back to article Raspberry Pi Linux micro machine enters mass production

CES 2012 Week The Rapberry Pi Foundation has begun manufacturing its pocket-sized Linux-based micro in volume, with the first batch set to roll off the line by the end of the month. The charity revealed the news this week after finalising payment details, stating its Dyson-esque regret that Raspberry Pi production had to be …

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  1. Jim 59

    Dumb question

    Why does it not have an enclosure ?

    1. Code Monkey

      DIY

      An anti-static bag and some gaffer tape?

      1. James 139

        Hmm

        You do know that anti-static bags are conductive, right?

    2. Jean Le PHARMACIEN
      Go

      re Dumb Question

      So you can " tart " it up any way you want....multiple Pi's in one box = Raspbery Tart (multicore server?)

      1. Jock in a Frock
        Thumb Up

        @ Jean Le Pharmicien

        A cluster of RasPi's is known as a Bramble

        These look like such fun, I plan to get one just for giggles, I will mainly use it as a media hub behind my TV in the lounge, but hope to just tinker with it for shits and giggles.

        If I get it working well as a media hub, I can dispense with the ATX tower I shoehorned behind the TV cabinet.

        Power consumption is < 1W at 5V on a micro-USB connector. I plan to use a redundant HTC phone charger.

        My home router is behind my TV anyway, so networking is sorted. I have a wireless keyboard with a built in trackpad, connecting via a USB dongle, so that's easy. The RasPi has HDMI1.3, so the telly is plug'n'play.

        I think the only thing I might need is a USB hub to connect an external USB HDD at the same time as the keyboard. However if I can get TightVNC running on the RasPi, then I can forgo the keyboard and the hub, and drive it from my laptop.

        As for enclosures, the idea is that you build your own (no cooling required!), but the Foundation do plan to sell enclosures in the near future.

        If this project takes off, I think there will be a nice market in accessories & expansions etc.

        This really is a genius project, and I can't wait to get my hands on one. Takes me back to hacking around with my ZX-81 in the early '80s. This will open up Linux, Python and several other languages to me, as I've become detached from programming over the years. Damn you, Windows 3.1/95/98/2000/XP/Vista/7 !!!!

        1. P. Lee Silver badge
          Trollface

          vnc or bluetooth dongle?

          Go on, plug in dongle and connect a mac BT keyboard and trackpad. The irony will make someone's head explode. :)

    3. lurker

      The whole point is to make them as cheap as possible.

      If they'd had to design and manufacture injection molded cases then they'd be more than £23.

      There will be enclosures on offer not long after they start selling I suspect, based on discussions people have been having over on the raspberry pi forums.

      At a pinch, just make something out of lego :).

      1. Code Monkey
        Thumb Up

        @lurker

        I really, really like the Lego idea.

    4. Arrrggghh-otron

      Cost

      They are trying to get people interested in the workings of computers. Inspire a generation etc.

      They are also trying to make it cheap. When you are trying to do that, every penny counts and a few quid for an enclosure plus tooling costs etc all adds up.

      I expect there will be plenty of people selling cases for them soon enough, and there are a few that you can print on a 3d printer if you have one or get one from Shapeways etc al...

    5. annodomini2
      Boffin

      Or...

      www.reprap.org, make your own! ;)

    6. DapaBlue

      They've mentioned that an optional case will be made available for it in time.

    7. Al - Leeds

      simple answer

      so you can build your own of course!

      I'm making mine out of Meccano :)

    8. Chemist

      Why does it not have an enclosure ?

      Back in the early 80's I assembled a UK101 single board 6502 system. That was used in the cardboard box the board came in until I could afford a case

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      CDT Enclosure

      Given that it's intended to be employed in schools then schools can also teach making enclosures in "craft, design and technology" lessons. My school was broke so the most challenging thing we ever made was a vac-form container for an egg-timer, and they couldn't afford the insurance for the workshop so the actual construction was handled by a teacher.

    10. ElNumbre
      Boffin

      Where we're going, we don't need cases...

      I'm glad it doesn't come with a case - I want to buy a bunch of them and rack mount them in a blade-like chassis. I want to experiment with ARM based clustering and Raspberry Pi seems to have the lowest bang to buck currently available. Its just a shame the boards seem to have their I/O ports spread around the board rather than just front and back, but I think with the GPIO pins and maybe a bit of soldering, this shouldn't be a problem.

      1. Toastan Buttar
        FAIL

        ratio arse-about-tit ?

        HIGHEST bang to buck, shurely???

        1. ElNumbre
          Thumb Up

          @Buttars

          Aye, good spot, that is what I meant!

          On a related note, I assume the CPU/RAM stack is as susceptible as any other semiconductor. However, I've only ever noticed catastrophic (ie permanently dead) component failures which I may have caused due to ESD. Whilst I'm sure subtle failures can be caused, I would hope the Pi's would not be involved in anything involved in safety-of-life, high-precision or mission critical work, so any odd behaviour will likely be put down to software bugs or the board will be replaced (especially given the low cost).

          And don't call me Shirley...

      2. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        +1 for the Back to the Future reference

        Strangely apt, too.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. DJ 2
      Flame

      Shouldn't be too hard to find something to mount it in. my only worry is how hot will it get.

      1. Arrrggghh-otron

        It doesn't

        It doesn't get hot at all - you can still touch the processor/memory stack when running quake III

        http://www.raspberrypi.org/page/6

      2. EddieD

        When I was a lad, I used tobacco tins (which I was given by teachers at school - honest...) to build guitar effects in...I think this would fit...

        http://www.shivaheadshop.co.uk/shop/tobacco_tins___pouches/2oz_airtight_tobacco_tins/index.html

        Something for all tastes there

        1. Efros
          Thumb Up

          Altoids tins in the States have taken over from the non-pc tobacco tins.

          http://artofmanliness.com/2011/01/30/22-manly-ways-to-reuse-an-altoids-tin/

          1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

            @Efros

            Liz at Raspberry says that the board will not fit in an Altoid tin because the board has square corners. (Just imagine the license fee they'd have to pay to Apple if it did have rounded corners :)

    2. Horridbloke
      Thumb Up

      Box

      Get a cheap project box from Maplin, a tool to dig out the necessary holes and some epoxy or polymorph plastic to fit the board inside (though if only doing one system those three items will nearly double the price).

      Thumbs up because there is fun to be had here.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Simple but effective ...

      ... just cut holes as required:

      http://www.ukpackagingproducts.co.uk/100-small-brown-mailing-posting-pizza-boxes-free-pp--sc11-1324-p.asp

      Disclaimer: I do not guarantee that this box will actually fit.

  3. SoftFox
    Thumb Up

    Re: Dumb Question

    Guessing its really an OEM product. You will probably be able to buy this at for example Maplins with a case..

    1. Arrrggghh-otron

      It is what it is...

      It isn't OEM. The idea is that kids will want to know what all the bits do and how they can connect up home made electronics to it, program it and get it to do stuff.

      Kinda like the Arduino on steroids.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Use?

    What can one do with this piece of motherboard? I mean really !

    1. Big_Ted
      Facepalm

      Re what can you do.........

      Anything you want of cource

      Its basic so easy to use for all sorts of dedicated jobs.......

    2. Arrrggghh-otron

      Not a piece...

      It is a full blown system. Just needs an OS on an SD card and you can boot Linux. Oh yeah and a keyboard/mouse/monitor unless you are going to run it headless as a low power server...

      It will have enough oomph to run an X session so you can use it as a basic computer and learn to program on it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Really?

      A credit card sized computer that can run linux and is bristling with GPI/O pins and other assorted connectors?

      If you cannot think of 10 uses off the top of your head it's probably not for you.

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Really Really

        I can think of plenty of uses for this thing once it becomes a complete system and not just a non-standard component to make a complete system out of.

    4. spencer

      Take a guess

      I mean, really - just take a look at the spec and have a wild stab in the dark.

    5. lurker

      What can you do with a computer?

      Given a second (USB) ethernet port it'd make a decent (and extremely cheap) firewall.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        That's about the least imaginative use for a computer.

        The ethernet port shares the bus with theUSB so the throughput isn't great and you can get a Linksys router running Linux for about the same price with more hardware.

    6. Andy E
      Stop

      Re: Use?

      I was thinking the very same thing. The PFY's of today have an attention span of bored goldfish. If they can't load a pirated game in less than 3 seconds then they are not going to be interested.

      I can imagine the feedback "What do you mean, I have to program it?"

      Now back in my day, I disassembled a ZX81 to solder on the connections for a joystick so I could actually fly the plane in the program I had just written. It also saved the system crashing when you pressed the keyboard to hard which caused the connection to the 16K ram pack to flex.

      Ahhhh. Happy days.

      1. Arrrggghh-otron

        PFY

        That the modern day PFY won't know where to start with this is a danger. But the project also has the intention of providing educational/classroom material to go with it.

        If it does miss the target audience at least that will make it easier for us tinkerers to get our hands on one!

        1. Andus McCoatover
          Windows

          "But the project also has the intention of providing educational/classroom material to go with it."

          I've a feeling a Wiki will be born based on this....(re-)educating the PFY's and budding BOFH's....

          I'm on the dole, but I'm still getting one - for exactly that purpose. Cheap as a Friday night Guinness and a curry...

          I applaud them. Good move. Just hope it doesn't go the way of "Tux Droid".

          Mine sits forlornely in the corner, waiting a resurrection. (Backup CD went tits-up!)

      2. TRT Silver badge
        Happy

        Indeed

        I still have a home-hacked ISA multi-IO card in my cupboard because I wanted more than 4 IDE devices on my Win95 box.

        And when I built a Maplin Speech Synthesiser card for my Vic-20 as a teen, I wanted to use it with my RAM pack, so converted the connector to use the User I/O port instead.

        Talking of Commodore, I found a bad request on the Crossrail document portal caused the server to report a Guru Meditation code. :-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @TRT

          Wait, you're me, I built that VIC20 Talkback kit and converted it for the user port too, I hacked up a few IDE interfaces for 'odd' addresses and had more COM ports than was intended as well.

          Nuuurrrssseeeee!

          I must have missed a few dried frog pills if I'm posting here under multiple personalities again.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            @AC

            That's weird. Mind you - similar solutions for similar problems. WTF? What's that bottle of pills doing on my desk? Dried frog? I take powdered wahoonie root tablets.

    7. Horridbloke
      Happy

      @Use?

      Learn to code (if you were previously unable to afford a machine).

      Put together a browsing machine to hang off the back of your big telly without annoying you with fans or excessive power drain.

      Run a very low power home web server or torrent machine.

      Have fun and expand ones idea of what computers are beyond the frankly rather tedious Wintel view.

      The next big thing (heck, I don't claim to know everything).

      1. Natalie Gritpants
        Thumb Up

        Not just a browsing machine

        I've got a MythTV frontend bolted on the back of my Telly. The only connectors are ethernet, HDMI, power and USB-remote. This could replace it and be powered from one of the TV's own USB ports. I feel a project coming on.

    8. ricegf
      Linux

      Control Your Squirrel Cannon!

      https://us.pycon.org/2012/schedule/presentation/267/

      Seriously, you need some exercises to expand your imagination. This is the age of *doing*!

    9. ricegf
      Linux

      Control a 3D Printer!

      Here are plans for a free (as in open source) 3D printer that you can build yourself. It uses a PC for downloading and printing objects. Why not adapt a Raspberry Pi to control it? Less expensive, dedicated, and just plain cool!

      Best of all, once you've built your first 3D printer, you can print another 3D printer! :-D

      http://www.reprap.org/wiki/Prusa

      1. graeme leggett

        In a similar line

        Father-in-law is building a home made CNC router from plans on the web, videos on youtube.

        the controlling device is an ex business tower case PC with a Linux install. It's in his workshop where it can suck huge amounts of sawdust through the fans and blow it all through the CPU cooler and PSU.

        A Pi would be much more resistant to heat exhaustion due to wood-based asphyxiation and could be mounted on the device itself.

    10. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What can you do?

      You can bet you will be voted down for that negativity! And I bet I will too as it seems to have attracted quite a fanbois following.

      It may be a "cheap Linux box" but I do wonder how it will fare once people get over their excitement and realise that it isn't perfect and "designed to meet costs" introduces inconveniences of use. No case (yet) so build one but no mounting holes to make that easy, wiring and connections coming out of all sides, and then there's the cost of everything else needed to make it work including a TV or HDMI supporting monitor as it does not seem to support VGA.

      Having read the latest on the cost of manufacturing I can not understand how anyone could find this out so late in the day and it does cause me some concern. There seems to be many things to finalise and it even appears the boards are to be sold without any warranty as development boards rather than finished product.

      1. Kevin Johnston

        Not downvoting but...

        think outside the box to think inside......you can mount the board to a box using those wonderful sticky pads. that gives you good control plus a little flex in case you didn't quite gets the holes in the side of the box in the right place.

        With regards to the rest, yes this is a development grade product and probably deliberately to encourage people to just have a go. If it came in a highly polished box with all the cables in pretty plastic bags etc etc then the very people it is aimed at would ignore it and the populace would complain as it doesn't run the Internet (or Internet Explorer 236 as it is better known).

    11. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      It clocks in at around 500bogomips, the Sparc2 I used to do Hubble image deconvolution on 20years ago was around 1/100 of that - so for advanced space research it will be great!

      It does anything a Linux PC can do and plays 1080p video with hardware decode if your queue of pre-cospar Hubble images is running low.

  5. Alan Bourke
    Thumb Up

    Bedroom coders and assorted boffins ...

    ... assemble!

  6. alpine

    Popcornhour

    Same size as the board, and very similiar guts, to my PopcornHour media box. I would assume other systems like the WD Box are similar. The costs come in firmware/ menu development.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Similar yes, but different enough not to be confused

      Those dedicated streamer boxes have dedicated graphics chips in them - usually from Sigma for WD IIRC. Chips and licenses for the graphics drivers/firmware is a significant cost difference.

  7. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Is it just me, or could there be a revolution in the offing ..

    Haven't been following this story too closely, till now ... but seeing the spec and price of this beastie makes me wonder how many uses there are out there, which we haven't even throught of yet. The ability to plug a fully-specced *programmable* computer into anything is going to change a lot of things. With local-level processing now available to any peripheral, how much bandwidth can be saved, and networks improved ?

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      aye

      what do you thing routers and print server boxes are? They are fully functional computers - lots of them have been "rooted" with firmware offering expanded functionality (or just linux if you want to tinker).

  8. Jello

    From what I've read on the forum the first runs of the RPi will be without an enclosure. I know a few enthusiasts on the forum have said they are looking to design/build their own enclosure and I believe the organisation intents to supply it with an enclosure in the future.

    1. Code Monkey

      Yup

      Folks are already getting prototype enclosures from shapeways, just waiting for the boards.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    one of these. a roomba. a kinect camera and a mounted nerf gun.

    Terminator 0.0.1alpha

  10. Peter Mount
    Happy

    I'm already lining up projects for these

    I don't care if these have a case or not - there's plenty of uses for them as they are & I'm intending on getting a couple - one to play with & one to run my weather station.

    At the moment the station is running off the back of an ancient itx linux box but one of these would be ideal to replace that box. Not much local storage is needed & the rest is pushed over the ethernet.

    1. Risky

      Weather Station?

      IS that one of the 1-wire ones? I have one in a box I must set up some time.

  11. Dean 4
    Trollface

    Strange choice of picture

    Unless they have gone back to the alpha design its rather unlikely to look like that.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge
      Angel

      No, that's the real Model B.

      Ok, not quite:

      The GPIO pin header top-left is a do-not-fit*, the tiny blob of solder between the Raspberry logo and the CPU is a PCB errata fix that won't be on the final units.

      The SD card holder may also be different, but that's not shown in the photo.

      Other than those minor differences, it's exactly what I'll be buying in a few weeks time.

      Yes, the "spider web" form factor is less than perfect, but the connectors (inc SD on the left) nearly fill the edges of the board, so what else could be done?

      Expanding the board size would increase the cost, and it would be a shame to lose the RCA Composite video and stereo jack.

      *They decided to let the end user solder on the GPIO pin header, as nobody has yet decided whether male, female, up, down or sideways connections is best for daughterboards.

      Plus it saves a few cents - thru-hole pin headers are expensive to assemble.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Seems like El Reg have in fact sneakily replaced the photo between Dean4 posting and me reading his post.

        Sorry Dean!

  12. Hendala

    I want one...

    Until now i wanted Arduino, now i want this instead. I wounder how easy it would be do to your own electronic peripherals with that. Can you attach sensors/leds/motors to it? God I feel like a kid in a toy store.

    1. Arrrggghh-otron

      Gertboard

      Have a look at the Gertboard - I think that will do what you want...

      http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/500

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: I want one...

      Then you will want one of these too:

      http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/411

    3. Marty
      Childcatcher

      connect away.....

      you can get a USB I/O port from maplins for about £10, probably less if you look around the interwebs...

      Its designed for the hobbyist so that you can connect sensors and motors... very similar to the USR port on the BBC B !!!

      Time to dig out that robot i built for my BBC B when I was still at school, Its still in the attic at my parents home !!

    4. DapaBlue

      Take a look...

      http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/500

    5. Franklin

      From the looks of it, yes, you will be able to attach motors and sensors and so on, though it won't be as straightforward (in hardware or in software) as an Arduino.

      If your goal is to run motors and such from an embedded system with very little in the way of time or effort, an Arduino will probably get you there faster. However, the Raspberry Pi is a much more sophisticated platform; if you want something that has a lot more grunt, or you want to run code from a full-fledged computer rather than a microcontroller with no keyboard or video, the Raspberry Pi is definitely the way to go.

      I very much want to get my hands on one of these, though I don't anticipate it will replace my Arduino boards.

      1. LaeMing Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Yes.

        I am going to get one in in a few months to evaluate with a view to getting a dozen to complement our Arduinos in our computational media lab. Probably with GertBoards or equivalent.

  13. Kevin Johnston
    Happy

    Furrows brow.....

    Of course, yes.....furrows - farm - make my own server farm.

    At that sort of price it's a natural for hosting game servers et al to run COD sessions etc etc... and in their spare time it's a stack of World Community Grid cores.....should boost me in the Vulture Central rankings

  14. dotdavid
    Thumb Up

    Can't wait until these have Linux distros to install. I'm not a hardware hacker, but would love a media streamer running Myth or whatever to play with.

  15. Number6

    Expectations

    I suspect a lot of the "why doesn't it have...?" crowd are the same that expected a low-cost Linux netbook to be capable of everything that a top spec desktop machine running Windows would do, totally missing the point that it's intended for a different job.

    In this case, I suspect the Pi will be used for all sort of little jobs, at which it will excel compared to a desktop PC running Windows.

    Don't run them continuously though, they're obviously intended to be run at approximately 22/7, not 24/7...

    1. sprouty76
      Thumb Up

      Well played, sir

      Well played.

    2. dogged

      *wince*

    3. Tony S
      Windows

      Ha!

      Probably only old farts like me would actually get the joke, but good effort.

      Actually, I built a crystal set(!) when I was about 10 yrs old, and fitted it in a large plastic bowl about 20 sizes too big for it. I could get the BBC light programme and even Radio Luxembourg. The best bit was my step-father trying to teach me to speak morse code (dit-dah) in the same way that he did during his National Service training as a signaller.

      Kids today don't know what fun is!

    4. Jock in a Frock
      Unhappy

      It took me a while,

      but I finally got it!

    5. Bakunin
      Thumb Up

      Re: Expectations

      "Don't run them continuously though, they're obviously intended to be run at approximately 22/7, not 24/7..."

      I stared at that line for a while before it suddenly hit me.

      Well played.

    6. John H Woods

      Ace....

      ... makes me wonder if you mounted two together would you have made a Raspberry Tau?

  16. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Wahey!

    Several of these, a few freecycle tellies, myth tv and/or Synergy and I'll have a lovely wall at last!

    If RaspberryPI can do this for the price why do I have to pay considerably more for mass produced devices? 4 off these costs less than a ton yet has more processing power of a £500 'phone'.

    1. Roger Varley

      Is it too late to change the name?

      As soon as anyone builds a pi-Phone (or any kind of a pi-app), Apple will sue their @sses off.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        pi-Phone

        "As soon as anyone builds a pi-Phone"

        Err, I think you mean a raspberry-blower.

        [For the non-natives, 'blower' can mean 'phone', and blowing a raspberry should be obvious]

    2. David Dawson

      Screen (biggie), extra memory, patent/ license fees for various things, telephony chips and radios, battery, integration costs and testing.

      I can't imagine the processor is actually that big a cost out of the £500, although a modern armv7 will be quite a bit more than the armv5 they are using here.

      I believe that one of the things keeping the costs of these down are that a couple of the broadcom chips that power the device are being sold to the project at manufacturing cost, as an employee or two of broadcom are working on the project.

      I do wonder if this could be adapted into a basic android phone somehow. Anyone know how expensive telephony radios/ processors are?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "a basic android phone"

        I think there's more to making a GSM/PCN/3G/etc phone than just the chippery, which isn't available to Joe Public (or even via normal commercial channels such as RS, Farnell, Digi-Key, etc) anyway. The RF side of things isn't simple, and afaik there's the small matter of product certification. Just a guess though. Better buying a PAYG phone for something to play with. For now anyway.

        On the other hand, a Gert-board or similar RF addon for an unlicensed or permissively-licenced waveband (is that still the expression) might be interesting. What's the state of play of 433MHz low power radio these days? Is it still usable in urban areas with all this powerline Ethernet kit splatting everywhere?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Price slowly increasing

    I love how all the fanbois kept shouting that the price wont increase and this will be the real final price blah blah. And then gradually they've worked in extortionate shipping prices and then 'oh and remember that doesn't include tax' and 'oh remember that doesn't include blah blah blah'.

    By the time they've finished all the 'oh and don't forget' costs, we'll be paying 2-3 times the original quoted price.

    Oh and thanks for the update which pretty much repeats what was said in the previous story about this equipment :)

    1. Jock in a Frock
      WTF?

      Remember -

      The Raspberry Foundation is a not-for-profit charity, so don't bleat on about price gouging. Shipping prices will be kept down, tax is unavoidable, and the Foundation discovered that importing the components and assembling in the UK would attract a lot of import tax. That's why the manufacture has been moved overseas, to keep costs down.

      Would you rather they said £99 up front and stuck to it? At £99 it would still be a remarkable achievement.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        99 would be silly

        Intel D410/425 can be had for £50/£60. Add memory and you are at the same place. Sure the board is physically bigger but not by much but you get sata. You will still need an external PSU with both solutions.

        The 425 will run XBMC 720p too (not 1080 though).

    2. James Hughes 1

      At which point did the price start gradually rising? Original price $25/$35. Current price $25/$35.

      Of course, you do need to add postage and local taxes since, as it's is being sold worldwide, you cannot quote those of the website and cover everyone.

    3. Vic

      > By the time they've finished all the 'oh and don't forget' costs, we'll be paying

      > 2-3 times the original quoted price.

      ODFO.

      Vic.

    4. Richard 12 Silver badge
      Happy

      Back-of-envelope calc for Model B - approx. £30 delivered to UK

      Unit: $35 = £22.84 to £23.36*

      VAT @ 20%: £4.57 to £4.62

      Postage: £1.58 (1st class) or £2.35 (1st class tracked)**

      Handling (eg CC fee, box): £1 (estimate)

      Total: £29.99 to £31.38

      *Today's XE and Post Office rates.

      **From the Post Office - anywhere in the UK, including the Highlands and Islands, Scilly Isles, and the Isle of Man.

      To those moaning about PSU, SD Card, mouse, keyboard & display - at no point did the "quote" ever even hint at including any of those.

  18. stsr505089
    Happy

    Like the man says.....

    If you can't think of a dozen uses for it as it stands, its not for you. I've may have hacked my last NAS box......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It'll be pants as a server.

      Not gigabit, and the ethernet/USB chip is a hub all sharing one port. I'll be buying one (or two...) but stick with your NAS boxes as well.

  19. Stuart Moore
    Megaphone

    Tax Laws

    If you follow the link to the Raspberry Pi site, one of the main reasons they can't produce it in the UK are the tax laws, that charge for importing components and building here, but not for assembling the entire thing elsewhere and importing it. This is madness, it's preventing them from keeping the jobs in the UK. There's a bit of a campaign starting on their blog posts to highlight this to the government and try to get it changed. I think it's something The Register should get behind.

    Relevant Links:

    http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/509 - the blog post detailing the tax problem

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/27158 - Government E-Petition

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Petition signed.

      Ridiculous situation that I can import British designed equipment that's been manufactured abroad for less than I can import the components to make it myself.

      Perhaps El Reg should publicise this and get a few more signatures on that petition?

  20. Bill Cumming
    Trollface

    Why you no use correct pic??

    Here's what the board ACTUALLY looks like:

    http://www.raspberrypi.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/PC236526-1024x768.jpg

    Anyhoo

    I can't wait to get my hands on one and set up a tiny low powered XBMC system.

  21. b166er

    'What can one do with this piece of motherboard? I mean really !'

    Were you taking bets on troll-count?

  22. bigphil9009

    British Manufacturing

    I wonder how much they would cost if they had decided to manufacture in the UK. I can (kind of) understand Dyson's POV where a 20% increase in costs would add to an already expensive product, but the same kind of percentage increase here would make a much smaller total difference.

    I know they are going for cheap-cheap-cheap, but I can't help thinking that it would have been much better if the board that was designed in Britain, and will be used by a generation of British kids was actually built and engineered in Britain too - something to be a little bit proud of, perhaps.

    1. bigphil9009

      Bad form to repy to one's own post, I know. But as the commenter below me, and a very enlightening article on the RaspPi website says, there seems to be a typically British tax law that penalises anyone wanting to manufacture electronic systems in the UK. I would encourage anyone that has the slightest interest re-igniting Britain's once world-class manufacturing industry to sign the petition in the post below.

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      Headmaster

      UK Manufacturing Costs

      Looking at the threads on the Pi forum it seems they are claiming it would cost around £5 more per board to produce in the UK but that doesn't seem to be entirely due to tax and/or duty as that's cited as 2.5% which would be less than 40p per board ( model A ).

      The real problem looks to be UK assemblers charging £4.60+ more per board than far eastern counterparts.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Lead time was the other major factor. Three months from UK manufacturers as opposed to three weeks in Asia.

  23. Anonymous Noel Coward

    I would quite like to buy one of these, but the only thing stopping me is it's inability to playback Hi10P video.

    And what with h.265 being developed...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And a second-hand server off eBay isn't going to run Amazon.

      So?

  24. Nick Woodruffe

    MAME console??

    So I have a PC behind my TV running MAME and a couple of home made joystick boards. Baesd on the number of low powered old games that I play (Invaders, Asteroids), it will be interesting to see this board fired up to play Mame.

    Then I could build the entire system into the underside of a joystick board.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Damn you Nick Woodruffe..

      I'm going to have to order another two now!

  25. rogueelement
    FAIL

    HDMI???

    I can only see component video on the picture accompanying this piece. Same goes for the 'this is what it really looks like' pics posted later

    1. Jock in a Frock

      HDMI1.3a incuded as standard on both Model-A & -B

      Standard HDMI connector, onboard video decodes at 1080p 60Hz no problem. Will play back video at that rate while consuming less than 1 watt and generating next to no heat.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TgR74Kp6Ws4

      There's also a video showing it playing Quake 3 Arena at about 20fps too. Apparently it can perform faster but there was a problem with a specific library holding it back.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=e_mDuJuvZjI

      I expect MAME would be a walk in the park for the Pi, looking forward to that too.

    2. Bill Cumming
      FAIL

      @Rogueelement eyesight fail..

      See the board at the top of the article?

      See that silver rectangle on the bottom centre of the card?

      Yup!! THAT'S the HDMI socket (hint you're looking down at the top of it rather than into the port as you usually see one.)

      Should have gone to Specsavers ^_~

  26. beast666

    Offer UK manufactured versions?

    Just an idea... After the initial manufacturing run, why not offer the A+B versions for sale as UKA+UKB also? Manufactured in the UK, would cost more (~£5?) but you would have the choice to buy British if you wanted and have your Pi with 'Designed and Built in the UK" on the PCB. Shirley any purchases for UK schools etc would go for one of these and would also serve to highlight the cost differences which could then be discussed and brought to the attention of the Govt. Would be interesting to see what difference the price would make to the demand of the UK and non-UK versions. Waiting for my RasPi model UKB

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah great use of tax money

      Schools paying more to have 'built in the UK' on their PCB - yeah great use of tax payers money.

      1. beast666

        Yeah, it is actually...

        You see, the whopping extra £5 or so the tax payer could choose to pay for a UK built version goes towards:-

        a) UK taxes on imported components.

        b) Paying for it to built by a UK company which pays UK taxes.

        c) Built by UK workers who pay UK taxes.

        d) Being proud to be British.

        Also, I'm sure most people in the here would buy a UK version. You never know, you may get a fair few overseas sales too. Its a win all-round IMHO. Lets just have the choice.

        You sir are a buffoon.

        1. James Hughes 1

          a)->c) Very True

          But given the choice of two identical boards, one $35 and one $45, which one would you buy?

          Most people when given the choice, buy the cheapest. It's human nature.

        2. Grumble
          FAIL

          Buffoon indeed.

          Look, if some of you people took the time to read about the device and the ethos behind it, it would perhaps eventually dawn on you that these things are aimed fairly and squarely at school children. Not for hobbyists or engineers or any other adequately paid contributor to these pages but school children. I take it you've heard about them before, people that have little income of their own to splash out on patriotic gestures be it to British industry or UK tax. The idea is, and always was, to produce the device at the lowest price possible thereby enabling education establishments to provide children with a programming/development platform. So cheap in fact that it could be viable to give it free of charge, depending on the schools budget.

          If you want to contribute to to the treasury, gift them a fiver when you buy your own.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Education is their goal, yes

            But they are definitely going for enthusiasts for the first couple of batches. There will be an education launch later in the year.

  27. Charlie van Becelaere
    Boffin

    Based on the link

    to the Python-based Squirrel Defence System, it seems that the Russians may want to buy up a shed-load of these to help with their space programme.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope they make the case see-through

    A see-through case might not be quite as drop-proof, but who cares -- seeing the bits inside makes it much more appealing to youngsters.

    (I have a limited-edition Psion Organiser II with see-through casing, and just looking at it makes me want to write OPL.)

  29. Christian Berger Silver badge

    The problem with the case

    First of all you can most likely fit it into any standard plastic case which you can get for free from companies making plastic cases. (If they believe you might buy a couple of dozends eventually)

    Second, that board gets much of its value from not having a pre-made case. It means you can put it into just about any case. It can be anything, from a simple embedded module, to a palmtop. Just put it into whatever case you want.

    I'm sure within months people will come up with all sorts of cases for it. For me, I'd prefer a little palmtop case where I could put in a small LCD and keyboard.

  30. Lars Silver badge
    Linux

    For those of you

    who find i hard to see a board as a computer have a look at

    www.linuxfordevices.com

    you will find more information about the raspberry too.

  31. Keep Refrigerated
    Pint

    Can't wait to order one

    As other posters have said, so many things this could be used for. The fact it comes without a case only makes it more useful - think about plugging in sensors to record temperature, pressure, light, movement.

    Then you can start building programmable heated coffee mugs, toasters, remote control toys, lamps, blinds... basically think of any piece of furniture or dumb gadget you have and how it could be improved if you were able to add a computer, or program it with some complex instructions - without having to buy an expensive off-the-shelf solution.

    This could spur a whole new generation of inventors... the only danger is becoming a generation of bankrupts who got sued for some kind of patent infringement for doing something obvious *with a computer*.

    1. DavidK
      Alien

      Toasters

      Reminds me of Red Dwarf...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Are you sure you don't want any toast?

        How about a muffin?

  32. Justin Clements

    No case?

    Seriously, people are worried about no case?

    I'm using a spare hole in the pcb and nailing it to a shelf.

  33. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    Someone worried about not having a case, is clearly defining themselves as someone this delightful project is NOT intended for.

  34. Dick Emery
    Trollface

    I bet it can't handle...

    ...full bitrate 60FPS x264 high@L4.1

    But I would be happy if it handled up to 30FPS.

    Also will it play 24Hz and 50Hz? Otherwise it's no good to me as a media decoder.

  35. jungle_jim

    anyone remember that bloke who was making that homemade pulse jet cruise missile?

    im sure he would love this

  36. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Funny fact

    I work at a company that produces electronics in Germany. We don't shift our production to China because it would be more expensive and the turnaround times are so much higher.

    1. jungle_jim
      Meh

      Funny fact 2

      in my company, which has major hubs in the UK, NY and Singapore, we get the majority of our product from China, because it is cheaper and suppliers seems to react faster. On the flipside, i have a contract in SG atm because there has been a growing number of counterfeit products coming through.... they are getting better and better too.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We don't shift our production to China because it would be more expensive and the turnaround times are so much higher."

    Germany does a great many things better than UK plc of late.

    The Raspberry Pi folks report that the UK manufacturers could offer fast turnround but there was a very significant price penalty to pay. That's the way UK management sees "markets" - scalp for revenue, forget fair and reasonable leading to loyalty.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not that it's the entire reason and not to disagree with you entirely but there's those damn yooman rights, scads of environmental legislation and elfin safety laws in the UK that the far eastern manufacturers seem to play fast and loose with to add to the cost as well, not to mention the ludicrous tax laws.

      A nasty, cynical person might also suggest that some 'UK' assemblers would ship the stuff off to the far east to be stuck together too and just make a profit on the handling for little actual effort.

    2. Chris Evans

      An EU wide manufacturing problem not a UK problem

      The import problem is across the whole EU and it has been there for decades! Clive Sinclair used to moan about it!

  38. Leona A
    Unhappy

    Sad state of the UK whten to see statments like this.

    "Raspberry Pi production had to be moved overseas due to the high cost of building the wee device in the UK. "

    No wonder we import everything and manufacture nothing! :(

    and I want mine with Wifi god-dam-it! :)

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think there is a market for these things

    I think there is a market for about five of these things world wide.

    And then another five.

    And then another.

    Arduino's got something, but for most people in most places, this has got more.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Most people when given the choice, buy the cheapest. It's human nature."

    Most people aren't given the chance to make a fully informed choice. It's the inhuman nature of the advertising/marketing business.

    E.g. suppose Tesco sells their own brand Widget X for £20, made in China.

    Aldi/Lidl sells something comparable with Widget X, made in EU. Suppose it's £22.

    Which do you think sensible fully informed people might buy?

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