[Freedombox-discuss] Q : achieving wide success? HW+SW solution vs SW-only solution for freedombox?

Oliver Le oliver.le at gmail.com
Thu Apr 7 12:57:55 UTC 2011

Hi Brice,

I've inlined some responses to your message below:

On Thu, Apr 7, 2011 at 9:32 PM, JB gost <mygost at gmail.com> wrote:

> Q : achieving wide success?  HW+SW solution  vs   SW-only solution for
> freedombox?
> Hi I'm brice,
> 1- I think the freedombox concept is really great, and our future needs it
> !
> If you're here you know why...
> 2- As far as i understood the implementation : independent micro HW
> server running a custom SW based upon Debian OS

Just to clarify, and this may in fact have been what you had in mind when
you typed the above, but I believe FreedomBox is going to be a stack of
software running on a regular Debian GNU/Linux installation (I believe most
like the 'armel' processor architecture installation), and not a new, custom

is, to my opinion and my annoyance, doomed to failed at reaching wide
> support & use...
> Why ? 'cause i don't feel people would buy an extra appliance they
> don't understand the use... or the need...
> I personally care about my privacy, and i would look 1st for a full SW
> easy-solution, i won't buy into this HW idea... too complicated, too
> nerdy (no offense-i've been one) i would say...

Based on my understanding of how the FreedomBox project is envisioned as
above, I don't think there will be anything from stopping you (or anyone
else) from running the FreedomBox bundle of software on any machine you have
that is running Debian.

> I've given up freenet & tor because they are not widely enough
> supported, used, and are too complicated (even for the elec engineer i
> am),
> let's face it, these 2 great projects have failed commercially speaking !

I'd be a bit careful with the claims here, I don't have anything other than
anecdotal evidence myself but I wouldn't say that the success of Freenet or
Tor should be judged by "commercial" measurements.  If, as I suspect, you
meant prevalence on the systems of users, I would wager a guess that their
goal thus far hasn't been complete, widespread adoption, but to function
correctly and reliably for the relatively few people who: a) care enough
about their privacy to seek out the options like Freenet, Tor, and others,
and b) may actually live or die based on having an option to communicate
like Freenet or Tor

Maybe it's our (FreedomBoxers') job to help these individual projects (and
others like them) succeed on that widespread adoption front.

microsoft, google, facebook... are the greatest... commercial strategists...
> you know the case microsoft VS linux, and you know why linux has only
> 1% of the OS market share...
> SO please! don't make the same mistake here!
> Q : So what's the aim of the freedombox ? What the far reached vision ?
> A1 : Is it for computer enthusiasts like *us*, let's say 0.1% of the
> internet population at best ?
> A2 : Is it for +90% of the people being day to day computer-end-user,
> mobile-phone-end-user etc...  still being non-computer-technicians
> (like my mom who just know how to click on win) ?

No reason it can't be both.  To be a bit more constructive, I don't see why
it can't start out as A1 in the alpha stages and evolve into A2 by the time
it's deemed ready for release

> If the aim is A1, then yeah!  let's make the freedombox HW, & SW
> tweaking the code, craft this and that... connecting to... well 0.1%
> of the neighborhood at best...
> If the aim is A2, then i really think the HW is no good solution
> here... (sorry to say that)
> You might say, "ok buddy, you say your shit, you nasty french snails &
> smelly cheese eater, but what are your solutions ? any *bright* ideas
> to share ? don't be just an ass/critic"

I have to admit, the first part here made me chuckle.  Hopefully no one on
this list would be thinking that in their head.

> I say then why not *smartly* use all the existing HW already available
> in people life ?
> Turning every home PC, every netbooks and every smartphones into a
> freedombox, inter-connecting with the world using whatever technology
> is present in the HW : internet DSL, ethernet LAN, wifi, bluethooth,
> gsm, 3g, wimax....
> And of course a SW freedombox capable of connecting to non secured (yet)
> systems
> I mean having a freedombox made of a SW package "1-click" / "easy to
> install, easy to run" on every PC running MAC/linux/windows people
> have at home, on every smartphones, iphone, ipad etc...

I think you are actually in agreement with many  other people with the above
vision of what FreedomBox could be.  I do think it's important to start
small and work up, though, rather than try to target everything under the
sun with the very first release.

> Let's face it, people (me included) are rather busy and lazy and
> technology ignorants these days...
> but provided with "1-click" action/applications as apple did with
> their iphone, as facebook did, as google chrome did... people still
> have time to perform a "1-click" operation !
I agree, when it's ready for release it needs to be dead simple.

> My personal questions :
> Q1 : Has this topic already been discussed ? (sorry if duplicate somehow)
> Q2 : BTW, is there any SW package freedombox-like that already exist ?
> somewhere ?
> Q3 : who set up the vision, the original far reached vision ?
A1: I think this has probably come up before, but even so, I think many
recent additions to the mailing list were probably wondering the same things
as you.  This is part of a bigger problem with mailing lists; I'll do a
short write up of my thoughts about that soon.
A2: I don't think there is any software project already in production which
has as broad a set of goals as FreedomBox, but I could be wrong.  I think
many software projects exist which try to tackle an individual or a subset
of those goals, some of which are listed here:
http://wiki.debian.org/FreedomBox/ExampleProjects, and here
A3: After looking at so many projects, it looks like a lot of people have
been thinking about at least some part of this vision for quite some time,
but the originator of the idea for the FreedomBox project is Eben Moglen
(see the media page on the freedomboxfoundation.org wiki for some of his
early speeches).

> thanks for any reply,
> kind regards,
> brice
> Thanks for joining the conversation!
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/freedombox-discuss/attachments/20110407/7c0b7bb1/attachment.htm>

More information about the Freedombox-discuss mailing list