange timing that the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega and Vega Plus Group has decided to close and archive the group.

Sinclair Vega and Vega Plus group archived
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Friday 1st September, 2017

RCL release update 63 on the Indiegogo campaign, containing yet another delay. (The previous update stated that the Vega+ units were to be delivered in 8 weeks, which would be Wednesday the 4th of October 2017.) Today's "Happy Friday" update consists of a single image containing the following text:

Well, it's the first day of September and we are on track for the Vega+ reaching your game-hungry mittens by mid October.

We've been busy replacing some of the games and making additional tweaks and polishes we know you'll love.

We'll be releasing new images soon, and thereafter we will aim to bring you regular updates as we countdown to our delivery.

Happy Friday!! :)

Happy Friday! Delivery now mid October
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Tuesday 5th September, 2017

The twitter account Anon y Mouse posts 2 images that appear to be the RCL bank account statements from May 2016. The images are mainly blurred out, but show multiple payments to David Levy, along with an expense for just under £61 to Palms of Goa restaurant. Someone with a dry sense of humour has already linked a photo of David Levy dining out to the Palms of Goa Google maps page.

David Levy chess player helping himself to ringfenced funds for a meal at Palms of Goa restaurant

George Cropper releases a video called "THE VEGA+ - ANONYMAN OR ANONYMOUSE?" where he discusses RCL's "Happy Friday" update (from Friday 1st of September) and shares his thoughts on the Anon y Mouse twitter account @LevySexRobot. Many people have wondered whether the Anon y Mouse account is in fact RCL themselves trying to play "the victim" card.

Friday 8th September, 2017

An article has appeared on The Verge called Indiegogo may now call a collection agency if backers aren’t kept informed about delays. Highlights from the article:

Indiegogo is making a pair of changes today that are designed to compel crowdfunding campaigns to be clearer with backers about the state of their products. The first change is a requirement that tech campaigns disclose what state their product is in - be it just a concept or one ready to hit the manufacturing line. And the second is a requirement that all campaigns update their backers at least once a month about how the project is going.

If campaigns fail to do either, Indiegogo may remove them from the platform, offer refunds, and even attempt to acquire dispersed money through collections agencies. Combined, Indiegogo hopes these measures will give people more confidence when backing a project and then again later on while waiting for it to ship, which is when delays often hit and communication tends to break down.

“One of the things that we found is that in certain cases, either our backers didn't have all the information that they could use to help them make a decision to back a project, or after a campaign there was often not good communication between entrepreneurs and backers,” Indiegogo CEO Dave Mandelbrot tells The Verge. “So we've implemented a number of changes to improve the backer experience.”

A developer having a look at the World of Spectrum API found Lee Fogarty's code was faulty, and an error message exposed the fact that Lee was collecting and storing information about every visitor to that page. The developer could not replicate the problem, but reported the problem to George Cropper who exposed it on the Spectrum For Everyone facebook group on Wednesday 6th of September. George received a lot of criticism for exposing this, but an IT professional was able to recreate the fault and George releases a video called WOS API BREACHES DATA PROTECTION ACT containing screenshots of the fault. An independent third party is also shown how to recreate the fault and posts the error message he sees on facebook.

Here is an example of the SQL code failing to run behind the scenes when you view the using the api/basics webpage:

Lee Fogarty tracking error

Multiple people expressed concerns that the Vega+ could be released without the 1000 promised games by using the World of Spectrum API to download the games, thus bypassing having to pay GOSH and rights holders. Lee Fogarty has bragged in facebook messages that "They are going to be well pissed off when they realise I am working on a feature for the Next lol".

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Saturday 9th September, 2017

Backer Paul Spann updates backers on the small claims case he opened against RCL on August 22nd via an Indiegogo comment:

Update on my asking the court to get my money refunded.
Basically MrLevy has replied to say he intends on defending the action fully.
So that is proof that they ARE refusing refunds.
Who would have guessed….EVERYONE!

This appears to conflict with Suzanne Martin as she has said multiple times that RCL have never refused to refund a backer.

Lee Fogarty's company Creative Spectrum has received an objection to the compulsory strike off from Companies House. At this stage there is no information about who objected to the company being dissolved.

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Tuesday 12th September, 2017

Yet another of David Levy's businesses fails, this time his company Erotic Chatbots Ltd is struck off on Companies House.

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Monday 18th September, 2017

The Anon y Mouse twitter account releases a large number of bank statements claiming to show that RCL had already spent almost all of the backer's money back in August 2016:

In response to multiple outbursts from Jonathan Cauldwell on social media, George Cropper releases a video titled Vega+ Unfounded Accusations Fly.

A lurker/spy in the public discussion facebook group reported a photo of one of the bank statement reveals directly to Facebook. The photo was available for everyone to see on the Anon y Mouse Twitter account anyway, so whoever reported it likely works for RCL and clearly has spare time on their hands. Facebook investigated the image, decided it did not breach any community guidelines and immediately re-instated the post.

Post reported to facebook

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Tuesday 19th September, 2017

The Anon y Mouse twitter account releases 13 bank statements, showing all the payments until the end of 2016.

George Cropper releases his summary of the bank statement reveal in a 16 minute long video called Vega + Accounts Reveal.

RCL supporter Jonathan Cauldwell blocks multiple people on his twitter account after he sent out a tweet wishing the "hate mob" would move on. Various responses and questions are tweeted back and Cauldwell blocks people rather than answering them.

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Wednesday 20th September, 2017

The Anon y Mouse twitter account has now released the bank statements from January 2017 until mid April 2017, where the bank balance was down to £436.56.

As a backup (in case the Anon y Mouse twitter account is taken down), the full resolution bank statements have been added to the ZX Vega+ News website.

Vega+ Status

  • All refunds processed:
  • Roll of honour email:
  • Address confirmation:
  • Battery specification:
  • PEGI certification:
  • Final specs released:
  • Games list released:
  • Finished box design:
  • Manual released:
  • Final devices made: 0
  • Prototypes made: 20-30