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Old 03-02-2018, 02:45 AM   #16
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Actually I think we need free hardware bitterly (free not as free beer). When you look at the possibilities of creating mischief on user's systems via the hardware route one gets really worried -- considerung the types of humans and political systems on this planet, and I don't exempt my country from this, far from it.

No, open hardware is just one more aspect to learn and I think in the end it is not harder than the software side, we are just not used to it (yet).

<edit> P.S.: I love to learn . </edit>
Old 03-02-2018, 03:34 AM   #17
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Isn't the arduino a free board?
Old 03-02-2018, 06:50 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by hazel View Post
We were looking for a system which was secure against malware, stable against crashes, easy to understand and ran well on our existing hardware without requiring us constantly to upgrade. Free software for us was just the icing on the cake. I love the philosophy. I love the community spirit that it engenders. But I wouldn't be able to cope with a system that required me to manage my own firmware and I think a lot of other people wouldn't either. Do you really want a system that is only usable by hackers?
The idea I was going with wouldn't require anyone to do anything, just giving them the option: Components would still come with a default firmware (open or closed source), if you don't want to replace it then everything works the same way it already has for years and you feel no difference. I'm only thinking of hardware being manufactured in such a way that it allows the firmware to be replaced easily and safely by those who actively want to, while hopefully there would be people offering open firmware for at least most motherboards and video cards out there.
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:39 PM   #19
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I'm among those who take comfort in the idea of going full FOSS, which I have since I permanently made the switch to openSUSE Linux.
Unfortunately OpenSuSe does include proprietary software by default. Albeit not many, make sure you are not using them.

More on libre GNU/Linux distributions:

I see other people more or less already updated you on the state of libre hardware so I will merely add some links.

There is a fully libre high end workstation and server platform available (based on IBM's open source POWER architecture). It's very expensive but I think it's totally worth it.

There are ~10 years old fully libre business notebooks from the ThinkPad series. It is still easy to buy refurbished versions of them. They have new and modern screens (Full HD), keyboards, RAM and HDD. The processor is always the Core 2 Duo, since it was one of the last models, if not the last, not to include IME. Here are two of many sites that sell them:
Note that the second site has some non-fully libre products, even thou all of them come close.

The pi-top is a raspberry pi based notebook. Two things must be taken into account: They are not very powerful, think of them as a very cheap computer; The raspberry Pi requires proprietary initialization code. You might want to replace it by a Banana Pi or Orange Pi.

On general guide lines. The Free Software Foundation keeps a list of freedom respecting hardware:

Some people think FSF's constraints are rather severe (I don't). The OpenBSD project strives for safety but not for freedom. When is doubt is always useful to check their supported hardware list.


firmware, hardware, opensource

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