I will buy a Lemote Yeeloong laptop

Yeeloong2Chinese company by the name Lemote produced a few batches of FSF endorsed laptops called Lemote Yeeloong back in 2010 – 2012. First Yeeloong was the model 8089B with a 8.9″ screen, followed by 8101B with a 10.1″ screen size. These laptops are now out of sale and only obtainable on a second hand market. If you happen to know the information where these laptops would still be obtainable from or you have one available from second hand yourself and are willing to sell it, please contact me on my e-mail (or just use the comment section in the blog form). I would be interested to order one for my personal use. Regarding the shipping, I live in Slovenia, Europe. Regarding the payment we could discuss various possibilities. Thank you !

Free hardware designs

Yeeloong2In the recent years the Free Software Foundation has encouraged (computer) hardware manufacturers to start producing free (free as in freedom) hardware. Most hardware produced and sold today has proprietary design (Apple, Intel, etc.) and is therefore restricted/encrypted and hard to use with free software, requiring programmers to use reverse engineering methods and write the code to free up parts of the hardware and optimize it for the use with free software. Free Software Foundation maintains a list of the high priority reverse engineering projects. Free hardware would be optimized for the use with free user respecting GNU+Linux software and should be released under the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 3 or later. Currently there are few alternatives around free hardware designs. In 2012 the Free Software Foundation started a project with the Chinese manufacturer Jiangsu Lemote Technology Corporation Limited for the production of the Lemote Yeeloong netbook. Yeeloong’s used the early Loongson 2F, a single core MIPS3-compatible 64-bit CPU with some custom ISA extensions (not all used in software), therefore a lot of customized software still had to be written for it. For that purpose a special customized GNU+Linux distribution gNewSense has seen the light of day. Since then we have seen other alternatives to free up parts of the hardware. The project Libreboot has written replacements for the standard BIOS using reverse engineering on Lenovo Thinkpad models, such as X60, T60 and X200 which are all obtainable from the U.K. store Gluglug. Another crowd funding initiative called Purism has raised funds and started with the production of the free modern laptops. Michał Tomasz Masłowski has written about Laptops and free software in 2013. There are also Replicant, a free operating system that works as a replacement for Android based devices and libreCMC a free replacement operating system for wireless routers. There are videos (with Slovene translations) from the Libreplanet 2013 conference, where Dr. Richard Stallman talks about the free hardware designs (video part 1) (video part 2) and also explains the idea in his recent articles “Why we need free digital hardware designs” and “How to make hardware designs free“.

20 years on the Internet

BtN-viqIYAIp0YhIt was around the year 1994, when my mother brought her business PC Atari XT 8086 home, which I was able to use. It had a Microsoft Windows DOS System installed. I managed to obtain the 2400 bps modem and install it into the computer. Because the internet wasn’t commercial at that time in Slovenia yet, my parents obtained Internet access through non-profit Academic and Research Network of Slovenia (ARNES). The modem was able to dial-up over telephone line into ARNES network and from there on friends of ours provided a terminal access to one of the UNIX computers at university, where I was capable to use E-mail and IRC. I spent many days on IRC chatting with people who were already able to access the Internet. Around that time Jonas showed us how Internet and IRC works in his popular TV show “Videošpon“.

VAXorcism for hobbyists

The owner of Slovenian company which worked with VAX/VMS has gifted me some vintage VAX workstations. They are MicroVAX 3100 and VAXstation 3100, which will join my collection of VAXstation 4000/90. They are being put on hold for the cold winter days, when I will use my time to play with them and upgrade them with recent NetBSD or GNU/Linux.

Museum night

One day in a year 90% of Slovenian museums open their exhibitions without admission. The museums and galleries are opened from early morning until midnight. This year I went to see the photographic exhibitions at Museum for Architecture and Design which held selection of photographs from international art collection Junij. Secondly I went to the Jakopic Gallery where they had the collection of photographers who were the members of the famous Magnum Photos. The collection was called Magnum’s First: The Face of Time. It  is the very first group exhibition of Magnum Photos which is considered a photographic myth of the 20th century, time and again inspiring new generations of photographers. Thirdly I went to the National museum of Contemporary History where they have the collection of retrocomputing. The guide gave us a really good tour around computers and mainframes and I also took some photos. The interesting thing was computer developement in Yugoslavia back in the 1980s, when the license from Digital was obtained from the United Stated and machines were branded under the name of the company Iskra Delta, so you can see PDP’s with additional hardware which was made at Iskra.