Tag Archives: computer

The Raspberry Pi Super Computer (With Legos)

The Raspberry Pi is a $35 single board computer.

If you network a lot of computers together you can use them like one giant computer. If you’re 6 you can hold them all together with Legos. Check out Professor Simon Cox’s group at Southampton University; they put Legos and Rasberry Pis together to form a supercomputer and documented the process so you can make one yourself (2-64+ nodes).

additional links


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Using Github To Track Hardware Projects By Gary Hodgson

Unlike software, hardware projects cannot be entirely defined, or contained within, the computer. That’s a shame because there are some really great tools for managing software projects.

Gary Hodgson has prototyped his proposal for using github to manage hardware projects. He called it githubiverse and, appropriately enough, hosted it on github. Here is an example of it functioning to track Mechanical Movement #27. All the files are on github and this custom webpage displays whatever is up to date.

If the name Gary Hodgson sounds familiar, that’s because he built a DLP resin printer, which Openalia covered previously. I don’t think I’m outing him as a true geek when I point to this…

An interesting advanced use case is the ability to use the same core template across many projects.  You could fork the githubiverse-template project and edit the html/css as you wish. Then, in each project’s gh-page branch create a submodule referring to this fork.  All that’s left would be to create a _config.yml file with the details in the root project gh-pages branch and an additional entry defining the source of the jekyll site as being the submodule folder.

…as reminding me of this Dilbert cartoon.

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FreedomBox is Vaporware. Maybe. Maybe Not.

Wired’s Threat Level reported on the threat that Eben Moglen’s FreedomBox will never actually exist in any meaningful way.

They got $85K in funding from a Kickstarter campaign and set up an organization to develop the concept, but it’s been like a year since then and, you know, it’s not like they haven’t done anything…but there’s nothing they can really show to the community as a milestone.

From the Wired post, “In an e-mail, Daly told Threat Level that setting the end of the year as the goal for the initial beta-release is intentionally ambitious. He hopes that “people will see the fact that we probably won’t make it without additional developers as an excuse to join the project.”…“FreedomBox is not going to be saved by the enthusiasm of those who care about freedom,” he said, while pacing in his office at the Software Freedom Law Center in Manhattan. “It’s going to be saved from that fate because that software stack is going to be useful to all kinds of people for all kinds of purposes.”

That seems like a reasonably solid argument. Open source projects are particularly successful when they are flexible tools. The sort of person who can develop a technology is the same sort of person who wants more and better tools for developing technology. The best people tend to focus on projects that are useful in a general sense. However, I suspect that the FreedomBox idea might be fundamentally flawed.

More… Continue reading

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Crowd Funding Dump

Kickstarter has subdivided their “technology” category into “open software” and “open hardware” which makes my job a little faster. There aren’t very many things in it…but I suppose that also makes my job a little faster.


Details after the jump.

Continue reading

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Pandora Handheld – A Tiny Open Source Portable Computing System

The Pandora is a community-designed portable computer. It’s a marvelous combination of open source hardware and software.

It’s a combination of a computer and a portable gaming console (that’s why it has the D-pad, gaming buttons, and a full qwerty keyboard). It can play games, run a full desktop (multitasking!) and access the internet. Most importantly, nothing is locked down. The entire thing is open source. Thousands of units have shipped to happy customers and production has finally caught up to all the pre-orders. You can get one for about $550.

More after the jump.

Continue reading

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Raspberry Pi: Tiny, Cheap, Powerful

The Raspberry Pi is a $25 or $35 computer that is roughly the size of an Altoids tin. It may or may not end up being fully open hardware.

Here are some more details from David Braben.

A neat feature is that it is “stateless” which means, in a practical sense, even after you’ve used your Raspberry Pi for a while, the SD card is the only thing that distinguishes it from any other Raspberry Pi. So, if something goes wrong with it, you could just move the SD card and all the peripherals to another one and get right back to work.

Reaction from the community:

  • One of perhaps the most exciting things about Raspberry Pi is, as Jeremy Ruston had previously noted, how it nudges you towards hardware development.
  •  It was suggested that a standard for expansion boards was much needed…A concern was also raised that in the absence of a standard at present some may be wary of designing add-on boards should one subsequently be published.
  •  The potential for using Raspberry Pi as the embedded controller in a RepRap 3D printer was discussed next, noting how the powerful ARM processor would enable it to do things that would just not be possible with a small microcontroller.
  • …a discussion was centred around the idea of a Raspberry Pi emulator which would not only be capable of booting Linux, but that would emulate the board’s GPIO etc

Wanna see the schematics?

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Openmoko – Free The Phone

It’s an open source phone.

Openmoko started out as a company, but is now a group of people working on providing a complete mobile phone solution. The project has been expanded by Golden Delicious Computers via a new motherboard.

openmoko new freerunner phone

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