Open Hardware Is Like Linux: True Or False? - InformationWeek

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1/31/2014
09:26 AM
Charles Babcock
Charles Babcock
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Open Hardware Is Like Linux: True Or False?

Examine this analogy closely. Open-source hardware and open-source software involve different processes with different levels of user participation.

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ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
1/31/2014 | 3:48:16 PM
Re: WIld card
Is there also a different appeal for people in Linux than in hardware? So much of the tone I pick up around the Open Compute project is drive down hardware cost, automate data centers, make the hardware a commodity -- is that going to motivate engineers in the same way open source software projects have? I'm not an engineer, so feel free to take me inside that engineer brain and tell me why this is exactly why people will want to spend their free time volunteering on this kind of initiative.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
1/31/2014 | 2:29:22 PM
Re: WIld card
Thanks Howard. So I guess customers printing their own servers is ONE less thing Dell, HP, etc. need to worry about for now.
HowardMarks
IW Pick
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HowardMarks,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/31/2014 | 1:41:40 PM
Re: WIld card
Lorna,

 

That would require several advances in 3D printing.  Today's 3D printers spit plastic or sinter metal.

The 3D printer you're thinking of would need to be able to work with several materials:
  • Something strong enough for the rack itself that has to hold 300 pounds or more of contents
  • Something conductive enough to carry the power through the buss bars
  • something insulating enough to cover the buss bars and other conductors

and that's just for the rack assuming the power supplies are slid in. making the power supply, motherboard or fans would be a huge advance in 3D printing
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Strategist
1/31/2014 | 12:44:38 PM
Hey, I'm a software guy
Can an Open Compute server be produced from a 3D printer? Lorna, did I ever tell you I'm a software guy? I'm going to say no, but real answer is, I don't know.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
1/31/2014 | 10:36:34 AM
Re: WIld card
Big advances are coming. At a recent holiday party I broke all etiquette rules by spending the entire dinner talking to the guy on my left, engineer for a company that makes cameras modeled after a fly's eye. These cameras (in theory) will be able to photograph any object in 3D and produce a pattern for 3D printing. Exciting stuff, unless you're a patent holder.
Drew Conry-Murray
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Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
1/31/2014 | 10:22:51 AM
Re: WIld card
I was wondering about that too. We'd need to see some significant advancement in 3D printing, but it seems like it's in the realm of the possible.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
1/31/2014 | 10:05:42 AM
WIld card
Charlie - Out-there thought: Could 3D printing advance to the point where owners of very large datacenters and/or nimble specialty suppliers create the bulk of this open-source hardware, needing only to drop in specialized silicon?
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