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Thread: "Free Hardware Movement!"; is it possible?

  1. #1
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    "Free Hardware Movement!"; is it possible?

    Hi geeks & free software users
    Everyone knows about free software movement and its history. Todays, we need a fresh blood in our vessels! what can it be?
    Let's speak about this idea: Free Hardware Movement!
    Does it means?
    Is it exist now?
    Is it possible?
    What's the ideal form?
    G
    NU Is Not Unix <=> GINIA Is Not IBM or Apple or ...
    Last edited by SidebySide; October 2nd, 2011 at 10:42 AM.
    Live happy

  2. #2
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    Re: "Free Hardware Movement!"; is it possible?

    As long as you pay for it

    Now where is my free dumper truck ?

    Please no offense, however this is a pretty daft statement.
    Last edited by matt_symes; October 2nd, 2011 at 09:51 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Re: "Free Hardware Movement!"; is it possible?

    there is an open-source hardware movement:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_hardware

    my brother went to one of their conferences, it involves sharing the design blue-prints for stuff, so it can be cheaply made locally by people.

    I think the idea is still to commercially trade the products though.
    hopefully in time (alot if time) people will be able to use these kinds of designs with 3d-printers to truly have free, open source hardware.

  4. #4
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    Re: "Free Hardware Movement!"; is it possible?

    oh yes, also there are movements like freegeek in Portland (USA) and the 'computer kitchen' in santa cruz (USA) which are aimed at selling second-hand computer bits as cheap as possible, in a non-profit way.

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    Re: "Free Hardware Movement!"; is it possible?

    I dont think this will go very far. Open source software is supported largely by people who simply enjoy messing around with computers. All that is required to participate in the community is a computer.
    Hardware is an entirely different game. How many of you have an ion implantation machine sitting around? An etching device? Diamond saw?

  6. #6
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    Re: "Free Hardware Movement!"; is it possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by F.G. View Post
    oh yes, also there are movements ... which are aimed at selling second-hand computer bits as cheap as possible, in a non-profit way.
    Free as freedom! Not related to money.
    "Free" here does not mean: gratis, honorary, etc which hint to money/cheap

    Quote Originally Posted by matt_symes
    As long as you pay for it
    Nvidia/ATI graphic cards are free or open source?
    can you found your local factory and use ATI technology to produce your graphic card as well as you can change the Gimp sources and circulate your graphical software?

    Quote Originally Posted by F.G.
    there is an open-source hardware movement: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_hardware
    1. Is it a real revolutionary rebellion? Is it widespread?
    2. You know that Open Source is different from Free!
    Last edited by SidebySide; October 2nd, 2011 at 10:26 AM.
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    Re: "Free Hardware Movement!"; is it possible?

    The best platform for free-as-in-libre hardware would be something like Shuttle's standardized laptop parts. I have no idea how something like this could work commercially, but if you could get a common spec going, you could put as much power in the hands of the consumer as they could reasonably have without manufacturing equipment. Open source hardware can draw engineers into a project, but someone still has to manufacture it - so there's less incentive for hobbyists and little incentive I could imagine for a manufacturer to develop patents to toss into the public domain. (3D printers only do so much, and they're still prohibitively expensive.)

  8. #8
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    Re: "Free Hardware Movement!"; is it possible?

    I have an OpenMoko GTA02 Freerunner phone. That is pretty much open hardware (except for the Calypso GSM Modem inside).

    There is a small community, mail-list, wiki, several ready to go desktop/environments. Most run cut down debian as a linux distro.

    There is a company involved in developing the next-gen of these phones, the GTA04. These boards are designed to fit into existing GTA02 Freerunner cases and use the display component from the GTA02 to cut costs.

    It's well worth a look into the mailing list etc for a description of the triumphs, disappointments and challenges an open hardware project produces.

  9. #9
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    Re: "Free Hardware Movement!"; is it possible?

    so, i think the open source hardware movement is relative young. what i mean referring to 'open-source' freedom of information. so the information involved in the hardware is non-proprietary and free. obviously manufacturing cost money, i guess this will probably always be an issue.

    i should perhaps point out that a lot of open-source software projects also charge for products, and are supported by donations, so there is still a financial element.

    ps i thought 'gratis' did mean free?

  10. #10
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    Open Firmware, Open Hardware

    Quote Originally Posted by whatthefunk View Post
    Open source software is supported largely by people who simply enjoy messing around with computers.
    Let's not try to bring that myth back again, let it stay dead. IBM, Google, Volkswagen and many others have been contributing a lot to open source software.

    As far as hardware goes, there is a need for open firmware, but some projects and even products are providing it. The Lemote netbooks have open firmware. There are also projects like DD-WRT and CHDK.

    If you want actual hardware, then the SPARC architecture is open. It's a lot better than x86 but has been sidelined by the marketing power of the Wintel duopoly. SPARC servers are competitively priced even if the luggables are not. You can get them from Sun/Oracle or Fujitsu.
    Last edited by Lars Noodén; October 2nd, 2011 at 11:16 AM.

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