Sunday, December 29, 2013

Hardware + Open Source Software... Could this be HOSS???

Wow, what a different a year or two makes! I know that it has been over two decades since Linus Torvalds conceived the Linux Kernel. We all owe him and GNU (Gnu Not Unix)'s founder Richard Stallman a debt of gratitude, for having a vision and the gall to put that vision in action. It was their willingness to collaborate that eventually revolutionized and created the OSM (open source movement). Well, that movement has pick up momentum over the past few years. Now, open source projects and ideas are flourishing because these gents' visionary actions.
I recall the days when getting hardware functions to work in Linux was a hassle. Printers, Video Cards, Network Cards, Wifi, Sound Cards, and Web Cameras manufacture just refused to cooperate with Linux development in the early days. Finding compatible drivers was a daunting task, while today not only is more hardware compatible to GNU/Linux but some it being developed with just GNU/Linux in mind. Moreover, the open source model has been adapted to the hardware side of technology.
In the begging it was only GNU/Linux and a few FOSS projects. Out of that foundation, sprung many software and hardware open source projects. Even books, poetry, and legal documentations have taken the open source model and successfully applied them to those markets. The number of hardware + OSS (HOSS) projects is becoming daunting to say the least. Yes, I hope that the phrase / acronym that I just coined will be used to describe this fascinating section in the OSM. There are HOSS kits ranging from printers to computers to biotech units to gaming consoles to robotics to music Synthesizers to whatever the mind can dream. The dream is the loveliest part about the FOSS, HOSS, and the entire OSM! GNU Linux has made the evolution of computer technology globally rapid and affordable for all!!!
The following are some of the more popular HOSS projects. RepRap is a well know 3D printing HOSS kit and KANO (Based on Raspberry Pi) is a very popular kids computer HOSS kit featured on KickStarter, both will be feature in my video below. I would like to think that the inventors of Kano are big Mortal Kombat fans, since their project is affectionately named after a character from the popular video game. Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and BeagleBoard are great computer or IC (integrated circuit) boards fused with development tools for customization. The cost of most of these projects are under a hundred bucks, making them extremely affordable. The possibilities for HOSS projects are endless, you purchase a starter kit and then possibly after learning, create your own HOSS project.


Be Blessed!!!