The Raspberry Pi finally became available for purchase last week, and literally sold out within minutes of officially going on sale.  In fact, there's so much interest from those eager to grab the credit card sized computer that it crashed the company's website, forcing the developers to switch to a static site to try and deal with the huge influx of traffic. Thanks to deals with British companies RS Components and Premier Farnell, those unable to grab the first batch were thankfully able to preorder the computer.

The project, which has been under development for the last six years, features an ARM-based processor typcially used in mobile phones. The model B features an ethernet port, 256MB of RAM, two USB ports and uses a Broadcom BCM2835 running at 700MHz, as well as offering HDMI and RCA video out capabilities.

One of the distributors, Premier Farnell, has spoken out, claiming that orders were still running at 700 per second at the end of last week and showing no slowdown in demand. That's an incredible 42,000 Pi sales per minute. Harriet Green, CEO of Premier Farnell said demand was 20 times greater than their supply.

She gave her thoughts on why she felt it was such a success. "It's interesting to look at why there's so much excitement around Raspberry Pi," she commented. "I think that a lot of teachers, parents and children are worrying that they're becoming just consumers - taking something out of a box and plugging it in. There's a lot of points of concern about children being just consumers rather than creators and innovators."

Those not lucky enough to get one from the first batch might be in for a bit of a wait though. According to the Inquirer, the foundation has not long received the first small batch, after a last minute change was made due to a design bug that needed rectifying before the final reference design was set for the Chinese manufacturers.

Eben Upton, executive director of the Raspberry Pi Foundation said that the first couple of thousand are imminent, with volume shipments expected next month: "the big new volume tranche of around 10,000 units will arrive in mid to late April. So anyone who ordered more than about an hour after the launch will get their unit then."

Despite record sales, the charity that developed the Raspberry Pi promises there will be no price hike, with the price set at $35 for the model B, but varying only slightly due to local exchange rate differences.