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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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 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[3]: Very Generous!
by kragil on Wed 29th Feb 2012 12:37 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 Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Very Generous!
by Morgan on Wed 29th Feb 2012 12:37 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 Parent Score: 2

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[3]: Very Generous!
by Morgan on Wed 29th Feb 2012 13:18 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 Parent Score: 4

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