The Commute Deck is designed to provide a productive computing experience for UNIX terminal work in tight places, like the train or an economy seat on an airplane. It can be carried by hand or hooked onto a bag. It is robust enough to be jostled, and sealed so it can be carried outside in uncontrolled conditions. The mechanical keyboard is comfortable to type on (in width and layout), and the battery life is sufficient for a cross country flight or a full day at a conference.
The theme of this build is to identify the problem you want to solve, then solve that problem. Seems like a tautology, but I find it’s easy to waste time solving problems that don’t really matter. There are a number of areas where I traded elegance for off the shelf components to reduce complexity, cost, and time to completion.
An aside: The name “Commute Deck” is in reference to the notion of a computing device made of pure 90’s hacker nostalgia called “cyber deck,” from William Gibson’s Neuromancer. Here’s a screenshot of a “Decker” character holding a similar device from the Sega Genesis game Shadowrun.
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Raspberry Pi 2 – Model B v1.2 – ARM Cortex-A53 with 1G RAM: Didn’t think the Raspberry Pi could get any better? You’re in for a big surprise! The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B is out and it’s amazing! With an upgraded ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core processor, Dual Core VideoCore IV Multimedia coprocessor, and a full Gigabyte of RAM, this pocket computer has moved from being a ‘toy’ to a real desktop PC! Learn more
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.