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Re: [ox-en] New economic model for free technology?

On Sun, Sep 25, 2005 at 09:41:35AM [PHONE NUMBER REMOVED], Franz Nahrada wrote:
Looked today at the Ronja sita again encouraged by Thomas post.

I think its sensational.

Its the first time I have come to a sufficiently developed free hardware
page and development system which includes all it needs, including  what
you presented to us, Karel. And its also exciting because its happening so
close to us!


now my questions (and maybe that of more in the community) are:

- What is the relation between developers and manufacturers? How intense

The most prominent "manufacturer" is probably Jakub Horky who is a
highschool student who sends an order of 100-200 Twisters to PCB
fabhouse in Prague which brings down the price for PCB 6 times from
950CZK for 1 piece to 150CZK, and sells it then (already sold like 1000

However he hasn't ever sent me a cent as donation - he says he's selling
with such a low margin he actually has only microscopic profit (I quite
believe him). He recently increased the price from 125CZK (5USD) to 150CZK
(6USD) because of that.

Noone is actually manufacturing Ronja as is, someone has already done 2
pieces and advertises himself as manufacturer, but his Ronja is
mechanically different from the guide.

Mostly users or community networks are making their own (small series).

is the communication and feedback? you told us bad examples, but I see a
lot of supporters showing up on your website. 

Most contributions are from users of the hardware.

- Has Free Hardware something similar like a "viral" effect (so for
example free parts, free applications etc?

You cannot prescribe viral effect in hardware, there's no copyright.

Free software has effect that is catalyzes free hardware.

Ronja acts as a catalyzer on Prague community network. Helps to get rid
of some really painful problems (interference on backbone links).

- what are the other examples of Free Hardware that you know of? Oekonux
could be a good place to assemble them....

SBC computer (not my project) - wanna run
Linux? :) I never tried it, I don't have even enough time to develop
Ronja, set apart playing with this. But the guide is missing there (how
to load Linux etc.)

I2C2P - Twibright Labs project ( - the page is
currently broken because I didn't get time to fix it yet... - optically
isolated interface for I2C for parallel port.

Most problem here is getting the driver into mainstream Linux kernel
because the kernel folks have constantly objections against style of
the code etc. and I don't have time to fix it (I fixed it maybe 80%
some time ago but it's difficult when you schedule one mail every
3 months, then you forget what you did, where you put the result, etc.)

Open Automaton

DSPCARD: a high speed digital signal processing board

The MINT Headphone Amplifier

GNU Radio is *not* an example because they don't release mainboard PCB
(which is exactly what you want when you want to build it) and sell it

My philosophy is: either don't release, or release under GPL. If for
money or free doesn't matter. The background is always the same: you pay
-> the developer has time. You don't pay -> he has to do job (like me
;-) ) and doesn't have time. Regardless of whether he says that
explicitly on the page or implicitly hopes good people will send
donations like on sourceforge projects.

When I was looking for job I had a short time when I had time for Ronja
development and Ronja development was tremendously sped up - like I had
to work on several designs simultaneously because bottleneck was
suddenly not me, but PCB manufacture etc., and I had completed a lot of
work in a short time. Now it's horribly lingering again.

Like basically Ronja should be already capable of something say 1Gbps
over 1km with almost the same hardware cost as today (100$), but instead
of that I have to think twice before spending time on bugfixing bad HTML
on the webpage and I have double X-mas when I manage to fix two 100nF
capacitors in Twister which caused EM radiation bug.

Other projects using gEDA:



Contact: projekt

Contact: projekt

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