Open Source Art

A Presentation by Alexander Reeder

Why do all laptops look horrible? What does it take to turn hardware
into something beautiful and lasting? I dismantled a laptop and
reconstructed it as a simple piece of art. By removing all unnecessary
parts and combining the naked hardware with acrylic the laptop has
taken on a completely new form. The goal is to make several units,
and incorporate them into a home operations center.

The project began by reusing laptops which had broken disks or disk
controllers. The machine boots via the network, and uses root over NFS.
A discussion of the deconstruction process, and the setting up of
pxeboot with root over NFS will begin the presentation.

Now that you have a beautiful display, what can you do with it? As an
avid cyclist I have a keen interest in the weather. When is it going to
rain and for how long? I developed software to monitor the national
weather site, and keep a 24 hour cache of data locally. The
presentation will cover the data retrieval and retention process.

Finally, now that we have this data how do we display it? My initial
work has been in using enlightenment for graphics via the framebuffer
device. The code is written in c, and displays still and motion images
of weather data. The talk will end with a tutorial on developing
display code for viewing various data sets, and a discussion of ideas
for improvement and new hacks.

Currently I have one completed work, and by LCA I plan on having three.
If accepted, I plan on putting them on display during the presentation.

This presentation should be interesting for hardware and software hackers
alike, as well as the curious. I hope that people will walk away
motivated to hack hardware for their own purposes.

Development process:

Direct link to video