Imagine a FPGA that has one shift register with latch instantiated in the firmware, that outputs its state to the LEDs onboard, and reports back buttons state. On the other side is atmega8 with firmware that drives the FPGA and controls its LEDs, and read buttons from it.
It works. You can grab Verilog code and reuse it to make your FPGA talk to your atmega8 and vice versa.
Another flaw with modern computers is that they are hardly controllable in some circumstances (fat firefox process ate all of my RAM preventing task manager and other tools to show up, leaving me unable to control my computer anymore). And I am going to change this. My Coolsystem will never hang. How strange it sounds, isn't it?
So I will put in an atmega8 with custom keyboard to control everything.
To speed-up things, there is FPGA board with iCE40 chip on it (Olimex iCE40HX1K-EVB). It will handle display, direct memory access, maybe audio, and run some code as well.
Ethernet chip ENC28J60 is there to tinker with local network.
Power DC-DC converter will make 3.3 volts to power everything from one Li-ion cell.
E-Paper screen from Waveshare as main display. I will replace it with LVDS color LCD once I have one in my posession and be able to drive it.
I have a long way to go. Need to implement software. It depends on me, how usable this device may become. Software is the thing that will make a cool device. Especially, computer games are very effective way of showing platform capabilities. Of course, this device will run only simple games (I wish I could run defendguin on it). E-paper screen is not good at games, but it good to start coding with it.