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Monday, March 15, 2004

Open source my... Volvo?
My dad's weekly routine was to pick up a tool box and proceed to swear at the car all Saturday afternoon under the auspice of saving money by fixing it himself. My brother and I would help, if only to expand our vocabulary - something that came in handy when I chose IT as a profession. The days of the garage mechanic are passing, as cars become less and less accessible to anyone but the dealers. Volvo has literally welded the hood of the car shut in it's new concept car and the front of the car can be removed only by a Volvo mechanic.

In fact, as cars sound more like computers, the complaints of one Seattle mechanic sound more like the complaints of developers. "If you don't have the code, you lose the job. They have to go to the dealers. It's an illegal monopoly, in my opinion". That sounds familiar. He is also advocating open-sourcing newer cars: "If they freed up the information, it would make things better. It's not a cure-all, but I'd support any legislation aimed at better access to the dealers' trick secrets."

Like computer games, some cars even have easter eggs.
:: posted by Doug, 10:26 PM

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