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Being a hacker

So after last Akademy-es (which was great BTW \o/) I realised that I have to find a new laptop since the current is basically broken in many ways.

I’m writing this blog post for 2 reasons, as a reivindication and as a call for help.

The Reivindication: I’m sure I’m not the first one who finds himself in that ugly position where you’re a Free Software hacker and have to pay you want or not for a Win7 license. That sincerely sucks in many levels, it’s hard to get to be a proud and solid community when you feel like all the industry is denying you exist. In fact I think that hackers should be a good market (they fix their computer themselves, everyone asks them to know what’s the best computer,…) but the truth feels far from that, apparently the segmenation is netbooks, businessmen and hardcore gamers. Well then, the reivindication is this: why isn’t there any company that would let our community be part of their market?
Why isn’t there any of such free hardware initiatives in Europe? (which sells laptops, of course)

The Call for Help: I’ve looked through all the important brands, even if I consider to pay for the windows license (even if I hate to do so) I still can’t find anything I’d be comfortable with. I want something at least GNU/Linux-friendly and not too heavy to carry around everyday but still scales up to my usual KDE hacking. Most laptops claim to be “good for business” which is some concept I just fail to understand, does anybody know what’s appropriate for my use case? (of course budget is limited as a student’s :P)


EDIT: Needs, well I need to be able to compile KDE there for sure. I was wondering if some of these ULV processors would be fine. I don’t do any gaming so for graphics intel is just fine, I just need something where KWin works properly.

Software Freedom

This is something that has been worrying me for a while and it’s coming stronger every day, and today a blog post pushed me to start a blog post about that.

We, free (libre, as in freedom) software users are used to prefer open source software over closed source, and I think it’s great, I’m not going to discuss about that now though, there’s plenty of literature about that. My concern today is about distributed services (some people call it the cloud if you wish). A lot of them have appeared lately, and that’s great, but as great as it is I’d like to discuss how much do we want to embrace that, just having a free client is not enough freedom, implementing an open protocol if there are no free servers is not enough freedom. We can compromise, but we don’t compromise by default.

We all want to be able to access our data everywhere, with multiple clients, multiple platforms, etc. It’s so great we’re writing software to support distributed services, distributed systems are great. The problem is we’re providing them our data just by exchanging some “I Agree” contract when signing in which we think could protect us to some extent. We wouldn’t trust on that locally, why do we when distributed?

I think the inflection here comes to the “Am I capable to install that service on my own server?”. If we have an alternative, it’s just our choice to be using the distributed service or not. I think we don’t want to introduce people to closed source software just because it’s easy. Do we?

PS: Yes, I have a Skype account and use it.

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