Category: Events

Conferences, tradeshows, and other gatherings we participate in

Meet the development team at the 2017 Debian Conference

We are proud to announce that we will be sponsoring and attending the 2017 Debian conference from August 1st to August 12 in Montréal, Canada. As PureOS is a derivative of Debian and various members of the team come from the Debian community, it is with great pleasure that we will support this event.

Many Purism team members will be present, including Zlatan Todorić (our CTO and an official Debian developer) with Matthias “Ximion” Klumpp, Jonas Smedegaard (Debian Developer) and Chris Lamb (current Debian Project Leader) for the full duration of the event, including the workshops (“Debcamp”) and core conference days.

Purism CEO Todd Weaver will also be attending from August 4th to August 8th.

On the “Open Day” on Saturday August 5th, we will be showcasing a couple of our newest Librem production models and prototypes.

Participation in the Debian conference and “open day” is free and no registration is required. Come and say hi! See the important dates for more information.

Jeff will also be available in the days before and after the event, to handle any logistics needs, or to answer any business or press inquiries. Should you want to meet before or after the event, please get in touch with us at pr@puri.sm.

Celebrate GNOME’s 20th anniversary with us at GUADEC 2017

We are proud to announce that we will be attending the GNOME flagship conference, GUADEC, from July 28th to 30th, and co-sponsoring GNOME’s 20th anniversary celebration event at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry on Saturday the 29th.

The local GUADEC organizers make a beautiful parallel between the local heritage of Manchester and the bleeding edge technology we are all developing:

“We’ll be planning the future of computing in the same city where some early breakthroughs in computing were made. The world’s first stored-program computer was developed at the University of Manchester in the late 1940s and the Museum has a working replica in the Revolution Hall where we’ll be holding the event, along with other amazing exhibits from the city’s industrial legacy.” — GUADEC 2017 organizers

We’re happy to be contributing to the party event on Saturday—where there will be food, lively discussions, and much rejoicing!

You will also be able to see a couple of our newest Librem production models and prototypes on display there—not that they “belong in a museum”,  but we do think they are interesting enough to be exhibited in a venue that honors science and industry.

During the rest of the conference’s core days, we (Jeff, Matthias, François, Todd) will be roaming around the Manchester Metropolitan University’s “Brooks” building to discuss topics of interest with fellow contributors and old friends. We’re particularly interested in:

  • Mobile and touch graphical user interfaces and input handling (including multitouch, gestures, etc.)
  • Power optimization (for laptops, tablets and phones)
  • Sandboxing, privacy and security in general
  • OEM desktop environment, applications and contents customizability
  • Extensions robustness
  • Graphics performance
  • Apps and Package robustness and user experience
  • Firmware updates management

Purism advisory board member Matthew Garrett will also be attending.

Come and say hi! We’ll be happy to meet GNOME enthusiasts—whether veterans or newcomers—and to answer any questions attendees may have for us.

Bringing Librem 13 v2 and Librem 15 v3 prototypes back from LibrePlanet for further coreboot porting work

A few days ago we gave you a very quick sneak peek of the Librem 15 v3’s anodized black finish as we were doing final preparations for our LibrePlanet 2017 attendance. We were very happy to support the Free Software Foundation by sponsoring LibrePlanet! On Saturday morning, we started setting up our booth slowly, thinking there would not be much activity going on at the beginning of the day. We were proved wrong:

There was a crowd around our booth at pretty much all times (except lunchtime) throughout the day Saturday, during which it was revealed that Todd is possibly a cyborg, as he stood there answering questions for eight hours straight, without needing to eat, drink, or sit:

Great discussions were had. James was also present, attending talks and officially winning our photobomber of the year award, as you can see him in the lower-right corner of this photo:

New passions bloomed among attendees:

People who saw and touched the Librems found them to be quite impressive. For instance:

Some of the frequent comments we heard were “Wow. They’re even better than on the photos!”, “When can I buy one?” and “I was a Purism skeptic, but I see you are delivering on your promises and making the impossible possible.”

Really encouraging!

Upcoming coreboot work

While we were hard at work answering thousands of questions at LibrePlanet, our coreboot developer Youness was on vacation while waiting for some more testing hardware. This week he will be resuming his work on preparing/packaging coreboot for release, and with the two new prototype units I brought back from Boston he will also be able to begin the coreboot port for these devices. We hope to do that in time to factory-flash them for the next batch of deliveries in May-June, but we’ll see how the development work pans out. If it’s not ready within that short timespan, we will provide coreboot as an update that you can flash yourself.

Youness has also made some additional progress on the Intel ME, thanks to information and data that Igor Skochinsky was able to share with us. Stay tuned for Youness’ next report!

Getting ready for LibrePlanet and the new Librem 15 v3

This year, we’re attending and sponsoring LibrePlanet, which is being held this week-end in Boston. Todd and I arrived one day early, as we wanted to seize the opportunity to spend a full day coworking to align our plans (regarding communications, product design and supply chain management), confirm product specifications, and test some new prototypes we have on hand. Todd recently (yesterday!) received sample parts and prototype units from suppliers, so we spent some time checking the aesthetic and functional aspect of the next revision of the Librem 13 (v2) and Librem 15 (v3), including the chips, killswitches, and removable components.

I also brought with me some older units I had gathered from others, including the Librem 11 prototype (which we bricked during testing) and the previous revision of the Librem 15.

Oh, “But what is that mysterious black plate in the center of the table”, you ask? Well, that’s one of the sample parts our suppliers sent us: the upper aluminium plate of the upcoming Librem 15 v3, which will be anodized black like our lovely Librem 13.

Here you can see Todd’s Librem 13 on the left (which looks brand new even after 2 years of intensive use) and the Librem 15 v3’s anodized aluminium extrusion sample on the right (resting on top of the old Librem 15 production model for comparison).

We chose a matte finish to avoid fingerprints from showing up (disclaimer: if you’re worried about someone lifting your invisible fingerprints from your laptop, you probably want to type with gloves like this guy–except you’ll be way cooler, because you’ll be using a Librem instead of some old plastic junk 😉

We’re still finalizing details when it comes to the final specs, but from the looks of it, those with outstanding orders may benefit from a free upgrade to a newer generation of CPU and graphic chipsets, in addition to the black aluminium chassis.

Today we have placed a batch order through our supply chain for the Librem 15 v3, so we hope to provide you with an update on specifications and estimates soon. In the meantime, if any of you are attending LibrePlanet, we look forward to meeting you this week-end!

Meet us at LibrePlanet 2017 from March 24th to March 26th

We are proud to announce that we will be attending and sponsoring the Free Software Foundation’s flagship conference, LibrePlanet, at the MIT on March 25-26th.

We will also be manning a booth there, where you can try out our Librem laptops and discuss latest advancements, including our completed port of the Librem 13 to coreboot. Come and say hi! We’ll be happy to meet old friends and new Free Software enthusiasts, veterans and newcomers, and to answer any questions attendees may have for us. We might also have a few surprises for our visitors.

Todd and Jeff will also be present in Cambridge/Boston on Friday, March 24th, for any business or press inquiries. Should you prefer to meet before the event, please get in touch with us at pr@puri.sm.

Le Capitole du Libre

2016-11-12_capitol-du-libre_2016_by-david-revoy
Illustration by David Revoy

I was at “Le Capitole du Libre” on the 19th and 20th of November. It is a Free Software event that takes place every year in the city of Toulouse, in France. I had a booth there, presenting the Librem 13 to visitors during the whole event. I had a very good time! The organization was great and there was a lot of visitors, especially on the Saturday.

I had a few questions as well as some interesting feedback from the visitors, regarding the Librem line and Purism in general, so I thought I’d write a summary about it.

“What makes the Librem different or better than another laptop?”

librem_80sMany visitors didn’t know about the Librem or even Purism, so this was a very common question.

To make it simple, the Librem is a computer that is designed with user’s respect as a primary goal. Its components have been selected to let the user “own” and control his/her computer through the use of Free Software. Of course, there are other laptops that let you run Free Software, but today’s computer manufacturers are neglecting user’s rights in their specifications.

Ethics and the public interest are part of our hardware and software specifications as well as being part of our business model.

“How can you possibly promote Freedom and Privacy while the BIOS isn’t free yet?”

I had the chance to have a very interesting conversation with a few (very) vocal Freedom Fighters who brought up this question. This is a question that I fully understand as I am myself an active supporter of Software Freedom and users’ rights.

librem_familySome of them said that we should communicate this critical point more clearly and explicitly. I apologize if our communication is confusing anyone in that regard, it is not our intention. We try to be as clear as possible about it (while remaining understandable!) and the changes to our website contents over the past few months are a big step in that direction.

While talking with freedom fighters, I realized that they mostly want to be reassured on the fact that we are not misleading the public, and that we support the same cause as them (which is the case).

This is how I see things :

  • Our ultimate goal is to sell fully Free computers with no mystery code at all. At this time, we are a very young company with limited resources. Freeing a modern CPU is a pretty big task, and existing Free CPUs are quite far from today’s standard in term of speed and software support. This second choice would solve the issue but would also directly affect the user experience of the end user. This, in my humble opinion, would favor the gap between digital freedom and the rest of the industry as it tends to exclude the majority. If the jump from A to B is not straightforward for the majority, let’s find an intermediate step.
  • The average user doesn’t care much about the CPU brand in his computer; they care most about usability. That said, in theory, most people also care about their privacy and the ethics of the companies behind their computers. In that regard, I believe that the average user is currently the one doing the biggest sacrifice: sacrificing their freedom and privacy for the comfort and usability of their computer (without always noticing it… yet).
  • So instead of going in a way that excludes the majority by marginalizing our hardware, we wish to help everyone move consciously to digital freedom by making hardware that is as free as it can be for the speed and usability required by the majority. Wouldn’t it be beautiful to see millions of average users able to easily and comfortably run an FSF certified distribution as their daily driver ? Wouldn’t it be a great intermediate step ?

We are aware that the Librem is not yet perfect and has a weak link in the chain, and we surely don’t want to hide it to our customers (if you look at the advanced topics of our “Why Purism?” section, it’s pretty explicitely stated all over the place). The current situation is a starting point for us (as well has being the end goal as it is also the last ring to be replaced). Anyway, it is still a work in progress with one single goal in mind : Full Freedom for everyone. On that note, as we have said in our latest announcement, we have resumed our work on Coreboot this December. Once we make good progress on the Coreboot side, we will resume our previous work on freeing the Intel ME.

By supporting us, our users are showing that there is demand for the industry to evolve in the direction of the public’s interest. Our long-term plan is to get enough support to free a modern CPU (or even modernize a Free CPU ?)

“Can you justify the price of the Librem?”

This was a commonly asked question during the event and I wish to clarify this point.

The Librems are high-end computers made of fast and modern components. They are designed to give you the best user experience when using a fully free GNU/Linux distribution. This of course has a cost. Using a Librem running PureOS as my main workstation for multimedia creation, I can tell that the user experience is pretty amazing. That being said, there is even more than the hardware to benefit, for the end user, when buying a Librem.

Purism has been funded around a philosophy of user’s respect and ethics and we also wish our business model to be ethical. We have been founded by our users and this is an amazing chance. When you buy a Librem, you support this philosophy of user’s freedom and directly invest in a company that is driven by the public’s interest only.

“When will you be shipping from within Europe?”

Soon, hopefully! Being a French citizen working for such a great project, this is part of my wishlist.

The awakening

There currently is an awakening happening within the population.

  • Many people, not only Free Software users, are fed up with the current (abusive in so many ways) system and economy, and wish to see positive change coming for everyone.
  • Some of them have become so awake and acutely aware of great solutions like software freedom, they can’t stand the rest anymore, and they can’t stand any middleground. Those are the guys who shout at us, in forums or mailing lists, for “not doing enough”. I can understand them. They are just being impatient as they see light in our project and the urgency of the problem we’re trying to solve. We are a company ahead of its time and we have to deal with it. The future is in our hands, I have no doubt about it.

I wish to say a big thank you to the people who organized such a great event, as well as to all the participants and the people I have been talking to. I am a recent switcher to Software Freedom and this was my first event. It was very instructive and I could feel a lot of good, positive energy there. Freedom is a collective effort and I am very proud to contribute to this bright future with you all Freedom makers. See you all again soon! 🙂

Until we meet again, you can send us your comments and feedback on the forum or to feedback(at)puri.sm

Purism CEO Todd Weaver interviewed on The New Screensavers episode #65

Purism CEO Todd Weaver made an appearance on the TWiT network on Saturday August 6th, 2016 with host Leo Laporte on the online TV show The New Screen Savers. Todd and Leo discussed Purism’s Librem line of products and what sets them apart from other free and non-free offerings, the importance of Free/Libre and Open-Source software, our operating system and web browser, and Purism’s philosophy and future plans.

Todd spoke with Leo about the hardware found inside our 13 and 15 inch Librem laptops, and how they are as freedom-respecting as currently technologically possible in a modern machine, with less possibility of including a backdoor. Todd spoke about recent Intel processors’ “Management Engine”, breaking down the issue of having a potential backdoor in Intel chips commonly found in modern computers, then proceeded to explain how Purism circumvents this privacy and security issue (see also our related article to learn more about how Purism avoids the Intel AMT remote access backdoor).

Purism hopes to work with Intel to strip out parts of the ME that many computer professionals feel is a privacy invasion, and began a petition that quickly garnered over 1000 signatures.

Weaver explained the goals of our operating system, PureOS, which is to provide an OS that is entirely respectful of your personal freedom, privacy and security.

Additional discussion was had on how we manufacture our own motherboards, how we source hardware (see our business model), the fact that we do not participate in the “surveillance capitalism” commonly found with larger companies, and our future goal of manufacturing a privacy-centric and “no-carrier” phone, providing a set of fully encrypted communication tools.

You can buy these laptops directly from our store. Questions or comments? Let us know at feedback@puri.sm

Meet up at Defcon & Todd joins Leo on The Twit Network

Purism’s Director of Technology, Zlatan Todoric, will be at the Defcon 24 through August 7th.  He will be available for any questions that you may have regarding Purism and our products.  He will also be happy to show off the Librem 13 to anyone wishing to take a look at our hardware.  You can contact him on Twitter @zlatandebian or via email zlatan.todoric(at)puri.sm

CEO Todd Weaver will be on the Twit network on Saturday August 6th, 2016 for an appearance with Leo Laporte on The New Screen Savers.  Todd will be discussing with Leo, among other things, the Purism line of products, the importance of free/open source software, what sets the Librem line apart from other free and non-free offerings from other companies, our web browser, our operating system and Purism’s Philosophy.  Join him here live at 3pm PT.

ICYMI: https://twit.tv/shows/new-screen-savers/episodes/65?autostart=false  Interview starts at 52:15

Pepcom Reveals

Purism Reveals New Privacy-Enhancing Features in New York

Members of the news media can meet Purism at the Digital Experience in New York City where we will be demonstrating our latest privacy-protecting hardware offerings

This is an invite-only event for press and analysts, June 18, 2015, 6 pm – 9 pm EST in New York, New York.

Digital Experience! @ NYC is Pepcom’s annual summer showcase, a media event dedicated to showcasing the latest innovations in laptops, tablets, smartphones, apps, TVs, videogames, toys, gadgets, GPS, online shopping and a wide variety of technologies.

Please email rsvp@pepcom.com if you are a member of the news media and can attend. West Coast and International press who cannot attend the event, please contact pr@puri.sm and you will receive the press release when we announce our news on June 18.

Pepcom Digital Experience