Some Tough Gypsy Questions Answered

August 1, 2009 at 5:26 pm 27 comments

Headed to the CHA Consumer Show in Orlando today armed with a list of questions about the Gypsy and determined to get some answers that haven’t been covered in the intro video (called a “test drive” but is not interactive) or the FAQs. The Provo Craft booth was right in front so after voting for the gold and black Gypsy cover (go Yella Jackets) I was able to corner Major Madon (Project Manager for Gypsy) manning a Gypsy demo station.
The demo Gypsy was running beta software and didn’t have all the features operational yet. Madon explained that the programming is still being finished up. So I wasn’t able to get a feel for what it will really be like, although the screen resolution was quite crisp and easy to see. Selecting individual images was very difficult, just like in CDS. This will hopefully be resolved before official release.
Here, in paraphrase, are the questions I asked, and Mr. Madon’s answers…

Q: Is there a video out port or capability
A: No

Q: Well, then, for those that teach or make tutorial videos, how about an emulator?
A: Provo Craft has an emulator, but there are no current plans to release it. He seemed to think that was a good idea and said he would propose that to the team when he got back.

Q:Ports in detail?
A: Mini USB to connect to Cricut (comes with 5 ft cable)
and a 26-pin proprietary port for cartridges (short adapter cable included)

Q:Battery type and life (total life, not per charge)?
A:Rechargeable Lithium Ion, not replaceable, lasts “years”
AC adapter/charger comes with it, car adapter optional

Q: Does Gypsy have the Hide Contour feature?
A: No

Q: Are CDS files interchangeable with Gypsy files in both directions?
A: Yes

Q: How will features that are missing from one or the other going to be handled? Such as grouping available on Gypsy, not on CDS; Hide contour available on CDS, not on Gypsy.
A: Don’t know, confident it won’t be a big issue.

Q: The Gypsy can only shadow images if that is a feature of the cartridge, correct?
A: Yes

Q: Does the “flip” command work logically or do you still have to type words backwards and then flip?
A: It works logically, flipping the entire word.

Q:Will the photo app mentioned in the FAQs be free?

Q:How much storage does the Gypsy have?
A: 4GB, enough for hundreds of cartridges and tens of thousands of cut files (assuming no photos)

Q: Were some of the most complex CDS designs tested to see if the Gypsy is up to the task of demanding designers.
A: “I assume so.”

Q: Can you share Gypsy designs with others?
A: Yes, but not without a PC and CDS

Q: Can you download CDS designs and use them on the Gypsy?
A: Yes, but not without a PC and CDS

Q: So the Gypsy is not really Mac-compatible?
A: It is platform independent (it can be used without a computer) but no, it is not Mac-compatible (in context with the above 2 questions).

Q: Like CDS, Gypsy comes loaded with the entire cartridge library. How will updates be accomplished when new cartridges are released?
A: Through a web-based application that can be run on a PC or a Mac.

Q: There has been much confusion over the price of the Gypsy. Can you clarify.
A: The MSRP is $299.

Q:Can you confirm or deny that the Gypsy is based on the Nintendo DS platform?

Also, a flyer at the show stated that Gypsies would first be available a Michael’s stores on October 4th. A huge notebook with all the cuts from the 2 Gypsy cartridges was also on hand.

I really appreciated Major Madon’s patience with my barrage of questions. I enjoyed talking to him engineer to engineer, and appreciated his candor.

Entry filed under: Cricut. Tags: , .

Tracing a simple template – Paint Bucket Mini Tutorial Hinge technique for cutting printouts

27 Comments Add your own

  • 1. LynneF  |  August 1, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Great interview
    some things do still me concern me a little; mainly something this major still not fully operational and tested for October release.
    i bet it gets pushed back. I work with software development and they are not there yet.

  • 2. HappyHappyJoyJoy  |  August 1, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    Great questions and answers!! I am sending my blog readers over here to get the scoop! Thanks! You are the best!!

  • 3. Lisa  |  August 1, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Wonderfully helpful!
    I think they will be surprised at how “demanding” some of us about designs, especially when we have been learning Inkscape and SCAL. Thank you SO much for getting and sharing this info.

  • 4. Karma  |  August 1, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Great questions. Its such a racket, these unreplaceable (by the consumer) batteries…but apparently they figure if Apple can get all their users to buy Ipods they can’t add memory to or replace the battery of – they can too. We Cricuteers are just as rabid fans as any Ipod nut! And they know it…

    It IS good to know the machine can be run by AC adapter if necessary but that kind of defeats the feature of portability. For me, even if the price was in line with what I could afford, the non replaceable battery is a deal-breaker.

    I don’t see me paying that much (or even the $215 someone got theirs for) for this, way too iffy and temporary for that kind of $$$. I hope that others feel the same way so they’ll maybe work on CDS a bit more and give their older, loyal customers the same features as the Gypsy has. But I REALLY loved the built in carts I saw the previews of that are supposedly only available on the Gypsy itself…

    One thing I wonder about – I read on the Cricut MB that the E has George built in and it’s accessible by shorting out the cartridge slot. Wouldn’t it be funny if someone figured out how to access ALL the cartridges in the Gypsy the same way! ;)

    Off to go find out about that photo app you mentioned…I missed that in the FAQs! -K

  • 5. Katherine McKamey  |  August 1, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Thanks for verifying Gypsy isn’t actually Mac-compatible. I’m the secretary of a Mac User Group and there are several of us who were looking forward to demoing the cricut/gypsy/mac during a meeting. I guess we can cross that off our future agenda list for now.

    Seems like PC just can’t wrap their heads around making Cricut/CDS/Gypsy Mac users happy.

    Thank you so much for posting this interview! You totally Rock! (and saved my family some money on my Birthday present).

  • 6. Tere  |  August 2, 2009 at 12:48 am

    I was at the Orlando CHA today and was one of the lucky ones who actually won a Gypsy. They’re supposed to mail it to me when it comes out.

  • 7. Carol C.  |  August 2, 2009 at 2:05 am

    Thanks so much for bringing us this information! very useful to assertain whether I would invest; I am concern about some features being available on CDS but not on the Gypsy and vice versa. Not sure why that is so; since in my way of looking at things, they work off each other…

  • 8. Helen from Oz  |  August 2, 2009 at 2:41 am

    Any chance of finding out how long before this is likely to be released in Australia and how much it would cost over here? I gather because of the different power source, I couldn’t purchase direct from the US.

  • 9. Gracie  |  August 2, 2009 at 3:08 am

    I thought Gypsy was Mac compatible according to the specs page?? Anyway, (and forgive me if you answered this, I am so very tired)–can we transfer all of our CDS files/designs from our computer on to the Gypsy?? Is there really enough room?
    Thanks so much!

    • 10. Kay  |  August 2, 2009 at 7:52 am

      My understanding from that conversation is that if you have CDS, you should be able to copy thousands of cutfile to your Gypsy.

      • 11. Gracie  |  August 3, 2009 at 5:39 pm

        Thank you SO MUCH!! It looked like from your conversation that we could edit files done in one place in the other (Gypsy to CDS or CDS to Gypsy), but I wasn’t sure if we could store/download all of the previously created files on our computer on the Gypsy itself. Thanks for your answer!

  • 12. Jeannette  |  August 2, 2009 at 7:31 am

    WOW! great info! I thought it was going to be Mac compatible. That made me consider it, however, knowing that it’s not…….well I guess I just saved myself some $$$$

  • 13. Sandy Fleming  |  August 2, 2009 at 9:54 am

    What a shame it’s not MAC compatable. They really need to get on that band wagon. Until it works with my MAC, I won’t own one. I won’t have two computers just to use a Provo Craft program. Maybe if all of us MAC users band together and keep on PC, we could get them to change their minds. Also, seems like an awful lot of money for a lot of “I’m not sures”. I hope a lot of people think about this before spending this much. Let PC work out the kinks first.

    Thanks for asking all these questions, getting good answers, and taking your time to post what you found out. You saved me from saving for something that is close to useless to me :O(

  • 14. JacqueC  |  August 2, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Thank you for your well thought questions. They sure help those of us not fortunate enough to be able to attend CHA get a feel for ‘Gypsy’ and it’s capabilities/shortcoming.

  • 15. Jayne kasten  |  August 2, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    I agree! It MUST e mac compatible before I’ll purchase it! Thanks for asking these great questios…

  • 16. Linda  |  August 3, 2009 at 6:33 am

    I see in your answers that the hide contour does not work. I don’t have Design Studio, but the hide contour was one thing that interested me in Design Studio but I cannot put it on my computer due to personal reasons. I was interested in the gypsy because didn’t need the computer. Now it looks like what I was interested in is not available on this.

  • 17. SANDI CAMPBELL  |  August 7, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Do I understand correctly that you can never replace the battery just charge it & when it wears out the Gypsy doesn’t work anymore? Or can it still be used with AC outlet? Batteries wear out differently with usage too. Or does the battery just wear down as time goes by? My DH & I have the same exact phone. He uses his phone much more then I do, but my battery won’t hold a charge for very long anymore at 15 months old. So I’m a little confused about the battery which will have a lot to do with my decision to purchase it.

    • 18. Kay  |  August 8, 2009 at 5:46 pm

      You will have to ask Provo Craft these questions as I do not know the answers. However, I think if you look at the Nintendo DS batteries (except not user replaceable) you will get an idea about the specs on these.

  • 19. Cheryl  |  August 8, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Well, darn. I wish they would get their facts straight. I don’t know who I spoke to there, but I asked one of the men demo-ing the Gypsy various questions while there. One question I specifically asked was if it had the ‘hide contour’ feature. The rep replied that It has all the functions currently on CDS with extra “bells and whistles” and that yes, hide contour was included. I think I’m going to have to wait for others to buy it and try it out before I take that plunge.

  • 20. Sal  |  August 16, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Awesome, thanks for those tips! I was wondering about that a lot! I run Let me know if you’d like to trade links ok?

  • 21. Teresa Smith  |  September 8, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    It sounds like an amazing machine. But it MUST be Mac compatible before I purchase it, too. Also, something should be done about the batteries. Who wants to purchase something that will be useless when batteries die?

  • 22. Jay  |  September 21, 2009 at 1:37 am

    Thank you for all of the hard work, but I do not want to buy a Gyp.

    1. It is not much more $ to buy a net book or laptop and I already use DS, this way you have a much bigger work area.

    A net book or a laptop will have many more functions than the Gyp.

    2. Gyp. doesn’t bring much new to cricut, it is another thing to store, and for that kind of $, I can buy many carts.

    3. As of now there is an issue of uploading one’s designs off of the Gyp.

    Well this is only one guys opinion, take care,, Jay

  • 23. Karen  |  September 21, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Good Morning!
    I am brand new to “blogging” and it appears I posted a “reply” to another person’s comment :( I am so sorry…I was hoping you could delete it and let this be posted in the proper part of your site! :)
    I just love your site, and have been learning sooooo much! Please keep up the hard work, and the generous sharing of your knowledge and experience!
    Just found your blog, and as always…God directed me
    to your posting stating you wanted donations for the RMH….I too have spent many many months over the past few years at an RMH in a different state, and I just wanted you to know…how wonderful I think your request is….without the RMH…how would so many ever endure?
    I live in Georgia, so enjoyed your tutorial..and just
    chuckled at our GT Bee being used! Wooo Hooo!
    I hope you will make many more tutorials…as I have purchased and am studying SCAL and the free inkscape to actually make items with my cricut expressions for the RMH that has blessed our world!!! How awesome is this!
    Hugs for your time, sharing your knowledge, and getting more people to know about the RMH…YOU ROCK!!!

  • 24. Kelly  |  September 27, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Please Help! I got my Gypsy and I cannot upgrade it on my Mac. The FAQ says O/S 10

    I have O/S 10.4.11. They do say O/S 10.6 which is snowleopard. I do not have a Intel Mac so I can’t get Snowleopard. Why did they not state that you had to have the very newest O/S 10 to use it. I now have 300.00 worth of useless crap. What can I do to make it work. I am very disappointed in Provo Craft for misleading people. You seem so knowledgable, do you know anything about this?

    • 25. Kay  |  September 27, 2009 at 6:56 pm

      Am trying to get clarification on this. Thanks for letting me know.

  • 26. Brenda Gaston  |  October 4, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    I have the Gypsy and have been cutting with it.
    My question is…..I thought that wherever I placed my design on the “mat” on the Gypsy screen is where the Cricut would cut it. I load the mat and press cut…it starts at the top right every single time…..and I can’t figure out how to manuver it to the right place as we can with the buttons on the Cricut. Has anyone else had this problem and figured it out? Thanks for your help.

  • 27. Makarena  |  April 1, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Lo Deje a Mii Novioo =( …y estoi arrepentidaa…
    usted me puede decir si el va hacer algo como para recuperarme?
    porfavor necesito saber eso0


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