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Raspberry Pi: We’ve started manufacture (raspberrypi.org)
329 points by pauldino on Jan 10, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 104 comments



if we build the Raspberry Pi in Britain, we have to pay a lot more tax. If a British company imports components, it has to pay tax on those (and most components are not made in the UK). If, however, a completed device is made abroad and imported into the UK – with all of those components soldered onto it – it does not attract any import duty at all

Wow this sounds worse than job exporting in the USA


I wonder if these restrictions could be circumvented somehow by transporting components in a form which is technically a functioning assembly.


Not exactly what you were getting at, but Ford does something similar with the Transit Connect. It's imported as a passenger wagon with back seats and windows, which are removed in the US.


You may be on to something.

What's inside the box? That's not a box, its a large paper weight. The random stuff inside is just to add weight.


Not in any means that would remain profitable as it would require post-processing from the component manufacturer and then modification before they could feed the components back into the pick and place robots.


I'm not sure that's entirely correct. I thought there was some duty even on complete devices imported into the UK from outside the EU.


depends on the goods.

e.g. most IT related products are free of duties due to strategic reasons. others have a penalty when imported from countries that do allow/finance price dumping.

If you, as a private person, import goods (shipping) into the EU and it's value is beyond 150€, then you don't have to pay any duties except import-VAT (which is usually the same as the VAT of your country, like 19% in Germany). If you take the goods with you, e.g. back from holiday shopping spree, the minimum is even higher.


The people behind raspi seem really, genuinely good. If this is all marketing, it doesn't feel like it.

They're going to do what manufacturing they can in the UK, even though it would net them a lot more money to do it overseas. Awesome.


Do keep in mind that they're a registered charity, a not-for-profit.

The reason I mention this is that "even though it would net them a lot more money" means that by doing it in the UK it isn't hurting shareholders, but the charity's goals - as mentioned in the blog itself.

I don't know whether it would be better to have £x more profit for the charity or to make y more boards in the UK, but either way you have to assume they're doing what they think is best as a charity.


Personally I could care less about whether they were a charity, or for profit. At this price level, they are an order of magnitude cheaper than competing SoC solutions, and there is an ocean of opportunity for uses of systems like this where it wouldn't have even been close to economically feasible before.

I would actually prefer this company to be FOR-PROFIT, so they have an economic incentive to continue increasing the performance per dollar. I am afraid this will be a one-off product that eventually dies off because there's no incentive to innovate further.


What do you think an economic incentive would add to the organisation? They have been working on this product for a while now, they're bringing it into production, they seem well-motivated and adequately resourced. Is this something that's likely to go into decline when the "new charity smell" wears off?

(I'm aware that capitalism's a sensitive subject, so to be clear: this is an honest question)


Then if that's the case it'll show that there /is/ a profitable market for this and someone will surely pick up the ball.


Why is attempting to limit international commerce "really, genuinely good"? Are you aware of comparative advantage (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_advantage)?


Well, among other things you burn less energy to get the goods to your doorstep.


Are you sure? If it costs a lot less to manufacture, that extra money gets spent fueling consumption of something else; I don't know what that would be, but I doubt it'd be zero.


The money would certainly be spent elsewhere, but the point is "why burn precious energy to bring a rock here from China if I can find a rock in my front lawn". Do what you like with the money you save, it is still a win for the planet because you conserved a resource at no cost (if the two rocks are fungible)

Also it occurs to me that while a focus on local may cost gains found in economies of scale, it can net gains in terms of spreading out the burden of negative externalities. This one is murky and not always a clear win one way or the other though.


It is not at no cost, because it is more efficient( at least comparatively if not absolutely ) to produce the rock in China and overseas shipping is extremely efficient. That is what comparative advantage and trade is all about. It is only better for the planet in the sense that the products costs more and as a result fewer of them will be produced costing less resources.


I find this situation fascinating: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jevons_paradox


I love the speed they're working at and their no excuses, no BS approach. It's surprisingly refreshing.

Are they funded?


I have no clue as to their financial status, but Liz (one of the team members) said this in the comments:

Indeed – and I’m pretty sure that those psychic people would be a bit more cautious if it was their mortgage that this thing was secured on


It says in the blurb at the bottom of the page that Liz is a "full time volunteer." Why can't they pay someone to do their PR if they're funded?


Not sure about UK, but in the Netherlands, volunteers often get a "costs reimbursement". If you're a full time volunteer, that reimbursment may roughly equal a crappy salary. Maybe that's what Liz is getting, too.

It'd be nothing like what she could earn in industry, but enough to keep a roof over her head and food on the table. And a Raspberry Pi in every room.


There are varying degrees of 'funded'.


Yes they are. That's why they won't allow pre-ordering. I think it's said in the FAQ or in one of the earliest posts.


Yeah.. that's the only weird thing. I want to pre-order ("get in the queue") because I want the board when it ships.

From my point of view, the idea that I can't pre-order something because they are already funded is odd.


What seems odd to me is the idea of a Brit actively keeping people from queuing. That's basically Britain's national pastime.


Depends on how you handle the pre-orders, most would try something like paypal but they are so terrible at dealing with pre-order payments and account freezing that it is easier to avoid pre-orders at all.


Hopefully some nice cases will come out. I'd like to see one with an integrated USB hub.

Additionally, as it takes USB power for the computer itself, having a monitor with USB ports would enable you to power the entire computer with only a short USB cable. You could then mount the small case to the back of the monitor, perhaps to make everything neat.


The pricepoint is simply revoultionary. I intend to make a few amateur home automation gadgets with this.


Actually I was thinking 'unsustainable' rather than revolutionary.

Having lived in/through/with the birth/blossoming/commercialization of both the microcomputer and the non-factory robotics businesses, I find the breathless ecstasy of 'getting into production' a wonderful thing, but its a lot like falling in love, there are a lot of things that happen next that you're going to have to live through.

Given that they are taking nearly zero margin on these devices (at least according to this post), they have many pot holes to look out for:

1) Their Chinese factory turns out to be some guy's brother-in-law who got them a cheap price because he's using counterfeit parts. Or worse the guy that bid for the job expects to build the factory to build them with the money your going to pay him up front.

2) Their board vendor tech sneezed and accidentally added a direct short to the films they are using to make the boards.

3) The part they ordered for the USB connector is discontinued by the vendor who gave them a price of $0.25 and its now only available from some other vendor for $2.25 each.

4) The pick and place robot put a set of boards on 90 degrees out of kilter, so the entire batch has all the parts soldered into the wrong places.

5) The customs guys open them up, and not seeing the requisite safety symbol/OfCom/FCC/ISO/CET whatever certificate denies them entry into the country

The list goes on and on. One of the challenges of manufacturing is knowing not only what the parts cost but what costs the system is going to impose on you. You need to build in a margin that covers both otherwise you'll underestimate what it will cost you to build a product.

So new manufacturing experience aside (and its going to be a great learning experience if they can keep reminding themselves that it is a learning experience), it sounds like they have a really great way of bringing home to the politicians how their policies affect jobs locally. It almost seems like a reasonably responsive government should sponsor some group to manufacture a new product domestically and then carefully track the barriers to doing so and eliminate those that are amenable to a political fix. Tariffs on imported semi-conductors (protecting the local fabs?) and electronic components when such components cannot be locally sourced seems like a good starting point.

I certainly hope they will be able bring that message clearly to Parliament. It would be refreshing to have really hard to object to facts in the debates going on.


While all your comments are valid, the people behind Raspberry Pi are not entirely new to this.

You can see the trustees here:

http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/Showcharity/RegisterOfC...

David Braben has been in the computer games field since the 1980s and has made a fair amount of money from it, Eben Upton works for Broadcom (the chip supplier for the Pi), and the rest are all pretty well known in their fields too.

So overall, I think they should by now know what they're doing, and with Braben on board should have some money to make it happen.


Have you guys really been reading about the raspberry pi? The founder is an SoC architect at Broadcom, I'm sure they'll find a reputable and cost effective manufacturing partner with their industry contacts.


Yes, I've been reading their stuff. And I'm hoping they are wildly successful! But I had to chuckle at your comment that their founder is an SoC architect because it reminded me of a really funny moment at this company I helped start back in the mid 90's. We had this new PCI card that we were getting manufactured for our systems and the guy who designed it was complaining about the delays in getting cards to put into test systems. Our director of manufacturing was really pissed off at the emails he was dealing with asking why things weren't ready and his response was along the lines of

"... some architect designs something and thinks that I can just bend over and pull a few thousand out of my ass. Doesn't he get that someone has to build the fucking thing and then somehow we have get them here?"

It was my first exposure to the more sordid details of getting a piece of hardware from prototype into production. For years up to that point I could easily get 10 or 100 of something made, but I hadn't ever tried to get 10,000 made, or had contracts in place to have them made on a regular basis.

Manufacturing acuity is not in the standard make up of senior technical people, its a process puzzle but with people rather than logic, with regulations rather than resource constraints, and with cash rather than electricity. The art of creating streams of parts which arrive at facility to take part in a process of assembly (and perhaps sub assembly) test and delivery, is a very different skill than designing an SoC.

That being said, its an amazing sight to behold when its all working right, sort of an eternal Rube Goldberg machine. And some folks make it look effortless.


Indeed, I think they really did set themselves in by setting a price point. We have seen so many projects, like the OLPC $100, I mean $200 computer, the OpenPandora and a number of others go down this same route and learning the hard way.

Fortunately there's a massive amount of buzz around this project, so even if the initial batches are unreliable and the units get to market at double the initial intended price, people are willing to put up with it. Perhaps the initial buzz is not a bad strategy, since it has a similar effect to Microsoft's strategy in the 90s. Many people hold off on buying other things waiting for this product, and even if it's not delivering as promised they are now psychologically invested in it.

As you say, it's also a good way for many people to learn about the barriers UK manufacturers have to face. I hope this will help bring about some change.


It will probably end up being $50 at retail, but that's still pretty good.


From all i read, it seems that it is the first time that these guys are producing a board on industrial scale. Good luck


The 'Pi itself is exciting, but more exciting will be seeing what everyone makes with them. I hope to read your posts about what you've built!

Looking at the comments to their FAQ - http://www.raspberrypi.org/faqs#comment-3239 - reselling devices based on the Raspberry Pi is OK.


The first thing I am targetting is semi lame, but useful for me - a batman style lamp. Its for my parents and me to birectionally coordinate on when to come on skype. Right now I first have to call them and then ask them to come online and same the other way around. This way either party can speculatively just push the button and if the other one acknowledges the computers can be switched on.


If you are looking for a standalone Linux box just to turn on a lamp I think you are over-thinking things. Check out X10 automation kits: here's one for ~$24.

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&q=x10+pc+in...

You should be able to control that with a small script (python, perl, etc. anything that can write to a serial port) that you keep running on any computer in your parents' or your own home. X10's advertising is notoriously lowbrow, but the hardware itself is decent and a little googling will find you a lot of hackers that have done crazy stuff with it.


I cannot persuade my parents to keep their computer on 24/7. That is the issue that I am trying to sidestep. However thanks for the X10 link, it looks very interesting.


Wouldn't it be easier to build a standalone voip phone with a rasperry pi and avoid turning on a computer for skype altogether ? I'm not sure if you could do bidirectional video with the pi, but voice should be no problem.


I believe a standalone video phone should be quite easy. My understanding is that the chip can support 1080P encode or decode (so 720P bi-directional video should be fine) and that it will have OpenMAX libraries to allow you to drive the hardware codecs.

OpenMAX code is quite fragile in my experience (from trying to use such libraries on Android phones) so I was wondering about writing a Python wrapper (based on the ctypes module) for the video encode/decode to make it easier to use. (Unless someone has done this already?)


All good ideas - but it ain't no batman signal.


I would also be interested in how this could work. I've tried setting up VLC as a video phone, but the lag time was horrendous and that was when calling localhost.


Nice idea! You could hook it up to a mini projector or something that projects your face/an image of your choice onto the wall?

You could go one step further with that and project a "growl" style wall notification system. When I'm in the kitchen I often miss people trying to get into contact with me via IM or whatever, it would be great to see notifications on a surface or something to say "X has just messaged you!" or whatever


It's a perfect complement to platforms like Arduino.


If volume commercial purchasing is possible at prices slightly above what they charge schools and students, we could see a revolution in low-volume consumer electronics. If 3D printing or other low-volume enclosure manufacturing is cheap enough, that is.


Oh man, we would see democratization of manufacturing! How durable the stuff printed from such printer? How long would it last (doesn't deteriorate/vanish/melt)?


I forgot to mention FCC and similar testing as well -- that would need to be made a lot more accessible and affordable. We need either an exemption for low-volume electronics (maybe such an exemption exists?), or a streamlined process for modular electronics so that each component (e.g the Pi) needs to be tested only once, and anyone using previously-tested components can just pass on their certificates, kind of like RoHS.


I love the idea of being able to 3D print a custom enclosure for a cheap, tiny, capable computer. I can do anything


It is interesting that they at least explored the idea of building in the UK, and that tax policies factored in so negatively. Does the US have similarly structured import taxes?


In the United States, there are no import duties on computers or on computer components.[1] But there are no duties on assembled computers or on computer components entering the United Kingdom either, so far as I can tell.

Assembled computers are listed under heading 8471 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, which is used by all trading nations. (They are referred to as "automatic data-processing machines"; the terminology and categories are all quite archaic.) The UK imposes no import duty on computers of any type.[2]

Parts and accessories "suitable for use solely or principally with" computers are listed under heading 8473.30 and likewise can enter the UK duty-free.[3] It's possible that some required components are listed elsewhere in the HTS and that those are not duty-free. But that seems unlikely; almost everything in Chapters 84 & 85, which cover all electronics, can enter the UK free of duties.

I'm not familiar enough with the UK tariff regime to know whether there are other considerations beyond the base duty rate. (But it doesn't look like it; the relevant Acts of Parliament setting duties for each class of good are noted on the BusinessLink site linked below.) So I have no idea what import tariffs Raspberry Pi need (or think they need) to pay. It certainly doesn't look like the UK has some screwy import regime that penalizes firms wanting to assemble computers there.

1. So long as the goods' country of origin has "most favored nation" status. This means, essentially, that it has normal trade relations with the United States. That includes all members of the World Trade Organization.

2. http://tariff.businesslink.gov.uk/tariff-bl/export/heading.h...

3. http://tariff.businesslink.gov.uk/tariff-bl/export/heading.h...


I will have a go answering this - tax and import laws in the UK, like the US, are extremely complicated and often bizarre.

It's therefore almost certain nobody except Raspberry Pi's accountant / legal advisors would be able to give the definitive reason, but I am pretty sure it is to do with how components vs full computers are classified for duty purposes.

There are specific import laws designed to aid manufacturing industries, and it could be that these laws need to be extended to component assembly. For example, the UK does very well in car and aerospace manufacturer, and there are import laws regarding components designed to aid this.


I don't know about import taxes. But, US does not have a VAT like UK. It has a sales tax which is only paid by the end user. Usually the consumer. Materials like cotton (and I guess electronic parts) used in manufacture aren't taxed (at least not with a sales/VAT).


No? I was under the impression that if I wanted to buy a bunch of cotton or silicone or diodes that I'd have to pay taxes on that. Then once I manufacture my awesome device using only those materials, plus a Swiss army knife and a rubber band, I could sell it to you and you'd get to pay another round of sales tax. On the backend of this transaction of course is the machinery used to harvest/manufacture the raw materials, for which the farmer/manufacturer also paid a sales tax on. Unless there is some kind of subsidy at play here.


No.

If you are purchasing materials that will be resold, or used to build a product that will be sold, you do not need to pay tax on those materials. It's a simple matter to get a sales tax certificate from your state -- you can do this online in many states. When you buy the materials, you give the seller your sales tax ID number and that will remove his need to collect the tax from you and your need to pay it.

So if either of you are audited, he can point to your ID number as the reason he didn't collect and pay tax and you had better be able to show that you collected and paid tax from the people you sold your product to.


This is per-state. For example, Oregon has no sales tax except for a couple things like tobacco and gasoline. Most states which have sales tax only have retail sales tax (plus a couple random ones). But no, wholesale is generally not taxed. (This is the difference between "sales tax", which happens when the end product goes to the consumer, and "value added tax", which happens multiple times. I don't think a single state will tax you on a box of diodes you order from your supplier, but if you go to Radio Shack they'll probably tax you.)


Value added tax does not happen multiple times, as it is refundable. In effect it is just a retail sales tax. However the rates are high in Europe, often 20%.


Thanks! Follow up question: what is wholesale? Can I buy a yaer's worth of potatoes tax free? How about a lifetime supply of socks?Or are we talking about huge quantities?


(Warning: This post contains lots of generalizations, because every US state has different laws. Look up your state's regulations regarding sales tax if you want to be sure.)

In this context, "wholesale" has nothing to do with the quantities and everything to do with the intended usage. If you're intending to make a product or perform a service which would require you to charge sales tax to YOUR customer, then you can usually avoid paying sales tax to your suppliers, because otherwise the state would be collecting from both you when you buy components and your customer when you sell the finished product. That would get sorted out when you file your sales tax return, but it's easier to only have one link in the chain actually pay the tax in the first place and avoid the situation entirely.

Basically, the idea is that unless the buyer or item being sold is specifically covered under an exemption, sales tax should be applied precisely once on its journey from raw material to the hands of its first actual owner, preferably as late as possible so as to capture the product when it's at maximum taxable value. This is in contrast to a VAT, where the tax is applied at every step in the process proportional to how much "value" was added at that step.


I was curious about the taxes as well. Does anyone know what the argument for having a tax system set up this way would be? I imagine there must be some reason, but I'm not sure what it would be.


Actually, and maybe I'm missing something, they are quite wrong. Yes you pay a VAT on components, but as a business you reclaim it and pass it down the line.

Import components -> (pay VAT) build item (reclaim VAT) -> (pay VAT) wholeseller (reclaim VAT) -> (pay VAT) retailer (reclaim VAT) -> (pay VAT) buyer.

As long as you are engaging in commerce you never pay VAT on the items you for your business. Also, there are electronic schemes to speed up the reclamation process. If you have a business ¿TaxID? number some resellers will drop the VAT for you knowing they'll reclaim it anyway.


I don't see the first 10 thousand boards lasting very long on their shelves. I can't wait to get my hands on one.


I think they're dead wrong about the demand of the model B, vs the model A. I think most people are going to want to buy a model A for $10 less and stick a sub-$10 usb wifi onto it than run a wire.

Most of the projects I think of and don't build are scrapped for want of $50 worth of ridiculous "zigbee" wireless hardware that can barely push 250kbits across the room. The internet of things is made of wifi.


But what about the extra 128MB of ram, and the extra USB port?

Also, You'd be hard pressed to get a USB Wifi Stick for less than the cost of the whole Raspberry Pi board in my country. Plus as you add more devices Wifi can get very saturated. Installation and configuration of USB Wifi adapters under Linux is a bit of a challenge. Ethernet on the other hand is practically plug and play.

There are also plenty of ideas which can use wired networking. Ideas from home automation to set-top boxes to microservers are all going to benefit from a more stable and high-bandwidth wired connection.

For general tinkering I would rather pay the extra $10 or whatever and get more options in terms of the hardware.


See eBay, even with shipping sub-$10NZ is easily possible. "nano" dongles especially.


An alternative might be the TP-link TL-WR703N: a wireless router available on ebay for about $30 delivered.

It has a MIPS CPU, has built in 802.11b/g/n, 1 ethernet port, a USB port, and runs at low power off a USB jack (5V). It can be flashed with Linux but you have to navigate chinese menus to do so (not hard).


For something that has to be tethered to monitor, power, keyboard, adding ethernet cable is no problem. I much prefer wired connections over wifi for non-mobile devices.


I think that the number of people for whom the extra $10 is an issue will be small, particularly early on.


I am waiting for the day I can buy one of these. Ok maybe I'll be like five. These will be so much fun to mess and hack around with. I can't believe that this is the price of an Arduino!


There are some discussions about the supported OS's in the Raspberry Pi Forums. And this is what is still holding me back from dancing and screaming about this project.


This is something I need to look into. I'll be buying one B when they are available anyway, but may get more depending on a few things including the OS question. The claimed "can play 1080p h264 video at 30fps" claim is most interesting to me, but if I slap Debian on there (which seems to be the suggested distro) will it be able to use that hardware video acceleration out of the box or will I need to jump through a few nasty hoops to get some proprietary chipset driver to cooperate?


Exactly!


I don't understand why Raspberry Pi doesn't have to pay VAT on the assembled imported items? Is it because they are a charity?

EDIT: added 'assembled'. Does anyone have a link to the IR rules about this?


Assuming its import duty we're talking about here, you won't be able to find this information online. It's crazy, but the actual tariffs for import duty (basically a huge list of goods and the import taxes required for them) are only available from the revenue if you subscribe to them, which varies between £300-2000 depending on what format you want.

Which is a bit of a joke, because really these tariffs should be accessible online for all!


It doesn't say VAT, it's import duties.


All right then, why is there no import duty (which is charged at the same rate as VAT) on a Raspberry PI when there is on a stick of RAM? Genuine question: I'm curious to know how the rules define one item as separate from the other.

Edit: OK sorry my comment was a load of crap, I was confused. They charge both VAT @%20 and duty @~3% but duty is only charged on a massive and seemingly random list of things.


They are probably classifying their product as a 'palm-top computer', which attracts no import duty. But the component parts (the chips, etc) almost certainly will. For reasons I gave in my reply above, I couldn't tell you the exact duty amounts, but there is a link here that details the duty for palm-top computers:

http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPort...

I seem to remember this being the case when I imported some Beagleboards into the UK for R&D work, and didn't pay import duty on them.


That is the most bizarre list of random tax rates. I always seem to get charged a lot so will appeal next time based on whether my player is mp3 or mp4 or whatever. And I might complain to my MP about the taxes on 35mm film cameras. Bizarre.


Even if they did, they could claim it back, assuming they were VAT registered and charging their customers VAT.


There is also another interesting board project in the UK, but it's still in the design-phase:

http://rhombus-tech.net/allwinner_a10


Am i missing something here, some versions of the andruino seems to be in a similar price range (at mouser.com), or is this board vastly superior to the cheap model andruinos ?


The Adruino is built around the 8-bit Atmel AVR microcontroller line. It also exposes numerous digital, PWM, and analog pins for easy hookup to external devices. It is in no way a general use computer.

The Raspberry PI has a 32-bit ARM chip that can run Linux. It has a video output, USB for keyboard and mouse, and one version has an Ethernet port. It's aim is to make a cheap general purpose Linux system.


I will order one once OpenBSD is running on it, which I am willing to bet won't be too long.


Actually, Rasberry Pi runs on an ARM microprocessor and OpenBSD is a whole lot more ARM-friendly than most Linux flavors are. It should not be hard at all to get it running yourself.


Buy one and make it run on it then.


Not exactly a reasonable proposition for most mortals.


Any mortal who wants to run BSD is most likely also capable of installing BSD. (For that matter I'm sure the majority of people who have just heard of BSD are capable of installing it.) Furthermore it's no more difficult getting up and running than on a desktop since the Arm is supported by the kernel; you just load everything on the SD card and the pre-installed uboot (or whatever they have on there) will boot off of it.


It's not that simple, an ARM board is not a PC, you don't have a BIOS for instance. Basically you have to write some glue to tell the kernel what and where are the devices and how to access them.

See for instance in Linux http://lxr.free-electrons.com/source/arch/arm for the various Board Support Packages available upstream.

Not to mention that while OpenBSD supports the ARM architecture it might not have drivers for all the IPs integrated in the SoC.

So basically, it won't be plug'n'play like installing a new OS on your new x86 computer, altho the amount of work required to get it to work might not be completely overwhelming if you know what you have to do (especially since the linux source code is available).


Actually it seems that RaspberryPI will have a slightly odd bootloader, not the usual uboot, so you must check how to install BSD on the board http://elinux.org/RaspberryPiBoard#BootRom Also here http://elinux.org/RaspberryPiBoardDistributions the BSD os is not cited, but I think the biggest problem could be drivers (especially for the video part), as stated here: http://www.raspberrypi.org/forum/projects-and-collaboration-...


The first batch will be of 10k boards. Will be sold out in a few hours...


It appears that you spelt minutes wrong. Just take a look at the massive fire sale that revolved around the HP Touchpad and I think thats the kind of interest this will receive.


I don't think they'll receive nearly as much general interest as the touchpad, one is a device that consumers can see as "like an iPad, but amazingly cheap", the other as "a programmable system for geeks".

Certainly I know friends who bought the fire sale touchpads, and many more who would have if they had the chance, none of which will be buying the raspberry pi - except the really techy ones.

Also, to do with the press it will get. Articles of "huge fire sale, get one while you can!" will be replaced with "this could change education" and "look what you could create with these" pieces.

Don't get me wrong, they will be hugely popular, and 10,000 is far less than the number of touchpads there were. It will also depend, obviously, on the per-customer limits they put in place.

I certainly expect them to sell out fast (will it be minutes, hours or days, I have no idea), but to compare the level of interest to the touchpad fire sale is huge exaggeration.


I thought about putting an order in for 10K boards. I think if you look at the 'tv dongles' which is basically a small system running a flavor of Linux driving a TV [1] you'll find at $35 each they are a no-brainer. Here's a dead simple idea, TV dongle with Web cam for 'facetime' on your TV. If you've got a cable IP network, you use Skype or some variation (hell Google talk w/ Video) and you're done. Plastic molded case and poof.

Using the camera and simple gestures (think Kincect 0.5) make an instant 'hangout' using G+ on your TV. Wave your hand, point at your circle, and blam start hanging out.

I've got like a zillion ideas of ways to turn a $35 board with HDMI+Networking into serious bank. I'm not unique in this regard.

[1] http://www.alwaysinnovating.com/products/hdmidongle.htm


I really hope projects like RasPi speedily dispatch companies like that one into irrelevance. Their entire business model seems to be taking some open source, putting it into a poorly made prototype and then slathering the whole mess with patents. They don't make anything but bills and lawsuits.

Tiny full-fledged networked computers that are almost free they're so cheap will have a nasty habit of turning previous hardware into easily written software. The patent office/"industry" hasn't the slightest notion of whats about to hit them.


Is product X, that one person wants to own millions of, as popular as product Y, that one million people want to own one of?

And in terms of stock and availability, to which the above is irrelevant, as I previously mentioned it depends on their per-customer limits, which I'm pretty sure will be in place (at least initially).


Well, it's really not 35 dollars. Adding a 7 dollar power supply, a 5 dollar SD card and a molded case, it's more like 50 dollars. Plus shipping.


Well, outsourcing to China is probably "charity".

Think about it. If people are working there accept such low wages, they probably don't have other options. The alternative is, lower wages?


Hmm - I will be contacting a few MP's about this nonsensical tax situation.


Not buying one until it's made in UK.


Best way to get it made in the UK would seem to be to buy one and support the movement so that they can continue pressuring the government to allow them to make them in the UK.

I mean really, who are you protesting against? The government, right? What does the government care if you don't buy a $25 gadget?


I would pay more than 25 GBP were it made in the UK. And this isn't a movement -- it's not "occupy".


Why not? Are UK residents more deserving of a job than Chinese?


if you have an ounce of patriotism as the inventor, yes.




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