Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Novena Motherboard / And a post because I was told I should...

Much to my (@sysmatt) delight, my Novena motherboard was waiting on my doorstep when I got home friday night.  Bunnie Huang and (@bunniestudios) Sean Cross's (@xobs) open source motherboard.

At first glance it's simply beautiful.  I knew the dimensions ahead from the mechanical drawings, but it is still surprising how small it is for what is packed into it.  There is a lot of art and engineering that goes into laying out a board of this complexity.

And when was the last time you got anything (that wasn't test gear, and even that is rare today!) that included schematics?  On paper no less!

After making the customary backup copy of the included 4gb SD card, we plug in the very nice 18v 3.4a power brick... (Novena branded, nice touch) and we get linux kernel boot goodness.  I feel at home.  

I think it is pretty safe to say the Novena project is the first of its kind.  There have been many linux devboards over the years, but this one seems special.  It is targeted and tuned for a very specific hacking/fuzzing/etc audience, but also generic enough to be useful for a very broad hobbyist community.  The inclusion of the FPGA just blows the doors off the possibilities.  

That is all for now, Expect more posts a about Novena, and watch my @sysmatt twitter for micro updates!

Enough gushing, time to dig in.