I sat down with Peter Semmelhack, CEO of Bug labs, to talk about his open source hardware gadgets. My first question for him was why open source hardware when open source software is so powerful and easier to implement? His answer explained how Bug Labs should anticipate the innovative hacks (like Lego Mindstorm), but also how it compares to out of the box gadgets built on closed systems. (There's room for both in the world.) More interview clips to come.
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The original IBM PCs were basically open source- IBM elected to go with off the shelf components to reduce R&D time and make sure it all worked with minimal effort.