The year of the FreedomBox
I am involved in developing something coined as the FreedomBox.
Explaining it to my mum the other day, she wisely asks if it, albeit clearly an exciting challenge we've picked, really is doable? Surely the World has gone sour, but is such radical change even possible?
Annoying question! And clever
For some years, tech media has tried predict when Linux have reached momentum for ordinary users. That current or next year was to become the Year of the Linux Desktop. Funny thing, seen in restrospect, is how "the year" kept being postponed, and when finally OLPC paved the way for the boom of Netbooks and arguably we got there, the World had moved on: Now Free Sofware is as common and as usable on desktops as commercially driven systems. It is taken for granted, not praised, and we look forward for the Next Big Challenge (as geeks) or Next Big Excitement (as users).
Perhaps a similar fate is to be expected for FreedomBox: Initially when sparking our interest, and repeatedly since although we still today have nothing concrete to show - indeed even before we started hacking on it or knew the name of our dreams - our Prophet declared the Year of the FreedomBox. Not explicitly, but the cleverly phrased "right now."
I am excited and proud to be working on FreedomBox, and foolishly hope it will be ready for worldwide consumption in a very recent "right now" - well aware that most likely it won't happen like that. Thing is, I don't really care how it happens, if only something does. This is due to the way we work: Hacking may appear from outside as larger projects, but really is juggling piles of small pieces for an eternal jigsaw puzzle, with each piece usable in multiple ways and across projects. I do not work only on FreedomBox, just as I did not work only on Sugar before that, or only with Debian as my platform:
I work on Freedom-enabling technologies and ways to frame them for the Real World to use them with a vengeance.
I sure hope you take the results for granted. That's true success!