Ever wish you could design your own laptop from the ground up? I don’t just mean choosing how much RAM it will have or what the screen resolution will be — I mean choosing every single element of the circuit board?
That’s what Bunnie Huang is doing with his Novena laptop project — and he’s also making all of the plans available so that it’s a truly open source machine.
It won’t be cheap, and it might not necessarily be the most powerful device around — but PC components are good enough these days that you can design a computer that’s built to last without worrying that it’ll be completely useless in two or three years.
At least that’s the idea. ZDNet checked in with Huang more than half a year into the project to get a sense of where things stand.
Here’s a fine assortment of tech news from around the internet.
- Building an open source laptop
Bunnie Huang has been working for more than a half year on an open source, custom-designed, high-end laptop. ZDNet decided to check in to see how things are going… and why he’s doing it. [ZDNet]
- Koush’s latest Chromecast app you can’t have yet lets you stream vids from a PC to Chromecast without encode/decode
Google’s Chromecast is designed to let you stream video from internet services such as YouTube and Netflix. But you can stream content from your PC by dragging and dropping it into a Chrome browser window and using the tab-casting feature. It’s kind of resource-intensive, and only supports up to 720p content. Soon you may be able to use a Chrome plugin that lets you fling content from your PC straight to a Chromecast without any encoding or decoding. [+Koushik Dutta]
- Nintendo DS emulator for Android hits the Play Store, offers full-speed gaming
Want to play Nintendo DS games on your Android phone? There’s an emulator for that. At $8 it’s kind of pricey, but it’s a lot cheaper than buying a DS. Emulating two screens on a single display is kind of weird though. [reddit]
- ActiveNotifications brings Moto X-like notifications to other devices with AMOLED displays (and Android 4.3
The Motorola Moto X has a nifty Active Display feature that lights up just a small part of the screen when you take the phone out of your pocket to show you the time, notifications, or other details. Here’s an app that enables similar functionality on the few other phones with AMOLED screens and Android 4.3 software. [xda-developers]
- Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 supports always-on voice recognition (just like the Moto X), up to phone makers to enable
In other you-might-not-need-to-buy-a-Moto-X-to-get-Moto-X-like-features news… [Phone Arena]
- McHck is a $5 ARM development board with a Freescale ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller
It’s not exactly a Raspberry Pi, but this might be the cheapest ARM dev board you’re likely to find anytime soon. [Hack A Day]
- Microsoft extends $199 Surface RT deal for schools through Sept 30th
Microsoft is selling Surface RT tablets to consumers for $349 these days. That’s $150 off the original list price. But schools get an even deeper discount. [Neowin]
- Several more Intel Haswell processors for mobile devices on the way
Intel is fleshing out its line of 4th-generation Core processors for mobile devices including tablets and notebooks with new Celeron, Core i5, and Core i7 chips. [CPU World]