The Libre Computer Project is founded with the mission to help people realize computing applications applied to everyday life. We contribute financially to community-driven open-source software projects that affect our goal of open computing. By open computing, we mean that all the hardware components are available to be purchased by anyone and use together with free software to build innovative products without licensing and other restrictions. We help accelerate the process of providing the knowledge, skills, and tools to help people offer better services to each other through this open computing.
What is computing?
Computing is the activity of applying mathematical steps via a machine to assist the transformation of information. The first such machine, the abacus, is as old as written history itself, dating over 5000 years. However, it is not until the 20th century that a model of a general purpose computing device was established by Alan Turing. It was called the Turing Machine and most modern computers operating along the lines of his model.
Why is computing important?
Computers are pervasive through our everyday lives in the form of mobile phones, smart watches, televisions, and much more. As the technologies matured, computers became smaller, cheaper, and more powerful but relegated to a role that requires human intervention. Eventually, computers will play a active and vital role in corner of every day life without human intervention. Computers will not solve the problems of scarcity and conflict but it will bring enhancements to the human experience.
How will computers change?
The explosion of investment and ecosystems in hardware and software has commoditized products that once were exclusive to large institutions. Today, people have access to extremely powerful computers at very low cost along with giant libraries of software available for free. This has brought down the cost of developing ideas to time and ability rather than monetary means. There is a contemporary social movement involving “making” with these computing tools. The people involved are reshaping people’s idea of computers as every industry and niche is disrupted by their work.
Why create single board computers?
When computing was in its infancy, computers were built with individual vacuum tube transistors. As time progressed, designers began to make bigger and bigger functional blocks until there were complete mix function units call “System on Chip”. We hope to build the next layer by creating flexible designs that can be integrated into many applications as to reduce the non-recurring engineering costs in software and hardware.
Where can I learn more?
Across the world, maker-spaces and digital-spaces are popping up to serve local and global communities. Like-minded individuals can find a place to explore and collaborate. Trade shows are also a good place to find up-and-coming ideas and technology.