I mentioned in my report of the London Show, earlier this year, that the Raspberry Pi was expected to go on sale by the end of this year, and that a limited number would be auctioned on eBay at around the same time. Unfortunately, the first of these two events has had to be postponed, but the auctions are going ahead, starting tonight.
Two of the ten numbered beta Raspberry Pis will be put on eBay each day, starting with numbers #10 and #09 tonight from around 10pm (GMT), continuing as a countdown until numbers #02 and #01 appear on the site, which should therefore be the 4th January. Each auction will last seven days so, unless the device itself goes on sale in the first week of January, which is unlikely, that means the first two Raspberry Pis officially sold to the public will be on the 7th January 2012, when the first two auctions come to an end.
In a video clip posted to the Foundation’s website (see the page linked to above), Eben Upton explained who he expects is likely to be interested in purchasing one of these ten:
- People interested in collecting first editions of such hardware
- People interested in using the Raspberry Pi in a commercial project, with this being a way to skip the queue and get one early
- People who want to make a donation to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and have something in return for that donation
If you bid and win, you’ll receive the numbered board, a USB power supply, an SD card pre-loaded with an operating system (most likely Debian), and a piece of paper confirming that you have one of the first ten. And as a really geeky bonus, you’ll have board with “a nice MAC address with a lot of zeroes in it”.