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Hardware Linux

Raspberry Pi Now Has Distributors -- and Will Soon Have Boards for All (Video) 304

Posted by Roblimo
from the my-computer-is-smaller-than-yours dept.
In an exclusive Transatlantic Skype conversation with Slashdot editor Timothy Lord recorded on Feb. 22, Raspberry Pi project leader Eben Upton talks about the state of Raspberry Pi, and tells us that yes -- finally -- they now have distributors in the U.S. and other countries instead trying to ship every unit from the U.K. Even better, instead of buying a batch of boards, selling them, and only then ordering another batch, the new distribution agreements mean they can keep a steady flow of orders coming in and going out. One slight downer is that people who have donated to the project may not get their Pi(s) right away; the distributors have spoken for all of the current order. Eben talks about this, and about how Raspberry Pi is going to take care of contributors, starting at about 4:15 in the video. You can also look at an in-person interview Tim did with Eben in January -- or wait until the end of today's video for a list of other Raspberry Pi videos.

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Raspberry Pi Now Has Distributors -- and Will Soon Have Boards for All (Video)

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  • Failed big time (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @09:08AM (#39196187)

    They promised worldwide delivery to all and the ability to use PayPal. Instead, they gave us company-orders only, minimum order amounts of €50, creditcard only and only to a select amount of countries.

    Don't promise want you can't deliver. Massive disappointment.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @09:19AM (#39196257)

    Unfortunately it didn't really work out as planned. Farnell and RS was DDoSed a long time from 6 am to about 12. And there is still problems for people outside the UK to buy the rasp. I'm in Sweden and Farnells liks to the pre-order does not have Sweden in it's list. RS on the other hand requires a company to "express an interest in raspberry" (it says nothing about pre-order). So even now when the sites is working again I'm still unable to order a Rasp.

    This makes me wonder why they didn't team up with a firm that is known globally and can handle traffic like e-bay or amazon?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @09:20AM (#39196259)

    At 6am the "buy" link on Farnell redirected to a "register interest" page, not a pre-order page, where I logged in with my existing Farnell account and "registered interest". Three minutes later their webserver melted.

    There is now an oversubscribed pre-order page.

    RS seem to be handing this the right way and their "register interest" is first come first served and will help them catch the scalpers and jokers trying to place multiple orders.

    Guess it serves me right for being a loyal Farnell customer.

    Well, guess what Farnell? I'm your worst fucking nightmare. As an EE designing medium volume products built in the UK, every bill of materials I write for the rest of my working life will include as few Farnell part numbers as is humanly possible.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @10:02AM (#39196623) Journal
    Strictly speaking; the SoC on both(being, after all, the same part, now even with the same PoP RAM option) has 1 USB port. The model B has an SMSC LAN9512 chip attached to the SoC's USB port, which is a single-chip USB-ethernet and USB hub part, providing one ethernet port and 2 USB ports. The A has just the SoC port with nothing downstream...

    Makes me wish I'd picked up a few more of those now-fallen-out-of-favor USB 'docking stations' when Microcenter was blowing them out for $8... As a standalone part, the B is a trivially better product, $10 seems a trifle high for just the LAN9512 and connectors; but a USB hub and ethernet dongle will be uglier, and both for under $10 will be a bit tricky. Connected to a USB docking station, though...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @10:04AM (#39196637)

    For mishandling the launch of a £22 gadget that you're interested in playing with, you'll attempt to destroy the current and future professional relationships they have with company you work for?

    I think we've found a new definition for vindictive!

    Overreact much?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @10:04AM (#39196651)

    I was hoping that would be available at the same time as the pi

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @10:31AM (#39196919)

    Trifling over $10? I'd be hard pressed to find labor to attach a USB & ethernet port to anything for $10/unit, even if the parts were free. Sure, you can get it done at Foxconn for $0.10, but given a choice, I'd rather not live there.

  • Losing interest (Score:4, Interesting)

    by morgauxo (974071) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @10:51AM (#39197171)
    Am I the only one losing interest in this? I was really stoked at first, dreaming of all the possibilities of what could be done with such an inexpensive computer. I was considering it's use as everything from a very powerful microcontroler to a server and even a desktop. Right off the bat I wanted two to build car computers, one for a lightweight, power sipping and silent development server and another to use as an X-terminal on my workbench.

    The problem is the display. The lack of VGA output means all those cheap monitors that everyone has in their closets are useless. I'm not even talking about bulky power hungry CRTs, I can't even use the older LCDs that I have lying around. That really kills the price advantage this board would have had. I know, I'm not the target market, schools or kids are. Apparently it's the less financially advantaged schools, the one I went to had a computer lab as early as 1994 (and few knowledgeable teachers to take advantage of it). Are they going to be able to buy all these new monitors? I understand there was an idea that kids would take these home. But it's still only going to work for kids with newer TVs in the family (and probably more than one since mom, dad and siblings are busy watching reality TV crap on the main one). Aren't families like that going to already have real computers?

    I guess there is the composite out. I've never seen anything on composite out that looked much better than late 1980s 8-bit games. Is that going to get kids of today excited?

    By the way, no, converters are not really a practical option. Yes, there are cheap adapters that are just pin remappings. Yes, many of us have even used those adapters successfully on our computers. No, that's not going to cut it for the Raspberry Pi. The cheap adapters work on our computers because they are just remapping Analog output pins that our computers already have active. The raspberry Pi does not have anything attached to those pins. For the Raspberry Pi you need to spend about $90 for a converter that converts the digital output to Analog VGA. That multiplies the money you are spending by over 4! Another option might be a USB to VGA adapter but those aren't much cheaper and would then require a lot of work to get the drivers going.
  • by yakovlev (210738) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @10:56AM (#39197239) Homepage
    Where raspberry pi is really failing at the moment is messaging. We were initially told that we could order internationally direct from the foundation. The post on the website says that you can buy them now from RS and Farnell, which would also be fine. While I think this is true for Farnell if you live in the UK, it isn't true for RS or Farnell if you live in the USA, so a lot of people feel like they've been deceived.

    Furthermore, Farnell doesn't even seem to sell to USA consumers, and RS only has an "express an interest" site, and nothing on their USA site.

    So, consumers are very confused about what is going on. Because of the inconsistent messaging, USA consumers have no idea if we'll ever be able to buy them online, at least without significant retail markup.

    What I think would improve the goodwill would be for the Raspberry Pi team to:

    1.) Contact RS and Farnell and figure out what the heck is going on, particularly for international customers. Put a post on the website to the effect that you're doing this.
    2.) Once they do figure out what's going on, TELL US.

    If, in two weeks time, when all the traffic has died down, international customers will be able to get them, that's fine, but people currently don't feel like that's the case. The two distributors are ruining Raspberry Pi's goodwill (which often happens when you give this power to someone else) but Raspberry Pi isn't compensating by over-communicating on their end.

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