Modder Brings William Gibson's 'Cyberdecks' to Life

The homemade cyberdeck was made from a Commodore 64c, a Raspberry Pi 3 computer, and other assorted parts.
September 25, 2016, 7:00pm
Image: D10D3

Way back in 1981 (that's two years before the fictional events of Netflix's Stranger Things if you need a reference), author William Gibson was already dreaming up versions of the devices that would come to define our current digital reality.

Among the most memorable was the "cyberdeck" for jacking into the "matrix" network via a direct neural connection as seen in stories like "Johnny Mnemonic" and books like Neuromancer, and the greatest of these was the Ono Sendai Cyberspace 7.

Image: D10D3

Imgur user D10D3 recently made (via Boing Boing) what he believes one may have looked like, especially around the time Gibson first dreamed them up. Appropriately for the 1980s, he used a gutted Commodore 64c but swapped out the keyboard for a flatter modern version with a trackpad.

It's powered with an overclocked Raspberry Pi 3, a 10,000 mAh USB battery, and it contains a four-port USB hub. Naturally, you can't hook up your brain to the internet with it, but D10D3 worked around that by working in a 5" pull-out LCD he made from scratch.

Image: D10D3

"I wanted some styling to make it look like a machine that's seen some action on the mean streets of Night City," he said in a detailed post outlining what it took to bring the cyberdeck to life. To that end, he painted it red, attached a shoulder strap, and peppered it with an assortment of custom stickers.

Image: D10D3

This is actually D10D3's second attempt at making a cyberdeck—the previous one was darker, sleeker, and sported a pair of "customized video glasses" in place of the LCD. As with this version, D10D3 considered it both a "cosplay prop" and a "working computer."