Open Hardware Journal - First Edition
Written by Harry Fairhead   
Friday, 04 November 2011

In an effort to popularize the open hardware movement, we now have the Open Hardware Journal starting with November 1, 2011 issue 1. Not only is it free to read, you can also copy it and redistribute it.

Although I Programmer is first and foremost a programming magazine, we can't ignore the hardware. Open source software has been a well known idea, and something of a success, for decades, open source hardware is relatively new. You can say that open source hardware was born out the of the "maker" movement, but for such an obvious idea it has been slow to take off. The one big notable exception being the Arduino.

In an effort to popularize the open hardware movement we now have the Open Hardware Journal starting with November 1, 2011 Issue 1. As it says on the cover page you are free to read it, copy it and redistribute it - as long as you don't charge a fee, of course..

It is worth keeping in mind that not all hardware is computer-oriented and two of the main articles in this inaugural edition are much more general than the sort of thing you might think of - building a remotely operated underwater vehicle and using a 3D printer to create lenses and mirrors. However, both projects have an electronics/ computer basis as soon as you scratch the surface.

 

ROVperch

 

More directly computer-related is the article on USB. This shows how to construct a USB board for firmware updates and even mentions some software considerations. It's a good read.

 

USBboard

 

The final article is on the reason why we need open hardware, and if you have never encountered the arguments or thought about the matter at all, then this is a real eye opener. If you don't feel a sense of anger, if not rage, at the way manufacturers are treating consumers then you have already moved to the dark side. I found myself re-evaluating much of the hardware, particularly portable computers and phones, that I own and was horrified to find the number of ways in which they had curtailed my right to repair. The arguments also apply to software but they are even clearer when applied to real physical objects. 

 

opensourcelogo

 

So spread the word and read the first edition. The journal also needs contributions for the next issue.

More information:

Open Hardware Journal

Open Hardware

 

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