Corby firm gets a slice of the pi

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A Corby firm is at the centre of a technology sensation after being picked to be one of only two distributors of a credit card-sized £22 computer.

RS Components has already taken delivery of 700 and is braced to meet 250,000 orders for the Raspberry Pi.

When the new Raspberry Pi shop at the company’s Birchington Road distribution centre goes into full swing, staff could be working round the clock to dispatch them all over the world.

Glenn Jarrett, head of electronics marketing at RS, said, “We are delighted to have the first batch of fully compliant products in our warehouse and to be able to invite the first wave of customers who registered for a Raspberry Pi to place their orders from this initial stock. This is fantastic news for RS Components and for Corby.”

The company will meet the orders with its existing workforce but when dispatches are at their height, expected to be in a few months time, it may have to introduce extra shifts.

Irene Hoile, warehouse manager at RS, said: “There is tremendous excitement among our teams about the Raspberry Pi. There’s a real buzz in the warehouse and it’s great for the town to be at the centre of something so exciting.”

The computer board has been designed to encourage a new generation of PC users to discover and develop their programming skills.

When it is connected to a monitor/TV and keyboard, with the right programming by the user, it can be used for many things a traditional PC does.

The concept was created by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a charity based in Cambridge.

Eben Upton, executive director of the foundation and one of the creators of the computer board, said: “We want to put the fun back into computing. Young people are proficient users of computers but not many know what goes on inside them. The response has been absolutely fantastic.”

Invitations to place an order at RS’s bespoke online Raspberry Pi store will be sent out shortly to the first group of customers, in sequence according to the time that they registered their interest.

Orders are currently being restricted to one board per customer.