There are dozens of programming languages out there, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. If you’re new to coding and want something easy to use, Python is great. For performance and capability, it’s hard to beat programming in C. But if you need some complex algorithms — particularly algorithms that do a lot of heavy mathematical lifting — then Lisp is the ideal choice. Dr. Conrad Barski has a long history of a using Lisp to program enterprise medical software and has even authored books on the language. He wanted a small, portable device for coding Lisp on the go and built the Lisperati1000 cyberdeck terminal for the job.
Lisp is one of the oldest programming languages that is still in use today, with Fortran being the only commonly-used language that is older. It was first specified back in 1958 and therefore can run on computers that are extremely basic by modern standards. You don’t need any bloated graphical IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) to program in Lisp, because you can do your coding in an editor that runs right in your Linux terminal. That is exactly what Barski’s Lisperati1000 cyberdeck does. Instead of booting into a desktop OS like Windows or macOS, the Lisperati1000 runs the Lite version of Raspberry Pi OS Lite which boots to a terminal built around Debian Linux. From there, an editor can be launched so Barski can start hammering out Lisp code.
The Lisperati1000 is a very compact device based on the Raspberry Pi Zero W single-board computer. Its most striking feature is the 8.8” LCD display, which has an ultra-wide aspect ratio with a resolution of 1920x480. That screen is perfect for showing long lines of code while keeping the footprint of the device as small as possible. The Vortex Core 40% mechanical keyboard also helps keep the size down. The current version has room for three 18650 battery cells, each of which has a capacity of 2200mAh. Those feed power to the Raspberry Pi and LCD through an Adafruit PowerBoost 1000C board. All of those components are housed within a sleek 3D-printed enclosure. But rumor has it that Barski is readying a production version of the Lisperati1000 that will have a premium machined aluminum enclosure, which you will be able to purchase later this year. Be sure to follow Barski on Twitter to stay up to date on the project if you want to be first in line to get your hands on your own Lisperati1000!