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The $35 Raspberry Pi computer goes on sale

The first 10,000 low-cost Linux boards are expected to sell out almost immediately, with the device to become continously available from about April.

The $35 Linux computer, the Raspberry Pi, went on sale today, with the first boards expected to ship in a couple of weeks.

Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized device and one of the lowest cost computers available. The board has been designed as a low-cost tool for teaching kids coding, but is also powerful enough to stream 1080p video, browse the web or write documents.

The version of the board initially on sale ships with a Linux Fedora OS and sports a 700Mhz ARM processor in a Broadcom BCM 2835 chipset and 256MB of memory. The board comes with two USB ports, 10/100 ethernet, a HDMI slot and an SD memory card slot. A $25 model with a single USB port and without ethernet will be available later in 2012.

Shipping of the first batch of 10,000 Raspberry Pi boards is expected to begin in the “next couple of weeks”, according to Raspberry Pi Foundation director Eben Upton.

Upton told Tech Republic that he expected that the first batch of boards would sell out “almost immediately”, saying that the organisation estimates initial demand for about 20,000 of the devices. Sure enough, the first batch of the boards to go on sale, through www.farnell.com, were gone within two hours of becoming available at 6am GMT. Raspberry Pi's will also be available for pre-order from www.rswww.com.

After the initial batch sells out boards are expected to begin shipping again in about April, and be available from that point onwards.

A deal between Cambridge-based Raspberry Pi Foundation and two major electronics distributors, RS Components and Premier Farnell, to manufacture, sell and ship the Raspberry Pi will allow the boards to be available all year round.

The continuous availability of the boards will help get the Raspberry Pi to everyone who wants one more quickly than would have been possible when the foundation was responsible for manufacturing and distribution, Upton said.

”Getting to the point where there are enough devices was always going to take us a long time, and getting to a point where we are demand-constrained rather than supply constrained is going to make an enormous difference to the amount of impact we have.

”For us this deal is a real vote of confidence, someone else has looked at our business plan, our cost models and materials analysis and said 'That's a business, we can be involved in that'.

”It provides us with a source of revenue which we can reinvest in educational material [to accompany the Raspberry Pi], and it provides us with time and headspace to think about how we are going to fulfil the foundation's primary goal, which is to get people programming.”

The distribution deal should also reduce the cost of shipping the boards to people outside of the UK, thanks to the global logistics networks of the two distributors.

People have already dreamt up an array of other uses for the Raspberry Pi: controlling robots, automation applications, running home media centres, running dev platforms or turning it into a Sinclair QL emulator. Not bad for a device built with the modest aim of encouraging kids to code, by providing a low-cost device that can boot into programming environments for computer languages such as Python or C.

About

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

31 comments
adornoe
adornoe

countries. So, the original intent was to get kids learning how to program? But, it could also be used to get more Indians and more Chinese and more people in poor countries to learn how to program and "steal" more jobs from the more expensive development communities, like in the U.S. and UK and Japan and Canada and, well, just about any country that is already more expensive to do business in than in those other "more competitive and less expensive" countries. Then, instead of 5 million Indians and 10 million Chinese learning how to program, we could end up with 50 million Indians and 100 million Chinese and another 100 million others around the world learning how to program, and then, making the development communities in the "more developed" countries, basically, irrelevant. But, hey, everybody has a right to make a living somehow. ;)

degrazia
degrazia

How is the Raspberry Pi powered?

toadforce
toadforce

Only last week I was saying (in response to another techrepublic article) how schools are losing out not teaching kids programming - school ICT courses are allegedly boring. Here's a real good start! But when will we get them in the UK?

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

I understand keeping the costs down, and isolating kids from the hazards of the Internet if you don't have an investment in other forms of protection, and I suppose if it's for a purely teaching environment then USB can be used for transferring files (yeah and malware and other objectionable content!), but oh gosh how tedious if you are responsible for more than, oh I don't know, one machine? :-)

amirscurrim
amirscurrim

British Ingenuity. Very cool! Its got some real creative thinking going. Amir

echo9
echo9

I could've also said "everyone in the world stole the concept of number "0" (zero). And instead the Indians could have patented it then what could you have done to tackle that? LOL stop acting like an *** here. And the reply I gave to "adornoe" (http://www.techrepublic.com/members/profile/2815916) applies to you also. Peace~

nwallette
nwallette

But seeing as how this isn't the first development kit ever produced, I'm not going to lose sleep over it. Maybe us Americans (and our first-world brothers and sisters) will just have to show some initiative. Besides, those Indians and Chinese are already good at everything. ;-)

echo9
echo9

It has a micro USB 5 volts DC power supply socket. :)

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

Really low power, I think it's around 10 or 15 Watts (been a while since I looked at the Pi website). The monitor takes more power than the computer!

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

Designed and prototyped in Cambridge - that $35 is actually #30 or #25 I think (TR won't show a pound sign the way I enter it)

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

The one without Ethernet isn't currently available it is slated for future release. The one that sold out has 10/100 Ethernet and will be the first that will be massed produced for general use. I would imagine the one without Ethernet is specifically to be used in Teaching Environment for things like Robotic's and other Control Units where Ethernet isn't necessary or even desirable. While you may be unable to conceive of any application currently without the need for Ethernet there are plenty of applications in Prototyping Environments and the like as well as Education Environment where Kids will never be in contact with the Net with these devices. After all the Development Platform that you are learning on to write code isn't required to be connected to the Net or for that matter even a Local LAN and I very much doubt that the Lego Robot you just built needs Ethernet Connectivity either. ;) Col

adornoe
adornoe

Your reply to "adornoe" was ill-conceived and immature and basically, lacking in context.

adornoe
adornoe

since, it's them that are "stealing" or taking our jobs with their lower wages, and with their new-found power as techies. Anything that empowers them more, is for certain, going to affect the more "developed" world workers.

Alzie
Alzie

The original price was worked out in $US because most components were to be imported from the U.S. if I understand correctly. The UK price is ??21.60. I checked when I first heard about these.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

But then, years of experience on TR have taught me to use the html character code "£" ;)

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

Like NC machines or whatever but in an education situation, it makes life *really* hard for a teacher to distribute tasks, monitor progress, or assist pupils without a network. The LAN need not be Internet connected, but for more than a (small) handful of workstations it would be in my opinion essential.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Had it been edited, it would say "Updated" next to his handle. You can verify this by comparing one or two of your posts, which have been edited, to his posts.

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

...but completely unwittingly, i.e. he's one of those 14-year-olds who reacts at the superficial level to *everything* and hasn't the first inkling of subtlety, irony, or any humour that isn't based on knock-down pie-in-the-face slapstick. Your mistake was taking him as seriously as he takes himself.

adornoe
adornoe

Look, you still lack in the content and context of your arguments, and you still lack in the area of comprehension about what you read. In order to try to justify your argument, you believe that, I had to return to my original post to edit it. If I do any editing, it's for grammar or spelling, but not for content or to change the original meaning. Now, you are making accusations about me having to change things in order to make you look bad. The one making you look bad is you. Now, get a grip and grow up and stop being so petty. BTW, do copy my comments above to a file so that you can then go back and point at the areas where I might have changed after your next post. And, hey, again, grow up!

echo9
echo9

someone like you needs to be "mature" enough *LOL* and stop editing your original comment. I could've also done that but I din't because I am mature enough unlike you "bro". "Lacking i context"..? Oh c'mon stop judging my comment here will you? PLUS try to understand things instead of making 'em more worse. Period.

adornoe
adornoe

And why are you so defensive? If by "editing" you mean the "quoted" words that I mentioned, like "steal", then you would be completely wrong. I would NEVER refer to jobs lost as having been stolen. I'm a free marketer, and there is no "stealing" of jobs, and the only reason I mention the word "steal" is to mock those that do believe that "our" jobs are being "stolen". So, stop being so defensive. In fact, you sound more humiliated than defensive, because, you didn't know where I was coming from in my argument, and you also didn't understand my method of debating. So, if you need more background about my methods, do a look-up of the many other posts in this site, especially the ones where I discuss economic matters. You'll discover that, I would never refer to outsourcing as "stolen" jobs.

echo9
echo9

stop editing your previous replies.."anyone" can do it. Moreover if you had a different meaning for the word you used in your first comment "steal" then why din't you explained it there and then? Go get a life and stop polluting TR.

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

...as in, maybe try to get a balanced viewpoint here. Those countries that now host the many jobs lost in the US and other 1st world countries (was that politics-neutral enough?) didn't just "get ahead" of the West. They got *level* or near enough while keeping salaries *much lower*. In fact the lion's share of development and design still take place in the the US and UK and the 2nd tier stuff like programming or building someone else's designs, are what is happening in India and China. For the most part. Generally speaking. Overall.

adornoe
adornoe

to what I write and how I write it. I purposely put quotes around words which I think are either exaggerations or outright lies or the mainstream word of choice. I do that to highlight the spin and lies associated with the usage of the words. So, to explain it to you clearly, nobody "steals" a job from another, and no group of people "steal" jobs from others. There is "offshoring or outsourcing", and those decisions are done by management of a company, and, if it's a decision, then it's not "stealing". The Indians and Chinese and others made themselves competitive for those jobs by getting training and by remaining low-cost enough to make it worthwhile for American companies to move operations and jobs to them. Furthermore, I agree with what you say about somebody not "owning their job". In a free market system, the job is owned by the business in which the job exists. And, hey, where the heck did you get the idea that, whatever statements I made, were, in any way, "racist". The racist, oftentimes, ends up being the one who first brings up the word. There's not a racist bone in my body, and I would be the first to recognize racism when I saw it or heard it or read it. I'm in a minority group, and I'm the one that was often discriminated against, but, I've learned to not walk around with a chip on my shoulder. You might have a problem yourself if you don't know how to examine what's written without first taking umbrage. Chill. And take a few steps back before posting without entire knowledge of the issue or the people your talking about or the people you're talking to.

echo9
echo9

Indians or chinese are NOT "stealing" your jobs! Infact you're NOT owning one simply because you can't keep up with them! PLUS you never "own" a job; its NOT someone's property!? And if you have guts/more superior skills then why are you still unemployed? Why are they taking the job (or in your word "YOUR JOB") ? The Answer is simple: Because you are not able to keep up with them. Period. Lastly, try no to be racist here. The WWW is free for all and so is human knowledge (as to what I believe).

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

OK, the 5V power supply is quite cheap - one 60W unit is about, what, $12? and that will power at least 4 Pi's, and a keyboard comes in around the same or less, but the cheapest decent screen I can source (LG 18.5"W, 1366x768) is around $75 wholesale, without sales tax. That means a lot of Pi's are going to be connected to unreliable, dark, jittery, fuzzy old CRT discards :-(

nwallette
nwallette

If you need a ton of processing power, a Pi connected to an ATmega (basically just doing sensor polling) would do the trick. :-)

james.vandamme
james.vandamme

I just got a Nanode (Arduino clone with integrated 'net) to run my solar heater. I needed several analog sensors, a little bit of code, and send data over ethernet. Nanode was pefect for that, Pi is way powerful but no analog input.

nwallette
nwallette

You *can* have Ethernet on Arduino, but it's relatively rare to need or use it. You're looking at this like a mini PC and missing the point. Look at it instead like an electronics prototyping / microprocessor programming platform. Embedded applications with a fast processor -- there's absolutely a purpose for that.

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