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.
Thread beginning with comment 508933
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
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 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 Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Very Generous!
by Risible on Wed 29th Feb 2012 12:25 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Very Generous!
by Garrrr_Pirate on Wed 29th Feb 2012 12:50 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 Parent Score: 0

RE[2]: Very Generous!
by Laurence on Wed 29th Feb 2012 13:24 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Very Generous!
by lucas_maximus on Thu 1st Mar 2012 08:39 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 Parent Score: 2

v RE: Very Generous!
by rec9140 on Wed 29th Feb 2012 14:14 in reply to "Very Generous!"
RE: Very Generous!
by aaronb on Wed 29th Feb 2012 22:39 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 Parent Score: 5