Personal Introduction and Interests/AMA

Hello Purism community,

I am Frank. I have been lurking the Purism community forums since late 2018 when I first learned about the Librem 5. I have read thousands of forum threads/posts starting from then, and additionally consumed nearly every blog article from before 2018 until April 2023, right when @Kyle_Rankin left Purism. During this “unprecedented” period, I acquired myself a Librem 14 with PureBoot Bundle Anti-Interdiction, as well as a Librem 5 USA with Anti-Interdiction Service, using Qubes-Whonix and PureOS, respectively. After about 5 years of lurking, I decided to grant myself permission to create Discourse accounts, and did so for the Purism community forums on June 26th, 2023.

Purism is the root of my digital resistance identity, and is the catalyst for my interest in Qubes OS, Whonix, and the Tor Project. I am semi-active in the “All Around Qubes” category (trust level 2 and up) on the Qubes OS Forum, and occasionally provide support to Tor Browser users and Tor relay operators on the Tor Project Forum; I am not active on the Whonix Forums. I previously operated a Tor guard relay as well as an I2P router for many months on an OVHcloud VPS, but have since decommissioned them both in favour of deploying a Tor exit relay on its own 1984 VPS instead. The OVHcloud VPS is now being offered gratis to the Purism community, as explained in this thread (trust level 0 and up).

My other major interest is music, having been a self-taught pianist/keyboardist for over 15 years. However, I have recently forsaken the piano/keyboard in favour of the LinnStrument, a highly expressive MPE hardware controller with an astronomical learning curve to match. The firmware is licensed under Apache 2.0, and the “official” synthesizer is Surge XT, released under the GPL 3.0, so they compliment well with my security practices. My short-term goals are to develop my proficiency to perform in local venues first, then for friends, then finally Roger Linn himself over Jitsi Meet. I occasionally post in the KVR Audio Forum @ Roger Linn Design to provide support to other (potential) LinnStrumentalists and to maintain lists of MPE hardware.

My last and newest interest is locksport, with my focus split between lockpicking and safe manipulation. My lockpicking experience is based on single-pin picking, using only hooks in various profiles and gauges along with bottom of the keyway tension tools. My reference for lockpicking progression is the LPU Belt Explorer, and the current lock challenging me is the infamous American Lock A1105(RED). For safe manipulation, safe combination locks are expensive and difficult to acquire from locksmiths, so I use eBay as my “circumvention method”; it is the subject of this guide. Occasionally I post in the Lock Picking 101 Forum to provide basic tips to new lockpickers.


You seem like an interesting person. Nice to meet you!


The reverse side of the coin is my security practices (relief), which protect my values and interests from being forged. Then there are my values (denominations) themselves, which distinguishes myself from others.

I have updated the thread title to include an AMA, for those who are genuinely interested in me.

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General comment for all topics in this subcategory … perhaps the topic title should be just the person’s name in this forum, or "Introducing "+the person’s name in this forum. Otherwise the topic might as well be “Introducing me” for every topic. If and when we get to, say, 100 topics in this category, that will be unhelpful, granted that the Search function can be used.

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Sure, provide your suggestion in the Feedback subcategory then.

In the other topic, it was suggested that here in your introduction I could ask you anything, given that I was asking on that other topic about why you do not trust Purism with security. You mentioned in that thread that you know how to defeat Purism’s anti-interdiction and PureBoot.

That actually brought to my mind some other questions – when I was asking about security, I was also thinking more generally of the stuff in PureOS to some extent. I recently had an in-person conversation with a friend about how I would like to configure my computer so that it did not have avahi daemons or nominatim demons or geoclue pinging Amazon periodically, and instead would be a machine that did not need a hardware switch because the software use of the internet would be user-intention based. When I click a button to use an internet-enabled behavior, at that time the machine would use the internet, and otherwise even if the hardware switch was allowing internet no networking functions would run because the user had not yet asked them to run.

And I was imagining that kind of ideal software for a laptop, which PureOS isn’t [by default when running Gnome], and I’m curious if you’ve ever thought about that angle. You mentioned elsewhere, if I recall, that you use or would suggest Qubes for a Librem 14. And I have not yet tried Qubes, so maybe I should. But I thought that I recalled reading somewhere that Qubes is based on isolating each program – in a way that is maybe similar to the Android security model (?) (that’s me saying that, not what I read). Do you trust that more than PureOS because of isolation? It would seem to me, from a distance, that feeling it necessary to isolate each program from each other program seems based on the idea of losing control of what they do, maybe, and so I would wonder if a more ideal way for things to function would be if all the programs were so simple that the user was well acquainted with each of them and no isolation was needed, but rather the user was in tune with being able to monitor that the device was only and specifically doing what it was told, or something.

Just curious if you have any system like that, that you would trust to only do what you desired and not more.

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Yes, although I have predefined backup procedures for any unexpected phenomenon.

For the second question, to have a system that does only what it is asked, is that Qubes where you are doing that? Or are you using a different distribution/configuration?

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The hardware kill switches are what gives me the power to choose whether or not I grant myself permission to use the devices in the first place. I self-audit my reasons for justifying the devices’ usage every single time, and what hardware kill switches I must tamper with myself to fulfill such functions. After completing all required tasks, I revoke all privileges and reset the situation back to its initial state. If I decide not to grant myself permissions, then nothing happens.