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Raspberry Pi is an instant hit

Tiny educational computer the Raspberry Pi sold out within hours of going on sale.

A tiny computer the size of a credit card has sold out on the first day of launch after six years in development.

The Raspberry Pi is a basic hand-held computer that aims to help teach children to use code and programming.

Sold for just £22 it is the bare bones of a computer, coming without case, monitor or keyboard but can be plugged into a TV.

"It has been six years in the making; the number of things that had to go right for this to happen is enormous. I couldn't be more pleased," said Eben Upton, of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, told the BBC.

He said that the organisation had been overwhelmed by the interest in the tiny computer, and urged customers who had missed out to preorder now to ensure they get hold of one.

Demand for the device was so strong that the website of one of the main suppliers actually crashed.

"We didn't realise how successful this was going to be," Mr Upton added, "This means we can scale to volume. Now we can concentrate on teaching people to programme."

The firm has now announced plans to release a smaller, cheaper product for around £16.

Michael Gove, secretary of state for education, has given his backing to the educational computer.

However, Rory Cellan-Jones, technology correspondent at the BBC, said that the key challenge the firm was always going to face was not getting the computers off the shelves.

"The real task is not about getting the Raspberry Pi out to that impatient crowd of enthusiasts. What matters is the kind of reception the device gets when it arrives in schools," he said.

But Mr Upton remains confident and has claimed that the successful release of the Raspberry Pi is just the beginning of things to come.ADNFCR-1220-ID-801306632-ADNFCR