Sourcing a display

In line with my desire to make this cyberdeck a build it myself adventure, I looked into what it would take to build my own LCD display. But after seeing this video, I decided this was going to require more time and equipment that I was willing to work with, and would have been to simplistic to meet my needs.

Which means, I’m going to have to buy a pre-made display.

For the past few months (actually years, as the cyberdeck has been floating around in my mind for a long time), I’ve been browsing Amazon for LCD displays that I could use, something mountable in the range of 7 to 15 inches. There are quite a few of these available on Amazon, but the problem I began running into was resolution. Finding even a 1080p (that is 1920px by 1080px) in this size of display was difficult.

But as luck would have it I was searching for how to build my own vr headset yesterday and came upon this open source project: https://github.com/relativty/Relativty . Specifically, the project team linked to their chosen displays, a pair of 120hz 2k displays with a single controler (bookmarked for later). But at the top of the page, there is a link to the vendor’s store, and what did I see? 2k and 4k displays at sizes I had difficulty finding 1080p for on amazon. And at similar prices unless I can figure out a cheeper way to control them. The only downside is the delivery time. It looks like if I bought one from Aliexpress, I will have to wait a few weeks. But at this point, it looks like the cyberdeck is going to be a summer long project with all the parts and skills I must acquire.

My Current Obsession: Building a Cyberdeck

When it comes to learning new things, my interests never come as healthy curiosity. I Obsess over whatever it is that popped into my head. Right now, and for the past month or so I’ve been obsessed with learning how to build my own custom built cyberdeck.

For the unitiated, a cyberdeck is a computer that hackers in cyberpunk worlds based on William Gibson’s worlds use. Traditionally that were pretty big and full of features, ports, and radio circuitry for traversing cyberspace and hacking computer systems. As time has progressed and technology has advanced (and we’ve reached the years that some of these cyberpunk futures take place in), cyberdecks have shrunk and basically become iPads and cell phones. I’ve even named my iPhone, “Ye Olde Cyberdeck.”

But that’s not what I want my cyberdeck to be. I want a DIY style modern retro computer that I build completely myself. Problem is, I have no experience in electronics design. But as with my past interests/obsessions, I won’t let that stop me.

I’m simultaniously trying to identify the skills and tools I need to put the project together, identify the features I want included and how much I need to learn about them, find sources for the parts I need, settle on a style and layout that will make using my cyberdeck enjoyable and not a pain in the butt just to say I have one.

Featurewise there are some obvious needs, some kind of computer, an operating system, input from the user, and output to the user. I’d also like wifi and more. Below are a list of some of uses I’ve considered.

  1. Wardriving, and wifi hacking, ip and packet sniffing
  2. Wifi spoofing
  3. Ethernet communication interception
  4. IR signal copy and repeat
  5. RFID read, write, & copy
  6. Usb communication interception
  7. Police scanner
  8. Camera, 3d Camera, IR camera
  9. NFC
  10. VR hub
  11. Cellular & 5g hacking (is this even a thing?) (SIM copy, write?)
  12. Satcom
  13. OBD2 reader/programmer

And I’ve had other ideas, that flitter in and out of my mind so that I can’t remember them right now.

Now, I know this all sounds very malicious, and I agree it could be. But I’m curious and just finding out if I can do these things is reward enough. There isn’t anyone I’m looking to hurt with these capabilities.

And to be honest, it is more likely that I kill myself with a charged capacitor than there is of me getting 1/3 of the above working. I’m smart, but not that smart.

Yet another new site

So, here I go again. I’ve started and stopped many sites/blogs over the past 20ish years, because I’ve always made them specialized and I just can’t keep a focus on an interest for that long. Like, I had an aquarium blog for dwarf shrimp in the early 2000s and it’s still just sitting there. I’ve also started blogs about gaming, crypto currency, critiquing indipendently published horror novels, writing angry letters to people I run into in my daily life, and driving. Obviously, for me, the specialized blog doesn’t work.

So, now I’ve started another site and this time I’m just going to follow my shifting interests. If I’m feeling English nerdy, I’ll do that. If I’m stuck on a new game, that’s where I’ll go. Programming, boom. Electronics, bam. Comics, bang. Etc.

I’ve been a nerd my whole life. I was born in 1978, so being a nerd when I was a kid wasnn’t nearly as cool as it is made out to be now. I’ve always had an instinctual feel for the mechanical workins of machines, and was already able to fix the moving parts of VCRs and tape decks by the time I was 8. I started programming in C64 basic (following guides, not my own logic) when I was 7 so that I could put swear words into Moon Lander and Lemonade. And I was obsessed with sharks, learning everything I could about them all through elementary school. I checked out every shark book in the school library at least twice.

In fifth grade I was tested for and accepted into the “Gifted and Talented Education” (G.A.T.E.) program and started playing with simple electronics, aerodynamics, lasers, spectrums, and other nerdy toys. In eighth grade I received 2 awards for the S.A.T. test for receiving the highest grade in the school, and for being in the top 5% in the state. I still have the awards somewhere. I dropped out of highschool to work but took the G.E.D. and scored in the top 90th percentile for most categories (85 percentile for maths) and 98th percentile in language comprehension, and 99th in scientific understaning. I tried the join the military for the money to go to college after 9/11, and I have the certificate of my scores around here somewhere, and scored high enough to into any MOS I wated, with the exception of pioloting because of my eyesight, but unfortunately I was not able to gather enough medical waivers (even after I lied and said I didn’t have asthma) to join. So then I took the A.C.T. to try to get into college and got a composite score of 32, which impressed the admissions department, but not enough for me to get any kind of scholarship so I waited. 10 years later I went back and started working on a degree in creative writing (my obsession at the time). I graduated with high honors, and as a founding member and historian of my school’s ΣΤΔ (Sigma Tau Delta) honor society chapter.

Now, I know this sounds like a lot of bragging. But these are the high points. I’ve also been undiagnosed bipolar for who knows how long. I’ve gotten into a lot of trouble and gone to long term juvenile detention, been placed in foster (proctor) homes, had long periods of depression, unpredictable violent outbursts, made major stupid decisions (like running my car head on into another car for no reason), gone on drinking binges for months, had a lot fun with drugs, been fired, been demoted, been in soooo many fights. I’ve hurt my family, I’ve hurt my friends, I’ve hurt strangers, I’ve been violent to myself. I’ve bankrupted myself and ruined my credit more than once. But I’m on a drug cocktail of antipsychotics and mood stabilizers now that mostly keeps me in check and my wife makes sure I take it every day.

So, you can see I’m not bragging. For every up there is to me being a nerd, there I am to destroy it. But I’ve been doing well for the past 1/2 year on my medications and I’m looking to be more positive and constructive. Even through the medications I can feel periods of mania slipping through and it makes me feel creative and that’s what I want this blog to be about. I also set up a youtube channel to show you the projects as I work on them, but this blog is where you can see my ideas start to take shape, and be worked out.

All in all, I hope you are able to gain inspiration, learn something, or make a friend, and be a nerd with me.