A Month of Pining

2020-11-28, post № 237

hardware review, #opinion, #diary, #freedom

Precisely one month ago, I opened a long awaited parcel shipped directly from Hong Kong: my very own Pinebook Pro had arrived. Eager to further my grasp on both software and hardware freedom, I unwrapped my mail and began to incorporate pine64’s flagship laptop into my workflow. Accompanying this journey, I wrote a diary which I share in this post.

Whilst a Pinebook may not boast with specs of performance, novel input methods or included licenses, it is part of a niche computing sector which values and upholds principal human rights even in the alien realm of microprocessor-based technology. Following my steadily growing discomfort regarding my computing equipment over the past months, I hoped for the Pinebook Pro to introduce me to a world of productive, in part minimalist and most importantly truly free computing experience. After a month of usage, I can confidently proclaim it to have delivered on this front more satisfactory than any other of my multitude of computing devices I have amassed over the years.

Especially in current times, it is calming to interact with an intricately mingled system of physical machinery and abstract commandments in which I can at least to a certain extent trust, lifting an ever-present veil of fear cloaking most boxes of bits. A Pinebook comes with software switches to turn off the built-in camera, microphone and WiFi card as well as Manjaro KDE Plasma running out of the box. Whilst I would prefer not having a camera or microphone built into my device at all and have a real physical switch to turn both off, as well as a more minimalist desktop environment, I am capable to entrust it my presence infront of it; in contrast to e. g. a proprietary phone lying on a tabletop nearby.

I am unaffiliated with pine64 [1] and purchased my Pinebook Pro myself. I wrote the entirety of this blog post including the diary seen below using my Pinebook [2].

A detailed account of my experience with my Pinebook is given by a diary I wrote over the course of November 2020:

Halloween MMXX

2020-10-31, post № 236

imagery, poem, #halloween, #spooky

The sea is full of dangers,


size being only one.


Alluring depths and gruesome beasts


have intertwined in majesty.


The humble one left all alone


sought guidance in a spark of light.


Crashing GCC with 63 Bytes

2020-10-15, post № 235

C++, error, #GCC, #g++, #internal compiler error

Enthusiastically following C++20’s new compile-time capabilities as well as awaiting more powerful ones being promised in upcoming standards, yet being stuck on C++17 [1], I try to take full advantage of the limited C++17-constexpr features. However, without static storage promotion, a constexpr std::string is all but a pipe dream, thereby necessitating the use of a wrapped static pointer; std::string_view.

One does not program against one’s compiler; one programs against the abstract machine defined by the standard.

Jonathan Frech's blog; built 2021/04/16 21:21:49 CEST