From tech to toilet paper, Berliner tries to live completely open source for one year

Muirhead wants to see if he can live totally open source for a year and spread the open source gospel

By Loek Essers, IDG News Service |  Open Source

The people and the atmosphere in Berlin make a project as this possible, Muirhead said. The city is home to initiatives as the c-base hacker hangout, MakerLab, where people can collaborate on prototyping and making new products and open farms, where participants grow and share food. Muirhead can also open source his political interests by joining the local Pirate Party.

He plans to share all new product designs involved in his project with the rest of the world via the Internet. If he for instance makes open source shoes with the help of local people, he plans to document the process and release all the documentation. He is unsure how that is going to happen precisely, but Muirhead plans to rebuild his blog to make it an online collaboration platform that is better equipped for getting other people involved. He also plans to build a system to keep track of changes made to the projects by him and other contributors.

If things cannot be open sourced, or simply are not available as open source, Muirhead plans to go for "the shariest option." Air travel for instance could be substituted by hitch hiking, he showed in a video about his project.

To dedicate as much time as he can to the project Muirhead, who works as a tour guide at the moment, wants to raise US$20,000 through crowd funding site IndieGoGo in the next 34 days. At the moment, it has generated a little more than $1,000. The money is needed to do bigger projects and involve more people, Muirhead said. "If there is no money the project will not nearly be as fun and interesting, but will be more like a part time hobby project," he said, adding that he is going to go through with his plan even if the $20,000 goal is not reached.

He is trying to convince people to donate by awarding them something in return. People who donate $25, for instance, will get a digital open source swimsuit calendar, which includes drawings of "open source heroes and heroines," and whoever pays $100 can take part in Sam's Last Bike Tour through Berlin, the moment when he ditches his part-time job.

Muirhead plans to publish a weekly video of his progress and also keep people updated in text via his website.

Loek covers all things tech for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

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