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Possible video topic: open source hardware reviews

#1

With all these news reports of vulnerabilities, backdoors and other shenanigans at the hardware level, it’s becoming harder than ever to be confident that the laptop or phone you just bought isn’t spying on you, even if you use Linux or some purpose built security minded OS. There are a few companies out there that attempt to address this and I think it might be interesting for the L1 community if we could get reviews on what is available.

I’m thinking about brands like System76, and Purism, or even more extreme like the Novena or maybe some upcoming RiscV based systems? DIY options?

I’d like to see some discussion on the pros and cons of each, will it actually give the piece of mind that some claim they provide since many still are Intel based?

I think this topic is right in line with the interests of many in the community…

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#2

Risc V in the hopper

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#3

System 76 doesn’t have open hardware do they?, and I don’t think purism do either?

But it would be good to see more of this for the little that there is out there. Which seems to be mainly small computer boards with a few exceptions.

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#4

Just as a side note I don’t think any x86 platform would fit the privacy concious’ / tinkerers standards due to the amount of all proprietary stuff.

That being said the only things that comes to mind apart from those mentioned earlier are e.g. the pinebook (someone used it?), pi-top (has a proprietary hub) and olimex laptops (no experiences).
Then there’s a plethora of other vendors but it would be cool to get hands-on reviews of niche products.

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#5

Its a point worth making. I’ve heard somewhere that at least Purism has attempted to disable Intel’s IME but I don’t really know any details. Both companies cater to open source OS (linux) users so I suppose its worth noting that I wasn’t necessarily specifying that the hardware must be absolutely open source as the options are greatly narrowed doing that, but at least covering what options are available that at least make some attempt at catering to our desires.

Obviously if there are closed source parts, any and all trust really goes out the window but we need to start somewhere if we want to see this market improve.

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#6

No and no. They have open software but no open hardware

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#7

purism is working towards the goal. They just have some roadblocks to break through, but they are much better than any other company I know of.

https://puri.sm/learn/freedom-roadmap/

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#8

I want Level1 to review a Apterus Open Source camera. Their RAW data over HDMI thing looks promising:

https://www.apertus.org/

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#9

woohoooo!!!
I’m so looking forward to this!
:+1::+1::+1::+1::+1:

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#10

This would definitely be an interesting venture.

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#11

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#12

Any FPGA content would be welcome too here.

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#13

Yes! with the open source tool chains!

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#14

I vaguely remember that there is something for Lattice FPGAs.

EDIT:
found it http://icoboard.org/

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#15

EEVBlog and tesla500 do their own respective FPGA content. tesla500 created the Chronos 1.4 high speed camera with a FPGA.

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#16

Yes, exactly.
I’m just not sure that Wendell wants to tackle FPGAs. There is quite a gap there to the hardware he normally works on. But I would love to be proven wrong.

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#17

The deeper we can go into the nerdom the better. Consumer hardware is only so interesting.

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#18

I’m waking this thread up for a moment since this kind of fits under it.

@wendell how hard would it be to review this? I’m terribly curious about all its privacy oriented features and its coreboot efi

https://puri.sm/products/librem-15/

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