Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 29th Feb 2012 09:47 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems This morning, I experienced the nerd equivalent of a Black Friday $50 iPad sale. At 07:00 CET, the first batch of the much-anticipated Raspberry Pi went on sale, and while Raspberry Pi itself was very properly prepared, the two large international retailers actually selling the device weren't - despite warnings from Raspberry Pi about the enormous amount of traffic that would come their way, the two sites crumbled to dust within seconds. There's good news too - the cheaper model A has seen its RAM doubled at no additional cost.
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Only for companies?
by Andre on Wed 29th Feb 2012 09:58 UTC
Andre
Member since:
2005-07-06

Appearently, both Farnell* and RS Components only deliver to companies in the Netherlands. Since I do not own a company, it seems I am required to ask someone who owns a company in order to order a Raspberry Pi.

* Farnell does have an exception, but it required an order of at least 50 euros. (http://nl.farnell.com/images/nl_NL/pdf/Particulier_voorwaarden.doc) And since the rule was one Pi per address...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Only for companies?
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 29th Feb 2012 09:59 UTC in reply to "Only for companies?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I ordered as an individual...

EDIT: Well, I did add OSNews Inc., but they didn't ask for any company ID or whatever. I also have my own company in case they were to complain.

Edited 2012-02-29 10:00 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Only for companies?
by Andre on Wed 29th Feb 2012 10:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Only for companies?"
Andre Member since:
2005-07-06

When I click personal pre-order, I get a list of countries. (http://export.farnell.com/jsp/search/displayProduct.jsp?sku=2081185) Which one did you select? As the European countries listed are mostly East-European, and the site that appears when I click one of those is in a language I cannot read.

(When I try to look at it again... I get the gateway timeout again.)

Edit: I got family and friend who own companies... so it wouldn't be that much of a problem either.

Edited 2012-02-29 10:08 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Only for companies?
by Morgan on Wed 29th Feb 2012 10:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Only for companies?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

After 45 minutes of frustration reloading Farnell's product page, I was finally able to secure a pre-order. I had no problems due to being in the U.S. apart from the current exchange rate giving me a cost of ~$42, and for the required Company Name I just used my legal name. They accepted my order and I got a confirmation email.

I certainly don't hold the foundation at fault for the SNAFU, they went above and beyond in their efforts to make sure the launch went smoothly. Once the tide of drooling geeks has ebbed, we should be able to start placing regular orders, maybe as early as April.

I'm really looking forward to getting my unit in a month or so, and depending on how successful it proves for each of the projects I'll be throwing at it I will be ordering several more boards this year.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Only for companies?
by henderson101 on Wed 29th Feb 2012 11:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Only for companies?"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

I'm no expert, but I'd guess you possibly paid VAT (sales TAX) at 20% (current UK rate.) You might want to verify that, as you will potentially get stung again when importing this item unless you can prove you already paid Tax on it. You may also be able to claim the Tax back as a non EU resident.

(This is based on (35 * 1.20 == 42) .. might just be a coincidence of course.)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Only for companies?
by Morgan on Wed 29th Feb 2012 11:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Only for companies?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

According to my receipt there was no VAT, and my card hasn't been charged yet. The ~$42 I referred to was from looking up the current exchange rate and applying it to the price as quoted in GBP on the order page.

Once my card is charged I'm sure there will be a VAT amount on there too. I knew there was no way I'd get this thing for $35 anyway, but it's still an awesome deal!

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Only for companies?
by henderson101 on Wed 29th Feb 2012 15:02 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Only for companies?"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

UK sales generally include VAT unless they state that VAT is not included. It sort of makes more sense than the US system of adding tax at the point of sale, but it also then masks the inclusion.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Only for companies?
by henderson101 on Wed 29th Feb 2012 15:32 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Only for companies?"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

£21.65 is actually US$34.51 at today's current exchange rate, so something odd is going on somewhere. However, $35 is £21.94 and if you add 20% to £21.94 you yet $26.34 which is as near as damn it $42. You either got charged VAT, or a 20% mark-up.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Only for companies?
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 29th Feb 2012 15:36 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Only for companies?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

£21.65 is actually US$34.51 at today's current exchange rate, so something odd is going on somewhere. However, $35 is £21.94 and if you add 20% to £21.94 you yet $26.34 which is as near as damn it $42. You either got charged VAT, or a 20% mark-up.


It turns out Farnell included shipping IN the price.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Only for companies?
by bhtooefr on Wed 29th Feb 2012 11:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Only for companies?"
bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

There won't be any import duty unless the order's over US$3000.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Only for companies?
by Morgan on Wed 29th Feb 2012 12:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Only for companies?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Thank you for that information. I didn't think there would be any duties on my side of the fence as I've ordered computer parts from outside the U.S. hundreds of times without a single charge beyond standard shipping.

Reply Score: 2

Reminds me of concert sales
by error32 on Wed 29th Feb 2012 10:03 UTC
error32
Member since:
2008-12-10

This reminds me of the ticket frenzy when the tickets for Lowlands go on sale.
I am looking forward to read what uses people come up with for this SBC.

Reply Score: 1

Price is good!
by henderson101 on Wed 29th Feb 2012 10:21 UTC
henderson101
Member since:
2006-05-30

Being in the UK, I looked at the price and thought "wait £21.65 is not $25!!!"... then I took a pill and realised it was for the *Model B*!!! Ha! So happy not to have been caught by insane price hikes excused as "exchange rates".

I think I'll wait till the craziness subsides, but as I recently purchased a monitor with HDMI, this looks pretty cool to me.

Reply Score: 3

Low cost PC potential?
by pandronic on Wed 29th Feb 2012 10:43 UTC
pandronic
Member since:
2006-05-18

I wonder, once someone ports some kind of Linux to it, if it would be powerful enough to use as a low cost PC for basic browsing, watching some movies and some light office work?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Low cost PC potential?
by kragil on Wed 29th Feb 2012 10:54 UTC in reply to "Low cost PC potential?"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Debian and Fedora are already running on it.

I really hope these below $50 computers really catch on. Today they are still a little bit underpowered, but I guess by the end of the year we will have 1GB of RAM and a 1GHz+ dual core. (this http://rhombus-tech.net/allwinner_a10/ goes in that direction)

Most Facebookers don't need a big computer. A lean mean LXDE ARM box with a mali GPU will be just fine for most people. We can turn off a few nuclear power plants and don't dump that much into landfills if this is the future of computing. (Not to mention all the bad influence MS and Apple have, they won't be as powerful anymore)

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: Low cost PC potential?
by pandronic on Wed 29th Feb 2012 11:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Low cost PC potential?"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

Yeah, I was thinking about the RAM, it's a bit on the low side considering that it's also shared with the GPU. Also I don't think that the 700Mhz CPU is good enough to do 720p software video decoding. Does the Pi have any built-in codec support?

But anyway, this is less important. Considering the massive success this thing is about to have, there will surely be a Model C with specs along the line of what you said. I can't wait ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Low cost PC potential?
by bhtooefr on Wed 29th Feb 2012 11:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Low cost PC potential?"
bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

The GPU on this thing is actually quite good, as far as cell phone GPUs go.

The SoC on this thing was actually designed as a beefy mobile GPU, with a low-end CPU tacked on for good measure.

So, media and 3D rendering will be excellent despite the slowish CPU (and, my understanding is that everything in the OS land is open source, too - the binary blob runs on the GPU itself).

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Low cost PC potential?
by Neolander on Wed 29th Feb 2012 16:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Low cost PC potential?"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

So, media and 3D rendering will be excellent despite the slowish CPU (and, my understanding is that everything in the OS land is open source, too - the binary blob runs on the GPU itself).

AFAIK, we're talking about a binary blob Linux GPU driver too, just like those of AMD and NVidia on x86.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Low cost PC potential?
by Morgan on Wed 29th Feb 2012 11:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Low cost PC potential?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Read the specs, it can handle 1080p at 30fps quite smoothly. There's a ton of video proof on Youtube as well. The GPU is the real gem of this device, apart from the fact that the driver is (currently) a binary blob. Broadcom has hinted at opening it up to developers at a later date, probably when the next iteration is released.

Edit: Sorry bhtooefr, I guess I type too slow, I didn't see your post until after I sent mine. ;)

Edited 2012-02-29 11:36 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Low cost PC potential?
by phoenix on Wed 29th Feb 2012 17:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Low cost PC potential?"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Have a look at the Cotton Candy. Same basic idea as the Raspberry Pi, but it's a dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU, Mali-400MP GPU, 1 GB of RAM, and microSD support up to 64 GB for storage. Onboard HDMI (full-size), USB (full-size), and micro-USB port. It's currently over $100, but give it a bit and the price should come down.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Low cost PC potential?
by alexz on Thu 1st Mar 2012 10:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Low cost PC potential?"
alexz Member since:
2012-02-25

Rhombus tech is a joke, I highly doubt it'll never materialize.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Low cost PC potential?
by Arawn on Thu 1st Mar 2012 15:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Low cost PC potential?"
Arawn Member since:
2005-07-13

There's the Pandaboard and the Pandaboard ES. They are (a lot) more expensive than the Raspberry Pi, but have a lot more goodies onboard: Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi, I/O connectors, serial port, 1GHz (1.2GHz on ES) dual-core TI OMAP4 series, etc.

Take a look at http://www.pandaboard.org/


There's also the Beagleboard, also more expensive: http://beagleboard.org/

Edited 2012-03-01 15:59 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Low cost PC potential?
by JPollard on Wed 29th Feb 2012 18:17 UTC in reply to "Low cost PC potential?"
JPollard Member since:
2011-12-31

Linux is already there.

That is what they used for development.

Reply Score: 2

I missed out
by Laurence on Wed 29th Feb 2012 11:35 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

I seem to make a habit of showing an interest in popular tech before it becomes popular and then loosing out in the race when all the servers melt.

sux2b me

Still, at least I know more will be available - eventually ;)

Reply Score: 2

Very Generous!
by Garrrr_Pirate on Wed 29th Feb 2012 11:39 UTC
Garrrr_Pirate
Member since:
2012-02-29

You've been really rather generous considering what a huge car crash the whole launch has been.

All of these problems were predicted over and over to the RPi team. The only replies were ones of smug condescension that it was in hand.

Claiming that they had warned the resellers that this might happen doesn't really cut it I'm afraid, they didn't even have direct links to the products in place before the launch and just palmed the problem back. They couldn't answer anyone's questions as they didn't have any contacts at the resellers to speak to.

The RPi website stayed up because there was nothing on it, RPi.com was pulled shortly before the launch and Rpi.org didn't stay up all the time, it just managed better than Farnell and RS.

Farnell didn't enforce the one per customer rule so it seems likely that large numbers have been hoovered up by individuals. You can't order it outside of the UK if you're not a business.

I don't really see how they could have handled it worse tBH.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Very Generous!
by Morgan on Wed 29th Feb 2012 12:03 UTC in reply to "Very Generous!"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

You've been really rather generous considering what a huge car crash the whole launch has been.

All of these problems were predicted over and over to the RPi team. The only replies were ones of smug condescension that it was in hand.


I seem to recall quite a bit of nail biting and apprehension on their part. Are you sure you were reading the same forum? They knew it would be a catastrophe no matter what, and I'd say they did an excellent job of making it possible to even buy a device.

Claiming that they had warned the resellers that this might happen doesn't really cut it I'm afraid,


You say that as if you have proof they were lying. They didn't "claim" it, they stated it clearly.

they didn't even have direct links to the products in place before the launch


Perhaps because they knew from first hand experience how that would likely bring the resellers' servers down? 100,000+ rabid geeks hitting F5 for 24 hours prior to launch would mean there would be no servers to order from at launch time.

and just palmed the problem back. They couldn't answer anyone's questions as they didn't have any contacts at the resellers to speak to.


Citation please? If they didn't have contacts at the resellers, how did they arrange the reseller agreement?? You aren't making a lick of sense.

The RPi website stayed up because there was nothing on it, RPi.com was pulled shortly before the launch and Rpi.org didn't stay up all the time, it just managed better than Farnell and RS.


That was a smart move, and I applaud them for it. How else did you expect them to be able to stay up? Once again you display an utter lack of common sense.

Farnell didn't enforce the one per customer rule so it seems likely that large numbers have been hoovered up by individuals.


I have no idea if this is true but I hope it isn't. Do you have proof of this? I'm genuinely curious as your wording seems to indicate you have proof.

You can't order it outside of the UK if you're not a business.


BZZT, wrong! I (pre)ordered one with no problem apart from an understandably slow server on their end. I'm an individual in the U.S., just to be clear.

I don't really see how they could have handled it worse tBH.


I don't see how they could have done better, apart from securing several more vendors. But for each vendor they may have added, it would be yet another bunch of hoops to jump through. I think they did a fantastic job considering the entire situation.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Very Generous!
by Risible on Wed 29th Feb 2012 12:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Very Generous!"
Risible Member since:
2012-02-29

Perhaps because they knew from first hand experience how that would likely bring the resellers' servers down? 100,000+ rabid geeks hitting F5 for 24 hours prior to launch would mean there would be no servers to order from at launch time.


That's not what he's saying. They should have had the direct links ready, and then when they posted their static page live at 0600 they should have included those links.

Instead they posted the vague "Just search for Raspberry Pi!" message. That's stupid - so now they are generating more traffic as people run searches on the store servers, bogging the servers down even more.

The RPi website stayed up because there was nothing on it, RPi.com was pulled shortly before the launch and Rpi.org didn't stay up all the time, it just managed better than Farnell and RS.

That was a smart move, and I applaud them for it. How else did you expect them to be able to stay up? Once again you display an utter lack of common sense.


Once again, its you who doesn't understand. He was posting in response to the Raspberry Pi team's asinine tweets where they kept exclaiming "Hey, it's not our fault! OUR server stayed up the whole time!" Of course it did, you served up a static page that most people only viewed once. You didn't have to withstand 100,000 people trying to place an order. It was a stupid response on the part of the Raspberry Pi team.

I don't see how they could have done better, apart from securing several more vendors. But for each vendor they may have added, it would be yet another bunch of hoops to jump through. I think they did a fantastic job considering the entire situation.


They should have vetted their vendors better. They should have included direct links to the product pages, rather than leave their customers frantically searching for the correct page. One of their vendors, as it turns out, isn't even selling the product.

They should have handled their response to the crisis better, with more mea culpas and less blaming it on the vendors. They were disingenuous at best with their "Hey, we told the vendors it would be popular" replies. They still are sticking to the "It's the vendor's fault, not ours" company line.

How many tweets did we see where they moaned about how mean the tweets they were getting were, rather than useful concrete information.

They made many poor choices and have offered no apologies to people like myself who stayed up until 2:30am attempting to order their product. It was a botched launch from start to finish, and the fact that fanboys like yourself continue to defend them amazes me, quite frankly.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Very Generous!
by kragil on Wed 29th Feb 2012 12:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Very Generous!"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

OK, it wasn't totally perfect. But at least they don't suck, like all the idiots who stayed up all night or woke really early for a game that you were very likely to loose anyway. (Game being: Getting one from the first batch.)

Now you whine and throw a tantrum on the internet. Very mature. Just be happy they opted for the licensed route, because now you are way more likely to get one in a reasonable time frame (just look at OpenPandora to see how long you would wait otherwise)

So stop your bitching and be grateful that RPi exists and that they are even sold to social hermits like you.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Very Generous!
by Morgan on Wed 29th Feb 2012 12:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Very Generous!"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm going to ignore the "fanboy" dig for now, though it serves to nearly undermine your entire response by labeling it as flaming.

You're right: I pretty much ignored the whole Twitter side of things as I don't particularly care for that service. I hang on to my Twitter account for some of the same reasons I still have a Facebook login, but I don't use either service that much. Looking at it now, I see what you mean about some of the things the RPi team has said.

I still say they handled it very well considering that they never thought it would be this big in tech circles. I'm sure when they first started the project they were likely thinking they might sell a few thousand at a time. That doesn't excuse any backpedaling and blaming going on today. If nothing else, it's a learning experience for them. Every startup has growing pains, after all.

And I still stand behind my response to Garrrr_Pirate; you accuse me of being a fanboy while you ignore his overt trolling and outright lies. What's up with that, anyway?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Very Generous!
by Garrrr_Pirate on Wed 29th Feb 2012 13:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Very Generous!"
Garrrr_Pirate Member since:
2012-02-29

overt trolling and outright lies


ಠ_ಠ Well thanks.

Everything I wrote pretty much came direct from Raspberry Pi themselves, not trolling or telling lies, just frustrated at the mess this launch became and people blindly defending them without the facts themselves it seems.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Very Generous!
by Morgan on Wed 29th Feb 2012 13:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Very Generous!"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Once again I take back some of what I said regarding what was posted on Twitter as I didn't pay attention to that service (shame on me!). That said, I've gone back and read through their tweets and you are taking a LOT of things out of context or otherwise ignoring the obvious.

I actually replied to you down below, but to sum up: You are being as blind in your rage against the foundation and blaming them 100% for the fuckup, as you are accusing me and others of holding them blameless.

First, consider that the resellers have a monetary interest in cutting corners and such, and may very well have ignored contact attempts from RPi, either intentionally or as a consequence of their IT infrastructure going up in smoke. Second, I've said several times that RPi made mistakes that I'm sure they will learn from going forward.

I know we will likely never agree on how things were handled at launch, but I'd like to assume that you, like me, are here because you are interested in this device. For my part, I'm going to bow out of this pointless battle, as I've more than made my point as well as made a fool of myself by not being well informed regarding tweets. So, here's to hoping the device lives up to the hype! I have a feeling it will. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Very Generous!
by Garrrr_Pirate on Wed 29th Feb 2012 12:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Very Generous!"
Garrrr_Pirate Member since:
2012-02-29

I seem to recall quite a bit of nail biting and apprehension on their part. Are you sure you were reading the same forum? They knew it would be a catastrophe no matter what, and I'd say they did an excellent job of making it possible to even buy a device.


Yes I read the same forums, they assured everyone that it was in hand. People asked over and over for a pre-order system to avoid this but the reply was always that it was not required.

You say that as if you have proof they were lying. They didn't "claim" it, they stated it clearly.


Well they clearly failed to warn them of the scale, warning them covers all manner of sins from "you may see a blip in traffic" to "do you realise that this will cause xx00,000 unique hits"


Perhaps because they knew from first hand experience how that would likely bring the resellers' servers down? 100,000+ rabid geeks hitting F5 for 24 hours prior to launch would mean there would be no servers to order from at launch time.


I'm not suggesting that they released them to the public but posted them on their page with the announcement, they stated that they didn't have them from the suppliers this morning. Do you think 100,000 geeks would cause more or less server load following a direct link or mashing the site search?



Citation please? If they didn't have contacts at the resellers, how did they arrange the reseller agreement?? You aren't making a lick of sense.


http://twitter.com/#!/Raspberry_Pi/status/174758342680514562

http://twitter.com/#!/Raspberry_Pi/status/174789638907637760

They admit they couldn't get hold of RS, they had to find out the details of the launch of their own product from a customer.

It took them three and a half hours to contact Farnell, hardly a sign of a close working relationship with either. Surely if they had communicated the scale of this thoroughly you'd imagine there would be a bit more communication between them.


That was a smart move, and I applaud them for it. How else did you expect them to be able to stay up? Once again you display an utter lack of common sense.


By planning for it, I don't think it displays an utter lack of common sense, to question this there are sites that handle more traffic every day, how do they manage?

Farnell didn't enforce the one per customer rule so it seems likely that large numbers have been hoovered up by individuals.


I have no idea if this is true but I hope it isn't. Do you have proof of this? I'm genuinely curious as your wording seems to indicate you have proof.


http://twitter.com/#!/Hexxeh/status/174773218383638528

Try it for yourself, you can put as many as you like in the qty box, I know the initial run has gone. Rpi admit themselves they don't know. There is a guy on Ebay who had a load for sale. He may have been a scammer but that doesn't seem to be the case.



BZZT, wrong! I (pre)ordered one with no problem apart from an understandably slow server on their end. I'm an individual in the U.S., just to be clear.[\q]

Oh well, every cloud, as long as you got one.

[q]I don't see how they could have done better, apart from securing several more vendors. But for each vendor they may have added, it would be yet another bunch of hoops to jump through. I think they did a fantastic job considering the entire situation.


In short, by planning for it, speaking to the vendors and not being so adamant that dropping an incredibly small stock of something that was so obviously in demand all at once was totally the best idea. To be honest I'm starting to think that this was all deliberate to generate as much publicity as possible.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Very Generous!
by Morgan on Wed 29th Feb 2012 13:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Very Generous!"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Yes I read the same forums, they assured everyone that it was in hand. People asked over and over for a pre-order system to avoid this but the reply was always that it was not required.


Please explain how a pre-order system would have been any different? There would still be hundreds of thousands of people bringing servers to their knees trying to click the pre-order button as opposed to the order button. The only difference I can think of is that there would have been a few weeks between server crashes and orders shipping.

http://twitter.com/#!/Raspberry_Pi/status/174758342680514562

http://twitter.com/#!/Raspberry_Pi/status/174789638907637760

They admit they couldn't get hold of RS, they had to find out the details of the launch of their own product from a customer.

It took them three and a half hours to contact Farnell, hardly a sign of a close working relationship with either. Surely if they had communicated the scale of this thoroughly you'd imagine there would be a bit more communication between them.


As I said to Risible, I never bothered to check Twitter, thank you for posting the relevant tweets. Have you considered, though, that the resellers might have been avoiding calls from RPi? You're so quick to blame the foundation when they could very well have been ringing every phone and pinging every email address at the resellers. It's entirely possible that the same traffic that brought down the storefronts also affected communication at the companies. But hey, that requires a moment of thought to envision rather than a fountain of vitriol, right?

By planning for it, I don't think it displays an utter lack of common sense, to question this there are sites that handle more traffic every day, how do they manage?


Your strawman needs some new stuffing. I'm sure if Amazon or Newegg were the vendors of choice they would have barely felt a sting, they are indeed used to this kind of traffic every day. But RS and Farnell aren't in the top 10 tech vendors on the internet. They aren't even in the top 100. They are small potatoes and are probably used to 1/10th the traffic they are getting today.



http://twitter.com/#!/Hexxeh/status/174773218383638528

Try it for yourself, you can put as many as you like in the qty box, I know the initial run has gone. Rpi admit themselves they don't know. There is a guy on Ebay who had a load for sale. He may have been a scammer but that doesn't seem to be the case.


Interestingly you ignore this response:

Raspberry Pi:@Hexxeh We're talking to them about that. The agreement we have with them was very clear that it was to be only 1 per customer.


It appears that this might be shenanigans on the part of Farnell, perhaps trying to cash in quickly, or maybe hoping a few people would place huge orders and end the sale early. But hey, go ahead and keep accusing a non-profit foundation of misleading the public, especially when they are also trying to make sure Farnell plays by the rules. Stay classy, my friend.

In short, by planning for it, speaking to the vendors and not being so adamant that dropping an incredibly small stock of something that was so obviously in demand all at once was totally the best idea.


Yeah, because they can just throw those first 10,000 units in the Hammerspace Bag and whip out another 100,000 on the spot! Jesus but you are out of touch with reality on that one.

To be honest I'm starting to think that this was all deliberate to generate as much publicity as possible.


I can't think of anyone beyond a Kardashian who would intentionally seek out so much egg on the face just for publicity's sake.

How about stepping back and looking at it again; isn't it quite possible that they simply underestimated the huge following this project would have, and being a (say it with me) non profit foundation they didn't have the immediate resources to cope with the way it scaled? Even Apple has issues with meeting demand for their shiny iDevices, and they have billions of dollars in liquid assets they can and do throw at the problem. Sometimes you just have to do the best with what you have and learn what to avoid for the next time around.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Very Generous!
by rec9140 on Wed 29th Feb 2012 14:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Very Generous!"
rec9140 Member since:
2012-02-29

Please explain how a pre-order system would have been any different? There would still be hundreds of thousands of people bringing servers to their knees trying to click the pre-order button as opposed to the order button. The only difference I can think of is that there would have been a few weeks between server crashes and orders shipping.


Simple... you fill out a form during the time since May 2011 when this was announced! Very unlikely to over burned a server of this long a time. Sure spikes possibly... not as likely as this disaster...

Should have been taking PRE ORDERS for months and then they would know how many they needed. no 10K, but likely 30-50K.


Plus the foundation sits on the $$$/££££ and earns interest... win win for all.... but nope... The RPI food blogger knows better! Eben and most of them know way more about silicon design, chip design etc.. than I probably will ever know... but this is a mess.
This is an unmitigated disaster.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Very Generous!
by Garrrr_Pirate on Wed 29th Feb 2012 14:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Very Generous!"
Garrrr_Pirate Member since:
2012-02-29

Please explain how a pre-order system would have been any different? There would still be hundreds of thousands of people bringing servers to their knees trying to click the pre-order button as opposed to the order button. The only difference I can think of is that there would have been a few weeks between server crashes and orders shipping.


By spreading the load over several weeks or months, not dropping it so the whole world tries to buy the things at the same time. Even a registration of interest with a lottery system would have been so much better. As it was not even the mailing list got the email as promised.


As I said to Risible, I never bothered to check Twitter, thank you for posting the relevant tweets. Have you considered, though, that the resellers might have been avoiding calls from RPi? You're so quick to blame the foundation when they could very well have been ringing every phone and pinging every email address at the resellers. It's entirely possible that the same traffic that brought down the storefronts also affected communication at the companies. But hey, that requires a moment of thought to envision rather than a fountain of vitriol, right?


Maybe they were, I rang RS this morning after the site crashed and got straight through. So did the person in the tweet, hardly the sign of company who have been taken out of existence by enquiries or the sign that the foundation was trying by any and all means to contact them (this is also pure speculation on your part). Raspberry Pi didn't even know that RS weren't planning to sell the product today, you can hardly blame that on poor communication after the event. I'm not spouting a fountain of vitriol btw, I just disagree somewhat with your somewhat rose tinted view, but again thanks.

I should add that you read enough of the Twitter to decide that people were attacking them in your article but when the tweets that conflict with your opinion appear you [p]I pretty much ignored the whole Twitter side of things[/p], which was it?

Your strawman needs some new stuffing. I'm sure if Amazon or Newegg were the vendors of choice they would have barely felt a sting, they are indeed used to this kind of traffic every day. But RS and Farnell aren't in the top 10 tech vendors on the internet. They aren't even in the top 100. They are small potatoes and are probably used to 1/10th the traffic they are getting today.


I think you need to learn what strawman means. RS and Farnell have around 5000 employees each, Farnell operate in nearly 3 times as many countries as Amazon and turnover around $1.5 Billion, these are hardly small potatoes. There such things as elastic servers, cloud computing etc etc just for circumstances such as this.

Interestingly you ignore this response:


No I didn't, it rather reinforces the likelihood that this is what happened. I didn't say that this happening was the fault of the foundation or that they had deliberately mislead anyone. In fact I specifically stated that
Farnell didn't enforce the one per customer rule so it seems likely that large numbers have been hoovered up by individuals
, so it seems you are refuting not what I actually said but something close to it (see my comments about strawman).

Yeah, because they can just throw those first 10,000 units in the Hammerspace Bag and whip out another 100,000 on the spot! Jesus but you are out of touch with reality on that one.


I'm not suggesting it was easy or that I have the answers, just that saying it was handled well is at best somewhat disingenuous.

isn't it quite possible that they simply underestimated the huge following this project would have


Not really, they've known for months about the demand, they even talk about it themselves on their own forum.

they didn't have the immediate resources


In their own words "We are adequately funded", any number of people would have offered them funding, pre-order money but we were told that they didn't need it.

non profit foundation


I guess this is the crux of it, boy did it show, it was handled spectacularly badly despite all the warnings that this would be what ended up happening. They spent all morning telling people that they didn't know what was happening. Sometimes you have to do the best with what you have, its just a shame they didn't. When Apple can't deliver they don't spend all day tweeting how it was someone else's fault.

All that said I'm somewhat grouchy after being up since the early hours for no good reason when it seems likely that half of the stock was sold to a few people and the rest wasn't actually for sale.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Very Generous!
by Lennie on Thu 1st Mar 2012 10:11 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Very Generous!"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

"RS and Farnell have around 5000 employees each, Farnell operate in nearly 3 times as many countries as Amazon and turnover around $1.5 Billion, these are hardly small potatoes. There such things as elastic servers, cloud computing etc etc just for circumstances such as this."

I think the resellers just didn't take it seriously.

The foundation did tell them or maybe it didn't reach the right people.

I do believe the foundation asked for direct links, they just didn't get them (in time).

Also I doubt the resellers make a lot of money on this product, so maybe they didn't want to spend time/money on it.

Obviously having your main website go down is money lost.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Very Generous!
by Laurence on Wed 29th Feb 2012 13:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Very Generous!"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


"Farnell didn't enforce the one per customer rule so it seems likely that large numbers have been hoovered up by individuals.


I have no idea if this is true but I hope it isn't. Do you have proof of this? I'm genuinely curious as your wording seems to indicate you have proof.
"

It was enforced post sale. Anyone with more than one unit had their excess cancelled.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Very Generous!
by lucas_maximus on Thu 1st Mar 2012 08:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Very Generous!"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Dude if it is a static page, a pentium 1 can handle 1000s of requests per minute

Reply Score: 2

v RE: Very Generous!
by rec9140 on Wed 29th Feb 2012 14:14 UTC in reply to "Very Generous!"
RE: Very Generous!
by aaronb on Wed 29th Feb 2012 22:39 UTC in reply to "Very Generous!"
aaronb Member since:
2005-07-06

This is a launch of a very cheap PC by a foundation made up of a small team of people, who have have put together a complex product and released it in a short amount of time. Liz has kept us informed as much as possible (more so than many other projects).

We all know that there is a limited amount of stock available and that manufacturing has not long started, so it stands to reason that not everyone will be able to buy one at first.

Also when something launched for the first time there can be issues that are normally fixed in subsequent batches / releases. It is difficult for retailers to take warnings seriously when this is probably the first time they have done business with the Pi team. However the Pi team will be taken more seriously now that the stock has sold out quickly and many people have registered interest.

Temporarily having a static site is a good strategy for dealing with huge increases in demand when there is limited time or resources. And from time to time websites (this site included) do not load instantly (and can even time out!).

In a few weeks or months there will be new stock and many of today's issues will be resolved.

Please note that this post should read a little patronising.

Reply Score: 5

I was too slow
by bloodline on Wed 29th Feb 2012 11:58 UTC
bloodline
Member since:
2008-07-28

I was up at 5:50, refreshing the Raspbery Pi website... As soon as the RS and Farnel web links came up I tried to order from both, but both went down and didn't come back up for an hour... By which time they were obviously sold out ;)

Well, I've given my details... Hopefully I'll get one of the next batch ;)

Reply Score: 1

Ordered from AUS and not a Business
by TheAwesome on Wed 29th Feb 2012 12:28 UTC
TheAwesome
Member since:
2012-02-29

pandronic said: "I don't think that the 700Mhz CPU is good enough to do 720p software video decoding",
which is true (I'd say). I do very much doubt that the 700Mhz CPU would be enought to do 720p software decoding. But 720p hardware decoding with the GPU will be definitely possible.
Some people over at xbmc.org have already ported a version of xbmc to run as an OS.
That's the main reason I'm getting mine.
oh, and how do you know that you are not part of the first batch?
As stated by RPi, the boards are physically still in China.
So both websites had no actual stock to begin with.

My order confirmation under availability says "Awaiting Deliverey" which could just mean awaiting delivery of the first batch. But who knows.

Garrrr_Pirate's comment is not even worth replying to.
Thanks Morgan for replying to it for me.

Reply Score: 3

elvstone
Member since:
2005-09-08

I'm trying to pre-order a model B. But the "Buy on Farnell element14" link takes me to a "Register your interest" page. Is that equivalent to pre-ordering?

Reply Score: 1

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I thought that message was only at the RS site, not Farnell. I was able to pre-order from Farnell once I could get the page to load, about an hour or so after launch.

I just tried the Farnell site again and it's not loading. Also of note, raspberrypi.org has apparently pulled the links but left the link images intact. I wonder if this is because the first batch has sold out? And if that is the case, perhaps those of us who thought we were pre-ordering the next batch will actually get one from the first run? That would be nice! ;)

EDIT: I'm retarded, links are at the bottom of the page. I should have gone to bed two hours ago...

Edited 2012-02-29 12:48 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Not completely blameless
by singapura on Wed 29th Feb 2012 12:59 UTC
singapura
Member since:
2012-02-29

I can see why a lot of people want to keep Liz and the rest of the team completely blameless. However this is not a case of blame but simply one of beginners mistakes. The first mistake was to keep the outsourcing of their distribution unknown to the endusers (us) until it was too late. Then they underestimated the demand that months of hype can create and the demand that comes with that hype. The third mistake was to give information that was so vague and so misdirecting that people had no idea where to go to get the product that most of us have been waiting for a very long time.

The last and worst mistake was to put all responsibility in the hands of the distributors. Sure both companies ought to have known better but Raspberry Pi is simply another customer to them. There are very few websites that can handle a sustained and large number of hits without going down. Amazon could have done it, so could eBay but not a lot of others.

The Raspberri Pi people should and could have known better because this is not the first product that hits the virtual market and runs into trouble because of demand. You need to have your manufacturing, supply and marketing lines in pristine order if you want to take your customers seriously.

My personal issue was that RasPi had promised on multiple occasions that members of the forum and the newsletter would get a message in time so they could order in peace. Instead hundreds if not thousands of enthusiasts got up early because they were told to do so and got nothing to show for. I was lucky enough to be able to call the local branch of Premier Farnell (called element14 to make things even more confusing) and had the very helpful lady enter an order directly in the system for me. The early hour was an advantage for me because it was 2pm in Singapore. However this was only after a great deal of snarling, cursing and slavering (and worried looking colleagues) because it wasn't Raspberri Pi that provided the link.

Apple outsources all of their manufacturing and logistics. You will never see them blaming their outsourcing partners when things go wrong and they seldom do because they know: failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Not completely blameless
by Flatland_Spider on Wed 29th Feb 2012 17:24 UTC in reply to "Not completely blameless"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

However this is not a case of blame but simply one of beginners mistakes.


This pretty much it. They're engineers doing this in their spare time and not logistics experts. They're experts at hardware design and building parts to a cost, but they're amateurs when it comes to distribution.

The first mistake was to keep the outsourcing of their distribution unknown to the endusers (us) until it was too late.


They really should have done a better job of this. Announcing the distributors and delaying the release a couple of weeks would have been better.

They could of also went head and used their web store for the first batch and the distributors for everything else.

Hopefully in the future people will be able to order from one of the distributors from the RPi homepage.

Then they underestimated the demand that months of hype can create and the demand that comes with that hype.


The Raspberri Pi people should and could have known better because this is not the first product that hits the virtual market and runs into trouble because of demand. You need to have your manufacturing, supply and marketing lines in pristine order if you want to take your customers seriously.


Apple outsources all of their manufacturing and logistics. You will never see them blaming their outsourcing partners when things go wrong and they seldom do because they know: failing to prepare is preparing to fail.


It's been well documented there would only be 10,000 Pi's on launch day, and that is all the non-profit foundation could source at one time due to financial reasons.

They were very upfront about not having enough RPis to go around. Switching to the licensing model with the distributors shows they were anticipating the demand, as it will increase the supply in the future, but the plans weren't fully baked at the moment, which has caused problems.

People are just being impatient. Constrained supplies happen at the beginning of any hardware launch, and people get huffy about that too. The RPi organization has the problem of not having another product for people to buy like Intel, AMD, Apple, or Nvidia.

Besides, early adopters get f***ed. If you absolutely have to have to have the latest and greatest on the first day's it's released, be prepared. Realize you're a beta, if not alpha, tester, and understand you may not get one in the initial scrum, the model on Ebay is going to have 1000% markup, or the widget may be super buggy.

Everyone needs to chill out, and realize there will be more tomorrow.

There are very few websites that can handle a sustained and large number of hits without going down. Amazon could have done it, so could eBay but not a lot of others.


Seriously. The distributors are never going to see this much traffic again, so they're not going to invest the money.

"Why didn't they use an Amazon store?" was my first thought when I first heard about the carnage on Slashdot. ;)

Reply Score: 1

Hans Otten
Member since:
2009-12-24

I do love the Raspberry Pi idea.
And the price level is great.

But for this first batch they choose an awkward mechanism. Companies like RS and Farnell either do only distribute to companies or have high costs/minimal order value restrictions.

Sigh, I will have to wait until they got their act together to serve ordinary people: dedicated webpage where you order 1 or 2, couple of euro transport at most, and delivery!

Reply Score: 3

We've No Right To A Raspberry Pi ...
by M.Onty on Wed 29th Feb 2012 13:33 UTC
M.Onty
Member since:
2009-10-23

... Its just a nice thing. Will become more than just a nice thing when it goes out to schools, sure, but until then its just a really desirable product. So much anger about the predictable collapse of the ordering system seems to stem from a subconscious belief in The Right To Buy What I Want. No such right exists. The anger is infantile.

Lets keep this launch in context. This launch is not what the Raspberry Pi is actually about. Its about teaching the UK's children to code, thus doing the nation's industries a favour in years to come. How many pre-orderers are giving theirs to a schoolboy/-girl? We (yes, I was hitting F5 at six in the morning too; no I didn't get one; no I don't mind much) are simply not the important part of this story, any failures on their part to provide for us are not indicative of their proper qualities or lack thereof.

So lets act like gentlemen and help an inspired charity realise its real goals without childish tantrums or finger-pointing.

Reply Score: 7

Underphil Member since:
2012-01-13

Couldn't have said it better myself. The sense of entitlement amongst hermit-like bedroom hackers never fails to astound me.

Just get one when there's more available and stop sulking like two-year olds that have been told that it's bedtime. It's embarassing at best.

Reply Score: 1

apLundell Member since:
2012-02-29

You shouldn't confuse enthusiasm and frustration for a sense of entitlement.

Reply Score: 2

Well, guess I won't order one
by deathshadow on Wed 29th Feb 2012 13:53 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

until they change distributors -- shame 'cause I really want one, but since this "RS Componants" throws a scam/spam warning to block the site in Opera, and in FF comes up "Not available in your region".... and this Element 14/Farnell site which I can actually reach doesn't actually look like a website that sells things so much as a feel good forums/community. What did they do, go out and find the worst two fly-by-night distributors they could find? Looks like they did ZERO research and didn't even try going through said companies order processes before giving the green light on using them.

No offense guys, but my scammy sense is tingling when it comes to both of those "distributors".

Someone called it beginner mistakes, I call it ineptitude at choosing one's business partners, and planning for actual retail sales of a product... though of course this seems to always be par for the course on 'educational startups' -- since most people in education or recently out of education don't know enough about the real world to do anything practical.

See the guy who a while back made that "Avenger" game controller for the disabled and ended up having his product pissed all over by the distributor "Ocean Marketing".

Not the first time their naiveté has required changes though -- see the whole "We can build it domestically" nonsense which I knew from day one I heard about it wasn't gonna fly. <Clarkson>You're not going to get a quality build at a reasonable price from a slovenly midlander.</Clarkson>

Here's hoping they get a REAL distributor or *SHOCK* even better a REAL RETAILER involved... instead of what seems to me like the "first swinging **** through the door" approach... Maybe they could find one that's at least HEARD of the bullwhip effect?

Of course with so much interest, it'll be fun when the knockoffs arive en-masse from the orient -- I'm sure they'll show up any time now on DealExtreme or some other 'slow boat' retailer.

SPEAKING of someone who probably could have handled the sales volume, and warehoused/shipped from WAY closer to the factory they're being made at...

Edited 2012-02-29 13:59 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE: Well, guess I won't order one
by Morty on Wed 29th Feb 2012 16:08 UTC in reply to "Well, guess I won't order one"
Morty Member since:
2005-07-06

With some snipping, there was lots of gems here:


- What did they do, go out and find the worst two fly-by-night distributors they could find?

- Looks like they did ZERO research and didn't even try going through said companies order processes before giving the green light on using them.

- No offense guys, but my scammy sense is tingling when it comes to both of those "distributors".

- I call it ineptitude at choosing one's business partners,

- Here's hoping they get a REAL distributor or *SHOCK* even better a REAL RETAILER involved... instead of what seems to me like the "first swinging **** through the door" approach...

Talking about not having a clue, you really show the world your lack in epic magnitude with this comment. You surely do not have a clue what RS and Farnell are.

FYI:
RS Components is the world's leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products. Through operations in 32 countries and 17 warehouses, the Group serves 1.6 million customers worldwide, shipping more than 46,000 parcels on the same day the orders are received.

Farnell is one of the worlds leading distributors of electronic, electrical, industrial and maintenance, repair & operations (MRO) products.
Employing over 1200 people in more than 20 countries
Working with over 800 world class suppliers
Offering over 480,000 stocked products. With ordering 24 hours a day, 365 days a year



As for picking distributors, it's hard to do any better. Perhaps if you are a computer accessory vendor and get a world-wide deal with Dell and Apple, you may top it distributor wise.

Reply Score: 4

deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

Funny since for decades I've been buying a lot of the stuff that allegedly these two companies deal in...both retail and wholesale... and NEVER heard of them.

"RS Componants" looks like cheap ass fly by night clone of Digikey. Farnell you either have their main site that looks like a component "lister" (those useless pages that tell you there ARE such components, good luck ordering them) making it not even look as well established as Jameco... or even Adafruit. Then you have their goofy feel good 'community' which seems to be the only place you can actually do anything... never a good sign.

If anything, what I'm seeing looks more like wholesalers... when what they need is a retailer. That does indeed seem to be it... Wholesalers that near as I can tell don't even have a North America presence (probably why I never heard of them)... when what they needed is a global RETAILER. These are the types of companies you order 500+ bins of Cree LED's from for mass fab -- not hobbyist project boards.

If after fifteen minutes of struggling back and forth between three different browsers I still can't figure out where you would even pre-order ANYTHING from either company... NOT a good sign of legitimacy.

Either that or they're also blocking north american sales for some reason -- or my spamblockers are blocking them. (possible given the warnings Opera is throwing about "Farnell")

If they allegedly handle such large scale volumes of shipments, even with this hype it should have been piss in the bucket -- not 'site-breaking' disaster within minutes of it going live!

Even if they handle the volume of sales claimed, I suspect it's for a different type of market... and that can be all the difference in the world -- since there's a world of difference between corporate scale "maintenance products" and hobbyist scale project boards.

I mean really -- Mouser, Digikey -- is it that hard? While they seem the same focus, at least they have an online sales system that are actually are usable/functional.

Edited 2012-02-29 18:52 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Grumpy_Mike Member since:
2012-02-29

Funny since for decades I've been buying a lot of the stuff that allegedly these two companies deal in...both retail and wholesale... and NEVER heard of them.


You must get out more and spend less time in your isolation. I have been buying from these people both as professional and home user for over 40 years. That is more of an indictment of you than these two companies. Mind you the launch has been a complete cock up.

I just got a reply from my Farnell order at 15:04 saying the expected delevery date is 16/04/2012 (in the proper format with the day first)

Reply Score: 1

deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

Giving up on it -- but I think my reaction is ENTIRELY based on their lack of a North America presence, and that their sites are being actively blocked here -- or it's being rejected on their side.

Starts to sound like the old late night K-Tel record ads... "Millions sold in Europe".

Until they add a vendor with better North America (specifically New England) support, looks like I wouldn't be able to order even if I wanted to.

Probably Karma payback for my being able to watch Hulu and Netflix while across the pond...

Just curious grumpyMike -- where are you from? Could indeed just be a regional issue.

-- edit -- nevermind, you're in England... That would do it since they appear to be out of... well... Starting to remind me of when Circuit City opened up stores in New England in the late 90's, and then were totally pissed off nobody knew who they were when they held a "Job Fair" -- IT, business and marketing professionals showing up when they were looking for cashiers. Wasn't pretty. Indignation from them over people never having heard of their business in a market they had never sold in... RIGHT. Pissed off people with a decade or more experience (like ex WANG and DEC employees) annoyed at having their time wasted on a retail chain instead of an actual IT company. The joys.

Edited 2012-02-29 19:07 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Giving up on it -- but I think my reaction is ENTIRELY based on their lack of a North America presence, and that their sites are being actively blocked here -- or it's being rejected on their side.


Dude, seriously? I'm in the U.S., and I got an email saying my Pi will be here at the end of April. My only issue with ordering was the server was so understandably slow. An untrained monkey could have navigated that site, it's a bog-standard shopping cart.

You know, there's being ignorant and uninformed, and then there's spouting utter bullshit to make a nonexistent point. Guess which one you seem to be doing?

Reply Score: 2

Grumpy_Mike Member since:
2012-02-29

Well Farnell bought Newark in 1996, have you come across them?

Reply Score: 1

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Both sites work fine from Canada. Put in my "notice of interest" request with both sites. Received notices from Raspberry Pi and RS Components within an hour.

My boss was able to put in his requests as well. As were two other co-workers.

I'd have to say either your ISP is blocking things, or you're purposely screwing things up.

Reply Score: 3

Morty Member since:
2005-07-06

I mean really -- Mouser, Digikey -- is it that hard? While they seem the same focus, at least they have an online sales system that are actually are usable/functional.

The reasons are fairly simple. Mouser and DigiKey are much more US centric. With the Raspberry Pi developers being UK based and with their primary market targeted at UK schools, it makes sense and most likely they already know the distributors quite well. Besides RS and Farnell together are bigger than Mouser and DigiKey. But it's strange you don't get guided to Farnells US arm, Newark .

Edited 2012-02-29 19:37 UTC

Reply Score: 3

deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

But it's strange you don't get guided to Farnells US arm, Newark .

Do you have a direct URL for that? I ended up viewing their main site via a proxy and saw nothing about them even serving anyplace but Europe/asia.

While again, here Opera's phishing/scam warning triggers, and Firefox says "blocked in your region". (as in plaintext, all that's being sent to me... well, view source shows it's in paragraph tags with no head/body/doctype/other markup.) Chrome sits there without ever finishing loading -- and I don't dare try IE with that much going wonky in the better browsers.

Reply Score: 2

deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

Do you have a direct URL for that?


Call me an idiot, I thought you meant that there was a Farnell site out of Newark,New Jersey... NOT the company "Newark" which I've at least dealt with in the past. Doh.

Ok, now I at least have a working link to an order and stock status page, more than I've seen for it in the past 12 hours. Of course to actually figure that out, I had to go to Hack-a-day.

Edited 2012-02-29 20:28 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Morty Member since:
2005-07-06

"But it's strange you don't get guided to Farnells US arm, Newark .

Do you have a direct URL for that?
.
"
http://www.newark.com/

I get the pre-order link for the pi on the second page of the rotating gif banner.

Edit
But, I see you got it already.

Edited 2012-02-29 20:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2

pixeltricks Member since:
2012-02-29

Funny since for decades I've been buying a lot of the stuff that allegedly these two companies deal in...both retail and wholesale... and NEVER heard of them.

Then you are not an electrical engineer.


Farnell you either have their main site that looks like a component "lister" (those useless pages that tell you there ARE such components, good luck ordering them) making it not even look as well established as Jameco... or even Adafruit.


You are comparing Farnell to Jameco ? Seriously ? Jameco is like a local convenient store comparing itself to walmart .

Wholesalers that near as I can tell don't even have a North America presence (probably why I never heard of them)... when what they needed is a global RETAILER.


Farnell in the USA is at www.newark.com . Everything ships in the USA usually from NJ.
http://www.newark.com/raspberry-pi/raspbrry-pcba/dp/83T1943?Ntt=208...

A retailer is not going to pick up a hobbyist board unless it really really sells. Look how long it took radio shack to start selling arduino.






If after fifteen minutes of struggling back and forth between three different browsers I still can't figure out where you would even pre-order ANYTHING from either company... NOT a good sign of legitimacy.


Just because your browser has issues has nothing to do with the legitimacy of the companies. Both companies allow purchase orders and have accounts set up with major organizations like dunn and bradstreet. They hold millions upon millions of dollars of components in stock and are preferred distributors for atmel, microchip, TI, NXP, freescale, Xilinx and others, it doesn't get any more legitimate than that.


Either that or they're also blocking north american sales for some reason -- or my spamblockers are blocking them. (possible given the warnings Opera is throwing about "Farnell")


Opera ? the lowest market share browser has issues ? no surprise.


If they allegedly handle such large scale volumes of shipments, even with this hype it should have been piss in the bucket -- not 'site-breaking' disaster within minutes of it going live!


Nothing alleged about it, when you can place an order for $748,000 worth of parts and have it delivered on time and even being called about updates that is what good business does. Their web sites are not their primary way of doing sales, many still prefer to call to place orders. People that do regular orders even have specific sales reps they deal with on a first name basis.


Even if they handle the volume of sales claimed, I suspect it's for a different type of market... and that can be all the difference in the world -- since there's a world of difference between corporate scale "maintenance products" and hobbyist scale project boards.

I mean really -- Mouser, Digikey -- is it that hard? While they seem the same focus, at least they have an online sales system that are actually are usable/functional.


Mouser and digikey are the in the same business and would have crashed just like the others. Mouser also does not do all its business through the web site. There is a huge difference in web site load from normal traffic and one where you have a bunch of people all wanting a product released that second. That isn't any of these companies typical web site load. Electronic parts don't get released that way, they normally trickle out to distributors over time.

Be patient, there isn't anything the pi can do today that it will not be able to do in 30 days.

Reply Score: 3

deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

Then you are not an electrical engineer.

No, it just means I'm not a European... near as I can tell, that was the lions share of it. European businesses with websites that don't function properly in North America.

Oh, and it wasn't just Opera... Notice I also said it didn't work in Chrome OR Firefox? I'm used to sleazy asshats who don't know enough HTML/CSS to build a website properly crapping out pages that don't work in Opera... and this wasn't a browser issue; as evident by it being reported as "Not available in your region" in FF.

You are comparing Farnell to Jameco ? Seriously ? Jameco is like a local convenient store comparing itself to walmart.

Sarcasm lost -- that's WHY I chose Jameco; as to be frank, I think the local convenience store could have handled it better. I choose the corner mom and pop on purpose to show just how ridiculous it was.

Farnell in the USA is at www.newark.com
Which as I said elsewhere I didn't even REALIZE was part of "Farnell" -- I've at least dealt with Newark. (Though at first my brain didn't register when someone said Newark they meant the company and not the place).

[q]Just because your browser has issues has nothing to do with the legitimacy of the companies. Both companies allow purchase orders and have accounts set up with major organizations like dunn and bradstreet. They hold millions upon millions of dollars of components in stock and are preferred distributors for atmel, microchip, TI, NXP, freescale, Xilinx and others, it doesn't get any more legitimate than that.


combined with
Their web sites are not their primary way of doing sales, many still prefer to call to place orders. People that do regular orders even have specific sales reps they deal with on a first name basis.


and...
That isn't any of these companies typical web site load.


THANK YOU for reiterating EXACTLY my point! -- Companies set up for corporate mass orders where internet orders are an AFTERTHOUGHT are NOT who one should be going to for setting up orders of a primary via internet sales of single item purchases of hobbyist boards!

Edited 2012-03-02 03:28 UTC

Reply Score: 2

daveak Member since:
2008-12-29

THANK YOU for reiterating EXACTLY my point! -- Companies set up for corporate mass orders where internet orders are an AFTERTHOUGHT are NOT who one should be going to for setting up orders of a primary via internet sales of single item purchases of hobbyist boards!


But they are not hobbyist boards. They are primarily intended as educational boards for teaching children and therefore the setup will be geared towards purchase by educational institutions, not individuals. You may argue that the educational side isn't coming in until later in the year, but why have the added cost of differing distribution mechanisms?

The fact that they double as hobbyist boards is just a very nice bonus.

Reply Score: 2

ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

But they are not hobbyist boards. They are primarily intended as educational boards for teaching children and therefore the setup will be geared towards purchase by educational institutions, not individuals. You may argue that the educational side isn't coming in until later in the year, but why have the added cost of differing distribution mechanisms?

The fact that they double as hobbyist boards is just a very nice bonus.

The designers themselves have made statements to the contrary. The fact that they do serve as hobbyist boards is part of the way they want to spark interest and imagination in young people. They've referred to their own creation as a "toy for people to experiment and play with". They're well aware of the reality of the interest in the device itself and know full on that their potential customer base is both in the education sector, AND hobbyists, enthusiasts, and the curious.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

European businesses with websites that don't function properly in North America.


It's payback for all the U.S. sites that does not work outside of the U.S.

Reply Score: 3

irc channel
by bnolsen on Wed 29th Feb 2012 14:10 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

I stayed up (11pm local) and went to the irc channel about 20 mins before. Messages were flying by and participation went up to over 400. Then the rpi static page went up and it got really crazy. About 10 mins after the channel apiked to almost 500. More than a few angry folks. I just went to bed, dreamt of pi and just woke up. It seems the final analysis was spot on, the rpi foundation left their suppliers out to dry with no direct links, etc.

Frankly they should have just randomly posted the announcement without all the hoopla, etc.

I hope to soon see something pi-like and open for ~50USD (incl case and power) with something armv7 based with a mali gpu and 512MB ram or so. IMHO the real market isn't for a gpu heavy embedded controller but for disposable computing. The rpi's gumstick design early last year IMHO should have beeen the version initially released since they desparately need software for this thing. You still could have paired it with an arduino or even a usb<->parallel cable.

Reply Score: 2

RE: irc channel
by rec9140 on Wed 29th Feb 2012 14:39 UTC in reply to "irc channel"
rec9140 Member since:
2012-02-29

I hope to soon see something pi-like and open for ~50USD (incl case and power) with something armv7 based with a mali gpu and 512MB ram or so. IMHO the real market isn't for a gpu heavy embedded controller but for disposable computing. The rpi's gumstick design early last year IMHO should have beeen the version initially released since they desparately need software for this thing. You still could have paired it with an arduino or even a usbparallel cable.


Yeah, they ran away from the version quicky, and then brushed away questions as "it was a prototype." canonical scrweed them over in not supporting any thing but later ARM versions, basically OMAP and later... follow the $$$$/£££££ TI!

I hope your right on some clone/knockoffs too that would a plus.

Reply Score: 0

Pre Order on first batch ?
by Tiwipewo on Wed 29th Feb 2012 14:22 UTC
Tiwipewo
Member since:
2012-02-29

Hi. Reading the receipt you got, I would not say that you would not get a Pi from first batch. It only seems to me that Farnell hadn't entered Pi in their real stocks, but that may change when the first batch would be dispatched between the two resellers.
What's your opinion about that ?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Pre Order on first batch ?
by Morgan on Wed 29th Feb 2012 14:46 UTC in reply to "Pre Order on first batch ?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm starting to think I might have a first batch unit too. I actually placed my order about 30 minutes before Thom based on his invoice vs mine. Add to that, one of the articles linked by RPi on Twitter (yes I'm paying attention to that now) mentioned that they took over two hours to sell out. If that's true, there is a very good chance that anyone who thought they pre-ordered a future unit actually did secure a first batch unit.

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Heard nothing besides the order confirmation, so I don't know.

Reply Score: 1

Tiwipewo Member since:
2012-02-29

On RapsberryPi.org page, it is stated as follow : "Although we are still waiting for units to arrive from China, you can start buying the Raspberry Pi today.". Guess we've just made pre orders, hope it will be on first batch...

Reply Score: 1

preordering...
by Darkness on Wed 29th Feb 2012 14:31 UTC
Darkness
Member since:
2005-08-27

Finally managed to force the belgian farnell site to accept my order. Hopefully they don't cancel it.

Seems like the preorder thing is now gone as well.

Anyway, superb that model A now also has 256MB of RAM!
Great job of Raspberry PI team to bring this to market. We don't need no 600$ thing that we can't mess around with.
Hopefully Farnell starts sending them out asap.

Reply Score: 2

Buisness accumen
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 29th Feb 2012 14:35 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

If you follow economics even a bit, you'd be familiar with the concept of supply and demand. The demand for them is obviously greater than the supply right now at this price point.

Either:

They're leaving a lot of money on the table right now, because they aren't good with the business side of things.

Or

By leaving the price point where they ultimately want it, they may just be using the shortage of devices and low price as a marketing strategy.

Or

They're low on operating capital and could only afford to order so many units. Raising the price to the demand level at that quantity may have pushed it above that of a reasonable alternative device.

Or

They had advertised the price well before they figured out how many and how quickly they could make them.

I'm not so sure which strategy would be best in the long term, if they had a choice. That last one seems to be the right answer, which of course I figured out after writing the others. But its still interesting to think about what they should have done, if they had a choice.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Buisness accumen
by bnolsen on Wed 29th Feb 2012 14:43 UTC in reply to "Buisness accumen"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Being a charity they wanted to run on principles. They promised a cheap board, that's what they delivered (or are trying to deliver). This is just a hiccup we're seeing.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Buisness accumen
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 29th Feb 2012 15:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Buisness accumen"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yeah, that's sort of the conclusion I came to at the end. But I thought the rest of it was interesting enough to consider if they were not set on the price.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Buisness accumen
by kragil on Wed 29th Feb 2012 14:53 UTC in reply to "Buisness accumen"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

So many wasted words. They are charity. They were always intending to leave money on the table.

Not everyone is Apple and wants to extract the absolute maximum from each customer by any means possible.

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: Buisness accumen
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 29th Feb 2012 15:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Buisness accumen"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yes, but the money they spent for six years developing the prototype has to be recouped somehow & eventually they do want to build another version.

If you've ever worked for a charity, you'd know how much you can do with a little and how much more you could do with more.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Buisness accumen
by kragil on Wed 29th Feb 2012 17:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Buisness accumen"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

???? The way I understand "charity" is that people work for free. That is certainly the way it should work. So they worked 6 years for free and never intended to get paid. They have jobs besides RPi.

Have you actually read anything about them before posting your nonsense?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Buisness accumen
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 29th Feb 2012 22:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Buisness accumen"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

No, charity does not mean people work for free. The word "charity" does not even imply work for free.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/charity

In any case I wasn't talking about salary, but other costs. It costs money to have prototypes made. That didn't come out of the aether.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Buisness accumen
by lucas_maximus on Thu 1st Mar 2012 08:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Buisness accumen"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

LOL.

I worked in one of the UK largest Charities ... it is run very much like a business. There is even equivalent of a CEO.

Edited 2012-03-01 08:44 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Buisness accumen
by _txf_ on Thu 1st Mar 2012 14:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Buisness accumen"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

LOL.

I worked in one of the UK largest Charities ... it is run very much like a business. There is even equivalent of a CEO.


True,

However the keyword here is "largest". Becoming large entails some sort of organisation...

Reply Score: 2

Comment by trevellyon
by trevellyon on Wed 29th Feb 2012 15:03 UTC
trevellyon
Member since:
2012-02-29

I love this rage an paranoia that is been generated about the so called poor planning of a charity who’s aim was to improve the IT in the UK by creating a readily affordable computer.

I have watched the entire media storm getting bigger and bigger and logged on this morning in a vain attempt to buy one of the first batch and almost fell over laughing when I saw the distribution partners.

Not only did I recognise them as you can count the number of UK based electronics distributers with one hand. I recognised them from years ago as they are the main two distributors who supply electrical components to the educational institutions in the UK and have done for longer than I can remember.

When I was studying electronics at school back in the 80’s that was where you got your components from you had to make a list as part of a project they were even named in exams.

I was even more amused when dropping my son of at school this morning and popping into his science class and asking if they had a copy of the RS catalogue and the teacher had it in his hand in around 30 seconds told me that for what the whole point of the entire Pi exercise had a good chance of doing just that.

The thing I don’t think they thought of in the six years they have taken developing this alongside doing their day jobs is just how popular it would be.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by trevellyon
by bnolsen on Wed 29th Feb 2012 16:36 UTC in reply to "Comment by trevellyon"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

That's because there's a huge market out there for what the hardware manufacturers *dont want* .... commodity disposable computers. And a pair of extremely profitable technology companies don't want this market to expand either. It's time to start developing this new market to break up and replace that old tired one.

Reply Score: 3

Disappointing launch
by -APT- on Wed 29th Feb 2012 15:09 UTC
-APT-
Member since:
2007-03-20

This is probably one of the most desired geek items, and they decide to widely publicise a launch time which creates a DDOS on their sellers sites. One of these sites isn't even accepting orders, even though they initially announced that both sites have them available to buy.

Had they not announced a stupid time early in advance and got both sites to only take pre-orders from the start - this would've been a far smoother launch. Telling everyone that they've got a big announcement at 6AM, with everyone hoping to one of the 10k people to get the first to buy one - it was just a disaster waiting to happen.

I just hope that Farrell/RS can turn things around, take a decent amount of pre-orders and sell them as soon as possible.

Edited 2012-02-29 15:11 UTC

Reply Score: 1

How to order from Farnell
by Grumpy_Mike on Wed 29th Feb 2012 15:51 UTC
Grumpy_Mike
Member since:
2012-02-29

Due to a phone line fault since Monday and only repaired at 2:30pm I missed all the web site crashing and frenzy.
I have an account with Farnell already but couldn't find how to order it.
Then I read this post and saw the Farnell order code of 2081185 so typed it in and went direct to the page. A click on the buy button, and I got a confirmation email timed at 15:04. So I have one on order but I am not holding my breath until it arrives. I will be surprised if I get it in less than two months, and I suspect it will be closer to three.

It is all very reminiscent of computers in the 80s with naive companies getting swamped with orders. You just knew this was going to happen, which is a pity because it has eaten up a lot of the goodwill they had generated. Let's hope there is some left to make the project successful over the long term.

Reply Score: 2

Only a launch hiccup ("bulletproof "servers)
by raffy on Wed 29th Feb 2012 15:56 UTC
raffy
Member since:
2012-02-29

I guess the RPi folks believed so much in "bulletproof servers" (their partners' servers) that they thought that simply linking buyers to the server home page can take care of things.

Only a lottery-style response from the servers could handle the surge of buyers rushing for the 0600h launch, and there was no direct link to such a page (for example, the page can give a generated code that the buyer can use in 48 hours to make a purchase). Instead, buyers were told to simply search the server's home page ( = catastrophe for the database).

However, this is just a launch hiccup (after all, it is February 29). It is still good to see that the chosen distributors both have global distribution network that can later deliver the devices closer to the buyers' home. Hopefully, it is meant to be that way.

Reply Score: 2

The only important fact
by solca on Wed 29th Feb 2012 16:11 UTC
solca
Member since:
2006-05-24

Sadly they didn't plan it (the launch) very well, but the only important fact is that the Raspberry Pi is an advancement in many areas and that is thanks to the Foundation, the recent RAM bump to Model A proves they are on good track.

My only gripe is Mrs. Liz who always responds negatively to questioning posts deceiving people that everything is in control, she should take it easy and do a better job with partners like asking a contact to whom to call, just suggesting... ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: The only important fact
by bnolsen on Thu 1st Mar 2012 06:52 UTC in reply to "The only important fact"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Liz and the rpi foundation did a pretty good job. They haven't done this before and aren't professionals at the non techie side. They allow discussions on their site about potentially competing products. If anything their desire to keep people in the loop may have been their worst enemy. Any real company would just leave everyone out in the cold until the last moment.

Reply Score: 2

What happened to Asian Manufacturing?
by oso2k on Wed 29th Feb 2012 22:21 UTC
oso2k
Member since:
2009-07-09

What ever happened to the lower cost/higher volume Asian Supplier they had supposedly selected a few weeks back?

Reply Score: 1

bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

By licensing manufacture they let someone else deal with those issues of supply, manuf, sales and support and stay with what they do best: system development and marketing. They just don't have the personnel to deal with keeping an eye on the whole production chain.

Edited 2012-03-01 06:54 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Poor communication.
by apLundell on Wed 29th Feb 2012 22:49 UTC
apLundell
Member since:
2012-02-29

Just because their distributors didn't have strong enough servers doesn't excuse their poor communication.

In fact it makes it worse.

I *STILL* don't know if it's possible for a US resident to pre-order a device, or if it was ever possible. (Or if it will become possible in the near future.)

A little more communication would have translated into a lot fewer frustrated clicks on the distributors' websites.

If my only hope of finding answers to obvious questions is to keep clicking hopelessly on servers that are failing, then of course that makes things worse. How could it not?

If USAians, and others outside the UK, had been better informed and either been given direct links or been clearly told that the device was not yet available in their region, the servers might have stayed functional.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Poor communication.
by bnolsen on Thu 1st Mar 2012 06:42 UTC in reply to "Poor communication."
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

it is possible. The us distributor screwed up royally ths morning by adding a $20 surcharge. They fixed and removed the surcharge in the afternoon, but not until after there was a *lot* of howling and complaining.

link:

http://www.newark.com/jsp/search/productdetail.jsp?sku=83T1943

screwup apology:

http://www.element14.com/community/docs/DOC-43273/l/for-newark-elem...

note: they estimate march 31 for next availability.

Edited 2012-03-01 06:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Pause for thought
by bloodline on Thu 1st Mar 2012 12:01 UTC
bloodline
Member since:
2008-07-28

Anyone bitching about not being able to get a Raspberry Pi should consider that they are arguing about an education device built by a small charitable organisation for the purpose of teaching British school children to write computer programs ;)

It's actually funny, I can't wait to get one though ;)

Reply Score: 1

some details I learnt today
by TheAwesome on Thu 1st Mar 2012 12:33 UTC
TheAwesome
Member since:
2012-02-29

RS is actually a really well reapected company for electrical/electronic parts in Australia. We use them for all our Universiry stuff.
Element 14 (Farnell in Australia), seems to be fine.
To the people who thought it looked more like a social site,
It sounds like that's because you were on the forum/community site...
My earlier thought that everyone was told they had none in stock was correct.
Element14 called me today to check my credit card details, so i talked to them for a bit.
So far (11 hours ago), theyd processed 12,000 orders in Australia, with anothee 50 pages more to process. (I dont know how maby on each page though)
I was also told that right now no orders have been associated with being part of the first batch,
and that once the order of the orders had been sorted, and therefore who gets one from the first batch,
The buyers will be notified by email as to where they stand.
First batch people should receive theirs mid march,
The rest in april.


To the people who thought the distributors were crap,
You try and run a multi national company that is simultaneously releasing a product with such high demand ans have less down time.
They were down for less than an hour, that's pretty good really.

Reply Score: 3

RE: some details I learnt today
by Morgan on Thu 1st Mar 2012 13:43 UTC in reply to "some details I learnt today"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Thank you for this information!

If it's the same for us Yanks, it looks like mine will be from a future batch. I'm scheduled to receive my unit around the end of April.

So...12,000 orders just in Australia with who knows how many yet to process? I think I'm going to reevaluate my earlier estimate of about 100,000 people interested in this device. It sounds like it might be four or five times that at the very least! That's a huge community for a just-released device, and I hope Broadcom is paying attention and really does plan on opening up the video drivers.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: some details I learnt today
by renox on Thu 1st Mar 2012 16:38 UTC in reply to "RE: some details I learnt today"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

I hope Broadcom is paying attention and really does plan on opening up the video drivers.
Uh?
1) people are buying the product without an open driver, why do you think that this encourage Broadcom to open the driver?
That's wishful thinking not logic.

2) I've never seen any hint that Broadcom has a plan on opening the video drivers, just that someone is working on reverse engineering the driver for the GPU.
But given that for AMD and NVidia, the opensource drivers provides only modesetting, some 3D acceleration and (AFAIK) no video acceleration, I wouldn't expect much for the Mali video drivers.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Thu 1st Mar 2012 17:55 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

The Raspberry Pi is a neat little device as long as it's price point stays within reason after shipping charges and whatever else. But, I think people are confused as to what it's good for.

As a media center, it can in fact do up to 1080p hardware video decoding. The catch is that the stream must be encoded in h264. It will not handle 1080i so for those wanting to use this for live hdtv, forget it. It might be able to deinterlace sdtv but that's not a certainty.

A lot of people seem to have missed that the ethernet port on the model B actually uses the usb bus. This may or may not be a problem, it depends on the users needs. The point is that if you think you're getting a full speed ethernet port, you may be in for a surprise.

This little device, in some areas, will probably do well. But, the hardware is not ground-breaking...it's not even that impressive spec-wise. The attractiveness is driven by it's price point.

What will be fun is to see how many different ways people use the device.. I'm not talking about people making a web server or anything along those lines. I'm talking about projects that are more creative.

I'm one of those who will be playing with a few of these... To anyone wanting to do the same, I strongly urge you to read the fine print and understand what exactly you get because so far I've heard some pretty wildly overestimated assumptions about what the hardware can do.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by Valhalla on Thu 1st Mar 2012 22:53 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

Yes I'm also very curious as to what creative ways people will utilize this hardware. I'll be getting one myself once the frenzy dies out a bit.

I'm (irrationally) getting some Commodore 64 vibes from this device and it's also such a fresh breath of air in this day and age of locked-down walled garden devices. Perhaps not surprising that it's coming from the U.K with their strong roots in the home computer era of the 80's and 90's, with machines like ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro, Amstrad, Commodore 64 all thriving there back in the days.

The specs may not be astounding, but for the asking price they're great and it will be interesting to see just how much people will be able to push this hardware.

Reply Score: 3

Raspberry Pi not to blame?
by sgray on Sun 4th Mar 2012 22:09 UTC
sgray
Member since:
2012-03-04

Thom,

I am a regular on OSNews and read the columns almost daily. As an integrator/consultant, the information is usually very relevant to my work. While I agree that the Raspberry Pi launch played out much like a Black Friday sale, your post from February 29th is so grossly misstated that I feel I must set the record straight. I would note, that I have been a strong supporter of the Raspberry Pi organization and the two embedded boards they are working to release. I have been a patient customer, waiting until I could get my hands on one and test it, before fully recommending it to my clients. Having said that, I have made many positive comments about the organization to my clients, and it's apparent lack of experience in distribution has left me embarrassed for doing so.


First, you state in the article that "while Raspberry Pi itself was very properly prepared, the two large international retailers actually selling the device weren't".

1. Unless you can prove otherwise, I will assume that you do not have in your possession, copies of any contracts or other communications that may or may not exist between Raspberry Pi and it's vendors and partners.

2. The two electronic component distributors, not retailers as you suggest, were clearly under no contractual obligation to begin selling Pis to anyone on that date. This is evidenced by the fact that one was voluntarily taking preorders and the other was accepting "notes of interest" while waiting for the first batch of boards to arrive.

3. Both distributors were not exactly "international." At least one of them sold to the United States through a sister company, which had no immediate plans to sell to the U.S., despite Raspberry Pi's posting that everyone is free to order from any one of the two distributors.



In the article, you state, "...I dutifully set my alarm clock to 06:45." You also state "...the Raspberry Pi site never went down."

1. by your own admissions, you were not awake and tracking Raspberrypi.org's reachability in the hours prior to the launch. On the other hand, myself and several engineers I know witnessed the site go down well in advance of the launch. It wasn't until about the time that you got online, that the site was reachable again and a static page was set.



In the article, you state, "Over Twitter, Liz from Raspberry Pi did state they had warned the retailers - but apparently the message didn't get through or wasn't taken seriously."

1. First, you are not ever going to "warn" a distributor, or retailer for that matter, of any expected response to such a launch. There is this thing in business we call a contract. It sets out all of the terms and conditions of sales, dates, expected buying patterns, anything related to the distribution of the goods. It also limits liabilty and sets out the responsibilities of each party.
You will note that:
a) Raspberry Pi posted on their site that BOTH distributors were allegedly selling, as of the date/time of their post. They obviously had not verified this before posting.
b) Raspberry Pi had constructive knowledge of each distributors active sales territory, yet did not disclose this information to viewers, causing immediate, and arguably unnecessary, confusion.
c) Raspberry Pi had constructive knowledge that distributor RS sells to the United States through a sister company called Allied Electronics, yet never confirmed that anyone from the U.S. would be able to purchase. On Twitter, Liz stated that she felt that maybe RS was focusing on the U.K. market first.

2. Could this "warning" to the distributors have been about as clear as the warning that the entire Raspberry Pi site, including forum, were going to be unavailable for a period of days?



In the article, you state, "This was clearly out of Raspberry Pi's hands, and being disrespectful towards them was and is totally and utterly uncalled for."

1. As previously stated, there would have to be a contract for distribution. Also, as previously stated, Raspberry Pi made it clear (via their static page) that customers could immediately go to the two named distributor sites and purchase. But Raspberry Pi had not confirmed this before posting. Despite the repeated concerns being voiced on Raspberry Pi's twitter page, Raspberry Pi chose not to modify their static page, so as to advise customers of any issues with purchase. Instead, Raspberry Pi replied to select postings on Twitter, telling customers things like "you're on the wrong page" when asked why distributor RS was asking customers to register "notes of interest." Thus generating even more frustration for customers.

Clearly, Raspberry Pi did not have a clue what was going on. Regardless, they chose to continue posting verifiably false information on their static page. Unless I am mistaken, the forum was taken down with the rest of the site, with no advance notice to members, creating more confusion and redirecting a lot of traffic to the Twitter page. If you have information that shows advance notice of the forum being taken down, I would appreciate you providing that. Raspberry Pi's unprofessional handling of the launch, and lack of appropriate response to legitimate concerns likely contributed to the "heat level" that was flowing in on their Twitter page.




Given the facts laid out above, your argument that Raspberry Pi is not to blame in this matter, fails. Before I would ever associate my name with an article that placed blame on any person or entity, I would certainly verify who knew what and when they knew it. If Raspberry Pi wants to avoid blame in this matter, then they should produce their contract with the distributors, showing where everything was allegedly spelled out, and agreed to, in writing before the launch.

Let's be entirely honest here. We love Raspberry Pi and the work they are doing to contribute to the common good. But we can't let our feelings about the organization blind us of the reality of who is ultimately the responsible party. Seriously, how many more large distributors are you going to blame before you admit that Raspberry Pi lacked experience in distribution? I would have felt much better had Raspberry Pi issued a statement, apologizing for the mix-up, accepting responsibility for the situation, and admitting that the whole ordeal was a learning experience for them and that they were simply experiencing growing pains. Thus the reason they quickly outsourced the distribution. You will recall that, prior to the launch, several pages on the site stated that you would be able to buy the Pi "right here."[i][/i]

Reply Score: 1

Cases for RPi
by MasterSplinter on Mon 5th Mar 2012 16:29 UTC
MasterSplinter
Member since:
2012-01-05