Build your own handheld Linux computer, like its 2001

Way back in the old days, there were handheld tablet computers that could run Linux. No one is using a Compaq iPaq or Sharp Zaurus anymore. What’s a nerd to do?

If you’re Anthony Di Girolamo or Alessandro C., you grab a raspberry pi 3b+, 3D print a keyboard, and assemble your own. That is to say, there are a few variations of this kind of thing, with Alessandro building on Di Girolamo’s work.

Di Giralamo?s colorful keyboard

Let’s talk ingredients for this recipe: you’ll need a hyper pixel 800×600 display. A 3D printed case and keys controlled by a Teensy 3.2 Arduino. The whole thing runs off a 5000mAh battery.

The software configuration is a bit like using Linux back in the 2000s, at least initially — getting it to work required configuration of display drivers and Xorg, things I had thought I’d left behind years ago.

This thing is probably going to cost over a hundred to make, but the end result is a very portable, functional pocket computer. I admit, I’m tempted to build one.

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