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Montekuri
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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:26 pm

Before I begin, let me say that I like the Raspberry Pi team work.
This topic is not to say bad words about the foundation or something like this.
And to not involve directly somebody in my statements I will say that I understood somethig at this way, and not that somebody said so.

So, let me start.
I understood that, joining the mailing list, I would receive an email one day (or more) before the launch day.
So I could prepare me to buy before somebody else out the mailing list, or even out of the forum.
What happened: A blog post announcing that would be good news on the blog, to everyone in the world know that (maybe) the launch day and time will be announced.
Somebody could think this fact is not fair.
I could think I was a liar, saying every newcomer to enter in the mailing list to receive the announcement before anybody else in the world.

But, never mind. Everyone always forget who wrote what in the forum.

Let's go to the point two.
I understood that the R-Pi would be sold in the business site (raspberry.com) of the R-Pi foundation.
So I joined that site too. And a lot of people bought some stickers to test the site. (I didn't bought, sorry).

And the site was not used to sell the R-Pi.
(no problems with the stickers, since the money went to the charity).

I will say nothing about Farnell and RS components. They have their own problems.

But I see that the R-Pi delivery will be delayed until may.
If the developers start to test and write documentations in middle may, it will not have time to launch an educational set of the R-Pi on June. Maybe it will be ready on September.

Somebody has some other toughts?
Ah, please… without angry words

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grumpyoldgit
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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:39 pm

They were overrun. 10,000 for sale but response was somewhere between 10 times to 100 times what they had. Their server couldn't cope and neither could the servers of two large international companies. It will all come out in the wash and there is very little point in people getting uptight about it.

I am more concerned about what the reaction will be when people start getting their Pi. Many people have bought this on spec and have absolutely no idea what they are letting themselves in for. There has been massive hype and at some point the bubble will burst.

It will be an interesting few months!

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psergiu
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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:40 pm

Read this first: http://www.raspberrypi.org/arc.....ives/764 

I'm only disapointed in me because i did not remembered for a couple of minutes after 06:00 GMT the URL of the local Farnell site and that i already have an account there. When i remembered, it was too late.

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Montekuri
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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:54 pm

psergiu said:


Read this first: http://www.raspberrypi.org/arc.....ives/764 


I read that. It is written:

Page not found

This is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.

I think it happens when a forum server is changed.

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Burngate
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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:01 pm

Am I (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?
Well I was - but not now!
The email arrived after I'd shut down, so I wasn't aware of anything till after the melt-down.
To say I felt a bit let down by the way the launch was handled is an understatement. So I went into a corner and sulked for a day, and now I feel better.
So we weren't told about what was going to happen until the event? This is the only place I've been told anything about what's going on. They tell us as much as they can - most places tell us as little as possible, to avoid complaints!
So I was unlucky. 10,000 people will get one from the first batch, it's just a different set of people from the set that would have got them if it had been done differently.
Think of an Apple / Sony / whatever launch - there's an orderly queue outside the appropriate shop, they've been camped out with their thermos flasks for a week. Come zero hour, there's an announcement that they're now on sale at Wallmart's down the road instead.
At least it wasn't snowing, and we had the coffee brewing at the side of the keyboard.

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nick.mccloud
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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:01 pm

Montekuri said:


psergiu said:


Read this first: http://www.raspberrypi.org/arc.....ives/764 


I read that. It is written:

Page not found

This is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.

I think it happens when a forum server is changed.





It's what happens when a URL is copied and pasted incorrectly -  there are stray characters at the end. Try

http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/764

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abishur
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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:28 pm

So as I was writing the following response, I realized how harsh it was sounding and wanted to give a disclaimer, I've seen Montekuri a lot on the forums, he's a good guy and means well with his post, I don't want the forthrightness of my post to come off as condescending or attacking, I'm just being forthright because I know Montekuri won't mind the direct facts

Point 1) The words the RPF always used were "You will be given advanced notice on the site, if you want to be sure to get the info then sign up on the mailing list"  This is no way was saying that the people on the mailing list would be notified prior to everyone else.  I can understand your frustration because you interpreted it differently than it was said, but there's a difference between how we interpret something and what is actually promised.  The RPF did not say the mailing list would get first info.  They said the mailing list would ensure you got the information period.  I too would have preferred a more direct post saying "we release at x date by y time", but we all knew the score from the post, I don't think anyone was surprised that that was the message they had to offer.

Point 2) As the above individual noted in their link, we're not receiving the 1st batch any slower using Farnell/RS than we would have using the r-pi store.  There was a glitch on Farnell's end (several actually, but that's neither here nor there), and they got that fixed.  What it *does* mean is that we are receiving the "second" batch both much faster and in a *MUCH* larger quantity than the RPF could have ever hoped to achieve.

So to summarize: Point 1: Misinterpreting Point 2:No delay, faster follow up!
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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:19 pm

I think everyone did the best job they could under the circumstances.  I was a bit disappointed, but as 6AM GMT approached (10PM PST on The Coast) I figured that if I was meant to get one of the first 10K then it would happen, otherwise not.  So when it was obvious that the Newark/element14 and Allied Electronics sites weren't going to take my order, I registered my interest and called it a night.

I am thoroughly delighted that RasPi demand has exceeded all rational expectations and that RasPi has every indication of becoming a movement instead of being added to my orphan computer collection.  I'm old enough to have watched the entire microcomputer revolution take place, and the RasPi launch is one of the most exciting events in this fascinating history that's taking place before our eyes.  As we Bokononists say: busy busy busy.

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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:14 am

So busy, in fact, that I only got three hours' sleep last night, so I'm turning in now.

My take on it: I wish it had gone smoother. I really do. But it didn't because it was *so* much more successful than we'd dared hope for. And the licensing deal means that you'll all get your Raspberry Pi in a couple of months - and also that we'll be able to sell big, big bulk to schools, which is our main target, in time for the start of the academic year (when a number of books will be ready too).

Without the licensing deal we could have ended up like Open Pandora. A business where you're having to deal with things made out of atoms which are really non-trivial to put together in the right order is hard to manage, and unwieldy to get momentum on. We're doing really well on managing and pushing forward with momentum, thanks to Farnell and RS. Spinning up takes time. But with the help of RS and Farnell, it's taking us a period of a very few months, where if we'd done it on our own there was a very real risk it could have taken us years.
Director of Communications, Raspberry Pi

riggsre
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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:25 am

Grumpyoldgit said:


I am more concerned about what the reaction will be when people start getting their Pi. Many people have bought this on spec and have absolutely no idea what they are letting themselves in for. There has been massive hype and at some point the bubble will burst.

It will be an interesting few months!


I don't necessarily agree. I think most of the people who managed to actually get through in the few seconds/minutes before the servers melted are hard-core enthusiasts and have a prety good understanding of what they are getting.

I do agree, however, it will be interesting...

obarthelemy
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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:41 am

Yes, but I think the game only just started.

- I"m quite disappointed with the final price, which is several times the headline figure, at least for individuals buying 1, outside the UK, and buying everything the Pi needs to actually work. That was somewhat anticipated, but distribution costs are way out of line, on top of all the required extras.

-I"m a bit disappointed with the launch-day ringmarole and the delays for the rest of us, though having played the "get a $100 Touchpad" game, I knew what to expect and didn"t even try this time.

- More importantly, the hardware is only the smallest part of the equation:  perfectly fine computers can be had right now for less than a "complete" Pi (second-hand laptops, even some new tablets…). Software, documentation and support (assuming the Foundation doesn"t intend to provide services such as on-line storage, custom-built SDs…) are what can make the Pi worth it, if regular Joe Teachers, parents, and kids can more easily progress with the Pi than with alternatives.

pvgb
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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:08 am

Realistically, I never expected to get a Pi from the first tranche - the amount of interest and excitement meant that the release of the first batch would be a feeding frenzy of the first order. It won't stop me from getting board(s) in the future. (or at least trying)

When I saw the rather cryptic "get an alarm clock" message I guessed it would be release, and you know, I left my alarm right where it usually is and heard the story unfold on Radio 4 about 7:40.

I teach web server stress testing, and this is just another example of the slashdot effect. A fairly spectacular one, but somewhere in the world a server will be swamped right now. It is rare for anybody to understand that sometimes, no matter how much resource you have, it isn't going to be enough. Think of it as a sort of traffic tsunami.

That this site was replaced with the static site for a couple of days showed rare insight. Hey, if they didn't have some insight, then they wouldn't have started the whole thing off in the first place!

I remember the launch of the Spectrum - I didn't get one of the first batch, and I had to wait. I paid up front for that. The face value of a Spectrum then was GBP200 - about ten times the face value of a PI now - allowing for inflation about a hundred times more !

The launch for the BBC computer ? Not smooth, and the waiting times, especially for the model B caused a bit of a stir in the computing press at the time.

As far as I am concerned, that the project has got this far is a tremendous achievement.

Now that we have the platform ( or at least on the waiting list for the platform ... ) we have to build on it and get people coding again

That some people are unhappy/feel betrayed is unfortunate. With hindsight, some people would have benefited from more expectation management,  but that is easy to say now.

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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:09 am

obarthelemy said:


having played the "get a $100 Touchpad" game, I knew what to expect and didn"t even try this time.


I did that - makes a great Skype Phone and will indeed a great terminal two for my raspi

I am really looking forward this juggernaut really rolling as raspi's make it into the wild and pop up in all sorts of bonkers users
Steve N – binatone mk4->intellivision->zx81->spectrum->cbm64->cpc6128->520stfm->pc->raspi ?

error404
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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:46 am

Yes. It was handled poorly. The foundation really should have paid more heed to common sense and the various warnings about trying to launch to interest in the 100,000s like this. Add advance warning of the exact time to be waiting at the PC and problem is just compounded. It was pretty silly to expect any retailer to handle that without months of prep and testing, or someone on the likes of Google or Amazon.

But anyway, I wasn't realistically expecting to get one anyway, so I was mostly just disappointed in how much of people's time and effort was wasted trying to figure out what to do, trying to get pages to load and whatnot. It could have gone much smoother if they just did something to spread the load out over a few days instead of having everyone go out of their way to crash servers all at once.

As far as where we're at today, I'm still a little disasppointed in the shipping cost. From early indications I was expecting it to be shipped basically at-cost via the postal network at a cost of a few dollars. It's now going to cost me $12 just for shipping, and as I don't often (ever?) patronize Newark, I think I'm now going to hold out until the supply line settles down and see if a better option presents itself. Can't be an early adopter; will wait until they're readily available.

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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:46 am

error404 said:


Yes. It was handled poorly. The foundation really should have paid more heed to common sense and the various warnings about trying to launch to interest in the 100,000s like this. Add advance warning of the exact time to be waiting at the PC and problem is just compounded. It was pretty silly to expect any retailer to handle that without months of prep and testing, or someone on the likes of Google or Amazon.



The RPF should have invested to purchase more?  And with what should they have done that with?  They already offered up their homes as collateral here.  Should they have sold their cars, furniture, TV, or other personal affects?  Where is that sort of start up capital supposed to come from?  You're talking about an investment 10 times the amount they were able to come up with from putting their homes on the line.  From the tweets Liz gave about "we can't give any details on shipping as it's being worked out" for the past... at least 2 months, it's pretty obvious this Farnell/RS deal was in the work for quite a while and was not thrown together at the last minute.  Furthermore, these are some yuppie suppliers, they're two of the biggest distributors in the UK, it's just a little difficult to handle 700 requests a second (and that's the number of people who were actually able to get through to express interest, that's not counting the other people who were constantly crashing the site)


As far as where we're at today, I'm still a little disasppointed in the shipping cost. From early indications I was expecting it to be shipped basically at-cost via the postal network at a cost of a few dollars. It's now going to cost me $12 just for shipping, and as I don't often (ever?) patronize Newark, I think I'm now going to hold out until the supply line settles down and see if a better option presents itself. Can't be an early adopter; will wait until they're readily available.


I actually just put my order in with Element14 (Farnell) today (Got fed up waiting for RS to open up their doors).  It was a straight $35 for the board, a couple dollars for taxes, and 3.46 for shipping via USPS.  Maybe people aren't searching around for the best deal on shipping.  Goodness knows I spent about 5 minutes exploring my options (They really should make it so you can instantly see shipping cost instead of having to get all the way to the end to see the total.
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error404
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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:12 am

Abishur said:


The RPF should have invested to purchase more?


Huh? I never suggested they should have built more units. They should have held a lottery for the first 10,000 units once it was clear that demand outstripped supply by an order of magnitude or more rather than dumping 100,000s of users at exactly the same time on a storefront. Or used any other scheme that didn't encourage or demand that users clump themselves all at once in time. It destined to fail this way, which could have been avoided by spreading the users out and dealing with them in aggregate some time later to decide the winners, rather than making it imperative for them all to come at once, and worse – warning them exactly when.

I am well aware of the size of Farnell and RS, which is why I mentioned Google and Amazon. Farnell and RS are not on that scale, they're not even in the same universe as far as web presence. Combine that with the poor organization of not having a dedicated landing page with minimal dynamic content and instead directing people to search for the product and you've got a recipe for disaster.

I don't have a problem with the arrangement itself (shipping concern notwithstanding), but a little organization and a little less 'Ooh exciting we're ready! Let's drop a nuclear bomb on our suppliers instead of trying to get our buyers neatly in order first' would have saved a lot of grief on everyone's part. But the grief is bought and paid for now, so it doesn't matter.


I actually just put my order in with Element14 (Farnell) today (Got fed up waiting for RS to open up their doors).  It was a straight $35 for the board, a couple dollars for taxes, and 3.46 for shipping via USPS.  Maybe people aren't searching around for the best deal on shipping.  Goodness knows I spent about 5 minutes exploring my options (They really should make it so you can instantly see shipping cost instead of having to get all the way to the end to see the total.


Newark only ships UPS to Canada, at a flat cost of $12/order. Allied I've never dealt with before and given their response on release day I'm not even going to bother trying for a bit. But yeah, USPS or Royal Mail or Canada Post or whatever would be what I'm looking for.

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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:01 am

@error, my bad the first paragraph seemed to leaning towards "they should have anticipated this demand by making more" (they're getting a lot of that so it tainted how I read your first paragraph) I can see what you're saying now that you've clarified.  I've liked the idea of a lotto but realistically there's just too much about it to be a viable idea.  Which list do you work off of?  The mailing list? Twitter feed, a special sign up for lotto list?  All possible, but extremely easy to cheat, I have no less than 5 unique IP addresses that I can easily use with unique addresses to cheat a lotto system.  Or maybe using a raffle to do the lotto?  That's unfavorably biased towards the rich.

Any other scheme is inevitably biased or infeasible due to the lack of administrative overhead, though it was hardly dropping a bomb on the resalers.  They were given advanced notice and warning, but frankly the level of interest topped even the data on hand from mailing lists, twitter feeds and forum combined.  Liz herself was on this thread explaining that the issue at hand wasn't that there were 125K interested, it was 700 people per second on just one of the sites and that was the people that could get through, the rest of us who wanted to express interest on that site were stuck seeing a connection error screen!

I mean these are seasoned business pros, it wasn't happenstance or naivete that led them to pick their sales method it was a calm and rational look at the options open to them based on the amount of administrative overhead available.  With only a bunch of people dedicating their free time, that regrettably did not lend itself to a host of solutions.

Weird that you only get UPS (and 12 dollars to boot, ouch!) I know that there are some pricing issues being worked on by the distributors, hopefully this one is high on their list of issues to resolve.

@Vindicator My apologies for deleting your post.  While it's certainly possible that the admin mentioned was out of line (we all have our off days) if your previous post was any indication of the tone of the post you got busted for, I'm not surprised he thought you were trolling.

There's been a lot of *very* high tension going on since about 1% of the people who want want actually were able to order one, and even those people are being riddled with issues.  So we've kept these venting threads open to get your frustrations out and make sure the RPF is aware of any on going issues that need to be addressed.  But we do draw the line at some point and attacking the RPF or the admins.  While we will make boneheaded decisions from time to time, complaining about it in a thread is not the solution.

Speaking of boneheaded ideas, I'm both going to leave this thread open and remove myself from it.  I've spoken my piece and as I said, sometimes you just need to vent a little.  Just keep it respectful and do try to remember the big picture here.  The level of interest that we've been told about (which is just from one site) seems to be a hundred times greater than the number of people on the mailing list.  If it had been double or triple or even 5 times greater, I'd say there was a lack of common sense planning.  But to have a hundred fold increase?  That's a humbling and inspiring thing and it's just not something you plan for since its so unprecedented.
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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:40 am

The Lotto idea would have been a real no winner tactic in my thinking just because of what Abishur said, what lists S do you choose from as for tone I have always been a direct person if you want it sugar coated I am not that person.

I may discuss the attack side of this in a pm one of these days with you LOL.

Ive been deleted D?MN hard to vent if you get deleted.
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Jim Brown
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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:42 am

Christ. Stop the whinging folks. Its just a computer, not a replacement vital organ!

error404
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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:52 am

Abishur said:


The mailing list? Twitter feed, a special sign up for lotto list?  All possible, but extremely easy to cheat, I have no less than 5 unique IP addresses that I can easily use with unique addresses to cheat a lotto system.  Or maybe using a raffle to do the lotto?  That's unfavorably biased towards the rich.


I think it would have been reasonable to just quietly announce 'Raspberry Pis are here! We're going to do a lottery for them! Sign up before 2012-xx-xx here:' and collect information. It could be gamed, but it should be easy to cull all but the most dedicated. You could mitigate it a bit, and bias it towards the long-waiters by giving those on the various mailing lists precedence in the lottery or such. If you took it all the way to collecting billing information it should be easy to cull most duplicate orders.

Alternatively you could just do a 'pre order lottery' where you'd take orders for x days, and after that time, close the ordering and fulfill what you got in random order. Pretty easy and fair.

Anyway, the main point was just to do something to spread the load around and reduce the 'everyone at once' effect, which honestly would bring down almost any online retailer that didn't specifically plan for the event in advance (which clearly these two did not), and would have at 'mailing list' levels too. There are of course other options, but spreading the load out is the simplest, cheapest, and least likely to fail. Dumping those users on a web store that really doesn't handle huge volumes of transactions with vague instructions is about the worst choice possible.


it was 700 people per second on just one of the sites and that was the people that could get through, the rest of us who wanted to express interest on that site were stuck seeing a connection error screen!


Right, which is totally expected given the way the launch was done. Saying 'oh we had too much load' when the way you launched was pretty much engineered to generate that kind of load is pretty disingenuous.


With only a bunch of people dedicating their free time, that regrettably did not lend itself to a host of solutions.


Yeah, I heard this deal was put together relatively last minute as well, and with the launch 'delays' already I can see how it got to the point where they just decided to get the thing out the door. Still don't think anyone should have been surprised (except the poor sysadmins at Farnell and RS, mind you) though.

Anyway, I agree. There's really little point in discussing the way it was handled. It's done, the first boards are spoken for. I'm actually pretty impressed how quickly Farnell got its site back on its feet. I'm sure their load was still many times normal for the rest of the day, and a few hours after the *ahem* event, they were responding pretty well. Those poor guys that got paged at 6:01 though, gotta feel for them, what a terrible way to wake up . Done that - but definitely haven't been there.

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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:09 am

LOL @ Jim Brown could have been culled as he does not think a computer is a vital organ he should see my son CJ on his cell phone as he would highly disagree with you.( As would most American youths under 25)

I have volunteered to implant it for him many times. ( no details to follow as to how I was going to implant it just use your imagination)
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Chris.Rowland
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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:55 am

A lottery would not have helped.  There would have been the same number of disappointed people whining that it wasn't fair.

All I can suggest to the whiners is grow up. Learn to cope with a little disappointment in your life.  And stop venting your spleen on the 13,000 members of this group. We are not your therapist.

error404
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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:51 am

Chris Rowland said:


A lottery would not have helped.  There would have been the same number of disappointed people whining that it wasn't fair.


I have seen almost nobody whining about how it 'wasn't fair'. I certainly am not, I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring, but it was very clear the odds of getting one were pretty low and I've never had a problem with that. The point of a lottery isn't to be more fair, it's to spread the massive load over time so servers don't crumble in seconds leaving confused and annoyed people that stayed up late / got up early to waste an hour at their computer trying to figure out if the thing is sold out, or if the servers went down before that happened - or if the thing is even for sale at all.

Instead they can notice at their leisure that a lottery is on, enter at their leisure, and wait at their leisure for a place to pay or find out they didn't 'win'. No massive load spike, so servers stay up - or at least load comes up more slowly giving admins a chance to cope. Relatively painless, as opposed to frustrating and confusing.

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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:15 am

I am also not disappointed of not getting a R-Pi from the first batch. I never expected that.

I was just expecting that mail informing the launch day. I just wanted to know before all the world

This was just one misunderstood of what was stated on the R-Pi page. And just a selfish desire to know before everyone else.

But, a lot of people was saying (before launch) that the Selling Page was going to melt in the launch day. And, this did happen.

The vision of the R-Pi success was taken very conservative by the R-Pi Foundation.

Maybe, I would be too. The fire in the forum could be just a fire on dry straw (burn fast and very intense, but goes away very fast too).

But, I am very skeptical about Farnell and RS components. If they can produce a big batch (>50,000 units) and test it and sell it before june.

alvin
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Re: Are you (forum veteran) disappointed with the r-pi launch?

Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:21 am

long time lurker, new member here..  really disappointed as i thought there were already stocks on hand prior to launch as this was what i've understood.  oh well, it seems that it's a misunderstanding on my part as well.

congrats anyway.  dont know when raspi will appear here in NZ.

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