Talk:Odroid

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Open-source hardware?[edit]

created by Hardkernel Co., Ltd., an open-source hardware company

Maybe I'm missing something, but I can't see any sign of this on their website. Where are the hardware sources? What licence are they released under?

I also don't see any mention of Odroid or Hardkernel on the Open-source computing hardware list.

James Haigh (talk) 2014-04-25T22:50:11Z

"The ODROID means Open + Android"[1]
"There is no copyright issue on our schematics. It is a sort of open hardware. It is possible to clone the ODROID-U2/U"[2]
"ODROID(Open-Android) devices are shipped with full source code and schematics."[3]
"An Open Hardware Single Board Computer with all the Hardware and Features I wished my Raspberry Pi had - ODROID-U3 Community Edition"[4]
--Guy Macon (talk) 23:54, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. Note 3 of your 2nd reference confirms that it is not open hardware:
3. We don't supply/sell any PCB design file or Gerber file. Please don't ask about it.[5]
James Haigh (talk) 2014-05-08T17:36:08Z
Btw. Guy, if you're interested in hardware that really is open, see here:
James Haigh (talk) 2014-05-08T18:36:55Z
I am very familiar with open-source hardware.
Gerber hardware files are not like software source files. They are like software executables, "compiled" from the hardware equivalent of source files -- the schematic and parts list. If that makes it closed source, them the Linux kernel is closed source on account of only supplying source code, not executables.
The key fact about a Gerber file is that, like an executable, it cannot be easily modified or studied. Yes, there are utilities which allow you to directly edit a Gerber just as there are utilities that allow you to patch an executable, but the usual (and by far easier) way to make a change is to modify the source/schematic and then recompile/relayout to a new executable/gerber. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:50, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
It's not a great comparison to use the analogy of the Linux kernel. Hardware is inherently different because it is less malleable; it is relatively easy to recompile the kernel but remaking hardware has a significant cost. If hardware is truly open then one use of the sources is to allow modification to existing instances of that hardware. Yes, hardware mods are like patching a binary, but the limitation on the ‘recompile’ is due to natural production cost rather than copyright restriction.
Furthermore, ask yourself this: if hardware files are so hard to do anything useful with, then why is the company restricting their availability?
If you still think Odroid is open hardware, then talk to the people who prevent projects like the Raspberry Pi from being on the open hardware lists for the same reasons.
James Haigh (talk) 2014-05-08T21:47:54Z
I don't need to talk to them, because I am one of them. Something is open-source hardware if there is sufficient documentation under a suitable license so that someone who has the capability of creating hardware can create and sell a working copy of it without infringing on any patents or copyrights. You can do that with Odroid. You can't with Raspberry Pi.
How does a Gerber file "allow modification to existing instances of that hardware"? By telling you where the traces go when you can easily determine that with visual inspection and an ohmmeter? --Guy Macon (talk) 09:09, 9 May 2014 (UTC)