Novena (Bunnie Huang’s heirloom laptop)

Description of project:


Modular, replaceable, upgradeable electronics. Custom-made, possibly 3D-printed (or otherwise handmade?) cases. Free software.

And some info on sales:

As for the inevitable question about if these will be sold, and for how much…once we’re done building the system (and, “done” is a moving target — really, the whole idea is this is continuously under development and improving) I’ll make it available to qualified buyers. Because it’s open-source and a bit quirky, I’m shy on the idea of just selling it to anyone who comes along wanting a laptop. I’m worried about buyers who don’t understand that “open” also means a bit of DIY hacking to get things working, and that things are continuously under development. This could either lead to a lot of returns, or spending the next four years mired in basic customer support instead of doing development; neither option appeals to me. So, I’m thinking that the order inquiry form will be a python or javascript program that has to be correctly modified and submitted via github; or maybe I’ll just sell the kit of components, as this would target buyers who know what they are getting into, and can RTFM. And probably, it will be priced in accordance with what you’d expect to pay for a bespoke digital oscilloscope meant to take a position at the lab bench for years, and not a generic craptop that you’ll replace within a year. Think “heirloom laptop”.



In Idoru, one of the characters has a highly custom and personalized computer made by a group called Sandbenders. ‘They melt old cans they dig up on the beach and cast it in sand molds. These panels are micarta. That’s linen with this resin in it,’ she says.

3D printers. Crowdfunding. Alibaba. Things are coming to a head.