Technoethical T400s now available

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Technoethical

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se unió: 08/15/2014

Technoethical team is happy to announce the T400s (not to be confused with his older brother T400):

https://technoethical.com/laptops/tet-t400s

This is the ideal laptop for those who waver between the X200 and T400: it is much lighter and slimmer than T400 but as powerful, and it has a touchpad, a wider screen and an optical unit, when compared to the smaller X200. The T400s is the most modern x86_64 laptop supported by Libreboot! It is also very rare and the hardest to flash externally with Libreboot, harder than the X200 Tablet.

Like all Technoethical laptops, the T400s comes preinstalled with fully free distributions of GNU, and by default with Trisquel: https://technoethical.com/laptops/

BenTheMoose
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se unió: 01/24/2017

Those media control keys look nice, I could see that volume rocker going on my X200 Tablet.

Also, is that touchpad textured? It looks like a matrix of squares or circles.

Technoethical

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se unió: 08/15/2014

The keyboard is more recent, it's the same keyboard you can find in T420. But T420 doesn't have fully free BIOS. The X220 doesn't have fully free BIOS either.

Yes, the touchpad is textured. :-)

GNUbahn
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se unió: 02/18/2016

That is a cool machine! Does any T400s work with libreboot?

Technoethical

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se unió: 08/15/2014

Yes, and the best processor available (soldered on the mainboard, so not replaceable) is the SP9600. The screen is LED and much better than the common T400 screens. You'll also feel the difference in portability.

Please feel free to buy a ThinkPad T400s and send it over to Technoethical to liberate it via our installation service ;-) https://technoethical.com/tet-lis

/tct

GNUbahn
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se unió: 02/18/2016

I'll do my very best to find one :-)

libreleah
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se unió: 04/03/2017

Tiberiu, are you just using the standard Libreboot releases for this T400S product?

There are a few features missing on T400S in Libreboot, which we have not yet merged in Libreboot.

https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/libreboot-dev/2016-08/msg00027.html

Are these patches present in your version of Libreboot for the T400S? They're not currently merged in Libreboot officially, so T400S won't work AFAIK unless you add them.

vita_cell
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se unió: 07/19/2015

I never liked slim series, I still prefer brick-laptop. x200 and t420 supposed to be able to run fully free BIOS, the problem is, those must to run neutralized Intel's ME. Which is still blob. If you doesn't run ME or neutralized ME, those laptops will shut down after 30min of using.

Technoethical

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se unió: 08/15/2014

Indeed, the X220 and T420 can't be used without the nonfree (smaller-sized or not) ME blob in the coreboot ROM, and that's why these laptops are not supported by libreboot.

We recommend using the term "minimized" instead of "neutralized" when talking about ME, since the most important part of the ME is still in the coreboot image. So it's not really "neutralized".

The ThinkPad T400s (June 2009) is the most modern Intel-based laptop that actually works with fully free BIOS. The other ThinkPad models supported by libreboot are 1 year older, from July 2008.

http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/ThinkPad_History#Lenovo_ThinkPad

libreleah
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se unió: 04/03/2017

I'm currently working on porting the ThinkPad X220 and T420 to Libreboot, which includes removing the ME entirely instead of just "neutralizing" it (or minimizing it). Once achieved, it will be available on Minifree and we will seek FSF RYF endorsement.

In addition, there are some AMD (circa ~2013) laptops that I'm interested in paying for porting to Libreboot.

Every purchase of Minifree's Libreboot T400 (which is 75% cheaper than Technoethical's T400S) funds my work :)

https://minifree.org/product/libreboot-t400/

Technoethical

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se unió: 08/15/2014

coreboot people have been at this for years and all they've managed was to remove some partitions to small down the ME blob.

What makes you sure the goal to completely removal ME from coreboot for X220 is achievable and what is your progress so far? We at Technoethical might be able to lend some hands.

libreleah
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se unió: 04/03/2017

Coreboot was also working on de-MEing GM45 (X200, T400) for years and thought it was not possible. Steve Shenton and I came along and proved them wrong, and successfully ported the X200 (and later, T400) to Libreboot :)

I'm currently sifting through all the undocumented bits in the intel flash descriptor, attempting to find a ME disable bit like we did on GM45 (X200, T400, etc) when I worked with sgsit on porting the X200 to Libreboot. Progress is going well. It was the discovery of the ME neutralization technique (thus removing all networking and backdoors from the ME) that prompted me to seriously investigate the possible of a total de-ME on sandybridge hardware.

I'm confident that it can be done, since booting the system without the ME is already actually possible (but with a 30 minute reset timer). What I'm looking for is a way to disable that reset timer, so that the system can run for more than 30 minutes.

If I fail, it's still possible to boot the X220 without the ME (with 30 minute reset timer) or with neutralized ME (no networking stack, and thus no backdoors) without the reset timer. Of course, under that scenario, X220 would not be added to Libreboot - 30 minute reset would make it unusable, and neutralized ME while no longer a security threat, is still non-free software so would also not be acceptable for Libreboot.

There are several AMD laptops in coreboot that I'm also interested in, which will require funding. My current efforts with Minifree on Minifree's discounted Libreboot T400 is to drive up Minifree sales, so as to raise extra funding for the Libreboot project.

All profits from Minifree, once costs are deducted (my own living costs, which I intentionally keep low), are re-invested directly into Libreboot :)

tonlee
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se unió: 09/08/2014

>There are several AMD laptops in coreboot that I'm also interested in
Can you tell which notebooks?

Has it occurred that you at the time a computer got libreboot compatible you could buy it new?

vita_cell
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se unió: 07/19/2015

Leah, do you think that complete ME remove is possible?

And one stupid question: why Intel did 30 min reset? makes no sense? maybe just for f*** people that try to run with no ME?

Vanecek
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se unió: 01/18/2015

Nice news from Romania!

I will think about an order for my job in July.

Always in mind that i not only ordering a free as in freedom laptop (i bought my first free x200 in february from Tehnoetic) , but always an exceptional service after the order.

Thank you Tehnoetic

C.

Technoethical

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se unió: 08/15/2014

@Vanecek Thank GNU!

gnuhurd
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se unió: 10/31/2016

1. https://tehnoetic.com/
2. https://minifree.org/
3. https://www.thinkpenguin.com/
4. https://vikings.net/
5. http://www.libiquity.com/

Tehnoetic is the best compared price vs specification.
First in delivering mobile phones based on free software Replicant.

Adding some LibreCMC routers on your shop would be a great deal.

images.duckduckgo.com_.png
Technoethical

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se unió: 08/15/2014

Thank you, you should hear GNUs from us soon regarding routers with fully free systems and fully free boot firmware.

We were planning to launch routers two years ago, but LibreCMC configs were missing for their supported targets and ThinkPenguin's "heavily modified" u-boot sources were not public either: https://trisquel.info/en/forum/thinkpenguins-heavily-modified-version-u-boot

Also LibreCMC developer working for ThinkPenguin was refusing proposals from the community (on the now defunct mailing list librecmc-dev) to include targets that were compatible with fully free systems and fully free boot firmware, choosing instead to focus only on the routers ThinkPenguin had commercial interest in.

https://librecmc.org/mailman/listinfo/librecmc-dev

Since then we have decided to work with a different fully free system for our routers. ;-)

-------%<---------

From: https://www.mail-archive.com/librecmc-dev @lists.librecmc.org/msg00012.html

> Please update your "supported hardware" page: if more people will
> know that their devices are compatible with LibreCMC (even if its hard to
> install it on some of devices without specia[l] tools like flashers)
> then LibreCMC will receive more users and gain popularity!

Just because a device appears on a hardware list, supported or
otherwise, it will not increase the popularity of the project. The goal
of libreCMC is to provide a fully free embedded OS (GNU/Linux or
otherwise), not to be part of a larger "popularity" contest. If
libreCMC becomes popular, that is great, but the project's goal does
not include popularity.

Right now, the last thing the libreCMC project needs is to
[artificially] grow out its user base. The focus of the project, right
now, is to clean things up and make the OS/distro [1] smaller. libreCMC
will gain popularity over time because it is fully free and because of
its technological merits, not the list of shitty hardware that it
[won't] support[s].

-------%<---------

Magic Banana

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se unió: 07/24/2010

LibreCMC developer working for ThinkPenguin was refusing proposals from the community (on the now defunct mailing list librecmc-dev) to include targets that were compatible with fully free systems and fully free boot firmware, choosing instead to focus only on the routers ThinkPenguin had commercial interest in. Since then we have decided to work with a different fully free system for our routers.

It is free software. You could have implemented the proposals by yourself. Or pay somebody to do it. But you prefer to bitch about ThinkPenguin, which actually put money into developing solutions.

Technoethical

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se unió: 08/15/2014

Forking LibreCMC wasn't and isn't one of the objectives of Technoethical.

libreleah
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se unió: 04/03/2017

I have no problems with libreCMC myself. I'm using it on my Netgear WNDR3800 to power my network, and it works very well.

The only issue I've had with it so far is IPv6 support; the lead developer didn't have IPv6 last time I spoke to them, so they were unable to test it.

libreleah
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se unió: 04/03/2017

Minifree's regular T400 is also available:
https://minifree.org/product/libreboot-t400/

The price is much lower than Technoethical's T400S and also has bluetooth built in on most models: Minifree's T400 is 198 EUR, Technoethical's T400S is 778 EUR.

The actual thickness of the T400S is not much different to the T400, while the CPUs on the T400S are not upgradeable (for instance, on regular T400 you can install and use a quad-core CPU).

In terms of features and performance, the T400 and T400S are almost identical. Minifree also provides fast shipping and is run by me, Libreboot's founder.

Technoethical

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Thickness comparison between T400 and T400s in pictures:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/t400s-officially-announced.392646/page-3#post-4994648

Technoethical laptops come with modern Bluetooth 4.0 (25 Mbps), which is 12 times faster than the Bluetooth 2.1 (2 Mbps) that was shipped by Lenovo (and is shipped by Minifree) with these laptops.

Our WiFi is 802.11 N 450Mbps Dual Band, while Minifree's is 150 Mbps Single Band. We preinstall 8GB of RAM, while Minifree preinstalls 4GB.

The T400s has easily accessible cards and memory modules that can be upgraded by the common user. That is an improvement over X200 too. The cards and memory modules in T400 are not that easy to upgrade and to do that one has to disassembly the palmrest/keyboard and for WiFi, also a shield.

https://www.notebookcheck.net/fileadmin/_processed_/csm_DSC09597_Kopie_01_d5b139886d.jpg
http://www.myfixguide.com/manual/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Lenovo-Thinkpad-T400-Disassembly-5.jpg

Regarding the quad-core CPU, it's important to note that actually this is not compatible with regular T400. We know this from experience. The chipset should be PM45, instead of GM45, to be able to upgrade from dual-core to quad-core.

We wish we could have the funds to buy laptops in large quantity (hundreds at a time) at €20/piece to be able to offer them presintalled with libreboot and GNU/Linux at prices as competitive as Minifree's recent price for the T400. Our most affordable laptops are X200 at €478 and T400 at €568. For our entire catalog of 5 laptops and installation service, please visit: https://technoethical.com/laptops

Instead, we continue to focus on quality, high-end, and modern laptops with fully free BIOS. And we are appreciated by that and for our customer support, including after-sales. Technoethical is a community. :-)

libreleah
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se unió: 04/03/2017

Note that thinner isn't necessarily good for cooling; the T400S can get quite a bit hotter than the T400, because the T400S has less physical space for airflow. Being thinner also means that the heatsink is thinner and the fan much smaller. This, among other reasons, is why we don't sell the T400S on Minifree. We believe that it has too many issues, compared to the T400.

8GB RAM upgrade on Minifree laptops is possible, on request. The reason we don't offer it directly on the website is due to low availability; the customer can also install their own 8GB RAM in their T400, without voiding their warranty with us.

We also provide free unbricking services; if the customer updates Libreboot after a new release, and bricks their laptop accidentally, we will unbrick it for them for free. This is addition to free user support.

We currently have hundreds of T400 in stock and are able to sell them for much lower prices; Technoethical's T400S is 778 EUR, while Minifree's T400 is 198 EUR.

Technoethical

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se unió: 08/15/2014

Hmm, a speculation. No noticeable heat problems with the T400s and we've been using these laptops for some time now. But we can do comparative stress tests with the T400, just to avoid any doubts.

vita_cell
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libreleah
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se unió: 04/03/2017

Yes, I forgot that someone had tested those. In that case, I take back my previous statement.

However, the CPUs on T400 are still upgradeable, and there are better CPUs available for it than T400S.

Technoethical

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As I've mentioned before, we at Technoethical have tested compatibility with different processors as well. Quad-core doesn't work with regular T400 (GM45).

T400 usually comes with P8400 (2.26 GHz) or P8600 (2.40 GHz) processors, while the T400s comes with better processors, SP9400 (2.40 Ghz) or SP9600 (2.53 GHz). One other important aspect is that T400s processors have double the cache vs. regular T400 processors (6M vs. 3M). Of course, this was to be expected for a laptop that was launched 1 year after the X200, T400, T500.

The T400 can match the T400s if it's upgraded with the T9400 processor (that also has 2.53 Ghz and 6M Cache), but that's not an easy job for the regular user (disassemble, clean and replace thermal paste, reassemble). Better processors are harder to get by and they can be quite expensive, with a notable exception: T9550 processor. On customer's request, we at Technoethical upgrade the processor for our T400 and T500 before shipping them out (as standalone products or as part of the installation service).

/tct

libreleah
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se unió: 04/03/2017

Tiberiu,

Minifree ships T400 with T9400 and T9550 all the time, often without the customer even asking. You're also forgetting the P8700. Of course, customers can request CPU upgrades too.

T400 CPUs are the same performance-wise as T400S, and the power usage + heat generation isn't actually much higher, but the heatsinks and fans are much bigger, so T400 has better cooling than the T400S.

As for cache... on most use-cases, it makes zero difference.

I remind you, Minifree's Libreboot T400 is 198 EUR and Technoethical's T400S is 778 EUR :)

This huge price difference isn't really justified by any minor "improvements" in the T400S. What you're paying for is a laptop that is roughly identical, but if you get a Minifree T400, you save on 75% of the cost ;)

One other thing: the T400S is less available than the T400, so it's less possible to provide an extended warranty on it than with the T400. Minifree provides a 2 year warranty on all orders. (and usually provides fixes for free, outside of warranty)

~Leah

Technoethical

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It'd be nice to get some confirmations from customers in the community that "Minifree ships T400 with T9400 and T9550 all the time", all the time, but in any case I suggest you make it official on the product page which still lists P8400 in specifications. Of course, T400 w/ P8400 is more common than w/ P8600, and w/ P8700 is even less common.

As for the 2-year warranty, we happily offer it for all laptops at Technoethical. Please stop speculating and spreading FUD. If you're concerned about our shop's well being, drop us an e-mail. We've been selling laptops for almost one year now, and we've only had one laptop sent back for a minor repair, and that was a X200. That's because all our laptops are heavily tested and only shipped if everything works flawlessly.

Magic Banana

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se unió: 07/24/2010

Where have you seen FUD in Leah's message? Are you contesting that bigger heatsinks and fans mean better cooling? Let me help you learn to recognize FUD. Here is some: it'd be nice to get some confirmations from customers in the community that Technoethical's "laptops are heavily tested and only shipped if everything works flawlessly". Any resemblance with what you have just written is not fortuitous.

Technoethical

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Asking community members to confirm a statement is not FUD. I welcome any of the Technoethical customers on this forum to come forward if they had to return any of our laptops for warranty.

Examples of FUD are:
* "the T400S can get quite a bit hotter than the T400, because the T400S has less physical space for airflow"
* "the T400S is less available than the T400, so it's less possible to provide an extended warranty on it than with the T400"

Magic Banana

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se unió: 07/24/2010

The first statement is argued with a physical argument (less physical space for airflow + smaller heatsinks and fans in another post). Again: are you contesting it? A quick search on eBay (5 results for "lenovo t400s"; 211 for "lenovo t400") corroborates the second statement? Are you contesting it?

Technoethical

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libreleah
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se unió: 04/03/2017

Tiberiu,

I'm not spreading FUD or speculating. I'm bringing up real issues with your product, since I know a bit more about these laptops that others ;)

I think you have a good product, but with the high price and considering that it's not much different than the T400 which Minifree sells, why would someone want to buy one of your T400S for 778 EUR when they can buy a Minifree T400 for 198 EUR?

Minifree, like you, also sells high quality, even at such low prices :)

We make sure that our batteries are all at least 50Wh, often they are above 60 or 70Wh.
We stress test our T400s and make sure that the temperature is 75C or lower on load (often it's 65C or lower).
We check the quality of the keyboard (and change to foreign layout, depending on customer, if we have their native layout in stock - e.g. German QWERTZ).
We check all the ports to see if they all work (e.g. USB ports, gigabit ethernet).
We test the RAM in memtest86+
We even sell Libreboot stickers with our laptops ;)

Average time spent per laptop is about 4 hours, sometimes more. To ensure that they still ship quickly, my employee works overtime (at double pay) and I also work non-stop. We are dedicated to the Free Software community! :)

I'm not even personally making any money on these laptops, at the price they're at. The money goes strictly towards funding Libreboot (and paying our staff). Any money left for me simply pays my rent, food, utility bills, taxes, etc.

I'm only motivated by whether Libreboot will thrive, and nothing else. I do my part to ensure it's long-term success.

Mampir
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se unió: 12/16/2009

Have you generally experienced problems with T400S models overheating, as in they often stop working properly, they are too hot to touch, or similar issues?

Are you implying that Technoethical would refuse service if there's a problem with a T400S model, even though it comes with a warranty?

libreleah
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se unió: 04/03/2017

Not at all. I'm simply saying that the cooling is not as efficient; this does not mean that the T400S would overheat.

Regarding warranty; have a look online and try to find T400S and T400. You will find that the T400 is readily available, but the T400S is much less available. The lower availability of the T400S means that providing a warranty is much harder; this is likely why Technoethical sells the T400S for more than they sell the T400 for.

tonlee
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se unió: 09/08/2014

can you put a t9400 and t9550 into any thinkpad t400? You do not have to do more than to switch it?

vita_cell
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se unió: 07/19/2015

T9600 aren't expensive.

Technoethical

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Yes, T9600 (2.80 GHz) usually have double the price of T9550 (2.66 GHz), but they're not even remotely as expensive as the T9900 (3.06 GHz) are, with prices between 125-225 USD.

vita_cell
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se unió: 07/19/2015

You can buy T9600 at Ebay from China for 20€, I bought mine one. T9900 just not worth the price/performance.

Technoethical

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se unió: 08/15/2014

New pictures with the Technoethical T400s! Enjoy: https://technoethical.com/tet-t400s

Technoethical

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I'd like to take a moment and remind everyone Trisquel's community Code of Conduct:

https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/trisquel-community-guidelines#toc3

Some of us here are owners and supporters of different free software companies, but we are all working towards the same goal, software freedom. Let's avoid non-constructive talk and flames and try to be polite. Thank you.

/tct

Technoethical

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se unió: 08/15/2014

Leah,

It does seem that you are making speculations and spreading FUD about the Technoethical T400s laptop. And at least when it comes to quad-core CPU compatibility, it does seem you know less than others about the only laptop that you also sell (the T400).

You wrote: "the T400S can get quite a bit hotter than the T400, because the T400S has less physical space for airflow". The words "can" and "a bit" show that you are speculating without having run any actual test. You also haven't provided any data to support your statement. To make it believable you then continue with the theory about the physical space that makes the temperature go up. This is a simplistic way of looking at technology and not worthy of a professional, who has to take into account all related parameters, such as power consumption.

This is a comparison between two processors of the same frequency (2.53 GHz) that can be found in the two laptops. While the SP9600 in T400s consumes 25W, the T9400 in T400 consumes 35W. Thus the SP9600 in T400s is "29% more energy efficient" than its counterpart in T400.

http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/285/Intel_Core_2_Duo_Mobile_SP9600_vs_Intel_Core_2_Duo_Mobile_T9400_(BGA).html

More power hungry processors tend to get hotter and need increased cooling. It's not the case with the T400s.

We promised to run stress tests on both the T400s and the T400 to avoid any doubts about the temperature. We have used clean environments running Parabola with 2 processes of "burnP6" from the cpuburn package; while watching the temperature with "sensors", from the lm_sensors package; the tests ran for 1 hour. The T400s with SP9600 (2.53 GHz) operated at 92-98°C, while the T400 with T9550 (2.66 GHz) operated at 94-98°C. When in idle, the T400s w/ SP9600 operates at 40°C and the T400 w/ T9550 operates at 43°C. This proves your claim is not true.

We don't take lightly unsubstantiated claims and your continued jacking of this thread makes us believe that you feel threatened by our new product.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Thread%20Jacking

It also seems that you try to scare potential customers for our T400s laptop by writing that "the T400S is less available than the T400, so it's less possible to provide an extended warranty on it than with the T400". It's none of your business how we at Technoethical organize ourselves and what we do to ensure the 2-year warranty, how we source our laptops and spare parts, how many laptops we have in stock and how we test/fix our laptops before shipping them out. What you've done is just another speculation and FUD tactic. It does seem we are doing a great job since all our customers are happy and we had only one return in one year - an X200 - for a minor fix.

You then go on with "why would someone want to buy one of your T400S"? That is a question everyone can ask themselves and you don't get to decide for them. Some people appreciate more modern laptops and the hard work we put in preparing each such laptop. We already have customers for the T400s, so you can stop worrying that no-one would buy it.

We also sell Technoethical T400, which is not more expensive than the T400 Minifree was selling 6 months ago before going on sale in preparation for the launch of X220 with coreboot. A customer would pay €608 EUR (£538 GBP) for a T400 with 8GB, inferior N150 Single Band WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1 from Minifree, compared to €568 EUR for Technoethical T400 with 8GB, N450 Dual Band WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0.

https://web.archive.org/web/20170103021357/https://minifree.org/product/libreboot-t400/

https://technoethical.com/tet-t400

Technoethical doesn't have Minifree's financial power to buy hundreds of laptops at a time for a very small price, so we are the ones directly affected by their price dump. A fair economy means being paid the right price for your work, even if this means your products are more expensive. We don't make any profit and we barely keep up with paying our bills. We hope that we'll survive this anticompetitive practice and not get out of business. Time will tell, but it would be rather sad for an ethical tech business such as Technoethical to be closed by the actions of a business such as Minifree which has made several compromises over the time, including shipping their laptops with nonfree software:

"We will also install any other distribution that you prefer, on request, e.g. Ubuntu, Linux mint, Arch, Parabola, OpenSUSE, Mageia, Manjaro, etc request it in the textbox on the checkout page"
https://web.archive.org/web/20170117174519/https://minifree.org/product/libreboot-t400/

libreleah
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se unió: 04/03/2017

Hi Tiberiu,

I'm not spreading FUD; I'm simply pointing out potential issues, since I've used a T400S myself; overheating and lack of availability (making warranties harder to provide) is precisely why Minifree doesn't sell the T400S, and instead focuses exclusively on the T400. The T400 is a better product.

I'm not attempting to hijack your thread; I'm simply, once again, providing constructive criticism. Would you accuse someone who wasn't me of such practise, if they said the exact same things as I do?

Regarding your stress test results: 94C on full load is what I regard as overheating. Intel specifications, on most systems, usually set critical temperature to around 100-110; this is the temperature at which the system will forcibly shut down, to protect itself from damage.

Minifree tests all of its laptops, ensuring that they do not exceed 80C when stress tested. Many of our laptops do not exceed 70C.

Regarding your accusation of anti-competitive practises on the part of Minifree; some facts:

I don't feel threatened by your new T400S product, and I'm happy that you're making sales of it. I want your company to thrive. That's why I personally made sure that your company was openly endorsed on libreboot.org; someone recently merged my Pull Request, adding your T400S product to Libreboot's suppliers page:
https://libreboot.org/suppliers.html#technoethical

We in Libreboot openly endorse your products, and tell people to buy them. I wrote that suppliers page myself, and worked hard to convince the others in Libreboot to merge it and add it on the website.

Yes, you are quite right; Minifree *did*, for a brief period, advertise non-FSF-endorsed GNU+Linux distributions (e.g. Debian) on its website, on its products. I quickly saw the error of my ways, and Minifree once again exclusively ships Trisquel GNU+Linux on all of its products. It is *no longer possible* to purchase non-FSF-endorsed GNU+Linux configurations from Minifree.

In practise, Minifree only ever shipped Debian during that period. I have since contacted those customers, offering to replace their Debian installations with Trisquel, to correct my previous error of judgement.

Minifree is the first company to ever achieve FSF Respects Your Freedom certification - 3 times (first X60, then X200, then T400). We are still openly endorsed by the Free Software Foundation. Minifree is 100% committed to user freedom. All of our computers come exclusively with Libreboot and an FSF-endorsed GNU+Linux distribution such as Trisquel.

Regarding your specific accusation of price dumping (a practise which is even illegal in some countries):

You should note, that Vikings also sells the Libreboot X200 (under their own brandname of "Vikings X200") for 248 EUR. This is quite considerably cheaper than even Technoethical's X200, which stands at 478 EUR.

Will you also accuse Vikings of price dumping?

Minifree simply adjusted its pricing, to match the current market trends. We were not receiving any sales, before the price drop, since our laptops were overpriced. They are no longer overpriced; in fact, for most people, it's now cheaper to buy a Minifree T400 with Libreboot preinstalled, than it would be for them to flash a T400 themselves, because of the cost of flashing equipment.

The *actual* reason that Minifree dropped its prices so heavily, is so that we could start selling to poorer countries where the minimum wage is 300 EUR per month or less. We realized that it was no longer ethical to sell the laptops for the previous higher price. When I say "poor", I mean: Venezuela, Chile, Brazil, Mexico, those kinds of countries.

Is providing a product that is actually affordable and fairly priced what you consider anti-competitive?

The truth is, that all of your laptops are overpriced. If someone wants a Libreboot X200, they can either pay you 478 EUR or pay Vikings 248 EUR:
https://store.vikings.net/libre-friendly-hardware/x200-ryf-certfied
Vikings X200 is also certified under the FSF's Respects Your Freedom certification.

If they want a Libreboot T400, they can either purchase yours which is 568(or 778) EUR or Minifree T400 which is 198 EUR:
https://minifree.org/product/libreboot-t400/

If they're in the USA, they can also purchase a Libiquity X200 (which is FSF RYF endorsed) for a lower price than Technoethical X200:
https://shop.libiquity.com/product/taurinus-x200 - Libiquity's X200 is 398 EUR (when converting from USD to EUR), which is much cheaper than Technoethical's 478 EUR

Tiberiu, instead of accusing me of FUD and price dumping (when actually all of your competitors are cheaper than you - Libiquity, Minifree and Vikings are *all* cheaper than Technoethical), why don't you actually price your laptops fairly so that people in Romania (a country where the minimum wage is is 300 EUR per month on average) can more easily get Libreboot laptops?

Next time, please do not claim that legitimate criticism and competition is FUD. You are currently the least competitive company selling Libreboot hardware.

You seem to have a pattern of accusing other companies of FUD, or some kind of wrongdoing, when you feel threatened by them. For instance, in this very thread (and others in the past) you openly slandered Robert Call, the lead developer of libreCMC, using his position as CTO of ThinkPenguin against him in trying to claim that ThinkPenguin was only self-interested. In actual fact, ThinkPenguin is doing amazing work; they are the ones who got the ath9k_htc firmware freed (for those USB wifi dongles that you sell) and libreCMC is a wonderful project (it's also one of the distributions of GNU+Linux endorsed by the FSF).

~Leah

Technoethical

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 08/15/2014

1. The "potential issues" you claim to exist is FUD. We at Technoethical guarantee this. The reviews of our products and the comments prove our products are of the best quality.

2. We have already answered to your unsubstantiated claims. It's not criticism because you don't hold the object of critic (our laptop) in your hands. It's not constructive because you are trying to invalidate our product, not improve it.

3. Your claims that proved to be false:

* "The actual thickness of the T400S is not much different to the T400"
https://trisquel.info/en/forum/technoethical-t400s-now-available#comment-116053

* "on regular T400 you can install and use a quad-core CPU"
https://trisquel.info/en/forum/technoethical-t400s-now-available#comment-116053
https://trisquel.info/en/forum/technoethical-t400s-now-available#comment-116070

* "the T400S can get quite a bit hotter than the T400"
https://trisquel.info/en/forum/technoethical-t400s-now-available#comment-116154

4. We've tested the two laptops (T400s and T400) using processors of about the same frequency. We don't compare apples with pears. You should know better.

5. You don't give any detail about your tests. T400 using what processor, what system, what testing software, for how long.

6. Let's not talk about the quality of your products and service. Please don't make me break the silence by posting under anonymity the complaints from our customers that have previously ordered from you and were mistreated by you and deeply disappointed by your company.

7. You wrote: "That's why I personally made sure that your company was openly endorsed on libreboot.org". Are you seriously bringing this up after mocking me for opening the issue that only Minifree was ever listed (except for Libiquity for a brief moment) as supplier at libreboot.org?

https://trisquel.info/en/forum/libreboot-issues-open-letter-free-software-community#comment-112697

You then have decided to delete the suppliers page altogether, but you needed it again after FSF didn't link to your products anymore, after seeing that you have redirected X200 and T400 to X220, which violates the RYF certification.

Should I also remind you that initially you have separated your company from Technoethical and Vikings with a wall of text about eBay sellers that you have called "Sellers on eBay" (because it helped your alphabetical ordering; S < T < V) and that few days later you have introduced product categories in the list so that visitors have to scroll down if they want to learn about other suppliers? https://notabug.org/libreboot/libreboot/issues/170

8. You are again comparing apples with pears. When comparing Technoethical products with the ones from other suppliers, you intentionally don't take into consideration the final prices and the laptop configurations for their respective prices.

9. You wrote: "We were not receiving any sales, before the price drop, since our laptops were overpriced." I'd say that cutting the price to half from €500 to €250 in 6 months is a price dump. I'm not the only one that says this.

10. We are based in Romania, so please spare us the lecture about you suddenly wanting to help free software users from poorer countries. Again, if we could afford to buy one lot of 100 laptops with €20/piece we'd probably could compete with you. But Technoethical is 2 orders of magnitude smaller than Minifree, so we don't have the capital to do that. The *cost* of our T400 laptop is 250 EUR (not including the service), so how could anyone expect us to sell it at cost and continue with our business?

11. Regarding ThinkPenguin, I've never made unsubstantiated claims and the proofs are in the forum discussions that other community members have contributed to as well.

12. I promise you, I'll break the silence about your Minifree's practices if you attempt to spread more FUD about Technoethical products.

libreleah
Desconectado/a
se unió: 04/03/2017

You accuse me of anti-competitive business practices and FUD, just because I made a few criticisms. You then "threaten" me by publishing details customers of yours gave you about Minifree's practises. What practises? Minifree does a good job. There might be a few customers who are unsatisfied with our service, but that's normal with any business.

Having better suppliers is not anti-competitive. It just means that we can source them much cheaper. What's wrong with that?

If this is how you feel about me simply pointing out issues and offering constructive advice, then that's a shame.

I'm highly disappointed in your responses thus far. I will stop responding in this thread, but not because you told me to; I don't care about any "threats" that you make against me. I'm ceasing this discussion because it's pointless. ThinkPenguin tried to have similar discussions with you in the past, and they failed for the same reason, specifically that you are overpowering and will use whatever dirty tactic you can find to try to discredit your opponents.

The irony is that you accuse me of the very thing you are doing: FUD.

Regarding X220: indeed, it is not RYF certified. It's also not currently sold by Minifree, not even on pre-order. We went back to selling T400 instead. Work is still underway on the X220, and yes, we are still FSF RYF endorsed for T400:
https://www.fsf.org/resources/hw/endorsement/respects-your-freedom in fact links to Minifree's Libreboot T400 product.

I didn't re-add the suppliers page (with approval from others in the community) because I needed links to Minifree. Minifree was already doing quite well. No, I actually added it because I wanted to make it easier for people to start using Libreboot, so I issued a Pull Request adding all 4 known Libreboot sellers to that page on the libreboot site:
* libiquity
* minifree
* technoethical
* vikings

You are fairly represented on the Libreboot website. I think you ought to be more grateful.

I wish your venture well, regardless of these discussions. However, I'm highly disappointed with the way that you have responded to my criticisms. You act as though you are paranoid that I'm trying to destroy you (and you even accuse me of such a thing) when I'm not. All I'm doing is pointing out problems, and offering criticism. I am perfectly in my right to do this, and the burden falls on you to answer to them, especially in a way that is fair without resorting to accusing your critic of FUD :)

I'm happy that your company exists. Although I don't think it's very useful, the T400S is nonetheless an OK laptop. You also sell the X200 Tablet, which other suppliers don't. These are all very good things.

I'm not beholden to Minifree in any way; if it fails, there are 5 other business ideas that I can think of off the top of my head, and 2 of them would probably be successful. And I could always just get a job.

I'm not motivated by money, unlike you. That's why the price is much lower on Minifree nowadays. I want freedom to be affordable for more people, so that we can have more Libreboot users in our community.

Technoethical

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 08/15/2014

Victimize yourself what you want. You have made claims about our product that you haven't (heat problems) and couldn't (warranty problems) prove. Nice try spinning what you've done.

I am disappointed, the world is disappointed in you because of your actions and that's why you don't receive as many orders as you were used to. You say you're changed, but you keep doing wrong to people, like jacking this thread with your alleged T400s issues.

It's not that Technoethical doesn't know sources for lots of 100-150 laptops, but we can't afford to pay them because we don't have your capital. But I feel I'm repeating myself too much.

You have re-added the suppliers page in the middle of the night and told people on the #libreboot IRC channel that it's urgent, you need to commit the page that night. You now write "Minifree was already doing quite well". But earlier today you wrote "Minifree simply adjusted its pricing, to match the current market trends. We were not receiving any sales, before the price drop, since our laptops were overpriced." I kindly ask you to make up your mind.

You write "I'm not motivated by money, unlike you." Do you have any idea what kind of sacrifices I've made and I'm making to advance software freedom? Above all I'm a free software activist with more than 10 years of activity ranging from community building and event organizing to policy influencing.

And since I promised you and I have to prove that I'm not spreading FUD about your company practices, here it is the first complaint. I will publish more as you continue to spread FUD about Technoethical.

"I ordered [the laptop] with [language] keyboard with 8GiB RAM, 480 SSD and paid [$950+]. I had to beg her to send it to me; over a month later she shipped it to me; it had no [language] keyboard, no 8 GiB RAM and no 480GB SSD, no cable for [my country]. I kept bugging her about it and she finally sent me a 480GB SSD that I installed but no money back for the [language] keyboard or the missing RAM."

libreleah
Desconectado/a
se unió: 04/03/2017

You are now engaging in slander.

Minifree would never provide such poor service as indicated by that apparent complaint you pasted. And we always refund people when they request it, if we do a poor job (since we get so many orders, so mistakes are sometimes made). Where mistakes are made, we take steps to rectify them.

Your tactics will not work on me. Feel free to paste as many "testimonies" as you like. Considering that it's in your economical interest to do me harm, you'll say and do whatever it takes towards that end.

Why don't you get those people to make the complaints, publicly, themselves? Then we'll have proof that they're real, and not just made up by you.

I have the same IRC logs as you, by the way. You were present in that discussion, on that night, and you will note that I worked collaboratively with you, making the changes that you requested to the suppliers page on libreboot.org. The description of technoethical on libreboot.org was even written directly by you.

This is your section on that page:
https://libreboot.org/suppliers.html#technoethical

Libreboot openly endorses your products, on its website. How can you possibly claim to be in receipt of unfair treatment?

Technoethical

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 08/15/2014

Unlike you, I would never impersonate people. The complaint pasted here is real and will stand in court.

https://trisquel.info/files/libreboot-72-impersonation.png

I invite people that have been mistreated by Minifree to come forward and become whistleblowers.

libreleah
Desconectado/a
se unió: 04/03/2017

Yes, please do tell us how Minifree mistreated you.

Tiberiu, this is beyond ridiculous now, you know that right?