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.

130 comments

Colin Shorts avatar

Looking forward to getting a Raspberry Pi soon (hopefully)! And maybe a mug too :)

Sven Berkvens-Matthijsse avatar

Good news all around, except for your poor kitty with hay fever :(

Kalash avatar

has mooncake demanded that she be sung soft kitty?

Tal avatar

ROFL!

liz avatar

She is not a little ball of fur. She is a little ball of pins and bad attitude. But we love her anyway.

linker3000 avatar

With all that snot flying it sounds like she wouldn’t pass emissions testing so I guess she’s not CE approved!?

Jez avatar

‘brolly’

How fantastically British! :)

AdeV avatar

“If you want to polish your Python in anticipation”

Well, that’s a new one on me…

JamesH avatar

Ooer Missus.

Bruce Goatly avatar

Sadly, I had exactly the same response.

liz avatar

Sorry. Childish sense of humour, coupled with a sense of bogglement at the person who emailed me yesterday to complain that I’d used the word “condom” in a post. It brings out the worst in my prose.

Bruce Goatly avatar

Don’t apologise! It brightened up my day!

AdeV avatar

No need to apologise, it made me laugh out loud, which got me some strange looks in the office.

Jongoleur avatar

There always has to be SOMEONE!!!

;-)

all I can say is “me too”, bit I didn’t actually say it out loud!

Alex Langer avatar

+1

ukscone avatar

I don’t have a python to polish but i find that pledge works really well on my asp — makes it really shiney and smells lemony afterwards as a bonus

Ravenous avatar

Where does the asp live, in a hole by any chance? Or am I just reading too much into this.

CP/M avatar

By the Windows.

Dio avatar

TMI

Robert_M avatar

If I owned a pet like yours, I’d ask visitors to take off their boots to avoid any accidental asp kicking.

Ravenous avatar

We Are Not Worthy!

Alex Langer avatar

Mooncake and me should team up. I got rid of my youth’s very bad hay fever (without doing anything at all to cure it) but still have a cat allergie. Together we could do a snotting competition..

Beeblebrox avatar

Excellent news

James M avatar

Liz, when will you be able to tell us the size that the queue / waiting list has grown to (if you can’t tell us now)?

liz avatar

I *hope* I can next week, but I’m at the mercy of RS and element14’s sales departments. I shall do some wheedling.

Norman Dunbar avatar

Please don’t waste any/too much time (delete as appropriate) on this, but, while you are wheedling…

I managed to register with RS on day one, eventually! Since then, I’ve heard nothing. I contacted them via their feedback contact form and requested advice on whether I was registered or not – seeing as I’d heard nothing.

The reply wasn’t helpful along the lines of “now you are registered we’ll contact you some time when we are about to ship”.

I replied back asking if I was registered (from day one) or not, and I’ve heard nothing since.

I don’t mind (!) having to re-register and go to the back of the queue, honest – I’m not attempting a queue jump here – but it would be nice to know what’s going on.

Cheers,
Norm.

kihon avatar

I recently found GMail had been classing the RS emails as spam – if you are using gmail – you might want to check that!

Norman Dunbar avatar

Thanks. I’m not using gmail, I’m definitely not seeing anything from RS in my spam filter either. :-(

Salamander avatar

You’re right!! I found two mails from RS in the Spam bin. Now I’ll be checking from time to time my Spam. Hope not to loose my invitation to post an order (whenever this may come ;))

CP/M avatar

Thanks! Found three and marked them not spam.

I thought RS were quiet.

Liz – perhaps this information needs to go on the home page?

PReDiToR avatar

If you didn’t get an email confirming that you were successful in your attempt to register interest for the first batch of RasPis and telling you that you would be emailed back with details on how to order shortly you are in the secondary queue and that one hasn’t even had the units built yet.
If you didn’t register before 06:05 on February 29, 2012 you can pretty much forget about the first 10K, and like the rest of the world hope that RS/Farnell get their act together and have another 100,000 of these made right quick.
This is to the best of my knowledge the state of play right now.

Salamander avatar

Taking advantage of the moment, please could you instruct/ask E14 not to collect credit card data from people until the real buy takes place?
I’m not by any chance in the first batch (registered by March 15th), and I’ve already been asked to confirm my pre-order, givind my credit card details, which for me has no sense when I have no concrete delivery date.

Thaks a lot Liz for all your great job and effords!!

gameferrit avatar

They’ll take your details but wont charge your card yet. At least thats what happened with me.

JennyPeters avatar

We have been taking credit card details to ensure that product can be shipped as soon as it arrives without further ado. We will not charge the card until the item is shipped. For example on Friday, Liz and Eben delivered to us mid afternoon and most product was sent out that same day without delay. Some customers located close to Leeds actually got theirs on Friday as we have a same day delivery service for local orders.

Tass avatar

Excellent – I’ll keep an eye out for any emails from [email protected], asking for my credit card details to cover the shipping costs of a test Pi!! :)

Dio avatar

No need to wait for the email – just post your card details here for instant disappointment :twisted:

Tass avatar

Excellent! It’s 4929 4983… Wait a minute!!!

SN avatar

Speaking of mugs, a friend of mine has a ‘I love spreadsheets’ mug – I suspect you wouldn’t be buying one of those ;-)

antiloquax avatar

Hi thanks for the mention of RacyPy!

ukscone avatar

here’s a mugshot for ya http://www.picgen.net/smarturl/mugshot/f83ebbed9eddffe5e548e79d80195723_en.jpg

oh you meant coffee/tea mug :)

Harrkev avatar

Some translation for us yanks — what are “brollies?”

liz avatar

Umbrellas. A very necessary tool in the UK.

ukscone avatar

great for placing between you and a sneezing cat except it’s unlucky to open an umbrella in the house

Norman Dunbar avatar

Isn’t it unlucky to be superstitious?
;-)

Cheers,
Norm.

Ravenous avatar

Indeed brollies aren’t just a tool. The right one is a friend for life, a prop for the soul itself. And ideal for the person who needs to get out more.

Jim Manley avatar

Anything for which there is (or is it now “used to be”?) a profession for rolling them tighter than a drumhead certainly qualifies it as an instrument, not merely a tool! Admiring such professionals was one of the charms of visiting the UK back in the 70s, but, I hear a few things have changed, including erection of a fence around primordial Stonehenge – how sad a commentary that is. We’re not into brollies (which auto-correct keeps attempting to change into “broil lies” and then “brownies”) so much over here in the colonies, as we just cover ourselves with cars, and then use those to change the weather through massive conversion of dino doo-doo into heat (thank you, Mr. Watt, I think ;) ).

CheechWizard avatar

Well, perhaps you could use these to start with and have them Raspi silk-screened? https://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/tools/eb54/

Dennis avatar

No kidding, *the pope* reads this? Well, uhh hallelujah? I guess?!?

Alien/ST-CNX avatar

I’m wondering if you will make some raspberry pi’s available as servers. My thinking is that say some compiler produces bad code for it, it would be nice to tell the compiler maintainers: “here’s a machine you can ssh into and test on”. Obviously the raspberry pi isn’t expensive, but not all programmers may want to actually set one up.

Also, do you know whether the GHC (haskell) compiler works on the particular ARM chip you’re using? Since goal is education, I think it would benefit people to learn a pure lazy functional language.

asb avatar

GHC is packaged for armel (ARMv4t+) in Debian, so I have every expectation it will work fine. http://packages.debian.org/squeeze/ghc6

Alien/ST-CNX avatar

Good to know, thanks!

andreww avatar

You’ll have a hard time getting ghc working within 256mb. I can’t get it to compile a relatively simple web app on my 512mb vps. Try looking for a small scheme implementation instead like tinyScheme or maybe Gambit if your lucky.

Alien/ST-CNX avatar

Scheme != Haskell, not by any stretch of the imagination.

ghc ran quite nicely in 4Mb (that was a big machine back in the early 90’s when we were solving large AI problems in it), but I don’t know what its current requirements are…

Alien/ST-CNX avatar

Seems like the linker ld is the main problem.

http://labs.scrive.com/2011/08/running-ghc-on-low-memory-computers/

Perhaps gold will work better.

asb avatar

Yes, much better. I had the same out of memory problem when installing the rather excellent ‘gitit’ on my VPS and installing binutils-gold drastically reduced memory usage during linking, allowing it to complete.

Dave avatar

Hahahaha, I’m not from the UK, so I had to look up “brolies” to determine that you’ll be selling umbrellas. :)

cnxsoft avatar

ok.. so where can I buy a Raspberry Pi cat ? :)

ukscone avatar

from the catalog

linker3000 avatar

Take care of your Raspberry Pi cat – they only have a little over 3 lives rather than the usual 9.

Salamander avatar

Yours must be a cat on stamins!! I’ve always heard cats have 7 lives.

Nick Barnes avatar

That must be a model A.

Victor avatar

Hello,

Really excited by the release but I was wondering, if I plugged a usb wifi dongle into it would it install itself with its own drivers like Windows does or do you have to retreive the drivers yourself? I’ve never use Linux before so have no idea.

Thanks

Abishur avatar

It has the drivers for some dongles just like Windows. Others will need to have some work done before they can work. If you jump over to the wiki, you can see a list of wifi cards that are known to work :-)

Victor avatar

Thanks for the quick reply.

Out of interest do you know what type of work will be required to get a dongle working?

Many thanks

RAThomas avatar

I don’t expect you to have much trouble. For many (most?) USB WiFi adapters, I’d expect it to just work. If it doesn’t, there are several options, the easiest is to just buy one that *does* work. Check here for supported devices: http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Drivers

You might find the necessary driver in the kernel “staging area” (see: http://www.kroah.com/log/linux/linux-staging-update.html ), but you’d need to at least recompile the kernel to make the driver available. In other cases, the manufacturer may have a Linux driver available separately at their support pages (this was true of an Intel WiFi adapter in a new netbook that I bought last month).

Since you’ve never used Linux before, I recommend my first suggestion. I bought a USB WiFi adapter from a reputable online retailer for $12, plugged it into my Fedora 14 based netbook and it just worked. No fiddling necessary.

John Sousa avatar

The Raspberr Pi isn’t the same as a netbook.

Some Wifi dongles are only supported via NDISWrapper, which only works with x86 processors such as those in netbooks, it doesn’t work with the Raspberry Pi ARM architecture.

RAThomas avatar

@ John Sousa

From the Linux WiFi drivers list I linked above, there are plenty of non-NDIS supported devices.

As best I can tell without be able to try it yet, both my Realtek rtl8187 and Atheros ath9k based Wifi dongles should work just as well with the RPi as they do with the netbook. I do have a BeagleBoard, so I guess I should try them there.

Kick avatar

Hi Liz,

First of all I’m hoping that Mooncake gets well soon ;)

Secondly, is there any news on the SD cards, pre-installed with XBMC? If I remember well you mentioned that those also would be able to purchase.

And my last question is about the case that was announced. Do you have any images or any news on that?

Keep up the great work and I love your postings!

GreetZ!

jbeale avatar

in the comments from “Testing’s Done” post:
liz on April 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm said:
We’ve got some very handsome cases in the pipeline already – more on that as soon as I’m able to tell you about it.

Abishur avatar

You remember… somewhat :-P When last pre-imaged SD cards were discussed XBMC was not among those that would be available for purchase. But you can set it up yourself (hopefully the OS that boots straight into XBMC will have some news about it sometime soon ;-)). As for other SD cards with Debian or the F-mix distros those definitely are not planned to be available at the time of purchase. Anyone wanting to use the R-pi off the bat will have to dip their toes in the water just a bit and set up their own SD card :-)

Salamander avatar

Just out of curiosity, is there any issue that prevents the name of “the OS that boots straight into XBMC” to be posted here? ;) ;)

That would be OpenELEC, and it’s been featured around here recently:
http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/810

They have just -almost- catch up with XBMC v11, so if the RPi’s are to be delivered in a few days, maybe they are about to release the ARM version. Keep fingers crossed!!

Adam avatar

Any word on updated shipping dates? I’m hoping I don’t still have to wait until August for mine.

KevinG avatar

I see Racy comes with Python 2.7.2 and 3.1.4.

I guess 3.14 would be a good version for Pi ?

On a slightly more serious note – does anyone have advice on which version to start with?

Thanks

Kevin

liz avatar

We’re suggesting people use 2.7 – Eben has a marked preference for the way the Hello World program looks in 2.7.

KevinG avatar

Thanks Liz

scep avatar

2.x: print “Hello world”
3.x: print (“Hello world”)

2.x looks better (let’s face it, it’s because it’s 1980s micro stylee ;))
3.x looks proper (print is a function instead of a statement)

Better or proper – there’s only one way to find out…. :D

tzj avatar

fiiiiiiiiightttt!

all I have in my head now is Eben dressed as harry XD oh and dubstep…

Nick Barnes avatar

You can of course write *either version* in Python 2.7. I’ll be using 2.7, because a lot of the infrastructure I play with is still 2.x-only. But pretty much all the code I write works fine in 2.7 or 3.x.

p4trykx avatar

I don’t wan to make some people furious when they hear the answer but I need to ask ;-)
When will the production on second batch start? I know it’s up to RS and Farnell but maybe the will tell us something?

liz avatar

Serial production (not batches, but a constant roll of the things) starts next week.

Ian avatar

IMHO, that is one of the most significant comments since the original release. “Roll On”!

p4trykx avatar

that’s good news being a born pessimist and seeing the previous delays with first batch I thought It will be way later

Nick Barnes avatar

Rolling, rolling, rolling
Rolling, rolling, rolling
Rolling, rolling, rolling
Rolling, rolling, rolling

Rasp-Pi

Rolling, rolling, rolling
‘Til the channel’s swollen
Keep them boards all rolling
Rasp-Pi

Partner sites we crashed ’em
First sales targets: smashed ’em:
Wishing my board was by my side

All the things it’s missin’
Keyboard, mouse, and vision
Are waiting at the end of its ride

Screen ’em up, drill ’em out
Drill ’em out, screen ’em up
Screen ’em up, drill ’em out
Rasp-Pi

Pack ’em up, ship ’em out
Ship ’em out, pack ’em up
Pack ’em up, ship ’em out
Rasp-Pi

Keep moving, moving, moving
Though haters disapproving
Keep them boards a-moving
Rasp-Pi

Don’t try to understand ’em
Some commenters can’t stand ’em
Soon they’ll be eatin’ humble pie.

My code’s calculatin’
Python will be waitin’
Be waiting at the end of the ride
Boot ’em up, test ’em out
test ’em out, boot ’em up
Boot ’em up, test ’em out
Rasp-Pi

Pack ’em up, ship ’em out
Ship ’em out, pack ’em up
Pack ’em up, ship ’em out
Rasp-Pi

Pick ‘n’ place, solder paste
Solder paste, pick ‘n’ place
Pick ‘n’ place, solder paste
Rasp-Pi

Pack ’em up, ship ’em out
Ship ’em out, pack ’em up
Pack ’em up, ship ’em out
Rasp-Pi

Rolling, rolling, rolling
Rolling, rolling, rolling
Rolling, rolling, rolling
Rolling, rolling, rolling
Rasp-Pi

Rasp-Pi

Robert avatar

Good to hear. Will this allow shipping in the US or is additional certification needed?

liz avatar

Yes, it will. (And everywhere else in the world too.)

Ethan van Woerkom avatar

Puhleeeas make it a ‘Who can make the fastest program in any language?’ I suck in Python and I love algorithms.

Jason avatar

You will enjoy the numPy package for Python. it will let you create algorithms to your hearts content.

http://numpy.scipy.org/

Ethan van Woerkom avatar

Hmm.. Cool, thanks! I’ll check it out.

CP/M avatar

I wrote a simple calculator on the BBC Micro for my computer studies diploma. Using a 4-bit multiplication tables and some shift tables it came out faster the the standard machine code algorithm and I got a distinction. So doing something faster than machine code is possible. I’ll work on the speed of light barrier next…..

Adrian avatar

Do you know if there is an ARM version of Google Chrome OS? If there is, will it work with the Raspberry Pi?:)

Jim Manley avatar

Chromium is Google’s lightweight, network-extended notebook OS (it currently doesn’t run on any off-the-shelf hardware not made to their specs. Chrome is Google’s browser, although it serves as both browser and GUI/desktop for Chromium, just to make things more confusing.

Although it’s open-source, Chromium has not been ported to ARM, AFAIK, and none of the x86 netbooks that run Chromium are compatible with Broadcom WiFi interfaces, which suggests a significant amount of work would need to be done at the lowest levels to adapt to the very different ARM architecture. The good news is that part of the Chromium hardware spec requires hardware that supports OpenGL ES, which the Pi GPU does, of course. Maybe someday, but, I’d guess it would take the better part of a year to complete, depending on the number of experts in ARM were involved. This is the kind of thing to sic a bunch of teenagers and college kids on and it would be done in a month :)

JamesH avatar

Chromium isn’t the OS, Chromium is the open source part of Chrome. Its just a browser – I run Chromium on Ubuntu for example. Chrome OS is the Google network OS.

asb avatar

Actually Chromium is to Chrome as Chromium OS is to Chrome OS.

devin avatar

Can’t wait to get my hands on one being in yr10 I have started doing ICT more and would love to learn how to programm so just a little while left :) :) :)

wibble avatar

This is the most joyous of repsonses – isn’t this what it’s all about? Getting kids into computers and excited about looking under the bonnet – Priceless.

(Translation for people in the colonies – “Bonnet” is the correct word for “Hood” ;-) ).

Curtis avatar

Being only a year older than you (year 11), I am also excited to get my hands on one!

Rek avatar

I thought Raffles was the official Raspberry Pi cat?

JasonS avatar

He got raffled, and all we got was this lousy Mooncake…

Montala avatar

Don’t say that… you will hurt his feelings! ;)

JasonS avatar

I don’t mean it, I swear!
I saw the pic of Mooncake on twitter, what a cutie.

liz avatar

Raffles is MC’s brother, and has ceded the position of Official Raspberry Pi cat to her. (He’s not too sore about it – he currently has a large bowl of cat food that he’s making snorkelling noises into, and a starring role on Wikipedia – he’s the cat at the top of the page.)

Rek avatar

So, while Sir Raffles was busy slaying the Dragon of Certification by allowing himself to be vigorously rubbed with a circuit board, Princess Mooncake usurped his position in a coup d’ cat.

liz avatar

You’re closer than you might think; we believe it’s actually Lord Raffles, after having spotted this abomination on Skymall last year.

Isaac avatar

Cat problems aside this is good news. My Raspberry Pi arriving somewhere this half of the year is starting to look like a reality.

And sorry, but i’m not touching anything python with a 20yard stick ( that goes for the programing language and the live ones as well :D )

MyName avatar

“Our partners hope to begin shipping units to those at the front of the queue around the start of next week”

Ok, still, what queue is this? Is this about the 10k first units? Or is this the 10001+ units?
Are the 10001+ units in production now?

I was not lucky enough to be in the first 10k/batch. And I haven’t heard from Farnell regarding deliery in about a month, well before the CE/Certification issues arose.
So, can I/we still expect our delivery-dates to be met (I have week 17, but I doubt that will happen?), or will they be pushed forward because of production-start delays?

In other words, I ask once again, whats the “backlog” status? Is production ongoing now? Or are we still only talking about the first 10k already produced units?

JamesH avatar

Imminent delivery is of the initial 10k. I believe production is now started up with some pretty large initial numbers for the 10k+1 boards. As to dates, I think there may be some news about this next week, but not sure.

MyName avatar

Okay, thanks, appreciate your reply!
Can we have some more pictures from the production lines maybe?

Kambiz avatar

Oh, so the production for initial 10K batch is just started? I am confused… weren’t those supposed to be done and ready to ship back to UK by end of Feb?

JamesH avatar

Wuh? No, the first 10k are manufactured and ready to be delivered. Further boards are now going to production.

Kambiz avatar

ah, good, thanks for clarifying.

jaygee avatar

Can you let us know the expected weekly production capacity now that serial production is about to start, or is this unknown/confidential?

It is really good to hear that production is now about to get going in earnest. Hopefully this will enable Farnell’s 135 day lead time and RS’s interest list to start to move and any further info you are able to get out of the suppliers would also be welcome while we all patiently wait our turn to get some Pi!

Eric avatar

Hi Liz,

Have you considered using affiliates for marketing your shop’s products? I think this would work especially well on education and computing sites, possibly avoiding competition.

I’d love to promote your stuff.

Cheers,

Eric.

KyleXF avatar

If we can take take a short break from the adolescent humor, I’m wondering about “the firmware update we needed to pass EMC testing.” What exactly does that mean? Which firmware was updated, and does it throttle some bandwidth to keep the emissions down? What gives?

JamesH avatar

This has been covered elsewhere, but there was a minor change to the binary blob that runs on the GPU to reduce the HDMI drive strength. It was set up wrong. No performance changes.

KyleXF avatar

Cool. I missed that news. Thanks.

Topher Brink avatar

RS just emailed to ask me to place my order!!!!
…And now the order page won’t let me enter my unique code. Thus… sigh.

MANISANKAR DAS avatar

Same Here!! Disabled text box….

Mark avatar

Same here, Looks like they have a mistake on the web page where the authorisation number field is still disabled :(

Topher Brink avatar

Had to be too good to be true after all the other hassle so far. Asked them on Twitter, don’t know whether to keep refreshing or what until then… Sigh.

Tass avatar

Damn. And here I thought I was right in there at 06:01 :( Oh well, I’m going to pretend this is just for the first 2K, and I might be in the next 8K next week :)

Topher Brink avatar

“There are some problems with @RSElectronics payment page at the moment. They’re aware of it, and they’re trying to fix it ASAP.”

Mark avatar

Its working now. Just placed my order :)

Topher Brink avatar

Isn’t for me yet.

Nick avatar

Just worked for me.
I found the RS order email in my spambox (rather lucklily).

Brazilian avatar

Please make it come to Brazil, talk to distributors or something… We demand this platform here too!!!

JennyPeters avatar

You can order from Farnell Newark in Brazil now

Ralf avatar

I just called Farnell to check on the status of my order and was told that they are expecting to ship in early August and that they have no further information?? Seems a bit of a disconnect. Anyone shine any light on this or had a similar or different experience?

JennyPeters avatar

Ralf, Now that we are commencing volume manufacture we expect all delivery times to come in, however with siuch a large backlog we only want to update individual delivery dates once we are certain to avoid further disappointment. Our sales teams can’t confirm delivery dates yet as they don’t know either but we expect high volumes to start coming through in June and will update in more detail as soon as we can. Thanks for your patience.

rasp pi guy avatar

cool i really hope mine come in this batch! i ordered mine on the 31st of march. does that mean i have pre-ordered or not?

many thanks

JennyPeters avatar

Orders placed in late March will definitely not be in this first batch i’m afraid

Comments are closed