The good news is that Raspberry Pi's highly anticipated teeny-tiny Linux computers are on sale now, just barely making the promised February launch window (good thing it's a leap year). The better news, is that the $25 Model A version has gotten an upgrade from the planned 128Mb of RAM to 256Mb matching the Model B, which still throws in an extra USB port and an Ethernet hookup for $10 more. Unfortunately there is some bad news as well, while the Model A is going into production "immediately", cheapskates will have to hold off a little, as the Model B is the only one on sale right now. Built on a Broadcom BCM2835 700MHz ARM11 processor, they're intended as a cheap computing option that require only a keyboard and RCA or HDMI-connected display to give a full desktop experience including gaming and HD video playback . The team also announced it has secured manufacturing and distribution agreements that should guarantee a steady supply, without the previous limitation of 10,000 at a time batches. Need more technical details? Hit the FAQ page below, or put down a few Hamiltons -- they can be ordered directly from distributors Premier Farnell / Element 14 and RS Components -- and find out how it runs (Fedora, Debian and ArchLinux are currently supported) for yourself.
Update: It appears the servers of both retailers are completely crushed by traffic at the moment, and we're told RS will ship in the UK only. Good luck in your struggle with that most difficult of questions: Keep mashing F5, or get some sleep and try again in the morning? Raspberry Pi's Twitter account reports Farrell appears to have already sold out, so keep that in mind. A press release and video demo from the BBC follow after the break.
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February 29, 2012 01:00 AM Eastern Time RS Components Announces Launch of Raspberry Pi $35 Computer
New low cost credit card sized computer now available to pre-order from RS websites
OXFORD, England--(BUSINESS WIRE)--RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE:ECM), the world's leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products, today announced that the revolutionary credit card sized single-board computer from the Raspberry Pi Foundation is now available to pre-order from RS websites around the world. Created for educators, programmers, developers and IT enthusiasts, the kits can be pre-ordered at rswww.com.
"Raspberry Pi provides a revolutionary low cost platform, which opens up programming to a whole new audience. We are very honoured to have been chosen to work with the Foundation as a distribution partner at the launch of this exciting new tool."
The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a charity established to promote the development of computer development skills in education across the globe. Its vision is for Raspberry Pi to provide budding IT developers and programmers with a base platform to exploit the full power and potential of computing within the Linux environment, at a remarkably low cost. As such, Raspberry Pi computers act as an enabler for the next generation of programmers to enter the IT industry.
RS was selected as a distribution partner for Raspberry Pi because, in the eyes of the Foundation, it connects with engineers across the globe throughout their careers. As such, the company is well positioned to provide Raspberry Pi adopters with support, advice and access to additional resources as they embark on new development activities. It was particularly impressed with the DesignSpark community and resources provided for new developers working on Open Source designs.
"RS has always been a trusted and reliable partner for engineers across the globe. The RS DesignSpark community and their free PCB design software connects with engineers throughout their career, and is being adopted by many universities around the world," said Eben Upton, founder and trustee of Raspberry Pi. "This ethos of providing resources for engineers, along with the company's support for open source design, makes RS the ideal distribution partner for Raspberry Pi."
Glenn Jarrett, Head of Marketing, Electronics, at RS Components, added, "Raspberry Pi provides a revolutionary low cost platform, which opens up programming to a whole new audience. We are very honoured to have been chosen to work with the Foundation as a distribution partner at the launch of this exciting new tool."
Further information on the Raspberry Pi Foundation can be found at www.raspberrypi.org. For more details on the RS DesignSpark community please visit www.designspark.com. Raspberry Pi can be pre-ordered from the RS website at rswww.com.