Launch day

I just thought I would quickly blog about this morning’s launch.  So it was announced at 6 am GMT this morning that the foundation has entered into licensed manufacture partnerships with two electronics companies, Premier Farnell and RS Components, and that these companies are now taking pre-orders for the device.

Speaking from my own experience, although I know this was the same for many others, what followed was basically the equivalent of a denial of service attack on both of these sites.  The sheer weight of internet traffic brought them to their knees and it was almost impossible to get a single page to load.

I spent about two hours trying to place an order, and by the time I managed it, through the farnell export site, they had already sold out.  To my surprise though I have just received an email from them saying that stock has been allocated to my order with an expected delivery date of the 12th of March.  I’m still not quite sure how this happened, but if I receive a package in the post a week Monday I will be most happy.

Watch this space!

An easier way to create the bootable SD card with Windows

This post follows on from yesterdays one where we explained how to create the bootable SD card using diskpart and windd through the administrator command prompt.  We have now found a much quicker way to do the same thing and you don’t need to delete any partitions first.  Win32DiskImager is a program you can download for free which has a nice and simple GUI.

Simply select the image file, choose the drive letter of your SD card and press the Write button.  It will give you a warning that writing to a physical drive could corrupt the device, but just say Yes to this.  You can then watch the progress bar slowly move to the right.  When it’s finished the progress bar will disappear and you can press Exit.

Most of the SD card images that you can download from the internet are made for 2GB SD cards.  If you have a larger SD card than this there are a couple of extra steps you’ll need to do in order to use the extra space.  If you don’t perform them then your Pi will only ever see 2GB of disk space and you’ll be wasting the rest.

If you’re using Raspbian then all you need to do is select one thing during the first boot configuration stage.  When you first boot the SD card image up you’ll get the configuration screen shown below.  All you need to do is select the second option down from the top and press enter.  This will now expand the file system to fill the SD card.

If you’re using another operating system then you may need to change the size of the file system partitions manually.  There are instructions on how to do this using a tool called GParted on a previous post on this blog.

Anyway, I hope this helps.  I will probably use this tool in future as it does save a bit of time.