See the Project Description for a fair idea of what's going on here, if it's not already pretty clear. I'm not going to provide a specific set of instructions, components, or files, in those set sections. Instead, one should use the Build Logs, which, together, form a sort of guidebook to putting together one's own cyberdeck, with each single Log acting as a chapter.
First, I'll lay out my formula, with a bit of a brief discussion on it and a few historical examples of my own. Then, I'll provide several individual Logs that each examining a portion of the formula in turn -- both exploring variations and how they might affect one's build; as well as making recommendations regarding hardware to avoid or to actively seek out. Another three Logs will provide a brief overview, respectively, of installing, configuring, and using Linux Mint, which I highly recommend as a beginner-friendly Linux distro, and which anyone familiar with using any version of Windows from Windows 95 through Windows 7 (but most especially WIndows XP, Vista, and Win7) will find extremely easy to switch to. Finally, I'll provide a series of Build Logs that walk you through a cyberdeck build that I did, recently, with this writeup in mind (and because my current, big-name machines are giving me absolute HECK right now!), to provide a real-world example of how it all goes together.
You don't need fancy tools, you don't need a brain the size of a planet (sorry, Marvin), you don't need tons of money... ordinary people with ordinary lives can do this.
I am a nerd on a fixed income, and I'm mostly self-taught -- I'm endlessly curious, so I'm endlessly tinkering -- but believe me, I destroy far more than I will ever fix! My only power tool is a drill made from scavenged bits and bobs and a 6-volt lantern battery (and I love it).
If you can turn a screwdriver, and you can put together a LEGO set, you can build a computer. Come on, I'll show you how :)
[Table of Contents will go here, as links, when all the Build Logs are up. Until then, please continue to hold, as someone will be with you shortly, and Pardon Our Dust...]