A break from gaming

by hobbitalastair

I thought I’d post something not related to games 🙂

Or at least try.

As of the last few weeks, I have been looking at DIY computer hardware. As it turns out, there is a (fairly) thriving community creating computer parts, mostly for keyboards, but also in other areas, too.

Keyboards seem to be reasonably easy to make (albeit not cheap). There is even a mechanical keyboard club, which does have information on making keyboards, and Wikipedia has a whole article on keyboard technology. Here’s an article I (easily) found, which is a not-quite step-by-step account of how someone else did it. Maybe I could have a go 🙂

Mice are another matter, though. Optical mice (mechanical are different again) use a fairly complex optical sensor and need fairly sophisticated processing capabilities to monitor and use the data from the optical sensor. Coupled with the need to create a decent firmware (keyboards can use a pre existing firmware, although that might be able to be adapted for mice since it has support for built-in trackballs and pointers), creating a mouse could be a challenging project. Adapting an existing mouse and putting it in a different body might be a better bet. Who needs a mouse, anyway? 🙂

I am quite interested in building a controller for KSP, too. Because they can be configured to present themselves as either a HID device, or as a custom device with a ‘driver’ integrated into KSP via the modding API, controllers should be reasonably easy to make. See this thread for some ideas!

I’ve also explored the possibility of creating a Compact Flash to IDE adaptor – much like this one – but home made. In theory, it should be possible – the adaptor, as I understand them, basically is a ‘dumb’ interface between the CF slot and the IDE slot. The idea was to use it in the Toshiba, in an attempt to lessen the IO bottleneck. I wondered whether I’d be able to fit both a master and slave drive, but I’m not so sure now – I think there is only one bus, with the CDROM connected, so the CDROM will already fill the ‘slave’ slot. The real challenge would be finding a cost-effective source of parts!


This is, of course, more of a wish list than anything else. I’ve got a few other projects to finish first…

Most other computer parts are beyond the what I’d consider trying to make – the Novena project is a good example of what can be done, but it takes years to get that far, and even then the Novena is based on a commercial (albeit pretty open) chip.