Why open systems are good (or why cars suck)
2 minutes read

This is written while on my way en route from Oslo to Hemsedal, where my father has his cabin. (He is driving, so don’t worry about me blogging while driving, I don’t even have a driving license.) About three minutes after we started driving, dad said “oh, we forgot to bring any CDs”. I looked at the CD player in the car. No sound inputs, of course. How silly: I have a fair amount of music on my laptop, but I can’t use it in the car, just because of a design defiency in the car’s CD player.

My mind started wandering, and a little later, I decided that what was missing wasn’t a mini-jack connector to the stereo, it was a proper bus. The car should have an USB (or bluetooth or something else, fairly nice and cheap) interface. Not just for audio (which would be nice, the stereo would just show up as a sound card to the laptop), but also for getting stats such as speed, direction, fuel comsumption and any other data the car is registering.

Of course, since people who design cars aren’t open-source people and don’t think in terms of open systems communicating through well-defined and nice protocols, everything I have described here are just wild dreams. Would be cool if they came true, though.

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