Tombstone, AZ - A new program called Hardster which allows Internet
users to share hardware much like they share MP3s and other files
has just entered the beta stage.
Hardster user prints himself
out a new LaserJet
Hardster is the brainchild Stephan Iwo who created the equally unoriginally
named Kangazaa program for sharing Kangaroos online. "I got
tired of downloading just software from these file sharing services.
Often, I'd get a program that required a lot more computing power
than I had. Then came the "Eureka" moment and Hardster
was born," Iwo explained.
Unlike Napster, Hardster appears to have a sustainable business
model. Users of the system must purchase a small attachment called
a Hardster Module for their inkjet printer to reproduce the hardware.
Each module is capable of reproducing a limited number of components
before they need to be refilled.
"You just set up a component of your system to be 'shared'
and then any of the users on the network can copy that piece of hardware.
It's so simple that my mother just downloaded a new laser printer
from a guy in Poland," said Iwo.
"This is great," exclaimed one Hardster user, "I
paid $30 for a Hardster Module and I printed out a hard drive, a
new P4 and an ATI card. My system rules!"
Tia Broadhurst was tired of copying her friends hardware by hand
and welcomes Hardster. "Putting together a Radeon card with
old video cards and duct tape is a lot harder than you think. Hardster
has really made my life easier," she said.
Hardware manufacturers, who for years have laughed at the software
and entertainment industry, now have something to really worry about. "We're
not sure, but we think there are laws being broken by Hardster. If
there's not then there will be soon," said the Global Alliance
of Hardware Makers spokesperson, Emily Sodor.
Iwo said that there was nothing preventing Hardster to be adapted
to items other than computer hardware and he had experimented with
printing himself up a new car though he had trouble getting it out
of his office.
Sofia Dickison also loves the system. "It's great. I just
bought one of the Hardster Modules then printed out a few more. It's
a self-sustaining hardware reproducing system. I'm not sure if they
thought of that."
"Oh shit," responded Iwo.
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