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Portables Hardware Hacking Open Source Build Hardware

Progress On the Open Laptop 57

Posted by Soulskill
from the does-it-run-crysis-yet? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Last October, we discussed Andrew 'bunnie' Huang's effort to build a complete open hardware laptop, called the Novena. bunnie has now posted a progress report on the laptop's design and construction, showing the latest revision of the board, the display, and a hack to use it as a secure router. bunnie says, 'At the end of the day, we're having fun building the laptop we always wanted — it's now somewhere between a python-scriptable oscilloscope, logic analyzer, and a laptop. I think it will be an indispensable tool for hacking, particularly for doing signal analysis which requires coordination across multiple protocol layers, complex trigger conditions and/or feedback stimulus loops. As for the inevitable question about if these will be sold, and for how muchonce we're done building the system (and, "done" is a moving target — really, the whole idea is this is continuously under development and improving) I'll make it available to qualified buyers. Because it's open-source and a bit quirky, I'm shy on the idea of just selling it to anyone who comes along wanting a laptop. I'm worried about buyers who don't understand that "open" also means a bit of DIY hacking to get things working, and that things are continuously under development."
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Progress On the Open Laptop

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  • by Dputiger (561114) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @01:57PM (#44204303)

    I'm not sure this meets the standard criteria for a laptop these days. That doesn't mean it isn't a valid, useful device, but if you think about the things most people buy a laptop to *do*, they're going to be secondary to the function of this machine. When you say "Laptop" people think "Sophisticated operating system, wide range of available software, media player, useful for software development, gaming machine (maybe), interfaces with wide range of modern portable devices, etc).

    This sounds like it's got a rather different set of capabilities in mind. Apple probably wouldn't like "HackBook", but it seems to fit better.

    • by rbprbp (2731083)
      Linux and most open-source software runs on it. That's pretty much enough for most DIY hackers. Besides, I think that this board would be useful for other applications (robotics, signal processing, etc...) or just as a cheap way of hacking ARM + FPGA.
      • by gl4ss (559668)

        it's more like a general arm board with fpga than a "laptop".

        I can see quite a bit of usability for it. just not any as a laptop.

  • What an outrageous notion! The only qualification is that one is willing to trade for it; who are you to determine that for someone else?

    • "one is willing to trade for it"

      It takes two to trade, no? As the one currently holding the object, he can decide whether or not he is willing to trade. If he isn't, it doesn't much matter if you are...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Stewie241 (1035724)

      It sounds like it is more about making sure that the buyer is absolutely clear about what she/he is getting. Qualifying buyers means you can at least have a conversation where the purchaser says 'I know there are going to be a *lot* of rough edges and I'm okay with major functionality possibly not working'. Otherwise, you end up with buyers who see the word open and rush to buy it perhaps without realizing what they were getting.

      Maybe this fear is founded, maybe it isn't. But I don't see it as being comp

  • by OzPeter (195038) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @02:31PM (#44204561)

    I'm shy on the idea of just selling it to anyone who comes along wanting a laptop. I'm worried about buyers who don't understand that "open" also means a bit of DIY hacking to get things working, and that things are continuously under development.

    I use "open" software all the time and I certainly don't do any DIY hacking to get it running and keep it running. So why does this "open" hardware have such a different interpretation? I can only surmise that "open" is actually being used as a synonym of "incomplete".

    • by Techman83 (949264)

      I use "open" software all the time and I certainly don't do any DIY hacking to get it running and keep it running. So why does this "open" hardware have such a different interpretation? I can only surmise that "open" is actually being used as a synonym of "incomplete".

      The primary difference being, people have different expectations when it comes to something they laid done a decent some of money for. If you download a project that doesn't work and don't know how to diagnose it, you move on. Drop a $1000+ on some hardware and don't possess the skills to work it out , you may feel quite differently. No amount of initial expectation setting can change that when it involves someones hard earned money. We've seen that with Kickstarter, you are told upfront that you are invest

  • Did anyone else notice that the screen in the router case photo has a partially obscured Futurama video playing?

  • by NReitzel (77941) on Saturday July 06, 2013 @02:44PM (#44204641) Homepage

    I couldn't help notice the line calling this (among other things) a python-scripted oscilloscope.

    As an engineer, let me say, "To heck with the laptop bit, where do I sign up and buy one?"

    Daughter boards. WiFi (if you must), Bluetooth (if you must), and Analog Channels, Bay-Bee!

    • by rasmusbr (2186518)

      Mhmm... Hands above the covers!

      If the analog performance of this thing can be made halfway decent this guy may have the beginnings of a small business.

    • Most modern digital oscilloscopes have USB interfaces and are controllable with C or a python api. For example, Rigol scopes have python drivers since some years ago.

    • by TeknoHog (164938)

      As an engineer, let me say, "I'll make my own laptop! With blackjack and hookers! In fact, forget the laptop."

      FTFY.

  • Fucking engineer's fucking wet fucking dream, this
  • I thought Lemote already achived this, or no? Stallman uses a Lemote and claims it is completely open...right down to the BIOS
  • So when you want a generic shitty OEM laptop that just isn't shitty enough, go open source with it.

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  • I'm not sure this meets the standard criteria for a laptop these days. That doesn't mean it isn't a valid, useful device, but if you think about the things most people buy a laptop to *do*, they're going to be secondary to the function of this machine. When you say "Laptop" people think "Sophisticated operating system, wide range of available software, media player, useful for software development, gaming machine (maybe), interfaces with wide range of modern portable devices, etc). This sounds like it's go

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