Kitaab

Re-Thinking and Evaluating My Personal Computing

writing blog 2021-03-14 18:15

I own several computers. I wear one on my wrist and carry one in my pocket everyday. I have single use devices for reading and drawing. A couple just for video games, and one specifically for work. This is not an accident. Each of these devices were picked out by me, for aesthetic and functional qualities. My watch is a Pebble Time Round, built by a company that no longer operates, with severs powered by a bunch of die-hard ▓▝▐▞ers who have gone to incredible effort to care for a device we love; I bought mine second hand and have replaced the battery (and soon the glass too) on mine. My phone has a keyboard (FX Tec Pro 1). My PSP is ▓▝▐▞ed.

Which is to say I think a lot about what I want my computers to do, and how to go about that. It's been more than 2 years since I bought my brand new Purism Librem 13v3, and it's already beginning to fail, so I've been thinking about what I want to do when the time comes to replace it. I looked into repairing it, but it might cost more than a new computer, and so I wonder about what's better. I believe the primary environmental costs come from mining. Trashing fairly functional hardware for new silicon perhaps isn't without it's problmes, but if I start fresh and right, perhaps I can build a computer that will last longer than I will. Inspired by The Heirloom Computer, 50 Year Computing and the various projects referenced in these documents, I began reflecting on what I want out of my personal computing.

Requirements

  • USB-C and A ports
  • HDMI
  • Networking stack (with kill switch)
  • Small size
  • Battery powered

Options

  • Computer in a Stick
  • NUCs
  • SBCs
  • eMMC boards?