[clug] Raspberry Pi ordering starts Wednesday 0600 GMT

Jason Ozolins jason.ozolins at anu.edu.au
Mon Feb 27 19:04:14 MST 2012

 From the website, there is a starting time:
> The Raspberry Pi Foundation will be making a big (and very positive) announcement that just might interest you at 0600h GMT on Wednesday 29 February 2012. Come to www.raspberrypi.org to find out what’s going on.
Link directly to the news item:

Some background for anyone who's been under a non-Twitter-connected rock...

- Credit card sized board.
- Broadcom GPU+ARM11 System-on-Chip
- HDMI + composite video, audio out over HDMI connector and line level 
output.  No audio in - need a USB interface for that.
- SDHC card reader for boot and local storage
- only Model B variant in first batch (256MB RAM, 10/100 Ethernet and 
two high-speed USB 2.0 ports hanging off an on-board USB hub/NIC that 
has one USB2.0 link back to the SoC).
- Power connector is microUSB; from the FAQ, a microUSB phone charger 
capable of supplying >= 700mA will drive the Model B with a couple of 
modest USB devices hanging off it.  For a bare board, it should be able 
to run off a standard 500mA USB port.
- Unpopulated JTAG, GPIO, LCD and camera headers are all squeezed onto 
the board for the hardware hacker types.

Cost: US$35, plus a promised very modest postage fee.

Mad rush expected:
First batch is 10,000 units, one per order, first come first served, 
_no_preorders_ and don't ask because they've already answered that, like 
a million times, but unlike some community-bootstrapped hardware 
[*cough* OpenPandora *cough*], they have enough startup cash that they 
are continuing to make boards more or less uninterrupted while the first 
batch is sold and shipped.

In short, unless you're desperate, there will be more up for order 
pretty soon, and the quantity restrictions will be relaxed, so pretty 
soon you'll be able to mosey along and order 8 for that sub-$300 cluster 
you always wanted to build, in one simple transaction.  There were some 
vague hints about early adopter swag when people asked why the first 
batch of boards wasn't shipping directly from China, but nothing 
specific was mentioned.

Fedora ARM11 remix will be ready by the time the boards are delivered - 
Debian Squeeze is available now.  Later they'll be selling SD cards with 
distributions, but the hardware was ready before the distro, so the 
first batch will rely upon community-spirited mirror hosting and 
BitTorrent to get the distros out. A big list of Debian mirrors is at:


and once the Fedora remix is finalised, that should turn up there too.

GPL: The Broadcom GPU boots the ARM11, so there needs to be a binary 
blob on the SD card, but AFAIK the Debian distro itself doesn't contain 
encumbered binaries.  Think of the binary SD card blob as like a 
non-free BIOS that happens to live on the same SD card that the Debian 
distro is on, instead of in flash on the motherboard.  There's no 
restriction about distributing Debian media along with a non-free piece 
of hardware, and this is basically the same...

Case: Coming soon, but not now.

Breakout board for GPIOs: Coming soon... 

FAQ: http://www.raspberrypi.org/faqs

Jason.Ozolins at anu.edu.au         ANU Supercomputer Facility
Systems Administrator            Leonard Huxley Bldg 56, Mills Road
Ph:  +61 2 6125 5449             Australian National University
Fax: +61 2 6125 8199             Canberra ACT 0200
http://sf.anu.edu.au             Australia

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