Open sourced software has been around for ages, but cranking out open source computer hardware has been a completely different animal to crack. Something about all those bits and bobs, and solder maybe. But now it looks as though the inimitable Andrew “bunnie” Huang has managed to bring it all together along with the help of a large crowd.
The Novena Open Laptop is a fully open sourced computer, which offers a bunch of really innovative features along with freely downloadable PCB documentation and an open O/S as well. Now please bear in mind that this computer is not designed for you, Mr Average, it is indeed designed for those who enjoy getting solder under their fingernails as they tweak their gate arrays, and get their bus cables all in a twist.
You can tell it’s a hacker’s delight by the fact that it offers up an instant open shell, without touching a screw, so you can fiddle around whenever you like. The design of the screen also means you use it wide open, which helps with cooling, but may cause passers-by to stare in horror as various bits and pieces float into your computer innards.
You can buy the thing in a variety of configurations and prices, ranging from the bare board itself, at just $500, to a lovely wooden version which will set you back many more dollars. Since it’s Bunnie in charge, we can be fairly certain that all the technical specs have been sorted out as well as the manufacturing, since he probably knows more about getting things made in Shenzhen than anyone else on the planet.
But as it says on the crowdfunded site – This is not a device made for consumer home use.