Open-source software has long since become a key part of government IT programs. One day, open-source hardware might join it in importance.
Part of the larger open-source culture, open-source hardware often refers to components such as electronics items where the structure and components can be easily understood and copied. More important, developers around the world can share and modify electronic files containing the designs and specifications for OSHW.
A panel of experts discussed the future of OSHW on April 20 at an event in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. There is a growing global market for OSHW, said Andrew “Bunnie” Huang, owner of Bunnie Studios LLC. At the moment, however, the market is mostly made up of makers, or small manufacturers and hobbyists, he said.
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Adam Osborne wrote a book on how to make a T.V. According to the Design Case history of the Commodore 64, a Commodore engineer found it and they made the monitor for the Commodore Pet although I think their first monitor was upside down. Had the information been not widely available, a lot of things might not have happened in the computer industry.
Television designs were pretty much open source as in widely published:
The reason I’m studying television is because I want to know if I can make better video with a microcontroller so I have to actually get an idea of how the first televisions were made and how they made it work. Without this information available, I’m held back and I’m basically spinning my wheels trying to learn how to do things differently.
If you aren’t an engineer who went to college and if you are just a hobbyist, where do you go to learn how to make stuff or improve what you have?
The public pays taxes and the people own the airwaves. The government tried to balance the budget by selling the additional airwave spectrum to FIOS companies and Cable companies and the public buys the programming. Shouldn’t we get something back from the government because we’re the taxpayer? Shouldn’t it be open source information from what they are trying to build unless it is secret?