Skip to content →

Tag archive for: presentations

Wise Futures and Shared Hardware, Part I

Christopher Adams at TELDAP 2012

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to Academia Sinica in Taipei to address an audience of the Culturemondo forum on Smart Cultures, held alongside TELDAP and convened by Ilya Li. Ilya had asked me to prepare some remarks about open hardware culture, particularly as it relates to recent developments in Taiwan and China.

The Fabricatorz are often asked about “free and open” hardware. Jon shared his views on open hardware manufacturing during a talk he gave in Miami last December. It is not an idle topic for us, as we believe that investing in our own hardware platforms is just as important to the future of our business as is the software we create.

Copying hardware is hard to do —rms

Can Hardware be Free?

The term ‘open’ hardware is used by way of analogy to free and open source software. The freedoms of ‘free’ software comprise the right to use, study, duplicate and improve that software. These freedoms as they relate to hardware apply not to the physical device itself, but rather to its design; for it is only the hardware design that can be truly studied, duplicated, and, most important, improved.

However, a process which begins with a free hardware design and ends with a finished product requires a non-trivial provision of capital, resources, skill, and time. This plain fact leads the founder of the free software movment, Richard Stallman, to conclude that “freedom to copy hardware is not as important, because copying hardware is hard to do.”

People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware—Alan Kay

I think the logic of that assessment is backward. The difficulty that hardware presents to our freedoms makes the issue more important, not less. It is the reason that we at Fabricatorz are investing time, money and talent to find solutions to the hardware dilemma. Recall the famous words of Alan Kay: “People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.”

Is Richard Stallman serious about software? I know we are.

Credits (images remixed by me on an M1):

Comments closed

Open Hardware Manufacturing (from China)

I recently spoke at TTI Vanguard’s NEXTGEN conference in Miami. Totally great experience to talk to some very high level folks about the work we are doing as Fabricatorz on the Qi Hardware and Milkymist Video Synthesizer project. Here are my slides. The first set I did on my laptop, and the second set I *performed* using the Milkymist! In 2012, I will try to use the Milkymist for any performances (no more presentations!).

I should note that the presentation title reflects popular interest in some of my topics, and not the specific words I would choose to represent what we are working on. In particular, we are staying away from using the words FREE, OPEN, COPYLEFT now in favor of Sharing, hence Sharism. Also, the word Hardware is a bit problematic because of what it conjures up for computer nerds as this an already manufactured piece of hardware, like the 400K iphones foxconn is churning out a day. We take it to mean more like the glass or metal that is part of a final product. To consider the Milkymist or our projects FROM CHINA is not completely accurate. While I spend a lot of time in China, the Milkymist in particular is manufactured mostly in Taiwan.

Oh well, words are words are words! Check out the slides below and please share. They are (shared by) me, aka: Fabricatorz.

Open Hardware Manufacturing (from China)

(Click here for the SVG presentation or the SVG with outlines)

Milkymist One Video Synthesizer

(Click here for the SVG presentation or the SVG with outlines)

Ask me about the event the next time you see me; I have some great stories to tell since this event was supposed to be mostly private during the conference.

In a more public showing, Yi from Qi Hardware is presenting about the Milkymist tonite (中文 at Xinchejian, the Shanghai-based hackerspace we held the first Sharism Presents Shanghai.

Don’t forget to Buy a Milkymist One for yourself or your friendz :)

Comments closed

Totally Free Network Services

This is a slide share that describes how Status.Net is unique from other existing servies and why it is a step in the right direction towards a totally free network service:

Screen shot 2010-02-21 at 10.45.33 AM

Your life and your business are your own!

Screen shot 2010-02-21 at 10.50.55 AM

Take control of your status!

Screen shot 2010-02-21 at 11.17.33 AM

Need something federated and scalable beyond one person or companies efforts!

Totally Free Network Services

Comments closed