In addition to Minifree, I also own RetroFreedom.com which sells retro videogame systems with the copy/region protection and other DRM removed via hardware modification.
Libreboot is a free (libre) BIOS/UEFI replacement, offering faster boots speeds, better security and many advanced features compared to most proprietary boot firmware. The main benefit to libreboot is your freedom and privacy in using your computer.
The aim is simple: make it easy to have a computer that was made to run entirely on Free Software at every level, meaning no proprietary software of any kind. That includes the boot firmware, operating system, drivers and applications.
But why? What is this all about? All computer users deserve maximum control (liberty) over the computers that they own.
As of December 1st, 2018, all Minifree services run exclusively on libreboot-powered servers, on a network powered by a fully libre router setup, behind an ISP that respects the privacy of its customers. The DNS, web and mail server all run on Libreboot hardware! Minifree provides all of its own hosting services, which is good for us in terms of freedom/autonomy and good for you, the customer, because there’s less risk of data leakage (outsourced hosting weakens your security. Minifree no longer outsources any of its hosting infrastructure, our servers are all hosted in Leah’s lab with fully dual-stack IPv4+IPv6 and proper rDNS). – previously, Minifree hosting was outsourced to a third party hosting provider.
People of Minifree
Minifree has 3 employees (besides Leah who is the founder and director), all of whom are well-paid. We believe good work demands good pay. As such, all employees are paid at least double the minimum wage.
The motto is: If you can’t afford to pay someone properly, you should not hire them.
Employees on direct payroll:
- Leah’s mother is hired to do cleaning once per week
- Leah’s roommate (and best friend) helps out part-time as a lab assistant / secretary
- Leah’s aunt handles accounting (tax returns)
I, Leah, operate out of my own personal lab. I handle all emails and shipping. I also have a secretary (my roommate) to help me out with packing etc (and she also reduces my workload by disassembling laptops for me ready for me to flash, but I still do re-assembly and testing). I used to have a worker handling orders in a separate location, but I’m back now to handling orders myself. I operate out of my home; the place I live in is small but very efficiently organized.
You can see pictures of my lab here:
About Leah Rowe
Minifree’s founder, Leah Rowe, is also a libreboot developer (and founder of the libreboot project). Profits from Minifree sales directly fund the libreboot project. This includes paying for development, hardware, hosting and so on. Minifree can be contacted, using the information on the contact page.
Examples of how Minifree has contributed financially to libreboot:
- Has ported boards to libreboot many times, in addition to spending countless hours providing free user support to the public, via IRC and mailing lists.
- Minifree has privately funded several new board ports to coreboot, which were then added to libreboot: 90,000 USD to Raptor Engineering for ASUS KGPE-D16 and KCMA-D8 libreboot support, and 4000 AUD to damo22 on IRC freenode (Damien Zammit) for Gigabyte GA-G41M-ES2L and Intel D510MO libreboot support
- The libreboot.org infrastructure and hosting is paid for by Minifree, and maintained by it.
- Leah Rowe works on the project every day, which includes working with other developers. This costs time, which costs money (need to eat, sleep, etc).
- Generally paying for new development. Leah doesn’t spend much on herself, it all mainly goes to libreboot and general living costs. Costs are kept as low as possible to ensure that libreboot always has excess funding available in the future.
In addition to Minifree and Libreboot work, I’m also involved in transgender activist work; I’m the founder of transit.org.uk (info/support site for trans people). I’m also involved in offline activism, and I help out in local groups in my area. I’m also involved in politics;
I’ve been a member of the Labour party in the UK for several years, and I’m also a member of Momentum – currently unaffiliated to any party; I left the Labour Party because I support a left-led Brexit (Lexit), and Labour is largely pro-EU despite the EU’s neoliberal, anti-democratic foundations. Besides computing, my hobbies mainly involve drawing, spending time with friends and watching cartoons. I’m also quite handy wih a soldering iron; I spend many hours in my lab, on all sorts of crazy projects. My personal website is vimuser.org and I also have a blog.