How to use an Arduino and Raspberry Pi to turn a fiber optic neural network into wall art
Oct17

How to use an Arduino and Raspberry Pi to turn a fiber optic neural network into wall art

Hollywood has made many big promises about artificial intelligence (AI): how it will destroy us, how it will save us, and how it will pass us butter. One of the less memorable promises is how cool it will look. read...

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A 7-step plan for engaging your community's naysayers
Oct17

A 7-step plan for engaging your community's naysayers

When you practice open communication and invite feedback, you get a lot valuable input that can improve your ideas, projects, and decisions. Yet one of the most common questions I hear is this: “That’s all well and good, and I agree, it’s best to open yourself up to that kind of feedback. But what about that one guy. . .?” You know the one they’re talking about. It’s Mr. Grumpy, who inevitably shows...

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The origin and evolution of FreeDOS
Oct17

The origin and evolution of FreeDOS

I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s. My parents wanted to expose my brother and me to computers from an early age, so they bought an Apple II clone called the Franklin Ace 1000. I’m sure the first thing we used it for was playing games. But it didn’t take long before we asked, “How does it work?” Our parents bought us a book about how to program in Applesoft BASIC, and we taught ourselves. read...

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U.S. makes renewable energy software open source
Oct17

U.S. makes renewable energy software open source

As a longtime proponent of open source solar photovoltaic development, I am happy that the U.S. National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) has shared all the source code for System Advisor Model (SAM), its most powerful renewable energy economic analysis software. read...

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4 website maintenance mistakes to avoid
Oct16

4 website maintenance mistakes to avoid

Maintenance is a good idea for every website, but it’s a requirement for websites using open source code. The upside of open source is that everyone can participate. The downside is that means keeping up with everyone’s changes. Code gets patched, which causes other code to stop working and need patches in turn. Exploits are found and then blocked. Fancy new features are developed, and your users want them. All of this...

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How to define a metrics strategy for your community
Oct16

How to define a metrics strategy for your community

Data sets are everywhere, and because open source communities produce plenty of information in addition to source code, most community infrastructures require tools to support the software development process. Examples include bug-reporting systems such as Jira and Bugzilla, versioning systems such as Git, and code review tools like Gerrit. read...

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