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10k Raspberry Pi Units Available In December 123

Posted by samzenpus
from the just-in-time-for-christmas dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A tweet appeared from Raspberry Pi stating the launch of the $25 PC wasn't happening in November as expected. So I decided to investigate further and contacted Raspberry Pi to see what was going on. Eben Upton was kind enough to email me back and give us some good and bad news. The bad news is: we aren't getting the $25 PC this month as expected. But that's where the bad news ends, as it is still arriving in 2011 for some people. Eben confirmed that an order has been placed for 10,000 units, but they won't arrive until the end of November. That means we will see Raspberry Pi go up for sale in December, but it won't be a typical 'get as many out the door as you can' launch. Those first 10k are earmarked for programmers as software is desperately required before a full consumer launch." Update: Apparently some of the details about the production of units and who can get one from the first batch have changed. Raspberry Pi has updated their front page with the latest information.
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10k Raspberry Pi Units Available In December

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  • by vlm (69642)

    No details have been made available yet as to how those first 10k units will be allocated

    "In the space below, write a scheme program that outputs your shipping address"

    • by vlm (69642)

      Whoops as I read off the raspberry website

      If you want one, and you click on the buy button in time, you can have one; they’re being sold on a first-come, first-served basis, whoever you are, and whether or not you are a programmer.

      Still, a good enough programmer can ensure they get one merely by writing a page-watcher up to and including an entire ordering bot.

  • Please read from the horse's mouth:
    http://www.raspberrypi.org/ [raspberrypi.org]

    Quote:
    An article in today's www.geek.com suggested a couple of things -- first, that we're already producing units, and secondly, that we're limiting sales to programmers only at first. Both of these appear to be the result of some horrible miscommunication (blame Eben; he's very tired).

  • ...and the delays begin. The vaporware process continues...

    • They're a month behind plan -- A and B boards are set to go out December 2011 at the moment versus November 2011 as initially intended. This is hardly on the same caliber as most vaporware, which tends to make six month leaps away from the deadline at a time, not one. Also, I'm sure they will soon be posting about the initial testing.
      • Re:Delays (Score:5, Informative)

        by ebenupton (2424660) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @02:47PM (#37923762)

        You know how it is. Haters gonna hate :)

        In all seriousness, we haven't taken anyone's money, and have spent a lot of our own time and money on this. We've been very open with people about the challenges we face in getting something like this done, and will continue to be open in the run up to and aftermath of launch. We're big boys, and can handle the hate.

        Eben Upton
        Raspberry Pi Foundation

        • by harrkev (623093)

          I wish you and your group all the best. Thanks for being open and honest. And might I add that once the programmers have had their fun, I would love to grab one of the 2nd batch, once all the hardware and software bugs are gone. My Verilog is much, much better than my C, so jumping in right now does not make much sense for me.

          • Re:Delays (Score:5, Interesting)

            by ebenupton (2424660) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @03:00PM (#37923946)

            Thanks for the kind words. I think we're about to learn some fun lessons about what selling tens of thousands of something involves, and we'll be doing it all in public :)

            Eben

            • Thanks for the kind words. I think we're about to learn some fun lessons about what selling tens of thousands of something involves, and we'll be doing it all in public :)

              Eben

              You have got to be shitting me. There will be nothing fun about mistakes to developers, students, and endusers. Please hand this off to a retailer: * $60-100 retail packaging sold at newegg or amazon and drop shipped from your location. * You get one and your charity gets one ala One Laptop per Child (OLPC)

              • by adolf (21054)

                Seriously? You propose to increase the price times two, or maybe even quadruple it, and still wind up dealing with the logistics of shipping thousands of packages?

                What possible benefit could this have for anyone?

                Meanwhile, if you want them sold at Amazon so badly for whatever reason, then put them there yourself -- nothing is stopping you. If you really think the market will bear a price of $60-100 for such an item, then there should be plenty of profit incentive for you to play middleman. And if you fee

                • You would be buying two; one for yourself and one goes to their charitable works. They want these to go to students/developers/etc eventually. 10K first come, first serve sale is not going to do that. They admittedly have very little experience with retail logistics; turn that over to someone who does know something and concentrate on what your charity is trying to accomplish. This is why projects become fail as resources are spread too thin putting out thousands of small fires.
                  • by adolf (21054)

                    But that's not the point you were arguing against.

                    I read the discussion as follows:

                    Them: We'll about to figure it out, and it'll be public! Yay!

                    You: OMFG. Srsly? When you fuck it up you'll fuck up your clients. Get retailers, raise prices through the fucking roof, and do a one-for-two deal like OLPC.

                    I assume that, at $25 each, they're raising enough extra money to handle whatever their charitable desires might be. You, however, seem to assume differently. (Perhaps you know more about their charitable

              • by JamesH48 (2456946)
                Yes, you are being shitted (or are shitting yourself). The foundation does has some people experienced in selling, and it isn't all being packaged in a dingy back office somewhere - completed devices will be going from production to warehouse to fulfillment house. Retailing would be insane though, 150% markup once its get to the end user is obviously completely unacceptable, and do you know of a retailer who will sell worldwide? Amazon don't.
        • "You can have it now. You can have it cheap. You can have it good. Pick any two."

          If the Raspberry Pi can actually meet the design specs at the target price (or even anywhere near the target price), waiting another month or two for them to become available will definitely be worth it. Best of luck to you guys (and gals) at the Foundation. I, for one, will be eagerly awaiting the announcement that they are available for sale.
          • Re:Delays (Score:4, Interesting)

            by ebenupton (2424660) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @03:55PM (#37924726)

            It's interesting that the community's scepticism about the price point is pretty much inversely related to my own. As we've nailed down the BOM and assembly costs, and become more confident that we have a saleable product with margin, the level of doubt *outside* the foundation has crept up :)

            The proof of the business model pudding will be when we've sold 100k and I still have a house.

            Eben
            Raspberry Pi Foundation

            • Like I said, sign me up for one :)

              Just to be clear, since after re-reading my earlier comment, I see how it could be misunderstood -- I think you guys can do it. I was responding to the naysayers' claims that a 1-month delay is proof you can't do it. The way I see it, your commitment to providing a great product at a phenomenal price might mean I have to have a little more patience before I get my hands on one. That's understandable, and IMHO, it will be totally worth the wait.
            • The proof of the business model pudding will be when we've sold 100k and I still have a house.

              Well my 6 year old son is really keen to get one. This is probably a bit younger than your target audience and I'm not sure how good he will be at programming but having a computer boot to a prompt like the old Beeb model B I learnt to program on is a really good start. All we need now are some magazines with games to type in - debugging the typos in those after entering them by hand was a great way to learn - although perhaps source code games we could download with one or two deliberate bugs in them woul

        • by ejamie (765128)

          The transparency of your team is refreshing. While you can't please everyone, I'm confident this product will achieve the educational objectives for many users.

          Myself, I am excited to help my children build up their interest in computer science as they explore their /own/ RPis.

    • Re:Delays (Score:4, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @02:45PM (#37923726)

      Would you rather they start shipping when they only have 3.14k units in inventory?

  • even with multiple arduinos, there's only so much you can do.

    I'm hoping this pi thing will be cheap and yet easy enough to access low level things and 'be a controller' too. carrying linux around is pretty heavy (for a controller) and a LOT of software to test, validate and worry about. arduinos have setup() and loop() and that is your world. its such a simple and secure world. add linux to controllers and all hell can break loose if you are not careful.

    when the pi is buyable, I'll get one or two. at t

    • by Andy Dodd (701) <[ude.llenroc] [ta] [7dta]> on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @02:15PM (#37923376) Homepage

      The GPIO expansion ports have been intentionally made difficult to access on the Pi (to eliminate risk of accidentally plugging in something that makes it unhappy is the claim, but probably the real reason is that easy physical access to the ports would more rapidly piss off those who buy it and realize the BCM2835 datasheet isn't available unless you're a megacorporation or an ex-employee like Eben is.) Heck, the product page on Broadcom's website for this device is nothing but a marketing blurb. Anyone familiar with Broadcom's history with open source is not going to be surprised by this - it's typical classic Broadcom.

      If you want to do embedded computing work and not just have a set-top-box without a case - look at the new BeagleBone. It's more expensive, but with a significantly faster CPU (same clock speed, but the Cortex-A8 does much better than the ARM11 IPC-wise) and the I/O is brought out to standard 0.1" pin headers. In addition, it takes 20 seconds on Google to find the AM3358's product page, which immediately gives you an internal block diagram of the chip, and the full TRM (datasheet) for the chip is right near the top of the page.

      • by ebenupton (2424660) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @03:07PM (#37924064)

        Not sure where the hate is coming from here. I totally agree Beaglebone is a very neat product for people with a bit more cash and no need to drive a display.

        And ex-employee? My badge didn't let me in the car park this morning, so maybe you know something I don't :)

        Eben
        Raspberry Pi Foundation

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Not sure where the hate is coming from here.

          Anyone that has had tried to cooperate with Broadcom when trying to obtain data sheets, source code or even a straight answer if a product advertised on their website is actually in production and available knows where the strong negative emotions are from. It would be a pleasant surprise if this project demonstrates that Broadcom has somehow changed for the better.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Andy Dodd (701)

          "Not sure where the hate is coming from here."
          Where's the TRM? Where's the datasheet? That's where the hate is coming from. That and years of bad memories involving Broadcom WLAN chipsets on Linux due to lack of datasheet access (and, in general, lack of access to any documentation at all)

          Compare the following webpages:
          http://www.broadcom.com/products/BCM2835 [broadcom.com] - Marketing blurb, no block diagrams, no datasheets, no nothing

          http://www.ti.com/product/am3358 [ti.com] - Block diagram, family parametric comparison, and

          • by Andy Dodd (701) <[ude.llenroc] [ta] [7dta]> on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @04:35PM (#37925168) Homepage

            A little more info, more along the lines of why there is so much generic Broadcom hate and distrust within the Linux community:

            http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Drivers/b43 [linuxwireless.org] - If you go down about 3/4 of the page, you'll see that:
            Until 9/9/2010, the only drivers for ANY broadcom device were created via reverse engineering. Broadcom provided ZERO support to the b43 developers, and I'm fairly certain they still don't have any proper technical documentation. (Sorry Broadcom, but source code isn't documentation.)
            After 9/9/2010 - only THREE chipsets (out of quite many) had any sort of "official" open source driver support for Linux from Broadcom.

            Meanwhile, chipsets from other manufacturers (Intel, Atheros, Intersil/Harris, Ralink) have had robust open source support for a VERY long time. For many years, Broadcom WLAN chipsets were completely useless in Linux due to Broadcom's refusal to provide any documentation.

          • by chispito (1870390)

            For someone like the OP who is planning on doing embedded computing (by necessity, more "low-level" than just using the device as an STB), having a processor datashete is an absolute and complete necessity

            Since the BCM2835's datasheet is not available (in typical Broadcom style) - why even bother wasting board space on a GPIO/SPI/I2C header that no one who purchases the Pi is going to be able to be able to use?

            Well, damn. I guess the school children for whom the device is intended will have to make due without the datasheet. Won't somebody please think of the children!?!

            • Reading the datasheets in the back of the programmers reference manual aged 8 was one of the defining formative experiences in my relationship with programming.

          • by adolf (21054)

            You sound like nobody has ever successfully hacked anything clever and unintended into a Broadcom-based device simply because getting such a thing done was never spelled out in plain English and published in freely-available form by Broadcom.

            The SD card that I have hacked into my WRT54G disagrees with you, though. Sure, it'd have been easier for [whoever that was] to figure out it with a good set of documentation, but it works very well without, and I didn't have to duplicate the steps they took to develop

            • by Andy Dodd (701)

              You mean the WRT54GL for which Linux 2.6 support was still unstable in late 2009, despite Linux 2.6 being first released in 2003, because of the fact that Broadcom refused to provide any chipset documentation?

              • by adolf (21054)

                No, I mean the WRT54G, which spurred a whole lot of interesting development in spite of the fact that both Broadcom and Linksys refused to release anything of much help. It predates Linux 2.6.

                The WRT54GL came much later and exists entirely because of the accidental popularity of WRT54G hacking.

                Both devices have very limited RAM and built-in storage (16 and 4MB, respectively). It may be entirely appropriate to keep them running on 2.4 indefinitely, even in a hypothetical perfect world where running 2.6 on

                • by Andy Dodd (701)

                  WRT54GL is identical to an old-rev WRT54G prior to Linksys dropping the RAM/ROM and switching to vxWorks.

                  Because of the lack of documentation, these routers were stuck with an ancient Linux kernel revision for a long time - no improvements to the network stack, etc.

                  2.6 porting seems to have started in 2006-2007 - but as of late 2009, kernel 2.6-based firmwares on any Broadcom-based router were still highly unstable/buggy in terms of wireless capability.

                  My point is not that the gear is shit - but that if you

                  • by adolf (21054)

                    No -- actually, I don't "need to avoid Broadcom like the plague," though you're obviously free to do so yourself if you'd like.

                    And I think you're excessively synonymizing "software enhancements," "kernel," and "firmware."

                    The "firmware" on my Broadcom router is very recent and extremely capable in the role that I am using it for. New "software enhancements" happen at a fairly regular pace. The base "kernel" is old, but its age does not seem to be detrimental in any way.

              • by adolf (21054)

                Oh, and yeah: Later WRT54G versions came with even less RAM and storage (8m/2m), and dropped Linux as their out-of-the-box OS.

                But I've got one of those running Linux just fine that acts as a Wifi gateway for a big gnarly HP Color Laserjet that sits in a spot at the office where a run of Cat5 was completely impractical due to building construction.

                I put it together in less than 2 hours, including a trip to Wal-Mart to buy the thing, and it's been running flawlessly for about 4 years. Nobody has touched it,

        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          So is the GPIO, SPI, and I2C not accessible? A header would be ideal but I could live with just pads. If not then that really makes me sad since interfacing computers to the real world offers so much potential in the way learning.

        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          The hate comes from the Internet and people not understanding that their are people behind the comments. That and I am convinced that humans need religion and when decide that there is no God they make their own out of iPhones, Google, Intel, AMD, Linux, RMS, BSD, Emacs, Vi, OS/X, or some other thing they decide they must fight for. As a once proud member of the one true church of tech, The Church of Amiga, I can tell you that doesn't work out well in the end.

          So are the GPIO lines not accessible? I would ta

      • by harrkev (623093)

        I have never heard of this before, but, after doing some reading, the BeagleBone does not really fill the same niche, and is targeted for a different audience.

        The BeagleBone does NOT have any sort of standard I/O other than USB, and Ethernet, and roll-your-own digital I/O. You have to buy a separate board in order to drive a monitor. Great for embedded stuff, but not really good for a cheap, low-cost, general-purpose PC.

        • by Andy Dodd (701)

          If you read the post I replied to, it's clear that the person I replied to is focused more on the embedded control in their desires than on having a general-purpose PC.

          • These days there's plenty of intersection between embedded control (with GPIOs, I2C etc.) and driving some kind of display.

            At the moment, for those applications at low volumes (1000), Raspberry Pi is the only thing I've seen at a competitive price. Everything else - including mini/nano-ITX PCs - are either way too expensive, or lack good video by current standards, or (thinking of STB chips) you can't get the parts without 10-100k volumes, a high initial fee, a big fat NDA, and very buggy drivers/SDK (been

    • by Arlet (29997)

      If you want to do low-level hacking, like on Arduino, but you'd like some more speed and memory, and have ethernet and USB, it's probably better to look for a simpler ARM based microcontroller.

      These guys have some nice boards (click ARM on the left): http://olimex.com/dev/index.html [olimex.com]

      The Pi doesn't have much user programmable I/O, and it's also harder to access SoC features from the application, or get really accurate timing (Linux isn't very good at real-time stuff).

    • even with multiple arduinos, there's only so much you can do.

      Yep. I've got one Arduino, with another currently en route, but I definitely want a Raspberry Pi as well. The Arduino is great for certain things -- for example, the one I have at home just became the beginnings of a home weather station this weekend -- and I plan to use the second one for miscellaneous hardware hacking and eventually for use on some model rocketry/RC experiments. However, the Pi seems to be better suited for some of the rocketry/RC experiments I would like to try, like running a USB web

    • by DrogMan (708650)

      even with multiple arduinos, there's only so much you can do.

      What about Arduino plus a propellor? http://www.xgamestation.com/view_product.php?id=51 [xgamestation.com]

      Looks fun - wish there was more time to the day to play with these things...

  • by Yvan256 (722131)

    Is it powerful enough to run MAME, at least older versions?

  • Clarification (Score:5, Informative)

    by ebenupton (2424660) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @02:20PM (#37923440)

    I'd encourage people to visit www.raspberrypi.org to read the clarification we've posted. Summary

    - we're in the process of accumulating parts kits for the first 10k unit production run
    - we'll be doing a phased launch, to avoid the risk of kicking out 10k units and having them come straight back with a trivial early-life bug
    - the majority of devices will be available on a first-come first-served basis, with a small number held back for continuity of supply to key partners

    Eben Upton
    Raspberry Pi Foundation

    • by JRowe47 (2459214)

      Thanks for that - and thanks for keeping up on slashdot :) Nice to see input from the head honcho!

  • 10K sets of parts are ordered. This has nothing to do with availability of usable systems. See for yourself what Eben says on the web site: http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/302 [raspberrypi.org]

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