Open source computing started with the bicycle



Derived from

A new video on the origins of OpenSource explaining the suggestion tht OpenSource existed prior to the Industrial Revolution has been hosted on OSS Watch, an advisory service for issues relating to free and open source software in the Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE) sectors.

Open source and the bicycle

The first iteration of the bicycle dates back to 1817 and the invention of the Laufmaschine (German for "running machine") or Draisine (English).
This all wood construction basic "bike without pedals" was later to be innovated upon (in an open source fashion) all the way through to it becoming the bicycle as we know it.

The OSS Watch video below suggests that this great invention was taken up by lots of individuals… who all saw the potential in the device — and so the innovation curve was started.

Over the next 200 years we added brakes, pedals etc. and we’ve never looked back.

This collaboration is what the open source model of open contribution is all about i.e. it’s a level playing field fuelled by community input.