Open Source Hardware for the Holidays

Simon Phipps | InfoWorld | December 28, 2012

...I've taken delivery of a new Model B Raspberry Pi. This is a tiny, fully functional, single-board computer you can buy for $35. It was designed and developed by a U.K. nonprofit, the Raspberry Pi Foundation, with the aim of revitalizing computer education, and it's amazingly flexible. The design was intended to make it the perfect platform for open source software projects, so it runs a full version of Linux derived from Debian.

What caught my eye as a holiday week project was the introduction of the Pi Store. It's now possible to get serious open source software for the Pi, including the LibreOffice productivity suite (which follows on from and the Asterisk VoIP switch...

...Andrew "bunnie" Huang is building a completely open laptop. That's not just a matter of going to an electronics store and buying generic parts and a case. He's designed the whole thing from scratch, ensuring at every step that the design can be freely reproduced by anyone else who wants to do the same, assuming they have the necessary skills.

This is the complete opposite of the approach taken both by computer manufacturers like Apple and by the mobile device industry. They want the design to be sealed and untouchable to the point where it's almost impossible to repair it, let aone replicate it.