[Freedom-misc] Minifree is in dire trouble,

strypey at disintermedia.net.nz strypey at disintermedia.net.nz
Tue Mar 31 10:10:41 CEST 2020

 > The companies that make these will probably DRM those too.

Hopefully the future of libre hardware will lie in small companies like  
Pine64, Vikings, and Purism, who will not do this. Reverse engineering  
Windows and Mac desktops/ laptops to run GNU/Linux was a good strategy to  
give more people the opportunity to use it, and grow the demand for hardware  
that runs it natively. But it will never get the sort of usage Firefox has  
until non-geeks can buy modern hardware engineered to run GNU/Linux from  
their local electronics store.

The challenge is to figure out how to scale up to that, from the boutique  
online-only vendors we have now. I suspect this will involve a significant  
localization of computer manufacturing. Maybe not right down to chip  
fabrication, but 3D printing the parts that can be made that way and  
combining with imported chips to build end user devices for local sale. Maybe  
even a hardware equivalent of the print-on-demand book business, where a  
device can be assembled in an afternoon to fill an order from someone down  
the road.

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