VirtuScope Cyberdeck Straight Out of a William Gibson Novel

While cyberpunk novels written by William Gibson in the 1980s envisioned a world with rather substantial cyberdecks for accessing the…

Jeremy Cook
3 years ago

While cyberpunk novels written by William Gibson in the 1980s envisioned a world with rather substantial cyberdecks for accessing the Internet — something akin to a very beefy notebook computer with all kinds of enhanced features — it seems we’ve instead opted for very small supercomputers that we refer to as ‘smartphones.’ Though phones, tablets, and even ‘traditional’ notebook computers are incredible achievements, a device with a chunky dark frame, full-sized mechanical keyboard, and customizable hardware still appeals to many, including ‘bootdsc.’

Bootdsc built his own ’deck, with a 3D-printed case available on Thingiverse, and a Raspberry Pi 4 (4GB version) to provide computing power. The display is a 7” LCD with an HDMI driver board, and as shown in the short clip below, it opens with a pair of hinges and has a nice space for one to insert an SD card. According to the project write-up, it’s “the ultimate call back to my very first circuit board kit, a FM transmitter that I built at age 7 and now here I am with a portable computer capable of receiving every radio frequency from 300Hz to 1.7Ghz thanks to a Nooelec SDR and Ham It Up Converter.”

So far, the documentation focuses on the physical build of the device. If you want to create your own, however, producing the 3D-printed parts should keep you busy for some time, and upcoming posts will cover the electronics and software.

Jeremy Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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