OSWALD: Lessons from and for the Open Hardware Movement

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Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 from 2:30 – 3:15pm in B301

Excerpt

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. In this talk, Tim will explore lessons learned from OSWALD and how they can help the open hardware and open education communities.

Description

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.

Speaking experience

Speaker

  • Tim

    Tim Harder

    OSU Open Source Lab

    Biography

    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, so not much time at all, really, Tim dabbles in photography and 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.

    Sessions