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posted by cmn32480 on Wednesday September 30 2015, @09:23PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the user-friendly-hardware dept.

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has awarded its Respects Your Freedom (RYF) certification to the Taurinus X200 laptop sold by Libiquity.

This is the first product of Libiquity to achieve RYF certification. The Taurinus X200 has the same architecture and certified software as the Libreboot X200, which was certified in January 2015. The Taurinus X200 can be purchased from Libiquity at https://shop.libiquity.com/product/taurinus-x200.

The Taurinus X200 is a refurbished and updated laptop based on the Lenovo ThinkPad X200, with all of the original low-level firmware and operating system software replaced. It runs the FSF-endorsed Trisquel GNU/Linux operating system and the free software boot system, Libreboot. Perhaps most importantly, all of Intel's Management Engine (ME) firmware and software has been removed from this laptop.

The RYF certification mark means that the product meets the FSF's standards in regard to users' freedom, control over the product, and privacy. The Taurinus X200 comes with the fast and secure Libreboot firmware and the FSF-endorsed Trisquel GNU/Linux operating system. Importantly, Intel's Management Engine (ME) firmware with its applications like AMT (remote out-of-band management/backdoor system, part of "vPro") and PAVP (audio/video DRM) have been removed from this laptop.

The laptop ships within the USA and may be purchased from the Libiquity Store.


Original Submission

Related Stories

LibreBoot Gets Support for a Micro-ATX Motherboard 11 comments

Libreboot, the project which aims to replace a computer's BIOS (or UEFI) with free software, has gained support for its first Micro-ATX motherboard. The Socket 775 Gigabyte GA-G41M-ES2L was first produced in 2009, and supports up to 8GB of RAM and the Core 2 range of processors. Libreboot, soon to be part of the GNU project, is derived from the Coreboot project, with the caveat that all binary firmware is removed. Libreboot allows security features such as the disabling of the Intel Management Engine, an encrypted /boot/ partition, and GPG signature checking of the kernel. With Gigabyte GA-G41M-ES2L support, it is now possible to build a completely free Micro-ATX system.

Note that it has been previously possible to use Libreboot on laptops such as the Libiquity Taurinus X200 (a re-branded Lenovo X200), and the Minifree Libreboot T400 (re-branded Lenovo T400), as well as the ASUS KGPE-D16 server board.


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2, Offtopic) by jasassin on Wednesday September 30 2015, @09:49PM

    by jasassin (3566) <jasassin@gmail.com> on Wednesday September 30 2015, @09:49PM (#243706) Journal

    Intel's Management Engine. Didn't even know it existed.

    --
    jasassin@gmail.com Key fingerprint = 0644 173D 8EED AB73 C2A6 B363 8A70 579B B6A7 02CA
    • (Score: 2) by pixeldyne on Wednesday September 30 2015, @10:57PM

      by pixeldyne (2637) on Wednesday September 30 2015, @10:57PM (#243738)

      I believe that's some sort of an inner circle of Intel's middle management.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2015, @10:03PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2015, @10:03PM (#243713)

    I agree with the premise....but isn't this a pretty old laptop? I seem them refurbished for $150...

    • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Wednesday September 30 2015, @10:21PM

      by jmorris (4844) on Wednesday September 30 2015, @10:21PM (#243719)

      Tes it is old. I'm typing this on an X200s, the incremental update of the X200 and if Lenovo still made Thinkpads I'd have replaced it already. Still hoping their efforts to reintroduce one succeeds because this sucker is getting long in the tooth.

      Yes it would be nice to buy a laptop without blobs and secret bits, but if we have to buy ancient refurb gear to get it, that is pretty hard to justify.

      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday October 01 2015, @12:42PM

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 01 2015, @12:42PM (#243966) Journal

        Lenovo does still make Thinkpads, but they're nothing like the older ones made by IBM. I have one of those I still use in my household and it's a lovely machine--first and only computer I ever developed an emotional attachment to. So as old as this machine is, the FSF certification and the pricepoint are attractive to me.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 1, Redundant) by frojack on Wednesday September 30 2015, @10:27PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 30 2015, @10:27PM (#243722) Journal

      Yes, kind of old, but still pretty good for anything except gaming.

      Slightly better than my old workhorse Dell Inspiron 9400, 2007-ish.
      Upon which I run Linux+Kde4 with all the bling turned on and even Virtual machines running under VMware.

      The Lenovo is a Pretty capable machine, even if it suffers from the small screen.

      CPU Intel® Core™2 Duo, 2.26 GHz – 2.66 GHz
      Graphics Mobile Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
      Screen 12.1″ 1280x800 TFT LCD
      Wireless Qualcomm Atheros 2.4-GHz 802.11b/g/n or
      Qualcomm Atheros 2.4/5.0-GHz 802.11a/b/g/n with long-range Signal Sustain Technology (SST)
      Bluetooth Broadcom (some models)
      Ethernet Intel® Gigabit Ethernet
      Ports 1 x VGA
      3 x USB 2.0
      5-in-1 card reader
      1 x Headphone
      1 x Microphone
      1 x Gigabit Ethernet
      1 x ExpressCard/54
      Fingerprint reader (some models)
      Camera 1280x1024 1.3 MP (some models)
      Dimensions 11.6″ x 8.3–9.2″ x 1.4″
      Weight 3.24–3.58 lb

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by ledow on Wednesday September 30 2015, @10:56PM

        by ledow (5567) on Wednesday September 30 2015, @10:56PM (#243735) Homepage

        Sorry, but that's less than the minimum spec of the lowest clients that I buy for a school's use (i.e. going to be trashed within a couple of years), and costs more. Not to mention that a 12" screen is pretty pathetic, especially 4:3, and a VGA port? Come on, that's way past legacy now. You are never going to plug that in in that machine's life, except as proof of concept. I can't even buy a VGA port on an expensive TV, and VGA monitors are already getting harder to find. Even projectors have moved on. I can understand no HDCP, but not even a DVI or similar? And the webcam is barely up to scratch.

        I know price-point isn't their main concern but I'm basically buying a very old, reconditioned laptop, with some OS slapped over the top, some stupid stickers, and a couple of add-in cards. It's pathetic, really, as a realistic modern computing option.

        It's actually MORE difficult to use that computer than, say, a Raspberry Pi with some accessories. About the only thing going for it is the old-style IBM design but even that's legacy nowadays and things have moved on - I mean, seriously, not even a number pad.

        This is truly an "I support your principle" purchase and NOTHING else.

        I still have old IBM Thinkpads running around in my house. One of them I kept as it was like this - I tricked it out with every modern gadget I could find to make it a viable modern machine when my laptop blew and I couldn't afford a replacement. Hell, that actually had external floppy and 802.11g, which was a pretty insane combination. And it worked/still works. But, hell, the second I could use anything else I did. And that was nearly 10 years ago. It didn't even have a Windows key. By comparison this is even less useful hardware, for more cost, and as a deliberate purchase to be like that.

        Freedom is fabulous. I would pay good money for a properly free laptop from these people - one that they get Clevo or somebody cheap to build and certify every chip and use a Coreboot-bios to run it all. But this is just recycled second-hand junk with a Linux distro on it. And not even a Linux distro I've ever heard of.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by pixeldyne on Wednesday September 30 2015, @11:05PM

          by pixeldyne (2637) on Wednesday September 30 2015, @11:05PM (#243741)

          I agree about the specs (mostly), however in my experience VGA and 4:3 screens are actually sought after features. At the very least 16:10 but never 16:9.

        • (Score: 2) by meisterister on Wednesday September 30 2015, @11:32PM

          by meisterister (949) on Wednesday September 30 2015, @11:32PM (#243754) Journal

          Sorry to troll, but no. While I'm not normally much of an Intel fan, that Core2 would trash a raspberry pi, easily. Also, have you ever used a projector? As it turns out, VGA is actually still good for that, unless you want to park your laptop within about 6ft of the projector and have it there the entire time.

          To be fair, that laptop costs far too much for what it is, but it's still a very competent machine by most people's standards. The fact that it doesn't come with whatever the hell passes for a touchpad these days is actually a bonus, and I'd gladly pay for a 4:3 screen (as long as it had some decent resolution).

          If anyone really wants something like this, then it would be far easier to just get one off of eBay and flash it themselves. On some of the x200s, flashing the BIOS is as easy as firing up Debian and using flashrom. For others, it just requires a cheap adapter and some patience.

          --
          (May or may not have been) Posted from my K6-2, Athlon XP, or Pentium I/II/III.
          • (Score: 1) by pehjota on Thursday October 01 2015, @01:57AM

            by pehjota (5888) on Thursday October 01 2015, @01:57AM (#243797)

            The aspect ratio is actually 16:10, which is IMO a good balance between good old 4:3 and the new short widescreen displays.

            And no, unfortunately it's not as easy as just running flashrom. You need an external programmer like a BeagleBone Black, a SOIC clip, some jumper cables, and a power supply.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @03:02AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @03:02AM (#243835)

            There's privacy-respecting BIOS firmware you can easily flash onto laptops now? Neat! Link please...

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @09:15AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @09:15AM (#243921)

              There's privacy-respecting BIOS firmware

              Sure is.

              you can easily flash

              How nimble are you?

              onto laptops now?

              For a pretty small number of laptops for now.

              Neat! Link please...

              Agreed. http://libreboot.org/ [libreboot.org]

        • (Score: 1) by pehjota on Thursday October 01 2015, @01:53AM

          by pehjota (5888) on Thursday October 01 2015, @01:53AM (#243796)

          It's 16:10, not 4:3. You can get a dock which adds DisplayPort (which you can passively adapt to DVI-D or HDMI).

          The distribution is basically Ubuntu with a nicely themed "classic" GNOME instead of Unity by default and without Adobe Flash Player and whatever other proprietary software comes with Ubuntu these days.

        • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Thursday October 01 2015, @09:19AM

          by TheRaven (270) on Thursday October 01 2015, @09:19AM (#243922) Journal

          I'd agree with the low spec CPU - it is the same as the one that the laptop I had two upgrade cycles ago had. Both upgrades were noticeable speed improvements (though I do a lot of dev work on this machine, and fast builds make a huge difference in productivity. With 16GB of RAM and a decent SSD, I can keep a quad-core [8 thread] i7 saturated quite happily). The old Intel graphics are also fairly anaemic, though they should be fine for running a compositing desktop. The default config comes with a spinning rust disk (I was very happy not to have one of those in my last three laptops - a portable is really not a mechanical-disk friendly environment). The largest SSD they ship is 240GB which is pretty small by modern standards (my current laptop has 1TB, and is over a year old now). The max RAM is only 8GB, which might be just about enough now, but isn't particularly future proof.

          The one thing that I disagree on is the VGA port. Most projectors still have VGA (HDMI is just starting to appear, but most organisations upgrade their projectors on a very long cycle) and so not having to carry a dongle around to be able to give presentations is a nice feature. I'd still want something more modern (ideally DisplayPort) for driving a monitor, though I don't think the GPU could actually handle a 4K monitor, even with the correct port.

          --
          sudo mod me up
        • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday October 01 2015, @12:54PM

          by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 01 2015, @12:54PM (#243970) Journal

          and a VGA port? Come on, that's way past legacy now.

          This statement puzzles me. I bought an i7 1 year ago and it has a VGA port. It's handy for projectors. So calling a 1 yr old laptop "way past legacy" because it has a VGA port seems a strange thing to say, since the latter part of your post hints that you're old enough to remember older models.

          very old, reconditioned laptop, with some OS slapped over the top, some stupid stickers, and a couple of add-in cards. It's pathetic, really, as a realistic modern computing option.

          This part is perplexing, too. After all the Snowden files revealing how the NSA and other nefarious agencies are collaborating with big companies to invade your privacy and compromise your freedom and security, do you really honestly think that a FSF-certified laptop is "pathetic?" I'm not a FSF partisan and whether this laptop is safe against the aforementioned tampering remains TBD, but I salute the direction these guys are trying to take things in.

          Freedom is fabulous. I would pay good money for a properly free laptop from these people

          Then maybe it's worth supporting what these people are doing, to encourage them to do more of the same and enable them to eventually offer a "properly free laptop."

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Hairyfeet on Thursday October 01 2015, @12:04AM

        by Hairyfeet (75) <reversethis-{moc ... {8691tsaebssab}> on Thursday October 01 2015, @12:04AM (#243760) Journal

        The GPU is garbage, which means video acceleration is gonna be piss poor at best, and honestly a $40 AMD quad APU like the 3850 AM1 is gonna have better performance than this thing. This is...what? First gen C2D? Both the quad Intel Atoms and the quad AMD APUs both have better performance per watt and better performance overall than this thing. Also let us not forget that plastic and boards DO age and every heat cycle brings these things one step closer to failure. Are you REALLY gonna trust your important work to a unit made when Dubya was president?

        The simple facts are thus...CAN it work? Sure you can even surf on a 2003 1.8GHz Sempron in 2015 if you like but it will NOT be a great experience and sure as hell isn't worth $450 for a laptop that you can find on eBay for sub $140. If you want an "open" laptop simply buy this AMD quad APU lappy for $50 less [tigerdirect.com] and load Linux on it. Acer doesn't use any of the BIOS bullshit like Lenovo,AMD has hired guys to work on the open driver with the goal to ultimately replace their Linux driver with the FOSS one, and the performance per watt and performance overall will be head and shoulders better than a CPU+GPU combo that came out nearly a decade ago. Hell it takes less than 30 minutes to load Linux on one of these things with a flash stick and I can vouch for these as I've sold a few of them at the shop and they are great performers, solid and reliable. Oh and its the same APU in this list of Ubuntu certified systems [ubuntu.com] and if it'll work in Ubuntu it'll usually work just fine in all the Ubuntu derivatives which are by a pretty large margin the most popular Linux distros.

        --
        ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
        • (Score: 4, Informative) by frojack on Thursday October 01 2015, @01:47AM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 01 2015, @01:47AM (#243792) Journal

          You seem to have forgotten what it was they were trying to accomplish.

          They want a guaranteed backdoor free computer. With any new Intel or AMD chip or Video cards you can't guarantee that any more.

          http://wccftech.com/intel-possibly-amd-chips-permanent-backdoors-planted-nsa-updated-1/ [wccftech.com]

          http://theunhivedmind.com/wordpress3/amd-will-also-release-spyware-processors-like-intels-vpro/ [theunhivedmind.com]

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by Hairyfeet on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:08AM

            by Hairyfeet (75) <reversethis-{moc ... {8691tsaebssab}> on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:08AM (#243800) Journal

            Did you bother even reading your own link? Its a rumor that AMD will be POSSIBLY using the exacttrak DRM chip at some point in the future which guess what? Is NOT including in the above APU and in fact has yet to be released in a single AMD product and with the death of Seamicro and GloFlo failing to make the leap to 14nm? Will probably NEVER be released!

            So sorry, you are complaining about hardware which does not exist not to mention you are actually believing a site that has Putin with headphones and is actually putting up "Jade Helms is teh EBIL!" articles as a reliable source? Whats' next, want to give us some links from the Weekly World News while you are at it?

            --
            ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
    • (Score: 2) by pixeldyne on Wednesday September 30 2015, @10:54PM

      by pixeldyne (2637) on Wednesday September 30 2015, @10:54PM (#243734)

      Yes but they have additionally replaced the firmware and tested it to make sure everything works, so that's extra labor cost involved.

      • (Score: 1) by Francis on Wednesday September 30 2015, @11:27PM

        by Francis (5544) on Wednesday September 30 2015, @11:27PM (#243753)

        Is that really needed though? Granted without that it wouldn't be 100% FSF-certified, but the firmware really and truly doesn't need to be FSF-certified as long as it's probably compliant with relevant standards and allows things like secure boot to be turned off.

        I get that some folks get a hard on for this sort of thing, but it's too expensive for what they're selling and some of it isn't any more useful than Apple's glowing apple on the back of their laptops.

        • (Score: 2) by pixeldyne on Wednesday September 30 2015, @11:35PM

          by pixeldyne (2637) on Wednesday September 30 2015, @11:35PM (#243755)

          Yes, the product here is the firmware not so much the thinkpad laptop. Sales figures will determine actual demand for this sort of configuration.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @08:43AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @08:43AM (#243907)

          It's not useful to have a computer that fully respects your freedoms? Speak for yourself; I actually care about my freedoms.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by pehjota on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:55AM

        by pehjota (5888) on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:55AM (#243832)

        Exactly. There's significant labor in testing that everything works, reconditioning/refurbishing and cleaning the laptop, installing (with an external SPI programming setup) the firmware, etc.

        With that quality control work put into it, it comes with a warranty much longer than basically any other "used" computer, and in practice it'll most likely last far longer than that warranty period.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by kurenai.tsubasa on Wednesday September 30 2015, @11:10PM

      by kurenai.tsubasa (5227) on Wednesday September 30 2015, @11:10PM (#243746) Journal

      Confirmed [tigerdirect.com]. That does give the $445 price tag a bit of sticker shock. On the other hand, the GNU key on the keyboard instead of a Windows key is pretty neat, and I have no problem paying some extra to get something running entirely free software. I'm not sure if $295 falls under “some extra,” but based on the specs it would do everything I'd need it to do.

      Might give it some thought. I have been needing a new laptop ever since the old one died.

      • (Score: 2) by pixeldyne on Wednesday September 30 2015, @11:21PM

        by pixeldyne (2637) on Wednesday September 30 2015, @11:21PM (#243752)

        It seems its major and practical selling point is security. I havent checked if it has TPM, I assume it doesnt.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @12:05AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @12:05AM (#243761)

      I would be happy with a computer like this that came in a 14"x7"x1" box, as in an easily transportable CPU box. I don't really need the screen and keyboard to be built into the CPU box. With a device like this, I could easily carry a screen and keyboard with me if I have need of moving around.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by pehjota on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:16AM

      by pehjota (5888) on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:16AM (#243806)

      Sure, $150 for a laptop with the original proprietary (and generally slow) Lenovo BIOS, the proprietary Intel ME firmware with its security issues, little or no warranty, etc.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2015, @10:22PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2015, @10:22PM (#243720)

    But will it run Windows?

    • (Score: 2) by Bot on Wednesday September 30 2015, @10:39PM

      by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 30 2015, @10:39PM (#243725) Journal

      I guess windows will run with slightly impacted performance, due to all the timeouts of the spyware stack who waits for the now removed spyware tech.

      I think you should run your malware on the proper hardware, so I do not recommend this laptop.

      --
      Account abandoned.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by aristarchus on Wednesday September 30 2015, @10:42PM

      by aristarchus (2645) on Wednesday September 30 2015, @10:42PM (#243726) Journal

      But will it run Windows?

      Could, quite possibly did, but now chooses not to. The same could be true of you!

      --
      "Believe it or not, your opinion on this topic is really not necessary,"
  • (Score: 2) by pixeldyne on Wednesday September 30 2015, @10:52PM

    by pixeldyne (2637) on Wednesday September 30 2015, @10:52PM (#243731)

    I think it's the memory (amount) and disk (speed) that make a laptop usable. While the starting specs are only barely usable, it should be easy to upgrade to 16gb ram and a sata2 ssd (it's the latency that matters not so much throughput). Not sure but maybe the CPU is socketed (although these can be very expensive to upgrade, even from ebay). However, I can't tell if they're saying they won't support any chipsets made after 2008 at all, or just Intel's. I assume AMDs are also not supported. I think I'd buy it, but it wouldn't last longer than a year or two.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2015, @11:56PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30 2015, @11:56PM (#243759)

      The max ram for the X20* series is 8GB.

      Personally, I think it was the best laptop created in the past decade or so. Perfect size, great upgradability, and removable battery / HDD tray, and upgradable to either a 1440x900 display or a 1280x800 IPS display. It still retains the classic Thinkpad keyboard, at almost the same size as the 14" model.

      The X201 would have been a better choice, since it had two internal speakers instead of one, and supported AES-NI encryption at the hardware level. I was using it as my daily driver until earlier this year when I moved to a desktop. But this laptop in a dock would honestly do the same job.

      Anything later gives up the 16:10 ratio, and later models got rid of the classic keyboard.

      • (Score: 1) by pehjota on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:41AM

        by pehjota (5888) on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:41AM (#243824)

        The X201 is the same basic shell, but yeah, it has some nice extra features like dual speakers. (FWIW, Libiquity is also working on a 14" laptop with dual speakers, like Minifree also has.) But the X201 has unremoveable proprietary Intel Management Engine firmware running in the PCH chipset.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @03:09AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @03:09AM (#243838)

          Did not know that about the newer Intel processors. Thanks for the info. My only reservation is running an encrypted HDD with a Core2 Duo. Do-able, yes, but I remember a huge performance increase when I swapped in the X201 base.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by pehjota on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:26AM

      by pehjota (5888) on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:26AM (#243812)

      Unfortunately the CPU on this laptop is in a soldered BGA package, but a 14" laptop with a socketed and upgradeable PGA CPU is planned.

      Intel CPUs after ~2008 can't work without proprietary firmware, but more recent AMD ones can. Libreboot supports one recent (and soon another very recent) AMD server board, for example. And there are some ARM laptops that can run with only free/libre and open source boot firmware (except that the built-in and soldered Wi-Fi NIC requires proprietary firmware).

    • (Score: 1) by pehjota on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:28AM

      by pehjota (5888) on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:28AM (#243814)

      Oh, and these things tend to last much longer than a year or two. They're built better than pretty much any non-military laptop.

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:47AM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:47AM (#243828) Homepage Journal

      "I think it's the memory (amount) and disk (speed) that make a laptop usable."

      Definitely. A slow computer is still useful, if it isn't swapping to disk all day. A fast computer is near worthless if it is thrashing the hard disk. I suspect that even with an SSD, insufficient memory would make a dog of the machine. SSD is incomparably faster than a traditional HD, but it's still slow compared to memory.

      --
      "Trust the science" -- Tony Fauci and his army of psycophants
  • (Score: 0, Troll) by Hairyfeet on Wednesday September 30 2015, @11:40PM

    by Hairyfeet (75) <reversethis-{moc ... {8691tsaebssab}> on Wednesday September 30 2015, @11:40PM (#243756) Journal

    Sorry but it has worse specs than the junker lappys I sell for $100 at the shop. I mean a C2D? In 2015? 2GB of RAM? 160Gb HDD? You can get better specs on CL for under $120 any day of the week and they are wanting $450 which is more than a brand new AMD quad which will curbstomp this thing!

    THIS, this right here, is the problem FOSS hardware has had for a looooooonnnnnggggg time. In every.single.case. the ONLY THING they have to offer is THEIR definition of "freedom"and that is it. Better specs than the competition? Nope. Better prices? Oh fuck no, not even close. Better support, better retail presence, better service after the sale? Nope nope and nuh uh.

    I'm sorry but you just can't run a business this way and not expect to fail, you just can't, just ask the OpenMoko guys, the guys with the open GPU, the Jolla, I can literally wallpaper this page with failures because your definition of freedom is not enough to make a successful business.

    --
    ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @12:05AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @12:05AM (#243762)

      People pay upwards of $30k to drive old as fuck cars in their original restored condition.

      This is about 1% of that cost, for a fully restored laptop, that cost 3 times as much brand new six years ago. It has strong aftermarket support, a very informative community at forum.thinkpads.com, and is more durable than any of the trash that you sell. Some people, like those vintage car owners, will pay for this.

      The rest of you can spend easily as much money on gimmicks to protect your "security", like Kaspersky and Windows 10.

      • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Thursday October 01 2015, @11:13AM

        by Hairyfeet (75) <reversethis-{moc ... {8691tsaebssab}> on Thursday October 01 2015, @11:13AM (#243947) Journal

        Except restored classic cars are worth several times their original value while this thing is worth exactly 75 bucks [ebay.com] and all the downmods? Not gonna change that. BTW all me to LMAO, they must be making a fucking killing on these per unit, I bet if I were to buy 'em in bulk from a refurb they probably go for less than $50 a piece...say what you want about "Apple Tax" and "Windows Tax" but you don't see either of them making $400 a unit in profit on a bottom of the line system!

        --
        ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @01:49PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @01:49PM (#243993)

          A restored classic car is worth whatever the cost of parts + labor is.

          A better example: take one of those $75 ebay X200's, replace the palmrest/keyboard plastics with new ones, replace the heatsink with a new one (since the original fans were prone to dying) and then use Middleton's BIOS or something similar to get rid of the BIOS whitelist so you can put in a newer Atheros wifi card. You're now at $250, plus time for labor. That was closer to $500 in the summer of 2013 when I did exactly that.

          Continuing the car example: Only the unscathed (undriven) low-mileage matching numbers cars are worth several times their original value. And even then, a horrible investment compared to putting that same money in an index fund and letting it sit all those years.

          Libre laptops don't have economies of scale to drive the costs down. They provide total ownership of the software stack, which is a value to some people. The rest of us can block TCP port 16992 at the external firewall (hopefully not powered by an Intel chip) to keep the Intel Management Engine from talking to whomever it talks to.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @03:32PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @03:32PM (#244037)

          Never heard of paying for convenience? Lots of people do not know how to setup a laptop that fully respects your freedom, or do not have the time. This is nice for them.

          You probably get downmodded because you make inflammatory comments about basically anything related to Free Software, even going so far as to mock those that try to help others obtain freedom. Also, most of your comments mention secondary issues like price or quality, which is not the point of Free Software.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by skater on Thursday October 01 2015, @11:26AM

        by skater (4342) on Thursday October 01 2015, @11:26AM (#243949) Journal

        People pay upwards of $30k to drive old as fuck cars in their original restored condition.

        Generally, not as a daily driver. They use them for occasional cruising, car shows, etc. The owners almost always have another car that's good for driving on a daily basis. The equivalent for us would be keeping a PCjr around for the nostalgia or so you can play River Raid off the cartridge now and then - you wouldn't fire it up to browse Solyent and other news sites.

    • (Score: 2) by dyingtolive on Thursday October 01 2015, @12:47AM

      by dyingtolive (952) on Thursday October 01 2015, @12:47AM (#243772)

      To be fair, if there ever was an ancient laptop worth doing this to, it'd be one of the Thinkpad line. I came into a spare Thinkpad R50 (Pentium M of all the things) some, probably, eight years ago, that I gave to my sister to use at college. She installed Ubuntu on it and has been using it ever since. Only hardware problem she ran into was when she had to edit a bios image to disable the damned wlan whitelist (the one bad thing about ANY of the IBM/Lenovo line), and she had to replace the coin cell because she was getting sick of the RTC resets.

      I actually now have a spare G500 I should really send her as an upgrade, now that I think about it.

      --
      Don't blame me, I voted for moose wang!
      • (Score: 1) by pehjota on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:35AM

        by pehjota (5888) on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:35AM (#243819)

        Yeah, that's a problem with IBM/Lenovo, HP, Dell, and others. You may be pleased to know that this Taurinus laptop comes with no such whitelist. In fact an Atheros Wi-Fi card comes installed, which was not "authorized" by Lenovo's BIOS.

        • (Score: 2) by dyingtolive on Thursday October 01 2015, @05:29AM

          by dyingtolive (952) on Thursday October 01 2015, @05:29AM (#243867)

          Such a pity it's so old though. I've already 'fixed' the G500. Had to for linux/hackintosh compatibility issues.

          The bios fix was one of the few times she's called me for tech support though. Didn't really need to do much other than provide moral support. For an art grad, she probably got the real brains in the family, all things considered.

          --
          Don't blame me, I voted for moose wang!
    • (Score: 2) by Zz9zZ on Thursday October 01 2015, @01:00AM

      by Zz9zZ (1348) on Thursday October 01 2015, @01:00AM (#243776)

      I empathize with your statement, the cost is quite high for the specs. However, it is not easy to break into a market that is notoriously closed and anti user freedom while offering any kind of competitive pricing. No way a small group focused on open systems can compete at the modern level, they have to work with vendors that will help them or old enough hardware that they can reverse engineer / modify. Also, upgrading the ram and hard drive is actually not that expensive, though more than the components themselves. I'm sure they are banking on selling a few more of the nicer rigs in order to keep the lower specc machine more affordable.

      The last time I heard about an open laptop it was WAY more expensive, this falls under the possibility of "new toy" purchase :)

      --
      ~Tilting at windmills~
      • (Score: 1, Troll) by Hairyfeet on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:00AM

        by Hairyfeet (75) <reversethis-{moc ... {8691tsaebssab}> on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:00AM (#243798) Journal

        They can stick their fingers in their ears and mode me troll all they want, can they name JUST ONE consumer device that had only their definition of freedom to separate them for the competition that DID NOT FAIL HORRIBLY? Because I can sure name plenty of corpses, OpenGPU, OpenMoko, OpenPandora, Jolla, I can keep this up all day because if all you have is your definition of "freedom" which can be ANYTHING, be it the GPL V2 version, V3 version, BSD version, AGPL, Public domain, etc etc etc, then your project will fail because you have NOTHING that more than a handful will care about.

        Lets see how many here are putting their money where their mouths are, if I'm wrong? Then lets see screencaps of your orders because I bet NOT ONE of those singing the praises of the GPL here are gonna buy one of these, not one. Just as they sang the praises of all of the above but when rubber met the road and they saw what they got for their money they would have a heaping cup of STFU and not spent a single cent. So don't hate me because the cheapskates are all talk and no action, if this thing sells even 1000 pieces it will be a miracle, I personally bet they won't even hit $250, because you can bitch and whine and mod down all you want but you ain't gonna shell out $450 for a 2007 era laptop are you? I rest my case, self righteous hypocrites that are all talk but no walk.

        --
        ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
        • (Score: 1) by Francis on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:14AM

          by Francis (5544) on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:14AM (#243804)

          OpenPandora would have done OK if they hadn't chosen a shithole of a CC. I have one and it's quite nice and if the CC hadn't destroyed several hundred thousand dollars worth of boards by leaving them sit around without being properly taken care of, it would have come in at a relatively reasonable price.

          There was a market for it and hopefully the Pyra will do better. But, in general, I agree with you, freedom of this sort isn't particularly marketable.

        • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:26AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:26AM (#243813)

          I bought one several months ago. I find it liberating to run a system which is free from the BIOS up. Those Libreboot fellows are doing wonderful work that I value because I believe privacy, security, and freedom are important. Francis himself blessed my x200.

          https://w6.io/r/myx200.jpg [w6.io]

          • (Score: 1, Troll) by Hairyfeet on Thursday October 01 2015, @06:37AM

            by Hairyfeet (75) <reversethis-{moc ... {8691tsaebssab}> on Thursday October 01 2015, @06:37AM (#243878) Journal

            Thank, thank you ever so much for PROVING my point! ONE GUY, one, out of a site that is...what? Now over 4000+ users? Exactly ONE was sold. Notice that I did NOT say that none would be sold, but made it quite clear that never would they sell enough to be viable which again just proves my point. After all if you look hard enough you can find an OpenMoko, Openpandora, Jolla tablet, etc but they never sold enough to keep the doors open so unless this is literally being run as a non profit charity case? Yeah its doomed.

            BTW note it was an AC account, I have zero doubt when I put that out there a couple of FOSSies put out the call on the Tux forums for the one guy that had one and if he/she wouldn't have posted AC? We'd see that person had exactly ONE POST and it was that one...how about it admins? Care to tell us how many posts have come from that one IP address? I don't want to know the address, just if they ever posted here before this time...I'm guessing that is a big NO.

            This is of course ignoring the rotting elephant in the room which is that laptops have a life span and the plastics and boards used in those? Yeah this ain't no Toughbook, and you have no idea how close this thing is to being dead when you get it. I'd point out how limited a run that particular Lenovo was but...lets be fucking honest, they'll never reach even mid 4 digit sales and will probably end up with a pile of the things unsold, so like OpenMoko it won't matter how limited the supply is. But of course feel free to scream at me for daring to point out your emperor is bare assed, meanwhile I will have a good ROFLCopter when this thing goes the way of Jolla, OpenMoko, OpenPandora...BTW did anybody come up with ONE open hardware of the last decade that wasn't a complete flop? Yeah thought so, I rest my case.

              BTW the truly fucking sad part? Is I WANT something like this to make it big, after all we are rapidly approaching a time when X86 will be as locked as cellphones, but because the assholes that run places like the FSF are so fucking militant they make SJWs look like peaceniks they will cock it up just like they did with this. How much you wanna bet they could have used a laptop from 2014/2015 by just contacting somebody like Acer or Asus and asking them which units have AMD (so no Intel spychip) and support coreboot? But nope, got to be so anal retentive that they can't just say "If you want 100% free use this USB wireless instead of the built in one which we have off by default"...nope, got to be so fucking hardcore about it they could only find a unit that has been out of sale longer than Obama has been in office, I'm shocked they didn't follow St. iGNUcious and use an uber rare Loongsoon cheapo Chinabook! Nadella and Cook really ought to send them a fruitbasket, as stupid ass moves like charging $450 for a unit as old as dirt REALLY makes their jobs easier. After all what is Joe Public that hears about the Win 10 spying gonna do, buy this ancient POS or download the "disable spy" tool and get a much nicer and newer system for less? Hell at least if they went with the POS Chinabook they could have offered it for sub $150, at $445? Well there is retarded and there is playing Russian roulette with 5 bullets dumb, this? The latter.

            --
            ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @07:15AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @07:15AM (#243888)

              Wow. You clearly have some inner issues that you are having a hard time dealing with and have projected them on this project. So much anger and screaming, so little relevancy.

            • (Score: 2) by kurenai.tsubasa on Thursday October 01 2015, @01:29PM

              by kurenai.tsubasa (5227) on Thursday October 01 2015, @01:29PM (#243981) Journal

              Worse than SJWs?!

              Wow.

              If I didn't need a snowblower, I think I'd buy one of these laptops today just to piss you off. (Too bad they're on back order!) Seriously, why is free software such a trigger for you? I know you disapprove of Windows 10, but that's the future, my friend. Before you know it, you'll turn on your computer one day and find a helpful message from the SJWs: “Your computer access has been suspended in pursuance of the Anti-Microaggression Act of 2112. Have a nice day.”

              You'll get out your trusty Windows XP install disk, but UEFI 19 won't run it because it hasn't been signed by the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx.

        • (Score: 2) by skater on Thursday October 01 2015, @11:34AM

          by skater (4342) on Thursday October 01 2015, @11:34AM (#243952) Journal

          You got moderated troll, but I think you're exactly right. (Currently you're at (Score:3, Troll), after I modded you Insightful - which is kind of funny.)

          I'll soon be in the market for a new laptop, and I've decided I'm going with a Linux laptop next time. So I looked, but I'm underwhelmed by the specs and overwhelmed by the price. The Macbook Pro I'm looking to replace has better specifications than this laptop. It's not a bad idea, but...

        • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:51PM

          by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:51PM (#244025) Homepage Journal

          Last time I looked Jolla [jolla.com] was still alive.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @06:15PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @06:15PM (#244128)

            Jolla is dead. They are DOA with their tablet product, Marc Dillon quit the company, and their marketing team walked out.

            The new management is all about appeasing the Russian government (who chose Sailfish as their official mobile OS), and doesn't care about the original goals of Jolla as an open end-user device.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by drgibbon on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:19AM

      by drgibbon (74) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:19AM (#243810) Journal

      They are using these old machines because they're the ones they have been able to strip the Intel ME out of. Post-2008 CPUs look very difficult to achieve that on. Minifree [soylentnews.org] sell an X200 with a dock (which can link up with a good sized monitor) and also a T400 with stronger specs. I have an X200 from Minifree with 8GB RAM and an SSD and it's totally fine. Of course you can get better specs, but you also have to accept that cannot know what your machine is doing at a level beneath the operating system.

      I don't think these guys are looking for big money, they are probably just passionate about libre computing because they are aware of its importance. Guys like Purism are taking a heavier business angle, and they sell "better" machines but they haven't solved the ME problem (which is a big deal). It's a bit sad that these X200s/T400s are the only option at present for libre computing (with the exception of the SSD firmware), but that's the way it is right now.

      --
      Certified Soylent Fresh!
    • (Score: 2) by melikamp on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:46AM

      by melikamp (1886) on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:46AM (#243825) Journal

      THIS, this right here, is the problem FOSS hardware has had for a looooooonnnnnggggg time.

      You've bought propaganda. This is not a problem with free computing: it's cheaper and more accessible than EVER before. The problem you are alluding to is the problem with NONFREE software, and can be summarized thusly: all major hardware & software vendors colluded to make it nearly impossible to buy a working mobile computer without a backdoor. And so at the moment, the cheapest way to make a free and secure laptop is by re-soldering a commercial offering. So in your mind, you are OK with selling a backdoor access to your personal computer to UNKNOWN parties for $300... That's great, I hope you get every bit of this value :)

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by pehjota on Thursday October 01 2015, @04:05AM

      by pehjota (5888) on Thursday October 01 2015, @04:05AM (#243849)

      A similar company in the UK called Minifree [minifree.org] has been running profitably for a couple of years now. From what I've seen, they offer great support and service after the sale. Technical support, warranty (and after warranty) service, etc. Both of these companies do support by e-mail or even IRC (for people who want something a little more real-time).

      Most businesses fail, for one reason or another. Not always just because you think there isn't a market for their products. (And in this case, there seems to be a market for computers that can be trusted by their owners to not expose their data to attackers through a firmware backdoor, send all their desktop search queries to Bing/Superfish/Amazon, etc.)

    • (Score: 2) by Nollij on Thursday October 01 2015, @11:35PM

      by Nollij (4559) on Thursday October 01 2015, @11:35PM (#244238)

      The strange part to me is the fact that RAM/HDD for that model are EXTREMELY upgradeable - Official specs say it can do 4GB, and there are reports of people getting 8GB to work.
      Also, there's a good chance these drives weren't free (many organizations destroy all HDDs before sending the PC off to a refurbisher), so it's even stranger they didn't drop in a 128GB SSD.
      Current RETAIL price on RAM for this is under $15/2GB stick, and less than $50 for an SSD. Certainly recoverable by the $300 profit margin.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:51AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:51AM (#243830)

    I can appreciate the work that went into this project. It's a refreshing contrast against a backdrop of endless companies that pretend to be pro-consumer while working to erode as many of our rights and freedoms as they can. I would argue that while the retail price is higher than it should be for kit of these specs, it's not actually the speed and performance that one is paying for. The killer feature is the philosophy of the people who worked to produce a consumer-ready product that offers you something that NONE of the other brands will. Respect for your rights... and we should be cheering these guys on instead of bashing them.

    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday October 01 2015, @01:07PM

      by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 01 2015, @01:07PM (#243973) Journal

      Respect for your rights... and we should be cheering these guys on instead of bashing them.

      Amen, amen! If we want the world, especially the tech world, to respond in a positive fashion to the deep crimes world governments and companies have committed against us, the people, then we absolutely need to positively support every effort to do so. If you instantly bash the guys trying to open a path to a better world, instead of sitting around endlessly and aimlessly bitching about how much this one sucks, then they will say, "Fuck it, why should I knock myself out trying to help these assholes? Let 'em rot in the prison they seem to prefer."

      Is that the outcome you want, guys? Because that's the outcome you guarantee by behaving this way.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:32PM

    by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 01 2015, @02:32PM (#244017) Homepage Journal

    Could anyone compare this with the specs of the purism librem [puri.sm] laptop? I understand gigahertz, but I haven't been able to keep up with the plethora of processor and video card names that seem to be the norm these days. Or how well all these cores work together in practice and how that affects overall performance.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @03:37PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @03:37PM (#244038)

      I stopped reading at the Core I5 processor.

    • (Score: 1) by pehjota on Thursday October 01 2015, @08:10PM

      by pehjota (5888) on Thursday October 01 2015, @08:10PM (#244168)

      The main difference is that the Taurinus is already FSF-certified whereas the Librem laptops so far aren't. And they most likely never will be, due to a large number of issues [libreboot.org] in the hardware they use, including the Intel Management Engine. While certainly interesting in ambitions, unfortunately the Librem laptops don't appear [coreboot.org] as freedom- and privacy-respecting as claimed.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @08:22PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @08:22PM (#244174)

      Unfortunately, it's not looking possible for Todd Weaver & Purism to provide a laptop a that is as free as what the Libreboot project has achieved. At least not the first generation; what will be shipped in 3 weeks. This is disappointing for me to say since I'm a backer and have the best hopes for him and his company to provide a RYF certified system with modern specs.

      The problem is with Intel's ME, which is a huge hunk of code that can control the PC and be remotely accessed even if the computer is turned off. This code can not be removed or replaced, because without this signed blob of code from Intel, the system will not boot.

      • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Thursday October 01 2015, @09:09PM

        by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 01 2015, @09:09PM (#244203) Homepage Journal

        Are there analogous problems with AMD?

        -- hendrik

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @09:49PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @09:49PM (#244215)

          Yes, AMD has something similar called DASH. Like Intel, AMD has additional processors (SMU and IMC) that operate separate from rest of the system too.

          There's more information available about Intel's ME and vulnerabilities have been discovered which is probably why Intel gets most of the blame in these discussions. I should start including AMD's because your question is common.

          • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Thursday October 01 2015, @11:08PM

            by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 01 2015, @11:08PM (#244227) Homepage Journal

            Any hope for any ARM processors? Are there any other processor manufacturers still in the running for freedom?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 03 2015, @03:56PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 03 2015, @03:56PM (#244872)

              Yes, ARM is so far clear of these remote management features so they look like a good replacement for free systems. From what I understand, many (but not all) do require proprietary code to boot. Requiring proprietary code to boot would disqualify any device from RYF status and should be taken into consideration even if you're not Stallman on the freedom scale.

              I believe software availability may be a restriction on ARM too. I'm not familiar with what it takes to get software compiled for use on an ARM device over x86. They're not as powerful either, so it's not a adequate replacement for anything that runs high-end applications or servers.

              There is no real good, silver-bullet alternative at this time but a lot of interesting discussion in the Libreboot camp. If you're interested in this you should look at signing up for the mailing list (if there is one) or hang out in the Libreboot IRC channel where I've gotten a lot of information. Those guys are way more informed than I am and could better answer questions too.