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The Hardware Hacker by Andrew Huang

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7. novena: building my own laptop

It was 2012, and I was unemployed. My previous startup had failed, and I was taking a year off to figure out what I should do next. My friend xobs (introduced in Chapter 4) and I had a tradition that we maintain to this day: every Friday, we sit down for a few beers at lunch and shoot the breeze. During one of those “Beer Friday” discussions, we decided to build our own laptop. I expressed displeasure with how I’d never been employed to build a product that I’d actually want to use every day. As a design engineer, you’re typically driven by market requirements, not your own eclectic tastes. We bantered a bit about things we’d find useful and realized that, thanks to the gradual slowing of Moore’s law, maybe it ...

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