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Sunday, December 11, 2011

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Fwd: The open-source Pacer PCR

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "kenny kostenbader" <>
Date: Dec 11, 2011 9:36 AM
Subject: The open-source Pacer PCR
To: <>

About 12 months ago I started designing a cheap open-source PCR (I've dubbed it "the Pacer") that would mimic the lightbulb rig that Professor Blais created [1], but with the intention of mass-producing the final product. I've privately developed the basic project framework, and now that the concepts have matured enough, I finally feel comfortable releasing it.

The project has a homepage [2] that gives a simple overview, a Github repository [2] to center development around, and a WePay site [3] to accept donations. I'm going to set up a blog soon because I really need to share my thoughts on some things (like patents), but for now you'll just have to guess what I'm thinking..

The big idea behind the Pacer is to make contributing as simple and enjoyable as possible. I want folks to visit the main website, spend a few minutes getting familiar, and then start tweaking the source code or uploading their sketches of the hardware before they even blink an eye. There are a million ways to streamline this process, but README instructions in the repository should suffice while the project is in its infancy.

Speaking of project infancy, I do not expect this to grow fast. I hope that the open-source model will bless us with a decent and sustainable rate of improvement until we are finally ready to market the product, but no more. The best-case scenario here would be if each person contributing to the project told a few friends about it, and then if those friends told more friends, and so on. Media attention in these early months would be a bad thing.

I'd really like to see you guys creating and testing Pacer prototypes of your own and sharing your innovations, as this is meant to be a distributed initiative. Right now I'm building my first few prototypes and experimenting with the best methods of construction, and by the end of this week I will have some videos to post as 'tutorials' to serve as guidance.

Send me an email at kenny (at) the minute you think of a question or possible improvement.

All the best to our collective endeavors,

- - -
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