Starting An Open Hardware Company And Building In The Open

Maniacal Labs | | October 22, 2013

For nearly as long as the three of us have known each other, we have talked about the things we would make when we had our own company. The seriousness of that statement grew and waned over time. But early this year, a friend who was just getting into working with the Arduino microcontroller platform built an 8-bit binary counter and an idea was born: Why not make a bigger counter? Why not make it a clock? This idea became the start of Maniacal Labs, a company that we plan to run by following the ideals of open source software and hardware.

We have been fans of unique and often barely readable timepieces for a long time, so this seemed like a perfect fit for our first project. Taking that binary counter idea several steps further, we created the Binary Epoch Clock Kit, a new twist on the old binary clock idea.

The clock displays time as a 32-bit binary representation of Unix epoch time. One might ask: "How is this even human readable?" Well that depends on how quick you are at reading binary, converting it to decimal and then converting that number of seconds since 1/1/1970 to a normal date and time. Simple, right?