Hardware Hacker Guide to Linux
Last Updated on May 19th, 1998

Hardware Hacker?

This page is dedicated to showing off some of the ingenious ways in which Linux was used in conjunction with either off-the-shelf or custom, one-off pieces of hardware hacked together by someone to create a unique device.

There are things out there like in-car MPEG Layer 3 (MP3) players, LCD panels that show off system statistics, LED guages to show system status and more.

If you've got a lead or created such a device, feel free to Email me to have it featured on this page!

On to the Good Stuff!


This ingenious bit of code allows you to attach a Matrix Orbital 20x4 backlit LCD screen to a free serial port and output a slew of system statistics like uptime, load, memory, time and date, etc. As with most hardware projects, to use this you need to purchase the LCD display, but unlike most projects, is complete out of the box, save for actual installation. The LCD display itself averages $70US.

In-Car MP3

This guy has too much time on his hands it would seem, but what he managed to hack together is way cool. It's an in-car Linux box tuned to play MPEG Layer 3 (MP3) audio files through your sound system. Let's face it, CD changers are kind of a bum steer because you're not always going like like every song on each CD, and even then you're limited to x number of CDs. With this beauty, you can upload up to 2.1GB of your favorite MP3 files to the internal 2.5" laptop hard drive for your cruising enjoyment!

Wearable Computer

For the ultimate geek road warrior weapon, check this company out. They make a small, wearable computer that can run Linux. Their Web site doesn't offer much just yet (like a real picture!) but it's got the specs, etc. Pretty wild stuff.

Linux Controlled Car

Tired of driving? Aren't we all... Well, let Linux take the wheel on your next road trip with this neat setup! On one hand, it's good that Windoze isn't driving, or our insurance rates would go sky-high everytime it "crashed."

Mort - The Talking Penguin

Look out, Barney. You've got competition now. Mort is a Penguin that runs Linux and talks. Not just "I love you, you love me" but a whole lot more. He can "see" several people standing together and introduce themn to each other, even remembering they've met. With infrared eyes, this Penguin's almost ready for Terminator duty against that blasted purple dinosaur. Check out the link to find out more. Really cool stuff.

All images are (C) 1994-2005 by Michael Holve