Librem 15: A Free/Libre and Open Source Laptop That Respects Your Essential Freedoms

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trisq

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The Librem 15 will use a Trisquel based operating system.

https://www.crowdsupply.com/purism/librem-laptop

Sounds pretty good, but I don't know...

Haven't seen it mentioned here so I thought I would post something.

Do the sponsors of this not hang around here? Strange they mention Trisquel but no post on this.

tct
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On 23.11.2014 22:01, name at domain wrote:
> The Librem 15 will use a Trisquel based operating system.

Thank you for posting this here, I didn't know about this project!

> https://www.crowdsupply.com/pueyrism/librem-laptop
>
> Sounds pretty good, but I don't know...

They say (in section "What About the BIOS and firmware?") that they are
in negotiations with Intel to free the BIOS and until then they use
coreboot. They also talk about the firmware for HD and SSD which is
upgradable and they are working to set it free as well. I hope they succeed.

Useful links:

http://puri.sm/posts/purism-librem-15-certification-results/

http://puri.sm/posts/purism-software-freedom-deconstructed/

http://puri.sm/posts/bios-freedom-status/

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levlaz

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Wow, this is awesome! Thanks for sharing :)

jxself
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I'm pretty sure the graphics are non-free. And why did they fork Trisquel into Purism GNU/Linux? And why aren't they seeking FSF's RYF certification? (Because it would not qualify, which is a good indicator of how "free" it really is - It automatically fails the RYF criteria due to the proprietary software for the BIOS irrespective of graphics hardware. We have already have machines with free BIOSes and giving the RYF certification to a machine without it seems like a step backward for software freedom.)

http://puri.sm/posts/purism-software-freedom-deconstructed/ seems a bit misleading, seems like they're trying to "measure" freedom and of course you can weigh in a lot of free software on many machines even with proprietary drivers too and make those proprietary things seem like a tiny, insignificant thing when compared against the total number of packages in the distro, just like what they seem to be trying here. Another thing that seems misleading is when they said "A boot loader is the first software program that runs when a computer starts" right after they just finished talk of another software program that was running before the bootloader. Huh?

Ignoring the marketing spin, the level of software freedom provided by the hardware seems to be exactly the same as what you'd get from any other mass market-produced laptop once you install Trisquel on it i.e., all of the hard parts from the hardware are still there (graphics, BIOS, etc.) I don't see this bringing us any closer to having more 100% free laptops and can easily see how it will cause some confusion from people thinking it does while falling short of the previously announced ThinkPads (and some other upcoming devices) that were given the RYF certification.

They do talk of trying to get free source code for things which is nice if true... BUT... I can't imagine that they're big enough to make demands on companies like Intel and HDD manufacturers to get Free source code and have it carry any weight. Would be good if it happened though.

todd-at-purism
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We offer two graphics cards, Intel Video, and nVidia 3D Controller. The Intel is freed, the nVidia 3D Controller, is optional, but uses the nouveou driver in the kernel, BUT the nVidia BIOS binary.

We are seeking RYF, and have been working with the FSF and RMS to gain that. The last issue for us is Intel's FSP binary, so we're completely free from the bootloader, kernel, OS, and all software, since we intall Trisquel by default!

The freedom deconstructed link was not meant to be misleading, but to clearly state where things are! I was hoping to make it clear by showing what is remaining, and the solid work of Trisquel, and other free software.

The thing we offer that nobody has before, is that we as a manufacturer are pushing the free software agenda into the manufacturing pipeline, you'd be surprised how a little effort goes a long way, and we are devoted to it. So the real question is do you want to help back a company that believes what you believe?

We have the goal of RYF endorsement, but to do that we have to free the BIOS. We don't plan on stopping there, we plan on freeing all component hardware firmware. You're right about not being big enough right now to have financial leverage, but we ARE sitting down at the table, with the backing of users, we can actually change the status quo.

davidnotcoulthard
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The top squares of the http://puri.sm/posts/purism-software-freedom-deconstructed/ picture are a bit white, why is that?

And regarding the Nvidia card: Do you mean that the firmware runs on and is stored in the card itself?

tct
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On 24.11.2014 18:46, name at domain wrote:
> We offer two graphics cards, Intel Video, and nVidia 3D Controller. The
> Intel is freed, the nVidia 3D Controller, is optional, but uses the
> nouveou driver in the kernel, BUT the nVidia BIOS binary.
>
> We are seeking RYF, and have been working with the FSF and RMS to gain that.

I don't think you are going to receive RYF for the Intel graphics
version if it's sold under the same product name as the one with Nvidia
graphics which require nonfree software for 3D. I would require the two
products have totally different names so users don't get confused and
the free software community by promoting the freedom-respecting version
also promotes (using the same name) the not-yet freedom-respecting
version. It's the same with GNU/Linux distributions, "optional free is
not good enough".

--
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veleiro
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I think it will be difficult to ask for financial support or full support from the fsf/free software crowd just because the product's state right now (along with the campaign for funding) is pushing free software in the future. If you had already accomplished a free software machine in the prototype as free as or more than the Libreboot, it could be a different story. Novena was able to gain good fiancial back from crowd funding because you could technically already run it with fully free software at the prototype stage (u-boot and without vga blob). At this point, it looks to me more like if you get funded, but dont get rid of the blobs, the device will still be released.

For the most part the free software crowd has given up on anything with newer intel technology.

If you can get all of the source code released for both the intel and nvidia functions then by all means please let us know.

tonlee
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Could you sell the mainboard?

ssdclickofdeath
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I wonder if this is even legit... It isn't obvious who's behind it, and it seems too good to be true. I'd suggest being cautious.

I also noticed that the section on DVD decryption in their FAQ (http://puri.sm/faq/) seemed kind of familiar. It turns out that a couple of paragraphs from the Enable DVD Playback page were copied from Trisquel's wiki and published with some minor changes.

The original wiki page: https://mediacru.sh/b_LFVDVnHU7J (https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/enable-dvd-playback)
The DVD section of the FAQ: https://mediacru.sh/eklkwc5tLZxU

Everything in Trisquel's wiki is licensed under the GFDL, but Purism has not complied with the license at all. Purism's copyright notice: https://mediacru.sh/5m88RcPJtiVp

ssdclickofdeath
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Oops! I just read the bottom of the CrowdSupply page, and it says the project was started by a Todd Weaver, so I was mistaken when I said it's not obvious who's behind it. It looks like he is the CEO of a Seattle-based company called Ivi, Inc. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivi%2C_Inc.)

@jxself
Purism claims the laptop's NVIDIA card fully works with the nouveau driver, and it has a wireless card that works with the ath9k driver.

jxself
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> Purism claims the laptop's NVIDIA card fully works with the nouveau driver

And it's still got those freedom problems, like the Video BIOS. This wasn't an issue for those ThinkPads that got the RYF certification because they didn't use NVIDIA graphics. So the graphics are still non-free because nouveau is only an improvement, not a full fix for all of the proprietary software involved and all the stuff I've said is still applicable.

trisq

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"seems too good to be true."

I had that feeling myself.

Don't know what to make of it. Sounds good, feels bad for some reason.

todd-at-purism
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Well, it's smart to be cautious, since building trust is usually a game of time. But to answer your concern, I, Todd Weaver, am behind it, you can see from my past I enjoy fighting the status quo, and am excited to put that effort into freeing hardware. We may get some FSF support prior to endorsement, so that should help with the trust game. I've been working with RMS and FSF for quite awhile.

I'd like to apologize for us updating wordpress and it changing the copyright footer within the theme, we have restored it back to CC-By-SA, which I think suffices.

lembas
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> Purism will prioritize free/libre software for our users.

Sounds like it comes with proprietary stuff then...

> 4 Core (8 Threads) 2.3GHz Intel i7-4712MQ

Does that mean it comes with the Intel AMT/vPro backdoor? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_AMT

Magic Banana

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lembas
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Well that's good then. However I notice it has "anti-theft" whatever that means.

Michał Masłowski

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This means that you cannot use the backdoor, not that the PCH works
without the multimegabyte blob that can be also used for AMT.
(Chromebooks have no AMT, while the Intel ones have at least a 1.5 MiB
management engine blob.)

todd-at-purism
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It does come with the Intel FSP binary, and the optional nVidia GPU binary (optional because you could use the Intel video).

We avoid any chips that are vPro, so no we do not use AMT.

davidnotcoulthard
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Alright, so....in comparison to Chris' computers, then?

Chris

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From what he claims to have right now there appears to be no difference (well, maybe some, but it's in the opposite direction, he's using a design that needs non-free graphics drivers to work properly). He is basically saying he wants to free a laptop, but is not really capable of doing so, despite his claims to be working with other companies. If he has the connections I'd like some hard evidence. Extraordinary claims need to be backed with extraordinary evidence. Something of which he clearly doesn't have.

todd-at-purism
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I would like to add that installing Trisquel by default on a laptop is a HUGE win for the movement, since most people use what they're given as default. Since Trisquel promotes additional freedom supporting software by its defaults, we have a wonderful combination!

veleiro
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It's valuable to Free software for sure. But I wouldnt call it a huge win because Think Penguin, Los Alamos and a few other vendors were offering Trisquel preinstalled services for a while.

NYNEX
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I really don't think that this is a "win" for the free software community. Nothing new or special has been done here. All "Purism" is doing is buying laptop shells that everyone else on the planet could use, forking an already wonderful free software distro and making claims that they are working directly with the Free Software Foundation and Intel.Many of us have tried to get the Intel Mangement Engine firmware freed and have failed. Why would Intel work directly with Purism and not with any developers or companies that have already tried to reach out? If Purism really did care about free software and the communities built around it, why would they work so hard to work against them? Why can't purism just install Trisquel GNU/Linux on their laptops and call it a day? Or better yet, why has Purism not reached out to developers who have already spent and wasted so much of their own time to get these things freed ? Maybe some of our time and energy should be spent elsewhere and some of us should just give up. I know that the actions of Purism and some recent campaigns really have me close to just giving up on the free software community.

Chris

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I think there are a lot of people in the free software community with objections with the claims being made. My hands aren't tied like some so I'll point out some of the other issues.

1. There have been numerous efforts to free laptops in the past with some successes. It's not for a lack of trying that ThinkPenguin's not succeeded. Resolving all the issues with modern X86 systems is a near impossible feat. We've made some effort in this department, but it's more of a token gesture and the laptops would only be a little bit better. If you refurbish an older laptop it is easier.

2. License violations and a lack of understanding about what free software is. If something needs a binary blob it's not free software. I'd never try to make that claim. At best I'd describe our laptops as being free software friendly at an OS level. That is everything is going to work with free software distributions even though there are unfortunately non-free pieces critical to all modern laptops (BIOS, micro-code, and similar firmware).

3. NVIDIA is not cooperative so the support for the graphics using the reverse engineered nouveau driver is years behind- it simply isn't possible to get half-way decent support for the GT840M graphics in this system at this time. Of the people who have tried I know there were major issues and no successes as far as I've heard. Evidence on how Todd achieved some level of success in getting this to work would be a first step, but it still isn't a good design choice from a free software angle. Even if you succeed it's not going to work well enough to claim support and so including it at all is disingenuous. People will buy with certain expectations- expectations that Todd can't possibly meet.

4. Intel's not cooperative on the coreboot front. Why would you even think that they'd cooperate now? Google tried to get them to release code for the Chromebook. They refused. The coreboot developers have been begging for Intel to cooperate for years. $250,000 USD isn't going to cut it when millions are already been poured into the effort. Intel does cooperate on the graphics front though. There simply is no perfect or even good solution to these problems.

5. "Designed" and “manufacturer” are interesting choice of words. Todd makes it sound like he actually designed a new board for this. There are few actual “manufacturers” or companies designing pretty much anything. Major companies usually utilize one of a handful of companies specialized in the given arena to design and/or manufacture. Components are usually designed by one of a few big companies valued at billions of dollars (Intel, Broadcom, Atheros, etc, not Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc). I'm not questioning his intention to design a product or support the product. That's fair game. Everybody does it. However I think his choice of wording gets dangerously close to fraud. It is misleading territory at a minimum. If he was to become a manufacturer he would need a lot more than $250,000 USD. He should focus on the overall product design rather than claiming to have designed or manufactured something uniquely new- for which simply isn't likely in this context.

6. I'm pretty confident Todd didn't talk to the FSF as stated. Comments made elsewhere by people in the know implied the project was unknown to the FSF until after it had been announced.

I have some background knowledge of this laptop. It's designed by a Chinese company with ties to the Chinese government. It is actually a clone of Apple's product lineup and a poor machine to build a free software product off. In China you can get these machines from shady backstreet vendors with the actual Apple logo. You can actually see just how rampant trademark infringement is here: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-07/20/fake-apple-stores. These systems are flat out unsafe. These machines are of extremely poor quality. I've actually “seen” other similar models get seized on import. It won't happen every time as the US doesn't have many enforcers at the border scanning for shipments of infringing or illegal product, but it does happen.

It'll be a tragedy if Todd's successful because there is real non-x86 hardware that could potentially be totally freed. It will take $250,000+ to pull off the manufacture of the laptops (or sourcing of them anyway), developers (to port a distribution), and resources (time and energy to free it). Unfortunately ThinkPenguin's got other projects on the table right now and this is something that really needs a strong focus of time, cooperation, and resources to pull off. Todd has the time, but should have worked with the FSF on this and done it right.

levlaz

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-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Hey Chris,

I enjoyed reading your perspective on this issue. I agree that project
like this is certainly a necessary one. However this specific project
may not be it.

Best,
Lev Lazinskiy
https://levlaz.org

On 11/24/2014 08:18 PM, name at domain wrote:
> I think there are a lot of people in the free software community
> with objections with the claims being made. My hands aren't tied
> like some so I'll point out some of the other issues.
>
> 1. There have been numerous efforts to free laptops in the past
> with some successes. It's not for a lack of trying that
> ThinkPenguin's not succeed. Resolving all the issues with modern
> X86 systems is a near impossible feat. We've made some effort in
> this department, but it's more of a token gesture and the laptops
> would only be a little bit better. If you refurbish an older laptop
> it is easier.
>
> 2. License violations and a lack of understanding about what free
> software is. If something needs a binary blob it's not free
> software. I'd never try to make that claim. At best I'd describe
> our laptops as being free software friendly at an OS level. That is
> everything is going to work with free software distributions even
> though there are unfortunately non-free pieces critical to all
> modern laptops (BIOS, micro-code, and similar firmware).
>
> 3. NVIDIA is not cooperative so the support for the graphics using
> the reverse engineered nouveau driver is years behind- it simply
> isn't possible to get half-way decent support for the GT840M
> graphics in this system at this time. Of the people who have tried
> I know there were major issues and no successes as far as I've
> heard. Evidence on how Todd achieved some level of success in
> getting this to work would be a first step, but it still isn't a
> good design choice from a free software angle. Even if you succeed
> it's not going to work well enough to claim support and so
> including it at all is disingenuous. People will buy with certain
> expectations- expectations that Todd can't possibly meet.
>
> 4. Intel's not cooperative on the coreboot front. Why would you
> even think that they'd cooperate now? Google tried to get them to
> release code for the Chromebook. They refused. The coreboot
> developer have been begging for Intel to cooperate for years.
> $250,000 USD isn't going to cut it when millions are already been
> poured into the effort. Intel does cooperate on the graphics front
> though. There simply is no perfect or even good solution to these
> problems.
>
> 5. "Designed" and “manufacturer” are interesting choice of words.
> Todd makes it sound like he actually designed a new board for this.
> There are few actual “manufacturers” or companies designing pretty
> much anything. Major companies usually utilize one of a handful of
> companies specialized in the given arena to design and/or
> manufacture. Components are usually designed by one of a few big
> companies valued at billions of dollars (Intel, Broadcom, Atheros,
> etc, not Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc). I'm not questioning his intention
> to design a product or support the product. That's fair game.
> Everybody does it. However I think his choice of wording gets
> dangerously close to fraud. It is misleading territory at a
> minimum. If he was to become a manufacturer he would need a lot
> more than $250,000 USD. He should focus on the overall product
> design rather than claiming to have designed or manufactured
> something uniquely new- for which simply isn't likely in this
> context.
>
> 6. I'm pretty confident Todd didn't talk to the FSF as stated.
> Comments made elsewhere by people in the know implied the project
> was unknown to the FSF until after it had been announced.
>
> I have some background knowledge of this laptop. It's designed by
> a Chinese company with ties to the Chinese government. It is
> actually a clone of Apple's product lineup and a poor machine to
> build a free software product off. In China you can get these
> machines from shady backstreet vendors with the actual Apple logo.
> You can actually see just how rampant trademark infringement is
> here:
> http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-07/20/fake-apple-stores.
> These systems are flat out unsafe. These machines are of extremely
> poor quality. I've actually “seen” other similar models get seized
> on import. It won't happen every time as the US doesn't have many
> enforcers at the border scanning for shipments of infringing or
> illegal product, but it does happen.
>
> I do think we need a campaign like this, but we should work with
> one of the manufacturers whose got someI think there are a lot of
> people in the free software community with objections with the
> claims being made. My hands aren't tied like some so I'll point out
> some of the other issues.
>
> 1. There have been numerous efforts to free laptops in the past
> with some successes. It's not for a lack of trying that
> ThinkPenguin's not succeed. Resolving all the issues with modern
> X86 systems is a near impossible feat. We've made some effort in
> this department, but it's more of a token gesture and the laptops
> would only be a little bit better. If you refurbish an older laptop
> it is easier.
>
> 2. License violations and a lack of understanding about what free
> software is. If something needs a binary blob it's not free
> software. I'd never try to make that claim. At best I'd describe
> our laptops as being free software friendly at an OS level. That is
> everything is going to work with free software distributions even
> though there are unfortunately non-free pieces critical to all
> modern laptops (BIOS, micro-code, and similar firmware).
>
> 3. NVIDIA is not cooperative so the support for the graphics using
> the reverse engineered nouveau driver is years behind- it simply
> isn't possible to get half-way decent support for the GT840M
> graphics in this system at this time. Of the people who have tried
> I know there were major issues and no successes as far as I've
> heard. Evidence on how Todd achieved some level of success in
> getting this to work would be a first step, but it still isn't a
> good design choice from a free software angle. Even if you succeed
> it's not going to work well enough to claim support and so
> including it at all is disingenuous. People will buy with certain
> expectations- expectations that Todd can't possibly meet.
>
> 4. Intel's not cooperative on the coreboot front. Why would you
> even think that they'd cooperate now? Google tried to get them to
> release code for the Chromebook. They refused. The coreboot
> developer have been begging for Intel to cooperate for years.
> $250,000 USD isn't going to cut it when millions are already been
> poured into the effort. Intel does cooperate on the graphics front
> though. There simply is no perfect or even good solution to these
> problems.
>
> 5. "Designed" and “manufacturer” are interesting choice of words.
> Todd makes it sound like he actually designed a new board for this.
> There are few actual “manufacturers” or companies designing pretty
> much anything. Major companies usually utilize one of a handful of
> companies specialized in the given arena to design and/or
> manufacture. Components are usually designed by one of a few big
> companies valued at billions of dollars (Intel, Broadcom, Atheros,
> etc, not Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc). I'm not questioning his intention
> to design a product or support the product. That's fair game.
> Everybody does it. However I think his choice of wording gets
> dangerously close to fraud. It is misleading territory at a
> minimum. If he was to become a manufacturer he would need a lot
> more than $250,000 USD. He should focus on the overall product
> design rather than claiming to have designed or manufactured
> something uniquely new- for which simply isn't likely in this
> context.
>
> 6. I'm pretty confident Todd didn't talk to the FSF as stated.
> Comments made elsewhere by people in the know implied the project
> was unknown to the FSF until after it had been announced.
>
> I have some background knowledge of this laptop. It's designed by
> a Chinese company with ties to the Chinese government. It is
> actually a clone of Apple's product lineup and a poor machine to
> build a free software product off. In China you can get these
> machines from shady backstreet vendors with the actual Apple logo.
> You can actually see just how rampant trademark infringement is
> here:
> http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-07/20/fake-apple-stores.
> These systems are flat out unsafe. These machines are of extremely
> poor quality. I've actually “seen” other similar models get seized
> on import. It won't happen every time as the US doesn't have many
> enforcers at the border scanning for shipments of infringing or
> illegal product, but it does happen.
>
> I do think we need a campaign like this, but we should work with
> one of the manufacturers whose got something we can actually build
> a free laptop from. I've talked with others about non-x86 hardware
> that might work and dollar amounts that are similar to what Todds
> trying to raise.
>
> It'll be a tragedy if Todd's successful because there is real
> non-x86 hardware that could potentially be totally freed. It will
> take $250,000+ to pull off the manufacture of the laptops (or
> sourcing of them anyway), developers (to port a distribution), and
> resources (time and energy to free it). Unfortunately
> ThinkPenguin's got other projects on the table right now and this
> is something that really needs a strong focus of time, cooperation,
> and resources to pull off. Todd has the time, but should have
> worked with the FSF on this and done it right.
>
> thing we can actually build a free laptop from. I've talked with
> others about non-x86 hardware that might work and dollar amounts
> that are similar to what Todds trying to raise.
>
> It'll be a tragedy if Todd's successful because there is real
> non-x86 hardware that could potentially be totally freed. It will
> take $250,000+ to pull off the manufacture of the laptops (or
> sourcing of them anyway), developers (to port a distribution), and
> resources (time and energy to free it). Unfortunately
> ThinkPenguin's got other projects on the table right now and this
> is something that really needs a strong focus of time, cooperation,
> and resources to pull off. Todd has the time, but should have
> worked with the FSF on this and done it right.
>
>
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ADFENO
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Joined: 12/31/2012

25-11-2014 02:18:50 name at domain:
> I think there are a lot of people in the free software
community with
> objections with the claims being made. My hands aren't
tied like some so
> I'll point out some of the other issues.
>
> 1. There have been numerous efforts to free laptops in the
past with some
> successes. It's not for a lack of trying that ThinkPenguin's
not succeed.
> Resolving all the issues with modern X86 systems is a
near impossible feat.
> We've made some effort in this department, but it's more
of a token gesture
> and the laptops would only be a little bit better. If you
refurbish an older
> laptop it is easier.
>
> 2. License violations and a lack of understanding about
what free software
> is. If something needs a binary blob it's not free software.
I'd never try
> to make that claim. At best I'd describe our laptops as
being free software
> friendly at an OS level. That is everything is going to work
with free
> software distributions even though there are unfortunately
non-free pieces
> critical to all modern laptops (BIOS, micro-code, and
similar firmware).
>
> 3. NVIDIA is not cooperative so the support for the
graphics using the
> reverse engineered nouveau driver is years behind- it
simply isn't possible
> to get half-way decent support for the GT840M graphics
in this system at
> this time. Of the people who have tried I know there were
major issues and
> no successes as far as I've heard. Evidence on how Todd
achieved some level
> of success in getting this to work would be a first step,
but it still
> isn't a good design choice from a free software angle.
Even if you succeed
> it's not going to work well enough to claim support and so
including it at
> all is disingenuous. People will buy with certain
expectations-
> expectations that Todd can't possibly meet.
>
> 4. Intel's not cooperative on the coreboot front. Why
would you even think
> that they'd cooperate now? Google tried to get them to
release code for the
> Chromebook. They refused. The coreboot developer have
been begging for Intel
> to cooperate for years. $250,000 USD isn't going to cut it
when millions
> are already been poured into the effort. Intel does
cooperate on the
> graphics front though. There simply is no perfect or even
good solution to
> these problems.
>
> 5. "Designed" and “manufacturer” are interesting choice
of words. Todd
> makes it sound like he actually designed a new board for
this. There are few
> actual “manufacturers” or companies designing pretty
much anything. Major
> companies usually utilize one of a handful of companies
specialized in the
> given arena to design and/or manufacture. Components
are usually designed
> by one of a few big companies valued at billions of dollars
(Intel,
> Broadcom, Atheros, etc, not Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc). I'm
not questioning his
> intention to design a product or support the product.
That's fair game.
> Everybody does it. However I think his choice of wording
gets dangerously
> close to fraud. It is misleading territory at a minimum. If he
was to
> become a manufacturer he would need a lot more than
$250,000 USD. He should
> focus on the overall product design rather than claiming to
have designed
> or manufactured something uniquely new- for which
simply isn't likely in
> this context.
>
> 6. I'm pretty confident Todd didn't talk to the FSF as
stated. Comments made
> elsewhere by people in the know implied the project was
unknown to the FSF
> until after it had been announced.
>
> I have some background knowledge of this laptop. It's
designed by a Chinese
> company with ties to the Chinese government. It is
actually a clone of
> Apple's product lineup and a poor machine to build a free
software product
> off. In China you can get these machines from shady
backstreet vendors with
> the actual Apple logo. You can actually see just how
rampant trademark
> infringement is here:
> http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-07/20/fake-apple-stores. These
> systems are flat out unsafe. These machines are of
extremely poor quality.
> I've actually “seen” other similar models get seized on
import. It won't
> happen every time as the US doesn't have many enforcers
at the border
> scanning for shipments of infringing or illegal product, but
it does happen.
>
> I do think we need a campaign like this, but we should
work with one of the
> manufacturers whose got someI think there are a lot of
people in the free
> software community with objections with the claims being
made. My hands
> aren't tied like some so I'll point out some of the other
issues.
>
> 1. There have been numerous efforts to free laptops in the
past with some
> successes. It's not for a lack of trying that ThinkPenguin's
not succeed.
> Resolving all the issues with modern X86 systems is a
near impossible feat.
> We've made some effort in this department, but it's more
of a token gesture
> and the laptops would only be a little bit better. If you
refurbish an older
> laptop it is easier.
>
> 2. License violations and a lack of understanding about
what free software
> is. If something needs a binary blob it's not free software.
I'd never try
> to make that claim. At best I'd describe our laptops as
being free software
> friendly at an OS level. That is everything is going to work
with free
> software distributions even though there are unfortunately
non-free pieces
> critical to all modern laptops (BIOS, micro-code, and
similar firmware).
>
> 3. NVIDIA is not cooperative so the support for the
graphics using the
> reverse engineered nouveau driver is years behind- it
simply isn't possible
> to get half-way decent support for the GT840M graphics
in this system at
> this time. Of the people who have tried I know there were
major issues and
> no successes as far as I've heard. Evidence on how Todd
achieved some level
> of success in getting this to work would be a first step,
but it still
> isn't a good design choice from a free software angle.
Even if you succeed
> it's not going to work well enough to claim support and so
including it at
> all is disingenuous. People will buy with certain
expectations-
> expectations that Todd can't possibly meet.
>
> 4. Intel's not cooperative on the coreboot front. Why
would you even think
> that they'd cooperate now? Google tried to get them to
release code for the
> Chromebook. They refused. The coreboot developer have
been begging for Intel
> to cooperate for years. $250,000 USD isn't going to cut it
when millions
> are already been poured into the effort. Intel does
cooperate on the
> graphics front though. There simply is no perfect or even
good solution to
> these problems.
>
> 5. "Designed" and “manufacturer” are interesting choice
of words. Todd
> makes it sound like he actually designed a new board for
this. There are few
> actual “manufacturers” or companies designing pretty
much anything. Major
> companies usually utilize one of a handful of companies
specialized in the
> given arena to design and/or manufacture. Components
are usually designed
> by one of a few big companies valued at billions of dollars
(Intel,
> Broadcom, Atheros, etc, not Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc). I'm
not questioning his
> intention to design a product or support the product.
That's fair game.
> Everybody does it. However I think his choice of wording
gets dangerously
> close to fraud. It is misleading territory at a minimum. If he
was to
> become a manufacturer he would need a lot more than
$250,000 USD. He should
> focus on the overall product design rather than claiming to
have designed
> or manufactured something uniquely new- for which
simply isn't likely in
> this context.
>
> 6. I'm pretty confident Todd didn't talk to the FSF as
stated. Comments made
> elsewhere by people in the know implied the project was
unknown to the FSF
> until after it had been announced.
>
> I have some background knowledge of this laptop. It's
designed by a Chinese
> company with ties to the Chinese government. It is
actually a clone of
> Apple's product lineup and a poor machine to build a free
software product
> off. In China you can get these machines from shady
backstreet vendors with
> the actual Apple logo. You can actually see just how
rampant trademark
> infringement is here:
> http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-07/20/fake-apple-stores. These
> systems are flat out unsafe. These machines are of
extremely poor quality.
> I've actually “seen” other similar models get seized on
import. It won't
> happen every time as the US doesn't have many enforcers
at the border
> scanning for shipments of infringing or illegal product, but
it does happen.
>
> I do think we need a campaign like this, but we should
work with one of the
> manufacturers whose got something we can actually build
a free laptop from.
> I've talked with others about non-x86 hardware that might
work and dollar
> amounts that are similar to what Todds trying to raise.
>
> It'll be a tragedy if Todd's successful because there is real
non-x86
> hardware that could potentially be totally freed. It will take
$250,000+ to
> pull off the manufacture of the laptops (or sourcing of
them anyway),
> developers (to port a distribution), and resources (time
and energy to free
> it). Unfortunately ThinkPenguin's got other projects on the
table right now
> and this is something that really needs a strong focus of
time, cooperation,
> and resources to pull off. Todd has the time, but should
have worked with
> the FSF on this and done it right.
>
> thing we can actually build a free laptop from. I've talked
with others
> about non-x86 hardware that might work and dollar
amounts that are similar
> to what Todds trying to raise.
>
> It'll be a tragedy if Todd's successful because there is real
non-x86
> hardware that could potentially be totally freed. It will take
$250,000+ to
> pull off the manufacture of the laptops (or sourcing of
them anyway),
> developers (to port a distribution), and resources (time
and energy to free
> it). Unfortunately ThinkPenguin's got other projects on the
table right now
> and this is something that really needs a strong focus of
time, cooperation,
> and resources to pull off. Todd has the time, but should
have worked with
> the FSF on this and done it right.

+1

Best regards, ADFENO.
Have a nice day.

--
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todd-at-purism
Offline
Joined: 11/24/2014

ThinkPenguin post, take with a grain of salt, since they'd see anybody selling hardware as competition, not as furthering a movement. Time will tell...

tct
tct

I am a member!

Offline
Joined: 10/23/2011

On 25.11.2014 17:06, name at domain wrote:
> ThinkPenguin post, take with a grain of salt, since they'd see anybody
> selling hardware as competition, not as furthering a movement. Time will
> tell...

After spreading FUD that allegedly I am reselling cheap adapters from
eBay or that allegedly I bought insufficient adapters from Unex (which I
acknowledge on my product page in good faith at
http://tehnoetic.com/adapter) I understood that ThinkPenguin is into
manipulating the masses. I recently took a look at ThinkPenguin posts
prior the release of the free firmware from Atheros and those confirmed
me they have been in this manipulating business from the beginning.

ThinkPenguin wish they were the only ones receiving RYF all the time,
while others have to cooperate with them, otherwise FUD will be spread.
In ThinkPenguin's perspective, Gluglug is doing it wrong, Tehnoetic is
doing it wrong, now Purism is doing it wrong. F you, ThinkPenguin with
your nonfree BIOS, Google Analytics on the website (now fixed), sellings
on eBay and I can go on with the list why I didn't want to cooperate
with you and I will never do business with you.

Like others, I have raised here my concerns regarding Purism Librem
project, but I wish Todd the best of luck to succeed. He should provide
the community some proof so more of us are confident to back his
project, but that's about the only thing I fully agree with
ThinkPenguin's Chris' previous posts on the topic.

The rest are rumors and lies combined with some truths to make it all
believable, so a better FUD.

--
Tiberiu C. Turbureanu
Președinte, Fundația Ceata
http://turbureanu.ro/contact

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Înscrie-te ca membru: http://ceata.org/%C3%AEnscrieri

Chris

I am a member!

Offline
Joined: 04/23/2011

You misunderstood what I was saying- or more likely (as I've already told you about your misinterpretation of the communications) are deliberately making me out to be a real jerk. While it is technically correct that I said something to this effect without proper context your misleading people in the actual communications and intent.

More specifically I believe It was in response to you calling our prices scandalous. However you had compared prices from prior years if I recall correctly. As such it was not a fair comparison. Plus our goals are clearly different. We've always been focused on funding free software and proper support. That isn't going to happen if your not making anything (or enough) off the sale of the hardware.

In any event the point I was trying to make by comparing your adapter to cheap adapters on eBay was that it wasn't a fair comparison you had been making. If you read it and understood the context you would get the fact I did not literally mean your adapters were a rip off- or in any way comparable to much of the cheap junk on eBay.

--------------------
I take issue with calling me hostile to the Gluglug project. Just because I'm unsure about it and question the benefits doesn't make me hostile to it. I'm somewhere in the middle about how I feel about it. There are good reasons to question what the benefits are. That's not to say I'm entirely against it. I believe the coreboot developers were largely responsible for porting coreboot to the systems libreboot runs on. If not then it's a poor choice of machines for the libreboot developers to focus on as Lenovo/IBM were pioneers in using digital restrictions to prevent users from swapping wifi cards. That means the machines selected are otherwise hostile to free software. I do not want a machine that screams IBM/Lenovo/Toshiba/Dell/Sony/or Apple. These companies are all doing things against my interest. I'd also prefer a machine that didn't force upon me a proprietary software license. These are refurbished machines and I assume did originally come with such licenses.

This said you have to put things in perspective and I can respect other peoples views. There is no good solution to these problems and I do not blame the Gluglug's choices. We're all in a corner and the best we can do is attempt to make the best of things.

In this respect the Librem is actually better. The Librem is not based on hardware that is attached to proprietary software licenses- nor would it promote Lenovo/IBM. It may not be perfect as it does look like an Apple laptop, but I'd be willing to write that off in the scheme of things. There are simply too many factors and we can't all get what we want.

The other problem with Gluglug is that there is no good direction for them to head with x86. They will have to scrap the work they've already done. Gluglug may have good reasons however for the direction they've gone. It might be for instance that they chose the machine based on the fact the porting was done which made the job much easier. If the primary goal was to raise money for free'ing other hardware down the road and then did exactly that then this was a totally supportable project in my view.

I believe those working on the project were conscious or became conscious of the fact they were promoting Lenovo/IBM. I think I was told they were going to put a sticker over the Lenovo branding to offset this concern. If they did/do I'm going to be the first to commend them for it. I have not really heard that much recently in respect to this effort. Probably more than most still... but that isn't very telling.

------------------------

I'm pretty confident Todd isn't going to want to fix things. It's too late for that and he hasn't said anything to imply he wants to fix it. In some respect I can understand that. What he's done has taken a lot of energy. He would have to kill the launch mid-stream and re-launch it with a new system in mind, clarify some more (there does seem to have been some level of effort to clarify it in an overly broad way), and change the marketing.

I do like the fact he didn't pick a Lenovo/IBM/Toshiba/Sony/Apple/or HP to build off- nor a system for which would be dependent on proprietary software licenses.

If the project was done with more forethought I'd be the first person interested in working on it with him. It's not a small project and needs many people on board to do it right.

1. We need a non-x86 system with a 13.3” + screen and at least something with a sufficiently powerful CPU and memory (ideally we don't want a netbook in a laptop case)

2. We need developers who can work on various aspects

3. We need a fund raiser similar to what Todd's doing now

4. We need a distribution for the architecture (which we might not have right now)

5. We need users

6. We need a target cost that is ideally going to make it affordable

7... probably other stuff I'm not even thinking off... which is why it would have been better if he had talked to others who were working on these things or similar projects already...

lembas
Offline
Joined: 05/13/2010

Gentlemen please. I wish you'd try to put aside your disagreements and co-operate or at least live and let live. As you all know and the rest of us can guess it takes a lot of work to try and liberate any piece of hardware. I believe you're all working towards the same goal, each of you coming from a slightly different angle. And that's good, we need a lot more people doing this. Many hands make light work.

I don't usually make this kind of posts and obviously I'm not very good at it but I think this is a very important issue to all users of free software and you're some of the key people in making it happen.

Chris

I am a member!

Offline
Joined: 04/23/2011

Agreed.

tct
tct

I am a member!

Offline
Joined: 10/23/2011

I am amazed by how much time you spend in manipulating public opinion.

To be able to show people what are the lies and tricks in your message,
I have to take several hours to write the arguments and insert
references. Which is a lot for me, since I am not only running a more
ethical business, but most importantly I am running a national
foundation for free software and free culture. In the second is were
most of my time is spent and the business is only a way for me to
support my work, as stated in the press release.

But I promise this time I will make time to respond, not like the last
time when I dropped the argument which was becoming very time consuming.
Because otherwise you are are unstoppable and new comers definitely
believe you. Which is a shame and needs fixing.

--
Tiberiu C. Turbureanu
Președinte, Fundația Ceata
http://turbureanu.ro/contact

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quantumgravity
Offline
Joined: 04/22/2013

I suggest that both of you state your arguments on your own website and not here on this forum.
This is not the right place for a marketing war.

SuperTramp83

I am a translator!

Offline
Joined: 10/31/2014

Can someone help me understand why should I spend 2000 bucks on a laptop that has non-free bios and non-free firmware?
Correct me if I'm wrong - can't I just look a bit around and find a very decent 800 $ or less provided it has an intel graphics card and a freedom friendly wireless card???
I mean - if I install Trisquel on any laptop that works out-of-the-box and uses only free drivers - what is the difference with these expensive white boxes signed "librem"?
They are not librem enough for me to spend 2000 greens!! They still have a proprietary bios and some firmware!!
And hardware specs that can be matched for less then half of that price!!
Or is it maybe that I'm missing something here? If so could somebody elaborate..

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Offline
Joined: 07/24/2010

I still did not understand if it is certain that the Librem 15 will use CoreBoot or if Todd Weaver only hopes to convince Intel to make CoreBoot work on the chosen motherboard.

If it will not use CoreBoot, then there is not much difference with a cheap laptop with an Intel graphical chipset + a freedom-respecting Wifi adapter. You would indeed have great trouble finding out what Wifi chipset that comes with a (new) laptop. You should then consider it as an additional cost on top of that of the laptop (unless you are "feeling lucky"). You can buy such an adapter from ThinkPenguin or Tehnoetic and be sure it will work with Linux-libre, hence Trisquel. Anyway the cost of the separate adapter is kind of negligible w.r.t. that of the rest of the hardware.

Chris

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I'm definitely agreeing here, but thought I should point out this can be overstated too (the similarity) or taken the wrong way if your a typical end-user looking for a laptop to use with free software.

While the chipsets do matter a lot there are other issues with determining if a laptop is going to work well with free software operating systems. I'd like to point this out as its customary to think that it's just a matter of getting the right chipsets.

One example (not laptop specific) is the Datel Wireless 'N' Networking Adapter For Xbox 360. This is a USB N adapter that uses the same AR7010+AR9280 chipset that we're using. However its not compatible with free software operating systems and probably will never be. It's not just a simple ID issue which can be corrected with a bug report and patch. There were some serious enough changes to the reference design that it doesn't work and won't work as the changes were not made public.

Digital restrictions. Dell, HP, IBM/Lenovo, Toshiba, Apple, and I believe Sony use digital restrictions to prevent users from replacing the wifi chip.

Apple's newer systems apparently ship with proprietary wifi cards rather than use digital restrictions to prevent you from replacing the wifi chip

There are many other potential issues on systems from companies who aren't using digital restrictions (as far as I'm aware anyway). For example there are issues on at least some (many actually) laptops where the on/off switch for the wifi does not work. The design is dependent on a driver which activates it and by default is in an off state. While you can sometimes get these systems to work it requires a proprietary operating system, the installation of the MS Windows driver, turning the wifi on in MS Windows, and then rebooting. Obviously not an ideal solution for free software users.

There are also power management issues. This can sometimes be related to poor BIOS implementations and non-compliance with standards. There are some work-arounds on many systems, but it can be particularly difficult to figure out for people who are not already familiar with working around these types of issues.

Other issues I like to bring up are IDs not being in the driver even if the chipset is otherwise supported. Basically what this means is the driver doesn't know to load for the card even though it would otherwise support it. These issues frequently find themselves resolved down the road, but if your buying enough random hardware is a problem you'll run into occasionally.

There is also another issue I like to talk about. Some types of devices have multiple chipsets (laptop boards are a good example, but this isn't only laptop boards as my example will illustrate). There is a bluetooth wifi combo card in many laptops. The chipsets in one of these cards is a combination of different atheros chipsets. One is for the wifi and one is for the bluetooth. The wifi part is completely free and no propritary firmware is needed. The bluetooth on the other hand is not free as it is dependent on non-free firmware. The confusion comes in because many people are using distributions with proprietary software alongside 100% free distributions like Trisquel. When a distribution which includes proprietary firmware is booted the proprietary firmware is loaded for the bluetooth chipset on the card. When the user reboots the firmware is still loaded and as a result it appears to work in Trisquel. Simply working in Trisquel is not really enough to conclude it's free software friendly as a result. Even if you power off the computer the firmware may still be retained in memory on the card. It may take a bit of time for it to dissipate and return to a non-working state in Trisquel. Anyway- a lot of people have made the claim these cards are free software when they are not.

In any event there is definitely value in the proper testing, support, and documentation aspect which results from a commercial operation. Something that would be near impossible to achieve in an h-node style hardware database. Prior to h-node there had already been dozens of such databases and my involvement with a company for which I will not name (internship at a company that was doing it *all wrong*) in this aspect of QA and support is what lead me to realize we (ie the larger community/commercial distributions/etc) were doing it wrong. Both in terms of not realizing the harms from supporting non-free software and the way in which hardware support needed to be done (ie to make it easy enough for the masses). Databases just don't work. Respect Your Freedom certification does because it ensures the advertising is such that users can identify the product supports free software and has not been changed in such a way that it no longer does. If the product changes in such a way the model numbers and similar information much change- or the certification will be revoked. It essence it ensures users that the hardware they are buying is in fact the hardware they are intending to buy and has not been substituted with another product (this is a major major issue with hardware databases).

Garsmith
Offline
Joined: 07/27/2013

Looks like a Clevo laptop.

Good parts about the laptop:
- The effort of removing as much binary as possible (Coreboot)
- Looks like good hardware quality. In the area of Apple quality.
- Three USB ports.
- No VGA.
- No TXT, VT-d or vPro.

Questions:
- Matt or blank screen? Matt is better.

Fixes for version two.
- Remove numpad and center keyboard and mouse with the screen.
- Change screen to 16x10.
- Support for 16GB ram.
- Flip network port so the cable can easy be removed.
- All cables connections on one side, including power. Extra USB ports can be on both sides.
- Remove nvidia graphics. (Not needed extra cost)
- Change HDMI to Mini DisplayPort.

Chris

I am a member!

Offline
Joined: 04/23/2011

The Librem is definitely not manufactured by Clevo. You can't necessarily tell by looking at a unit which company manufactured it, but it's pretty obvious in this case its not Clevo given the boundaries being worked within.

SuperTramp83

I am a translator!

Offline
Joined: 10/31/2014

Today I tried trisquel 7.0 on two laptops at my friends' just out of curiosity.
It worked perfectly on an Asus with intel graphics (can't remember the model though) ,graphics,resolution,wifi .. all smooth and flawless.
The second laptop I tried - Acer Aspire 7740 (somehow I remembered to note the model on this one) worked also flawlessly, well - everything except the ati mobility radeon chip - it had no 3d acceleration and max screen resolution of 1280*800 (it should be 1600*900).

So yea, I will test it on other laptops but I really think you don't need to spend an eye for those librem or whatever to get a freedom-friendly setup - just check the parts of the laptop you want to buy before actually buying it..
h-node webpage is very usefull for this purpose
ciaouzzzz

SuperTramp83

I am a translator!

Offline
Joined: 10/31/2014

One last thing - If someone makes a laptop that has 100% open hardware - nothing proprietary - no bios, no firmware, no cpu etc etc .. and above this it has hardware specs that are decent (like a good 1000 bucks laptop you can buy nowadays) then I will be very happy and willing to spend 2000 $ on it.
Otherwise no expensive "librem" makes really sense to me..

Ishamael
Offline
Joined: 08/29/2014

I'd rather see this with an AMD processor, and no UEFI. Free BIOS is pointless since intel back-doors the CPU itself. In fact, BIOS should only ever be on a read-only chip. Common-sense 2014

Michał Masłowski

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I am a translator!

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Joined: 05/15/2010

Any specific Intel backdoors that you know to work without nonfree
software in the boot firmware flash?

I personally like boot firmware being in writable media: I fixed some
bugs and applied fixes done by others to the one in my laptop. If it
was readonly, the laptop wouldn't be useful without nonfree wifi
firmware (or external wifi adapter) and it would provide me no
interesting coreboot usage experience.

Ishamael
Offline
Joined: 08/29/2014

I shouldn't have said useless, I just meant that the one doesn't solve the other. As long as the BIOS can be written to, the potential for damage is always there.
A hardware switch with a physical disconnect would be fine with me. I wonder if someone could solder a jumper in there?
Of course locking wireless cards to vendor is something I strongly disagree with.
As for intel, I will never support the direction they are taking things with my money again. The expression "If you don't like something, then stop buying it." comes to mind.

Michał Masłowski

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I am a translator!

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Joined: 05/15/2010

Flash chips used for boot firmware usually have a "write protect" pin.
It might be possible to configure it to make only some regions
read-only, so e.g. information needed to support resume from suspend to
RAM can be written.

Chris

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Offline
Joined: 04/23/2011

The problem is there really aren't any good options right now...

It's a huge problem that a lot more time, energy, and money needs to go into solving than is readily available.

Chris

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My understanding of the AMD line-up is that they too are shipping with similar features so I wouldn't exactly suggest jumping to AMD. It would probably be best to avoid x86 altogether, but it's not without its difficulties.

Garsmith
Offline
Joined: 07/27/2013

Librem 15 laptop has now been updated.
https://www.crowdsupply.com/purism/librem-laptop/updates

NVIDIA graphics removed
Intel i7-4712MQ replaced with i7-4770HQ
Supports 16GB ram
Screen can be upgraded with 4k. 3840x2160

CPU upgraded because NVIDIA removed for better integrated graphics. Iris Pro 5200 (GT3e) graphics. CPU also supports VT-d and TXT.
http://ark.intel.com/compare/78933,83505

Wonder if screen is matt or glossy.

Interview 2 December on Linux Unplugged 69. Todd Weaver talks about case, the BIOS and more.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaZxKTR_f1M

Chris

I am a member!

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Joined: 04/23/2011

Glad to see the NVIDIA graphics are gone. What is with the CPU though? It seems like a worse choice. The FCBGA1364 is not a socketed CPU so you can't change it even. I'm also lost as to how one can change the spec mid-way through a campaign. Doesn't that violate some sort of ethics and rules upon the platforms which the campaign is being run? It seems like he should re-start the campaign if he is going to make significant changes like this.

Haven't watched the video. I'll probably do it later. Maybe there is more detail in it as to the reasoning behind all this.

Garsmith
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Joined: 07/27/2013

I like that one guy has worked for trying to release a modern laptop with as less closed source software as possible.

Good that Nvidia is gone. I think the new CPU alternative is for gaming performance but it includes more "evil" technology for globalists/government spying and control. I would prefer Nvidia and replaceable CPU and then disable Nvidia in BIOS if Coreboot allow that. All these gamers that do not seem to know the freedom part in GNU/Linux (Chris at LAS is one example).

I do not know how people like Chris thinks. They love the freedom GNU/Linux gives but then ignores it all up by supporting hardware and software that goes against it. Same as he use Netflix and was happy when Netflix-DRM works in Chrome. Where goes the line of what they would not accept as closed source software?

This product is marketed as Libre and not for gaming. Then do not use nvidia or CPU that has more integrated spying then needed.

With the replaceable CPU socket they could choose more models. Cheaper i3 that user later could upgrade with i5 or i7 when more speed is needed.

veleiro
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Joined: 11/24/2014

Its not about "closed source" or "open source", these terms shouldnt even be used here as the ignore the ethical facts of free software. https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-software-for-freedom.html

If you are targeting the free software movement for a device, you have to realize that there will be no compromises in terms of freedom. The Librem says they are going to try to get the source code available for all bootloader functionality by prying it out of intel's hands, and that's one of the pitches of the campaign. However, I am 100% betting that if the campaign is successful, and they are unable to get the source code from the vendors, the librem will still be released even with the (seriously) nonfree blobs at its core. That will miss-represent us as a community (here's a free/libre laptop, but actually its just "almost free"). This laptop is not part of the free software community, specifically because it requires nonfree blobs to function at a base level.

It just rubs me and other like me the wrong way, by trying to get us to back to development of something that uses our values as marketing terms.

I wouldnt have such a problem with it if it were instead "Opensourcem: the mostly libre laptop," so that I would at least know, "well, freedom available when convenient"