"Funny story about travel – I was on my way back from 30C3, going through securty in Frankfurt. The security agent looked at my laptop and asked me what I do. I said “computer engineer”. He then asks, “did you make it yourself?” and I sheepishly say yes. His face lights up and he says, “ah, so you can trust what’s in it! Now that’s taking it seriously.” I was amazed, the guy totally got it. Wish we had more folks like him working airplane security."
I honestly think that might be one of the biggest impediments to open hardware; open-source circuit design software is not good right now. I try to force myself to use KiCad over EAGLE, but it's such a relative pain in the ass.
(I did a spot writing some workflow software for an engineering team a few years back).
It doesn't help that KiCad is horrendously broken on OS X, so I have to use it in a VM.
I thought surely you meant the "Duracell Bunny", however the Energizer Bunny does indeed exist, and apparently although it's the later of the two, Energizer successfully registered the battery-powered bunny trademark in the US and Canada.
Here in the UK I'd say the Duracell bunny is the first to most peoples' minds.
Yes, yes, it's Friday!
"In Europe & Australia the term "Duracell Bunny" has entered the vernacular as a term for anything that continues indefatigably while in North America the term "Energizer Bunny" has a similar connotation."
The power of advertising and repeated exposure. It works :(
The positive response has encouraged us to plan a crowd funding campaign around a substantially simplified (think “all in one PC” with a battery) case design...
It looks like all the positive feedback may result in a production run!
Come to think of how Red Hat is doing great even though they are an open source company. Why can't this work for hardware as well?
I'd be concerned about drafting up blueprints and having them copied by Chinese manufacturers.
Though what I'd do is make my first system just standard libre rights on everything, and that should build a platform for me to kickstart / donation fund future design efforts, and when those are done just release those as free as the last without a care if someone dupes the hardware because we already funded the design.
It leaves an important question though, there's been speak of NSA/China adding hardware level backdoors to stuff. Is the fact that the firmware is opensource enough to be reasonably sure there are no more backdoors?
For example, Intel has put backdoors in the chips that control their ethernet interfaces. Would something like that be defined in firmware, or at an even lower level? Would we be able to find out if it was lower level? Would we know if Freescale did the same?
"Our Novena Project is of course still vulnerable to techniques such as silicon poisoning, but at least it pushes openness and disclosure down a layer, which is tangible progress in the right direction. While these heady principles are great for motivating the journey, actual execution needs a set of focused requirements."
Edit: I see the author was also there, nice (the talk I linked is not the one he gave though)
From the about:
Our products are freedom-compatible. Meaning they will work with just about any free software operating system. This is made possible by selling products with free software compatible chipsets.
Free software is a set of principles that ensure end-users retain full control over their computer. Free software can be used, studied, and modified without restriction.
The chipsets we use encourage community development and user participation. Users can not be locked into a vendor or product, be forced into an expensive upgrade, or have other digital restrictions placed on them.
Then there's the wireless stack and peripheral space which is even more complicated.
Edit: this was my intention when I went to university in the early 90's but I found sitting in front of a Sun workstation drawing squares (gates) very tedious.
From then on it depends on how many you want, and if you can find an assembly house that will take a tiny order for (say) 1000 of them. Even in large runs I can't see it costing less than $1000, partly due to the FPGA on the board. Handcrafted aluminium and leather cases are also likely make up several hundred dollars of the price. That case looks particularly resistant to mass-production.
It sounds like the design of the case will be changed if these are going to hit larger scale production, so I don't think that's going to be an issue. It will still likely be expensive though, unless you do a very large run of them.
That being said, I think it's worth it. I can't think of a single laptop which I'd actually love to use forever, or at least until it's so old that it becomes utterly unusable. The only thing that prevents me from declaring this one as the one I'd like is that OpenBSD is a bit shaky on that architecture IIRC.
Yes, current design is using ThinkPad chiclet but we can still hope, right?
 There's also Cherry ML for laptops but I haven't seen those switches myself nor heard about a laptop using it...
My T520 is so far the best non-mechanical for me. Possibly the same keyboard as in X220?
* FPGA on the mainboard
* Lots of digital and analog IO headers connected to CPU and FPGA
* Dual Ethernet
* USB OTG
Also, it's not just about licensing, but about having
more control over the hardware.
The schematics for the motherboard and any other boards (like the LCD connector board) can be open or closed. Also, the CAD files for printing the case components on a 3D printer.
Hardware absolutely can be open-sourced.
You might disagree with the definition, if you somehow consider all the information that goes into the manufacturing of a physical object to be something else than the "source" for taht object, but this is how the term is being used by a lot of people, who are actually doing this.
I think it was Ed Wilson who pointed out the 1d DNA leading to 3d structures (perhaps Schroedinger in his book What is Life or Gould in one of the many essays). I can track the reference down if needed.
Meta: I think you are wrong, but I'm surprised at the degree of down-voting.
But, how does that work with hardware? How do we trust all the chips? How do we know there isn't something iffy built in at manufacture? Then, how can those same cleverer than me people discover it? How do they inspect the encased silicone circuit?
So, in that vein, I see the point you might have been making, and actually, I think its a worthwhile question. Because to me, it does look like what you describe, a sort of closed source hardware which runs all open source software. And I personally dont know that that is safe. Or is it?
You can't really trust silicon, and this leads to a larger point about much of what has been called open-source hardware: many of the open-source boards out there which are really popular are little more than reference designs translated from a datasheet to a schematic capture program for a closed-source blob of silicon. However, this point doesn't escape many people in "the movement," the problem has just been that the technology that meets the users' expectation of performance and capability is out of their financial reach to duplicate. So, the users settle for "re-create" when they can, rather than "trust at all levels". In the majority of cases, absolute trust is not required, because a breech of that trust can result in practically nothing. ("Oh, this AVR chip is back-doored, allowing you to access its 32k of flash, but I haven't provided any means by which a 3rd party could access that via hardware.")
Many of the security flaws and known back doors are in the firmware, (see routers for example), which Bunny is resolving by making Open Source. It's probably impossible to eliminate all attack vectors, but by opening the processes up, you can eliminate most of the easier ones.