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SourRaspberries
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Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:32 pm

I read an article in Make magazine about Raspberry Pi alternatives. They said some of them are better in various ways. I think the Pi is appealing due to the large community so there is a lot of help, sample projects, add-ons, and so forth.

I can't buy a Raspberry Pi without getting ripped off. Newark is advertising them on Google Adwords as 'In Stock' which is not true. Ada Fruit bundled with a few dollars of parts and wires, and is selling for an eye popping $105 (at least a 100% profit on an item offered by an educational foundation is not cool in my book), eBay sellers tack on at least $20, and Amazon sellers even more and they are are not even the current model. The other option to get a Pi is spend $350 on diodes at Ada Fruit and they will give me one.

Lifting the 1/customer policy was a bad move. I am disappointed a reputable company like SparkFun can't be an authorized seller. The same could be said for Digi-Key, Jameco, and Mouser. We have greed driven places like Ada Fruit buying up all the supply and hoarding them. Places like MCM buy them and resell at cost to gain new customers and add-on sales, which is fine by me. I love MCM and have ordered from them since about 1990.

Since I can't get a Raspberry Pi anytime in the near future. Websites are saying no new supply for MONTHS. I'm also against people making a gross profit on me. $10 markup is cool. $20 and more on a $35 device is not.

So what would you suggest as the best alternative to the Pi? I have an Arduino and love it, but would like something with a feature set like the Raspberry Pi that is actually available for sale. Under $50 would be great if possible.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:43 pm

If you think the other people are overcharging then don't use them. Just buy a Raspberry from Farnell or RS, who sell at the advertised price, or find a supplier that doesn't over inflate the price. There may of course be a delay with that route, but not too great nowadays - I think you statement of months is an exaggeration.

I would add that Farnell and RS are reputable companies, and have been for years. Their Raspi selling prowess may leave a little to be desired. Until the contracts run out with them, then no other people can MAKE the boards, although anyone can buy from Farnell/RS and sell on if they wish.

I also feel you are doing a disservice to Adafruit who have been pretty good with their products and pricing (no, they haven't bought up all the supply...) and I think you owe them an apology.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:12 pm

After reading some of the messages on this forum, I checked Newark's website which listed them as in stock. I ordered one yesterday afternoon, and it shipped last night. According to UPS, it is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow. I was surprised by the turnaround time (as was the customer service rep when I called to check on the order). I ordered a Pi from Allied 3 weeks ago which I still haven't heard any word on anticipated schedule. Don't know where you are, or if they have stock there (I'm in the US) but Newark does have them in stock here (or, at least they did yesterday).

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SourRaspberries
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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:35 pm

@Cosmo - You must have got the last one, lol.
I just checked their website and they are sold out. Yes, I am in the U.S.

@JamesH - You seem to have read some a different post or something. I never said anything bad about RS or Farnell. Both seem to be very legitimate companies. The closest thing that could be even remotely interpreted as a negative comment about them is having the 1/customer limit. I think that was a Raspberry Pi policy and not theirs anyway. I should have added I think a 4/customer policy would seem to block resellers, but allow most hobbyists to get enough units for their needs.

Please explain what I said that was unfair about Ada Fruit? They did in fact buy up Raspberry Pi board in bulk knowing they are scarce. They will only allow you to have one if you spend $350 with them, which is a massive order size for the average hobbyist. ... OR spend $105 for a board they spent $35 on and added some connector wires and few cheap parts. I have purchased similar parts for less than $15. At most they have $50 into it, and price gouge by charging over double what they paid. Compare this to MCM who simply sold at $35 or Sparkfun which add 10 bucks.

If you think the $105 deal is so good, I would be glad to buy a board off eBay for $55 add the exact parts to it for $15 and sell it to you for that. Street value is only $70, so they are making a handsome profit from uneducated buyers.

You are correct they didn't buy up ALL the supply, but PI's are sold out at any place that sells them for list price, so this only hurts the chance of hobbyists to get a board without a hefty markup. AdaFruit is not a nonprofit working on a cure for cancer. They are an online store that buys cheap parts from China, and resells them to make money. Nothing wrong with that, but I wouldn't put them on a pedestal.

Your post didn't really help anyone. Suggesting a place to buy the board at or near list price or suggesting a good alternative to it would have been appreciated.

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SourRaspberries
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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:42 pm

@James.

I'm sorry if I came off rude, because that was not my intention. The whole Ada Fruit thing has me angry, since I hate the thought of people getting taken advantage of, and didn't mean to direct it at you.

You accused me of exaggerating which is not true.

Please look here:
http://www.alliedelec.com/lp/120626raso/

This is the RS distributing arm for the United States. Yes, the official source is saying MONTHS!

This is their exact words "*Please note that due to extreme demand and short supply, the estimated delivery time is uncertain and will likely take several months."

I might be a noob to this board, but I can in fact read :D

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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:51 pm

http://www.newark.com/jsp/search/produc ... tt=43W5302&
^ farnell try and and see how fast you get them

your username does not inspire confidence

adafruit are not that expensive and if you spend a lot you'll get a free one - but if you dont want to spend a lot then dont ...

ebay ones can be got for very close to base price sometimes

the 1 / customer limit was lifted ages ago

rs have a massive backlog
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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:00 pm

Yeah, it looks like I must have gotten one of the last ones from Newark.

As for AdaFruit, I do agree with your complaints on only being able to purchase bundle option, although I will slightly disagree with your assessment of the bundle. More than just a few wires and cheap parts, it does include pretty much everything to get you started, including the SD card (can't tell for sure if it has the system pre-installed or not-I would hope it did for the price, but it looks like it might not), the power supply, case, cables, etc. The picture also shows what appears to me might be a wifi USB adaptor (to the lower left of the case parts) although I do not see it listed in the contents list.

They do list the price hereas $39.95 (a slight markup, but not too bad) but no option to purchase at that price alone. I haven't purchased from them in the past, and don't know if this will affect any purchase decisions I may have in the future, but yeah, it does leave a slightly bad impression to me.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:07 pm

RaTTuS wrote: 1) http://www.newark.com/jsp/search/produc ... tt=43W5302&
^ farnell try and and see how fast you get them

2) your username does not inspire confidence

3) adafruit are not that expensive and if you spend a lot you'll get a free one - but if you dont want to spend a lot then dont ...

4) ebay ones can be got for very close to base price sometimes

5) the 1 / customer limit was lifted ages ago

6) rs have a massive backlog
1) I don't want to experiment. It could be 1 day, or as many people on this forum reported... MONTHS!

2) Does your username inspire confidence? It sounds a lot like rats @ss!

3) $105 for a $35 product is not that expensive? Do you want everyone to charge triple for what they sell? $15 for a Starbucks coffee, a McDonald's Big Mac, or a gallon of gas?

4) As of right now the CHEAPEST Rasp Pi on eBay is about $55.

3 + 4) Raspberry Pi shouted from the rooftops.... $25 Linux Board!!! The whole philosophy was supposed to be CHEAP access for people to have a device to learn programming on. Needing to spend $350 to get one is a slap in the face of the spirit of what this is supposed to be. $55 is DOUBLE the price of the one used to capture headlines.

5) Common knowledge. You missed the point. If this had not been lifted FULLY it would definitely help with resellers hoarding creating shortages.

6) RS has a massive backlog? Yes, I think that is exactly my point. Their website says it will be months before it's available again to U.S. customers, but they have no limits in place so companies with big bank rolls like Ada Fruit can come in and buy 1,000's of them at once.

So let me spell this out for you. I just watched a video with a presentation by the founder of Raspberry Pi. He said the whole point was to make learning to program on a hackable device CHEAP so it will be accessible to children. We are no longer talking about $25 or $35 dollars. Now you need $105-$350. What kid do you know that will put in a $350 order on diodes instead of getting an Xbox 360 or Wii U?

I decided to look for an alternative, because this is just crazy. For $350 I can buy a very nice Linux desktop instead of stripped down microcomputer. I started off very excited by Raspberry Pi, now I don't want anything to do with it. I will research the alternatives and post my findings here to hopefully help other people in the same situation as myself.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:29 pm

SourRaspberries wrote: 1) I don't want to experiment. It could be 1 day, or as many people on this forum reported... MONTHS!

2) Does your username inspire confidence? It sounds a lot like rats @ss!

3) $105 for a $35 product is not that expensive? Do you want everyone to charge triple for what they sell? $15 for a Starbucks coffee, a McDonald's Big Mac, or a gallon of gas?

4) As of right now the CHEAPEST Rasp Pi on eBay is about $55.

3 + 4) Raspberry Pi shouted from the rooftops.... $25 Linux Board!!! The whole philosophy was supposed to be CHEAP access for people to have a device to learn programming on. Needing to spend $350 to get one is a slap in the face of the spirit of what this is supposed to be. $55 is DOUBLE the price of the one used to capture headlines.

5) Common knowledge. You missed the point. If this had not been lifted FULLY it would definitely help with resellers hoarding creating shortages.

6) RS has a massive backlog? Yes, I think that is exactly my point. Their website says it will be months before it's available again to U.S. customers, but they have no limits in place so companies with big bank rolls like Ada Fruit can come in and buy 1,000's of them at once.

So let me spell this out for you. I just watched a video with a presentation by the founder of Raspberry Pi. He said the whole point was to make learning to program on a hackable device CHEAP so it will be accessible to children. We are no longer talking about $25 or $35 dollars. Now you need $105-$350. What kid do you know that will put in a $350 order on diodes instead of getting an Xbox 360 or Wii U?

I decided to look for an alternative, because this is just crazy. For $350 I can buy a very nice Linux desktop instead of stripped down microcomputer. I started off very excited by Raspberry Pi, now I don't want anything to do with it. I will research the alternatives and post my findings here to hopefully help other people in the same situation as myself.
So let me spell this out for you:

Then go somewhere else, you exaggerations and misrepresentations are boring.

Obviously no one is suggesting you buy one for $350 bucks. If you happen to buy $350 worth of other stuff, they toss in a Raspberry Pi. It is misrepresentations like that that drive your credibility to zero.
Also, suggesting the Adafruit bundle is only worth the $35 + 15 bucks in parts is just another misrepresentation (the kindest word I can think of) and again makes you look like a serial misrepresenter.

You have been given several suggestions for where to get one, you don't want to buy one from Farnell because you don't want to "experiment". News flash: Anytime you order something from somewhere it could take longer than expected.

Your complaints have been noted. Please do not let the door hit you on the way out. Whining children with over inflated senses of entitlement contribute nothing to a community, you will NOT be missed.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:32 pm

SourRaspberries wrote:@James.

I'm sorry if I came off rude, because that was not my intention. The whole Ada Fruit thing has me angry, since I hate the thought of people getting taken advantage of, and didn't mean to direct it at you.

You accused me of exaggerating which is not true.

Please look here:
http://www.alliedelec.com/lp/120626raso/

This is the RS distributing arm for the United States. Yes, the official source is saying MONTHS!

This is their exact words "*Please note that due to extreme demand and short supply, the estimated delivery time is uncertain and will likely take several months."

I might be a noob to this board, but I can in fact read :D
You only looked at RS - Farnell lead times are much shorter. So you can get them quicker than 'months, which was my point. You need to shop around to get the best combination of delivery time and price.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:48 pm

Thanks James. I came to Farnell directly which didn't give any indication of wait time. I just found a splash page they put up saying it's less than 3 weeks. That is far more reasonable. I really want it before Christmas break, because I will have some free time to play around then.

I guess I will put in an order and hope for the best.

In about a year eBay will probably be flooded with these things for $5 from thousands of people who bought them and never used it or lost interest.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:56 pm

SourRaspberries wrote: In about a year eBay will probably be flooded with these things for $5 from thousands of people who bought them and never used it or lost interest.
Although you could well be correct, I think one of the reasons that demand has remained so high is that many people find after getting their first Pi that they have uses for more than one so subsequently place further orders. I suspect that when they start going out in volume to children for educational purposes such users are less likely to want (or be able to afford) multiple pi's.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:02 pm

SourRaspberries wrote: 1) I don't want to experiment. It could be 1 day, or as many people on this forum reported... MONTHS!
Guess it is more fun to write and complain than to actually order one??

Just ordered one about 15 mins ago... Will be my 4th, all received within around a week. I have lots of uses for them...

Ordered from Newark
Order Date: 11/29/2012
Stock No: 43W5302
Manufacturer Part No: RASPBRRY-MODB-512M UOM Each/1
Quantity: 1
Price: $35.00
Expected Ship Date: 11/30/2012
Expected Ship Quantity: 1
Final Expected Ship Date: 11/30/2012
Last edited by Dweeber on Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:06 pm

keep to the raspberry pi, Ive ordered one (hoping to get it for Christmas) most places are out of stock, but RS is getting stock soon, and should be sent out in one week? its the best price i have seen, and it hasnt gone up for christmas (dont think anyway) Not sure what im going to do with the raspberry pi though....
Live a life of a pi

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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:41 pm

SourRaspberries wrote:2) Does your username inspire confidence? It sounds a lot like rats @ss!
3) $105 for a $35 product is not that expensive? Do you want everyone to charge triple for what they sell? $15 for a Starbucks coffee, a McDonald's Big Mac, or a gallon of gas?
4) As of right now the CHEAPEST Rasp Pi on eBay is about $55.
3 + 4) Raspberry Pi shouted from the rooftops.... $25 Linux Board!!! The whole philosophy was supposed to be CHEAP access for people to have a device to learn programming on. Needing to spend $350 to get one is a slap in the face of the spirit of what this is supposed to be. $55 is DOUBLE the price of the one used to capture headlines.
5) Common knowledge. You missed the point. If this had not been lifted FULLY it would definitely help with resellers hoarding creating shortages.
So let me spell this out for you. I just watched a video with a presentation by the founder of Raspberry Pi. He said the whole point was to make learning to program on a hackable device CHEAP so it will be accessible to children. We are no longer talking about $25 or $35 dollars. Now you need $105-$350. What kid do you know that will put in a $350 order on diodes instead of getting an Xbox 360 or Wii U?
2) That's something really not nice to say. Should get a ban or a topic close just for that sentence.
3) & 4) Noone is forcing you to buy from such resellers. However Adafruit is doing a great job in promoting the Pi and selling accessories for it. You don't have to pay $350 to get a RasPi, but you'll definitely get one if you buy stuff over $350 at Adafruit. That's the difference.
5) Now, in this point, I'm with you. For me it seems quite unfair that lots of people can order more RasPis while I still couldn't receive my first one.

$105-$350? Are you serious? Why do you think that Adafruit are the only distributor at the moment?

To sum it all up: learn how to read and understand pieces of information, then learn how to behave in a community. And finally, post on this forum again. Thank you! :twisted:

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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:39 pm

SourRaspberries wrote:In about a year eBay will probably be flooded with these things for $5 from thousands of people who bought them and never used it or lost interest.
Ya know... I think you're right about this. But so what?

It costs about as much as a tank of gas (in the US). I think even if I never use my Pi again (which is a possibility - though I hope not), I will have gotten as much utility out of it as I would from a (single) tank of gas. So, it will have been worth it.
And some folks need to stop being fanboys and see the forest behind the trees.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:45 pm

After much searching I found what I think is a great alternative to the RPi. It's called Hackberry. It has HDMI, VGA, 2 USB's, and runs both Android and Linux, has a 1.2Ghz processor, and only costs $65!
Best of all... it's IN STOCK!! (http://www.miniand.com/products/Hackber ... er%20Board)

Found something else that looks promising. It's called CubieBoard and is taking pre-orders with a ballpark price of $50. Worth keeping an eye on.

Just ordered a Hackberry. Very excited!!

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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:49 pm

Joe Schmoe wrote:
SourRaspberries wrote:In about a year eBay will probably be flooded with these things for $5 from thousands of people who bought them and never used it or lost interest.
Ya know... I think you're right about this. But so what?
So... in a year we can buy these for 5 to 10 dollars!! Starbucks has a new coffee that costs $7 per cup. Just thinking this will be a great deal for hobbyists :D

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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:07 am

SourRaspberries wrote:We have greed driven places like Ada Fruit buying up all the supply and hoarding them. Places like MCM buy them and resell at cost to gain new customers and add-on sales, which is fine by me. I love MCM and have ordered from them since about 1990.
We love you too!! I just wanted to chime in and correct the misconception that we're buying at $35. We are part of the Premier Farnell family, and get them for roughly the same cost as everyone else in group (CPC, Newark, Farnell, etc). The Pi has a MAP price, or standard, non discounted pricing at which we must sell, of $35US.

We're not sure where Adafruit got their stock, but in our opinion, they are great folks. We've been carrying their product for a while now, and they are honest, good folks to deal with. As to why they are selling them in the kit only - it's hard to say. Perhaps they did have to buy at $35/unit and bundling is the only way they make any sort of profit at all. We can't be sure.

Additionally, everyone within Farnell only gets a certain sized shipment at any given time. For this reason, we are limiting purchases of Pis to 25 per customer so no one customer may buy all of our stock, giving everyone more of a chance to get a Pi.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:51 am

mcmelectronics wrote:
SourRaspberries wrote:We have greed driven places like Ada Fruit buying up all the supply and hoarding them. Places like MCM buy them and resell at cost to gain new customers and add-on sales, which is fine by me. I love MCM and have ordered from them since about 1990.
We love you too!! I just wanted to chime in and correct the misconception that we're buying at $35. We are part of the Premier Farnell family, and get them for roughly the same cost as everyone else in group (CPC, Newark, Farnell, etc). The Pi has a MAP price, or standard, non discounted pricing at which we must sell, of $35US.

Additionally, everyone within Farnell only gets a certain sized shipment at any given time. For this reason, we are limiting purchases of Pis to 25 per customer so no one customer may buy all of our stock, giving everyone more of a chance to get a Pi.
First time a company told me that they love me, haha. I find a little humor every time I see a post that says "Anyone ever heard of MCM or ordered from them?" People don't realize you guys were around decades before Ada Fruit, Sparkfun, and all the other startups from the past 5 years. I still have old catalogs of yours laying around somewhere from the early 90's. I was kind of bummed when you stopped printing them (but understand why). I really like the Tenma line of products, and I haven't seen them sold anywhere else. Is that your house brand? They offer almost the same quality as the popular brands of equipment for about half as much money. Thanks for bringing value and affordability to the average hobbyist.

Glad to see MCM changing with the times. Very smart to be active on popular forums and interact with the community. I'm glad to see you guy weathered the storm. So many electronics suppliers closed their doors. I think what happened was 2 things. Everything went to surface mount components, so this was a drastic change to hobbyists who were used to being able to take apart consumer goods for parts, repair, or hacking. Magazines like Radio Electronics, Hands-On Electronics, and Popular Electronics all dropped like flies. Radio Shack went from having walls full of diodes, resistors, capacitors and such to focusing on radios, cell phones, and other consumer electronics. Now they jumped back into the the DIY ring half-heartedly trying to make some quick cash. I have lost all respect for "The Shack". I used to do electronics repair, so I know first hand how that industry died. Nobody is going to pay $60 to get a VCR repaired when they can buy a new one for $100. "Stuff" got so cheap it was just common sense to buy something new then pay for it to be repaired. The place I worked sold high-end audio equipment, so it wasn't really effected as much. Nobody is going to throw a $2,000 amp in the trash, lol.

I was surprised to see such transparency about your business operations. I don't think very many people knew you were part of the Farnell family. After a long break from my electronics hobby I am getting back into it. Still trying to figure out what I need, but I do predict an order with you guys sometime soon!

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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:09 am

SourRaspberries - I note that in one of your posts you have been rather rude to another poster. Please don't do that. We try to keep it polite here, and people who persist in being impolite do get banned.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:55 pm

jamesh wrote:SourRaspberries - I note that in one of your posts you have been rather rude to another poster. Please don't do that. We try to keep it polite here, and people who persist in being impolite do get banned.
Thanks. This is the only forum (of many) I visit that has any sort of decorum, which is a nice change from the usual free-for-all.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:27 pm

The original poster is sadly right.

RS does have/had very big problems with fulfilling the demand (some people got their Pi-s after 3-5 months! after ordering!). This is way too much!
There seems to be some hope: RS does seem to get their act together. Until then, order from Farnell, if you can.
However, Farnell doesn't ship to many european countries, if your are a consumer, and not a business customer!!!

I've just read that there are about 800 thousand - 1 million Pi-s sold, which is much more than the creators expected. It's good news for us, who did get Pi-s.
Owning a Pi, I am now a happy user. You might be able to get some 'better' boards, but what board has an open community of users of 100-200 thousand, who will help each other solve problems?

I bought mine from Ebay, it arrived in about 1-2 weeks, but it cost a bit more (around $50-60 + shipping).

A good option is to check out NewIT, a UK company who ships from on-stock.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:22 pm

It's worth adding that prediction of Raspberry Pi sales has been extremely difficult. Demand would normally tail off a year or so after launch, and it hasn't, and has continued at a rate that was entirely unpredictable prior to launch! (Some people will claim they predicted it of course, since they have the benefit of 20:20 hindsight - and anyone can 'guess' and be right some of the time). This massive demand has caught the manufacturers out - some more than others. And unless the manufacturers order the chips from the supplier well in advance there is no way to catch up - i.e. Broadcom make what are ordered, but if they are asked for too few, then it's a long lead time to up production (18wks minimum, probably more in the run up to Xmas where big sales items soak up production capacity). So, there is now a lack of the SoC's, as not enough were been ordered some months ago.

It's really difficult predicting this stuff.
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Re: Raspberry Pi Alternatives?

Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:30 pm

Unfortunately, sour-raspberries obviously doesn't like being told he need to be polite here, and has decided it's a good idea to start insulting the moderators. He is now permanently banned. He is a small minded bigot, judging by his last post, when all he needed to be was polite and we would have been happy to answer his questions, or try and find him an alternative to the Raspi, as has happened in other threads.

And for his own records, I am a happily partnered up man with three children, am not ugly or fat, and do have a life outside moderating this forum...for those interested it has including top level offshore yacht racing, kart racing, car racing and playing the guitar badly. I also drink beer. So I'm afraid his preconception of moderators seems to be a little skewed!
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
“I think it’s wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly.” – Steven Wright

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