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