This is the sort of thing I love about devices like these, where you can learn about and grow into them over time, and are encouraged to modify them without keeping an eye to their resemblance to the pristine idealized commodity form. Making the machine match you instead of contorting yourself to fit the machine. I guess the comparison of these pursuits to gardening is apt. If the modifications make it useful for some further purpose then so much the better.
Probably a stupid question, but why are so many people interested in MNT Reform? I know they are open and hackable, but so is Framework Laptop, which is within the same price range and has a much more powerful x86 core. What makes these pricey ARM machines so special?
The Framework is more open than your average laptop, but not truly open hardware. You can’t just go, take the Framework design files and make your own modified version with a tweaked mainboard etc. Even if you just want to repair one and not make a derivative, you need to sign NDAs to get to look at the full schematics as far as I know.
With the Reform it is possible, because it’s actually open (although you can use it with SoM modules that aren’t, e.g. the RaspberryPi CM4). And it has been done, so this isn’t just theoretical.