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Open source hardware and Teagueduino’s Kickstarter fundraiser

September 16, 2011

In the past I’ve contributed money to various projects hosted by Kickstarter, the site which raises seed money for projects via online contributions.  Consequently I get periodic emails from them outlining various fundraising efforts.

Today I received a Kickstarter appeal on behalf of  Teagueduino.  Teagueduino is an open source hardware project which provides a more beginner-friendly configuration and interface for the popular open source Arduino system.  Free and open source hardware is the lesser known cousin of the free software/open source  movement pioneered by the GNU project.  Open source hardware projects make the specifications, schematics, and controlling software freely available, giving developers and users the choice of purchasing the hardware from the original development team, purchasing it from a third party vendor, or just building it themselves from the schematics.

The Arduino system is a single board microcontroller, with a simple design, and a sizable development community.  Using Arduino does require, however, some experience with building electronic projects, or the willingness to put some time and effort into learning those building techniques.  Teagueduino describes their approach on their website:

Teagueduino is about making Arduino a whole lot easier:

1. There’s no soldering required. Inputs and outputs simply snap into place.
2. Realtime programming and feedback shows the effects of changes as they are made.
3. Simple, always-valid code creation means programs always runs.
At the point of this writing Teagueduino has exceeded the $22,000 target they hoped to achieve by October 6th, and already raised $44,013 in pledges.  I’m going to send them 20 bucks this evening, because it seems like a useful and interesting project.  If you have some spare cash, and want to support free and open source hardware, you may want to do the same.
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