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The 'Egg' Laptop (ikejima.org)
419 points by rcarmo on Oct 1, 2022 | hide | past | favorite | 71 comments

Also, if you dig further through his projects, this awesome "LGTM Hanko", which I'm unsure he's used as a personal stamp or just masterful trolling:


What is trolling about it?

In Japan people use stamps like this for official documents, like we would use our signature. So maybe "trolling" was the wrong word, but having a "looks good to me!" stamp is a nice little joke :)

There’s actually three different types, 実印 (official stamp, registered at your local ward office etc), 銀行印 (bank stamp registered when you open a bank account) and 認印 (informal approval seal). For 実印 and 銀行印 the stamp has to be directly tied to your official name. But the last of which can pretty much be anything which is what this is.

When I registered my inkan (as jitsu-in; official personal seal) back in 2009, the rules at the Minato-ku ward office were that it had to contain only the letters of my name, which I imagine is the general rule.

I imagine you could use this more as one of the less formal seals like the mitome-in.

Yeah I figured this wasn’t used by the author as a real seal at all

At google many years ago they gave me an LGTM stamp for something, can’t remember what exactly. Fun thing to have around. This one is much nicer than mine though.

Reminds me of a bass amplifier & speaker company from a few years back: SWR

Shit Works Right

And it did/does! Nice gear.

Well, would you sign your work documents with a "Looks Good To Me" stamp? :)

I personally do my pull request reviews with pen and paper.

It's also considered good manners to send a hand written thank you note after one of your pull requests is accepted.


Upvoted. I would love to see the looks at the inkan registry :)

I really like these projects. I'm in the process of making ('assembling' is a better word) a laptop/tablet kind of computer based on a RPi 4. The technical setup works (using an RPi 4 as my daily driver for a year), now construct the case out of aluminum. My dream would be to connect it to a sort of remote control based on a Pi Zero.

The printer attached to this project is also nice!

I’d love to see more e-ink projects, and better yet, some solid thoughts as to the future of window mangers for such platforms.

Do you mean an e-ink display for a small Pi Zero project? I guess that would be perfect. For my RPi 4 pc project I use a capacitive touch screen from Waveshare (7", low power, no extra cables beyond HDMI and USB for touch input).

Is the laptop of your own design, or is it a kit that you can buy? If it's the latter, I'd be interested in assembling my own.

My own design. Although, some components screwed to three alu plates is hardly a 'design'. First I want to make it portable and probably add some color and finesse later. My initial ideas were about bending alu plates and fitting them nicely, maybe even a powdercoat on it, but I have to do it myself the dirty way first. Just to get it off the ground. There's a lot of nice cyberdeck builds on YouTube, for inspiration.

The laptop is cute! I also love the Portable Cube PC with a built-in printer and a joystick for track point.


It's inspiring, now I want to design and build my own small computer with everything super-personalized to my preferences.

This is basically a really good compact keyboard, with a web browser. This could be an awesome product if the edges around the screen were smaller, and the whole thing was a bit thinner. It would be even more awesome if the keyboard came in different flavors, like for instance a mac layout, and was easy to connect via bluetooth to an iPhone. Yeah, and a trackpad would be nice as well.

I curate more 'everyday use' examples of these ideas at https://reddit.com/r/ergomobilecomputers/ . Theres a few examples of ipad-based setups a bit closer to what you're talking about.

How many browser tabs could you open on it? Today's web is often very unforgiving.

tab hoarder? /s

What are you looking for when you say mac layout? I'm sure it's trivial to swap super and alt around. Handwired keyboards like this often run QMK which makes it easy to reprogram.

So, a Raspberry Pi 400 with a integrated display? I'm almost certain someone did this at some time

In a laptop form factor? Maybe but that’s still a novel concept to 99.9999% of the world.

> In a laptop form factor?

Yes, in commercial form available at online retailers even. In fact, they’ve been available for many years dating back across multiple prior versions of the rPi.

I have been hunting for some kind of cyberdeck of this sort.

Ideally with a trackpoint rather than touchpad.

Reminds me of eePCs. I had one and ran linux on it, well, I tried to. Such potential.

I really appreciate this example, especially the keyboard. I’m playing around with bare metal programming on Raspberry Pi and USB is complicated. Instead, this one has a matrix of switches with diodes[1] for the keyboard which you can just scan the switches with the gpio pins. Oh cool, I see he’s also coding in bare metal as well, so that makes sense.

For storage, you can also interface with an SDcard with SPI directly with gpio as well.[2] Raspberry Pi also has SPI controller(s) as well so you could use the built in slot but I’m not sure how complicated it is vs bit banging it with gpio.

[1] https://pcbheaven.com/wikipages/How_Key_Matrices_Works/

[2] Three video series but on Z80 https://youtu.be/To9ZCaAoc_s and https://youtu.be/o2AE_CkTIAU and https://youtu.be/HLdPMOpk-a4

> I define a goal that I can design next laptop in this laptop.

This is a smart man (or woman).

A small laptop with an ortholinear keyboard is high on my wishlist. I don't have a 3d printer capable of printing something this size, so in lieu of this, I'm setting my hopes on the MNT Pocket Reform.

I appreciate the ready aged nicotine yellow aesthetic.

Nice project, really like this other one as-well https://www.ikejima.org/projects/2016092-digital-timeglass.h..., have it saved to build something similar when I decide to pick back up building stuff with my Arduino.

I like that Shun Ikejima uses familiar instead of polite Japanese. It makes his blog more like reading something from a friend.

> I like that Shun Ikejima uses familiar instead of polite Japanese

Familiar form is standard in this type of situation.

Using polite would be a stylistic choice.

The "hump-back" laptop style makes a lot of sense for a build using an off-the-shelf SBC, but I wonder if he couldn't have shaved off a bit by going with a low-profile key, like the Cherry MX Low Profile or Kailh Choc Low Profile ones. Pocket sized would be ideal.

FWIW I’ve had a fair amount of keyboards over the past few years and I’m very happy with my Cherry MX low profile switches. It feels great with very little in the way of trade-offs vs regular sized switches. My Keychron has proven to be very versatile with Bluetooth connections to my work Mac, iPhone, and personal Linux/Win. I’ve had plenty a long day of coding and winning CS:GO rounds with it. For people into tiny and portable computing it’s tough to beat, and it’s mechanical Mac keyboard features are handy, but not it’s only upside.

I think those would have worked well for this project, but I do love that they are full-sized too.

Reminds me of the cyberdeck from Quadrilateral Cowboy. If you don't know the game, check it out!

Now that linux works on Apple silicon, I wonder if there will be mods like this, while I like the idea of using raspberry in theory, sadly for me is too slow and there are a lot of limitations (hardware wise, is very dated at this point, but cheap).

I'm not understanding why Apple silicon being compared to this? Are you just wanting an ARM machine?

I need to make ARM builds of several projects I maintain and the pi gets the job done well (especially when headless so the burden of graphical environment isn't there), but does struggle for normal use, especially as tabs tend to proliferate for me. However, the Pinebook Pro works pretty good for me, and is also ARM.

Because I own a m1 mac mini, I can work without issues and uses about the same power as the raspberry, I don’t know other cpu that’s capable enough and also is power efficient, intel and amd are huge power consumers, other arm processors seems to be bad for daily use as a power user, also AFAIK linux support for m1 seems to be better than the flagship arm processors of the competition and I do not know other pc like device with arm that is not dated hardware.

Using which hardware ? M1 cpus are not readily available anywhere

The M1 Mac Mini could work! The actual PCB for it is tiny compared to the size of the case it's presently in.

Project video for a shrunken mac mini by Snazzy Labs- https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pQWGFKhBQwU

As others pointed that you could scrap a m1 mac mini (I own one), also is really another powerful processor and yet power efficient than the m1 readly available and with linux support? I find hard to believe, also it seems that mX family will be popular enough to have out of the box linux support, IIRC all the asahi work will be upstreamed, while I bought a raspberry and the linux support is awful, considering all the years raspberry was already available, most distros does not support it and you rely on a lot of hacks to make them run (I do prefer arch linux over all other distros), also the raspberry is not suitable for my use case, I wanted a workstation with low power consumption and there is none besides m1, maybe in the last 2 years a new one came out that I’m not aware of.

I think the idea being that both the M1 and the RPi are ARM64

The most impressive thing to me is creating the case using Python for a CAD.

I was going to shout: Do not tease me with the size of the floppy, without having a floppy drive. Do. Not. Do. This.

Great project! The form factor is really fun.

Based on the legendary Grid Compass: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid_Compass

Note that the Compass had an extremely cool magnesium alloy case. No cheap plastic here.

Which one came first?

The check-in or the egg?

Neither, the check-in didn’t commit!



Edit: wrong post

The anti-soy stuff is ridiculous. The phytoestrogens in soy are minimal and nowhere near as strong as real estrogen. Hops in beer has more, and milk has a lot of real estrogen, but no one seems bothered by those. I'm convinced it's all meat industry propaganda. I'm a male and have been eating a lot of soy and a recent blood test has shown optimal testosterone and estrogen levels.

There is a bit of science behind the seed-oil stuff, specifically poly-unsaturated fatty acids, but the paleo community has grossly exaggerated the issue. I've had people tell me that eating any seed or nut is crazy, and I can't take them seriously.

Milk is for babies.

And then there's a whole lot of people whose genes give them lactose tolerance into adulthood because the milk of grazers was an important source of nutrition for their ancestors.

But wait, why is this even here? Because someone forgot which post they were replying to!?

It's a small minority when considering the entire population of earth. And even then, it doesn't counter the hormones and other components that cause cardiovascular disease, as well as the brutality of dairy farming. I'm sure dog meat is perfectly fine to eat for most humans.

Did you reply to the wrong post?

Looks like a tiny Compaq SLT/286. I'm digging the retro aesthetic, but if it's flimsy plastic like the DevTerm... what's the point? Other than I guess a one-off art project (which this may well be)?

> Other than I guess a one-off art project (which this may well be)?

Yes, it very obviously is.

> what's the point

Because it's there?

I'm sorry, it's just that durability is itself a big part of the retro aesthetic for me.

Why is a RaspberryPi case the top post on HN?

It's not even a good case, there's tons of wasted space, it's bulky, etc.

I don't think being thin was a goal. It becomes a nice consistent block shape when closed, like a bento box. It reminds me of an old ThinkPad. There are also similarities to the author's previous Cube PC project in its design style.

The hand-wired ortholinear keyboard and small secondary screen are also of note. A laptop with an ortho keyboard is not very common (sadly).

The case was an exercise in nostalgia. He mentioned laptops he saw as a child and couldn't afford. Therefore, he wanted to make something similar.

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