The idea of a cyberdeck is simple. A relatively portable case that is primarily a keyboard with some screen attached. Cyberdecks often try to hit a particular aesthetic or vibe rather than focusing on usability or practicality. [Carter Hurd] took a step back and asked himself what would be a cyberdeck-like system that he could practically use every day.
[Carter’s] build is a prototype that allows him to try out the form factor and use it as a daily driver, so many decisions were made to speed up the build and get something functional. For example, rather than spend the time tweaking and printing his own keyboard, he used an off-the-shelf keyboard he knew he liked. While a framework motherboard would have been perfect for something like this, they, unfortunately, weren’t available when [Carter] started the build. So [Carter] used a used gaming laptop for the task. He had hoped to drive the display directly from the motherboard as many laptops use embedded DisplayPort internally. Unfortunately, this didn’t work as the motherboard didn’t support the resolution he was trying to drive at, so he just used the external port to drive the screen. A 3d printed base fits underneath the keyboard to hold the laptop motherboard with little extensions for bits that don’t work well, such as the wifi card. The chassis also has a slot that allows a secondary display to slot right in.
Ultimately, it is something of a modern-day typewriter and something like a cyberdeck. Either way, we love it. Video after the break.
Continue reading “Ditch The Laptop For The Tabletop”
The Framework laptop is already a very exciting prospect for folks like us — a high-end computer that we can actually customize, upgrade, and repair with the manufacturer’s blessing? Sounds like music to our ears. But we’re also very excited about seeing how the community can press the modular components of the Framework into service outside of the laptop itself.
A case in point, this absolutely gorgeous retro-inspired computer built by [Penk Chen]. The Mainboard Terminal combines a Framework motherboard, five inch 1080 x 1080 round LCD display, and OLKB Preonic mechanical keyboard into a slick 3D printed enclosure that’s held together with magnets for easy access. Compared to the Raspberry Pi that we usually find tucked into custom computer builds like this, the Framework board offers incredible performance, not to mention the ability to run x86 operating systems and software.
[Penk] has Ubuntu 22.04 LTS loaded up right now, and he reports that everything works as expected, though there are a few
xrandr commands you’ll need to run in order for the system to work properly with the circular display. The standard Ubuntu UI doesn’t look particularly well suited to such an unusual viewport, but we imagine that’s an issue you’ll have to learn to live with when experimenting with such an oddball screen.
It was just a few weeks ago that we brought you word that Framework was releasing the mechanical drawings for their Mainboard module, and we predicted then that it would be a huge boon to those building bespoke computers. Truth be told we expected a cyberdeck build of some sort to be the first one to hit our inbox, but you certainly won’t catch us complaining about seeing more faux-vintage personal terminals.
Despite their claims of innocence, we all know that the big tech firms are listening to us. How else to explain the sudden appearance of ads related to something we’ve only ever spoken about, seemingly in private but always in range of a phone or smart speaker? And don’t give us any of that fancy “confirmation bias” talk — we all know what’s really going on.
And now, to make matters worse, it turns out that just listening to your keyboard clicks could be enough to decode what’s being typed. To be clear, [Georgi Gerganov]’s “KeyTap3” exploit does not use any of the usual RF-based methods we’ve seen for exfiltrating data from keyboards on air-gapped machines. Rather, it uses just a standard microphone to capture audio while typing, building a cluster map of the clicks with similar sounds. By analyzing the clusters against the statistical likelihood of certain sequences of characters appearing together — the algorithm currently assumes standard English, and works best on clicky mechanical keyboards — a reasonable approximation of the original keypresses can be reconstructed.
If you’d like to see it in action, check out the video below, which shows the algorithm doing a pretty good job decoding text typed on an unplugged keyboard. Or, try it yourself — the link above implements KeyTap3 in-browser. We gave it a shot, but as a member of the non-mechanical keyboard underclass, it couldn’t make sense of the mushy sounds it heard. Then again, our keyboard inferiority affords us some level of protection from the exploit, so there’s that.
Editors Note: Just tried it on a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Blue switches and it couldn’t make heads or tails of what was typed, so your mileage may vary. Let us know if it worked for you in the comments.
What strikes us about this is that it would be super simple to deploy an exploit like this. Most side-channel attacks require such a contrived scenario for installing the exploit that just breaking in and stealing the computer would be easier. All KeyTap needs is a covert audio recording, and the deed is done.
Continue reading “Audio Eavesdropping Exploit Might Make That Clicky Keyboard Less Cool”
Looking like it dropped out of an alternate reality version of the 1980s, the Joopyter Personal Terminal is a 3D printed portable computer that includes everything you need for life in the retro-futuristic fastlane: a mechanical keyboard, a thermal printer, and the obligatory tiny offset screen. It’s a true mobile machine too, thanks to it’s onboard battery and a clever hinge design that lets you fold the whole thing up into something akin to a PLA handbag. You won’t want to leave home without it.
This gorgeous machine comes our way from [Gian], and while the design isn’t exactly open source, there’s enough information in the GitHub repository that you could certainly put together something similar if you were so inclined. While they might not serve as documentation in the traditional sense, we do love the faux vintage advertisements that have been included.
The upper section of the Joopyter holds a Raspberry Pi Zero W (though the new Pi Zero 2 would be a welcome drop-in upgrade), an Adafruit PiTFT 2.8″ display, a CSN-A2 panel mount thermal printer, and a Anker PowerCore 15600 battery to keep it all running. On the opposite side of the hinge is a hand wired keyboard powered by a Raspberry Pi Pico running KMK.
Speaking of that printed hinge, [Gian] says it comes on loan from [YARH.IO], which Hackaday readers may recall have produced a number of very slick 3D printed portable Linux machines powered by the Raspberry Pi over the last couple of years.
Continue reading “Retro Portable Computer Packs Printer For The Trip”
At the risk of stepping on our fantastic Keebin with Kristina series, a beautiful tutorial by [Ben Vallack] details how to create a custom low-profile keyboard in great detail.
We’ve covered complete guides to building your own and projects making custom rubber dome keyboards. In addition, several subreddits exist around custom keyboard builds and dozens of websites are dedicated to selling parts. So why add not add one more guide, especially on as well done as [Ben’s]?
[Ben] focuses on the high-level tooling and the methodology of laying out a keyboard and how it all comes together. It all starts with determining your specific hand shape and layout with Ergopad. With that shape taken care of, you can move onto Ergogen, which allows you to take the layout you have in mind and generate a KiCAD board layout that just needs to be routed. Flippable boards, various footprints for switches, and connecting up different microcontrollers are all supported.
Once you have your PCB in hand, [Ben] walks you through soldering the sockets on the back and setting up your board firmware in ZMK with Github Actions. It’s a slick guide with a nifty product at the end. Video after the break.
Continue reading “A Clear Guide For A Low-Profile Bespoke Keyboard”
There are a huge number of available keyboards out in the world these days, catering to all of the plainest and the most advanced desires. However, if you want something that’s just right, sometimes it pays to build your own. [Zach] did just that.
One of the key features of [Zach]’s build is that it diverges away from the Cherry MX switch form factor. The design uses low-profile switches instead, which help with keeping the keyboard low enough to avoid it causing wrist problems. The keyboard also uses IO expanders to hook up all the key switches, helping to reduce the incidence of ghost keys. The board can also be split in half, allowing it to be repurposed as a smaller macropad when desired.
It’s all wrapped up in a cool 3D printed case, and there are even three OLED displays on the right-hand side. They’re soldered to the PCB on special cutouts that allow the displays to flex and trigger tactile switches, acting as giant pressable buttons.
[Zach] does a great job explaining all the nifty engineering decisions he made to cram maximum functionality into the design. We’ve seen some other great DIY ergonomic designs too. Video after the break.
Continue reading “A Hackable Keyboard That Even Has Screens”
No matter where you live in the world or what beverage you enjoy, it’s too easy to spill it on the keyboard. Obviously, the solution is to combine the two. That’s exactly what Google Japan did this past April Fool’s Day when they released the Gboard — a cylindrical keyboard wrapped around a removable cup. But is it still a joke once you’ve open-sourced it and made a build guide, more or less?
Here’s where it gets weird: each kanji on the keyboard represents a different kind of fish, and they’re laid out in Japanese phonetic order. You’re not stuck with the fish, though — one of the 60 keys switches between fish input and regular Hiragana (the basic Japanese phonetic alphabet). Underneath all those fish are low-profile Kailh chocs hooked up to an ATMega32u4. We only wish it were wireless.
We love that they open-sourced this keyboard, and it even makes sense in a way. In order to produce a good April Fool’s video, you actually have to make the fake product. The better it is (i.e. weird but plausible), the more people will like it and probably want one. So if you’re going to go to all that trouble, why not set it free on GitHub? Note that the second line of the readme is “this is not an officially-supported Google product”, which we suppose goes without saying.
Be sure to check out the short video after the break. If you don’t understand Japanese, you’ll want to turn on the closed captions.
You know, now that Raspberry Pi have made their answer to the Arduino, it’s about time that Apple made their answer to the Raspberry Pi.
Continue reading “Can’t Spill Coffee On Your Keyboard If It’s Already Inside”