So after a few hours sleep, getting my last fix of the forums before they went offline, I was up at 05:30, prepping my laptops to be on Raspberry Pi's main page, as well as the Raspberry Pi Store (at this stage the assumption was that everything would be sold through there), running through several browser types. Just in case.
06:00 came and the Raspberry Pi static page appeared. A quick scan showed the distributor links at the bottom of the page and I was winging my way to both Farnell and RS Components by 06:01. The day was starting looking pretty good!
Unfortunately from there it all went a bit Pete Tong.
Looking at RS Components, all I could see was a "Register your Interest in the Raspberry Pi". The definitely didn't seem right. Looking at Farnell, a quick search brought up two Raspberry Pi pages, one for £14, the other for £26. Both however appeared to be out of stock.
With the static page in place there wasn't any additional information available there, but the foundation were quite active on Twitter. Unfortunately, they appeared to be as confused by the whole situation as the rest of us. In the end I decided to go ahead and place my order at Farnell and hope that their 'out of stock' status was incorrect.
Of course, when I tried to buy (06:30) the booking process was like crawling through mud. Particularly sticky, smelly mud. Barefoot. Handcuffed. With a particularly heavy pack of bricks on my back. But after slogging away I finally managed to place an order at 06:58.
3 hours later, as I was sitting at my desk contemplating how I'd get through the day without the forums, I received an order confirmation from Farnell, with an estimated deliver day of the 12th March.
This cheered me up no end. As did the email that came through from RS Components on Thursday evening, informing me that my registration had been successful and I'd be contacted when boards became available, strictly on a first-come-first serve basis. Maybe I'm being a little optimistic here, but the way I see it I'll either get a Pi from Farnell on the 12th March, or be able to order one from RS Components by the 9th.
I don't really need 2 at this point so I'll see which one comes through first and find a home for the 2nd one (there are a lot of people I know that have an expected delivery date in May!). As some point though I think I'll snag a 2nd one and start getting my son interested in programming. Is 4 too young?
All in all a successful launch day I think, with the blame for the confusion and being laid squarely at the feet of the distributors - I don't think they grasped the concept of what they were selling, who they were selling it to and what the demand would be. Although to be fair to them, I don't think many people did.