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MMD > Archives > September 2014 > 2014.09.24 > 02Prev  Next

Open-Source Hardware Circa 1920 by Julie Porter
By Jody Kravitz

One of my hardware buddies at work sent me a link to an article in
EE Times that he thought I might enjoy.   Not only did I enjoy the
article, but I know the author -- Julie Porter.

In the computer industry we often talk about "Open-Source Software".  That
is software for which the "source code" is available so that the end user
can maintain and/or alter software.  The Linux operating system, the Apache
web server, and a number of other very important high-profile software
packages are "Open-Source Software".

The concept of "Open-Source Hardware" also exists.  Julie's article discusses
how in the early days of electronics, drawings that would let you maintain or
even modify or improve a product were included with the devices.   In Julie's
article, she presents samples of schematic diagrams found inside a Robert
Morton fotoplayer. 

Julie provides some great photos of circuit and mechanical drawings and
makes the point that the schematic diagrams attached inside the cabinets
enabled the owner to maintain the product (or even to improve it)
rather than dispose of it.   She encourages others who have read
the EE Times article to write in and give other examples of hardware
which came with generous design documentation.  

Good work Julie!

Jody Kravitz 

(Message sent Wed 24 Sep 2014, 23:19:50 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  1920, Circa, Hardware, Julie, Open-Source, Porter

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