The Raspberry Pi Zero, a small ARM-based, Linux-friendly computing device that costs a mere $5, may be an obvious stocking stuffer this Christmas. But obtaining one will be tough, as all the devices sold out within a day of launch on Nov. 26.
The Raspberry Pi Zero is the latest offering from the Rasperry Pi Foundation, which develops inexpensive, open source-friendly computing hardware that programmers and entrepreneurs can use for experimentation or to develop new products. Earlier devices ranged in price from around $20 to $35, but the Zero brings the price down to an unprecedented level.
The incredibly low price probably had much to do with the quick exhaustion of supplies when the Zero went on sale on Nov. 26. All existing devices were sold within twenty-four hours, according to the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
The organization indicated in announcing the Zero that it expected initial demand to outstrip supply, but it didn't say that it anticipated selling out in just one day. The initial stock amounted to "tens of thousands" of devices, the organization said, adding that it is now building more.
Most of the existing Zeros were sold directly online, but people who obtained a copy of the official Raspberry Pi Magazine, MagPi, will also receive one of the devices gratis with the December issue.
The Zero features an ARM11 processor and 512 megabytes of memory -- which makes it pretty similar to the Gateway Pentium III computer I got for Christmas about ten years ago. But that cost something like 400 times as much money, accounting for inflation.