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Arduino – the hardware revolution

Feb 25, 2010, 01:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Richard Smedley)

"Every year was going to be ‘the year of Linux on the desktop’, until many began to wonder when the FOSS (free and open source software) breakthrough would come. As we watched for signs of hope in netbook sales, Drupal sites and partly-FOSS Android phones, a revolution was taking place all around, in the physical world but not entirely away from the internet.

"Enter, the Arduino: a low-cost, open source, tiny hardware board for connecting the real world to your computer, and/or to the whole internet. What can be done with it? Everything. The limit is the imagination, and as you’ll see from a few of the example creations we review here, imaginative use is the norm.

"Open hardware

"Just as GNU/Linux software spread because everyone owned it, and could improve it, giving people the confidence to get involved, so with open hardware. The reference designs for Arduino are distributed under a Creative Commons licence (the software is GPL/LGPL, naturally), and the Italian company behind the boards, Smart Projects, is keen to welcome new contributors and variants. Boards are manufactured in different formats, sold all over the world, and the web is full of different designs if you want to build one yourself, whatever your skill level."

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