Posted on

Automation and Beyond

We decided earlier this year to temporarily slow down PCB design and production in order to build a pick-and-place machine. Manual PCB assembly can be a tedious, repetitive, time-consuming and sometimes stressful process and we were spending most of our time assembling boards. We determined that at least partially automating the assembly process was the only sustainable way to continue producing products ourselves.

It’s now a couple of months later and the PnP machine is in a useful state, so we are beginning to shift back into design and production. We’re looking forward to getting more of our products back in stock and to start producing our latest designs such as Kölsch, Mozart and Kaugummi.

Designing and building the PnP machine was in many ways easier than expected, and we are excited about the prospect of open-sourcing and documenting the machine in order to help to demystify and make such a useful tool available to more people. There are already some great open-source PnP projects and we hope that our project will be complementary to them while also being unique and useful on its own.

We’re also excited to announce that some of our work is now being partially funded by a grant from the NLnet Foundation. This work includes the design of our upcoming series of open-source computers based on European FPGAs, including Kölsch, as well as open-sourcing and improving the PnP machine.

There is a lot of work left to do in order to build useful and durable timeless computers along with the gateware, software, documentation and tools necessary to unleash their full potential. We’re just getting started and we thank you for your interest in our work.

Posted on

Announcing Machdyne UG

Machdyne began in 2021 as the experimental hardware division of Lone Dynamics Corporation, an American technology company, whose mission is to improve the state of reality for humanity through technology.


Since then, Machdyne has produced several open-source general-purpose computers designed to operate and remain useful for decades. Our focus has been on supporting timeless applications such as reading, writing, math, education, organization, communication and automation with simple, secure, responsive, reliable and repairable hardware.

Today we’re announcing that a new independent German company named Machdyne UG (haftungsbeschränkt) will take over the manufacturing and distribution of our timeless computers, modules and tools.

For our customers, not much will change, except that our prices are now in Euros, and we have added additional payment methods.

We will continue releasing innovative open-source products and improving our existing products over the coming years and decades. At the moment we are hard at work building a custom pick-and-place machine that will help to automate our manufacturing process, which will allow us to increase production and reduce prices.

We want to thank our customers for their interest in our products and for their support. This announcement represents a big positive step forward for Machdyne and it was entirely enabled by our customers.

Posted on

The Zeitreise Cyberdeck

Zeitreise Cyberdeck

Zeitreise is a minimalist slabtop cyberdeck with a chorded keyboard designed as a test platform and demo for some of our upcoming cyberdeck components:

Zeitreise is based on the Kaugummi FPGA computer, which is capable of running Kakao Linux on a RISC-V SOC built with LiteX.

Typing on the Akkord Acht keyboard requires pressing the binary equivalent of an ASCII code, for example to type an ‘a’ you would press 01100001 and for backspace you would press 00001000.

Part of the fun of building a cyberdeck is choosing the components and customizing the design, so we don’t currently plan to sell complete cyberdecks, but rather to offer components that make it easier and more fun to build them.

Inside the Zeitreise Cyberdeck

We intend to open-source the Zeitreise design after some additional testing and refinement so that it can be used as a starting point for your own design.

We also plan to release additional cyberdeck components, including a LiFePO4 power supply and a more traditional keyboard.

Posted on

Announcing Mozart

Mozart Motherboard

Mozart Prototype

Mozart is the first of our next-generation computers. Mozart is a motherboard that requires a “Sechzig” compute module to operate.

Moving to a motherboard + module design was an obvious next step for us. Our computers were getting more complicated and we wanted to support FPGAs from multiple vendors. We also believe that we now know what functionality is necessary for useful “timeless” computers.

We will likely develop additional Single Board Computers as well. If you’ve already purchased one of our FPGA computers or plan to, don’t worry. Not only will we continue to support them, but they will likely gain improvements from the development of our next-generation computers.


Sechzig ML1 Prototype

Sechzig is a work-in-progress compute module specification that takes the physical form of a 60-pin 2.54mm pitch edge card.

A lot of people are probably screaming at the screen “why didn’t you use <some other> connector?”

This is a good criticism and the connector will be a limitation of Sechzig. However, the mission of Machdyne is not to provide high-speed or cutting-edge features, but instead to support timeless applications with simple, reliable, understandable hardware.

We hope to offer FPGA modules, with a variety of memory configurations, from multiple vendors. We are also considering developing modules for various RISC-V ASIC SOCs in the future.

In the coming days you will be able to find additional details in the Sechzig GitHub repo.

Going Fully Open-Source

Mozart and the Sechzig modules will be our first fully open-source designs, including all schematic diagrams and PCB layouts.

We are also planning to begin open-sourcing the majority of our previous FPGA computer PCB designs, in addition to the schematics that we provide now.

This has always been our plan, but we’ve hesitated for two main reasons: (1) it will expose all of our ignorance and mistakes; of which there are plenty (2) it will be time-consuming to determine the redistribution licensing requirements of all symbols and footprints that we’ve at times haphazardly pulled into the various projects.

Despite the potential anguish, we feel obligated to fully open-source our designs in order to meet one of the stated goals of our mission:

Open; open-sourced software and hardware provide confidence about security, repairability and longevity

As with our other computers, we will also provide an open-source 3D-printable case design for Mozart.

Notice to Developers & Early Adopters

This is our most ambitious project yet and there is a possibility that the Sechzig specification will need to change during early revisions. As with our other computers, these boards should be considered as prototypes. If you’re still interested in buying one you can reserve a Mozart.

Posted on

Staking a Claim

One of our primary motivations for building timeless computers is to create a defense against the unknown future of technology. To preserve what has been proven to be useful and good, and to deliberately go no further.

Artificial Intelligence will become increasingly integrated into the operating environment and hardware of modern computers, because most users will demand this. It will provide, at least temporarily, huge advantages for these users.

At this fork in the road, we’re choosing a less fashionable path. We’re staking a claim within a window of technological time and building a wall around it. Machdyne will represent a hedge against the future, and a last line of defense.

Our computers will always be tools of humanity; useful, durable, understandable, trustable and unsentient.

Posted on

Practical timeless computing.


Timeless (adj.) not affected by the passage of time or changes in fashion

We make computers designed for timeless applications. We have previously written about timeless computing in a theoretical way, this post is about using our computers to create a practical environment for timeless applications.

While modern computers are very fast and useful for a wide variety of tasks, some use cases may benefit from a separate environment that fosters simplicity, clarity, focus, patience, security, privacy and low power consumption.

Our computers, when combined with our Kakao Linux distribution, can be used to create such an environment.


Use Cases

The reasons that people may want to use our computers will vary widely, but here are some possible use cases:

Writing. Kakao includes nano, a “small and friendly” text editor. Combined with automated backups to a secondary storage device (for example a USB drive) a writer can be productive in a secure, private and distraction-free environment.



Math & Coding. Kakao includes the vi text editor, MicroPython and TinyScheme. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert you could easily spend hundreds of hours experimenting with algorithms and improving your skills using these three programs alone.



Automation. When combined with a Werkzeug or a similar device, these computers can be used to control and automate external devices such as motors, relays, solenoids, actuators, etc.




Survivalism. Our computers are built to last, simple enough to understand and repairable with common inexpensive electronics equipment. The extremely low power requirements make it feasible to run them off battery or solar power and our Ark information distribution provides useful information even when offline.



Education. Our computers are perfect for learning and teaching about computing, programming, SOCs, CPUs, FPGAs, digital logic and a lot more. The Ark information distribution provides access to hundreds of books and thousands of articles. While the interface you will use is mostly text-based, it is also possible to view images, maps and diagrams.



Expertism. The nature of our computers allows them to be examined and understood from the lowest to the highest levels. Some of the most useful programs and languages available on our computers are over 50 years old, and will likely still be useful 50 years from now. Some may prefer to master these instead of constantly learning the latest programs, IDEs and languages.



Choosing a Computer

For most users interested in timeless computing, we recommend either Konfekt or Noir. These computers are intended for all types of users.

Building your System

In order to use Konfekt or Noir you will need the following items:

  • Monitor (HDMI or VGA/DVI with an HDMI adapter)
  • Keyboard (USB)
  • Power source (such as a generic USB-C charger and cable)
  • MicroSD card (8GB+ name brand such as SanDisk recommended for LiteX compatibility)
  • Optional: USB hub (we currently only recommend the Anker AK-A7516011)
  • Optional: 3D-printed enclosure

All of our computers are designed to be placed inside of an enclosure. Our case designs are open-source and can be printed with most 3D printers. We highly recommend using a case in order to increase the lifespan of your computer.


Our computers ship with a removable MMOD that contains the FPGA gateware. This gateware defines a Linux capable system, including the CPU. All of the gateware, firmware, software and tools used to build the system are open-source and can be audited or tailored to fit your needs.

You can install Kakao Linux on your MicroSD card by following these instructions.

You can install Ark on your MicroSD card by following these instructions.

Posted on

The future of Machdyne.


Over the past year we’ve been busy designing and building a series of timeless FPGA computer prototypes in small batches. Along the way we’ve also built over a dozen modules and tools.

When we talk about “timeless” applications we mean things that people were doing 100 years ago that they will likely still be doing in 100 years. Many of these things don’t need the latest technology to be useful, they just need stable and responsive technology, like a pen and paper.

As we outlined in a previous post our goal is to build useful computers that exist somewhere in-between a pen and paper and a state-of-the-art modern PC.

Our Computers

Riegel is a small, responsive FPGA computer. Riegel is very capable and while our Zucker SOC makes use of all of its hardware, it’s far from optimal and there is a lot left to be done. Riegel is a great platform for retro computing and bare-metal RISC-V software development.

Schoko is a slightly larger and even more capable FPGA computer designed specifically for running timeless applications on Linux. Schoko is not fast by modern standards but it is usable and capable of running thousands of existing applications.

Bonbon is a slower but more compact FPGA computer that can easily fit in your pocket.

Keks is our upcoming FPGA game console (and computer) intended for educational gaming and game development.

While all of our computers may be technically capable of running Linux we currently only officially support Linux on Schoko.

What’s next?

The great thing about FPGA computers is that they can get better and more useful over time. One of our main focuses going forward will be on improving our existing computers through our open-source gateware, firmware, software and documentation.

We will also continue improving our open-source enclosure designs and our manufacturing processes and capabilities, and when chip supplies become more available we hope to increase production and reduce the price of our computers.

We plan to design and build additional computers, including a laptop and a higher-performance computer, but instead of being driven by competition or technology, we are driven by creating computers that can withstand time, and we have no urgency to release new products.

We’d like to thank all of our customers for taking a chance on our prototypes and reiterate our commitment that you will be able to count on support and improvements over the days, months, years and decades ahead. We also welcome and encourage you to get involved, follow us on GitHub, and contribute to improving and making the computers more useful however you see fit.

Posted on Leave a comment

Timeless computing.


Computers are getting better but also worse. Faster, but often less responsive. More capable and complex, but less understandable and less secure. Cheaper, but more disposable.

In many cases, instead of computers being tools of humanity, we are becoming tools of the computers. We chase the latest technology in order to run the latest versions of operating systems and applications.

There are a class of timeless applications that simply don’t need the computational horsepower or complexity available in modern computers. Among these are many forms of reading, writing, storage, communication, mathematics, organization, education, automation and programming. Many people still prefer to use decades-old vintage computers for these applications. Some even use typewriters, or a pen and paper.

We are developing a series of new general-purpose computers, modules and tools designed to support timeless applications. These devices are being designed to operate and remain useful for at least decades and possibly centuries. Our computers will run software that provides a simple, secure, powerful, distraction-free environment.

Some of our prototypes are available for immediate sale on this website, and some can be reserved with no obligation to buy. We have decided to use this approach in order to give us maximum flexibility as we iteratively design and build the best timeless computers possible.

We have outlined the goals for our computers below, we may not always meet all of these goals but they will help to guide our decisions.


  • Designed to be used primarily for timeless applications
  • Designed to operate and remain useful for 100+ years (in both directions[1] where possible)
  • Unbrickable; end-user can always recover to original state
  • Durable; should be able to withstand reasonable wear and tear
  • Limited-lifespan parts should be user-replaceable (flash, moving parts, etc.)
  • Hand-assemblable and hand-repairable without unreasonably expensive equipment
  • Support for long-term data storage (ferroelectric, magnetoresistive memory, etc.)
  • Understandable; as simple as possible and extensively documented
  • Comprehensive documentation built into the devices
  • Software and documentation snapshots made public for the long-term (via torrents, IPFS, Internet Archive, etc.)
  • Modular; modules can be added to extend functionality and provide new interfaces
  • Open; open-sourced software and hardware provide confidence about security, repairability and longevity

[1] By both directions we mean that the computer would have also been useful to someone 100+ years ago; they would’ve been able to power it and find a way to interact with it. Critical for time travel and post-apocalyptic dystopias.

Who are we

Machdyne™ is the hardware division of Lone Dynamics Corporation. We are an American technology company whose mission is to improve the state of reality for humanity through technology. Machdyne UG is a German manufacturing company dedicated to producing small general purpose computers, modules, tools and cases.