Blog Entry

Open Source hardware

lunes, noviembre 24, 2008 by , under

So, this idea has been emerging to my mind recently. We have free software but the computers where we write the software in, are not. People can get rid of proprietary software almost completely and can even make a living out of it. But, this is not the same on the hardware side. We are completely dependent on one or serveral big companies. These companies hold patents and do not want to disclose the internals of their hardware because it costed them money. This money is basically the time of all the people that worked on it (technical and non technical), the material needed, plus a profit. This three figures of 'cost' will reproduce along the supply chain.

So, what would it happen if there were 'opensource' hardware? Well, this is a couple of links where I've found interesting information, as well as ideas.

On this one, someone post it's ideas about an Open Source Hardware Initiative. There are plenty of links and comments.

On the next link, Jim Turley thinks about why Open source harware is not feasible / possible. The main problem is cost (again). Why? Basically, hacking a compiler is cheaper than hacking an oscilloscope (Yes, he is right).

So, for example, a tool like this:
How much does it cost? 6 k dollars!! Wow, I don't think a student can hack on a CNC machine. They rather hack on a 500 dollar machine for a compiler, right?

By the way, I found a forum for CNC enthusiasts:

And there's a Linux CNC project!!. Well, it seems that the movement has already started

So here's how to make PCB's with lasser printer:
And some PCB fabrication methods:

I will comment out more later.

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