Sometimes you need a general purpose computer that can handle everything from document editing to gaming, with a bit of light meme stock trading thrown in for good measure. And sometimes you want a purpose-build device that’s designed to do one thing and do it well.

Conrad Barski’s Lisperati1000 is a computer that falls in the latter category. It’s a tiny portable workstation made for Lisp programming on the go, although I suppose you could use it to write code in other programming languages.

Barski says this DIY portable computer features an 8.8 inch, 1920 x 480 pixel ultra widescreen display, a mechanical keyboard with full-sized keys and Cherry MX Brown switches, but which is still only about 40 percent the size of a typical keyboard since all unnecessary keys have been removed.

The heart of the computer is a Raspberry Pi Zero W single-board computer, and the system features a 3D printed custom case nd two 4,400 mAh batteries.

The original plan was to only build three units, but due to positive reception to the design Barski now plans to “fund a project to release this as a kit” and release the parts list, STL files for folks that want to 3D print their own parts, and instructions for assembling a Lisperati1000 from parts (some soldering required).

If you’re just looking to get your own super-wide display, it looks like you can pick up an 8.8 inch, 1920 x 480 pixel screen for around $65 to $70 at Amazon, or for less than $60 from AliExpress.

via Hacker News

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13 Comments

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    1. I suggest that you not build one of these.

      What was the point of saying that this project wasn’t for you? You could have hardily communicated that by not making one.

      This mammal has worked on a purpose built terminal and did it well, didn’t even once consider your needs.

      Design one that meets your needs and let us all how it goes. I will help if you have skill shortfall, I sure have many.

      Blowing someone else’s candle does not make yours brighter, it just makes things darker…

    1. not a terribly hard thing to do to get RS-232 signals from a RPi. easiest would be a usb to RS-232 dongle and just take it out of it’s case and hardwire it to the USB. Yu can get it purely from the GPIO but I understand that there are line level dangers there and will require more creativity and skill. I don’t have the latter and some question whether I possess the former 😉

      1. It’s actually because there are almost no options out there for a 4.5u sized keycap. Splitting it up into a 1.75u and 2.75u keycaps means that you have plenty of choices available.

        Also, you definitely need a stabilizer underneath that 2.75u keycap. Most people agree that anything larger than 2u needs a stabilizer bar. If you press a 2u (or larger) key on the far edge, it will bind, and won’t work consistently.

        Personally, when I make keyboards with a split spacebar design, I usually take the opportunity to write the firmware to utilize one (or both) spacebars to also act as my Fn key(s). If tapped, it will act as a spacebar, if held it will act as a Fn key. That way you can eliminate extra Fn keys on the bottom row, and make your Fn keys more ergonomic. And to avoid the lack of ability to hold your spacebar for the purpose of making lots of spaces, I simply program it to do that when I hold both spacebars together.

  1. Very cool concept. I’ve assembled something similar using a custom mechanical keyboard I built, a Raspberry Pi zero, and an 11.6″ laptop panel with an HDMI adapter.

    The one warning I’d give to anyone who wants to do something like this, is that the plastic keycaps for the mechanical keyboard are absurdly expensive when you try to make your own unique layout like that. Prepare to spend $60 to $100 to get labelled keycaps for a unique layout like that.

  2. workstation with ARM 11 CPU? I love ARM but ARM 11 is far outdated.

    On other side Raspberry Pi (independently if it is this Zero W or other model) is worst SBC: you have a gigant blob, and GPU blob starts SOC and is always present and running, you can’t disable or override it. I think there are much better options away from RPI.

    People are so wrong about RPI. Of course the good point is a big community where you cand find tons of websites with projects on RPI, but the lost freedom is too much.

    By the way I love LISP and mechanical keyboards 🙂

    1. Ok, sell us a better SBC. You sure have an opinion about what’s wrong and seem unable to express your preference for another SBC.

      No one in the RPi foundation ever told you or me anything other than this is full featured SBC aimed at education. Your assertion seems to come from a misinterpretation of what the various models are meant to do.

      Lets be clear, I have similar issues with the (official) Arduino hardware. But the extension of the IDE/Ecosystem to other hardware is not at all bad, just not a direction I care for. Many folks find that ecosystem useful and do well with it in general.

      My bottom line here is that if you have nothing positive to offer, whatcha doin?

      Blowing out another’s candle does not make your brighter, just makes the world darker…