OSWALD: Lessons from and for the Open Hardware Movement
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One Line Summary
Envisioned as a cutting-edge computing platform that would encourage students to tinker with all the latest developments in the mobile space without fear of breaking their own gadgets, the initial version of the OSWALD project out of OSU failed in several key areas.
With funding from the National Science Foundation and other generous sponsors, OSU’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department set about creating an ultra-mobile hand-held device for distribution to undergraduates. Envisioned as a cutting-edge computing platform that would encourage students to tinker with all the latest developments in the mobile space without fear of breaking their own gadgets, the OSWALD project had some fairly grand and noble ambitions: design all hardware and software in house with the help of student developers, thus making the device that much more hackable and learning friendly.
Sadly, things didn’t quite goes as planned for OSWALD and the project encountered a number of critical points of failure. In this talk, Tim explores the design and deployment decisions made while constructing the OSWALD platform, with an eye to providing lessons learned to the open hardware and open source educational community. He’ll also discuss OSWALD’s future and the steps taken to provide similar, useful student experiences in a more efficient fashion.
embedded, education, open hardware
OSU Open Source Lab
Tim Harder works as a programmer focusing on embedded systems for the Oregon State University Open Source Lab (OSL). He is also a Gentoo developer and enjoys hacking on ebuilds and other Gentoo-related tools. In addition, he often experiments with open source hardware and is currently working on implementing a sensor network for a small-scale farm environment.
In his free time away from computers Tim can usually be found running, biking, or hiking on the trails around the Corvallis area. He holds a Masters in Computer Science from Oregon State University.