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Raspberry Pi Production Heats Up In UK Surpassing Chinese Production Soon

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the cranking-them-out dept.

Businesses 108

hypnosec writes "The majority of $35 Raspberry Pi production was shifted to a factory in Wales from China and the Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced this week that the factory in Wales has produced its half millionth unit in just over six months. The weekly production has shot up to 40,000 units in the UK factory and that number is 'set to climb further.' The Foundation is optimistic about the Welsh factory and said there will be 'more Made in the U.K. Pis in the world than their Made in China cousins.' The Foundation didn't reveal anything else apart from this, but we already know it sold the millionth Pi back in January."

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The knighs who say UNIx (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43446947)

..demand more RASPBERRY !

Re:The knighs who say UNIx (0)

rwa2 (4391) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446957)

OK... Thppthpppthppth

Any difference in where that thing was made ? (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#43448293)

The Foundation is optimistic about the Welsh factory and said there will be 'more Made in the U.K. Pis in the world than their Made in China cousins.'

Is there any difference between the ones made in UK and the ones made in China?

Re:Any difference in where that thing was made ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43448325)

Yes. The ones made in China have the holes for the missing header pins filled with solder making it tough to install the headers. The ones made in the Sony factory in the UK don't have this flaw. You won't find that information in the Raspberry Pi Forum, however because they don't allow any negative comments of any kind.

Re:Any difference in where that thing was made ? (2)

rednip (186217) | about a year and a half ago | (#43448425)

This thread [raspberrypi.org] would seem to prove you both right and wrong. Also some of the comments make recommendations on fixes.

Re:Any difference in where that thing was made ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43452077)

This thread [raspberrypi.org] would seem to prove you both right and wrong. Also some of the comments make recommendations on fixes.

Last post on that thread was Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:19 pm
Citing last year's post doesn't substantiate this year's apparent policy.
Also suggesting fixes is not a substitute for quality control.

Re:Any difference in where that thing was made ? (1)

Reality Man (2890429) | about a year and a half ago | (#43449087)

It's probably easier to drill out the solder than to try to desolder the holes. It's more likely you can find fine machine # drill bits at a decent hardware store than random people being able to desolder.

Re:Any difference in where that thing was made ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43450797)

Ummm.. right.

1. Accuire solder wick.
2. Apply more solder to the holes
3. Put solderwick on top of the solder and holes
4. Heat the wick with iron so it sucks all the solder out from the holes
5. Profit?

Using a drill will only ruin your board.

Re:Any difference in where that thing was made ? (1)

Reality Man (2890429) | about a year and a half ago | (#43451437)

Getting all the solder to come out of a hole on a multilayer board isn't as easy as you think it is.

Is your iron good enough? Can the tip transfer enough heat quickly enough? What temperature you set it at? Is it a RoHS board? Is your desoldering braid past its "best before" date? Oh you didn't know it had one? The flux on the braid gets stale over time. You do have a little bottle of flux lying around? Are the holes in a tight location so you melt parts around the holes?

Using a drill won't ruin your board unless you're fumble-fingered, spastic, and legally blind.

Besides, you'll never get a better hole finish than with a tiny machine drill bit.

Re:Any difference in where that thing was made ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43452151)

Your and idiot.

Re:Any difference in where that thing was made ? (2)

fragMasterFlash (989911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43449443)

If you cannot use solder wick properly then you aren't really skilled enough to be modding circuit boards.

Re:Any difference in where that thing was made ? (1)

nadaou (535365) | about a year and a half ago | (#43450943)

at $35 a pop this is sounds like a great chance for lots of people to learn how to use solder wick who haven't picked up an iron before.

Re:Any difference in where that thing was made ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43449899)

"The ones made in the Sony factory"

Ahh then it won't run Linux?

Re:Any difference in where that thing was made ? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about a year and a half ago | (#43452645)

Well done for sharing your stupidity with the rest of us, do you feel better now?

Re:Any difference in where that thing was made ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43452615)

The Foundation is optimistic about the Welsh factory and said there will be 'more Made in the U.K. Pis in the world than their Made in China cousins.'

Is there any difference between the ones made in UK and the ones made in China?

The Chinese ones have a fortune cookie inside.

Re:The knighs who say UNIx (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447057)

I believe that it would be more in line with the general spirit of the film if you called them "The Knights Who Say Windows".

Re:The knighs who say UNIx (2)

aztracker1 (702135) | about a year and a half ago | (#43449499)

We are now no longer the knights who say Metro... we are now the knights who say Window 8-style UI.

Re:The knighs who say UNIx (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43450279)

to be more precise, we demand raspberry shrubberies!

Subsidised? (5, Insightful)

robpow (2772251) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446951)

So how come it can be done in the UK and still sold at the same price? Either there's a subsidy in place or the manufacturing cost is a negligible part of the selling price.

Re:Subsidised? (4, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#43446977)

well.. that price is without vat, so the time I could buy it the price is 48 euros. they don't pay license fees for codecs(that's extra) and so on. and the production is probably fully automated. you might have worse luck sourcing the parts at their pricing though but I'm pretty sure the chip companies aren't doing this as a charity..

once there's no manual labor involved then assembling them is pretty much the same regardless of where it happens if scale is big enough(that automation can be done).

Re:Subsidised? (3, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#43449559)

well.. that price is without vat, so the time I could buy it the price is 48 euros. they don't pay license fees for codecs(that's extra) and so on. and the production is probably fully automated. you might have worse luck sourcing the parts at their pricing though but I'm pretty sure the chip companies aren't doing this as a charity..

once there's no manual labor involved then assembling them is pretty much the same regardless of where it happens if scale is big enough(that automation can be done).

That's the deal - the Pi is sold pretty much manufactured by automated processes. Whether in the US, UK, China or anywhere else, all the effort is in setting up the machines and they spit out a fully assembled Pi.

And that happens because the Pi is sold as a bare circuit board - no case or other frills - everything is mounted on the circuit board and wrapped up in an anti-static bag.

When all you're going is taking the output of the pick and place machine, it's cheap. The hard part is in the casings - Steve Jobs and Woz realized this over 30 years ago when they moved from the bare board Apple I to the plastic-cased Apple II that "normal" people would buy.

Of course, once you start putting cases on, it adds production steps and that's where the price differentials come into play. Setting up a human assembly line is cheap and agile - change a design and they can be retrained in a few hours and building your product in a new revised case. An automated assembly line is more expensive to set up and not so agile (they need to be programmed and overseen as slight variations can trigger failures in the vision system), but they're cheaper once everything is up and running as machines are cheaper than humans.

There's not too much assembly work or even human hands touching the Pi required. Even testing can be automated using the right production test software.

Re:Subsidised? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43446981)

I think it is the latter. The factory in Wales is highly automated, so there aren't very many staff that need to be employed for the Raspberry Pi production there.

Yep (4, Informative)

goldcd (587052) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447087)

http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/2569 [raspberrypi.org]

More interesting question is around import duty. I think I read (possibly when last trying to work out where the f*ck my OpenPandora was) that there's different import duties on finished electrical good and components (these being more expensive). Even assuming assembly cost is the same, it means it always costs more to assemble in the UK.

Re:Yep (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447527)

http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/2569 [raspberrypi.org]

More interesting question is around import duty. I think I read (possibly when last trying to work out where the f*ck my OpenPandora was) that there's different import duties on finished electrical good and components (these being more expensive). Even assuming assembly cost is the same, it means it always costs more to assemble in the UK.

Except that the Raspberry Pi foundation have never been able to point to any of these so-called duties. A question was asked in parliament and the minister replied that nobody in his department had any idea what they were talking about. Bear in mind that the Raspberry Pi foundation is run by engineers and programmers, not by people with a background in navigating import procedures.

A quick search of the UK trade tariff [www.gov.uk] shows that there is no tariff on these sorts of components from any country. VAT applies, but will be the same amount for non-EU imports, EU 'acquisitions' (the technical term for imports within the common market) or UK purchases and only the administration differs. If you set the date back a year or look at other types of ICs you get the same result - no tariff.

Re:Yep (2)

Rakishi (759894) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447833)

How does the VAT work regarding something that's being exported?

If you sold it in the UK you'd recoup the VAT from the components by the VAT the consumer pays you. What if you export to a country with no VAT? Do you need to charge more to offset the component's VAT?

Re:Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43448449)

How does the VAT work regarding something that's being exported?

If you sold it in the UK you'd recoup the VAT from the components by the VAT the consumer pays you. What if you export to a country with no VAT? Do you need to charge more to offset the component's VAT?

No. Every quarter you have to submit a form where you declare your input VAT you suffered on purchases of stock and services and separately declare your output VAT you added to sales invoices. Your net payment is therefore the effective VAT rate applied to the 'value added' between the goods and services you buy and sell (and the result can be negative in some cases). Exports out of the EU are put in a separate box, which means that in effect you can reclaim the VAT suffered on all the inputs to that product without having to pay VAT on the sale itself. On the other hand imports from countries outside of the EU require you to pay the full VAT at customs before you can take your goods away from the harbour. The net effect is that there should be a mostly level playing field for EU businesses trading outside the EU and non-EU business trading inside the EU.

Imports and Exports to the EU are similar to those outside the EU, except that you have to declare the counterparty's country and VAT code and the VAT authorities eventually cross-reference importer and exporter declarations (called acquistions and disposals in this context). I've concentrated on Business to Business sales here - there are slightly different rules for consumer sales across borders. There are also some special simplified schemes for small traders, and some special rules to target particular tax frauds.

Re:Yep (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43450411)

Do you need to charge more to offset the component's VAT?

Yes.

When you buy thing in the UK, you pay VAT (any goods and services, including parts, office rent, cleaning, etc). When you sell them you charge VAT. If you're a business, you can take the VAT you've charged and use it to pay the VAT that you were charged. That's sensible since it stops the tax growing exponentially with supply chain length.

Basically, the VAT going to HMRC is on the difference between sales and VATTable expenditures (pretty much everything except salary). Generally companies bring i more money than they spend, so all the VAT they need to pay for is paid for, plus a bit extra goes to HMRC.

Since export goods have no VAT, then yes, that reduces the VAT incoming. If it's too much, then the company will have to start paying for VAT on stuff it buys, rather than just shuffling money around.

Re:Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43450887)

In fact if you are charged more VAT on the goods and purchases that you buy than you charge on the goods and services that you sell, then you reclaim the difference from HMRC when you complete your VAT return. For example books are zero rated, so book sellers would reclaim whatever VAT is charged on their rental costs, legal fees etc.

Re:Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43451077)

Since export goods have no VAT, then yes, that reduces the VAT incoming. If it's too much, then the company will have to start paying for VAT on stuff it buys, rather than just shuffling money around.

No, you are just wrong here. Goods exported by a company are not in scope for VAT, so your overseas sales are not included in output VAT, but any input VAT can still be reclaimed. It doesn't matter if you have 'too many' overseas sales - if the net VAT is negative you get a repayment. The only time a business will suffer irrecoverable VAT is when it is suppling goods or services that are VAT-exempt (which is a separate category from 0% rated). Exempt goods and services are things such as insurance. If a business supplies a mix of exempt and non-exempt goods or services then things get complicated.

Re:Subsidised? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447035)

Is it being "manufactured" in the UK... or assembling the parts made in China?

Assembly is usually what passed as manufacturing in the UK these days.

Re:Subsidised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43450819)

Hmmm.. what's the difference anyways? Is it assembly or manufacturing if I screw 2 pieces of metal together? Is it different if I use glue to put them together? Solder them together? Melt them together? Cut a piece from one of them and then screw them together?

Re:Subsidised? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447039)

IIRC they wanted to manufacture in the UK originally, but at the volumes they planned it wasn't possible to do at the target price. Since it as a huge success and sold in quantities beyond their wildest dreams it became possible to manufacture in the UK. So the short answer is volume!

Re:Subsidised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447061)

Maybe it's the for profit-thing ? So in china the factory does it to make a nice margin while in the UK it's enough to break even and pay some pay-checks.
There's probably also the initial licensing, design and prototyping costs that should be taken care of by now.

It's just a shame they won't open source the videocore :( I already own one but I won't be buying another (dev-board of any make) until I know it's all foss. I ended up mine as a print server so it's not a total lost, but my idea to use it to drive my RC rotor with a map and video overlay didn't take fruit. Ended up doing it with a cheap android tablet of all things...

Re:Subsidised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447227)

I'm not sure the phones are any better although I'd agree with you on the closed nature of the device. It's actually worse than an X86 PC is.

Re:Subsidised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447857)

It's just a shame they won't open source the videocore :( I already own one but I won't be buying another (dev-board of any make) until I know it's all foss.

If there's something like that, that you have a specific problem with, it's a good idea to pay attention to what's going on [raspberrypi.org] .

Re:Subsidised? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43448021)

Oh good so OpenCL should be easy now! Oh wait, guess not as the open source statement was actually a blatant lie

Re:Subsidised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447115)

It's simply a single circuit board. No case or anything more than that. So the process of making the pi is probably all automated robotic pick and place. The manual part is probably putting it in a box to ship.

Now the circuits in an iphone,laptop etc. etc are all made the same way. Nobody is soldering surface mount devices by hand. So where they are made make little difference. The chinese low wages advantage are about putting those circuit board and screens etc into a case. The pi could be made anywhere and come out at the same build cost.

Re:Subsidised? (4, Interesting)

MLCT (1148749) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447499)

The days of everything being far (i.e. an order of magnitude) cheaper to make in China than the west are slowly coming to an end. There is still a price advantage ATM, but it is eroding, and parity exists in some areas, and there is an actual price advantage with western labour in a few situations.

There was a documentary on UK TV last year that looked at a cushion factory which was seeing parity between its Chinese and UK plant - and this is sowing and stuffing cushions, not making high value goods:

The Town Taking on China [bbc.co.uk]

Basically wage costs are rising fast in China, coupled with a labour force that shops around constantly to get the best deal, playing factories off against each other (that leads not only to higher wage costs, but also difficulty in skill retention). Skill retention may not mean much when it is sowing cushions, but there is always a learning curve for efficient work, and poor retention impacts on productivity. The third string in the bow is shipping costs - the price of fuel has quadrupled in the last 15 years.

All of these things add up. The good thing is that some basic manufacturing jobs will move back to the west rebalancing the economy - the bad thing is that most manufactured goods will jump back on to the inflation conveyer belt again - after ~20 years of their cost being frozen while our pay still rose at 3-5% per year - they will be back in step again as China starts to level out with the west on living standards.

Re:Subsidised? (4, Funny)

jrumney (197329) | about a year and a half ago | (#43448655)

There was a documentary on UK TV last year that looked at a cushion factory which was seeing parity between its Chinese and UK plant - and this is sowing and stuffing cushions

At a guess, I'd say the higher rainfall in UK would benefit any industry that involves sowing.

Re:Subsidised? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43450417)

I'm surprised that fuel costs make any significant difference. More fuel is required to ship things from (e.g.) the shop to the home than is required to ship form China to the UK by continer ship. Not only that, but the ships use much cheaper, lower grade and untaxed fuel.

Re:Subsidised? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447639)

So how come it can be done in the UK and still sold at the same price? Either there's a subsidy in place or the manufacturing cost is a negligible part of the selling price.

Pick and place machines don't cost more to operate in the UK than in China.

Re:Subsidised? (1)

fnj (64210) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447893)

Pick and place machines don't cost more to operate in the UK than in China.

Actually, a moment's thought would suggest not. Actually [wikipedia.org] , the electricity to run those machines costs from 0.075 to 0.107 USD $/kWh; in the UK it is 0.2. Wages of the few people you do employ (it clearly can't be zero), most notably in management, are also bound to be higher. You can take it to the bank that the investment in the land to build on to house the machines, as well as the buildings themselves, will also be more in UK. And so on.

Sony (4, Interesting)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447649)

They are producing in the Sony plant in the UK. How Sony does it, I don't know, but presumably they have come up with some sort of financial plan that includes tax breaks and possibly subsidization of some sort to get these produced in the UK at a competing price. Don't forget that import taxes for ICT equipment into the EU are quite hefty. Maybe substantially lower than on electronic components? What I know is that they got a price quoted by Sony that was more than interesting enough to commit to a large number of RPis made in the UK. That number was enough for Sony to re-tool the UK factory and get the special equipment required to mount the memory chips on top of the SoC. That was the main investment for Sony, since they didn't have anything that could do that part of the process. The rest was basically just rearranging existing equipment and staff for this production line.

Re:Sony (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43450183)

I learned something interesting some years back when working for a computer consulting firm as a contractor at the Nissan automobile manufacturning plant in Smyrna, Tennessee here in the USA. I don't know the full scope but it seemed that the plant (covers more than two square miles under one roof) is considered either 'foreign' or 'international' territory somehow. So it seemed that US law may or may not apply within it's confines. I was informed very clearly that taking pictures inside was forbidden, and that it would be an "international" incident if I did. I will say that, by and large, the manufacturing lines themselves were very clean and you could see everywhere that there was a lot of clever people engineering the mechanics of the place. On the one hand. On the other, there were places where I could see that spayed-on asbestos crap that people have to wear hazerdous materials (haz-mat) suits to clean up. But no pictures, even though I found the place fascinating. Even the staging area for replacement computers (we were doing a massive upgrade of PCs throughout the plant floor) involved engineered racks with rollers and a queuing system that was obviously designed just for the purpose. It was, after all, a factory. I guess someone saw the PCs as no different than the cars or parts, and treated the staging and prepping as a step in a factory process. Anyway I ramble on. The point is that at least in the US, to my surpirise, a foreign company may be able to operate a buisniess on a piece of land under different legal jurisdiciton of some sort. Stepping into the plant was like crossing an international border. Or that is the impression I got, from my limited perspective. Someone who has some solid info can chime in, but I thought it worth mentioning.

Re:Subsidised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447869)

This is fantastic news for western manufacturing.
Now we just need to start manufacturing the circuit components and the assembly robots which all still come from China...*rimshot

Where is Maggie when you need her? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43446991)

A little domestic worker knee-capping is in order here!

Any way to specifically order a Chinese made? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447015)

I want a working one. [youtube.com]

It's not made by Lucas (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447657)

If it were made by the prince of darkness, I'd agree. In this case, it's made by Sony.

Re:It's not made by Lucas (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about a year and a half ago | (#43449529)

Damn.. now I'm torn... buying rpi now supports the evil technology empire... :-(

While R.Pi is on its way to its 2-millionth (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447031)

I am still trying to get gapless playback out of VLC.

[Never mind VLC -- it's no use.
But I think I've had all major players (pun unintended)
over the past few years -- RB had a memory leak,
Audacious only had the stinking 'horizontal' playlist
display, Amarok was too heavy on a non-KE-user,
etc., etc.]

Re:While R.Pi is on its way to its 2-millionth (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447071)

I am still trying to get gapless playback out of VLC.

Of what?

OMXplayer isn't there yet either (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447677)

OMXplayer isn't there yet either. However, recently, they moved from buffer to FIFO, making it theoretically possible to put new files/streams at the end of the FIFO, in theory never stopping playback. Since OMXplayer is the only player using the hardware accelerated playback of the Pi, I'd say people that actually know how to code should put some effort in it. Either that, or get a capable media player to play nice with the libs for hardware acceleration on the Pi...

which is better? (1)

invictusvoid (2882111) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447041)

Chinese or British ?
--- Mplayer makes making more media players a useless thing to do .. unless of course u are using windoze .. --

Cost (1)

kenh (9056) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447067)

Seems to me the import fees on a completed unit is higher than the total import fees on the individual components.

I'd like to buy one made in USA (or US/Mexico duty-free region along the border), but I probably won't wait...

Re:Cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447145)

Why would you want that?

Save.... (0)

cart_man4524 (623980) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447077)

Save a Tri Lam, eat a Pi

Like to know more (2)

LinuxInDallas (73952) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447083)

I have a couple RPis and they are useful learning tools but there is a lot more information that this group could spread to those to help the community. One of those would be why or how they are now able to move/transition production to the UK from China. It would be a great piece of information for the community to understand how they managed that so that others could benefit and perhaps do the same with their own projects.

In general there must be a whole host of lessons learned that could be shared that would help someone else avoid the pitfalls these guys undoubtedly had to work through. I'm interested in the process in general such as choosing a manufacturer, how they went about going through the regulatory hurdles, etc. All the stuff you would want to know if you wanted to take a hobby project and make money on it.

Re:Like to know more (5, Informative)

Kingston (1256054) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447217)

I think what happened was after the foundation complained that it couldn't find a suitable UK manufacturer [raspberrypi.org] they were approached by someone at the Sony contract manufacturing plant at Pencoed ( near Bridgend ) who had studied the board and calculated they could make it profitably at the foundation's target price.

The Sony plant ( it used to be one of Europe's biggest TV plants ) takes on small production runs for third party designs. They had to introduce a new POP facility to manufacture the Pi there [raspberrypi.org] . There is quite a long article about the factory process here. [raspberrypi.org]

Here is the story about the half a million Welsh Pi [raspberrypi.org] and a summary about move to Wales [itwales.com] .

Made by Sony? (1)

joh (27088) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447485)

That's very interesting, but after reading it up it seems as much like "Made by Sony" as "Made in the UK". Well, it's both of course.

Amazing! (4, Insightful)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447171)

Amazing! You make something available people actually want, and they buy it. No hard push advertising required!

Amazing!...price. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447215)

Raise the price to $300, and then see if any "pushing" is required.

Re:Amazing!...price. (1)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447419)

I'd bet it would be. One of the reasons I want one is the price/capability tradeoff. At $300, it wouldn't be nearly as attractive.

Re:Amazing! (1)

ThePeices (635180) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447423)

Amazing! You make something available people actually want, and they buy it. No hard push advertising required!

This is a novel idea, and should be looked into further.

I wholeheartedly approve of this product and/or service!

You are just joking, right? (0, Troll)

csumpi (2258986) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447931)

"No hard push advertising required!"

So you don't get the at least once a week slashvertisement, the front page el reg articles, and raspberry pi coming from just about every faucet on the internet?

It was not only advertised, but falsely advertised all over the place. An educational tool. All you need is a keyboard, monitor, power supply. Run scratch, learn programming. It's for the good of our children.

What they didn't tell you was that the USB doesn't work with most of keyboards and mice (I tried about 10 keyboards on mine, some worked better than the other, but none perfectly). They didn't tell you that scratch. while it opens, it's so slow that it's unusable. In fact running an Xorg environment on it is so slow, the only way to use it is as a terminal. Remote terminal because keyboards don't work. Oh, wait. Forgot that the ethernet port drops out all the time also. All well known and documented design issues.

Then the "botched" launch. Or so we thought. Where "the servers went down" and "sold out in minutes". It was all a ploy. Like the "product leaks" and those lines around the Apple stores (well, to Apple's credit, at least their hardware works.).

Wonder how much of those broken million devices are actually used instead of gathering dust. While the "foundation" is shamelessly laughing all the way to the bank. For the good of our children. The scam of our lifetime.

Re:You are just joking, right? (3, Insightful)

SB2020 (1814172) | about a year and a half ago | (#43450681)

This is pure misinformation, I have a RPi with an up to date OS and adequate power supply and it works just fine. I have used several keyboards and mice (wired, wireless) and never had a problem with USB.
Ethernet has never dropped out - ever. The only real issues I've had are with SD card corruption when overclocking - taught me a bunch about repairing filesystems, data recovery and importance of backups.
It's currently plugged into my TV running XBMC which it does adequately, it can be a bit sluggish but is still the best source I have for streaming HD content.
I also use it for MAME and the the kids use it to play Minecraft which we've had fun programming in python using the API.
Both me and the kids have learned more about Linux and general computing than we would have done without it, so I'd say they are meeting their goals for education even if 40yr old geeks weren't their intended audience.

If it doesn't meet your needs, buy something more powerful/expensive but I'm pretty sure you may have to put some effort in to configure it for your needs, it doesn't sound like you have the mindset for that. Even my 8 year old now understands that there are limitations to a particular devices capabilities and accepts it rather than being a whiny brat like yourself.

I'm quite happy with mine and intend to buy more for use as printserver for my RepRap, security cameras, greenhouse environmental control etc...

Re:You are just joking, right? (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about a year and a half ago | (#43451543)

"This is pure misinformation"

No, it's not. Just google "raspberry pi ethernet" or "raspberry pi usb".

I've tried about a dozen keyboards on mine, most didn't work, the others randomly repeated keystrokes. This was from $5 nonames to Logitech and Microsoft high end keyboards. I also tried it through powered usb hubs, and I even pulled out the soldering iron and bridged the on board fuse. Which helped some, after that I could use a GE keyboard with key repeats only happening once or twice a minute. But that would still be unusable for programming. The USB issue is just bad engineering. 150ma is not gonna cut it.

You might say I got a bad board. But I doubt it, seeing all the posts about the same issues on the internet. Maybe you got a lucky one.

"buy something more powerful"

I did. I sold my rpi, and got an mk802. It's much faster (actually runs Xorg at decent speed), has a lot more memory, onboard storage and works with all the keyboards/mice the rpi didn't. It also has wifi that doesn't drop out. It's even has a case, and is smaller. And when you add this all up, even cheaper than the rpi.

Oh Liz, arrogant arrogant Liz... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447413)

I remember posting a comment on Raspberry Pi's forums suggesting that they also offered an UK or even EU-built raspi, even if the price was higher than what they charged for the chinese version. In reply to that suggestion I received one of Liz's trademark sarcastic comments, along with insinuations that this suggestion was based on racism. That lead me to decide not to purchase one. Ever.

Now lo and behold: EU-made versions are outselling Chinese ones. Does that mean Raspberry Pi users are packed with racists and bigots?

Re:Oh Liz, arrogant arrogant Liz... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447513)

Link to the post or it never happened

Re:Oh Liz, arrogant arrogant Liz... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447919)

Pssh, if it makes them look bad, they delete it. They delete a lot.

Re:Oh Liz, arrogant arrogant Liz... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447965)

Post in question [raspberrypi.org]

Re:Oh Liz, arrogant arrogant Liz... (5, Informative)

Kingston (1256054) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447555)

I think I found your comment, it makes for a fun contrast. This week Liz Upton Said:

Soon there will be more Made in the UK Pis in the world than their Made in China cousins. This is wonderful news for us; and it’s great news for Welsh manufacturing.

but last year she told you:

The Union Jack emblazoned, UK-only board for angry lunatics^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hpatriots is a charming idea, but it's not remotely realistic.

you told her:

Finally, I'll say only this: if you want to curb the amount of arguments in this forum then you could at least try to tone down the propensity to post passive-agressive and provocative comments. It doesn't look well for a charity dedicated to an educational project to have its PR done by someone who is unable to have a polite and educated conversation. Take care.

So she signed off with:

I've had a better idea. I've removed your posting privileges, along with Sylvain's. My preferred sort of aggression is aggressive-aggression. Take care.

I think we should all take care and put on out tin helmets.

Re:Oh Liz, arrogant arrogant Liz... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447929)

That's exactly it. Kudos on your data archeology skills.

Re:Oh Liz, arrogant arrogant Liz... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43447937)

Well at least she funny when she's being abrasive.

Re:Oh Liz, arrogant arrogant Liz... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43450701)

Funny or a passive-aggressive coward hiding behind the internet?

It reminds me of the 12 year old server admins that bought a server with their Christmas money back in the ol' days of Counter Strike.

Re:Oh Liz, arrogant arrogant Liz... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43449151)

Countless people have been banned by her purely for raising polite and logically written suggestions or questions that she finds "inconvenient". Discussion that isn't compliant with her personal agenda is completely blocked by the woman and her adoring legion of fanbois.

It's an interesting case study, interesting that is as material for a thesis in pathological psychiatry. For anyone else, it's a good reason to stay away.

Re:Oh Liz, arrogant arrogant Liz... (2, Informative)

rephlex (96882) | about a year and a half ago | (#43447805)

Liz can be just so incredibly abrasive sometimes. She once implied I was a lunatic when I complained about the Raspberry Pi's USB issues. How a person like her ends up doing PR is beyond me, although she appears to have done a good job with the media side of things.

Re:Oh Liz, arrogant arrogant Liz... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43448035)

That's Liz Upton, married to Eben Upton, the project founder.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eben_Upton

Re:Oh Liz, arrogant arrogant Liz... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43448167)

So you're implying nepotism is the reason Liz does PR for the Raspberry Pi Foundation? Makes sense.

Re:Oh Liz, arrogant arrogant Liz... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43448707)

No, I'm outright saying she's a fat whore.

Re:Oh Liz, arrogant arrogant Liz... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43450799)

so you turned out to be right after all.give yourself an internal smile and move on.

or as Hans said, "don't get cocky kid".

there's no percentage in telling anyone "I told you so". just take the victory silently and move on to the next one.

Apple shareholders all a little quite. (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year and a half ago | (#43448065)

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 [nytimes.com]

"Why can’t that work come home? Mr. Obama asked.
Mr. Jobs’s reply was unambiguous. “Those jobs aren’t coming back,”"

I think its about time Apple [and the media;shills] stopped making excuses if Sony can manufacture the Rasberry Pi in Wales!?

Try Keeping Up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43448141)

Apple Noted During State of the Union for US Manufacturing Push

When it was announced Monday that Apple CEO Tim Cook would attend U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address as a guest of the First Lady, many predicted that the Cupertino company would find a mention during the night’s events. That prediction came true tonight, as Mr. Obama mentioned Apple during his address, noting that the Cupertino company was planning to move some manufacturing back to the United States.

Cook said: "This year, Apple will start making Macs in America again".

http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/apple-noted-during-state-of-the-union-for-us-manufacturing-push [macobserver.com]

Mac mini Production May Come to the US

After Apple CEO Tim Cook said that production for one Mac model would be coming to the United States, rumors suggesting he was talking about the Mac Pro or iMac surfaced, and now a new report claims the U.S.-bound model is the Mac mini.

http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/apple-noted-during-state-of-the-union-for-us-manufacturing-push [macobserver.com]

Obama and the rest: Stop looking up to Jobs (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year and a half ago | (#43448257)

He was/is part of the problem in another sense. Looking up to
him is as well.

I can hear it now, the answer to the 'problem' raised in the NYT
article: "lower wages, clamp down on workers' rights, in short,
more capitalism".

The only true answer is: less oligarchy, which will enable solidarity
to return, which will empower workers, which will give them back
a sense of ownership of their workplace -- in short: less rampant
capitalism.

How do you arrive at that end? I heard the USA is a democratic
society. How about kicking out the aforementioned oligarchy?
Take your life back into your own hands.

Try Looking At Facts (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43448927)

Firstly, Apple is now moving manufacturing to the US.

Secondly, Steve Jobs said the problem in the US was:
  - NOT the wages, which only increased the cost by a few dollars
  - lacking infrastructure (for JIT mfg)
  - lack of experienced mfg. engineers, in large numbers
  - lack of sufficient numbers of trained staff able to work mfg
  - suppliers (integrated and co-located)

The US education system just doesn't produce the right kind of engineer or skilled workers because it hasn't been in demand. The Chinese have a larger pool of workers of every kind, combined with better infrastructure.

Chinese labour accounts for a tiny proportion of the company's costs: $7.10 for each phone, which accounts for about eight hours of assembly. So what would it cost to make the same iPhone in America? The Cresc team took the average wage in the US electronics industry of $21 per hour and calculated that the total production cost would increase to $337.01. That is a big jump – but it still leaves Apple with a gross margin of 46.5% on each iPhone – a level that Cresc's Sukhdev Johal estimates would probably still make it the most profitable phone in the world.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/apr/23/bad-apple-employ-more-us-workers [guardian.co.uk]

Re:Apple shareholders all a little quite. (1)

Nivag064 (904744) | about a year and a half ago | (#43449839)

Well perhaps the jobs won't go back to the USA, but they might move to Wales! :-)

I think Wales probably has fewer Fundamentalist Christians trying to suppress science than the USA has!

Re:Apple shareholders all a little quite. (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year and a half ago | (#43450487)

You've obviously never been to Wales.

Re:Apple shareholders all a little quite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43450755)

And you've been to China of course.

Re:Apple shareholders all a little quite. (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year and a half ago | (#43450801)

Please learn to follow the conversation and make sense.

reply (-1)

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Re:reply (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43450097)

Something tells me this AC needs to do some market research

One possible downside (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about a year and a half ago | (#43449129)

I'm all for people learning to develop in a Unix environment and working with hardware but how do we keep this from becoming the Javascript/HTML of the hardware world? What I mean is that too many people learn nothing more than Javascript and HTML and call themselves programmers. How do we encourage people to go beyond the basics and not just build everything based on a Raspberry Pi?

Re:One possible downside (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#43450273)

I'm all for people learning to develop in a Unix environment and working with hardware but how do we keep this from becoming the Javascript/HTML of the hardware world? What I mean is that too many people learn nothing more than Javascript and HTML and call themselves programmers. How do we encourage people to go beyond the basics and not just build everything based on a Raspberry Pi?

The R. Pi is just one of many single board computers. It did not create the market. It is not interesting to those like me who have been working with embedded systems prior to its release (except where low cost is more important than power). Unless they offer competitive pricing for even more capable units, then have no fear: Folks will migrate to other platforms when they outgrow the R.Pi. For another $100 you can get a more powerful Linux based single board computer, that's is in stock, and has more features (such as IO rails like the Arduino does). Search "linux single board computer" in your search engine of choice.

Wait... Unless you mean that Linux will become the JavaScript and HTML of the world, in which case I think you should know that all that most JS and HTML is served from Linux boxes... Hmm, you're not seriously putting forth the "No True Scotsman" argument WRT languages are you? I mean, you know one lang, you can pick up another with exponential ease -- JS is horribly inefficient and has crazy 'this' scoping rules, but your concern it's no more valid than if one were to learn only C++, then dare to call themselves a programmer...

Re:One possible downside (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#43450281)

$_ =~ s/hat all t//; # :-P

Re:One possible downside (2)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about a year and a half ago | (#43451977)

No, not Linux. I'm concerned that people will start designing everyday product around an RPi because a) that's what they know how to use and b) it's dirt cheap. As a learning tool, it's pretty cool. My personal embedded development beefs come from a things like Linux SBCs not being designed as an appliance with a real power switch. I don't want to waste time waiting for it to boot nor do I want to have to remember to shut it down gracefully. I also have a problem with manufacturers not telling you exactly the process they used to build their toolchain and distro. Chances are that I want to make a change or two to the kernel or busybox or something.

100% of Raspberry Pi SoCs produced in Asia (2)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | about a year and a half ago | (#43451155)

Apart from the stacked CPU/RAM, the Raspberry PI could be sold as an assemble it yourself kit. All the key components are still produced in Asia, and will be for decades unless Wales wants to invest high-billions in new fabs.

Will the Welsh unit ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#43451533)

... be referred to as the Shepherd's Pi?

Re:Will the Welsh unit ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43452211)

Hehehe. Sheep shaggers!

Flawed, but set a trend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43452061)

Like the first telephone and the first television, Raspberry PI has its flaws. But it started a trend. The desktop PC isn't going away, but it's too much for most people. What's killing PC sales now (along with Win8) is the wave of thumbsticks coming from China, running Android. $79 or less (sure to drop), simple, disposable, take it with you, use it on any screen. Store your data locally, or on any private or public cloud. Use Google's apps, or anybody's. And you can hack/modify it without breaking the law.

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