Author Archives: alicia

A Resolution to Redefine SPI Pin Names

via Open Source Hardware Association

 ‌Black‌ ‌Lives‌ ‌Matter.‌ ‌We‌ ‌stand‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌Black‌ ‌community‌ ‌and‌ ‌we‌ ‌choose‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌actively‌ ‌anti-racist,‌ ‌work‌ ‌towards‌ ‌racial‌ ‌equity,‌ ‌and‌ ‌against‌ ‌White‌ ‌supremacy.‌ ‌As‌ ‌part‌ ‌of‌ ‌this,‌ ‌we‌ ‌are‌ ‌taking‌ ‌steps‌ ‌here‌ ‌in‌ ‌our‌ ‌community.‌ ‌ 

‌The‌ ‌words‌ ‌that‌ ‌we‌ ‌use‌ ‌have‌ ‌an‌ ‌impact.‌ ‌It‌ ‌is‌ ‌time‌ ‌to‌ ‌remove‌ ‌the‌ ‌words‌ ‌which‌ ‌describe‌ ‌a‌ ‌morally‌ ‌repugnant‌ ‌relationship,‌ ‌“Master”‌ ‌and‌ ‌“Slave”,‌ ‌from‌ ‌our‌ ‌technical‌ ‌vocabulary.‌ ‌These‌ ‌terms‌ ‌have‌ ‌been‌ ‌used‌ ‌for‌ ‌decades‌ ‌to‌ ‌describe‌ ‌the‌ ‌relationship‌ ‌between‌ ‌hardware‌ ‌components.‌ ‌Some‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌standards‌ ‌and‌ ‌interfaces‌ ‌that‌ ‌use‌ ‌this‌ ‌terminology‌ ‌include‌ ‌SPI,‌ ‌I2C,‌ ‌Wishbone,‌ ‌AXI,‌ ‌SD,‌ ‌RapidI/O,‌ ‌and‌ ‌MIPI‌ ‌DSI.‌ ‌ ‌

By‌ ‌way‌ ‌of‌ ‌example,‌ ‌the‌ ‌SPI‌ ‌(Serial‌ ‌Peripheral‌ ‌Interface)‌ ‌protocol‌ ‌specifies‌ ‌logic‌ ‌signals‌ ‌with‌ ‌names‌ ‌including‌ ‌MOSI‌ ‌(Master‌ ‌Output‌ ‌Slave‌ ‌Input),‌ ‌MISO‌ ‌(Master‌ ‌Input‌ ‌Slave‌ ‌Output),‌ ‌and‌ ‌SS‌ ‌(Slave‌ ‌Select).‌ ‌This‌ ‌is‌ ‌unacceptable.‌ ‌ 

‌These‌ ‌signals‌ ‌in‌ ‌SPI‌ ‌–‌ ‌along‌ ‌with‌ ‌those‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌other‌ ‌protocols‌ ‌–‌ ‌should‌ ‌not‌ ‌have‌ ‌been‌ ‌named‌ ‌this‌ ‌way.‌ ‌Even‌ ‌so,‌ ‌it‌ ‌is‌ ‌well‌ ‌past‌ ‌time‌ ‌to‌ ‌change‌ ‌them.‌ ‌Any‌ ‌number‌ ‌of‌ ‌individuals‌ ‌and‌ ‌organizations‌ ‌have‌ ‌already‌ ‌adopted‌ ‌alternative‌ ‌nomenclature,‌ ‌but‌ ‌we‌ ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌community‌ ‌have‌ ‌thus‌ ‌far‌ ‌failed‌ ‌to‌ ‌take‌ ‌the‌ ‌collective‌ ‌action‌ ‌necessary‌ ‌to‌ ‌establish‌ ‌a‌ ‌new‌ ‌convention‌ ‌and‌ ‌eliminate‌ ‌these‌ ‌legacy‌ ‌names‌ ‌from‌ ‌common‌ ‌use.‌ ‌ ‌

Effective‌ ‌immediately,‌ ‌we‌ ‌call‌ ‌upon‌ ‌hardware‌ ‌and‌ ‌software‌ ‌developers‌ ‌to‌ ‌fully‌ ‌and‌ ‌widely‌ ‌adopt‌ ‌the‌ ‌‌Resolution‌ ‌to‌ ‌Redefine‌ ‌SPI‌ ‌Pin‌ ‌Names‌.‌ ‌While‌ ‌acknowledging‌ ‌that‌ ‌change‌ ‌has‌ ‌its‌ ‌costs,‌ ‌there‌ ‌is‌ ‌no‌ ‌excuse‌ ‌for‌ ‌any‌ ‌member‌ ‌of‌ ‌our‌ ‌community‌ ‌or‌ ‌industries‌ ‌to‌ ‌continue‌ ‌to‌ ‌reference‌ ‌“Master”‌ ‌and‌ ‌“Slave”‌ ‌as‌ ‌technical‌ ‌terms‌ ‌going‌ ‌forward.‌ ‌We‌ ‌will‌ ‌continue‌ ‌to‌ ‌work‌ ‌on‌ ‌other‌ ‌standards.‌ ‌ ‌

‌The‌ ‌Open‌ ‌Source‌ ‌movement‌ ‌must‌ ‌be‌ ‌built‌ ‌on‌ ‌inclusion,‌ ‌not‌ ‌exclusion.‌ ‌Dismantling‌ ‌systems‌ ‌of‌ ‌oppression‌ ‌require‌ ‌conscious,‌ ‌coordinated,‌ ‌and‌ ‌sustained‌ ‌effort.‌ ‌Although‌ ‌removing‌ ‌racist‌ ‌terms‌ ‌from‌ ‌hardware‌ ‌standards‌ ‌is‌ ‌important,‌ ‌it‌ ‌is‌ ‌obviously‌ ‌only‌ ‌a‌ ‌small‌ ‌part‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌work‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌done.‌ ‌We‌ ‌call‌ ‌on‌ ‌our‌ ‌community‌ ‌to‌ ‌bring‌ ‌to‌ ‌light‌ ‌and‌ ‌help‌ ‌us‌ ‌address‌ ‌and‌ ‌remove‌ ‌other‌ ‌sources‌ ‌of‌ ‌systemic‌ ‌oppression‌ ‌within‌ ‌the‌ ‌open‌ ‌hardware‌ ‌and‌ ‌technology‌ ‌communities‌ ‌we’ve‌ ‌helped‌ ‌build‌ ‌and‌ ‌sustain.‌ ‌ ‌

Read the full Resolution

The‌ ‌Open‌ ‌Source‌ ‌Hardware‌ ‌Association‌ ‌

Black Lives Matter.

via Open Source Hardware Association

Image: Public Domain  Credit: Black Lives Matter Organization

Black Lives Matter. Ending systemic racism matters.

It’s no secret that the entire tech industry, open hardware included, has had a long standing shortfall in diversity. There are many people who have studied and shared stories about being Black in tech. With the recent events bringing systemic racism to the forefront in America, each industry should be doing some massive soul searching, figuring out ways in which their industry can better themselves and be more inclusive. 

Open source culture has been problematic for minorities as long as it has been around. The Open Hardware Movement was acutely aware of this issue when we became a formal organization and baked diversity into our mission at OSHWA. Here are the steps that OSHWA takes to embrace diversity at our annual Open Hardware Summit.  We urge other organizations to take similar actions:

  • All of our Summits since 2013 have had a Code of Conduct – with a reporting mechanism – to provide a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. 

  • Since 2013, OSHWA has provided travel grants to our Summit for minority participation through the Ada Lovelace Fellowship. These grants were initially created for women, but opened up to all minorities in our community a few years back. Each year, one third of our entire Summit budget goes to bringing minorities to the Open Hardware Summit. This allows about 10 participants to travel to and attend the Summit who otherwise wouldn’t be able to.

  • We invite 25% of our speakers each year to ensure diversity on a number of levels. The other 75% of speakers go through a self-nomination and review process. We review this process every year, and began taking steps in March to further improve its ability to identify a diverse group of speakers for the 2021 Summit.

We recognize these are small steps. As a community, we can agree the bare minimum is listening to minority groups and believing them. We can do more. Take action. Act as an ally. Donate to organizations that support Black/BIPOC priorities. Amplify the voices of Black people in tech. Invite people from historically excluded groups to talk about their research and careers and compensate them fairly for their time and effort. Include and recognize the importance of historically excluded people and their perspectives at every level of the research and development process for technology projects. Stop the usage of racist and oppressive terminology. Educate yourself on how to talk about race. Ijeoma Oluo has a book entitled So You Want to Talk About Race and Jay Smooth has some excellent videos on talking about race.

We hope that the open hardware community joins us to take this opportunity to reflect on the current state of our community, and to continue acting to make open source hardware a welcoming space for everyone.  

Join us! Our first OSHW talk: Open Source Nostalgia

via Open Source Hardware Association

Join OSHWA this Wednesday, April 22nd, at 1:00 PM MDT (3:00 PM EDT /
12:00 PM PDT / 7:00 PM UTC) for a live virtual talk:
Open Source Nostalgia
Speaker: Libi Rose Striegl

Using open source projects to enable modern use of retro-tech is a
foundational part of my art practice. Open source practices are a
central part of my teaching. This forms a base for art and teaching
around technology that is empowering and joyful while still coming
from a place of critical learning.

OSHWA YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_V6IvwN25x7fyaOCfMrHfg
Date/Time
 converter:
https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?msg=Open+Source+Nostalgia+talk&iso=20200422T19

Join #oshwtalks on the OSHWA (@ohsummit) discord
https://discordapp.com/invite/38C57Ufhttps://discordapp.com/invite/38C57Uf

Open Source Hardware in the era of COVID-19

via Open Source Hardware Association

The human race has a moral responsibility to share knowledge during crises. While this statement is obvious to the open hardware community, the COVID-19 crisis is showing the world just how important collaboration is to finding efficient, effective, and available solutions. We are seeing in real time that open source hardware works.

This is not the first disaster to prove this point. During the Fukushima disaster an open source geiger counter helped collect and publish data useful for communities. We are seeing a similar open source trend in the shortage of various forms of medical equipment (aka hardware) with COVID-19. 

Medtronic has put a license on their ventilator design that institutes a share alike clause (albeit with limits on time and usage). While their efforts don’t fit squarely into the Open Source Hardware definition, (you have to sign up to access the files), it shows the world that in the face of disaster, normally closed companies do find the benefits of open sourcing helpful. Likewise, it is wonderful to see Ford leveraging an open source design to increase the manufacturing capacity of face shields. 

We are encouraged to see medical supply guidelines posted and online groups created to rally around open sourcing solutions. There is an Open COVID Pledge with regard to Intellectual Property. There are a tremendous number of researchers and makers creating open source projects to help keep us safe. It’s been amazing to see the life saving collaboration across the world, including the first two OSHWA Certified projects, the Creator Transfer Chamber and Reamima. Please keep it up! Movement toward openness and sharing will benefit humanity.

A Word of Caution

While the open source movement is receiving extra attention, it is important to remember that open source is not a replacement for quality control or regulatory approval. Open source is a powerful approach to creating, sharing, and improving hardware but it does not automatically create hardware that works in all situations or complies with relevant regulations. When you release open hardware make sure to include the quality control and other standards that apply to your hardware so that others can use it appropriately and responsibly.

Why Open Source 

The response to the COVID-19 crisis has vividly illustrated the power of open source hardware. The open source approach to hardware development has allowed people all over the world to come together and collaboratively design, test, and improve hardware. Hardware can then be manufactured where it is needed rather than built and shipped causing additional strains on the global supply chain. And perhaps most powerful of all, as we’ve seen with the Medtronic design, open hardware can be quickly modified to fit locally available parts and conditions. 

How to Open Source your Hardware

Open sourcing your hardware means you’ll post your design files openly on the internet with the intent that people will be able to copy, modify or build upon your design and sell it. Our checklist can help make sure that you are taking all of the steps necessary to truly open source your hardware. While putting files up on the internet is an important step in open sourcing your hardware, it is also important to make sure you have documented and licensed your hardware in a way that allows others to use, modify, and improve your hardware. The open source hardware definition flags potential pitfalls, and the open source hardware certification program provides many examples of open source hardware done to the Open Source Hardware Association’s standards. Questions on how to open source your hardware? Drop us a line: info@oshwa.org

The Open Hardware Summit Is Still On

via Open Source Hardware Association

In light of ongoing news related to the coronavirus we want to provide the community with an update about the Summit scheduled for March 13 in NYC.  The most important update is that the Summit is on and we intend to hold it as planned.  The second most important update is that OSHWA is monitoring the situation.

The Summit is always an important event to open source hardware community. This year’s Summit is doubly special because it is the 10th anniversary of the Summit and we were forced to skip the Summit last year.  In light of those factors OSHWA is committed to holding the Summit next week as long as it is viable to do so. Even a somewhat smaller Summit is an opportunity for the community to come together, discuss open source hardware, and connect in person.

We are aware of concerns related to the coronavirus and do not take them lightly.  We also recognize that this is an evolving situation. We will continue to monitor the situation, as well as guidance provided by authorities,  and may revisit our decision if it is warranted. That will be especially true if our host venue of NYU Law decides to suspend events – a decision they have given us no indication of making as of now.  However, at this point we do not believe that the situation warrants the cancelation of the event. 

We do recognize that many members of our community have purchased tickets to the Summit and now find themselves unable or unwilling to attend.  We ask that you notify us if this is the case so we can accommodate and adjust accordingly. As always, we will stream the Summit live and invite all members of the community who are unable to attend for any reason to join us virtually the day of the Summit.  We are also happy to provide refunds to those ticket holders who now feel unable to attend. If you would like a refund for your ticket, or have other questions about the Summit, please contact us at summit@oshwa.org.

Finally, we look forward to seeing many of you next week.  If you have been considering coming but haven’t purchased your ticket yet, now would be a great time to decide to join us!