When Singapore-based entrepreneur
It came without a case, just some bare-bones hardware hooked up to a screen. "When I played with it, I could see the circuit boards which got me curious about what was going on," said the 39-year-old American, better known as "bunnie" among the tech crowd.
The Apple II clone also came with a set of schematics and source code, which allowed him to find out how it worked. Today, he is working with compatriot and coding expert
The project recently raised
"We named all our electronics projects after Singapore MRT stations to reflect where they were conceptualised," said
While most laptops target consumers, Novena targets developers and hobbyists who like to tinker with their machines.
It comes with a case that opens up and reveals its internal hardware, making it easy for engineers or hobbyists to modify. The schematics and circuit board designs are also free to download.
Novena is powered by the
In contrast, today's laptops are mostly closed affairs with
Dr Huang had originally planned to raise
"Perhaps because of the consolidation of the notebook market, the niche is larger than we think," said the engineer, who moved to Singapore four years ago to be closer to the Chinese city of
His laptop also appeals to a tightly knit community that believes it is essential to build and master your own technology. "Otherwise we risk surrendering knowledge of an important part of our everyday lives to corporate monopolies," he said.
Some Singapore buyers cannot wait to get their Novena. Mr
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