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Open Source Hardware Hacking Build Hardware

Open Source Hardware Definition Hits 0.3 93

ptorrone writes "A group of open source hardware makers have put together a draft of the open source hardware definition, now at version 0.3, which hopes to further define the making, sharing and selling of hardware within an 'Open Source Hardware license.' This fall, the day before Maker Faire New York City, the group hopes to have the license finalized for v1.0, and they are holding the first Open Source Hardware Summit. There are currently dozens of companies making open source hardware, altogether worth millions of dollars."
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Open Source Hardware Definition Hits 0.3

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  • Re:I have to say (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NegativeK ( 547688 ) <> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @03:42PM (#32905342) Homepage
    What exactly are they dreaming about? I've only dealt with a few, but the open-source hardware companies I've purchased from are catering to individuals who don't need a PC motherboard or a 3GHz processor for their project. Think Arduino or GPS breakout board. In reality, cost barriers to open source hardware are progressing quite nicely. Access to fab resources in China and pick and place machines are dropping in price; doing it on your own is much more accessible. For examples, check out the aforementioned Arduino or the stuff Makerbot creates. 3d printers at a price-point of $1,000 were a pie in the sky dream 10 years ago. And lastly, open source isn't always about free as in bear. People still pay for Linux. I still pay for open source hobbyist hardware. I purchase it instead of other roughly equivalent devices because it's more easily modifiable, is easily hacked upon, is often quite well documented, and it's easy to find support. Adafruit has recently mentioned that "[t]here are 13 million-dollar open-source hardware companies". It seems to be working for some of us.
  • Re:I have to say (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Zerth ( 26112 ) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @04:46PM (#32906182)

    If you think a group of disperse individuals will each have the same equipment to collaborate you're dreaming.

    CNC routers, extruders, and sintering machines are all within range of the hobbyist much like computers were
    30 years ago. Several people will loan you a prototyping machine if you promise to loan out the one you build with it.

    Just the availability of small $200 XYZ stages makes tons of industrial automation possible: pick&place, automated testing, cutting, and the already mentioned routing and prototyping. Add in the advances in visual mapping and object simulation and you can even start doing assembly.

  • Re:I have to say (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @04:47PM (#32906206) Journal

    They are dreaming.

    You are measuring against a yardstick of success that doesn't really apply.

    To be "successful" an open hardware manufacturer does not need to become the next Intel. They're not necessarily trying to build mass market widgets. They're protecting a group of users that the rest of the industry badly to ignore: the imaginative user of technology.

    There are people out here who really don't strive to own the latest iPhone, but rather have specific applications for which the mass marketeers don't have solutions. There are those of us who don't want to have a locked-down box that "just works" because their imaginations are going in a different direction. The people who bought the original Apple IIs or kit computers of the 1980s were like that. Linus Torvald was "just dreaming" when he was playing with a VIC20 and was "just dreaming" when he started development on an open source operating system. Today, most web servers on the internet are running Linux based Apache.

    People who are "dreaming" threaten the status quo, and thus also threaten people who are frightened of change and progress. I don't know why there's so much scoffing about open source hardware (or open source anything) because it's not like it's going to take away your safe mass-marketed gear or anything. It's just people trying to make something for themselves and for each other. Why does that upset so many people?

    You're right that "they are dreaming". Maybe they're dreaming about something that can't be done with current off-the-shelf parts. Have you already forgotten how this great "high-tech/computer/internet" solution got started? And who started it? I say thank god somebody is still dreaming.

  • Re:I have to say (Score:3, Interesting)

    by IrquiM ( 471313 ) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @05:08AM (#32910834) Homepage

    I think you are confusing open source with free as in beer

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers