By Cory Doctorow at 4:16 am Wed, Jan 9, 2013
Eric sez, "Reddit has a thread posted in which the user yoshiwars shares photos of his briefcase, which has been packed with performance parts and multi-OS booting. An impressive hack!"
r/Cyberpunk seems to like my briefcase, here are more pics. (imgur.com)
I’m sorry, really I am, but this is SOOO much of an old hat! I’ve seen contraptions like this freaking decades ago! Where? Demoscene parties! For example at Assembly 1994 (!) in Helsinki there was a group of three who all had their self-made portable computers in identical briefcases! (Altough in this case the CRT monitors went extra…)
This is more like an old staple than a new idea by now!
Edit: Same party there was at least one person who used an LCD monitor as shown in the picture.
I think these are much better
I think that’s the point. It’s supposed to look like a 1993 kludge. The parts cost more than a basic laptop, so the look of it is the objective.
Think Johnny Mnemonic, Lone Gunmen, Snow Crash, Sneakers, Neuromancer, Mirrorshades, etc.
Yeah its almost… silicon punk?
I imagined a farm of raspberry-pi’s running off a gel cell.
homemade laptop he couldn’t afford
Clear all that junk out of there and you’d have room to carry a laptop.
Probably enough room to store one for each OS.
That mouse mat. Fuck yeah. Comin’ again to save the motherfuckin’ day, yeah.
I can hear the screechy guitar theme just looking at it:
Man, don’t take this thing anywhere near an airport, bus terminal or train station. Yeesh.
I hate to be that guy, but what’s impressive about it?
Well, the durability of the parts is pretty impressive, if it still functions after a lot of jostling of that keyboard across those pins, switches, and solder points.
As an X-Files tribute, it does look like a prop from Kill Switch, the episode Gibson wrote. Or something the Lone Gunmen would use.
“Well, the durability of the parts is pretty impressive, if it still functions after a lot of jostling of that keyboard across those pins, switches, and solder points.”
Isn’t that what cases are for? :)
It’s definitely fun! I just don’t think it looks very impressive – you can build a PC into anything, people often do.
Makes me think of the briefcase that came with my Oscar Goldman doll as a kid… greatest toy accessory, ever.
1995 called. It wants its geek cred back.
Agree with the others. It’s a fine build, and if you haven’t seen this approach before it’s sorta cute. But from what I hear from serious twitch-games (which I am not), this sort of thing was coming to “LAN parties” for Quite Some Time, as gamers sought higher computing power to give them an edge over the other players.
“Cyberpunk”? Only in the sense of being partially homebrew. Would be more so if some of those components had been modded in innovative ways. But even so… Exposed guts does not make inherently pretty, especially not when the components are the expected ones and not arranged in a particularly artistic manner.
Good practical solution to a specific problem. Mildly amusing.
I thought cyberpunk went away years ago… now if only all things ‘steampunk’ would join it.
But then clockpunk will take over. You have to think about upcoming voids.
Fire hazard, stay away.
Its destiny is to drown in a quarter inch of Mountain Dew.
And then it burst into flames.
love to see you try to get that on a plane,
Yeah, it would be better to take it out of the briefcase and attach the pieces to your sweatshirt.
It’s a little hard to see in the picture, but it looks like he blocked the exit vents on his power supply, which would be bad for the longevity of the system.
I would be a little more impressed if he had a real solution to storing the keyboard and mouse instead of just tossing them on top of the motherboard, but otherwise it looks pretty decent.
It would be more impressive if the builder had incorporated a UPS so the machine had some capacity to run off the grid.
Cyberpunk would be VR goggles and a keyboard on a shoulder strap.
This is something else…
This is…well, it sure as hell isn’t cyberpunk. Modding a computer into a keyboard chassis, sure. Wearable computer sewn into a duster with flip-down chording keyboard, certainly punk. But a really crappy laptop in a briefcase, and a crappy briefcase at that? Nah. Maybe he could glue some old watch parts on it and it would be steampunk, too…
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