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Open Source Hardware Gift Guide

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the well-now-there's-an-idea dept.

58

ptorrone writes "Looking to give gifts this year that are open source? Here's MAKE Magazines "Open Source Hardware" gift guide. Open source 3D printers, TV-turn-off devices, iPod chargers, music players, Wi-Fi companions, educational electronic kits and more. Each of the kits, projects and open source hardware gifts in this guide represents more than just a holiday gift, it's a change to support this nascent open hardware movement."

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What about BSD support? Oh, wait (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21559365)

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I can predict an era (3, Interesting)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559409)

I can predict an era where 3D printers will be popular and inexpensive and people will be sharing definition files on the Internet for building their own 3D toys, and then at some point a Nigerian will come out seeking copyright infringement damages for the most popular 3D toys.

Re:I can predict an era (0, Offtopic)

nerdyalien (1182659) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559603)

how about sex toys... are they open source???

Re:I can predict an era (2, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21560817)

Is he the same one that asks you if you can print out some of his money for him and you can keep 15%?

Good starter gifts (3, Interesting)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559413)

Look pretty good to give out as a beginning electronics kit for kids or people just getting into it. Somehow building my own phone back in the day doesn't seem quite as impressive.

Funny you should mention this (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21559533)

I was looking at these [tinyurl.com] starter kits just earlier today. Unfortunately my son is a little too young at the moment!

Re:Funny you should mention this (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21559619)

I think he'd still fit.

AX84: Great (mostly tube) electronics site (1)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21562977)

The AX84 BBS- the forum that goes along with the AX84 website- is a great place to learn about analog electronics. It's primarily tube amp oriented, but is starting to branch out more. And it boasts one of the best (if not the best) communities on the net, anywhere. From beginners to experts, everyone learns, evryone contributes, everyone has fun-- and a lot of very cool amps get built.

MP3 Player (0, Troll)

BigDumbAnimal (532071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559425)

Open source?

The MP3 player doesn't seem to support ogg.

Re:MP3 Player (5, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559455)

It's open source, right? You have the source to the MP3 player, you have the source for the Ogg/Vorbis, make your own firmware that supports Ogg.

Re:MP3 Player (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21559799)

You can't. The MP3 is decoded by a specialized IC, and not in sofware :(.

Re:MP3 Player (1)

josath (460165) | more than 6 years ago | (#21560967)

Luckily, the company that makes the MP3 IC also makes an OggVorbis IC, that is about the same cost. Of course I don't think it uses exactly the same connections, so you may need to update the schematic of the board a bit as well. But still perfectly doable, if you have the time / knowledge.

Here's a link to the chip:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8300 [sparkfun.com]

I like the digg thing (1)

Martian_Kyo (1161137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559437)

it should be made thinner and integrated into shirts....so when you go out, and someone diggs you, they just..uhhmmm..click your shirt.
To prevent spamming it would be based on fingerprints (the biological IP address), a fingerprint can digg you only once in 24 hours.

"So how was it last night"
"I got digged 300 times"
"idiot it's dugg, not digged"
"it's a different word from dig, different rules apply"
"I am not so sure, let's ask the slashdotters"

So is it digged or dugg?

Re:I like the digg thing (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559563)

Easy. It's dig dug [wikipedia.org] . As in, I got dig dugged. Err...wait...that doesn't sound right.

Re:I like the digg thing (2, Interesting)

darkrowan (976992) | more than 6 years ago | (#21560933)

it should be made thinner and integrated into shirts....so when you go out, and someone diggs you, they just..uhhmmm..click your shirt.
Already Done [instructables.com]

Re:I like the digg thing (1)

Martian_Kyo (1161137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21561091)

holy shits!
I am glad someone's actually done it.

as bonus it also answers my digged dugg question.

Life is great!

Re:I like the digg thing (1)

Pollardito (781263) | more than 6 years ago | (#21562599)

if you place the Digg button a little lower you could make Pillsbury Doughboy noises to give feedback. if you place it a little lower still, well...

Looks like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21559453)

a bunch of bomb kits.

what about Open Source software as xmas gifts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21559461)

*ducks*

Re:what about Open Source software as xmas gifts? (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559581)

Oh, wow! Gee, thanks Linus! My very own copy of Linux Kernel v2.6.24! Just what I've always wanted! How did you know?

Re:what about Open Source software as xmas gifts? (2, Funny)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559659)

It could be worse [bash.org] ...

Re:what about Open Source software as xmas gifts? (1)

SiriusStarr (1196697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21563035)

I'm sorry, but that is the most entertaining thing I've read in weeks... I have family members who would seriously do that... I don't think I'd ever talk to them again. :D

Re:what about Open Source software as xmas gifts? (1)

phobos13013 (813040) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559661)

You laugh, but that what this article is about! [linuxdevices.com]

Ok, well maybe not everything on there is source available, but it at least runs Linux... close second

Why nerds can't have girlfriends (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21559489)

because you give them crappy "open source" gifts

Re:Why nerds can't have girlfriends (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21559613)

But an "open source" gift is definitely better than an "open sores" gift

Tired of your wife? (1)

tbg58 (942837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559937)

Just make sure all her gifts are from this list and you have a decent chance of changing marital status.

Re:Why nerds can't have girlfriends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21577157)

Many girls don't mind being fingered, in my experience

TV-turn-off devices (4, Funny)

Bob54321 (911744) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559503)

You mean a finglonger?

Re:TV-turn-off devices (1)

MancunianMaskMan (701642) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559525)

a brick [turnoffyourtv.com] will do. Source code to brick-making has been in the public domain for thousands of years.

Re:TV-turn-off devices (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 6 years ago | (#21560261)

Actually, I was thinking that would be perfect for turning those televisions off in public areas where they have removed the power button (because people keep turning them off) or ones that are behind glass or too high to reach. I work at a university and some "saavy" media company has discovered that if they donate a television to the university and broadcast some helpful student messages for about 30 seconds out of every five minutes, they can spend the rest of the time doing product placement and advertising. It's an annoying development and a number of people who make a regular habit of turning those televisions off when they can.

Re:TV-turn-off devices (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564979)

Actually, I was thinking that would be perfect for turning those televisions off in public areas where they have removed the power button (because people keep turning them off) or ones that are behind glass or too high to reach.


Imagine doing it at your local Circuit City, Best Buy, Future Shop, or other electronics superstore - oh all the chaos. Especially if the signal is strong enough to bounce off of walls, so you get TVs pointed away from you as well!

Or, for more fun, do so to the TVs in bars (especially during a big game). Instant riot, so make sure you're inconspicuous.

3D Printer option: chocolate? (5, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559507)

I have a long history with stereolithographic devices (I used to consult with CNC companies as a teenager and young adult), and my dream was to have a SL device that made custom chocolate bars and pieces. While proper chocolate has to be poured at the right temperature into the mold, I've always wondered if there is a future to make a machine like an SL 3D printer that can print in chocolate.

I've done some basic searching, but found no one even talking about it. Yes, it's corny, but I'd love to know if anyone has played with candy/sugar/chocolate as the substrate for a 3D printer.

Re:3D Printer option: chocolate? (4, Informative)

necro81 (917438) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559615)

The current issue of Make magazine [makezine.com] has a short article on a rapid prototyper some guys built that does selective sintering [wikipedia.org] of powdered sugar! Instead of a laser or electron beam to do the sintering, they created a jet of hot air to carmelize the powder. They've turned it open-source and called it the CandyFab project [candyfab.org] .

As for using chocolate, I don't know of anyone dabbling in that. But, I suppose there's no reason you couldn't build a fused deposition modeler [wikipedia.org] that uses chocolate chips in a hopper as the raw material. What would you use for support structure?

Re:3D Printer option: chocolate? (1)

EMeta (860558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559749)

This is why I come to slashdot: people talk geek about absolutely anything. I've seen chemistry foodies before, but a MechE-type foodie is a first. Necro81, I salute you.

Re:3D Printer option: chocolate? (1)

lastchance_000 (847415) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559975)

Which leads inevitably to Rule 34 [urbandictionary.com] . Don't say you weren't warned.

Re:3D Printer option: chocolate? (1)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 6 years ago | (#21560001)

Your post made me shake my head, smile, and think "that's soo cool"

I join EMeta in doffing my hat to you. :-)

Re:3D Printer option: chocolate? (1)

onsblu (1047608) | more than 6 years ago | (#21568949)

At one point I tried to print onto tempered chocolate, by using chocolate bloom. It didn't work, but I suspect that it might've if I had a stronger light source that could either trace a path or flash an image quickly enough so that only the outer layer would heat up. When you heat up tempered chocolate above ~92 deg F the beta-crystals break up and form weaker bonds (most likely alpha crystals). This is called chocolate bloom, and occurs naturally in chocolate if left alone for a month or so; although at room temperature the crystalline structures should become stronger. Tempered chocolate owes its sheen or gloss to its tighter crystalline structure.

IANAChemist, so feel free to correct my terminology if you are.

Re:3D Printer option: chocolate? (3, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559633)

Well, they have cake printers [icingimages.com] for doing 2D images on cakes, so I imagine that 3D printers for doing chocolate or other candy is possible. A little Google search revealed some instructions for making your own 3D chocolate printer [instructables.com] . Merry Christmas, Dada!

Re:3D Printer option: chocolate? (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#21560295)

Thanks, that's sweet!

(mod -1/pun intended)

Re:3D Printer option: chocolate? (2, Interesting)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 6 years ago | (#21560109)

Saul Griffith [saulgriffith.com] built one for his masters' thesis, "towards personal fabricators" at MIT. It's available on the net in pdf format, but in a quick search I haven't found it -- I have a copy on my home computer, though, if you want. It's built out of LEGO bricks with an aluminum nozzle (and a LEGO worm gear) that's heated using a PID controller and a resistive heater, to melt and extrude the chocolate.
I'm building a significantly larger version, again out of LEGO bricks. I don't know if I'll manage 0,5mm accuracy, which is what he claims, but I should be able to do almost a cubic foot of material.

Re:3D Printer option: chocolate? (3, Informative)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 6 years ago | (#21560415)

I think this one counts as "playing around"
http://www.instructables.com/id/3D-chocolate-printer-made-from-LEGO/ [instructables.com]

The RepRap guys have played around with the IDEA (and lots of other material ideas)
http://reprap.org/bin/view/Main/MaterialsScience [reprap.org]

And Fab@Home has been used with chocolate - shame it's the most expensive by far.
http://3dprinterusers.blogspot.com/2007/05/more-than-chocolate-cornells-fabhome.html [blogspot.com]

Note to /.ers (5, Funny)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559519)

Leave this article where wives/girlfriends/parents can see it so that they can give them to you. Attempts to use these gift suggestions the other way round may be hazardous to the holiday spirit.

I tried... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21559587)

But the print-out I taped to the shower got all wet and mushy.

Re:Note to /.ers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21563999)

Last year, I gave my family a list of what I wanted to Christmas. I gave them links to pictures of the items, and I gave them direct purchase links. Plus, everything was in their price range of under $20. Most of the items were simple T-shirts from Thinkgeek or other T-shirt places.

So, what did I end up getting from my family?

My sister gave me a T-shirt from the local K-Mart. Her statement when she handed me the wrapped box was, "I didn't know which T-shirt on your list you wanted more, so I got you this".

Virtual machine (0, Redundant)

tsa (15680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559595)

A colleague of mine will give his wife a virtual machine with Linux running on it!

Octopus cable surge protectors (1)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559653)

Just send me five or six of those octopus surge protector dealies [thinkgeek.com] and I'll be happy.

-l

3 MOVs? (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21559925)

"Just send me five or six of those octopus surge protector dealies [thinkgeek.com] and I'll be happy."

Bad sign. It doesn't say anything about having 3 MOVs [wikipedia.org] . That means it probably has one, and you aren't completely protected.

Closed source alternatives.. (2, Funny)

TommyMc (949670) | more than 6 years ago | (#21560049)

pfft..Open source can never compete with the innovativeness of Microsoft [microsoft.com] , you commies..

Aww darling, you got me a powerpoint template..

Re:Closed source alternatives.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21560813)

You have been a bad boy. Santa is going to give you a 30-day trial copy of Home Basic Vista. It's [slightly] more environmentally friendly than a lump of coal.

One for the Ron Paul fans (2, Funny)

Lurker McLurker (730170) | more than 6 years ago | (#21560163)

The digg button kit would be a good present for the Ron Paul fan in your life. That way they could practice their obsessive digging when they don't have access to a computer.

A truely cruel gift to buy. (0)

EddyPearson (901263) | more than 6 years ago | (#21562443)

Open Sourced Hardware Gifts: The fastest way to drive a friend of loved one, up the bleeding wall.

Lets face it, Open Sourced projects are NOT known for their documentation, support or ease of use. Just try sticking an average computer user in front of a Linux distro, they'll wont have a clue what to do (manpages you cry out, but they doesn't know the "man" command.) and without instruction, they wont have a chance. Say what you like, bit Windows XP is a VERY intuitive interface, and even if you don't know exactly how to do something, chances are you can work it out without destroying the entire system.

Only when somebody comes up with an OSS model that is truely commercially attractive, will we see well supported, highly robust, well documented, easy to use application/hardware.

Airport? (1)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 6 years ago | (#21562675)

Good luck trying to get on an airplane with any one of those things.

Re:Airport? (2, Informative)

ahfoo (223186) | more than 6 years ago | (#21563039)

You're on baby.
        Well, not from that list though. I'm giving way real open source hardware gifts in bulk and I'm flying from Taipei to LAX on Thursday via Malaysian airlines. I got a box filled with capacitors from 1uf to 4,000uf, resistors of all sorts of Ohmic variations, a stack of breadboards, dozens of transformers of various voltages, an entire box of assorted small motors, LEDs of all colors, 555 ICs, relays, 4040 counters, partially pre-assembled audio amp kits, speakers of various shapes and sizes all kinds of stuff. The box weighs like eighty pounds and it is filled to the brim with discreet devices and circuits. The airport is free to go through it and if they don't like any of it, I'll leave it but I see no reason why they will be concerned.
        In fact, I've done this before. My nieces and nephews dread my "gifts". They're more like homework assignments. But the airport doesn't freak. They do want to go through it after the X-Ray machine shows them this bizarre collection of stuff they can't identify but what they do is take you to the side and ask you what it all is and see if you get agitated. They're mainly focusing on your attitude rather than what's really in the box. If you calmly explain what it is, even if they don't understand the details they'll still let you go ahead and pack it because the explosives machine doesn't detect explosives because there are none. It all gets checked in and none of it is, in fact, dangrous.
        That kid from MIT with the breadboard on her shirt was a special case. It was wired up in a half-ass circuit with a blinking light looking like a movie version of a bomb which does freak out people who don't do tech. All freaky like that is how this stuff will end up after Christmas if all goes well, but I'm not going to take it to the airport wired up with blinky lights and hidden under my shirt.
        Of course if I was flying domestically in the States, who knows. But I'm boarding here in Taiwan and people are less scared of electronics here than they are in the States. I don't think that was true just a few years ago, but I think perhaps it is now. That's partly why I'm bringing this stuff home so that some of the younger kids can get exposed to the basics and realize that technology is something they can control and even create instead of just being "the consumer". America needs to stop being the world's cow and start actually doing innovative stuff again. Thus, I go forth packed to the gills with components.

wish list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21563509)

I still want a Squeezebox [slimdevices.com] .

love my last xmas present: iAudio G3 ogg player! (1)

bball99 (232214) | more than 6 years ago | (#21564573)

- dunno if there are others on the market? i love this player because:

1. it supports ogg vorbis

2. it uses a single AA battery, so no complicated charger or proprietary battery!

3. it is lightweight, compact, and works great!

- too bad they're not for sale anymore? :-(
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