The Open Source Gift Guide, the early years … @adafruit #OHM2019 #oshwa @ohsummit #opensource #opensourcehardware

Adafruit 2019 2767

Back in the MAKE Magazine days, I did a yearly “The Open Source Gift Guide: Open source hardware, software” – turns out the archives on MAKE do not have many of the posts any more, and I cannot locate all the posts on the Wayback on (or the images are missing, etc). The URL(s) used to be at:


This was the text for the opener…

“There are hundreds of gift guides this holiday season filled with junk you can buy – but a lot of time you actually don’t own it, you can’t improve upon it, you can’t share it or make it better, you certainly can’t post the plans, schematics and source code either. We want to change that, we’ve put together our picks of interesting open source hardware projects, open source software, services and things that have the Maker-spirit of open source. Some are kits, some are open software projects that you’ll need to build hardware for before gifting, and some are just support for the projects/groups that do open source.”

Each year Slashdot would reject it. Later I was told it was because MAKE was considered “competition” by some of the editors at Slashdot.

I THINK I have some screenshots of some of the yearly open-source gift guides on Flickr, but maybe not all of them. Either way, I’m hoping someone is keeping track of the rise of open-source hardware, it’s working out GREAT for some, others – it never helped or hurt their businesses or efforts. I think the first list I did had 6 open-source hardware things you could purchase, now it would be tens of thousands of things if not more.

SO! Here is the most recent post I could find that still works 11 years later from 2008 on the site – The Open Source Gift Guide: Open source hardware, software: February 29, 2008.

11 years ago, this was what was going on…

  • Open source Atmel AVR microcontroller kits…
  • Qtopia- Greenphone/SDK.
  • Open Prosthetics.
  • Ubuntu with Support.
  • x0xb0x – open source ‘acid’ bassline synthesizer with sequencer.
  • Multimachine – Open Source machine tool.
  • Arduino stamp.
  • NEUROS OSD – Open Source Linux embedded media center.
  • MIDIsense A real-world MIDI interface platform.
  • Open source firmware + wireless router… Buffalo WHR-HP-G54.
  • The MAKE “Daisy” MP3 Player Kit – Open source MP3 player.
  • Open EEG – Analog & digital boards.
  • The Leaf – Open source robot using artificial intelligence and vision.
  • Rockbox an new MP3 player.
  • Open source IR for Xbox.
  • Game of Life Board.
  • Open source web based home automation.
  • DIY Fuel Injection Conversion using open source engine management.
  • Liberlab – Open source lab.
  • Butterfly open source mp3 Player.
  • MediaPortal – Open source media center for Windows…
  • Flex-Radio SDR-1000 – Open source software radio.
  • Chumby – Open source squeezable, Wi-Fi bean-bag computer.
  • Open source embedded ethernet.
  • Open source beer.
  • openEyes – open-source open-hardware toolkit for low-cost real-time eye tracking.
  • Open-source grid controller – the monome.
  • Open source planetarium.
  • PortableApps Suite – Computer without a computer.
  • LEGO Mindstorms NXT.
  • MAKE Controller Kit – Open source physical computing.
  • SpokePOV – Persistence of vision for your bike!
  • Open Source MIDI Keyboard.
  • Electronic game kit.
  • MiniPOV kit.
  • Minty Boost kit – charge USB devices.
  • High Speed Photography Kit.
  • Alice.
  • MAKE Leatherman warranty voiders!.
  • eMusic gift certificate & Magnatune.
  • Magnatune.
  • XGameStation Pico Edition 2.0 – DIY game console.
  • Universal Software Radio Peripheral.
  • EFF Pioneer membership.
  • O’Reilly Open source books & Safari.
  • OpenMoko phones & Gumstix.
  • Open Gameboy – Flashcar and DevKit.
  • Playstation 3 – PS3 + the OtherOS laoder with Linux.
  • GP2x – Open source gaming.
  • AVRSynth – Open source synthesizer.
  • A PSP – Hacked up, freed and open.
  • MIDIBox – Open MIDI.
  • MAKE Magazine – By makers for makers.

Open source hardware month @ Adafruit:


October is open-source hardware month! Every single day in October we’ll be posting up some open-source stories from the last decade (and more!) about open-source hardware, open-source software, and beyond!

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