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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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 Parent 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 Parent 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 Parent Score: 1

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 Parent 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 Parent 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 Parent 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 Parent Score: 2