FRESHLY-BAKED POCKET MONEY PC the Raspberry Pi Zero has flown off the shelves as a magazine giveaway and is now highly prized and priced on eBay.
The £4 computer, which was given away free on the cover of The MagPi official magazine on Thursday, now has hens' teeth status in newsagents. We have checked periodicals sellers from Tunbridge Wells to London and come up lacking.
Fortunately, people and auction sites exist, so even though the plan was to get an economically viable piece of hardware into the hands of people who needed it, you can still buy one.
A search for the device on eBay returned a lot of results. Unfortunately, the device has increased in value on these pages and now costs about four times the cover price.
It is a shame to see the Raspberry Pi Foundation's benevolence undermined, but it is a positive to see the organisation shift so many devices.
We spoke to the Foundation people on Friday, just 24 hours after the Pi Zero went on sale, and it was pleased with the popularity of the new model. We understand that 20,000 mags hit the shops, 76 of which are now on eBay.
"The magazine industry has a concept called 'technical sellout', where more than 80 percent of copies are bought," wrote Foundation spokeswoman Liz Upton on the official Pi pages on Friday.
"You swarmed over UK newsagents and achieved that with The MagPi in less than 12 hours. As far as we know, the last time that happened was with the female version of Playboy in the 1970s."
It is still possible to get a copy of the magazine through the more official Raspberry Foundation magazine subscription service. The Pi Zero is sold as a standalone too.
The Zero made its debut on Thursday and is far cheaper than any of its peers. The Foundation explained that the low cost is good because it brings the machine to even more hands.
"Cost is a still a barrier to entry, even at the $20-$35 range of the existing Raspberry Pi products. We want to put awesome programmable hardware (with a great community backing it up) in everyone's hands," Foundation head Eben Upton told The INQUIRER.
Upton added that the Zero makes the most of the "economies of scale and continued reductions in component prices" that previous production has enabled. This combines with the design and the detail to make a small and economical machine.
"The most obvious thing is that this board only has components on one side, so only a single trip through the reflow process, but literally every component on the board has been examined and made to justify its existence," he said.
The Zero's vital statistics are comparable to its peers'. It comes with a Broadcom BCM2835 application processor, a 1GHz ARM11 core, 512MB of RAM and connection options including microSD, HDMI and USB.
The Raspberry Pi Zero is on sale now priced at £4, and will be limited to two per customer. It's available to pick up from element14, Adafruit, the Pi Hut and Pimoroni.
"We've built several tens of thousands of units so far, and are building more, but we expect demand to outstrip supply for the next little while," added the Foundation in an introductory blog post.
"One more thing: because the only thing better than a $5 computer is a free computer, we are giving away a Raspberry Pi Zero on the front of each copy of the December issue of The MagPi." µ
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