Cyberdeck, a term coined by William Gibson in his 1984 novel Neuromancer is essentially an artisan-crafted computer, a device that is built with a unique blend of creativity, technical prowess, and a deep understanding of hardware components. If you are interested in building your very own cyberdeck or compact portable Windows PC. You are sure to enjoy this video created by the
Ben Makes Everything YouTube channel. Detailing how Framework modular PC components have been used very innovatively to create a unique portable computer.
For those unfamiliar with Framework and it’s modular laptops. The company’s mission is to provide sustainable and customizable computing solutions. The design of their laptops allows for easy upgrades and replacements of individual components like the RAM, storage, keyboard, and even ports via modules. This approach not only makes it easier for consumers to keep their devices up to date, but it also minimizes electronic waste by promoting the reuse of functional components. Their products are often seen as an alternative to more traditional laptops where upgradability and customization are limited.
DIY Framework Cyberdeck PC
The choice of hardware for this project was a Framework laptop motherboard. The reasons for this choice were its good performance, modular IO system, thin and small size, and the ability to upgrade parts over time. The creator also used a 500 gig Western Digital black SSD and 16 GB of RAM to ensure the device had ample storage and processing power.
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The design of the cyberdeck was inspired by slab-style computers like the old Tandy TRS-80 Model 100 and its modern counterpart, the Clockwork DevTerm. The creator used a friction hinge mechanism to allow the screen to flip up to 45 degrees for better viewing angles. The device includes a small thumb-controlled trackball for navigation and a Magic 2 keyboard from Apple for input.
Framework modular PC components
The cyberdeck also incorporates swappable expansion port cards, a six-port hub, and a built-in Arduino for testing electronic circuits. The housing for the device was 3D printed and the faceplates were cut from an 8in aluminum sheet. The device also includes a power button, speakers, and a variety of input and output ports. It can also accept additional video inputs, allowing it to be used as a monitor for other devices.
The assembly of the cyberdeck required a deep understanding of the components and a careful approach to ensure that all parts fit together seamlessly. The result is a device that runs an 11th gen i5 processor, an SSD, and 16 GB of RAM. It is capable of running games like DOOM 2016 and Overwatch 2, demonstrating its performance and functionality.
The completed cyberdeck is a testament to the power of modularity and customization. It is described by the creator as “weird, heavy and looks like it came out of a portal to some alternate timeline”, but the creator enjoys using it. It is a device that embodies the spirit of the cyberdeck concept, a blend of old and new, of functionality and aesthetics.
Building a custom cyberdeck using a Framework laptop motherboard is a project that showcases the potential of modular technology. It is a testament to the power of customization and the possibilities that arise when technology is not just consumed, but also created. It is a reminder that technology can be more than just a tool, it can be a canvas for creativity and innovation.
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