Blackbook is a project is design and build a custom laptop with the following goals:

  1. It should include a solar panel to provide some power independence.
  2. It should use a non-x86 architecture.
  3. It should have an eInk display.
  4. It should end up with a custom operating system.
  5. It should be easily upgradable and repairable.
  6. It should incorporate some form of mesh networking.

Some non-goals:

  1. I'm not looking to create a general purpose system compatible with every app under the sun. This is a purpose-built machine meant to solve problems that I have; I already have a (okay, several) general purpose machine.
  2. I'm not looking to write Unix-compatible OS.
  3. It doesn't need to be on 24/7. Ideally I'd get 8-12 hours of battery life, but some downtime is both to be expected and preferred.

I don't really know what I'm doing for most of these parts, so this is an opportunity to work on a bunch of different topics as I see fit.

As part of stage 1, I've ordered a pi-top3 (and spent some time using it), a Raspberry Pi model 3 B+ (more on architecure options later), a Raspberry Pi Zero WH, and a 6W panel. This will at least get me to a point where I can start getting my hands dirty with the solar power parts and working on the operating system.

I've got a lot of documentation in Dropbox Paper that I'm migrating here, but I've been debating what other mechanisms would be good to share progress and research. I this site will serves as a good place for that for now, between updating the project pages and posting updates to the blog.

I'm also open to discussion via email; if you're interested, drop me a line at kyle at imap cc.