Widespread interest in the Raspberry Pi, a tiny but complete Linux computer that can be bought for as little as US$25, caught the device's designers completely off guard, Reuters reported this week.
The news that a first production run of 10,000 sold out in less than a day, Eben Upton said, left the Raspberry Pi Foundation "punch-drunk" over the degree to which their expectations had been outstripped.
Eben Upton, one of the group's six founders, told the news agency that the initial plan had been to make 100 or so of the devices and hand them out to Cambridge University students as a teaching aid.
Both of the Raspberry Pi Foundation's hardware partners, Element 14 and RS Components, recently clarified their respective pricing structures, after some confusion among international buyers. RS opted to switch to a single global cost for all orders in response, while Element 14 provided a chart of converted prices, including taxes and shipping, in local currencies.
The foundation has been forthright about its intent to maintain the $25 ($35 for a model with an extra USB port and an Ethernet connection) price point, saying that this is integral to its educational mission.
Indeed, the reaction to the Raspberry Pi has been huge and varied, with ZDNet blogger Jake Rayson calling the device "the Linux punk ethic" and praising the opportunity for hands-on programming experience it provides. Wired.com writer Roy Wood highlighted that the Raspberry Pi was briefly more popular than Lady Gaga, according to Google Trends.
Even a production hiccup caused by an accidental substitution of the wrong kind of Ethernet port and a minor delay in support for an updated version of Fedora couldn't dampen enthusiasm for the Raspberry Pi.