Hack Chat Transcript, Part 1

A event log for Cyberdeck Brainstorming Hack Chat

Tough times breed tough computers

Dan MaloneyDan Maloney 08/10/2022 at 20:040 Comments

Jame511:51 AM
A cyberdeck already exists for the billions it's called a laptop

jordanbrandes11:51 AM
a laptop lacks expression

cyzoonic11:51 AM
All my work is open source.

back7.co11:51 AM
Some of my work is open source, :D

jordanbrandes11:52 AM
having finally built my own cyberdeck I can say there's far more too it. It's a chance to be truly artistic and creative and push the limits of what's available. My cyberdeck can be worn on your head.

back7.co11:53 AM
I tend to think of them as part art project, part movie prop, part productivity device, and part expression (as how you share or present it). Different people and different projects have different ratios of those things

cyzoonic11:54 AM
It's also a lot about the process of building it. Once done, it's not as exciting IMO.

jordanbrandes11:54 AM
lol you're mostly right @cyzoonic

back7.co11:54 AM
once you're done, it's time to start thinking about the next one :D

Dan (a8ksh4)11:54 AM
It's not easy to capture the utility of the average laptop in a cyberdeck. :)

Dan Maloney11:54 AM
I think I'm more attracted to the functionality of cyberdecks. I love the idea of a complete kit of sensors and real-world interfaces (RTL-SDR, etc.) built into the device. Laptops are boring by comparison

H3lixFossil11:55 AM
🐸 it is wednesday my dudes

cyzoonic11:55 AM
@jordanbrandes of course there is also feature creep :)

jordanbrandes11:55 AM
I wanna use them to push the boundaries of the user experience

back7.co11:55 AM
Hey Hugh

back7.co11:55 AM
I know that avatar

H3lixFossil11:55 AM
@cyzoonic we have a saying about feature creep in the cyberdeck discord lol

H3lixFossil11:55 AM
heya back7

H3lixFossil11:55 AM

cyzoonic11:55 AM
@Hugh Mungis I havent heard it yet, I guess I need to spend more time in the cyberdeck discord

Tom Nardi11:56 AM
The name may change, but the Pokemon is eternal.

MakeNModify11:56 AM
hehe exactly

back7.co11:56 AM
I think you will find that even amongst the speakers today, we bristle at a single definition of what a cyberdeck is, and have very different approaches

H3lixFossil11:56 AM
```I must not add features.

feature creep is the project-killer.

feature creep is the project-death that brings total deck abandonment.

I will face my original plans.

I will permit them to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past, I will turn decker's eye to see its path.

Where the unnecessary features have gone there will be nothing. Only a completed project will remain.```

jordanbrandes11:57 AM
how long did it take you guys to build your decks? What gave you inspiration?

Dan (a8ksh4)11:57 AM
@Dan Maloney my first deck build was for a packet radio setup. turned out it was more fun making the deck than playing with the radio though.

Dan (a8ksh4)11:57 AM
Usually takes a couple months if I don't run into issues I can't work around.

H3lixFossil11:57 AM
1st deck probably took me a month between ordering parts and actually cutting plastic/soldering

H3lixFossil11:58 AM
but it was mega jank

MakeNModify11:58 AM
the first one was a side project over 2 years I think xD

back7.co11:58 AM
@jordanbrandes a good timeline of my projects is here:

bootdsc11:58 AM
feature creep is the mind killer

cyzoonic11:58 AM
@jordanbrandes It took me about a half a year, just lots of trying out things, waiting for parts, ordering PCBs etc. Main inspiration for me was another deck I saw inside a Pelican case.

Dan (a8ksh4)11:58 AM
Last change I made to my printer was a .8mm nozzel and high flow end so I could pump out big parts (deck shell) in a few hours instead of overnight.

H3lixFossil11:58 AM
sup boot

jordanbrandes11:58 AM
@bootdsc i know your work :) you do great stuff

bootdsc11:58 AM

back7.co11:58 AM
My first one is still here, but is a mess of wires inside and took a few months. No 3D printing at all, and was back in 2015

cyzoonic11:59 AM
I wasted a lot of time because I didn't plan ahead as I didn't really know what I was going to put in it or how it will look like exactly.

back7.co11:59 AM

jordanbrandes11:59 AM
my first one is made of proprietary stuff im finding a way to make it more open source and mine. It works great but kind of Frankensteined togetehr

David C. Adams joined  the room.11:59 AM

Dan Maloney12:00 PM
OK everyone, let's kick it off. Welcome to the Hack Chat, I'm Dan and I'll be the mod today along with Dusan as we put our heads together and think about ways to make cyberdecks awesome(r). We invited a bunch of cyberdeck builders, I'll list the ones I can remember -- sorry if I miss anyone: , @Dan (a8ksh4) , @cyzoonic , @bootdsc

back7.co12:00 PM
It was about 4 years later when I wanted to re-do it and created the Back 7 Recovery Kit

jordanbrandes12:00 PM

H3lixFossil12:00 PM

Tom Nardi12:00 PM
@jordanbrandes I was going to say, don't be shy, let's see the pics.

back7.co12:00 PM
I always like to see head-mounted projects. Wearables are next-level tough

bootdsc12:00 PM
Its ok Helix, i didn't forget about you

H3lixFossil12:01 PM
lol thx

Dan Maloney12:01 PM
Oh yes, everyone should feel free to show off their builds

Tom Nardi12:01 PM
I remember writing that one up for the site, actually:

H3lixFossil12:01 PM
The JankYard Express

jordanbrandes12:01 PM
It's gone through some changes since that last pic. The user funcationality is still a big problem. Can't type when you're blind. I just converted it to a retropie for now and that works great.

Dan Maloney12:01 PM
Use the buttons below the text window to post an image. You can add a YT video too by just pasting the URL into a blank window

jordanbrandes12:01 PM
thanks for the love @Tom Nardi

Thomas Clauser12:02 PM

Thomas Clauser12:02 PM
everything starts somewhere....hopped in here for inspiration for the next

bootdsc12:02 PM
@jordanbrandes i see you built a HMD with box goggles. i've done the same using the fatshark transformer

jordanbrandes12:02 PM

back7.co12:02 PM

back7.co12:02 PM
I think this is my favorite, while admittedly the least functional.

Dan (a8ksh4)12:02 PM

io Tenino joined  the room.12:02 PM

jordanbrandes12:02 PM
I'm working on 3D printing my own goggles but that's a work in progress

Dan (a8ksh4)12:02 PM
This one was fun to make.

jordanbrandes12:03 PM
I love these!

jordanbrandes12:03 PM
you all are my people :)

Dan Maloney12:03 PM
My big question: how do you maintain watertightness on Pelican and Pelican-like case builds when you have to drill holes for connectors, standoff, etc.? Or do you even bother?

bootdsc12:03 PM
@jordanbrandes sourced a 5.5" 1080 OLED off aliexpress for about $80 plus the $19 box goggle and a whole lot of time plus 3d prints but totally worth it.

anfractuosity12:03 PM
@Dan (a8ksh4) , cool, was that eink for the display?

back7.co12:03 PM
@Dan Maloney I no longer modify my Pelican cases

cyzoonic12:03 PM
In my cause I used water tight connectors and silcone around them. I havent tested it however.

jordanbrandes12:04 PM
@bootdsc i found 5 in way too small to read, had to go to 7 in

Dan (a8ksh4)12:04 PM
They make water tight 3-20+ pin connectors that can thread into the side of a case.

back7.co12:04 PM
Everything drops inside. It also lets me re-use them on new projects

MakeNModify12:04 PM

H3lixFossil12:04 PM
i love that one

cyzoonic12:04 PM
I like that one

back7.co12:04 PM
same, such a great concept

Dan (a8ksh4)12:04 PM
That was a 4.3in waveshare eink

bootdsc12:04 PM
water tight is one thing when at atmospheric pressure but once an item is submerged things change

cyzoonic12:04 PM
those keys are so cool

MakeNModify12:04 PM
thx guys

thesebelik12:04 PM
Me too, seeing that posted helped me start to design my own

Dan (a8ksh4)12:04 PM
very cool modular setup!

Dan Maloney12:04 PM


Three-Piece Cyberdeck Plays The Role Of Military Computer That Never Was

While we're not at all sick of the cyberdeck movement yet, we do have to admit that some of the builds we see are starting to fall into categories that are beginning to seem a little familiar. The clamshell aesthetic comes to mind, but really, with spaces for a display and a keyboard, the form factor is pretty much a natural for cyberdecking.

Read this on Hackaday

H3lixFossil12:04 PM
the olive drab and the clamps on the split config keyb really give off that 80s military vibe

back7.co12:05 PM
I am starting to play around with more laser cut metal

back7.co12:05 PM

Dan (a8ksh4)12:05 PM

Tom Nardi12:05 PM
I've always thought the Pelican builds had a military look about them, more so than cyberpunk, if I'm honest. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

back7.co12:05 PM
To me it's function over form

cyzoonic12:06 PM
@Tom Nardi yes, I think they go more into that direction than the cyperpunkt style

bootdsc12:06 PM

Michael Limiero joined  the room.12:06 PM

back7.co12:06 PM
I'd love to make (and someday will) a slick, glossy one, but not yet

bootdsc12:06 PM
one of my fav portables

back7.co12:06 PM
Boot, I love your different form factors... I am a fan

MakeNModify12:06 PM
yea none is like the other

Jame512:06 PM

DeltaWhy12:07 PM
so does anyone use a cyberdeck as a daily driver?

Dan (a8ksh4)12:07 PM
That's prettu clean. bt keyboard?

back7.co12:07 PM
here's my favorite pic of my more recent builds- real carbon fiber:

H3lixFossil12:07 PM
I'm split on the function vs form debate. Of course I still want it to be functional, but if it comes at the cost of looking like a grey cube... nah not for me

back7.co12:07 PM

MakeNModify12:07 PM
@Michael Limiero not as a daily but I in fact take mine to the maker/hacker space as my computer

Dan Maloney12:08 PM
Random thought -- I'd love to find an old GRiD laptop and build a cyberdeck out of it