Raspberry Pi The $35 Raspberry Pi computer launches, crashes servers due to demand

If you thought the Apple fan boys (and girls) were silly for queuing up ahead of new product launches, then the craziness going on around the Raspberry Pi launch would have you flabbergasted. Not only has the $35 computer managed to crash the servers of both the retail partners, but people got up at daybreak to get their orders in as soon as the order pages went live.

If you thought the Apple fan boys (and girls) were silly for queuing up ahead of new product launches, then the craziness going on around the Raspberry Pi launch would have you flabbergasted. Not only has the $35 computer managed to crash the servers of both the retail partners, but people got up at daybreak to get their orders in as soon as the order pages went live.

It's amazing how much attention the Raspberry Pi has been getting in the media, with coverage on the television news, all just because it's a low cost computer targeting the educational market. That said, the buyers at launch aren't schools, as the first batch of 10,000 units is limited to one order per customer and this this case it's mostly hardware enthusiasts and various companies trying to get their hands on it.

For the time being the availability is limited to only the more expensive of the two models that the Raspberry Pi foundation will be offering and that's only if you're lucky enough to place an order with one of its two distribution partners, RS Components or Premier Farnell. However, the foundation is moving over to a licensed manufacturing model where RS and Farnell will take over the manufacturing and this should hopefully alleviate some pressure from the foundation as well as get product out in the market.

Raspberry Pi The $35 Raspberry Pi computer launches, crashes servers due to demand

The idea behind the Raspberry Pi was to create an affordable computer for schools that would allow kids to learn the basics of programming and general computer “hacking”. It's a fairly basic system that comes with a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC based on an ARM11 processor that operates at 700MHz paired up with Broadcom's VideoCore IV GPU and 256MB of RAM. There's no on board storage, but an SD card slot is present. The cheaper – yet un-launched – $25 model has a single USB 2.0 port whereas the more expensive $35 model has two USB 2.0 ports and an Ethernet port with both models sporting an HDMI port, an composite video RCA connector, a 3.5mm audio jack and various other low-level interfaces and a micro USB port for power.

The Raspberry Pi will run various flavours of Linux and the foundation has been working closely with Fedora and Debian among others to create special versions of the OS that can run on the fairly low specced system. Various pre-compiled images will be downloadable from the foundation, of which some had already appeared ahead of the hardware launch and we're sure more are to come.

As to how popular the Raspberry Pi will be with students is anyone's guess as the moment, but at least the foundation has found itself a big enough following with the enthusiast market to make a splash in the general media which will hopefully help them to reach into the educational institutions. The question is if the teachers will be able to integrate something as complex as the Raspberry Pi into their lessons, know how poor some programing teachers are at teaching programming, with yours truly having spent some time studying programming many years ago. Either which way, we do condone what the Raspberry Pi foundation is trying to achieve, as it's not an easy task to get students interested in programming.

Source: The Raspberry Pi foundation