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June 4, 2010 AT 12:18 am

Ben NanoNote – a step towards an open-source hardware laptop…

Pt 1084
Ben NanoNote, looks interesting – perhaps the first laptop to include schematics?

The palm-sized notebook is designed to be a hackable hardware platform for Linux developers, akin to what the Arduino board is for electronics projects. Key to making that vision a reality is keeping every part of the product open: the circuit board designs are licensed for reuse, every chip included uses open-source drivers — and the system, of course, runs embedded Linux.

Copyleft hardware means more than just purchasing the device from the manufacturer and customizing the software, however. The board schematics are available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license, which ensures that anyone can legally manufacture a variation of the device, provided that they also publish their schematics under a copyleft license — just as the GPL requires of software derivatives.

This project is very cool. We hope the folks who wrote the article would consider the *hundreds* Open source hardware projects… (their statement is not correct)

“Copyleft hardware is not nearly as widespread as copyleft software; the Qi Hardware cites just four other projects that follow the same approach: the Elphel digital camera, Pandora game console, the Milkymist One visual-effects video synthesizer, and the Arduino microcontroller. The Arduino’s success in particular is an example of what the team behind the Ben hopes to see develop around its NanoNote project.”

MAKE has a yearly open source hardware list that has most/all of the open source hardware projects. There’s a lot of us! Really! 🙂


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4 Comments

  1. It’s orrible, the costruction quality is low, it cost and is slow…is a good project…but orrible hardware…

  2. well… at least it’s not horrible.

  3. @emuboy – construction quality is low? Wow, first time I hear that. Do you have one? I think pretty much all user feedback says people love the hardware quality, if anything they complain about the software not fully showing all the hardware can do, which I agree with.
    Check our mailing lists, it’s free speech there and like I said, 99% is feedback like “wow, didn’t know it’s so cute, looks so good, has such good hardware quality”.
    We are a bit of quality fanatics, actually – check this URL for some interesting pictures and information about Ben production and hardware quality
    http://en.qi-hardware.com/wiki/Ben_NanoNote_Hardware_Quality

    Thanks to adafruit for picking this up. We love Adafruit! And the headline gets it right too “a step towards open-source laptop…”. Yes, a step it is. Thanks to unbelievable support from the free software community so far, maybe we can make it. Maybe not. We are working on it, and having fun…

  4. Will definately pick one up when posible.

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