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Purism

Beautiful, Secure, Privacy-Respecting Laptops & Phones
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I recently had the pleasure of chatting with fphemeral, a longtime Purism community member, Librem 13 user and Librem 5 early-adopter. What stood out about fphemeral’s story was how big of role community and the the flexibility of our products played on his journey to improved privacy. Like many of our passionate community members, fphemeral is also developing a range of useful apps for his Librem 5 and sharing them with the community. Here’s the full conversation we recently had on Librem Chat.

Sean
Maybe we can start with some background on how you got involved with Purism?

fphemeral
It’s tricky to remember exactly when I got involved but I know for sure I got my current Librem 13 v1 after I learnt about Intel’s Management Engine and then I found out about Librem 5. When I saw it was going to have convergence, a feature I loved about the Ubuntu phone, I thought hell yeah this time it could actually work out! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Sean
Convergence was also the feature that got me excited about the Ubuntu Phone. I’m excited that we can finally make it a reality with the Librem 5.

It’s great to hear your Librem 13 v1 is going strong! What’s your favorite thing about it?

fphemeral
Well I got my Librem 13 v1 when the next version was already out, but I really wanted an ethernet port so Mladen (Purism team member) helped me get a refurbished Librem 13 v1. I really like the ethernet port, hardware kill switches and the absence of branding! ๐Ÿ˜„

Sean
I believe you have been a Librem 5 early adopter?

fphemeral
Yes, I got a Librem 5 devkit early-on and recently received my Librem 5 Chestnut!

Sean
Are you building any applications for your Librem 5?

fphemeral
Yes, I develop on my Librem 13 and if it looks good there I push it via SSH to my Librem 5 to see how it looks and feels on a small screen. It’s really cool that you can use the same tech on your laptop and then copy it over to the phone.

Sean
What tech stack do you build your apps with and have you used libhandy?

fphemeral
Python and GTK. I love Python! โค๏ธŽ ๐Ÿ™‚ I am currently looking into integrating libhandy.

Sean
What kind of apps are you working on?

fphemeral
Currently I’m creating some quick-and-dirty l5_utils and l5_shoppinglist.

I’m also making my briar_repl – CLI messenger client for the Briar Messenger – usable on the Librem 5. Here’s a blog post covering it with a short video, the Librem 5 devkit also features in the article ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Sean
You’ve been really involved with the community and the Librem 5 in particular. Do you have any advice for other people on how to get involved?

fphemeral
Definitively get connected to the Librem 5 and devkit community chat channels. They’ve been very inspiring, I’ve learnt about so many new ideas and tools. Then of course read the Librem 5 and devkit docs – they were essential!

I’ve had a lot of conversations with Kyle and Sebastian from the Purism team, everyone has been super helpful. I also find Hackersgame’s YouYube channelย to be a great resource!

Sean
Hackersgame just joined the team. He will be working on keeping everyone updated on the weekly Librem 5 developments, you can expect a lot more content!

fphemeral
Really? that is amazing! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ His videos are simply great, to the point and no nonsense!

Sean
How have you found the pace of the Librem 5 software improvements?

fphemeral
The current stream of system updates is amazing! Pretty much every few days there is another cool thing popping up or bug fixed.

Sean
What’s still on your list to make the Librem 5 your daily driver?

fphemeral
I’ve already checked off: podcasts, map, terminal, briar messenger and shopping list ๐Ÿ˜‰

Battery life is important but it got way better with a recent update and I cannot wait for convergence! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m still so used to not having an email client on my not-so-trusted smartphone, so I haven’t looked into that yet. I am not a fan of cell providers tracking my every move.

Sean
I love that you have been checking some of those off with your own apps.

Battery life is going to be so much better with the larger capacity battery and our planned software improvements. Do you know what you are getting from a charge?

fphemeral
I’m not really sure, when I’m at a computer I keep it connected so I can SSH in. I mostly keep it off when traveling but use it for podcasts during my work lunch break and in the evening when grocery shopping.

Sean
Has anyone at work commented on your Librem 5?

fphemeral
I’ve demonstrated it to colleagues and friends, they definitively understood my enthusiasm about a fully user controlled smartphone! They know that privacy is a topic near to my heart.

I remember when I saw The monitored life of National Councilor Balthasar Glรคttli I was shocked at how much personal data companies collect. I didn’t want my cell provider to have that information so I switched to tails Linux and 90% flight mode.

I also use cash wherever possible and track my expenses with my own app that allows me to have insight into my spending without I bank and their partners seeing everything. There’s no public repo for the app yet but I might move it to my Librem 5 and then I’ll add it to source.puri.sm ๐Ÿ™‚

Sean
I think we’ve covered a lot today! Thank you for your time today, your constant enthusiasm for what we do and your involvement in the community!

fphemeral
Yes we did cover a lot, thank you too!

You can follow fphemeral on source.puri.sm or chat to him on Matrix.

 

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