A work in progress, Raspberry PI powered, OS it will be running is Kali Linux and tons of WiFi goodies, possibly a WiFi Pineapple Mk1. Still figuring out the best way to mount the keyboard higher, and a good power supply.
You see, many people know the basics: there's Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. However, there are a lot of things that just don't get attention in the wider world. In the Windows world, many people say that Windows 10 is best. That, to their dismay, isn't so, because even with VR and AR, alongside the big games needing beastly PCs, if not godlike, on the rise, Windows 10 by itself is BOGUS when it comes to security. The built in telemetry, keylogging, and other privacy invading implements also drag the performance of any person's machine to a crawl. The hard drive thrashing various people experience also leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many a user. That's not to say you can't rebel against this, oh no. There are a number of programs that remove privacy infringing updates, help you disable all the telemetry BS, stop Cortana from yapping about you (seriously...), etc. However, even with all that, Windows 10 is still flawed in a security sense. Windows 7 was the best operating system of Microsoft's legacy, asides from 98SE and XP (You can count Vista as well on good hardware). It was secure as it could be, it was freaking POWERFUL, and its massive fanbase was the only reason they're killing it slower than Windows 8/8.1. -- Now onto Mac OS X. I'm sure a number of us aren't Mac owners, and if you are, you likely have a more vintage piece. However, there's a movement that is providing ways to utilize Mac OS X on PCs: Hackintoshes. However, they haven't been able to provide a one size fits all solution as of yet, and it requires a lot of research and knowledge on how to make things work, or what does and doesn't work. On top of the pushed exclusivity to Macs, they can also go hard on weaker hackintoshes in terms of the graphics, so deckers avoid Mac OS X (unless you're the guy that easily Hackintoshed a Lattepanda Alpha). (I don't have much knowledge on Mac OS X itself, so if you want to help me flesh this part out, let me know) -- Finally, the most dynamic of the bunch: Linux. There are so many variations of the base version that you pretty much have all your needs covered with any single one of them. Puppy Linux distros, Debian distros, Kali Linux, Parrot Linux, Arch, Artix, you name it, it's been done. Hell, even a company who held Commodore's name for a time made their own Linux Mint distro, Commodore OS Vision! What turns most Windows people away from Linux is the fact that they never used the command prompt for anything. Windows is automated enough (and standardized enough) that people only have to double click an installer to install something compared to apt-get (Debian) or pacman (Arch). However, it's hard to go back except for playing games once you dig your teeth in. In fact, many Linux aficionados dual boot Windows just to game on it. Here are some distro names and their purposes:
Tails Linux: completely and utterly dedicated to your privacy, Tails Linux deploys a number of privacy ensuring measures on the OS end, such as a clean slate every time you start, staying on the memory of the computer, and encrypted persistent storage, if you have places you need to remember online for example. The main feature is the TOR Browser, including Ublock Origin. A number of safeguards are also in place, such as preventing connections outside the Tor circuit, automated encryption in the persistent storage, and the above refusal to use the hard disk. Dodge that censorship and spying like a ninja, even on other PCs! Puppy Linux: Super small distros that follow this standard are capable of running entirely off of RAM, even in the older 486 machines. The purpose of a Puppy distro, puplet or remix can be determined by who made it, such as Ubuntu compatibility, nostalgia (e.g Next, in the Archive dot org site), ARM compatibility, Arch compatibility, slightly more beef for middling PCs, video editing, audio production, you name it! You can install them also, making them perfect for longer term use. Arch (Artix for a non-systemd alternative): A tinkerer's dream, Arch is on the tightrope, the bleeding edge. As such, prepare to update often and solve the occasional predicament. You can tailor Arch to whatever the HECK you want since it starts from a clean slate (except for pacman, the distro's package manager. How else are you going to customize your experience?) Not for the faint of heart though, it gets dizzying with how freely customizable Arch/Artix is. Feature creep can catch you as well if you aren't careful. As you see, Linux is quite expandable, and it's why many Cyberdeck aficionados choose Linux over Windows or Mac OS X. It's customizable, you can get what you need (or want) on it, and overall, it's downright amazing. Tell me: are you not using any of the above operating systems in your decks? If so, leave your reasoning and insight below. I would like to hear about it.
Finally finished my very own Cyberdeck. Defiantly inspired by Jay Doscher's Recovery Kit on Back7.co . Tried to make it as small as possible without using a micro keyboard. Pretty proud of how it turned out. Side shot of more cyberpunk themed stickers for extra street cred. The internal frame is 1/4" PVC sheets cut and hand filed down to fit all the connectors. Then 1/4" PVC dowels connecting it all together with M4 bolts. Specs: Raspberry Pi 4B 4GB 5 Inch DSI Display 20,000mah Lithium Polymer Battery 30mm Fan HDMI Output 3.5mm Audio Jack 1x USB 2.0 Port Micro USB Power In Weather Resistant Ethernet Port 8 inch Mini Bluetooth Keyboard from Pimoroni.com 8x7x6" Monoprice Weatherproof Hard Case