Monthly Archives: October 2011

Making It Real: Next Steps for the Open Compute Project

via Open Compute Project

When we announced the initiation of the Open Compute Project earlier this year, we posed an audacious question to the industry: What if hardware were open?The benefits, if we could make it work, were clear enough: More openness and collaboration would likely mean a faster pace of innovation in infrastructure technology, greater accessibility to the best possible technology for us all, more efficiency in scale computing and a reduced environmental impact through the sharing of best practices.The community has since responded to the challenge of making hardware more open with an enthusiasm and a level of commitment that has exceeded our expectations. We’ve spent the last six months working with many of you to build meaningful structure around the Open Compute Project, solicit tangible contributions to push the Project’s work forward and find ways to start making Open Compute hardware available to anyone who wants to consume it.

Today, at the second Open Compute Project Summit in New York City, we announced the formation of a foundation to lead the Open Compute Project going forward. We also announced an initial slate of directors and advisers that includes Andy Bechtolsheim from Arista Networks, Don Duet from Goldman Sachs, Frank Frankovsky from Facebook, Mark Roenigk from Rackspace and Jason Waxman from Intel.

In addition, we’re releasing a summary of our mission and guiding principles (will be live later today) and further detailson how projects will be proposed, evaluated and supported under the OCP banner. We’ll also release a full list of the Project’s first set of official members soon, but some examples include hardware suppliers like Intel, ASUS, Dell, Mellanox, and Huawei; software suppliers like Red Hat, Cloudera and Future Facilities; enablers like DRT, Hyve (Synnex), Nebula, Baidu, and Silicon Mechanics; consumers like Facebook, Mozilla, Rackspace, Netflix, NTT Data AgileNet LLC, Tivit, the ODCA, and Goldman Sachs. Also participating from an institutional perspective are organizations like Georgia Tech University, North Carolina State University, and CERN.

A great deal of work remains to be done. We need to continue to grow the community and enable it to take on new challenges. We need to ensure that, as the community evolves, it retains its flat structure and its merit-based approach to evaluating potential projects. And we need to keep the community focused on delivering tangible results.

But what began a few short months ago as an audacious idea — what if hardware were open? — is now a fully formed industry initiative, with a clear vision, a strong base to build from and significant momentum. We are officially on our way.

Thoughtful Repurposing

via Nuts and Volts

Teardowns of electronics devices can be an excellent means of learning how to design circuits for the real world, as well as an inexpensive source of parts for your construction projects. In these times of economic constraints, it’s tempting to simply go for the parts and bypass the time-consuming circuit analysis. Armed with an old toaster oven, it’s relatively easy to heat circuit boards and knock off dozens of components with a tap.

Open Source Hardware Camp

via OSHUG

Join us at the inaugural Open Source Hardware Camp for a hands-on day of three parallel workshops, with short plenary sessions in the morning and afternoon.

Practical 3D Printing

In this workshop we will explore the potential of desktop 3D printing. We will begin with a general overview of and will be working with a hobbyist 3D printer called the RepRap. Providing a landscape of both the tools and communities that you can get involved with, before splitting up into two groups.

The first group will be for those new to 3D printing and will be taken through the basics of how to use Google Sketchup to draw 3D parts, how to render the designs out to STL files, and then how to configure the STL file for the 3D printer via SkeinForge.

The second group will be for those with some experience of 3D printing and will involve hands-on with OpenSCAD — an open source, code-based, 3D parametric CAD software system used to design simple 3-dimensional objects. Using other freely available tools to turn the resulting designs into files that can be used to drive a RepRap 3D printer, or similar rapid prototyping device.

By the end of the day you should: feel confident that you know the relevant communities to engage with; understand the tools, suppliers and skills you would need to build your printer; have a bunch of great ideas for things can be printed on a 3D printer.

Graham Klyne has been a software developer since the late 1970s, during that time having been involved in projects and products ranging from industrial process control, 3-D motion capture, network infrastructure, home automation, semantic web technologies and research data curation. He has also been involved in the development of IETF and Web standards. More recently, he has been pursuing a personal interest in 3D printing - which neatly complements his earlier work in motion capture - and has constructed a RepRap machine (which he hopes to use for making specialist parts for model aircraft) and has been learning a little about 3-D parametric CAD.

As a member of the pif3D project, David Flanders helps coordinate the parts, materials, tools and skill required for people to build their own 3D printers. This is all done for free, so long as you promise to help someone else build their own printer as well! David enjoys hacking code in his spare time and working on designing new 3D models, currently he is working on prototype 3D models for: a rollerblade frame (for off road inline skating), a flowerpot that has a water reservoir (so it doesn't dry out when you are on holiday or forget to water it) and lighting fixtures (including translucent lamp shades, candelabras and chandeliers). David's day job is working with technology innovation projects in Universities throughout the UK.

Building the Internet of Things with Nanode and Pachube

In this workshop we will be given an introduction to Nanode, the low cost open source Arduino-like board that has built in web connectivity, and Pachube, the web-based service "built to manage the World's real-time data". Following which the workshop will split into two groups and build a real world IoT application for the Centre for Creative Collaboration. With one group focusing on Nanode development and the other using Pachube to develop the online part of the application.

Ken Boak joined BBC Research Department after graduating and worked on digital picture processing of HDTV images, and coding algorithms for video distribution around studios. Since then, Ken has worked in laboratory instrumentation, telecommunications, low power wireless and consumer electronics produced in the Far East. With an interest in renewables, Ken now develops laboratory instruments to teach undergraduates the principles of photovoltaic and wind power. Outside of work, Ken is interested in smart wireless sensors, open source hardware and low cost solutions for the Internet of Things.

Paul Tanner is a consultant, developer and maker in wood, metal, plastic, electronics and software. His day job is IT-based business improvement for SMEs. By night he turns energy nut, creating tools to optimise energy use. Paul graduated in electronics and was responsible for hardware and software product development and customer services in several product and service start-ups, switching to consulting in 2000.

Collaboration in Open Source Hardware

Whilst the development practices associated with open source software are now reasonably mature and understood by many, the same cannot be said of open source hardware and with it come specific challenges. For example, those associated with collaboration across design tools, managing contributions, licensing hardware designs and project presentation.

In this workshop we will be given an introduction to Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools and some of the currently available options for licensing, collaboration and project publishing. Participants will construct simple circuits from existing designs, and will then have the opportunity to create derivative and new circuits which will subsequently be documented using an EDA tool.

It is important to note that this will be an exploratory workshop and not all the answers the problems outlined will be provided.

Garry Bulmer gained his degree in Computer Science in the early 1980s and developed software for companies including ICL, before going on to teach Computer Science and Software Engineering at degree level and beyond. During the 1990s he was a co-founder of Parallax Solutions, a software services company with customers that included Rover Group and Rolls Royce, and that partnered with Sun Microsystems and delivered their Enterprise Architecture Blueprints. He's since held the position of Chief Architect at Keane, Aspen Technology and Caritor. More recently he has become involved in education, running Arduino workshops for local schools and at events including Howduino, DEV8D and fizzPop.

Paul Downey is a doodler, a maker and a veteran communications software developer. He has been hacking embedded systems since the late 1970s. Formerly BT's Chief Web Services Architect, and lead W3C representative, he was until recently a member of Osmosoft — a small team building open source Web collaboration systems. Paul is co-founder of SolderPad, a place to share, discover and collaborate on electronic projects.

Andrew Back is an artist, electronics hacker and open source advocate. He acted as BT's Open Source Strategist, establishing company-wide open source policy and process and representing them at a number of bodies including The Linux Foundation and ATIS. Andrew co-founded the Electron Club in 2006 — one of the UK's first hackerspaces, and is co-founder of SolderPad, a place to share, discover and collaborate on electronic projects.

Note:

  • Please aim to arrive for 09:30-09:45 as the event will start at 10:00 prompt.
  • A light lunch and refreshments will be provided. Please ensure that you make any dietary requirements clear when registering.

Sponsored by:

Open Source Hardware Camp

via OSHUG

Join us at the inaugural Open Source Hardware Camp for a hands-on day of three parallel workshops, with short plenary sessions in the morning and afternoon.

Practical 3D Printing

In this workshop we will explore the potential of desktop 3D printing. We will begin with a general overview of and will be working with a hobbyist 3D printer called the RepRap. Providing a landscape of both the tools and communities that you can get involved with, before splitting up into two groups.

The first group will be for those new to 3D printing and will be taken through the basics of how to use Google Sketchup to draw 3D parts, how to render the designs out to STL files, and then how to configure the STL file for the 3D printer via SkeinForge.

The second group will be for those with some experience of 3D printing and will involve hands-on with OpenSCAD — an open source, code-based, 3D parametric CAD software system used to design simple 3-dimensional objects. Using other freely available tools to turn the resulting designs into files that can be used to drive a RepRap 3D printer, or similar rapid prototyping device.

By the end of the day you should: feel confident that you know the relevant communities to engage with; understand the tools, suppliers and skills you would need to build your printer; have a bunch of great ideas for things can be printed on a 3D printer.

Graham Klyne has been a software developer since the late 1970s, during that time having been involved in projects and products ranging from industrial process control, 3-D motion capture, network infrastructure, home automation, semantic web technologies and research data curation. He has also been involved in the development of IETF and Web standards. More recently, he has been pursuing a personal interest in 3D printing - which neatly complements his earlier work in motion capture - and has constructed a RepRap machine (which he hopes to use for making specialist parts for model aircraft) and has been learning a little about 3-D parametric CAD.

As a member of the pif3D project, David Flanders helps coordinate the parts, materials, tools and skill required for people to build their own 3D printers. This is all done for free, so long as you promise to help someone else build their own printer as well! David enjoys hacking code in his spare time and working on designing new 3D models, currently he is working on prototype 3D models for: a rollerblade frame (for off road inline skating), a flowerpot that has a water reservoir (so it doesn't dry out when you are on holiday or forget to water it) and lighting fixtures (including translucent lamp shades, candelabras and chandeliers). David's day job is working with technology innovation projects in Universities throughout the UK.

Building the Internet of Things with Nanode and Pachube

In this workshop we will be given an introduction to Nanode, the low cost open source Arduino-like board that has built in web connectivity, and Pachube, the web-based service "built to manage the World's real-time data". Following which the workshop will split into two groups and build a real world IoT application for the Centre for Creative Collaboration. With one group focusing on Nanode development and the other using Pachube to develop the online part of the application.

Ken Boak joined BBC Research Department after graduating and worked on digital picture processing of HDTV images, and coding algorithms for video distribution around studios. Since then, Ken has worked in laboratory instrumentation, telecommunications, low power wireless and consumer electronics produced in the Far East. With an interest in renewables, Ken now develops laboratory instruments to teach undergraduates the principles of photovoltaic and wind power. Outside of work, Ken is interested in smart wireless sensors, open source hardware and low cost solutions for the Internet of Things.

Paul Tanner is a consultant, developer and maker in wood, metal, plastic, electronics and software. His day job is IT-based business improvement for SMEs. By night he turns energy nut, creating tools to optimise energy use. Paul graduated in electronics and was responsible for hardware and software product development and customer services in several product and service start-ups, switching to consulting in 2000.

Collaboration in Open Source Hardware

Whilst the development practices associated with open source software are now reasonably mature and understood by many, the same cannot be said of open source hardware and with it come specific challenges. For example, those associated with collaboration across design tools, managing contributions, licensing hardware designs and project presentation.

In this workshop we will be given an introduction to Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools and some of the currently available options for licensing, collaboration and project publishing. Participants will construct simple circuits from existing designs, and will then have the opportunity to create derivative and new circuits which will subsequently be documented using an EDA tool.

It is important to note that this will be an exploratory workshop and not all the answers the problems outlined will be provided.

Garry Bulmer gained his degree in Computer Science in the early 1980s and developed software for companies including ICL, before going on to teach Computer Science and Software Engineering at degree level and beyond. During the 1990s he was a co-founder of Parallax Solutions, a software services company with customers that included Rover Group and Rolls Royce, and that partnered with Sun Microsystems and delivered their Enterprise Architecture Blueprints. He's since held the position of Chief Architect at Keane, Aspen Technology and Caritor. More recently he has become involved in education, running Arduino workshops for local schools and at events including Howduino, DEV8D and fizzPop.

Paul Downey is a doodler, a maker and a veteran communications software developer. He has been hacking embedded systems since the late 1970s. Formerly BT's Chief Web Services Architect, and lead W3C representative, he was until recently a member of Osmosoft — a small team building open source Web collaboration systems. Paul is co-founder of SolderPad, a place to share, discover and collaborate on electronic projects.

Andrew Back is an artist, electronics hacker and open source advocate. He acted as BT's Open Source Strategist, establishing company-wide open source policy and process and representing them at a number of bodies including The Linux Foundation and ATIS. Andrew co-founded the Electron Club in 2006 — one of the UK's first hackerspaces, and is co-founder of SolderPad, a place to share, discover and collaborate on electronic projects.

Note:

  • Please aim to arrive for 09:30-09:45 as the event will start at 10:00 prompt.
  • A light lunch and refreshments will be provided. Please ensure that you make any dietary requirements clear when registering.

Sponsored by: