Open source gift guide and giveaway: Our answer to Cyber Monday

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It's the season for a lot of us to go shopping--and you might as well celebrate the spirit of open source in your gift-giving. We've got a few suggestions to help you out with that. And since it's always nice to get something for yourself, we also have three great giveaways from open source hardware company AdaFruit.

Open source gift giveaway

First of all, we'd highly recommend these or any of AdaFruit's offerings for your open source gift list. But if you'd like a chance to win one, all you have to do is be a registered user of and let us know you'd like to win. Read to the bottom of this post for details on how to get a chance at one of the following three prizes:



The iNecklace is a gently pulsating LED in a machined aluminum pendant. The pendant comes strung on an 18" sterling silver chain.(There are also iCufflinks in the same design.)

Even better, the iNecklace is open source (as you probably expected). The source code, circuit board files, schematics and CAD files are available on GitHub.


Atmega32u4 Breakout Board

The Atmega32u4 Breakout Board with Arduino Leonardo bootloader isn't for the beginner. But if you're familiar with microcontrollers and can code in C, you'll have fun playing with this. Plug it in, connect a mini-B USB cable, and get coding. For more information, including files, check out the product page.



The MintyBoost Kit is the only open source hardware device charger. It works with many Android devices, including the G1, Droid Incredible, Thunderbolt, DROID and DROID X. It also charges Kindles, Nooks, PSPs, and iPhones and iPods. Check the Minty Boost compatibility webpage to see if your device has been tested to work with it.

The kit comes unassembled and requires some soldering, but it is appropriate for beginners. Read more about the project on the Minty Boost site.

MintyBoost photo by Flickr user Thorius.


A few more suggestions

If you still need ideas for all the open source enthusiasts you have on your gift list, here are a few more:


A subscription to Magnatune

Magnatune offers DRM-free music in open formats with album art, encourages distribution, and gives 50% of the purchase price directly to the artists. Membership costs $15/month and lets you listen to everything on the site commercial-free as well as downloads. You can try it out first with a seven-day trial.

Raspberry Pi

It's not quite ready yet, but the FAQ says you'll still have a chance to get some Raspberry Pi before the holidays. It's a credit-card sized computer that runs Fedora, Debian, or ArchLinux. You can use it for the usual word processing, game-playing types of activities, and it even plays high-def video. The organization's vision is to see it being used by kids all over the world to learn programming. The Model A will cost $25 and the Model B $35, and there will be a buy one/give one program option available.


The Squeezebox is a network music player made by Logitech, which plays audio stramed to it from your home network. Both the server software and much of the firmware are open source. You can also connect to various online music streaming services and control it from your smartphone or tablet.

Motorola Motoactv

The Motoactv is an Android-based fitness gadget and music player. It stores information on your running, walking, and biking and uses that data to learn what music motivates you to work harder. You can also use an Android phone to communicate with the device, answering calls and receiving texts with it.


For the maker in your life, the possibilities are overwhelming. Depending on your budget, you could go with:

  • An Arduino or any of the many accessories
  • A subscription to MAKE magazine
  • A RepRap or MakerBot

How to enter the giveaway

Contest is now closed. You must be a registered member of You'll also want to be sure that your email address in your profile is correct, as that is how we'll contact you if you win. You have until Friday, December 2 to enter. Read the full terms and conditions. Good luck!

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Ruth Suehle is the community leadership manager for Red Hat's Open Source and Standards team. She's co-author of Raspberry Pi Hacks (O'Reilly, December 2013) and a senior editor at GeekMom, a site for those who find their joy in both geekery and parenting.


I'd like a chance to win an iNecklace, Atmega32u4 Breakout Board, or MintyBoost

The best thing about making a holiday gift of an open source-based gadget is that you're showing the market watchers that we're not all mindless drones, drudging out way to the A**** or B*** B** stores with disposable (or not) income ready to feed the maws of big corporate brutes who wield marketing and leveraged reviews to tell us what we are expected to want. Here's to choice (and run-on sentences)!

Must. win. necklace.

Atmega32u4 Breakout Board

very cool.

The MintyBoost kit looks awesome. That is a really cool use of an Altoids tin. :)

I entered for the chance of getting that one.
I'd like to have a proper battery pack/charger, for my smartphone, that works with exchangable batteries. This one should do the job. :)

Inter to see our sistem in

Excellent gift suggestions. I like the Motorola Motoactv.

Vote for your favorite open source gift in our <a href="">latest poll</a>.


I love geeky presents but getting family to buy them for me is hard ;-)

The charger would make a nice distraction from leftover turkey sandwiches

My lady would love the iNecklace!

I would LOVE the necklace! that is the coolest thing i have seen in ages :D

Raspberry Pi - awesome!

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