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Open Source Hardware Projects, 2009

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the hard-way dept.

Hardware Hacking 77

ptorrone writes "MAKE's yearly open source hardware guide is now online with over 125 projects in 19 categories. The creators of all of these projects have decided to publish completely all the source, schematics, firmware, software, bill of materials, parts list, drawings, and 'board' files to recreate the hardware. They also allow any use, including commercial. In other words, you can make a business making and selling any of these objects. This is similar to open source software like Linux, but hardware-centric."

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Bad news (0, Flamebait)

Reikk (534266) | more than 4 years ago | (#30417990)

Open source has devastated the software community and increased the prices of legit software. Now open hardware is looking to follow in its footsteps, hurting the economy, losing jobs and ruining lives.

Re:Bad news (5, Insightful)

ThreeE (786934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418386)

I'm a die hard free market capitalist and I have to say you are clueless. If legit software can't provide value beyond what is freely available, it deserves to fade away. This is even more true for legit hardware -- whatever that is...

Re:Bad news (1)

philcheesesteak (1697792) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418474)

I'm also a firm believer in the free market, but unfortunately software (operating systems in particular) does not seem to follow that model. The most versatile, powerful, and reliable operating system has been available free of charge for nearly 20 years - but most users are fairly entrenched in the "mindshare" of the major OS makers.

Mind_share [wikipedia.org]

Re:Bad news (2, Informative)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418978)

The most stable, versatile and powerful operating system is useless if the users don't like the applications that are made for it. It is the applications and ease of use that make people choose an operating system, not the quality of code in the operating system.

You want Linux or Unix to catch on? Make an open source Outlook & Exchange substitution. You'll have to beat businesses off with a stick.

Re:Bad news (2)

TClevenger (252206) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419140)

THANK YOU. And not the half-assed ones that are out there. I'm talking RPC over HTTP, calendar invites, tasks and contacts handled properly, PST file support, the works. When OpenOffice Calc supports pivot tables properly and Evolution supports Exchange Server properly, you'll see a massive switch in my company and many others.

Re:Bad news (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421988)

It's not just that. You also need something that comes with a sane migration plan (ie. doesn't require you to get 2,000 people to change simultaneously).

Most F/OSS Exchange "alternatives" were put together by people who have heard about Exchange but never appear to have actually used it.

Re:Bad news (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423658)

You wouldn't even need to migrate Exchange (just yet, anyway). If you could just replace the Outlook Client in total and still use the Exchange backend, you could make a killing. Actually, I remember reading on /. about a drop in replacement for Exchange that ran on Linux. I think Zarafa is the one. All it needs is a replacement for Outlook to go with it.

Re:Bad news (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423846)

There are various things which claim to replace Exchange and they claim varying degrees of "drop-in-ness".

I've never yet met one which didn't simultaneously suck and blow.

Don't feed the trolls (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418908)

Ignore this idiot, please.

Re:Don't feed the trolls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421500)

Yes, ignore this idiot saying "Ignore this idiot, please." Since the GP is speaking the truth, which easily seen by just looking around at the real world...

Re:Bad news (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30418480)

If you're going to troll, at least bother to post anon fool.

Re:Bad news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421980)

Open source has devastated the software community and increased the prices of legit software.
Now open hardware is looking to follow in its footsteps, hurting the economy, losing jobs and ruining lives.

Its the work of the communists from hell. lol

WTF (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30417994)

I refuse to be the first post.

Now there's a geeky Christmas card! (3, Interesting)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 4 years ago | (#30417996)

Look under the "religious" projects. Finally a Christmas card that looks more geeky than the "iphone with cardboard" posted earlier on /.

Re:Now there's a geeky Christmas card! (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419054)

Look under the "religious" projects. Finally a Christmas card that looks more geeky than the "iphone with cardboard" posted earlier on /.

Don't make one for anyone who's not local - either the TSA or the Post Office will arrest you for being a terrorist if that gets anywhere near either of them.

No universal machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30418038)

Open Source software is great because there is an affordable universal machine which can be used to implement the software described by the source code. There is no such universal machine for hardware yet. Making electronics still requires either quite a lot of money or a versatile skill-set and tools. Other hardware isn't much different: You basically have to be a machinist to be able to create something from the published blueprints, and at that point, do you really need the blueprints?

Blueprints (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418220)

Just because you have the tools and skills doesn't mean you don't need the blueprints.

Re:No universal machine (2, Interesting)

rphy (1614581) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418280)

Agree with you. And also, software should be free (as in free speech) due to the inherent nature of software (lines of code). OTOH, one can choose not to display the schematics of the hardware thus preventing someone from duplicating it. Of course, in most cases, one can open it up and reverse engineer it; however not so easy with microchips and the like. I find "open source hardware" just a fashionable tag people use to promote themselves.

Re:No universal machine (3, Insightful)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418350)

Well, programming isn't that easy either. I mean, in theory, all you need is a computer, but in practice it takes a lot of time to learn properly.

I think that getting started in electronics wouldn't be that expensive. Soldering irons are cheap, and components like capacitors are sold for prices like $0.05/unit. Of course microcontrollers and such are more expensive, but you don't need those in large amounts.

Re:No universal machine (3, Insightful)

Puff_Of_Hot_Air (995689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418472)

Quite a lot of money? As far as hobbies go, electronics is extremely affordable. Try "car racing", or "remote heli/plane" or even wood-working. You can make many interesting electronic projects for under $50 AU. Spend a bit more for an Arduino, and there are a nearly limitless number of projects you can build. As hobbies go, I don't think electronics can be classed as "expensive".

Re:No universal machine (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30418564)

There are certainly more expensive hobbies, but compared to Open Source software development, electronics is costly. Having circuit boards made is expensive and making them yourself is still hit or miss without a lot of practice. Sure, you can learn a lot with breadboards and simulators, but to make something usable according to a plan is a much bigger leap than from source to executable software.

Re:No universal machine (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 4 years ago | (#30426076)

Actually by hobby electronics standards the Arduino is a tad pricey... You pay for an easy to use platform which can be used by people who don't have electronics skills. You need to be able to code in C, but the Arduino development environment provides libraries to all the hardware access easier.

If you are a Real Coder(TM) you can just get an AVR programmer (£15) and an ATmega8 (£1 or less) and start hacking away. I keep hearing comments from the young 'uns about how 20MHz is really slow and you can't do anything with 1k of RAM and 16k of ROM, but I guess they haven't seen the demos people were making on C64s and Amigas back in the day. AVR assembler is very nice too.

Now, a shameless plug for my own projects: denki.world3.net [world3.net] . All GPL. I sell the Retro Adapters here: retro.world3.net [world3.net] .

Re:No universal machine (2, Informative)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418602)

the arduino seems to be as close to 'programmable logic for the masses' as I've seen.

this year, I finally took the plunge and got very into this arduino thing. love it! recommend it.

I'm a mostly-software person with a hardware hobby background. the arduino is just enough hardware to 'stay interesting' and yet not need a full EE to do useful things (design, build AND code).

its not a host like unix is; its a controller. but its all in C, its multiplatform (the IDE) and it does quite a lot for the cost (almost no cost; just a $20 usb serial cable for development and that's all, over the chip and board itself). chips and boards can be made for $5 (I built my own arduino clone on perf board. not hard.)

the arduino craze is taking off and only going to get bigger as time goes on.

need an IR receiver that 'does things' based on learned IR codes? arduino. need some X10 wireless stuff controlled? arduino. need to talk to LCD displays easily? arduino. and ALL the source is out there, so your coding is mostly a 'glue' exercise without a huge amount of new code that needs to be written.

Re:No universal machine (1)

bitrex (859228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30420888)

I'm currently using the Arduino to construct an effects processor inspired by the long discontinued Waldorf 4-Pole [vintagesynth.com] . Writing the software for the envelope generator, display, and LFOs has been a great way to brush up on my long-disused C programming skills. Even though the AtMega168 that the Arduino platform is based on is not a DSP, the hardware seems powerful enough to do some direct digital synthesis; I believe there actually is an open source hardware synthesizer based on the AVR microcontroller.

Hardware and Software Projects are Awesome (3, Interesting)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418224)

About 2 years ago I built a 68000 full hardware and software board in my second year of college. I wrote the firmware in ASM and had to then reprogram the ASM to Srecord and yes that's reprogram not just use a converter. The board was wire wrapped which took more time then I want to remember. Over all a fun project it took a total of about 6 weeks and we had to reprogram the ROM about 100 times because the rom burner was broken but no one knew till I suggested.

"Culture Jamming" = Tools for Sociopaths (4, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418262)

A home-brewed cell phone jammer, long distance TV turner-off'er, and an Area Effect Sickness Generator. MAKE is clearly pandering to the Got-Stuffed-In-Their-Lockers-A-Lot-In-High-School crowd...

Re:"Culture Jamming" = Tools for Sociopaths (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30418490)

> Area Effect Sickness Generator

4chan isn't a hardware device.

Re:"Culture Jamming" = Tools for Sociopaths (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418566)

Long distance TV turner-offer is the opposite of sociopathy. RF jamming has a lot of interesting and enlightening uses; it's also apparently a super-advanced project. The Area Effect Sickness thing is sociopathic, unsurprisingly considering it's modeled after a device engineered for crowd control by the government.

Re:"Culture Jamming" = Tools for Sociopaths (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30418580)

"long distance TV turner-off'er,"

if you were to add amplifier/hi-fi turning off'er to that, i'd be buying one. stupid loud party in the summer when everybody's got their windows open at night? not any more!

No (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30418274)

They also allow any use, including commercial. In other words, you can make a business making and selling any of these objects. This is similar to open source software like Linux, but hardware-centric."

No, more like open source software like BSD. Stallman doesn't approve of anything commercial, or anyone making any profit off of anything at all. Witness GPL 3.0.

Re:No (4, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418436)

GPL 3 clearly allows commercial use, and is indeed one of the best licenses to use with dual licensing, which is one of the very few proven business methods for Open Source / Free Software.

A lot of people confuse "use" with "derivative works". Use means run the program.

Not so. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30420432)

Stallman is clearly making license agreements that have never made any sizable market penetration. It's as though he writes them out of his lack of experience and failure. Witness his career in academia never to make it's way outside the laboratry. It's no wonder "Black Israel" thinks that God created the black man in nature and all the other races were created in a laboratory by the Shay'tan and his minion of devils and demons. What does Stallman want to achieve with any kind of license other than castrate the potential of software; I thought it was a good thing for something to be released free as in beer and speech but clearly all he wants is the source code to be seen rather than let an application get put out there like Open Source Initiative has achieved many times over.

Re:No (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30420832)

A lot of people confuse "use" with "derivative works".

And I never heard a good reason why the "confusion" is a bad idea. Derivative works are after all a use of the code. Not in a strictly legal sense, of course, but it's not a stretch.

Re:No (2, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30420986)

The reason that the confusion is a bad idea is that copyright law - not the Open Source folks - define a set of individual rights, and without knowing the definition of those rights you end up not being able to much much sense about them. You end up like those folks who think the internet is made of tubes.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423018)

I agree with you in that making a derivative work is a use of the code, and that claiming that is not far fetched, but we live in a world with greedy corporations which are responsible for a nice bunch of the problems we face today (social, environmental, economical, you name it), such scenario is possible only because our apathy towards apparently innocent corporate behavior. It is the best interest and RESPONSIBILITY(at least legally) of a corporation to make money at any cost, it is in our best interest and also responsibility to be watchdogs of the corporations we pour our hard earned money as customers, and unless the world turns communist (and even so there is a possibility corporations still exists) this is not likely to change. The GPL is a proactive mechanism by the software development community to hinder the interests of big scale corporations who first draw the distinction between using the compiled software and the source code, in such context avoid the confusion is in the best interest and responsibility of the FSF, the EFF, slashdot gnu fanboys (not derogatory, myself included) and the alike.

Re:No (3, Informative)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418450)

Stallman used to sell tapes with GNU software, as well as manuals. He even said this was the way he initially supported himself.

Make magazine (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30418318)

Ah Make magazine. Sadly this journal is so difficult to find here in Australia, and when you do, the cost is so astronomically expensive per issue that anyone who can afford it can just go and buy off-the-shelf stuff and probably has no need to make their own on the cheap anyway. Well that is the feeling that always springs to mind :(

Re:Make magazine (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30418344)

You might want to look at their subscriptions, for Australia its about 49 USD for 4 issues the last I checked. Or even the digital version for 5 USD for 4 issues.

PS: I not way endorsing them, I have no comment on whether I like or hate them.

Re:Make magazine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30418388)

s/not/am no

Re:Make magazine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419526)

IIRC there's an offer on ATM to get 2 subscriptions for the price of one*. Got a friend who's also interested in Make and wants to split the cost?

* This was from a recent email they sent me - it might be restricted to current subscribers, but I don't know why I'ld want to have 3 x any magazine subscription =p

Re:Make magazine (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30418352)

Make is not about making stuff cheaper than off-the-shelf, so if the price of mag puts you off, you're not going to make anything with it anyway. The idea behind Make is a form of self-empowerment, to understand hardware and to enable individual constructions. One-of prices are always going to be much higher than the price of mass-produced merchandise.

Re:Make magazine (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30420418)

I can't fully agree - many of the projects in this story simply aren't mass produced. Few of them that can be bought off-the-shelf (robotic arm? UAV?) are quite expensive there, targetting niche markets, and not consumers.

Re:Make magazine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30423046)

From Mexico I agree with the aussie, this kind of self empowerment comes very high in cost.

Free hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30418452)

Sure am looking forward to building some of these things. I'd just like to clarify that GNU/Linux (linux's just the kernel) is free software and not open source, the main difference is that open source focuses on the practical part of having available source code while free software focuses on the user's freedoms (one of which is access to the source code).

I've always wondered if there is a view in hardware that meets the views of free software (i.e. the freedom to tinker with your hardware, to share schematics,firmware,etc. with friends, the freedom to modify and redistribute anything provided by the community), and if there is why is it not called free hardware? Also, does anybody know of hardware licenses similar to the GPL?

Buzz-Word Bingo (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418470)

The creators of all of these projects have decided to publish completely all the source, schematics, firmware, software, bill of materials, parts list, drawings, and 'board' files to recreate the hardware.

Why must everything be labeled "open source?"
Plans and projects for the technically-minded hobbyist are at least as old as Popular Mechanics, first published in 1902.

Re:Buzz-Word Bingo (4, Insightful)

moonbender (547943) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418544)

Because unlike a Popular Mechanics article, you're allowed to re-publish identical or modified versions of these guides and the attached sources?

Re:Buzz-Word Bingo (1)

zigmeister (1281432) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419716)

Negating accidental 'Redundant' moderation. Sigh.

Re:Buzz-Word Bingo (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419804)

It came from software. Software sharing was common until people decided that they want to make money from software by stopping it, effectively creating artificial scarcity. One of the first attempts was the Open Letter to Hobbyists, published back in 1975 by Bill Gates. By 1983 it got to the point where Stallman had to start the "free software" movement to get the freedom lost by this back. It was later that the term "open source" was invented.

Re:Buzz-Word Bingo (1)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421882)

All the minicomputer and mainframe companies in the 60's and 70's had huge users groups and distributed user contributed software.
Digital's Decus was IMHO the greatest organization and distributed megs of software. Languages, editors, communications, games.
All were available for free. Hardware manufactures saw this as a plus as it would only run on their hardware.
Then, Microcomputers and microprocessors, supplied by manufactures that had no tied-in (other then an a chip ) to the customer base appeared.
At the same time, So did the likes of bill G and others.
The OP is correct.

Re:Buzz-Word Bingo (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30425722)

Yep, it was reported that some of the Altair BASIC code by MS that the Open Letter to Hobbyists were about was copied from one of these user groups, creating exactly the situration that the GPL was supposed to prevent.

Re:Buzz-Word Bingo (1)

halfey (1516717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30420926)

Why must everything be labeled "open source?"

Which makes me think "open-source hardware" is a new term for "DIY hardware".

As soon as they automate this... (0, Offtopic)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418498)

...we can add "swag optimization" to "search optimization". Except, Microsoft has nothing i want!

Re:As soon as they automate this... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418512)

This seems to be attached to the wrong article.

Re:As soon as they automate this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30418950)

Friendly question - how do people manage to post to the wrong article? I see it all the time, but it perplexes me. Do you guys have multiple slashdot article tabs open or something?

Re:As soon as they automate this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30421000)

Terrorists and drug lords

Build It. Share It. Profit. (1)

auric_dude (610172) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418532)

Can Open Source Hardware Work? Banzi seems to think so via http://www.wired.com/techbiz/startups/magazine/16-11/ff_openmanufacturing [wired.com]

Re:Build It. Share It. Profit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30418556)

Except if you read the article, he implies that there's basically no profit made on the hardware, and that the only money is in his consulting work.

The "Arduno" cult (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418644)

The Arduno cult is about branding, not technology. The CPU is an ATMega 128, a good little microcontroller. Boards for that CPU have been available for years. I was using this one [microcontrollershop.com] years before the cult. It's Atmel that made this all possible, by building a microcontroller that requires very few external components to program and debug.

The Arduno people have their own language and terminology, talking about "shields" (daughterboards) and such. Too cult-like.

Re:The "Arduno" cult (5, Insightful)

Sephollyon (831138) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418826)

The "Arduino" is innovative in the way it's packaged and used. I'm not much of a hardware guy, but I looked into microcontrollers like six or seven years ago and was pretty much scared away. The Arduino has made entry into the world of microcontrollers very easy and lets people get really creative without a steep learning curve. Rather than just getting a microcontroller to work, you can think about what you can hook up to it and the software, which is great for software nerds like me who have little experience in hardware. Before this the most I had done was build a kit distortion pedal in high school. If you know how to write simple programs, that same level of hardware knowledge can now be used to do far more interesting and useful things.

Re:The "Arduno" cult (1)

nf0 (214122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419504)

I agree with you. I looked into micro controllers six or seven years ago and thought the same thing. Now with some much going on with Arduino and some many cool projects out there, I'm finally going to jump in and start doing instead of just reading.

Re:The "Arduno" cult (2, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419536)

I looked into microcontrollers like six or seven years ago and was pretty much scared away.

The Arduno's ecosystem has helped in that area. There was a previous generation of microcontrollers with hobbyist support, the PIC and the Basic Stamp. Those devices were getting rather dated; the Basic Stamp is descended from a 1970s National Semiconductor part. Moving to Atmel's ATmega128 was a step up, with 32-bit registers and a hardware multiplier. The industrial world made that step up a decade ago, but the hobbyist world was still struggling along with limited hardware. This is one of the reasons that entry-level hobbyist robots hadn't gotten much smarter for over a decade.

Although Atmel offered a complete set of free development tools for the ATmega line [atmel.com] , they were never presented in a hobbyist-friendly format. Atmel has a huge range of products, and this is just one of many. It's not at all obvious what to order and download.

Re:The "Arduno" cult (3, Informative)

compumike (454538) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419688)

(Actually, not 32-bit -- it's all still 8-bit, except for the AVR32 line which is another set of chips altogether.)

You're right, there was a lot lacking and people could be "scared away" from getting started with microcontrollers, but what we're trying to do with NerdKits [nerdkits.com] is make it less scary without hiding the complexity or the conceptual learning. Our hypothesis is that people are actually smart enough to handle real tools, if you show them how, and will be far better off with that experience. Guide newbies through looking at the datasheet, setting registers, etc. Add some unique content [nerdkits.com] that really makes you use your brain, and we've got a lot of very happy customers!

The PICAXE chipset won't scare you away then (1)

Traf-O-Data-Hater (858971) | more than 4 years ago | (#30420458)

I don't know if it's popular in the US but it is in the UK and Australia. It's a series of super-easy PIC controllers that are very cheap and programed in a version of BASIC though a serial port, no special programmer circuitry required. They have A to D inputs and servo control outputs. They are great for school projects and Silicon Chip magazine always has lots of project articles for them. See http://www.rev-ed.co.uk/picaxe/ [rev-ed.co.uk]

creative vocabulary != cult (2, Insightful)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 4 years ago | (#30418980)

Choosing an odd word to name an interface specification doesn't qualify its users as belonging to a 'cult'.

Re:The "Arduno" cult (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419060)

Thanks, comic book store guy. The Arduino 'cult' has, as others have pointed out, lowered the barrier to entry for people interested in microcontroller programming. The community (or cult in your words) that's grown up around it is part of why it's more than just a chip from Atmel. People have written libraries that make it easier to use components, and the programming environment is dreamy compared to old-skool avr-gcc and avrdude (which the Arduino development environment still uses, under the covers).

Lots of people got to do the 'pfft, amateurs. I was here first thing'. If that gives you a lot of satisfaction and what not, go for it, but don't expect people to wear themselves out being impressed.

Re:The "Arduno" cult (2, Informative)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419172)

The Arduino is all about the "cult," however.

That "cult" has created an ecosystem around the ATMega8/168/328 - in fact, what makes the Arduino so interesting isn't the hardware, or even the shields (although they are nice - a de-facto standard for expansion,) it's the software. The software reduces the barrier of entry to microcontroller programming drastically.

You can make an Arduino that doesn't use their hardware at all, only their software, and get quite a lot of the benefits. In fact, there are official Arduino designs that use different layouts.

Re:The "Arduno" cult (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419222)

You're right, it's hard to deny that dumbing something down reduces "barrier to entry" :-)

Re:The "Arduno" cult (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419980)

I love the arduno well more so the Atmega. It works awesome with gcc and is easy and simple to program. However one thing I do have with it is that the SPI port is a little odd to work with. Other then that's it a solid performer.

Re:The "Arduno" cult (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30429624)

The Arduno cult is about branding, not technology. The CPU is an ATMega 128, a good little microcontroller. Boards for that CPU have been available for years. I was using this one [microcontrollershop.com] years before the cult. It's Atmel that made this all possible, by building a microcontroller that requires very few external components to program and debug.

The Arduno people have their own language and terminology, talking about "shields" (daughterboards) and such. Too cult-like.

The Arduino used to use the Atmega 168 not the 128. I believe they have moved on to the Atmega 328.

is this also an example of open source? (2, Interesting)

JumpSocial (1157627) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419410)

I consider my model airplane design open source because I made the plans available. People have built them all over the world and have added revisions to the plans. Is that what makes it open source? Here is the URL: http://www.rubber-power.com/ [rubber-power.com]

Re:is this also an example of open source? (1)

atomicthumbs (824207) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419646)

yes, it is.

Re:is this also an example of open source? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30422192)

What makes it "Open Source" is giving away the plans, because "Open" means "interoperable" and "Open Source" means you can get the source, period, the end. Bruce Perens and the OSI would like you to believe it means something else, but it had an established meaning before Mr. Perens even claims to have coined the term.

Your airplane design is "Free" if you permit redistribution of [un]modified plans for any purpose. But even those plans in popular mechanics were Open Source — and you can still get access to those plans for a nominal copying fee, I might add.

no 3g based? (1)

sandGorgons (1528485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30420164)

I couldnt help but notice that there are no 3g based projects. I know that many (not all) of the 3g chipsets that you need to build any product are covered under extremely restrictive NDA.

However, I had really hoped that there would be atleast one

Note: OpenMoko does not disclose its 3g firmware (http://wiki.openmoko.org/wiki/GTA01_gsm_modem) Upgrading the modem's firmware is technically possible but no proper software is currently legally available to users outside Openmoko staff

Re:no 3g based? (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421144)

And the FCC wouldn't certify a baseband that you can hack easily, because it can be hacked easily.

I believe those NDAs are pretty much required by law, even if there weren't trade secrets they were trying to protect.

Re:no 3g based? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30426056)

So, the FCC has no problem with hacking GSM, but not 3G?

Shouldn't we have a different word for that ? (1)

Cochonou (576531) | more than 4 years ago | (#30421094)

Something like open design ? Or anything else ? Coining in the word "source" for things that aren't really related (i.e.: blueprints) only causes confusion. When I think of "open source hardware", I might think about VHDL or Verilog, but not really blueprints.
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