Need something cool that'll thrill the socks off the techie in your life? Stumped as to what that perfect item might be? Check out MAKE Magazine's open source hardware gift guide
No, "open source hardware" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. Nope, it's not a cool or sexy term. But the idea
is cool and sexy, however. Open source hardware
refers to hardware and software that anyone can make or modify. No rules or regulations included. The purpose is to encourage the free and healthy spread of ideas. Says MAKE Magazine: "Each of the kits, projects, and open source hardware gifts in our guide represents more than just a holiday gift: they're a chance to support this nascent hardware movement. If you know someone who likes to make things, or wants to learn, these are the gifts for them!" Now, that
is pretty cool!
So, what do the writers at MAKE
suggest? First up, it's the Daisy -- an open source make-your-own MP3 player. At $114 for the kit, you can build a player with sound as good as an iPod and access to 65,000 tracks! Or how about a make-your-own iPod charger. At only $19.99, the MintyBoost (so-named because it's housed in a mint tin) is small but powerful and runs on two AA batteries. Then there's the Chumby: a tiny computer with an even tinier Linux OS, housed in a beanbag. Final pick: the Firefly -- a wee DIY guitar amplifier...for only $19 (PCB only).