The Raspberry Pi has proved as tasty a computing morsel as it sounds, with the tiny, inexpensive machine going up for pre-order yesterday – and the website promptly falling over due to demand.
You’ve probably heard of this project, which was begun some six years ago, with David Braben (of Elite fame) and the Pi Foundation creating a super-budget, credit card sized computer.
The device boasts Linux and an Arm processor, with a USB port (for hooking up a keyboard and mouse) and HDMI out for connecting to your television, along with an ethernet port. It’s even been shown running Quake 3 in the past.
The idea is to introduce an affordable computer to the developing world, and also to youngsters in the western world who Braben hopes will have their passion for programming reignited (after years of dull ICT classes in school).
Enthusiasts were certainly keen to get their mitts on the Pi, as when pre-orders went live yesterday, the high level of traffic crashed the websites of the two licensed UK manufacturers and suppliers, Premier Farnell and RS Components.
Both sites are up and working fine today, though. However, all the pre-orders of the Pi mini-computer have been snapped up, and currently you can only register your interest to be informed of when more units will be in the pipeline.
It definitely sounds like demand is well outstripping supply.
The Raspberry Pi retails at just £22, although an even cheaper version is in the works (we believe that’s the one without the ethernet port) which will cut the cost to £16.
In an announcement, the Pi Foundation noted that this is “just the beginning of the Raspberry Pi story. Now we start developing educational tools and initiatives, at the same time as continuing research and development on Raspberry Pi hardware.”