jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 24693
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:06 am

If you look back over the B+ prices over the last few weeks, you will notice that a lot of people have been selling them at a discount....I expect this to continue. After all, the B+ still does what a B+ does and is still a useful bit of kit, even better at a lower price.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
“I own the world’s worst thesaurus. Not only is it awful, it’s awful."

EtonMess
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:32 pm

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:08 am

SteveDee wrote:I know the Foundation is a charity, but to say the product is cheap is incorrect. What is considered cheap to someone like me, living in the sunny half of England, may not be considered cheap to a student or enthusiast living in Arusha or Pune. And what if someone had placed an order for 10 units, is that still cheap?
Cheap being a relative notion. If product A normally costs X amount and product B has much of the capability of product A but costs X - 50% then product B is cheap by comparison regardless of where you are in the world and your income.
.G6FIR

User avatar
SteveDee
Posts: 343
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:18 pm
Location: Sunny Southern England
Contact: Website

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:13 am

nobbit wrote:...Did you just buy a B+ and are now annoyed that you could have got more power for the same buck had you waited a week? Well, tbh you could have gotten more power for the same buck a week ago too, if you turned to a competitor. You had a reason for choosing Raspberry Pi then, and I'm pretty sure you wouldn't have bought the B+ if its specs couldn't live up to what you had in mind...
I don't know if this is aimed at me, but I'll answer it anyway.

I haven't just bought a B+. I have 9 Pi boards, 5 of which are A/A+ (I like the A+ but could do with a bit more poke, so please advise ahead of time if you plan to add more RAM before the end of March).

I don't own an Odroid, a Banana Pi or an Arduino. I'm not a brand-bunny, its just that I'm so thick it takes all my spare time to get even a basic grasp of Linux and the RaspberryPi.

9 is an ugly number, so I'm going to get a Pi 2 just to round it up to a perfect 10.

gmc
Posts: 123
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:31 am
Location: Cheshire, UK
Contact: Website

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:18 am

That Pi2 is going to get lonely with all the other A models. Better get 2 x Pi2's :)

User avatar
SteveDee
Posts: 343
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:18 pm
Location: Sunny Southern England
Contact: Website

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:25 am

EtonMess wrote:
SteveDee wrote:...Cheap being a relative notion....
No way!

For the majority of poor people living in (say) India, $35 would not be considered "cheap".

If you earn £15/hour then a model A+ represents about an hour of your time. If you earn $1/day then you probably have better use for your money than blowing 2 weeks wages on a Pi.

User avatar
SteveDee
Posts: 343
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:18 pm
Location: Sunny Southern England
Contact: Website

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:30 am

gmc wrote:That Pi2 is going to get lonely with all the other A models. Better get 2 x Pi2's :)
Wait! ...11 is an odd number. Need to round it up to a dozen. Can I have one Pi 2 B+ and two Pi 2 A+ ?

EtonMess
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:32 pm

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:53 am

SteveDee wrote:
EtonMess wrote:
SteveDee wrote:...Cheap being a relative notion....
No way!

For the majority of poor people living in (say) India, $35 would not be considered "cheap".

If you earn £15/hour then a model A+ represents about an hour of your time. If you earn $1/day then you probably have better use for your money than blowing 2 weeks wages on a Pi.
I was using the word correctly in a relative context but it's a semantic discussion and not really something on topic for this thread. But it's not so simple as one correct answer. I'll agree to disagree and leave the discussion to the "Element of Surprise" subject.
.G6FIR

nobbit
Posts: 121
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 5:51 pm

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:28 pm

SteveDee wrote:
nobbit wrote:...Did you just buy a B+ and are now annoyed that you could have got more power for the same buck had you waited a week? Well, tbh you could have gotten more power for the same buck a week ago too, if you turned to a competitor. You had a reason for choosing Raspberry Pi then, and I'm pretty sure you wouldn't have bought the B+ if its specs couldn't live up to what you had in mind...
I don't know if this is aimed at me, but I'll answer it anyway.
Not aimed at anyone in particular, but good answer :)

User avatar
blachanc
Posts: 459
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:03 am
Location: Quebec,canada(french)

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:46 pm

You can also add another angle to this speculation thread:

"missed Christmas window"

If the PI2 had been announced in Nov 2014, a lot of non-PI Dec/2014 Christmas gifts would have been PI2 related gifts instead. IMHO Way more PI2 would have been sold than the total of B+ sold during NOV/DEC 2014.

I know that I fall in that category (got my kid a heavy bag instead, as he already have a PI B+ ;) )

This is why I am really not convinced that a Feb launch was planned ahead. The Foundation might just have missed the "Christmas window".
I do not question the secrecy/surprise method used. If you work in consumer electronic, you know these are the rules of the game.

Ben
Autism/Asperger syndrome: what is your score on this quiz?
http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=70191

User avatar
DougieLawson
Posts: 36907
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:19 pm
Location: Basingstoke, UK
Contact: Website Twitter

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:06 pm

blachanc wrote:
If the PI2 had been announced in Nov 2014, a lot of non-PI Dec/2014 Christmas gifts would have been PI2 related gifts instead. IMHO Way more PI2 would have been sold than the total of B+ sold during NOV/DEC 2014.
That would have been a suicidal option for the Foundation. It was bad enough over Xmas with well tested hardware (from July 14th) and a well tested version of Raspbian and they nearly messed it up with the 24/12/2014 release of the new GUI.

Launching new untested kernel, device tree and new hardware just before Xmas would have been a total disaster.

The bugs haven't started appearing, because it's only the leading edge crazies who have jumped on the RPi2 bandwagon this week (and some of us are still waiting for delivery), we'll kick out the bugs and by Easter it will be stable.
Note: Having anything humorous in your signature is completely banned on this forum. Wear a tin-foil hat and you'll get a ban.

Any DMs sent on Twitter will be answered next month.

This is a doctor free zone.

User avatar
pluggy
Posts: 3635
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 3:52 pm
Location: Barnoldswick, Lancashire,UK
Contact: Website

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:19 pm

Replaced a B+ I burnt out last week, I ordered a Pi 2 on Monday, If I'd have known I wouldn't have bothered with the B+, but 20 odd quid won't kill me. Life is too short to fret over 'what ifs'. Business is business even if the foundation is a charity.
Don't judge Linux by the Pi.......
I must not tread on too many sacred cows......

User avatar
blachanc
Posts: 459
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:03 am
Location: Quebec,canada(french)

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:35 pm

DougieLawson wrote: It was bad enough over Xmas with well tested hardware (from July 14th) and a well tested version of Raspbian and they nearly messed it up with the 24/12/2014 release of the new GUI.

Launching new untested kernel, device tree and new hardware just before Xmas would have been a total disaster.
From a support perspective, I agree with you.
Not sure the $$ perspective matches your vision. ;)

So many gaming consoles were launched for Christmas bugged initially (even at the hardware level).

But I agree that the device you put on the market has to be more or less usable.
which seems to be the case (an understatement) with the PI2, as I have been drooling watching some videos while waiting for mine.

And of course, my comments only apply to the consumer market segment . it is a totally different story for schools or OEM.


Ben
Last edited by blachanc on Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Autism/Asperger syndrome: what is your score on this quiz?
http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=70191

User avatar
aTao
Posts: 1087
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:41 am
Location: Howlin Eigg

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:37 pm

jamesh wrote:It's always difficult - at some point, someone suffers whatever you do. Some people are left with stock, or customers feel disappointed, or the Foundation takes a monetary hit. I'm not sure there is any happy medium, and neither are the Foundation - speaking to the boss one Monday evening and we were talking about exactly this conundrum and how there really wasn't anything that could be done about it.
Aha, but there is...
Image
>)))'><'(((<

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 24693
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:30 pm

There was no missing Xmas sales - I knew the release was first quarter 2015 about 6 months ago (Yes, we had to be very quiet about it).Date has varied by a week or two backwards and forwards in that time, but was never pre-Xmas.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
“I own the world’s worst thesaurus. Not only is it awful, it’s awful."

User avatar
DougieLawson
Posts: 36907
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:19 pm
Location: Basingstoke, UK
Contact: Website Twitter

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:39 pm

jamesh wrote:There was no missing Xmas sales - I knew the release was first quarter 2015 about 6 months ago (Yes, we had to be very quiet about it).Date has varied by a week or two backwards and forwards in that time, but was never pre-Xmas.
Probably for the exact reasons I cited earlier.

My PI2 arrived, I picked a random microSD card (off the pile of re-usables) and after a copy of /boot and /lib/modules from a current card got that booted about an hour ago. Turns out that card hadn't been booted since 11th April 2014 (it's running apt-get update && apt-get upgrade). So that was a bit of a surprise.

The plan is to replace my Viglen MPC-L server on 1st March.
Note: Having anything humorous in your signature is completely banned on this forum. Wear a tin-foil hat and you'll get a ban.

Any DMs sent on Twitter will be answered next month.

This is a doctor free zone.

User avatar
blachanc
Posts: 459
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:03 am
Location: Quebec,canada(french)

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:46 pm

jamesh wrote:There was no missing Xmas sales - I knew the release was first quarter 2015 about 6 months ago (Yes, we had to be very quiet about it).Date has varied by a week or two backwards and forwards in that time, but was never pre-Xmas.
I stand corrected ;)

Thanks for sharing this.

Ben
Autism/Asperger syndrome: what is your score on this quiz?
http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=70191

W. H. Heydt
Posts: 11296
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:51 pm

nobbit wrote:The computer world has always moved fast; whatever you buy today is outdated by next week. Sure, this was a big and sudden step, but there's really no reason to be disappointed.
I have a cut plastic badge that I wear from time to time. It says:
Moore's Law
Any computer you can buy is obsolete.

It applies here, in spades. The original Pi was laughably obsolete when you could first buy it. but that didn't stop it from being *useful*. The same is true of the Pi2B. Eben has been stating that it is an acceptable "entry level" computer. I think he's right. I used to call the technique of buying "so old, it's about to disappear, so it's very cheap" computers and "trailing edge technology". That's the space the Pis occupy (and so do the other cheap SBCs...because that's how you make cheap).

I think I need to get the badge out for the next Silicon Valley Jam, coming up in 2.5 weeks. I may wear it for Pi Day as well.
Did you just buy a B+ and are now annoyed that you could have got more power for the same buck had you waited a week?
Exactly.

I'd been sort of thinking about upgrading one application that uses 5 Pis at a time to B+ models, mostly for the improved power handling (and the ability to hotplug USB). Now I'm planning to go to Pi2Bs. On the other hand, if I found a bunch of B+ at a good price, they are perfectly able to do the job...

User avatar
pluggy
Posts: 3635
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 3:52 pm
Location: Barnoldswick, Lancashire,UK
Contact: Website

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:20 pm

DougieLawson wrote: The plan is to replace my Viglen MPC-L server on 1st March.
I replaced mine years ago, the original Pi would outrun that old crock by a fair margin. Hideous lump of junk.
Don't judge Linux by the Pi.......
I must not tread on too many sacred cows......

Shrek
Posts: 51
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:00 pm

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:09 pm

For what it matters, I got a pair of PI's two years ago, and only now I've got around to start having fun with it. I would not even bother to buy the RPI 2 yet :)

Check my endeavour at http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewt ... 63&t=96321

Heater
Posts: 14297
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:13 pm

W. H. Heydt,
The original Pi was laughably obsolete when you could first buy it.
I have heard this opinion expressed many times and I'm really wondering what it's supposed to mean.

For a year or two prior to the launch of the Pi I was keeping an eye out for small, cheap and capable ARM boards to replace big, expensive industrial PC boxes. After all, phones are cheap, ARMs are cheap, why not cheap embedded boards using an ARM?

A little bit before the Pi launch one of the cheapest and best options you could get was a IGEP board from ISEE.
https://www.isee.biz/products/igep-proc ... pv2-dm3730. Very nice but it set you back nearly 200 euro. Still a lot cheaper than those industrial PC's we were using.

Then comes the Pi. What? A board that can do all we want for 35 dollars? Amazing!

So, yes, maybe the processor was a bit old. So what? It was the cheapest kid on the block that could all the work we needed for nearly a tenth of the cost.

The Pi was revolutionary in that respect. Certainly not "laughably obsolete". So revolutionary in fact that it has inspired many followers since.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

User avatar
PeterO
Posts: 5358
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:26 pm

Heater wrote: I have heard this opinion expressed many times and I'm really wondering what it's supposed to mean.
To sell 4.5E6 of an obsolete item is a pretty clever trick ! Or maybe the assertion was wrong !
PeterO
Discoverer of the PI2 XENON DEATH FLASH!
Interests: C,Python,PIC,Electronics,Ham Radio (G0DZB),1960s British Computers.
"The primary requirement (as we've always seen in your examples) is that the code is readable. " Dougie Lawson

Heater
Posts: 14297
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:39 pm

Well, if somebody is still making the device and you can still buy it is not "obsolete" now is it.

And yes, meeting 4.5E6 worth of pent up demand and providing people with what they want is a very clever trick.

My hat is off to the Raspberry Pi Foundation for pulling off that clever trick when others could not.

I have to restate what I said. A board with the capabilities of the Pi was not available at anywhere near the price at the time of the Pi launch. Even now you will be hard pressed to match it. So what if there are newer faster SoCs out there? No matter what you do that will always be so.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

W. H. Heydt
Posts: 11296
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:53 pm

Heater wrote:W. H. Heydt,
The original Pi was laughably obsolete when you could first buy it.
I have heard this opinion expressed many times and I'm really wondering what it's supposed to mean.

For a year or two prior to the launch of the Pi I was keeping an eye out for small, cheap and capable ARM boards to replace big, expensive industrial PC boxes. After all, phones are cheap, ARMs are cheap, why not cheap embedded boards using an ARM?

A little bit before the Pi launch one of the cheapest and best options you could get was a IGEP board from ISEE.
https://www.isee.biz/products/igep-proc ... pv2-dm3730. Very nice but it set you back nearly 200 euro. Still a lot cheaper than those industrial PC's we were using.

Then comes the Pi. What? A board that can do all we want for 35 dollars? Amazing!

So, yes, maybe the processor was a bit old. So what? It was the cheapest kid on the block that could all the work we needed for nearly a tenth of the cost.

The Pi was revolutionary in that respect. Certainly not "laughably obsolete". So revolutionary in fact that it has inspired many followers since.
"Laughably obsolete" is not the same thing as "useless." There are tasks for which a 300MHz Pentium would work just fine, and that's the speed that is usually quoted as the 2835 functional equivalent.

The *price* of the Pi is a big part of what makes it revolutionary. The Beaglebone that was around before the Pi launched was $90. The "upgraded" BBB was $45 (and the current version is $55...and we'll get to see how long *that* price lasts). The Cubieboard-1 hit the market at $50 (Cortex-A8 at 1GHz). The first board I've seen that matches the Pi on price and beats it on raw specs is the Odroid-C1 (quad-core A5) and that comes after the abortive attempt to copy the Pi with the Odroid-W.

The RPF has reduced the price of SBCs for the educational and hobbyist market. The RPF has also shown that sold, well-wrking OSes are a *required* part of selling an SBC into these markets. The Pi2B has now made performance at this price point an issue. It is going to be extremely interesting to see how the other board makers respond, and to see if they *can* respond.

Are there features I'd like to see on a future board? Certainly. If there is a "must have" feature that the Pi lacks, I'll buy a board that has it, even though I'd prefer to have a Pi with that feature. If the RPF then comes out with a board that has the feature I'm looking for, I will--in all likelihood--switch to the Pi that has it. At this price point, the boards are consumables.

Some people have talked of wanting a Pi2A. I have mixed feelings about that. I think one will happen, but it'll take a while for two reasons--neither of which are exactly the one that has been given--the first being that the engineering work has to be done to develop it. The second is that, with the surge of sales from the Pi2B (150K in two days, and that limited by the initial stock) it's going to take a while for the factory to meet demand...for the Pi2B, for the B+, for the A+, etc. If the RPF announced a Pi2A tomorrow, you wouldn't be able to buy one for weeks or months simply because the factory capacity isn't there to make them. It's be the original Model A ordering problem all over again...and writ larger.

Then there is this... The major use of the A+ is probably robotics and other battery powered projects. A Pi2A is going to require more current, making it *less* desirable in these applications. There will be some where the increased compute power and memory is essential, and those applications will want to use a P2A. Applications that are more power sensitive and can live with a less capable CPU will stick with the A+. Indeed, I think this makes a better argument for continuing to produce the A+ than a corresponding one to continue making the B+, though the B+ will certainly be useful as a development tool for applications where the final device uses an A+.

And finally... After the RPF engineers catch their breath and catch up on sleep, I'd bet that the RPF will start looking around to see what could potentially be used to make a Pi3B. I don't expect to see one for 2 to 5 years, but the search starts as soon as the relevant folks come up for air. Since this isn't a "wish list thread", I won't say what new or revised features I'd like to see, but I'd be inclined to bet on it having "more of the same"...faster cores and more memory.

User avatar
Shoka
Posts: 145
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:35 pm
Location: Manchester, UK

Re: The element of surprise

Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:37 pm

Just a minor data point. I purchased a (another) Pi B+ about two weeks ago. Am I the least bit miffed with the Foundation... Hell no.

I've a pair of Pi2's on order.

Will redeploy one of the existing Pi B+'s that is struggling a bit and replace it with a Pi2. The rest of the flotilla are better as Pi B+'s as they are lightly loaded, and the extra power efficiency is welcome.

The Pi is a balance between power consumption, computing power, hardware reliability and software availability.

Adding the option of a new toy with the power consumption/ computing power balance shifted a bit towards a system that will reasonably support a modest desktop is a big win. Adding that option while maintaining compatibility with the existing hardware and software base (including all 10 or so Pi's that I have scattered around the place) is an absolutely massive win.

Could the Foundation have handled the introduction of such an addition to the range better? I cannot see how.

Take it as read that the foundation has improved products in development. We'd be really sad if that was not the case. You choose to purchase one of their systems presumably in the knowledge that:

a) It will do what you want it to.
b) There may be a better option next week.

Given the chaos any new introduction brings, I see no option but for the Foundation to make big bang announcements, with ready stock to back it, and even then it's considerable pain.

150K units, all gone in two days :shock:
Cheers Harry

Return to “General discussion”