Free 500 USD laptop proposal

Paul van der Vlis paul at
Tue Nov 25 22:02:02 UTC 2014

Op 25-11-14 om 21:53 schreef Florian Weimer:
> * Paul van der Vlis:
>>> (I got an OS-less laptop some time ago for much less than $500, but I
>>> don't know if it is CoreBoot-capable.  
>> But can you buy it now?
> This particular one?  Probably not.  There's another one for 250 EUR,
> though.
>> And was it sold to you with the information that it works fine with
>> Linux and with open source drivers or did you see that later?
> I don't know anymore.  I naïvely expected it to work, and it did.

You are lucky. The wifi works without non-free firmware?
And it was new hardware?

In which country do you live?  Here in the Netherlands we use
US-keyboards, and it's not possible to buy laptops without OS for such a
price. You can buy laptops without OS, but with Windows they are a lot
cheeper. I can buy laptops without OS in other countries, but then they
have not an US-keyboard.

>> There are very many laptops, but very less salesman do you tell that it
>> works fine with Linux and open source drivers.
> The first piece of hardware I bought which advertised Linux support
> was an ATAPI CD drive which had a firmware bug which caused it not to
> work under Linux, it required a workaround which was only part of the
> proprietary Windows driver.
>> When you would want to buy a new consumer grade laptop, which one would
>> you buy? I think you don't know ANY new laptop what works fine without
>> testing and a risk on problems.
> In Germany, if you buy from an online retailer, you can return it if
> it doesn't run with GNU/Linux (I hope, I'm going to find out soon).

Here in the Netherlands too. But it's work for nothing.

>> For me it's my job to sell laptops with Debian. I have to test laptops
>> very carefully before I can sell them. Many consumer modells have new
>> versions after 6 weeks, then you have to test again.
> Yes, that's a problem.  It's also annoying that they change essential
> aspects of the user experience without notice, such as the keyboard.
>>> Obviously, there is also tons
>>> of firmware running on other chips besides the main CPU.)
>> There is some, but I think the SSD is a critical place.
> Worse than the CPU?  Come on.
>> I've said there are no open source SSD's. That's not correct:
> You could go with straight NAND storage and a wear-levelling file
> system.  Some early Linux-based devices did that.

I would like that. If you have more information I am interested.

With regards,
Paul van der Vlis.

Paul van der Vlis Linux systeembeheer, Groningen

More information about the Discussion mailing list