Andrew “Bunnie” Huang lists a bunch of reasons why you’ll want his open-source laptop, the Novena. You can modify it yourself so that its battery will last however long you want it to. You can inspect the software to see if there’s any present from the National Security Agency. And you don’t have to pay a tax to any big corporation just because you want to do some computing.
It’s all part of the do-it-yourself hardware movement that is giving us things like 3D printing, cool robots, and virtual reality headsets. Huang recently unveiled his ARM-based quad-core Novena laptop, which has air-pump hinges so you can easily get under the hood and modify it. He is raising $250,000 on Crowd Supply so that he can build and ship initial units to crowdfunding contributors. The machine costs about $1,995 now, but that price could come down over time if volume sales are good.
Huang, a Singapore resident who gained fame for hacking the original Microsoft Xbox game console,introduced the machine as a “labor of love” at the recent Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, Calif. He hopes that a community of hardware hackers will rally around the machine and contribute all sorts of modifications. We interviewed him at the ESC.
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