Hi Jim! Thanks! Well you know we’ve discussed this before. I am not anti-business by any stretch. Please try not to take this as an insult but just my honest reaction.
The only thing less appealing to me than starting my own business or a non-profit organization is to be the involuntary unpaid support staff for someone else’s business.
That is the root reason why I cringe at any sort of attempt to commercialize or organize a formal N8VEM home brew computer club organization.
Think back in history to the original home brew computer club. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homebrew_Computer_Club
Did they file paperwork to become a 501C3 non-profit organization or open a storefront?
They were the incubator for the great founders of Silicon Valley because they were basically one step away from anarchy the whole time.
It is also why I am philosophically opposed to kitting and assembled boards. Home brew computing is supposed to be hard and difficult. It is not a toaster!
You become fully invested in your creation when you stay up all night for days on end only to watch it burst into flames when you power it up.
Who hasn’t smelled the magic smoke from a miswired board? Burned the traces off a PCB by accident? Had a capacitor explode or burn?
The building process creates the feeling of ownership in the process. Failure and pain is an inherent part of that! There is no substitute for it!
I am not opposed to you or others distributing boards in the spirit of home brew computing.
However I fear we will lose something essential if it becomes just another commercial enterprise.
Thanks and have a nice day!