Building an Opensource Laptop

January 27, 2017 | via ProgressTH

Opensource technology is one of the essential keys to empowering ordinary people with extraordinary tools. Adrian Bowyer's opensource 3D printer project, RepRap, paved the way for the myriad of 3D printers that now find themselves on the desktops of designers, makers, engineers, and artists around the world.

Opensource software has allowed people to dive into fields of engineering, design, and art that was once only accessible to those with the resources to purchase and maintain proprietary software suites.

And opensource electronics companies like Arduino and Adafruit have helped breath new life and interest into electronics, not just as a hobby, but as a starting point for a growing number of startups and small businesses around the world.

Andrew "Bunnie" Huang was recently featured on Adafruit's video series, "Ask an Engineer," where he showcased his opensource laptop, the Novena.

From Global Supply Chains to Local Freedom

Consumerism requires huge amounts of energy, produces huge amounts of waste, and winds around the planet. Here is a high-tech local alternative that solves all these problems and more. 

Originally Published: January 31, 2016 | ProgressTH Go to any logistics company’s website, and they will be more than proud to tell you just how far your consumer goods travel (thanks to them) from factory to storefront before ending up in your hands. And to a certain extent it really is truly amazing how supply chains have fueled the rise of modern society.

However, all good things come to an end, and sometimes, that “end” is the beginning of something much better. And the end of modern consumer supply chains is just such a case.

Think about how it is now...

Your shoes were likely made with raw material sourced from socially and economically precarious monoculture rubber farms in Southeast Asia, shipped to a sweatshop somewhere else in Asia, where workers toiled under conditions you likely would find unacceptable, before being loaded onto a truck or train and sent to a port.

From there, thousands of tons of fuel will be burned to ship it across the sea to reach the shores of your country, where another truck, burning yet more fuel, brings it to distribution centers, to be brought by yet more trucks to your local retail store. 

You get into your car, burning more fuel still to reach that store, enjoying the controlled climate and well-lit aisles while you shop (consuming yet more energy) before buying the shoes and finally bringing them home with you.

For a society becoming ever more conscious about energy efficiency and “carbon emissions,” our shopping experience seems like one of the first things that should be looked at and changed if possible. 

An alternative. 

Now, imagine a product that you need or want and instead of hoping in a car and going to a store to get it, you could get it either on your desktop or locally around your block from someone elses’ desktop. 

The “shopping experience” need not be diminished (if you don’t want to) with malls and markets simply sourcing their products locally instead of globally. For those who want to forego the shopping experience, it would likely be possible to buy directly from the producer.

This is the future of “consumerism.” 

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