2016-04-23 10:45-2016-04-23 12:15

Experience level


Session Track

Open Hardware

Novena: A Completely Free Hacker's Laptop

Open source hardware projects have been in the news lately as the next logical extension of how to expand the concepts and benefits of Free Software. One of the best projects to embody this ethos is the Novena laptop project, a completely open source implementation of a usable laptop specifically designed for hardware hackers.

This talk will cover:

  • The origins of the project
  • Its goal of being a laptop for a hacker's workbench
  • How it deviated from traditional laptop design and the advantages of that.
  • Projects that I've personally accomplished using it.
  • How it pushed the needle forward for open source hardware.
  • Significant contributions that it has made to the open hardware ecosystem, including the repurposing of minor hardware components, and how the project attempts to upstream as much as possible.

To get the most from this talk the audience should be familiar with some hardware concepts such as a serial port, and be able to follow a simple command-line demontration.

The audience will be able to walk away with the a greater understanding of how the Novena project came to be, how an open hardware project can be successfully ran, and how even seemingly minor components can have a big impact on the open hardware ecosystem. They'll also leave with some understanding of example projects I've accomplished with the tools provided, and hopefully can be inspired to accomplish projects of their own.