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The Hardware Hacker by Andrew Huang

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Part 3what open hardware means to me

Before there was open hardware, hardware was open.

A yellow, tattered sheet of paper hanging next to my monitors—the schematic for the Apple II computer—reminds me of that fact every day. When I got the schematic as a child, it became a blueprint for the rest of my life. I couldn’t understand the schematic, but that didn’t matter; it taught me that hardware is knowable. It empowered me to understand my world and master the technology I relied on. That empowerment propels me to this day.

The legal doctrine of open source was still nascent when the Apple II was created, so while anyone can read the schematic, it bears no open source license. It simply shows the patent number 4,136,359. Back then, people just ...

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