[Discuss] [Open Manufacturing] Re: Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW

Andrew Stone stone at toastedcircuits.com
Tue Oct 2 15:27:12 UTC 2012

@Jordan, all of the "not open" items you mention are replaceable with
similar items from multiple vendors -- even the chips if you can port
software.  So these are essentially the "raw materials" for the device.
Yes, it is an interesting goal to push these raw materials to be as
primitive as possible... but I agree that this is not necessary for OSHW.

This "complex raw material" is fundamentally different then (for example)
the 0 or single source "littlebits" connectors which currently make it
impossible and illegal to make your own LB modules:
http://littlebits.cc/forum/discussion/17/littlebits-connectors/p1.  But
FYI, I still bought a littleBits starter set at the Maker Faire this

@Bryan, I think you are looking around for a software solution for a
hardware problem.  But in fact we do have this toolkit; its the Arduino
(and other uP breakouts), and all of the OSHW breakout boards and FOSS SW
drivers for practically any sensor, actuator, or communications medium you
can imagine...  (Sure what you envision could help, but don't ignore what
we do have thanks to Sparkfun, Adafruit and many individuals)


On Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 11:10 AM, Bryan Bishop <kanzure at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Oct 2, 2012 at 8:00 AM, Andrew Stone wrote:
> > I think that much of FOSS in the 80's and 90's was more about
> reimplementing
> > libraries that had been implemented 10 proprietary times before... it was
> > about freeing the basic tools (hammer, nail, screwdriver) making it
> easer to
> > build advanced stuff.
> Off-topic, but.. we haven't really done that for hardware I think. The
> problem is that if we standardize on a "GNU" distribution of hardware,
> it just really increases the cost of getting started - like a "GNU"
> (hardware) version of the basic table saw, etc The reason this would
> be theoretically nice is that it's then easy to just list which exact
> things you need in a bill of materials. I mean, the alternative is
> standardizing on something like the Sears toolset hah (or just
> tiptoeing around tool differences).
> - Bryan
> http://heybryan.org/
> 1 512 203 0507
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