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/tech/ - Technology

"Technology reveals the active relation of man to nature" - Karl Marx
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Stop using propietary hardware.


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That's the MNT reform laptop, it's really nice, it even got the standard format 11650 lifepo4 (cobalt free) battery cells with 2000 charge cycles (that's double or quadruple from what you get with most electronics) . A klicky keyboard and a trackball option. It comes with a low-power Arm quad core, 4 gigs of ram, and nvme storage , all up-gradable.
You can get it for 200 bucks cheaper if you assemble it your self, it's really tempting.


God damn that looks beautiful but also incredibly thick and heavy (and expensive), but I still appreciate a project that actually focuses on longevity and maintainability.


When i get smarter I will, for now I shall not.


Find me a Talos workstation for a sane price and I will.


So it's more expensive and less powerful than proprietary hardware. why would I buy that?


>1300 euros


it’s about as expensive as any contemporary laptop, and it can be extended
cost-cutting over something that’s gonna last you years is lame btw
go shop on amazon or in a big box store if that’s the bottom line for you


OK, what are the alternatives?


>wide screen
just why


I've learned to use linux, but will keep my windows 7 machine for ever, it will be the last windows os i us, unless i try windows 10 AME.


I have two separate machines. Both use linux but one is meant for vidya under wine/proton.


What is the other machine for? I wan to t build a new Linux PC for games that windows 7 won't run, but i hear it's not a good time to build a PC because of Chip shortages and crypto inflation.


All pc parts are more or less the same price except for gpus, at least where I live (not America).
I'd suggest buying a cpu from a trusted vendor in aliexpress if you don't mind waiting.


>Over 1k
>4 gigs of ram
There is NO excuse. Trackball is neat though.


no recently manufactured laptop is gonna be under 1k
doesn’t even matter if it has potato specs


i got a very new (2018) huge acer laptop with good graphics at a pawn shop for $250. It's the best computer i've ever used. It's new, proprietary hardware ofc ofc, but it's cheap… just don't buy new, and try n haggle


can someone tell why everyone is wetting their pants over here on open source hardware? what problem does it solve?


schizos be scared that proprietary hardware has backdoors for government or companies to spy


>The Intel® Management Engine is an embedded microcontroller (integrated on some Intel chipsets) running a lightweight microkernel operating system that provides a variety of features and services for Intel® processor–based computer systems.
>Features include (but are not limited to):
>Low-power, out-of-band (OOB) management services
>Capability Licensing Service (CLS)
>Anti-Theft Protection
>Protected Audio Video Path (PAVP)
>At system initialization, the Intel® Management Engine loads its code from system flash memory. This allows the Intel® Management Engine to be up before the main operating system is started. For run-time data storage, the Intel® Management Engine has access to a protected area of system memory (in addition to a small amount of on-chip cache memory for faster and more efficient processing).
>A fundamental feature of the Intel® Management Engine is that its power states are independent of the host OS power states. This feature allows it to be up when the microprocessor and many other components of the system are in deeper sleep states. As a result, the Intel® Management Engine can be a fully functioning component as soon as power is applied to the system. This capability allows it to respond to OOB commands from the IT management console without having to wake up the rest of the system. Therefore, power consumption is reduced significantly.
>Nov 22, 2017
>For the second time in six months, Intel has patched its remote management technologies, this time prodded by bugs reported to the chip maker by Positive Technologies’ security researchers Mark Ermolov and Maxim Goryachy
>Actually, security watchdogs have been red-flagging the remote administration subsystem Management Engine (ME) for years, warning that its privileged level of access makes too juicy a target for hackers to pass up. The feature allows admins to control devices remotely but a compromised ME could yield full control of a system to attackers, including bypassing security along with free reign to ignite malware without detection.


It uses ARM though, so it can't run a lot of desktop software that requires x86. There aren't many options for glowless x86 processors.


It's all but confirmed at this point that Intel Management Engine was an NSA-sponsored backdoor. The confirmation comes from the discovery used to disable it. Intel provides motherboard manufacturers with software to set ME parameters, and within these are XML files full of descriptions and comments. One of the ME parameters that can be set by a bit flip is labeled "reserve_hap" and commented with "High Assurance Platform (HAP) enable". High Assurance Platform is a program referenced by NSA presentations. At minimum it can be inferred that the NSA itself is well aware of the security problems with Management Engine and wants it disabled on their own machines.



The price on this is crazy.

The reason for open hardware like this to exist is because the glo have the ability to backdoor all proprietary hardware through the bios, as has been demonstrated by security researchers.

If you want to mitigate this get a compatible second hand thinkpad (starting at $80) or chromebook/chromebox (starting at $40).
Then flash an open bios on one of these devices.
You now have comparable security and performance to this $1500 laptop.

But yes, also stop using proprietary hardware if you can afford it.


>get a compatible second hand thinkpad
this is where the retardation of the anti IME croud starts
old thinkpads are basically one huge security vulnerability masquerading as a laptop
>no microcode updates to fix critical security bugs
>old firmware known to be vulnerable
>spectare and meltdown guranteed
forget the fucking NSA, timmy the script kiddie can now pwn you in her moms basement
open bioses only solve ethical issues, they do not protect you in any way
x86 is completley fucked at this point, abandon ship
still ARM has pitfalls like TrustZone, but I doubt simple hardware like raspberry pi-s have them
Talos workstation has openBMC with a very similiar feature set when compared to IME, though I dont know if it can be disabled


stop being a faggot and ill think about it


>The price on this is crazy.
It's not as bad as it initially appears
This uses a compute module, that makes upgrades much cheaper, because you only need to upgrade the compute module.
The keyboard on this seems to use durable & repairable quality mechanical switches and the batteries are standard replaceable cells. If you don't abuse it it might last 15 to 20 years until it's worn out. If they offer a new compute module with better performance every 5 years and they stay around for long enough, this will be acceptable value. The performance on these chips is usable but still meager. The completely open platform is of course valuable in other ways. If you want to know how computers work, something like this will be one of the few ways to get bedrock access to virtually all microcode as well as the complete design schematics.

For the same money you can also get a framework laptop with a current intel chip. It has much more performance and the compute module is also exchangeable. But it's less open, tho they are trying to make it possible to use coreboot. (the issue with the intel Management engine remains tho)

>x86 is completley fucked at this point, abandon ship

In that case your best bet for an open system might be RiskV
It has technical advantages like the more modular approach to architecture.
I think that ARM might also have some legal vulnerabilities that it might be bought out.
Atm the downside of RiskV is that it doesn't have very many devices yet. So far you can only get a few dev-boards.



The schizos don't agree with your 3 points about old thinkpads. From what I've read your points probably have some truth but can be mitigated.

If someone wants to start playing with coreboot or whatever, I thought it would be better start by spending $80 on a thinkpad or $40 on a chromebook or chromebox instead of $1500.

What is your opinion on the developments with coreboot and linux on many more chromebook models in in the last few months?


i don't have the money to do so, i'm just gonna get a t400 or something
i'd like to get an x40 as well but that's just my autism speaking
i daily drive a p51 btw so the fucking suburbanite faggots working at the cia are looking at me through the webcam right now because you can't heckin' live without a backdoor wtf that's insecure bro
>debian instead of devuan
enjoy systemd
that's exactly what the nsa wants you to think. meds


People have more issues with IME than just the fact that it's a security vulnerability.


you're more secure on a "backdoored" newer hardware than this absense of security called a "thinkpad"


do older thinkpads still get microcode updates? thinking of installing coreboot on one with microcode updates enabled


meant for >>16299



I have a question, if anyone knows. Is there such a thing as an FPGA-based laptop platform? Not expecting good performance, but enough to run basic Xorg programs and ideally a browser is all one really needs for many uses. It seems to me that an FPGA device would be much harder to backdoor (assuming you buy the fpga "off the shelf" and combine it with the other components). Additionally, if any hardware-level exploits are found they may be able to be patched out more thoroughly and at lower cost than can be done with ucode+kernel updates.


Do you want to run your CPU on the FPGA? That's slow as fuck.


>Is there such a thing as an FPGA-based laptop platform?
No, but you can get relatively small and power efficient single-board computers, that have a normal cpu and a FPGA,
>It seems to me that an FPGA device would be much harder to backdoor
Not sure why you think it's harder to backdoor an FPGA than a regular chip.
The goal should be to commandeer the "backdoor infrastructure" in the chips and repurpose it for something useful.
Find their backdoortech, turn it on it's head and use it to improve your security.
>Do you want to run your CPU on the FPGA?
People do that for retro emulation, those are much faster than software emulation.
Making the FPGA do the same as a normal CPU would be very inefficient, the other anon seems to think that would have security advantages for some reason. However if we had an optimized software stack we could use FPGAs as accelerators, there is no security benefit, but it would be kinda neet.

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