Some news in a quiet week

We’re busying ourselves with lots of boring administrative stuff this week while we wait for sign-off on last week’s testing. I am sick of spreadsheets. Our partners hope to begin shipping units to those at the front of the queue around the start of next week – when units start to ship, we’ll reopen the store on this website so you can buy merchandise (just t-shirts to start with, but more stickers are on order, and we’ll be expanding to mugs, brollies and other items as we go along). We’ll also be opening a donations page when people start being able to get their hands on Raspberry Pis; as you probably know, the Raspberry Pi Foundation is a charity which is currently run by volunteers and one part-time employee, and we would welcome your donations to support us in our educational work, more research and development, and taking on some more staff.

Myra, our Educational Co-ordinator, is sending units to a small number of developers we have pre-selected outside the Foundation this week. If you have received an email from her, it is legitimate; some people have contacted us because it didn’t come from her Raspberry Pi address, and were worried it wasn’t genuine.

Work is ongoing here on a new Debian “squeeze” build, which, among other things, contains the firmware update we needed to pass EMC testing, enables the system-level L2 cache and comes with new ALSA drivers (they’re alpha-quality at the moment). We’ll be releasing that before April 16.

We’re planning on running a programming competition (prize to be announced, but we hope we can make it a really good one) some time over the next month or so. We’ll be running regular competitions for different age groups – all age groups, as we don’t believe education stops at 18 – as part of our emphasis on education, but the first one will be open to anybody who fancies trying their hand at a bit of Python; as well as getting you lot coding, it’ll help us to work out how best to organise later competitions. If you want to polish your Python in anticipation (and especially if you’re new to Linux), you might want to install RacyPy on your PC; I’ve been playing with it this week, and it’s a great lightweight OS for Linux beginners with PyGame preinstalled, so you can get straight to learning the language.

And Mooncake, the Official Raspberry Pi Cat, has hay fever, which is just awful for anyone standing within snotting-range of her when she sneezes.