travega wrote:Is this the kind of service we can expect from Raspberry Pi in general? I was going to put in a bulk order of 6,000 for academic institution I work for and now I really doubt I will. I'm afraid to think what after market service might be like...
You don’t actually get “service” from Raspberry Pi, which is a charitable foundation. It doesn’t sell, manufacture or distribute the product - that is down to two international components suppliers, Premier Farnell/Element 14 and RS/Allied. Of the two, in the UK at least, Farnell has by far the better track record for supplying Raspberry Pi.
The Pi was launched earlier this year and has been in short supply from day one, so if you were expecting to order 6,000 for the current academic year that was perhaps a bit optimistic. Raspberry Pi’s go in and out of stock. Today, CPC (a Farnell associate) has stock for immediate delivery; Farnell itself is estimating delivery in three weeks, and has generally been reliable in its predictions.
You are also ahead of the game. The unexpected level of demand notwithstanding, I don’t believe the Foundation ever expected the Pi to be ready or available for the academic market this year. The expectation was that sales would initially be to enthusiasts and developers, who would find the bugs, suggest improvements and move the development of the software along, all of which is happening.
Things should be different next year, although if you are going to want thousands it might be wise to order well in advance.
(I am an observer and an enthusiast. I have no connection with the Foundation or either of the suppliers.)