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Raspberry Pi sells out in hours

Demand for 22, credit card sized computer crashes websites

The 22 Raspberry Pi computer went on sale at 6am this morning, selling out hours later and crashing stockist's websites.

"We're amazed at the level of interest and sorry so many of you were frustrated today; if you preorder now, your Pi will be built to order," said the official Twitter account.

Premier Farnell began selling the computer today and limited purchases to one per customer. RS Components is asking users to register interest and will start selling at the end of the week.

Both sites struggled with the traffic generated by the product, leaving the Twitter account to field questions and complaints.

"So we appear to have completely broken RS and Farnell's websites. Keep trying; that redirect should be moved *at some point*"

The British computer is the brain child of developer David Braben and Eben Upton, and designed to give children access to a cheap machine that would allow them to learn the basics of programming.

Earlier this year Upton spoke exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz about the project.

"We see the Raspberry Pi as offering a platform with pre-installed programming capabilities, which is cheap enough, and hard enough to break, that kids can be cut loose to experiment."

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Latest comments (11)

Thomas Dolby Project Manager / Lead Programmer, Ai Solve4 years ago
I knew they were massively underestimating demand, anyone with half a brain could see that 10,000 wasn't nearly enough with all the media attention and hype surrounding it, but I suppose they must have their reasons. I was disappointed to find that it had sold out by the time I had got to my desk, here's hoping they hurry up with the next shipment!
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Andy Bastable Lead Programmer, Microsoft / Rare4 years ago
I don't think they massively underestimated anything. I just don't think they had the capital to fund a massive initial production run. That it caught the retailers on the hop was disappointing though -- particularly since Raspberry Pi did everything they could to prepare them for it.
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all in all, its a good success. they can have a strong argument to produce more - whereas if they oversupplied, there will be alot of stock leftover
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Show all comments (11)
Neil Hall Senior Lecturer in Games Animation, Teesside University4 years ago
Demand outstripping availability. Now where have I seen that before? Oh yeah... every single console release. Not that I'm cynical or anything. :-)
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Monte Singman , Radiance4 years ago
I don't understand how crashed web sites is a good news?
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David Hodgson Studying Computer Science, University of Kent4 years ago
The foundation appeared to have no clue what their distributors were doing. Farnell's website crashed basically instantly, and RS wasn't even accepting pre-orders. Raspberry_pi stated in their twitter feed that "That's DEFINITELY not right" when someone spoke to RS via phone who told them they didn't know anything about the device going on sale. I also heard Farnell were accepting multiple orders per person although I don't know if that is correct or not (but they certainly list bulk order prices for the device on their website). Farnell was still timing out about 5 or 6 hours after the 6am start. Of course the distributors' problems are not the foundation's fault, but it seems both distributors they picked were not prepared and not in the loop about what was going on, which is strange considering how much media attention the Raspberry Pi has.
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Jon Burton Director/Head Designer, Travellers Tales4 years ago
I wonder how many of these orders are for kids - it's all a pointless exercise if its just enthusiasts buying up the stock to get a cheap hobby computer...
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Andy Bastable Lead Programmer, Microsoft / Rare4 years ago
The initial batch are developer versions to give people a chance to create content by the time the retail versions (with cases!) go on sale later on in the year.
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Elaine Green Director, Nellyvision Ltd4 years ago
If you did an order for multiple units from Farnell (as I did), the invoice that was sent through states 1 for delivery now and 1 for delivery later. So I presume that the extra one will be sent out when they get new stock in.
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Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster4 years ago
This plus educational reform in computing and IT could 'save' us...
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 4 years ago
Well, at least (I think) they don't have Foxconn slaves working quadruple overtime to shove out as many units as can be whipped together to meet demand.

As I've gotten older, I'm finding that I've never really understood the "gotta have it before anyone else!" mentality of many devices anyway. The first model is usually the one with all the quirks and bugs that get the most hate (until smarter tinkerers work everything out and make some great stuff). Then again, it's usually the second model onwards that drops some minor features and adds news ones that piss off the early adopters. Of course, the tinkerers again come to the rescue in that case (and so forth and so on...)

Meh, I'm an admittedly lazy ass anyway. I want one of these at some point, but only loaded up with content others have cooked up. Yeah, I'll pay more than 22, but do I mind? Nope.
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