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back to article That Brit-built £22 computer: Yours for just £1,900 or more

The British-designed credit card-sized RaspberryPi computer, eagerly awaited due to its £22 price tag, can be yours this week for a mere £1,900 or more. The tiny GNU/Linux ARM-powered machine, which is priced less than a textbook, is due to go on general sale by the first half of February, several weeks later than expected …

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FAIL

Publicity Whores

I guess that accurately describes these people.

Also, I doubt they will deliver on the 35 pound price promise. Just adding up 100000s component prices and ignoring that they will buy only 1000 at a time, need capital, need to pay for logistics, etc, that is the typical mistake engineers make when they venture into business.

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Facepalm

Oh the irony

Another typical mistake engineers make is to assume that people involved in a venture who are about to release product must be idiots that don't know what they're doing, on the basis of a few trivial insights they have into manufacture which no one else could possibly grasp, and without even seeing the *quotes* which these guys have no doubt been mulling over for months.

The £35 price tag does seem unlikely, yes, but since it's the whole point of the project, I would assume the management is just a little bit further along in their thinking than a schoolchild who doesn't know the difference between ordering in 1000s and 100,000s.

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You are going to look a right twat for that comment at the end of January. $25 and $35 are the price points -t he people running the foundation are NOT beginners at this stuff, and know exactly what they are doing.

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$35 not £35. The first production run will be 10000 not 1000. If you want to criticise, do try and get the details right.

Did you notice where it was stated that Eben Upton works for Broadcom who make the chip the Raspberry Pi is based on? Might be a clue there as to how the project manages to get favourable pricing on the components.

The pricing does seem almost too good to be true but if you read up on the project the people behind it really do seem to know what they're doing. They're also financing it themselves. Putting their money where their mouths are, as it were.

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You

will be proven so wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

"You are going to look a right twat for that comment at the end of January."

Why the end of January? He already looks like an epic twat.

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Anonymous Coward

Ignore the fanbois

Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that these will never sell to us norms for 35 USD. There might be limited sales to schools and such like at that price but not to us home consumers.

Ignore the fanbois, you are right and they're just refusing to open their eyes and realise that this cheap computing project will end up the same as every other. It either wont launch or it will launch at a much higher price. Then they'll come up with all kinds of excuses about why the price has increased.

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Bollocks

I can guarantee they will be sold, either end of Jan or start of Feb 2012 at the prices advertised - that is $25 for the model A and $35 for the model B, plus local taxes and shipping.

You appear to be the one without an ounce of sense. Why do you think this against EVERY SINGLE piece of evidence to the contrary?

You are going to look like a right twat as well, no wonder you posted AC.

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Anonymous Coward

Simple really,

Some people have an over-reaching desire to be 'the voice of correctness' in the face of overwhelming opinion otherwise. They think because a very small number of people like Galaleo pulled it off through genuine smartness (and a lot of luck), that spouting their half-cocked theories on how the universe really works puts them on the same level of greatness.

The basis of all the big global-conspiracy theories like climate-change-denial and the other even fruitier stuff like the Mayan Calendar predicts end-of-the-world brigade. Not to mention the "I'm superior to you because I believe special information you don't, nyah nyah nyah" segment of the religeous set.

They basically can't handle how tiny and pointless their own existence is and lack the personal capability to do something significant with themselves, so make up fairy-tales about how special they really are.

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Anonymous Coward

so now its..

"plus local taxes". Here we go. Then it will be plus labor, plus soldering, plus plus plus. How expensive are these things really going to be? $100 to the door?

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Vic
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> "plus local taxes"

Yes. VAT, for example.

> Then it will be plus labor, plus soldering, plus plus plus

Nonsense.

It will be the rate stated, plus however much it costs to get to you, plus any taxes the authorities decide to add.

> How expensive are these things really going to be? $100 to the door?

$35 is currently £22.58. Add VAT to that and it's £27.10. So I'd expect the cost to me to be no more than £35 at the outside.

Why are you trying to spread FUD about it?

Vic.

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Fakes or clones

So who would want such a thing? Apart from the sad old wannabees with more money than imagination, this seems to be a prime hunting ground for the clone makers. Buy a beta board, reverse engineer it and start flogging your own version. You never know, with real R-Pi not producing until February at the earliest, they could even be beaten to market by their copies </irony> (Or worse: find that the copies have been improved over the original.) Since these versions don't have the development and design costs their overheads are lower and the cost per unit (since R-Pi have also done all the promotion for them) should be considerably lower.

But it gets worse. If these few boards really do fetch the amounts reports (and don't just get the bids cancelled/withdrawn) then that would seem to indicate a burgeoning market for the less scrupulous to produce their own "beta" (where beta takes it's traditional meaning of: hardware/software that doesn't work properly) boards and make a few $k for themselves, until the window of opportunity closes.

Either way, it sounds like an astoundingly bad idea, to release prototypes onto the market.

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Stop

The Raspberry Pi foundation have already said they have no issue with their design being copied and produced by someone else. Their aim is to make cheap computers available to everyone. If someone clones their design, so much the better.

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Vic
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> So who would want such a thing?

Me. I think this is an excellent idea, and I'd have gone to £100 or so for one of these 10. It's good to give back to charitable organisations from time to time.

But the ones on eBay are well out of my price range...

> Buy a beta board, reverse engineer it and start flogging your own version

These are exactly the people who would *not* be bidding for an early version.

If you head over to the RaspberyrPi website, there are lots of photos of the boards, including hi-res shots of the unpopulated board. Someone trying to clone the RaspberryPi would start from there - it's a board with a very low component count, after all.

> Or worse: find that the copies have been improved over the original.

Why would that be worse?

The original will be performing as specified. If someone finds a way to improve that spec without increasing the board price, those improvements will doubtless find their way back into the R-Pi units.

Vic.

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Good luck trying to buy the SoC

For a clone release before the original!

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so what

The fakes will still be buying the Broadcom chip.

If you have the tech to do a gate level clone of the Broadcom chip and can fab it in quantity for less than you can buy in bulk from Broadcom then you would already be in this market

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FAIL

Clueless

Yet another self-claimed expert who saw something on evening telly or at the movies so believes bringing a board like this to market is something that could be done in under 4 weeks!

Asside from the fact that the RPi people would be about as upset by someone undercutting them as the Salvation Army would be upset by someone working out how to help the poor better than they can.

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Vic
Silver badge

> as upset by someone undercutting them as the Salvation Army would be

> upset by someone working out how to help the poor better than they can.

*Nice*. I'm pinching that one.

Vic.

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Happy

Welcome!

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I like

For 22 quid (lets say 50 quid by the time they get into the real world), it looks like a good excuse to brush off the dust from some very old skills and while away the next few months until 'summer' (ha, ha) start again. I could pretend it's to try and cultivate my younglings interest in tech, but truthfully, I know I bought it for me.

Can't see the point in forking for the auction units though. That's just mental, and the prices being asked are just pure comedy.

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Anonymous Coward

Fools and their money

Comes to mind

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Fools generally don't have £1,900 to splash out on gadgets.

Ever heard of the concept of Philanthropy and donations?

These boards will probably end up in a museum someday.

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Anonymous Coward

Is being a mug considered philanthropy these days?

Think you missed the part where Broadcom is behind this project.

Look more closely.

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@AC 2

Really not sure what you are getting at. Please explain.

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Anonymous Coward

@James

Read this:

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2974500

And reach your own conclusions.

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Anonymous Coward

He probably means that two of the six engineers at the Raspberry Pi foundation - Robert Mullins and Eben Upton - are employed by Broadcom.

Also the foundation itself is supported in part by Broadcom.

There was some talk going around about this.

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Silver badge

But if you will believe a load of made up speculation....

Yes, Eben Upton does work for Broadcom. Yes, the chip is made by Broadcom. Yes, because of the link the Raspberry Pi foundation gets a good deal on the chips. Yes, Broadcom have and still do support the foundation with tech advise and help.

No, the device is NOT sold at a loss. No, Broadcom are not either the Foundation or behind it. The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK charity and the relationship with Broadcom is as a customer of them.

Without the Broadcom link this device would not exist at this price point.

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Anonymous Coward

"But if you will believe a load of made up speculation...."

All of the points you yourself confirm. Doesn't seem that made up then.

Hard to tell if it's sold at a loss or not given the main chip is not available on the general market, so you're the one speculating.

Also Broadcom IS behind the foundation, if we're to believe Robert Mullins (RaspBerryPi co-founder) himself:

"The foundation is kindly supported by the Computer Laboratory and Broadcom."

http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rdm34/raspi/

But have to admit it is a slick marketing operation. Well done.

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For goodness sake

What was made up was the idea that Broadcom are behind the foundation, and being behind a project implies that are in some way controlling it. THAT IS NOT THE CASE. They provide no money, they don't tell the foundation what to do. Support in this case is technical advice and help, and manufacture of some very early boards (the ones with the Broadcom logo). The latest boards were made purely by the foundation. There is Nothing else.

It is turning in to quite a good marketing exercise granted, but that was never the intention - just a lucky accident.

Oh, and I'm not speculating about the selling above or below cost since I do actually know more about the BOM than all the speculators.

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Anonymous Coward

Yes, big fools,

Like that fool who kept his Apple][ and all its manuals in good condition all those decades. What did his foolish behavior get him, eh? Quarter-million dollars? Pah. Fool!

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Anonymous Coward

@ac 1932

Whoaa mate, big difference there.

First, that was at the beginning of personal computing. ARM development platforms these days are a dime a dozen. Scratch that, they're free if your company already buys stuff from them.

Which brings us to the other difference, the Apple][ was a complete product. It came with everything needed to make it work except the TV. Even came with a rudimentary but functional case. This one not so much. This is a common fallacy of electronic engineers, they never understand how much more interest they get if only they supply a plug&play working product.

Rasperry Pi will be tossed to the rubbish bin as soon as soon as Broadcom moves on to the next latest and greatest chip they want to promote.

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Gold badge

Ridiculous, there are much more functional boards like the Beagleboard for much less than the ebay price.

The sole appeal of the Raspberry PI is it's low cost, if it is expensive it is pointless. Wait for the final product!

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But not for $25 and $35 which is what they will sell for when in full production - the prices on Ebay are collectors level prices, not for people actually wanting to use them.

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Facepalm

They're *collectibles*

As in first edition books, stamps, etc.

They may be used but I bet most of the buyers will keep them in their original packaging.

As for reverse engineering, I'll doubt anyone could match the price unless they are prepared to order roughly 10x the quantity of chips from Broadcomm.

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Missing the point

I whole heartedly agree on the main point mentioned by other posters in that these are expensive items. However, I somehow think the people bidding for them are doing so in the knowledge that they are helping a charity (tax deductable as well).

There's a whole host of items sold on eBay for charities which have reached well in excess of the actual value of said item. Most ordinary IT folks who have an average or slightly above salary won't be bidding on these items, so no need for people to get heated by saying wait for the final product. I for one will buy one when available and at an affordable price (for me).

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I also like

I am a huge fan of the RasPi project.. even if the price of the 'B' is going to be around £50, they are still a bargain. I have LOADS of uses dreamed up for these things, from home automation to auto distribution.

The hope is that these things will go on to be as (more?) ubiquitous as the BBC Micro. I hope they manage it. If they do achieve this then it will be great to own a bit of history associated with the project. I'm not bidding though..

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Silver badge

Model B WILL be $35 (plus any tax e.g. VAT, plus shipping). You'll need to buy a power supply, but you probably already have one (USB), perhaps a USB keyboard and mouse if not got one already. Still comes in much less than £50.

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This is actually a good thing...

Thumbs up because this is actually something that can be cool to have...

Does anyone remember CMU's WIMPY cluster?

Now you can build your own...

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Bronze badge

is it me, or have some people here missed the point about the Pi?

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It's not you.

There seems to be a faction who scream abuse at this project, while having no idea what it is. You think this is bad, try slashdot.

Best idea.. Sit back and laugh at the "CE experts" (really fanboys who read tech blogs) claim it will never sell.

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MK 14

I'd like a Science of Cambridge MK 14, I remember playing with one of those at school and building my own Z80 computer using some of the ideas I learned from studying it. They cost a bit more than £20 though, especially now.

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Silver badge

"They cost a bit more than £20"

@£50 from memory, would have been much more complex to produce and had loads of TTL logic on the board. I've still got one somewhere - the SC/MP machine code was a sod to write!

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Next Xmas

Raspberry Pi computer is going to be Xmas present 2012 to my (older) kids, nieces and nephews.

So long as production version is in full supply by Q4-12 then I'm OK with it, although will prolly order one for myself before then too.

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First day back, eh? And you left your brains at home this morning or haven't had enough coffee yet?

The P-Pi is a fantastic innovation and entirely meritorious. Who can argue with trying to give access to a computer for less than the price of a textbook?

If a few charitable folk want to chip in by donating to such a worthy cause during these beta board auctions, then good for them. Anything that spurs innovation in the UK is most welcome.

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Anonymous Coward

LOL,

At the people that think this is something new.

There are plenty of existing mid-cost ARM based kits available.

Sheevaplug being one, which can be picked up for around £80.

Gumstix Overo being another.

The only area this seems to be excelling in, is the extremely lowcost.

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And that's the point.....

...the price is so low...or are you missing that bit entirely?

There are plenty of fairly high power pc's around for £50, they are called 2nd hand, but again, that's not the point.

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and the video out

And the HDMI/S-Video out.

The Sheevaplug and GumStix are headless so cannot be connected directly to a monitor.

The advantage with the Raspberry Pi is that with just a keyboard/mouse/monitor and SD card you have a standalone computer. If you get the ethernet 1 then it can go on the internet as well.

There are 1080p videos and graphics demos of the Raspberry Pi doing interesting things.

Imagine for teaching each kid having their own Raspberry Pi or at a minimum their own SD card with their OS/Apps and code. They run it on any Raspberry Pi and it boots to their personal configuration. Mess it up and just reformat the SD card.

Raspberry Pi is a great idea and once the OS and Educational resources are released on March/April the true potential will be seen.

Finally, the price being paid for the beta boards is an indication of how much support is already out there for this project/charity.

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Bronze badge

As albert pointed out, the sheevaplug does not have video out, this does.

I'll be buying one, attaching it to my TV, together with a USB remote control dongle and attempt to use it as a media player. I might even try and get XBMC working on it.

Total cost: Less than a typical Saturday night out.

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Pint

Exactly

"The only area this seems to be excelling in, is the extremely lowcost."

That's what they said to Henry Ford.

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Gimp

I might even try and get XBMC working on it.

my plan entirely when I get my hands on one... to replace the computer i already use as a media player for the TV

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