Introducing Upverter

Introducing Upverter

We are Upverter. And we are going to do exactly as our name suggests

[1]

. We are going to make you faster. We are going to increase your quality of work. We are going to up your resolution. And no, we are not some sketchy set-top box from China

[2]

. We are the next big thing in electronic design tools.

You’re probably thinking the same thing we did back when we started on this project. EDA? Really? As if the world needs another piece of CAD software! Are these guys nuts? Yes. In a lot of ways we probably are

[3]

. But right here, right now, we don’t think so. And we want to tell you why, and a little about our motivation. We want to plant an idea in your mind. And over the next little while we are going to water and feed that idea. And assuming we can keep you interested, and keep that little idea growing inside your head, we think you’ll agree that there is a lot of work left to be done.

When we were writing this we iterated a little bit about how much to go on about

Stallman


[4]

and the open-source software movement. In the end, we decided that enough people reading this would know what we meant, when we say that software like

Apache

and services like

SourceForge

have changed the world

[5]

. Free and opensource software is here to stay – and the world is a better place because of it

[6]

.

Along the same lines we wrote about

wikipedia

and asked when was the last time you looked something up in the

Encyclopedia Britannica

. But again it seems like the kind of thing where you would get the point before we got warmed up. When really the message is just that you don’t anymore. There is a place, a mecca of information, that is maintained by our peers for their peers and for the betterment of humanity

[7]

.

So instead we are going to get right to it. We have a dream. We want to tell you about a time that is to come – about a premonition of ours. In this dream it’s not a line of code shared that is making the world a better place, but a net. In this dream people don’t collaborate to make an encyclopedia, but a library of parts. In this dream we see a world where you can build on the successes and failures of your peers, rather than go it alone. And probably the coolest part, is that in this dream we see a community of kick-ass smart hackers empowered and armed instead of ignored because of a sales strategy. Its a dream about a better world. A friendlier world. A world where tools exist and people hack away, for the betterment of humanity.

We think it’s a pretty cool dream, and a pretty neat idea. And we are going to try and nurture it over the next little while. Someday we will tell you what we are up to, and when you get to play with it. But for now, we want to hear your thoughts and your dreams. We want to know what you think Open Source Hardware is. What you have done since the words got mashed together a few years back. And we want you to be part of the revolution (the resistance if you will).

We are Upverter, and we’re gonna make the world a better place.

  1. Based on the

    electronic term upverter

    (combination of up and converter).
  2. Our biggest competition in terms of the name when we chose it was a whole pile of very sketchy links to the Chinese manufacturing companies that built those magical HD set-top boxes that were so popular a few years back.

    See here

    if you don’t know what we mean.
  3. See

    Zak’s personal blog

    for more than enough evidence!

  4. Richard Stallman

    is the American software freedom activist who launched the

    GNU Project

    , he initiated the

    free software movement

    , and he founded the

    Free Software Foundation

    . He is basically the high-priest of all things free software (also

    see his website

    ).
  5. For those that don’t, here is your cheat sheet: free software. And not free like cheap, or free like

    thepiratebay

    but

    free like speech

    .

    Apache

    is the most common and most industrial web server in the world, and its free and open source.

    SourceForge

    [

    w

    ] was the first big community for hackers to share their open source projects, and is seen as a catalyst in the open source movement.
  6. This is a

    good article

    on why to use free and open source over conventional proprietary software.
  7. See the book

    The Cathedral and the Bazaar

    [

    w

    ] by Eric S. Raymond for why it happened. And the article

    Open Source is World Changing

    for why its better now.

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