Jay Little - Software Obsessionist
Life is a whim of several billion cells to be you for a while.

11/16/2019 1:49:28 PM

So in light of the exceptionally serious posts that have graced the front page of this site over the last month I have decided to do something a little different today. Consider this my official attempt to remind you all that I am actually capable of doing something other than bitching about the behavior of corporations and people. The topic of conversation today will be the MiSTer and why I'm absolutely enthralled with it.

So what is the MiSTer? Well sadly the official wiki I just linked to doesn't actually answer that question very well on its front page. This is a device that emulates other devices. So in that basic sense, it doesn't appear very different than something like a Raspberry Pi with RetroPie installed. However it is very different and very notable for a number of reasons.

MiSTer is effectively a collection of non-mass produced add on boards designed to interface with a specific Single Board Computer known as the Terasic DE10-Nano. By a traditional SBC measuring stick it appears to be relatively weak, as it is only equipped with a relatively low speed dual core ARM processor and a gigabyte of RAM. However the real thing that it brings to the table is the FPGA chip it comes with. That chip along with the amazing community around this board form the core of what makes this project so amazing.

10/25/2019 9:20:27 PM

This post marks the third in my series about the sad saga of Purism and the Librem 5. If you haven't read the first or second posts yet, I highly recommend that you click here and then click here. Give them both at least a quick skim before reading this one as they contain important background information that is required to appreciate this one.

After mulling over everything I had seen along with what my source had shared with me, I decided that I had a moral duty to spread the word as far and as wide as possible while protecting the identity of my source as best as I could. I resolved that the best way to do this would be to create threads with specific questions directed towards Purism which would help to shed some light on some the questions I now had. I created two threads, one on the Purism forums and one in the Purism subreddit.

These threads did not go well. I severely underestimated the negative feedback I was going to get for daring to ask Purism a few basic questions. The most inflammatory one appeared to be the financial question I asked which strongly implied that the project had devolved into a Ponzi scheme. Regardless, nobody from Purism was willing to answer a single question and the community refused to use their collective influence to hold Purism accountable. This is when I decided to get a refund. Prior to this, I felt that getting a refund would be immoral because I was acting on information that most people were not privy too. However after experiencing the combined negative kickback from both communities after I attempted to share the truth, I changed by mind. At this point it seemed clear that I was no longer going to be stealing from Peter to pay Paul as these people had now made a conscious decision to stay the course with Purism regardless of what facts I presented them with.

10/25/2019 9:54:11 AM

This post marks the second in my series about the sad saga of Purism and the Librem 5. If you haven't read the first post yet, I highly recommend that you click here. Give it at least a good skim before reading this one as it contains important background information that is required to appreciate this one.

Sometime in the midst of the Aspen shipping window I began to casually express skepticism on the Purism subreddit. In some of my comments I posited the theory that Purism had hit rough financial straits. I also further theorized that Purism was using PR to generate more revenue in the form of pre-orders for the device so that the project could continue. Within a day of posting this, I was contacted by an informed ex-employee of Purism. They gave me their credentials which I verified using information they provided and information I was able to dig up. My source has decided not to go public yet at the time of publication. This means that while I have verified their identity, I cannot share any information you would require to do so.

Before we continue, I need to make it clear that as of right now, I have not verified all of the following claims. After listing the claims, I will attempt to correlate them with publicly accessible information. Readers should also take care to understand that these claims come from my verified source and not from me. That being what it is, here is a paraphrased summary of what my source has authorized me to share:

10/23/2019 6:25:54 PM

Today I'm going to tell you a sad tale of a device called the Librem 5 and the company behind it, Purism. As of right now, this story does not have a happy ending. I am writing this series of articles as a protest against the behavior of Purism, a company which claims that transparency and openness are their core values. If they won't tell the world the truth about the Librem 5, then I'm willing to at least give it a go.

First thing's first: Last month I promised to blog about about low powered computing and my progress in trying to adapt my small server approach for laptops. Though I did receive my Pinebook Pro, as a wise man once said, "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry." This project was no exception. Getting to a point where I can post a worthwhile update on the Pinebook Pro and how it ultimately relates to my low powered computing initiative is going to take a bit longer than I had originally hoped. Sometime soon I'll circle back around to this topic, count on it.

Now a lot of you probably don't know who Purism is. Purism is essentially a technology company that produces FOSS compliant hardware powered by FOSS compliant software. That along with other relevant information can be found here. Regular readers will know that I own one of their laptops, a Librem 15 v3 and that I've been pretty pleased with it over the last two years. Regulars will also know that I backed their Librem 5 FOSS Linux Powered Smartphone crowd funding campaign a couple years ago. If you've read the linked posts, then you know that at some point I was pretty enthusiastic about this company and their products. I'm typing this on a $2000 laptop I purchased from them two years ago for crying out loud. So what went wrong?

9/18/2019 11:10:04 PM

This month I've got a lot of things on my mind, not least of which includes the Pinebook Pro I should be receiving in the next coming weeks. While I hope to spend quite a bit of time talking about that particular device in the upcoming months, I decided to just hit on some of the random things that have been running through my brain as of late using Haiku.

I am sanity.
Is it me you are seeking?
Orange murdered me.

Oh blue screen of death,
You were solid like a rock.
Please slay your mad son.

Scruffy beard so vast.
His code, hands and mouth were free.
So he is banished!

Games are a racket,
Designed to rob me of wealth.
Retro for the win.

Handcheck culture down,
Maybe harmful now illegal.
Marlboro man rides!

Smartphones are quite dumb.
Your data is found and mined.
Rubes on Facebook like.

Debates are raging,
Over issues quite current.
Bye Stuttering Joe.

Green screens should expire.
Even if you just don't care,
Lets dance on their grave.

Reddit was broken,
As of now it has returned.
Time to go no joke.

And as they say, "that is that". I hope you all enjoyed this lighthearted bit of humor and commentary on my part especially as I plan on subjecting you all to quite a bit of holier than thou preaching on the subject of energy efficient computing in the coming months.

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