Anyone who wants an affordable, rugged computing platform which does not impose any restrictions on its user.
In the past year more than 50 students, free software developers, faculty members and business owners & entrepreneurs have purchased and used the Mostly Harmless Liberated Laptop as their primary daily use computer.
…. all using GNU/Linux and Free/Open Source Software exclusively.
Yes – these are refurbished Lenovo x230 Thinkpad laptops. We purchase them in good condition, clean them, flash Coreboot, replace the wireless card and install GNU/Linux for you.
These are tested and given to you in an excellent working condition and without any visual or technical defects.
“coreboot is an extended firmware platform that delivers a lightning fast and secure boot experience on modern computers and embedded systems. As an Open Source project it provides auditability and maximum control over technology.”
Simply put – using Coreboot as your BIOS truly liberates your laptop. You are free to use any wireless card you want (not just those whitlelisted by the manufacturer). You can study and modify the source code of the BIOS and you can customise it as well. It also enables you to have a more secure boot environment for your computer and operating system.
When you use wireless cards made by many manufacturers such as Intel, you are forced to use binary firmware (the so-called blobs) to activate and use your card. This firmware is proprietary software and it greatly restricts what you can do with your wireless network card and computer.
By using blob-less wireless cards, you are freed from this restriction of using proprietary software. Firmware required for Atheros wireless cards is freely available and licensed under
free software licenses. Free operating systems such as PureOS and Debian can use it without requiring any extra work on your part.
At the moment it is not possible to upgrade the CPUs of the mhx230 laptops. Also – Coreboot is not supported on any mainstream laptops beyond the 3rd Gen Intel CPUs. However, you could consider the Librem line of laptops from Purism in case you need a Coreboot computer with a more modern CPU: https://puri.sm/products/librem-13/
Regarding the screen, there is a hack possible. Using a special board made by “nitrocaster”, it is now possible to upgrade the screens for the x230 laptops to Full HD. Do mail us in case you want to evaluate your options for this.
We test and provide certified, working laptop units to you. In case you face any technical issues with the hardware, we will be glad to offer you support, repairs or replacement – as the situation might demand.
Having said that, the hardware is extremely easy to maintain by yourself. We would love to help you learn to use, modify and fix your own computer. We believe that doing so makes computer users independent and free from vendors. All knowledge, tools and techniques required to extend or fix your laptop are available without restrictions.
Yes – you can. However, we can only help you with and encourage you to use GNU/Linux. Using proprietary operating systems does not serve the purpose of having a free computing platform and are untested and unsupported by us.
You can use any GNU/Linux operating system such as Debian, PureOS, Ubuntu, Fedora, Archlinux, Trisquel, Parabola and so many more. You can also install and use FreeBSD or OpenBSD on these laptops.