TECH
04/13/2012 01:13 pm ET

Raspberry Pi Release: Model B Units Finally Shipping This Week

Those lucky few who were able to order a Raspberry Pi before the mini-computer sold out the day of its February 29 launch will finally be receiving their $35 credit card-sized, Linux-based PC this coming week.

One of Raspberry Pi's distributors, RS Components, announced on April 12 that it had taken its first delivery of a Raspberry Pi shipment.

In addition, a spokesperson for Premier Farnell, the other of Raspberry Pi's distributors, told the BBC that it will be receiving a "large batch of machines" on April 13 and will be sending them out to customers later in the day; they should expect their devices within seven days of them being sent.

Unfortunately, everyone else who wants to order one will have to wait. Those who had registered their interest in the device on RS Components' website following its sell-out on February 29 will receive an invitation to place an order for the Raspberry Pi in order of when they registered, according to a press release; however, RS Components also noted that it would only be inviting orders when delivery of a Raspberry Pi can be guaranteed and that the one-per-customer rule still remains. It's unclear whether or not Premier Farnell is following the same procedure, though customers are still able to register their interest on the company's website.

Shipment of these $35 Model B Raspberry Pis -- which can plug into a TV and keyboard and come equipped with 256 MB RAM, 2 USB ports, and an Ethernet port -- has experienced quite a few delays in the past several weeks. Ars Technica reported last month that the Raspberry Pi's manufacturer used Ethernet jacks without integrated magnetics, or "built-in transformers that provide DC-isolation and help filter noise," so they had to be removed and replaced. Previously, the Raspberry Pi had suffered from a more minor problem with its manufacturer, who, according to Ars, "had difficulty sourcing a component."

More recently, shipment was delayed because, according to a March 29 ZDNet report, Raspberry Pi's distributors refused to sell the device until it received "the Conformité Européenne (CE) mark, which consumer products sold in the European Economic Area need to bear."

The Raspberry Pi Foundation -- the UK charity who developed the cheap mini-computer in order to inspire kids to program -- finally announced on April 6 that the device had passed EMC testing and would be ready for delivery. In addition, the Raspberry Pi complies with regulations in the US, Australia, and Canada.

Now, nearly six years after the device's inception, the tiny Raspberry Pi will soon be reaching the hands of thousands of people everywhere. Even Eben Upton, executive director of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, was surprised by its success so far. He told The Huffington Post UK:

We're staggered by the level of demand for the Raspberry Pi. Even as recently as Christmas, we were expecting to maybe sell a few tens of thousands over the lifetime of the product, which lead us to build a fairly small initial run. Our partners are working hard to manufacture and distribute more units, with the next batch expected to arrive in the UK within the next couple of weeks.

Are you psyched to get your hands on this mini-computer? Let us know in the comments! And if you'd like to register your interest in the Raspberry Pi, you can visit Premier Farnell's site, RS Electronics' site or the site of RS Electronics' partner, Allied Electronics.

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