This morning, at 06:00 GMT, the eagerly awaited Raspberry Pi computer went on sale. The foundation behind the Pi announced that they have entered into manufacturing an distribution deals with two large electronic parts suppliers, and in order to get your hands on the credit card sized computers, you need to order through them. I spent the better part of an hour trying to get through to the order page on both sites, and got just about every error a website can throw at you. Eventually, I was forced to give up.
It seems like the Pi’s launch was both a resounding success and a complete failure. For consumers, it feels “unfair” to have set your alarm clock, have your credit card ready, and then not be able to order. On the other hand, there seems to be an overwhelming amount of interest, which is excellent news for the foundation. The educational benefit of the Pi probably depends heavily on community acceptation of the device, and right now there’s so much community interest that it can easily knock over two large web shops.
As I write this, an hour and a half after the launch, I still can’t get either of the websites to respond. On Twitter, the Raspberry Pi foundation has announced that at least on of them is out of stock. I guess I’ll have to wait for the second batch.