librefree.me

librefree.me has recently turned one years old! It's an interesting milestone as when I think back, the website was created with the need for a hobby. It was never intended to be anything more than a place to share my opinion on technology. Despite the humble start, librefree.me has accomplished more than I could have ever envisioned.

Despite the success, I've always felt I could be doing more with the site. This is why for year 2 of librefree.me I'm making some big changes and I want to share them with you.

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Webster’s Dictionary defines Nomophobia as the “fear of being without access to a working cell phone.” While a generation of baby boomers may scoff at the notion, there still lies a large demographic of users suffering from smartphone addiction. Recently, minimalist phones have come to market to address the growing concern people have over the time lost to their pocket computers. Products like the Light Phone 2, Punkt MP02, Wise Phone, Sunbeam F1 and the upcoming Mudita Pure look to address those concerns. For all that these minimalist phones provide, one stands above the rest.

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When the Pinebook Pro first arrived at my doorstep, I was excited to immediately jump into the packaging and see what this $200 arm based laptop was capable of. I loaded up my favorite OS, Fedora OS, did some updates and spent quite a bit of time with the device, here are my thoughts.

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What if I told you that you can have a smartphone like device that was less addictive, less privacy invasive and less expensive than the device you currently own. Would you be interested in such a device? If you said yes, perhaps you’ve already heard of it. If not, well then let’s talk about the PinePhone and why it’s making waves.

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RISC OS Cloverleaf’s goal to modernize RISC OS Open may be just a pipe dream at this point in time. Having a strong first 48 hours, the momentum for the project has come to a screeching halt from their November eighteenth start date. With only thirty days left, and less than half of the needed funds pledged, the project looks to be in hot water. In a post Covid world, the large asking price of some of the pledges isn’t doing Cloverleaf any favors either.

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Back in July we posted Why You Should Keep Your Eyes on RISC OS going into 2021 and it has been our most popular post with over 340 views. In that blog post, we mentioned that Cloverleaf was working on releasing a Kickstarter campaign to push RISC OS into the future with much needed improvements. In the following timeline you can see what Cloverleaf has in mind for the future of RISC OS.

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Retro gaming has taken off in a big way the past decade, and only looks to continue to grow. With big companies like Nintendo, Sony and Sega releasing miniature retro console clones over the past few years, interest continues to grow and what was once considered niche has become mainstream. With the advent of the Raspberry Pi and other single board computers, as well as emulation handhelds like the RG 350 and Retroid Pocket 2, emulation for those retro systems has also become a lot more affordable, and easy to set up. Despite these advancements, there are those of us who prefer to play on actual hardware, faults and all.

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In a blog post earlier today, Purism announced their new MVNO, unlimited privacy-centric mobile service plan. At a whopping $99.00 a month, the plan offers you unlimited data, unlimited talk and text, and enhanced privacy. Purism registers your new number(no option to port your own number has been announced yet) under their name instead of your own. This helps to mask your activity, but doesn't make you impervious to tracking. Cellular providers can still triangulate a particular phone’s location as it connects to their cell towers.

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My love affair with Linux started back in the Summer of 2012. We went for long walks, stared lovingly into each others eyes, but alas the love was not meant to be. You see, while Windows Vista was an abusive OS, it was my gateway to my at the time addiction, MapleStory(see me playing here). In fact, if it wasn't for the Raspberry Pi, I might not have ever come back.

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It's 2020, right? I know that's the argument some people may make when trying to sell them on the thought of buying a non smartphone. It's true though, it is 2020! We live in a hyper connected world where privacy and security threats abound. So what can a non smartphone, by a new company, really offer you in 2020? More than you would think.

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