The sooner I can place an order and have my credit card charged, the sooner I can stop thinking about it and be pleasantly surprised when it arrives on my doorstep.
Would you rather they not let anyone buy them until they had more than enough to sell to absolutely everyone who might want one?
Or is there a third option that they should have taken?
They could backorder them like everyone else does. Advertise a product and price. Accept orders at that price for existing stock and scheduled deliveries. And repeat that process as more become available.
As an optimization, allow a fixed-sized queue of "pre-orders" at the same price. Though you have to be careful with this because you're selling things you aren't guaranteed to get. Amazon can cover the losses from mistakes here, small vendors can't.
It is obvious that demand was way more than supply. When demand is too high, you raise prices to decrease demand to match with your supply. When you increase supply you can lower prices to have demand match it.
In the long run they want to make it so everyone can have one for cheap, but really they don't have the infrastructure to do that. By selling at a higher price they can use the extra money to build out that infrastructure and then lower prices.
I'm not sure that would go smoother, but at least you wouldn't have to go to each retailer and sign up for their lists or having to check their sites which one will get a new batch first.
(EDIT: I'm not saying I would think that's a good idea, but I think that's what the GP meant)
The only reason that you can't now is because they sold all their product. Both RS and Farnell are pretty large distributors (worldwide, not just UK) and should be able to easily meet demand. Only problem is confusion about selling to individuals not businesses, but that'll get solved.
EDIT: The foundation is a non-profit charity, where everyone involved has other jobs. That sounds sub-optimal for receiving orders, processing them, shipping them, and handling returns. It's much better that they've outsourced that to companies who are in business to sell stuff.
And regardless, even if you ignore the downsides, at the very best all it would do is make the way a little easier, it doesn't solve the op's problem of having to wait before buying.
On the launch they had no idea one of the retailers was only going to take a statement of interest. I'm still not sure what's going on at RS.
The servers were woefully under-prepared-- if the Pi folks were running it they could have thrown it up on AWS for an hour and then thrown up a static 'sold out' page. No faffing around, no attempting to register on a server that was being DDOSed.
This announcement shows they don't seem to have control of their pricing either. It's not the end of the world, but this seems like something they should be in control of.
As for the logistics side, I don't actually see why they couldn't have handled it themselves. They already had a payment processor set up for badge sales. I'm pretty sure 10,000 rPi's, 10,000 padded envelopes, and a printer could easily fit in almost any room. So all they would have to do is sort things out with a shipping agent, and hire a few people to pack them. IIRC, Amazon offer this service (send them boxes of something and they'll distribute it) so they could have even avoided this and still retained more control.
If people want to capital-C Create, they have many other options that are already available, shipping, and well documented. Take your pick. Basic Stamp, TI USB keys, Arduino, Beagle, Beaglebone, Panda, OpenWRT, Chumby, Sparkfun boards, Adafruit boards, $50 eBay laptops, all the plug computers, etc etc etc. Read hackaday.com for an hour if you want to see Creation.
Raspberry Pi is cheap(er) and has an HDMI port on it. The majority of the "creation" I've seen from the clamor is everyone wanting to run XBMC on it and not much else.
The idea is people are doing something on their own, rather than buying something preinstalled and just plugging it in. Consumerism refers to buying something that can only lead to further purchases. An iPad is consumerism. A Kindle Fire is consumerism. An MP3 player is consumerism. A Raspberry Pi comes with nothing extra and entices you to buy nothing extra. The simple act of installing XBMC (since it doesn't come preinstalled, nothing comes preinstalled) and having a large install base on these devices is actively helping two non-profits and one open-source group.
Some people want a Raspberry Pi to consume media. That doesn't make Rasperry Pi a consumerist product.
iOS jailbreaking and Cyanogenmod, for example. A few clever people doing the hard the work and the rest of the users out there clamoring "WHERE IS MY FREE THING THAT I WANT NOW!".
Rpi will be the same thing. Someone resourceful and determined will get XBMC, or Android, or whatever running on this chip and the rest will dutifully follow the instructions and either a) have fun for a week and throw it in the drawer or b) live on the forums forever and bitch about what else isn't finished.
Even stuff like Arduino is on the fringe of this. We've taken a fairly simple microprocessor and wrapped it in IDEs and plug-and-play boards to the point where most users have learned nothing about embedded systems development, save for how to wire up an LED or stepper motor without frying your power supply.
Depending on what you want to do, any of these points on the spectrum can be perfectly valid. Even the bread machine can have you making bread out of scratch ingredients yourself using a recipe you control instead of just buying a loaf of bread at the store.
Yes, there will be some consumers who are buying these PCs. But without them, would XBMC or Cyanogenmod exist? With that in mind, what's the marginal value of one more RPi user?
"The sooner I can place an order and have my credit card charged, the sooner I can stop thinking about it"
I interpret that as "I want one, and I want it now". Sounds like that is all about consumption to me.
I somewhat infamously predicted last December that if the RasPi had trouble shipping and didn't deliver on the crazy low price that made it nearly disposable that the magic could be lost.
It seems to me that they are one "Beaglebone" clone (shaving an Andy Jackson off the price) away from irrelevance. In many ways, the 'bone is already way ahead with "cape" addons and a vibrant community.
Now is the time for the foundation to fight relentlessly for their core principles. Cheap, open, available. I want to believe.
(1) I am aware that only B is for sale and the $25 is for A which should become available at some point.
You were expecting a free-shipping model A, and instead have to pay for shipment (the horror!) and only have the model B available (exactly as they say). If there's any problem here, it lies with your expectations.
You can wait till the Model A becomes available. You can also arrange for people at your hackerspace to order 100 together to make the shipping cost negligible. Other than Apple, RP seems to be as good or better at delivering on their promises as any other vendor. And apple mostly deliver on their promises because they hardly ever make any.
Out of interest, is this currently possible with their one-per-person restriction? If not, would be nice if there was a way for people to group together and get one-each, all in a single shipment.
I suspect if a well known hackerspace (SF Noisebridge, NYC Resistor, PumpStation One, Nottinghack) made such a request, they could get it.
What I really wanted was a handful of A's where the price of each one, even after shipping (thanks to the multiple unit order), is damn close to the $25. I'm still hoping they'll get there. Its just disappointing that this hasn't happened yet.
Someone is going to provide a so-cheap-its-disposable linux computer. I really do want it to be the Foundation.
It's always tax, shipping, duty fee and so on. The price is usually over 200% at the checkout. Sometimes (talking to you Amazon) only there you are given the notice you can't actually order this piece of hardware to Europe.
anybody knows why that's the case?
The cheap cables you may be thinking of require the device to output a VGA signal.
What kind of cool things will I be able to do with it exactly?
This, on the other hand, is a physical product, so I'm not sure how it could qualify as a 'meme.'
- Low power home servers (media, voip, etc.).
- Digital signage.
- Portable computer, just add keyboard+monitor.
- Hobbyist controller, like arduino but you can code in higher level scripting languages (python/ruby/etc).
There are plenty of other uses. It's small, low power and runs linux... the possibilities are endless.
So far I know of 0 cool uses for a Raspberry Pi. I don't have time to research every new HN trend in detail either. That's why I ask for a summary of what this thing can do for me.
So in your laziness, you expect us to do it for you?
Other than that, it might be useful for teaching programming...?