On New Year's Eve, the team behind the uber-small PC Raspberry Pi said that two of a very limited release of ten numbered beta Raspberry Pi units will appear on eBay each day, starting with #10 and #9. Stretching over a period of seven days, the auctions will hopefully generate revenue that will go straight back into the Raspberry Pi Foundation, funding the charity's work.
Now three days later, the team is simply astounded by the "generosity" people are bidding on the beta boards. "Consider our gast well and truly flabbered," the team said on Tuesday. "We are absolutely amazed by the generosity of the people bidding on the beta boards. Every penny from the auction goes straight to our charity, where it will fund the making of more Raspberry Pis to go into schools."
When the boards finally go retail, they'll cost a mere $25 and $35, the latter of which will include an additional Ethernet jack and 256 MB of RAM. But the bidding for the first pre-production board has already reached around $2,700 USD, whereas most of the other boards range from $660 to $1204 USD. "We really weren’t expecting to see this level of interest, and we’re quite humbled by it," the team added.
Eben Upton, executive director of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, claims that the ten pre-production boards will work like the final retail versions. However the only difference is that they have an error on the PCB trace (which has been fixed for the final build), and sport an over-sized SD card connector. The connector works but it sticks out beyond the edge of the PCB, making it slightly more fragile, Upton claims.
To see the Raspberry Pi auctions, head here. Don't let the "UK" address fool you: anyone can bid on these boards.