All posts by Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

Arduino and Open Source Hardware

It has come to our attention recently that there is reason to question the Arduino team’s commitments to its community and to open source hardware.

Dale Dougherty posted on the Make blog about Arduino’s apparent lack of progress toward their announced Arduino Foundation. Phillip Torrone posted to the OSHWA mailing list about Arduino products that fail to meet the basic criteria of open source hardware projects. These are both troubling. As members of the open source hardware community and members of the Arduino community, we would like to add our weight to the call for Arduino to return to their open source hardware roots.

(Some disclosure on our relationships to these communities: we have been building Arduino-compatible open source hardware projects for years, and have been an official Arduino reseller. We have participated in developing the Open Hardware Definition and in the formation of OSHWA. While not everything we do is open source, we have been heavily invested both personally and professionally in open source hardware and software for many years.)

We love Arduino and we, along with a large and diverse set of communities, have benefitted enormously from the breadth and depth of the Arduino family and its resources. This is an exciting era for Arduino and for open source hardware, with the debut of the first Arduino and compatible boards based on silicon level open source hardware.

However, we are deeply concerned that several recent products from Arduino are claiming to be open source but upon research, indeed do not appear to be so. Arduino, once one of the standard bearers in our community, now seems to be falling into the grey area of OSHWINO (Open Source Hardware in Name Only).

We would like to openly call for Arduino to immediately publish the missing design files and license information for these products. Even from a basic truth in advertising perspective, future products labeled as open source need to have these requirements met by their time of release. We also join in Dale’s call for bringing the Arduino Foundation into existence: it is more clear than ever that Arduino needs to renew its promise to the community.


June 16, 2017 edit: Massimo Banzi comments below: “Arduino is open source HW and SW. Full stop. Some files seems to be missing and I’ll inform my colleagues at .org that they need to update them.”

We are one

Staff photo

One year ago today, Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories went live. Happy birthday to us!

We originally started this blog as a means to help us document and organize our various projects. Since then we’ve seen writeups about our projects on more than two thousand other blogs, and even in a handful of print magazines. We’ve contributed projects to an art show, sparked some interesting collaborations, and built some of the wackiest machines that we ever have. In the course of these projects we somehow found excuses to buy three old HP pen plotters, 2.4×10^4 LEDs, a Macintosh SE, Marshmallow Peeps, and three hundred pounds of sugar.

What will the next year bring? Who knows! But, we’re looking forward to it.
Thanks for reading Evil Mad Scientist!

– Lenore & Windell

 

(Pictured above: An alphanumeric persistence of vision display. Source code, how-to and more photos coming next Wednesday.)

Maker Faire Bay Area 2007 was fantastic!

Kill your television and make stuff!Maker Faire was a smashing success. The big message of the fair was summarized succinctly and stamped on the back of a card we were given: “Kill Your Television and Make Stuff!”

We had a great time in our little prototyping world off in the corner of the Expo hall by SRL. Near us Bathsheba Grossman had her beautiful sculptures, Fab@Home was printing with cheese and frosting, John Guy had his 3D CNC gantry next to his margarita machine, and Lee Krasnow had an entire workshop for his precision puzzle making. We were also by a couple of exhibitors (as opposed to makers): Epilog and Protopulsion, but I have to say, it seemed like the makers all got a lot more traffic than the corporate folks with their tradeshow-style setups. We were all off behind the Tesla coils, which stole our visitors’ attention hourly. Nobody could compete with the Tesla coils when they were running!

We can’t possibly list all of the cool things we saw, and we didn’t see half of the stuff there, but read on for some of the highlights for us.
Continue reading Maker Faire Bay Area 2007 was fantastic!

State of the blog: evilmadscientist inches into the technorati 1000

The Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories blog went live on June 21, a little more than six months ago. This week, we broke into the Technorati top 1000. w00t!

We noticed a couple of months ago when Honorary Evil Mad Scientists Laughing Squid first crossed that little line, and we are flattered to be amongst such great company.

As of yesterday, our technorati rank was 992, with over 2100 links from over 1200 blogs. Thanks everyone!

Some of our stories got a lot of attention, particularly the following ones:

Here are some of the other stories that we really liked, even though they didn’t get as much attention:

We’ve also (somehow) become “authoritative” in several subjects. According to technorati we are an authority on cooking, DIY, and craft. What this really means is that not very many folks tag their blogs well for technorati, but hey, we don’t mind being the top authority on electronics.

So, maybe all this popularity and authority means that we really are making the world a better place (one evil mad scientist at a time). Or it could be a sign that our reign of terror is getting off to a great start, Muahahahaaaa! If you think so, (shameless plug ahead) feel free to nominate us for the 2007 Bloggies, perhaps in the new blogs category. But hurry, nominations end on January 10. In the meantime, we’re going to bask in the glow of our rankings and look forward to the next six months.

Thanks again!
— Lenore and Windell