Come on El Reg, you are slipping -- that should have been the headline!
Shipments of the long-awaited and heavily fought over Raspberry Pi boards could be delayed thanks to a manufacturing cock-up. The assembly lines churning out the first 10,000 units used the wrong kind of RJ45 networking jack, according to the team behind the $35 Linux computer, and the parts will need to be replaced before …
Ok thanks for the 23 thumbs down. I learned it doesn't come with WiFi so my bad. Yes I'm willing to admit I made a mistake. I swear I read an earlier article that claimed both models A and B would have WiFi but model B would also include a wired Ethernet jack. I suppose what the article meant was that A or B could have WiFi through a dongle or that old specification changed. I've been following this exciting project from the beginning but since I only cared about wired Ethernet I didn't look too closely at WiFi options.
Verified there is NO WiFi included via their FAQ here: http://www.raspberrypi.org/faqs
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"It's a silly typo, it should read 31/4/12 but it wont really be pi day until 3 years time on 31/4/15 at 9:26:53 (and 589.)."
If you manage to find a 31st of April, you will have done better than Bergholt Stuttley Johnson did when redefining Pi as 3... and we all know what the sorting machine managed.
If you want to be a real pedant, this year is actually 2017. There was a mistake made way back in the 1st millenium when they were converting form Roman Numerals to Arabic numerals. As a result, they think that JC was actually born in the year 5 BC (Possibly 6 BC, they are still arguing over that).
And of course, we all know that December is actually the tenth month, because the new year wasn't always January 1st.
Plus when we moved from Julian to Gregorian calendars, we lost 11 days. But even worse, when they started moving the number of days between months (Julius wanted his month of July to have more days than the others, and Augustus thought that a good plan so copied him). That has resulted in a fair amount of confusion over dates and the scholars are still coming to blows over it.
And of course of all of that is only relevant if you use the Western calendar. For those of the Hebrew faith, it is 5772 - for Moslems it is 1433. For the Thai people it is 2555. For some, it is the year AE 67 (Atomic Era), while in the Brave New World, it is AF 110 (After Ford). Those that cling to the French Republican calendar would insist it is 218.
Yes - I have too much time on my hands.
Since they're probably tech savvy, they might well accept an unprotected board at their own risk. I'm sure an adaptor can be cobbled together quite quickly.
BTW, it'd be quite useful to be able to buy a small panel that brings out all the Pi's sockets (with cables behind the panel to plug into the Pi). It would make casing the Pi up much easier.
'There's not an adaptor for this...'
Sigh. And we are all physically incapable of Googling for one, or failing that, getting out the bloody soldering iron and kluging together some spare bits from the junk box. Oh no, I might damage my manicure!
I dunno - the youth of today.
Well, Euro and American date formats are both pretty silly in the computer age if you think about it. The ISO8601 standard of YYYY/MM/DD hh:mm:ss is the only one that actually makes sense to me (breaking it down from big to small units), and also sorts correctly in a file listing. I switched to it in the 90's as a matter of convenience. M/D/Y isn't terribly clear in written form, and neither is D/M/Y. And with that espousing of my opinion, I've now probably pissed off two continents. :)
For fun - can get to 4 digit precision with ISO8601.
ISO8601 FTW 2012-03-14 15 (course there is no 9 for minutes unless kill the leading 0 to get 5 digits PI precision, but thats cheating a bit.)
Growing up and going to school in the US, it was always "Month 99, 19xx". I found it easy to learn other, better date formats, though, owing to my being an old Army brat, and seeing my Dad's letters home from Saigon headed, for example, "16 Mar 1967", which actually made more sense, even though these days I jump back and forth between them, depending on circumstances or requirements; many forms ask for DD/MM/YY, some ask for YYYY/MM/DD.
I quickly got the hang of the YYYY/MM/DD format in the course of cataloguing my bootleg tape collection and realizing that using this format in playlist and folder names caused them to sort very nicely in View By Name windows and iTunes. When I've got a hankering to hear that historic May 1977 Pink Floyd Boston Garden show, it's a helluva lot easier to Sort By Name in a playlist for "pink floyd 1977.05.09 boston ma" than it is to root around for "pink floyd boston ma 05.09.77".
Anyone using 2-digit years in this day and age should be shot.
But yes, when I write I usually write the 4 digit year and a 3 character month. Is the most unambiguous format I can think of.
Being a database programmer for a number of years, I came to realise that textual date/time conversion is one of the most irritatingly annoying things to get right and responsible for so many bugs.
That's fine for current dates, but you fail to consider historical dates.
Date of birth being a perfect example, we're now in 2012 so anyone over 88 will present a serious problem for any date related software storing only a 2 digit year. That problem will get increasingly more obvious for any numpty storing years as 2 digits as this century continues.
Do try to think these things through before you comment.
Yes I know the goverment import tax kinda stuffs any form of UK manufacturing as you pay tax on imported components and alot less tax on a imported finished made product! That all said I'd happily pay an extra £10 for one made in the UK. It's cheap enough that the extra wouldn;t realy be an issue for alot of people who would then have the choice. Fact is there is enough demand, even at the higher price for being made in the UK.
Now I'm not saying a UK made one would be any better and would not of had this exact issue; But I'd feel better in buying one or two.. Just to highlight how the UK goverment is failing UK manufacturers.
It would never be £10 extra. The extra tax would amount to 20p at most. Is it not worth having manufacturing that will not blindly replace components with cheaper but unsuitable ones...
The Raspberry Pi foundation made a lot of noise about tax - probably because other reasons they have for building in China are not as marketable - but the actual duty that would have to be paid is next to nothing.
Blaming UK.gov for this is silly. Give us UK raspberries!
It wasn't the extra tax it was the lack of companies that could make it in the quantities / timescale.
The problem now is the infrastructure. You might have workers in Britain but the component suppliers are in China, the PCB makers are in China, the makers of the machines to make the PCBs are in China and pretty soon the machines to make the machines to make the PCBs will be in China.
That was Apples complaint about making the iPad in the USA. It would only cost 5% more in labour but there was nowhere left in America with the infrastructure of so many subassembly and component makers together in one place.
Oh god let's not compare Apple's (or any major manufacturer) production needs with the Raspberry Pi, a single very small - single chip - board made in 10K quantities (maybe 100K next).
I'm quite sure the UK has enough capacity for this. In fact I was just quoted for a 5K production run for my company.
You can easily set up a state of the art production line for far less than 1000k Euros, including setup and the building. The equipment alone just costs about 300k - 600k Euros, depending what you want.
That is for a setup where you pop in the rolls of components and the unpopulated boards and get out complete PCBs.
> You can easily set up a state of the art production line
I'm guessing, but here "easily" means: 2 years to secure finance, find the right location, agree the zoning, order the equipment and outfit the building. After that, recruit and train the personnel - then wait for orders to start being diverted to this "local" line.
The problem is not so much setting up an electronics production company. The problem is maintaining it in profit, so when the occasional British manufacturer does come along, there is spare manufacturing capacity that they can just slot in to. GB is such an expensive place to make stuff that all the plants have to run at as close to 100% as possible. That means there is no spare capacity for "walk-in" customers.
Fortunately, China has so many manu's with such high capacities that they can fit a bitsy-little run of 10,000 units in between the cracks in their bread-and-butter orders.
My last job was for a Canadian telecom OEM. We recieved the PCB and stuffed it on 1 of 3 SMT machines in-house. Once the Gerber file is in the system, it's not hard to set it up for a run of 10 or 10000 as long as you have the parts available.
IIRC there would be a stuffing error ~0.1% of the time, which usually meant 4-5 boards on an average run would have to be reworked on the line.
For a part like we're talking about, the rework time for each board would be 5min on a properly set up station or 10min on a regular station. So unless you have a large crew doing the work, we're talking 830 man-hours of work to redo 10k boards.
"The problem now is the infrastructure."
So the western world, whom invented those machines and made the stuff itself ages ago, is now a wateland filled with an unemployed labourforce.
"That was Apples complaint about making the iPad in the USA. It would only cost 5% more in labour but there was nowhere left in America with the infrastructure of so many subassembly and component makers together in one place."
Then enforce or persuade them to have stayed. Because ONCE that infrastructure WAS here. And if the labourcost is supposedly negligible then why did they leave in the first place?
This just doesn't add up! There's NO excuse to not make it in UK or USA. Especially since it's all a low scale production.
"This just doesn't add up! There's NO excuse to not make it in UK or USA. Especially since it's all a low scale production."
Well, there must be otherwise the production would be local, wouldn't it? Revealed preference and all that.
I can think at least of...
1) Expensive workforce relative to the skill set
2) Red tape everywhere
3) Strong labor unions (Would anyone want a union rep on the board who sees the company as the enemy? Hell NO.)
4) Companies that don't have inside lobbyists seen as whipping boys for politicians and tax money generators.
5) Don't know what's coming down the legislative pipe (the last thing I heard was mandatory quota of women on the board... wut?). Generally, companies are seen as subject to populist whim. "Then enforce or persuade them to have stayed." You see what I mean?
6) Uncertainty regarding the future of the EUR, inflation and general blowout.
Cos that's how manufacturing works.
Corning, the US glass maker, produced the Gorilla glass on the iPhone at their plant in New York.
Their customers are foxcon in China, so do they carry on making the glass in the US and shipping it to China taking 6weeks to arrive?
What do they do when Apple changed the size of the screen glass 6weeks before launch?
Do they make 6weeks advance production of different sizes in case a new Apple product needs that screen size? Do they airfreight it to China overnight?
Or do they just open a factory next door to Foxcon?
by "made in the UK" you really mean "assembled in the UK" OC as the majority of parts required to make these have long since gone abroad since 1979 when Margaret (Hilda) Thatcher killed off the new born tech manufactures profit margins in the uk , and OC the Govt needs your TAX so they wont change the rules just to suit any new 2012 UK new born tech manufactures profit margins.
> you could get the ZX81 (and ZX80) as a kit
Kit computers were common back then. Many were available as they were comparatively quite expensive.
There was even an effort - the ETi Triton, if memory serves, but I cant find any references to it - to walk a user through the whole construction of a kit.
A week or two's delay isn't in the same league as the 1980's home micro fiasco.
The foundation would have to delay things for four months to come close.
Acorn started accepting orders in September 1981 there were unconfirmed reports of a handfull of BBC Model A's being received the week before Christmas but it was well into January for confirmed deliveries.. I'd ordered a BB Model B in September and recieved it on Saturday April 10th 1982 SEVEN MONTHS later
The Sinclair computers took even longer to ship and nearly a year to clear the backlog.
is not just protection from hi voltage spikes....
the chokes and coils actually keep the Rx and Tx lines separate.
usually, these components are parts on the actual circut board, but because the RPi needs to keep things small it has to be integrated into the RJ45 socket.
As the problem does not affect the model A boards at all, then I suspect the model A boards will make an appearance a little sooner than anticipated.
paris, because I bet she has an integrated coil !
its a separate line fixing the borked boards... they have to be corrected by hand.
They apparently are having issues sourcing enough of the correct components for the NEXT run of 100,000+ boards that farnell and RS will be ordering. so in the meantime, a run of 10,000 A boards should not be a problem, no RJ-45, different USB socket and no USB hub Chip...
their will be plenty of people wanting the A board now as it has the same RAM, will be plugging it into a USB hub and using USB WIFI/bluetooth adaptors...
its nothing to do with "eco fantasy" but all to do with economics.
the thing is, who knows what is actually happening. the only official word is from the raspberry foundation who say the boards will have to be repaired by hand... it does not mean this IS what is going to happen, its all speculation.
as I understand things. the boards are in the UK and the problem was found in testing. so for them to be sent back to china for "repair" I doubt would be viable, so a replacement batch is most probably going to be made....
so time to speculate on what's going to happen to the 10000 broken boards? they WONT go in a bin. maybe if they source the correct part, they can sell them direct at a reduced price and the user gets to fix it... how much would you pay for it? put one or two on ebay?
Nope that's why you make them in the far east.
5mins to rework a board at $5/day salary = 100boards/day = 5c / board
We used to do a lot of this re-engineering. If you are making stuff in China it's cheaper to have it screwed together by hand rather than making the complex mold tool to have plastic parts snap together.
my self-satisfaction in not having attempted to order a Pi at all yet, having seen this debacle coming at least a month in advance.
I figure I'll check back in September or so; maybe, by that point, they'll have got themselves sufficiently sorted out that I can hope to receive the thing in the same year I order it.
Then again -- now that we're hearing they will have trouble sourcing parts for future batches, and yes I know they say it might work out but frankly by this point are you willing to believe that? -- maybe not.
well, dont you just look smug sitting there happy at a MINOR issue in bringing to market a new product.
the problem is not in sourcing parts, its sourcing them in the numbers they need NOW. The manufacturers of the components will have no problem in doing a production run, but that may take 4 weeks or more (at a guess) to get them the the Pi production line.
it really annoys me when people laugh and look smug when a small outfit, doing what they can to bring an amazing product to the masses at a price that anyone can afford. ALL in their own time, and not making money from it, when they hit a minor supply issue you have a small group sitting there laughing, just a adult versions of the school yard bully !
Lets hope next time your given a new job to do at work, lets hope it blows up in your face so we can all do a Nelson Muntz at you !
"Lets hope next time your given a new job to do at work, lets hope it blows up in your face so we can all do a Nelson Muntz at you !"
Don't hold your breath too much waiting for that to happen; having committed such errors in the past, I've learned better than to take on a job that's vastly beyond my capabilities. What a shame that the Raspberry Pi Foundation, with the backing of one of the world's leading multi-billion-dollar tech companies, couldn't manage to do likewise.
so, you dont push your capabilities any-more in fear of failure, just because of a few mistakes?
well lets hope to [insert deity of choice] that the tech world does not take this approach to product development or technology would have stood still in the dark ages.
its this exact philosophy that the raspberry foundation is trying to break through, the "why bother trying to achieve better, someone else will do it for us".
There is a pretty sizable difference between here's an opportunity to stretch myself and learn something new and there is no way in hell I'm going to be able to support the demand for this, even if I don't sleep for a month straight, so if I take on the job under these conditions it will certainly result in disaster which will splash all over me and make me look incompetent, no matter what excuses I try to make.
I don't know whether RPF thought it was doing the former and ended up with the latter, but if even a redneck asshole like me can see the debacle coming, what excuse have these professionals for not doing the same?
Speaking of RPF, I thought their philosophy had to do with education, not with trying to break through some notional "we're all scared to try something new" innovation bottleneck in the tech industry? Especially considering that no such bottleneck can be shown to exist, what you're saying about their purpose doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, to say nothing of it failing to match their own mission statement.
The world is full of mediocre people trying to cruise by on as little effort as possible. A small percentage of people actually stretch themselves to try to achieve their goals. And a small percentage of them charge in grasping a particularly unpleasant nettle and promise the world in return.
Of that last group, most will fail. There's no getting around that simple fact. But the few that succeed will be glorious, and their legacy will be touched by a spark of the divine. (But not in the ethernet jack, because that'll ruin it, obviously.)
I say good luck to them, and if I get my arse in gear I'll probably end up with a half-dozen of them at least...
This very much reminds me of the early 80's home computer boom. The promise of great things, the changes to spec, the ever changing delivery dates. The vocal fanbois telling every body else to shut up and stop criticising. I'm just waiting for the price increases, and other competitors to start showing up any time now.
The RPi guys are talented amateurs. But this is what happens when a company is managed by techies and not businessmen. It doesn't matter if they are doing this in their spare time, or doing it for charity or whatever. This does not make the project or people involved immune from criticism - we are still paying customers who are being messed around with.
I look forward to getting a RPi in my hands, but that will happen after the hype has died down and I can order the product and get it delivered within days.
And before anyone criticises and asks why I don't launch my own competitor to the RPi if I'm so clever. Then my answer is that I've shipped just as many to customers as the RPi foundation have...
Flame away Fanbois...
"This very much reminds me of the early 80's home computer boom. The promise of great things, the changes to spec, the ever changing delivery dates."
And ironically we have people on this very board moaning about the machine not being made in the UK without remembering the lessons of the early 80's.
When Alan Sugar came to buy out Sinclair he simply couldn't believe how much it was costing Sir Clive to make his machines up at the Timex factory in Scotland, let alone the horrific rate of units returned as faulty. First opportunity Sugar got he ditched Timex and started up production in the Far East.
It depends what game you want to play.
Personally, I'm fully aware of what's available on eBay, and have saved a few friends and neighbours hundreds of pounds by having them buy ex-corporate-class PCs. I'm their support line and I know what I'm supporting.
On the other hand, if I was wanting to roll out a few hundred PCs (and RPi isn't a PC but put that to one side) into an environment where the quality of tech support was at best "variable", I would NOT be willing to take the 2nd-hand corporate PC approach. There's too much variability in the detail of the 2nd hand PCs on eBay to support a big rollout, even if you're selective, making everything from procurement to training to support too time-consuming *for a big roll-out*.
If you've got half a dozen boxes to support, and plenty of time/money, who cares whether the DVD drive is IDE or SATA. With dozens or hundreds of boxes, on a school scale, or a Local Education Authority scale, things like that start to matter.
You can get a whole RPi for the price of a couple of IDE drives. They're all compatible.
Come to think of it, given the way that support services for schools have been tendered out to "best value" cowboy outfits, you can probably get a dozen or more RPI cards, plus spares and accessories, for the price of a certified LEA-compatible DVD drive.
Can you tell us why the story was that 10,000 were on there way, and then that 10,000 had been sold, and then that 10,000 were awaiting customs clearance when it appears that the story should have been that 10,000 didn't actually exist. Manufacturing is hard; telling the truth is easy.
No. Is it Moriarty?
"a criminal strain ran in his blood, which, instead of being modified, was increased and rendered infinitely more dangerous by his extraordinary mental powers. Dark rumours gathered round him in the University town, and eventually he was compelled to resign his chair and come down to London. He is the Napoleon of crime, Watson. He is the organiser of half that is evil and of nearly all that is undetected in this great city..."
Sounds about right for an evil mastermind who plans to enslave our youth to this horrible addiction.
you really think Broadcom are in charge, the simple answer is OC not their not or you would see at least an ARM A8 cortex with NEON SIMD SOC or better being used on the pi to encourage future training for their mass markets nit some pre cortex arm IP that doesnt generate any real profits long term.
in case you missed it.... ARM cortex IS THE FUTURE and there will be a massive need for ARM cortex/NEON SIMD coders and designers any time now and they will find them in the far east.
"...it's a fully functional system capable of, among many things, 1080p video playback and hardware-accelerated graphics. It uses a Broadcom multimedia SoC that includes a 700MHz ARM1176JZF-S core and 256M of RAM..."
I don't care if I don't know Linux or don't know yet what I could use it for. 1080p video, hardware graphics acceleration, 35 GODDAMN' BUCKS. I just WANT one. I'll find one of my geek buddies -- one of whom's a combination Mac/Linux freak -- to help me get the hang of Linux, and I'll _think_ of something to use it for. I just want one; I'll figure the other shit out later.
Paris, because I just want one, and I'll figure out what I can do with it later.
> I don't care if I don't know Linux
You know enough about Linux. It's really not as different from whatever you;re used to as some might have you think.
And you could always go and grab a LiveCD and play with it a bit - no installation required.
But for $deity's sake, don't get anything with Gnome3 Shell on it...
 Fedora 14 would be my recommendation. But there are others.
Debian-squeeze is good as well. If you want to play with it get Virtualbox and set the RAM to 256 with the HDD at 8 GB. Get an .iso and aim the VM installer at it.
Most of the Ubuntu wiki applies so the docs are the same. The standard test for a Linux newbie is NTFS shares and printer installation. Crack those and you're on your way.
> get Virtualbox and set the RAM to 256 with the HDD at 8 GB. Get an .iso
> and aim the VM installer at it.
This is why I suggested the LiveCD route - no virtualisation required. You just plop the CD in the drive and boot from it.
Such CDs are a bit slow - it's much better to run from a USB stick - but they show you the nature of the beast with very little effort.
if you want to use it as a HD media player, Both XBMC and openELEC are doing a port of there media player software for it....
all you need to do is download the image form the web, then with the help of a little application you can also download, it will copy that image onto a SD card... and away you go, power it up and your fully functional HD Media player is working...
buy two.... and learn a bit of scripting, or enough linux stuff you dont have to ask one of your mates !
Mike, I think you embody what is so good about this project, its ability to inspire. We've drifted into being passive consumers of tech, like:
<voice tone="bored">Yeah, my iThing is soooo coooool, you know, it, like, just works?</voice>
But people get enthusiastic about the Raspberry, they might not know what the possibilities are, or how they'll do it, but they (we) are going to try. OK, the original target was school kids, and the delays are frustrating, but I'll be ordering one as soon as I can, and one each for the kids.
I said in another thread the product would be delayed and wouldn't ship on time and got flamed but looks like some people have pi on their face and all the early adopters will get burnt by shoddily soldered on parts done in a rush.
Ah well at least they are putting money in the Chinese economy
The Raspberry Foundation has done a remarkable job in developing this product and getting it to market.
they have had all sorts of things get in the way and they have worked trough each and every one of them.
They have had to fight against a market that probably doesn't want them to get to market. There are several other companies around making similar single board computer systems that the Pi is going to undercut in cost and out perform in price. they will not want them to succeed, the computer industry as a whole who can see the far reaching effects of a product like the RPi may not want it to succeed. I imagine they may try a dirty tricks campaign against them to try to make them fail.
its happened before in other industries. Daewoo cars for instance. When they launched, they built reasonable cars, nothing special, but perfectly fine for the average Joe. They launched with a whole new way of selling cars... the price you pay for the car included unlimited mileage servicing and a lifetime warentee on parts and labour... Which is traditionally where the other makers made their money in the after market sales of spares and repair. They either had to compete or destroy Daewoo, they chose to destroy. How they did this was that all the car dealers conspired to kill the second hand market for the daewoo cars. on part exchanges, they offered next to nothing for the car. You had to go back to Daewoo for another car if you wanted to part exchange for a new car. The lack of value in the 2nd hand market put people buying the cars in the first place. your not going to buy a car for £12k knowing at 1 year old, your going to be lucky to get £2k for it.
I wouldn't be surprised if the single board computer market was not playing a similar dirty tricks campaign. Would it be beyond the realms of a realistic situation where a company putting $1Bn worth of work through a factory could corrupt that factory into screwing up a production line worth at best $350,000, taking into account production costs, maybe loosing £50,000 in profit...
it maybe , and probably was just a genuine fuck up, but the RPi is going to land in peoples hands maybe 5 months after the initial date they expected to go on sale. when you look at other companies that's not too bad. Bigger companies have delayed much longer....
I don't think Beagle board has very much global power. All the other single board computer makers are one man in a garage setup who are paying retail rates for parts and 1000-off rates for making them.
In one of the interviews the RP people explain that being a charity, component makers who would otherwise have told them to b****** off for not buying million/year quantities were prepared to talk to them.
Daewoo cars are still around, badged as Chevrolets these days. The reason Daewoo cars went titsup was that the whole Daewoo empire (of which the car bit was a piddlingly small part) did, as its books were cooked and it was being treated by the founder as his personal plaything and piggy-bank.
The reason secondhand prices were low on early Daewoos was that they were all rebadges of obsolete GM models for which Daewoo bought the tooling and nobody in their right mind wanted the things. They sold new, 'cos stupid people got taken in by the NEW!!111!!!ness and bought 'em in preference to a better, secondhand car, but secondhand you couldn't give the ruddy things away.
1/10. Please try to find a better conspiracy theory.
I have no way of knowing whether this or isn't true...lots of assumptions follow.
If it is true, then
RESPECT IS DUE to the people whose decision to have these things PROPERLY TESTED meant it was discovered sooner rather than later.
I am going to assume that someone with a clue decided that these things needed proper CE/EMC testing, not some silly selection of worthless pieces of paper called a technical construction file, as (ab)used by most modern (ie cheap) consumer electronics.
Actually as the RPi were intended for sale as components rather than finished consumer product they probably weren't even required by rule to do CE certification or EMC testing.
BUT TEST THEY DID, and presumably the EMC or other tests fairly quickly revealed that the necessary isolation and/or suppression wasn't present.
If the manufacturers and importers of cheap Chinese electronics were always this conscientious, there'd be a lot fewer safety issues with things like Christmas lights and power supplies and there'd be a lot fewer unexplained EMC issues.
Thank you, whoever made the decision to test properly before release.
Please, could someone in the know get the facts and if appropriate write this up as an example of the importance of real EMC testing before letting goods onto the market.
Except that generally isn't how you do EMC testing... You build a few prototypes, get them working using whatever means necessary and then perform some preliminary testing to see how far off being compliant you are, adding/removing/changing components, beefing up tracks etc as required until your Mk.1 frankenboard hits the mark. Then you build a few more prototypes, translating the spaghetti of patch wires, cut tracks, upside down components etc into netlist and layout mods so that these protos work as expected right out the oven. Then you test again.
At this point all of the testing is preliminary. You might even do some/all of it in-house if you've got some test gear handy and don't have the time/money to spend on repeated trips to a test house. Hell, if your company is really on the ball they might even have a fully accredited in-house test facility that allows them to self-certify their own products (as well as bringing in some extra revenue by hiring the facility out to other companies... I had the luxury of starting my career at one such company, and you don't realise how damned useful having the full spectrum of onsite facilities - plus the dedicated EMC test engineers - is until you move to a company without any of it), in which case you can just test, test and test some more until things are spot on. Once you're happy with the performance of the fixed prototypes, you then do a small batch of production-grade boards and run the formal tests that, all being well, will get you the certification you need.
Only then do you pull the trigger on the full scale production run...
What you'll then want to do, especially if you're using a different board stuffing facility for the production run than you used for the small quantities of proto boards, is to take the first few boards off the line and go over them with a fine-tooth comb to make sure they've been built to spec. It's at this point that you're likely to spot errors like incorrect parts being fitted, but this has nothing to do with EMC testing - any halfway-professional company would do a first-off inspection like this regardless of what official standards the product was required (or not) to meet.
So in other words, once you've convinced yourself by early testing that the *design* makes sense, you ramp up production and check some of the *product* to make sure it matches the design intentions. Which is entirely compatible with wot I wrote about "proper EMC testing", but thanks for filling in the bit of the story I omitted for brevity :)
Nothing to do with EMF or 'proper' testing. If they were built without magnetics, the network port doesn't work. At all.
By the way, when I looked last year the lead time for most of those sockets was around 3 months, and it is very difficult to find compatible parts.
They probably got stuck with the bad parts because of supply problems, it could be some time before there is a solution, and somebody has just blown their profit margin.
I've been waiting for years for something this cheap and capable to come to market. The fact people are getting so hyped up about these delays just proves to me this is a product which has been long wanted by people around the world. Where were the venture capitalists, the Entrepreneurs, the big electronic companies who could have done this but didn't because they wanted to sell you a big beige box instead? It's took a group of dedicated people 7 years of their spare time and I imagine some persuasive skill with their employers at Broadcomm to get here at all.
The fact that the hackers out there are falling over themselves to get hold of one (or 10) is incidental to the core reason these people put together the foundation. i.e. to get the boards into UK schools and to teach kids. I for one hope they do not loose sight of their main goal and they have wide enough shoulders for the shit they are bound to get on forums and by commentators. I think it's a shame they had to compromise and build the gear in China, but hey, that's life.
They've been under pressure now for a while to get the board out to people, a lot of whom want to use it for their own projects (including me). At the end of the day unless you're one of the people who are going to provide educational material or teaching aids for this you should shut your mouths and wait your turn. I can't afford a beagle board to mess about with but at it's price point the Pi is getting me as excited as the day i first sat down with my Vic 20 and saw the expansion port, which hasn't happened in a long time. Someone mentioned maybe it would have been great if they could have made some batches in the UK at a higher price. There has been enough talk of the Pi for a while now but no-one put their money where their mouths were. Were the foundation offered this ? Did they want to wait untill they could get the board out at the lower price to everyone ?
Only they know and how many extra hours of negotiation would that have took away from the main goal of getting the pi out there. RS and farnell have had some shit as well but they have taken a chance more than anyone else to help get this to market in volume. it could have flopped like a overcooked soufflé for all they knew so they should get a break too. One final comment on the Chinese production. Come on who wasn't expecting some minor hiccups. I've never even had a manual from there without a spelling mistake in it and if I had to negotiate building an electronic device with someone half the world away I'm sure they could find fault with my simplified Chinese.
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It can happen. There's a load of Sinclair Spectrums out there with EMP hardened Z80's in them. A batch was accidentally sent to whoever Amstrad were using to assemble them that week and they got installed in the machines before anyone realised.
Sadly both of mine have standard Z80's. Although I suspect the rest of the hardware may not continue to function after a nuclear strike in anycase.
I agree, I "can" happen and it does happen.... but its a matter of finding out where the fuck up was made and if it was intentional or an accident.
the two main options are
1) the factory was trying to run a scam subbing parts for a cheaper component in the hope nobody will notice. .. if you look on the pics on the RPi website, the right and wrong components are shown side by side, the only visible difference is the colour of the contacts. maybe some dick thought that was what the difference in part number was, tin or gold contacts...
2) the factory supplier. Its possible that the supplier of the components could have switched out the parts, invoicing the manufacturer for the more expensive component. it may even have been down to a stupid mistake in where the boxes were placed in a warehouse...
over in the far east, this sort of fuck up happens all the time. Maybe the manufacturer just bins the entire batch and makes new boards. there's 10,000, near perfect RPi's in a bin waiting to be scooped up and vanish only to appear a couple of weeks down the line on ebay for inflated prices the faulty component may or may not have been fixed!
the thing is, we will never actually know the truth in the cause of the fuckup lets just see how The Raspberry Foundation and its distribution partners deal with it.
One good thing to take away from this is the fact that the factory now know that the foundation *will* test boards. I've no doubt that somewhere written into the contract is text to the effect that the factory is responsible for correcting errors at its own expense. They won't want a repeat of this.
There ought to be a 15% tarriff on anything made in China, and a 25% excise tax on anything made by union labor. That would bring useful jobs back to US and UK very quickly. (This will be made into law when I become president next year, see http://tinyurl.com/IGnatiusTFoobarForPresident for more details.)
union labour is exactly why all the manufacturing got farmed out to the far east in the first place.
in a union controlled factory, rule one was as soon as a large order comes in, go on strike until you get a cut.
i'll get my coat, because there is not jobs around here any more !!
Perhaps we should let the managing board hoover up all the spare cash then.. while us poor plebs merely tug our forelocks and say thank you to t' mill owner for letting us work for him.
Still on the plus side, with everything out sourced to China, there'll be no workers with any spare cash to spend on shiney gadgits.. thus leaving multi-megacorp with no customers...
Well actually as far as the UK goes, the longest running strike in history is UK management's investment strike. Most UK company management have refused to invest in decent wages, decent education, decent training, and decent technology at least as far back as the 1960s, whilst paying their top staff and their shareholders bigger and bigger dividends through thick and thin.
Classic example would be GEC, initially under Weinstock but continued thereafter. Now, who remembers what happened to them, and why. Hint: Largely down to no investment, even though they were big enough to take the whole of the UK universities output of engineering graduates if they wanted. Weinstock thought that in the unlikely event he needed that oh so expensive R+D to support his product lines, he could buy it in (via a joint venture or by buying a company). That worked well for them didn't it.
And today, part of the reason "there is not jobs around here any more" is the lack of investment in real education, in the school system and beyond. What's RPi about?
Also, the ongoing lending strike at the banks (but no bonus shortage?) is part of the reason why the first RasPi batch was only 10k units (couldn't get funding for more) .
But don't let that any of these minor facts confuse your world view. Everything that's ever gone wrong in any economy is the fault of the democratic  organisations representing the workers, i.e. the unions.
Don't know if you've noticed, but Germany's unions have a lot more influence than the unions in the UK. Germany also takes training, investment, etc seriously. Whose economy is in a better state?
Have a lovely weekend, comrade.
 At least as democratic as the Cleggerons, mate.
the unions got too powerful and influential in the uk to the detriment of this country. you had people in the unions using the workers as pawns for there own political gain over what was best for the workers.
take the miner strike in the 80's. Scargill was opposed to the closure of mines, because of the loss of the jobs, and that whole communities relied on that pit, and without a national ballot of all members, he had them on strike for nearly a year. His thinking in some respects was right., some miners broke away, formed their own union and went back to work, hoping that the government would look favourably on them and save their pit. It didn't work, the pit was no longer economically viable to run so it had to close. But at least those workers had a ballot. Eventually when the NUM balloted the workers, they voted to go back to work...
forget the reasons for why and if they should have closed the pits or not, the fact that one man brought a national workforce out on strike for a year, without a ballot of those workers, the fact that other union workforces came out on strike in sympathy, just on the say so of the union, there was no way the government was going to allow that sort of power to continue. they shot themselves in the foot.
many years ago, in my younger days, I had a council owned flat, the hot water tank sprung a leak and needed to be replaced. first of all, the plumber came, switched it off, drained it, and went. he had to wait for the electrician to come and disconnect the electric supply. after that was done, the plumber came back, installed the new tank, connected everything up, then called the electrician back to connect it back up... the electrician came, connected up a couple of wires, woohoo, 4 days later I had hot water again. It should have taken one day, but because the unions wouldn't let a plumber do an electricians job it took 4.
across the river from me was a shipyard. Cammell Laird, one of the biggest names in ship building. Every time they got a new ship to build, the workers would go out on strike to renegotiate the wages. every time this happened, it would inevitably delay the ship, costing the company millions in late fees. but that's ok, the union workers didn't loose out. until the orders for ships went to the far east where they were built and delivered on time, for less money.
before the bin collection service was put out to tender, I used to live next door to a bin man, 2 days per week, he would be dropped off at home in the morning and picked back up again as the truck was on its ay back to the depot. they had more workers than they needed, but they could not shed any workers. instead, Liverpool had one of the most expensive rates of council tax.
I could go through all of the big manufacturers in Liverpool from the 60's and 70's, all gone now, and the main reason they closed down was rising costs and poor workmanship.there was massive differences in quality to cars built on different days of the week, you didn't want a Friday car, but a Monday car would have served you well... , all in all, the common point is the unions and workers wanting more and more for less and less... it made manufacturing in the far east a really good proposition.
but yeah, blame the greedy business owners and bankers for wanting to keep a roof over their heads...
"many years ago, in my younger days <zzzzzzzz> the unions wouldn't let a plumber do an electricians job it took 4."
Bad management is just as likely in the private sector and without unions as it is in the public sector or with unions.
Last time the bulb failed in my desk lamp at work, which wasn't that long ago, it took a week for the replacement to arrive. The (outsourced) integrated facilities management web app puts most people off but I persisted. The (outsourced) sparky came round and looked at the lamp. Neither the sparkies nor my employers hold stock of consumables like light bulbs (we're into LEAN but not into common sense, so we do just not in time instead).
Eventually a replacement turned up.
There's plenty similar cases where an FM company charges £500 or so for changing a light bulb. If they'd given me a tenner I'd have changed the bulb, no questions asked.
All done without unions. All done without common sense too.
I fucking told you so.
Pay cheap Chinese shit rates, get cheap Chinese shit.
Firstly they couldn't source a suitable xtal (probably one of the most commodity-ised components going) and now they've been caught out swapping what I'm sure they assumed were generic RJ45 sockets for the ones they were told to use. Next we'll find out they thought the vias were ventilation holes and didn't bother to plate them.
I think the training manual for "cutting edge" Chinese assembly lines can be summed up as "the hot stick melts the shiny stuff, now work faster!"
Lemme get this straight. There's a Model A for 25USD without RJ45 and one USB port, and defective Model Bs (usually 35USD) with a bad RJ45 and 2 USB ports.
I foresee an inventory of 10.000 ModelABs with no RJ45 (de-soldered/ripped out) and 2 USB ports, for 30USD... Limited Edition!
Everything? When you consider how much work had to be done just to get to this stage, can you really say *everything* has been fucked up?
Yes, its been delayed, yes, the launch day could have gone better (not from a demand PoV, but the servers), yes, this hiccup is a PITA.
You seem though to have completely missed all the stuff that went on between those points.
Oh, and to source management elsewhere would have cost money in outsourcing, Since the current people running the show are all unpaid, that would a price not worth paying.
These things happen in the early launch stage of many products. Let's accept that the foundation have done a superb job getting to this point just boot-strapping "the business". An error like this isn't the end of the world - OK, one or two somewhat childish individuals will throw their toys out of the pram, but so what?
Remember that this is the launch for the bare-bones product for techies, but the real purpose (schools) launch isn't until later in the year. Plenty of time to catch up and still succeed on that score. Early adopters should be used to glitches and get over the in a grown-up manner.
So you buy the wonderful cheap computer for your school.
Then you buy a monitor.
Then you buy a keyboard
then you buy a mouse
then you buy a hard disk
then you buy an SD card (it's memory)
THEN you can use it
Then you look at the total and find that's almost £250
And then you look at a netbook at £250...
Or an android tablet - some are under £150 remember.
Never believe the hype of the guy selling you the system. A netbook would wipe the floor with this thing.
"A netbook would wipe the floor with this thing."
Assuming you wanted a PC and not something closer to a cost effective programmable piece of equipment to serve as a learning/teaching tool suitable for use in large scale rollouts.
Monitor, kbd, mouse, hard drive, etc are all either optional or frequently already available onsite.
There are people who "get it" wrt Rpi and people who don't. Yes the £25 computer is a bit of hype though I'm not sure who besides folk like yourself really expects the £25 to include *everything*.
Tesco value wired usb keyboard....£4.97
Tesco value wired usb mouse...... £2.97
2 GB SD card.....................................£5.97
Hard disk............................................not required (that's what the SD cards for)
monitor................................................not required (use the family TV)
But what's that you say....your family has no TV? Never mind because:
Technika 19-248 19" HD Ready LED Backlit TV.......£100
So even if you've no TV you're looking at half your estimate...
You can add a couple of connecting leads to that, and maybe a suitable PSU,
But I remember the early single-board computers, and that's nothing at all unusual as a list of the needed extras. Though a Nascom sold at 200 quid, which would be around 1000 of today's money-thing tokens.
Yes, uphill, both ways, in the snow. Kids today...
"Not quite the £25 computer in reality"
Dear Mr Sinclair,
I recently paid £125 for the 16k version of your home computer. I was shocked to find that the unit required the use of a television, cassette player as well as the use of valuable space on my dining room table. Why should I have to pay for these extras when I have already purchased the computer?
I'm now told that in order to play games on my new system I not only need to purchase a game, but a joystick interface and a joystick as well.
This means the cost of your £125 computer system is actually well over £250!!! Therefore your price of £125 is totally misleading.
A Chinese assembly plant was contracted to build 10,000 units according to a specified design.
Either the design specification was incorrect, or somehow the wrong components were acquired and fitted.
I have known whole packing crates of components be mis-labelled. This might not have been something obviously wrong to the people at the assembly plant. The parts fitted together. I don't know enough to know whether it would have needed special testing to detect.
I sort of expect everybody involved to be trying to find out whether they made the mistake, without admitting anything. And maybe this is a small enough contract that the cost of just fixing things is going to be far less than the cost of a public argument over who made the mistake.
Last Friday one of the Raspberry Pi team came over from Cambridge and did a demo and lecture for us on the Pi.
It's amazing, when you've actually seen one in action, just how capable it is for the price. I also passed on the suggestion from these here messages that quite a few of us would happily pay the import-duty loaded premium for a British-built version.