Resisting the desolate consumerism of the suburbs is a serious business for hardware hacker Zack Freedman. Zack transformed a Raspberry Pi 400 into the Voidstar Data Blaster, a portable cyberdeck to fight against becoming a normie.
Hang on, what is a cyberdeck?
“A data blaster [cyberdeck] is the trademark battlestation of console cowboy antiheroes running nets through cyberspace.”
There’s a whole subreddit devoted to exploring what does and does not make a real-life cyberdeck, so if you were looking for a rabbit hole to go down, knock yourself out.
How do you turn a Raspberry Pi 400 into a cyberdeck?
Added features to transform a Raspberry Pi 400 into the Voidstar Data Blaster include:
- Detachable wearable display
- Battery handles
- SDR receiver
- 1280×480 touchscreen
Handles make the cyberdeck nice and portable. Console cowboys can also use them to flip the deck up onto their forearm and easily “jack in” to cyberspace.
Rules around which keyboard you can use on a legitimate cyberdeck are pretty tight. It can’t be touchscreen (because that means it’s a tablet); however, it can’t fold away on a hinge either (because that makes it a laptop). Enter Raspberry Pi 400, a computer built into a mechanical keyboard about the length of an adult forearm. Perfect.
The SDR receiver means that users are cyber snooping-ready, while the head-mounted display provides a cyberpunk design flourish. That display acts as a second screen alongside the mini touchscreen. You can drag anything from the main display into sight on the headgear.
Authentic cyberpunk aesthetic
A lot of trial and error with a 3D printer finally yielded a faceplate that allows the screen and headgear to fit in perfectly. Zack also designed and printed all the flair and logos you see stuck around the cyberdeck. LEDs make the decorative filament fluoresce. Integrated pegs keep all the wiring neat – an inspired practical addition.
We saved the best bit for last: not only can you play Doom on the Voidstar Data Blaster, you can play it on the wearable display. Stay punk.