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Diamond Sponsors

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  • Intel
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  • Dell Inc.
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Sponsors & Exhibitors

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Keynote

Open Source Hardware

Christy Canida, Community and Marketing Manager, Instructables
Brad Carlile, Sun Microsystems
Limor Fried, Adafruit Industries
Andrew Huang, Vice President Hardware, Chumby Industries
Phillip Torrone, Senior Editor, MAKE Magazine

Track: O'Reilly Radar Executive Briefing
Date: Tuesday, July 24
Time: 3:15pm - 4:00pm
Location: Portland Ballroom

Open source advocates have often been happy to leave hardware alone. There's an assumption that hardware has real fixed costs, and somehow shouldn't be subject to the possibility of free redistribution that come with open source licenses. Besides, hardware is, well, hard. And we don't have the kinds of tools -- version control, free design tools (equivalent to editors, compilers and debuggers for software) that exist in the software world. But a set of bold pioneers are forging forward anyway. We'll hear from three of them.

Instructables.com is a collaborative site for sharing instructions about how to build absolutely everything. It's not restricted to hardware, but a great many of the projects are hardware related. Christy Canida, Instructables' community manager, will show us the site, and talk to us about the cutting edge of lightweight hardware open source projects and community.

Chumby Industries is building what can best be described as an internet-connected, widget-enabled clock radio. Realizing that any hardware design is likely to be cloned in Asia, they rode the horse in the direction it's going, open sourcing all their designs and inviting people to copy them. They look to make no money on the hardware, but instead to control the platform for the widgets that run on it. Bunnie Huang (famous for cracking the Xbox) will show us the Chumby and talk about their open source strategy.

Adafruit Industries is a small company that sell kits and parts for original, open source electronics projects featured on www.ladyada.net. All the kits are redesigned specifically to make it easy for soldering beginners to build: nicely silkscreened circuit boards, through-hole parts whenever possible, extra large solder pads, etc. Limor Fried, its founder and chief designer, may well be one of the only people with a completely open source hardware business.

Following the company presentations, Phil Torrone of Make: magazine will host a roundtable with Christy, Bunnie, and Limor to talk about the challenges of open source hardware.