Sunday, October 26, 2008

Open Source Hardware?

Every open source project begins with an itch that needs scratching. Linux was launched when Torvalds decided he didn't like the operating systems available to him. The top three—Microsoft's DOS, Apple's operating system, and Unix—were all expensive and they were closed; Torvalds wanted a system he could tinker with. As it happened, a lot of other geeks wanted the same thing. So when Torvalds began working on Linux and sharing his code, other hackers were willing to pitch in and help improve it for free—creating a virtual workforce that was infinitely bigger and smarter than Torvalds himself. That is the central benefit of open source projects: They're like a barn raising in which everyone gets to use the barn. Somebody has a problem and creates a tool to solve it. And once the tool is created, hey—why not share it? The hard work has already been done. Might as well let others benefit.


Open source is the future, but how feasible it is?

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