December 2010 Update
How is it December already?!?!
It has been a pretty crazy last couple months here at Upverter, but we really are loving every minute of this ride. Back when we started this whole thing up we decided, for a whole bunch of reasons, that we should have something to show-off before the end of the year. And now almost five months in we are pretty close! We still have a few kinks to work out before the Alpha but we are really excited and think we can get you guys in there hacking around very, very soon.
When we first decided to quit our jobs we spent a bit of time hacking on our ideas and how the world could be a better place. We talked about everything from iPhone apps to pirate radar, but we got a little hung up on how painful it is to do schematic capture and PCB layout, especially as a hobbyist. We talked a lot about how kick-ass the open source software community has become, and how maybe better tools were all the hardware guys needed to flourish. And wouldn’t it be cool if you could do it all through a browser? No downloads, no setup time, just open up chrome and start hacking. People must hate the tools that exists just like we do, right? And so we had a starting point.
As we dig deeper into this market it’s so very cool to find out just how right we were! People really, really, really hate their tools; It’s just amazing how painful people find simple things like parts libraries and collaboration, and how excited the opensource hardware community is for something better. The market is also way, way bigger than we ever imagined. There are hackers with soldering irons showing up by the thousands all over the place. And with any luck we are going to do our part to empower them to work together and build some pretty cool stuff!
There isn’t much else to report for now. We are busy hacking away, raising a bit of money, and hopefully doing some demos before the month is over. But please don’t hesitate to email, or give us a call. We would love to hear your thoughts, any ideas, or even just laundry lists of your pain points – we want to build what the community wants, a tool that they really can fall in love with.
So, from all of us here at Upverter, have a good December and a happy holiday.
Upverter is an electronic design tools startup company, founded by a group of three former University of Waterloo engineers. We are working on a set of online tools that are going to change the way people hack on circuits.
As garage hackers, and employed electronic designers we always hated the tools available to us. They were either huge and painful to use, or open source and both ugly and painful to use. We found that like a lot of others in the community we were drawing our circuits at home on paper instead of in a program – and we founded Upverter to try to fix this problem. We want people to be able to share their designs, fork and expand their friends’ designs, and work together with a set of community maintained, wikipedia-like, shared components.
We will initially launch with an online schematic capture tool and a pcb layout tool in early 2011. We will also be launching a community website based around our tools, and topics in hardware creation (lots of Q&A, examples, discussion, and exchange of designs). The tools will foster collaboration, remove barriers to entry, and help spark the building of opensource and available hardware designs. While the community website will be a place for the open source hardware community to call home, to share their designs, and to learn (like sourceforge and github have done for open source software).
Can’t get enough Upverter? Heres more!
The Upverter Website
This is where the magic is gonna happen. You can sit there and stare at its beautiful webby good-ness… But that is about it right now. At least there isn’t a construction worker!
The Upverter Twitter Feed
Can’t get enough OSHW? Need more distractions? Want to keep up to date with all the Upverter news? Check out our twitter feed – we will try to post all the interesting tidbits we pickup and neat things we find along this journey.
The Upverter Facebook Page
We will use our Facebook group to announce upcoming Upverter events (don’t worry, there haven’t been any yet!). And in a few months we will start giving out alpha access codes to our facebook & twitter fans. So sign up, and get excited – we promise not to spam you too bad!