PIctures of computers (of the human and machine varieties).
Saturday, February 2nd, 2019
Tuesday, September 5th, 2017
Of course, information existed before Shannon, just as objects had inertia before Newton. But before Shannon, there was precious little sense of information as an idea, a measurable quantity, an object fitted out for hard science. Before Shannon, information was a telegram, a photograph, a paragraph, a song. After Shannon, information was entirely abstracted into bits. The sender no longer mattered, the intent no longer mattered, the medium no longer mattered, not even the meaning mattered: A phone conversation, a snatch of Morse telegraphy, a page from a detective novel were all brought under a common code. Just as geometers subjected a circle in the sand and the disk of the sun to the same laws, and as physicists subjected the sway of a pendulum and the orbits of the planets to the same laws, Claude Shannon made our world possible by getting at the essence of information.
Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
Open device labs
It’s been just nine months since I threw open the doors to the device lab in the Clearleft office. The response in just the first week was fantastic — people started donating their devices to the communal pool, doubling, then tripling the amount of phones and tablets.
The idea of having a communal device lab wasn’t new; Jason had been talking about setting up a lab in Portland but the paperwork involved was bogging it down. So when I set up the Brighton lab, I deliberately took an “ah, fuck it!” attitude …and that was new:
There are potential pitfalls to opening up a testing suite like this. What about the insurance? What about theft? What about breakage? But the thing about potential pitfalls is that they’re just that: potential. I’m treating all of them as YAGNI issues. I’ll address any problems if and when they occur rather than planning for worst-case scenarios.
So far, so good.
Since then I’ve been vocally encouraging others to set up communal devices labs wherever they may be—linking and tweeting whenever anybody so much as mentioned the possibility of getting a device lab up and running. Then the Lab Up! site was established to help people do just that.
Now there’s a brand new site that’s not just for people setting up device labs, but also for people looking a device lab to use: OpenDeviceLab.com.
- Help people to locate the right Open Device Lab for the job,
- explain and promote the Open Device Lab movement,
- attract Contributors and Sponsors to help and donate to ODLs.
It’s an excellent resource. Head on over there and find out where your nearest device lab is located. And if you can’t find one, think about setting one up.
I really, really like the way that communal device labs have taken off. It’s like a physical manifestation of the sharing and openness that has imbued the practice of web design and development right from the start. View source, mailing lists, blog posts, Stack Overflow, and Github are made of bits; device labs are made of atoms. But they are all open for you to use and contribute to.
Tuesday, November 6th, 2012
Pictures and plans for building a plywood stand for your device lab. I definitely want one of these for the Clearleft office.
Thursday, November 1st, 2012
Ryan describes the research and process behind putting together a device lab for Happy Cog in Austin. Good stuff, with handy links gathered together at the end.
Monday, September 24th, 2012
Open device labs
If you’re running an open device lab, or hoping to set one up, be sure to register at Lab Up, a site that aims to pool resources and hopefully get some device manufacturers to distribute their wares. There’s also a mailing list for open device labs. Sign up if you have or want a communal device lab. Sharing is caring.
Finally, there’s an article on Smashing Magazine that goes into great detail on every aspect of setting up and running a communal collection of devices. If you’ve been thinking about starting an open device lab in your area, now is the time. Do it.
A great article that looks at everything you need to know to set up a communal device lab in your town.
Saturday, September 22nd, 2012
There’s an open device lab starting up in Washington DC. If you’re in the area, get in touch and share your devices.
Friday, September 21st, 2012
This looks like a great idea: a centralised place for listing open device labs (and hopefully getting some sponsorship from device manufacturers).
Tuesday, September 18th, 2012
Jason has set up a mailing list for open device labs. If you are running one, or thinking of setting one up, you should sign up to share ideas and knowledge.
Thursday, January 29th, 2009
Vint Cerf announces M-Lab: an excellent resource which will allow people to find out if and how their internet access is being throttled. Viva l'internet!