Best Laptop to buy for Freebsd Without OS?

James Phillips anti_spam256 at
Sun Feb 20 21:01:08 UTC 2011

> Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2011 04:23:03 +0100
> From: Polytropon <freebsd at>
> Subject: Re: Best Laptop to buy for Freebsd Without OS?
> To: Brian Callahan <korszca at>
> Cc: freebsd-questions at
> Message-ID: <20110220042303.0f730c6b.freebsd at>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
> On Thu, 17 Feb 2011 18:32:59 -0500, Brian Callahan <korszca at>
> wrote:

> > and "By using the Software, you accept these terms. If
> you do not
> > accept them, do not use the software. Instead, contact
> the
> > manufacturer or installer to determine its return
> policy. You must
> > comply with that policy, which might limit your rights
> or require you
> > to return the entire system on which the software is
> installed."
> > 
> > The major OEMs will say "OK, then you must return the
> computer," and
> > you have no option but to comply. This is true for the
> USA.
> Erm... and this is NOT a joke? Don't get me wrong, I had a
> good laugh about this... agreement... but nothing is too
> absurd to be true.
> In this specific context, does booting a FreeBSD and
> removing
> the "Windows" from the disk is equivalent to "using the
> soft-
> ware"? If I understand it correctly, "using" relates to
> the
> software, not the hardware.

Unfortunately, it is *not* a joke unless it is some kind of elaborite prank. I don't know why people let computer (and peripheral) vendors get away with it. I briefly describe the inserts and stickers included with a "computing console" my sister bought here:

Anyway, as you may know, the "End-user" does not agree to the Microsoft version of the EULA directly. Rather, each manufacturer uses their own modified EULA that in turn, references the Microsoft EULA. The important thing is that they have changed the language from "by clicking agree..." to "by using the (computer)..." you agree to the license.
There is also a seal on the bag holding the computer to that effect.

Just yesterday, made a post complaining about how you can't just buy a "General Purpose" computer anymore:

In it I mention how I tried to buy a GNU/Liunx and BSD compatible printer, only to be confronted with:
Please read before opening. Opening this package or using the patented cartridge included with this product confirms your acceptance of the following license agreement. The patented Return Program cartridge sold with this product is provided subject to the restriction that it be used only once. Following this initial use, you agree to return the empty cartridge only to Lexmark for remanufacturing and recycling. Lexmark provides a prepaid return label in every replacement cartridge package. If you don't accept these terms, return this unopened package to your point of purchase.</quote>

Patent law is stronger than copyright law. Lexmark may be able to argue you are "manufacturing" printed documents and are subject to the Patent license. INAL either.

After deciding I could not really buy a computer locally, I ordered my latest machine from "Freedom Included, Inc" from in the US.

It is a MIPS-based subnotebook shipping with gNewSense (Linux distro). I don't think it is what the OP was looking for since it won't even run Windows without qemu (3hour+ compile for all targets). It is also a relatively small machine (netbook size). I am also not sure if the wireless would be supported in freeBSD.
freedomincluded at freedomincluded:~$ lsusb
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Bus 004 Device 003: ID 0bda:8189 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTL8187B Wireless 802.11g 54Mbps Network Adapter
Bus 004 Device 002: ID 0bda:0158 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. USB 2.0 multicard reader
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
(Camera not listed)


James Phillips

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