Unfortunately, Purism operates at such a small scale, so it has to charge a high markup per unit to cover its development and administration costs. Doing a Coreboot port takes time and using 100% free software often means selecting older hardware, so Purism is often behind the latest tech curve.
Apple probably sells something like 5 million Mac Mini’s per year, whereas Purism will do well to sell a couple thousand. That scale makes Apple’s development costs per unit very low compared to Purism’s development costs.
Many computer sellers (like Dell and HP) don’t do software development, and they outsource most hardware development to ODM’s like Quanta, Compal, Wistron, Pegatron, Clevo etc., so they can charge low prices with razor-thin margins. Large companies with big orders can negotiate the best prices with the electronic assemblers and the ODMs.
I haven’t read your blog post just yet but one other reason I think that should be mentioned, is that Purism represents things in the tech industry that very few others do. They are making hardware that is user repairable.
They do not make their products to have a shelf life or planned obsolescence.
This is something that needs to be championed today. That is why I purchase Purism products. I don’t agree with the whole FOSS mentality, but I support most of what Purism is trying to do. That Freedom aspect of their ideology means I don’t have to agree with FOSS to benefit as a customer with their products.
There are somethings I don’t agree with in the FOSS mentality either. But, I am glad Purism was launched and growing with these ethical standards built in, especially - and including - user serviceable parts. That has been a key issue with me regarding the new Apple Laptops and computers, parts are not user serviceable/removable.
I am now considering to buy the Librem Mini when it is on regular sale next year.The specs look like it has more power at slightly lower cost. I would pre-order one now, but It will take me a few months to save up for it; after previous priorities are taken care of.
I already have the (hopefully) perfect monitor that can be used with it, since it has an HDMI connection and should be plug and play. I need to finish college first this year, before switching my focus to getting the Librem Mini.
From poking around “AlternativeTo.net” for software recommendations and also the Purism Creative Directors’ choice of software, I have the full list saved in a bookmark folder on my Firefox browser when I am ready to make the switch and get everything ready for production use in my future business.
but they do work without massaging anything if you use GNU/Linux distributions that run a newer (19+) MESA graphics driver stack version that comes pre-bundled with the non-libre-linux-kernel by default …
however no matter what it is if you install .iso image files from shady sources there’s a high chance you’ll get burned.
at least verify the .iso image file BEFORE you atempt to burn it onto your medium of choice … i say this seeing as there are torrent files around that don’t offer the files needed to verify the source … and don’t even link to the source (at least put a text file in there with a link to make it easier for people to move towards the destination)
(anyway, not at the required level of performance at the current time, not even close)
If your alternative is POWER,
Maybe you had a more creative alternative in mind that has not already been discussed. (and which you would like to share with us)
My summary answers:
every choice is a compromise in practice
Intel is the least bad option at the moment
the CPU itself is only one aspect - you also need a chipset ecosystem that is as open as possible
better the devil you know …
Verify the .iso before you even burn it onto a CD / write it onto a USB flash drive. No matter where you download from (could be shady as), verify the hash of the downloaded file against the hash value provided by the official web site.
There is no point verifying the hash of a torrent-downloaded file against a hash value that is itself torrent-downloaded. (Yes, technically, the official web site may provide signed hash values which it would then be safe to torrent-download.) Anyway, there is no reason not to get the hash value from the official web site, whether signed or not.
I ordered my Librem Mini on April 7, haven’t heard anything since. No updates, no notice about my order being assembled, no shipping reference, nothing. So I’m still patiently waiting. But yeah, kind of expected as well.
I was hoping an extra few days would be enough to complete the coreboot port so we could just announce “they’re shipping!” but we need a little extra time so I decided to go ahead and post a short status update.