Not Someobody Else's Problem - Mine.

Writing, thoughts, experiences and perspectives of Abhas Abhinav.


Hi! I'm Abhas, a hacker, entrepreneur and free software activist. I lead DeepRoot Linux , a Free Software Business providing support and services for Free Software and Mostly Harmless, a ethical source for libre and liberated hardware products.

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Launching the Libre Tech Shop!

About three years back I set out to create an online store such that I might be able to offer products that are offer freedom and hackability by default. I finally did launch it and its many moving parts. Here is the story!

IndieWeb - A Primer

We should all own the content we're creating, rather than just posting to third-party content silos. Publish on your own domain, and syndicate out to silos. This is the basis of the "Indie Web" movement.

Why I am a sysadmin

I consider myself to be a sysadmin. More than a "job description", its an attitude and value system. And today, on SysAdmin Day, as a tribute to sysadmins and hackers everywhere, I thought I must share my perspective about why I am a sysadmin.

Building smart hardware that respects users' freedom

I gave a talk at the role that Free Software can play in building "smart hardware" that respects the freedom of its users. The motivation to talk about and address this issue was this -- While we are using more software (combined with hardware) than we ever were and while we are producing more free software than we ever were, most hardware products we build or "own" don't offer us the sort of freedom and respect we deserve.

What should you do after attending a talk by RMS?

Here are some things that you can do after you have attended a talk by Dr Richard Stallman (RMS). In my personal opinion, it would be a missed opportunity and a loss if we attend an inspiring talk by Dr Richard Stallman today and are not able to reflect on his message and act on it.

Student Projects - January 2019

Here are some interesting, challenging and short-term projects to work on. They are all free software projects and can be done over any time-frame from 2 weeks to 3 months. Happy hacking!

OSFY - Open Journey: Software Freedom can lead to self-reliance!

Recently, the "Open Source for You" magazine covered an interview with me in their "Open Journey" section. Here is a short account of that experience! And some explanations and clarifications.

Why should we talk even when no one is listening?

We often stop saying (what we consider to be) the right thing just because we feel that no one is listening. But how are we to know when they listen and when they don't?

Advice to students for hackathons

Are you student intending to participate in a "hackathon"? If what you want you are trying to optimise for is learning and challenging yourself, here is some advice on how to do that. I also offer suggestions on alternate methods of building your project and why it is important to think about some of these things.

Why "Open Source" still misses the point!

The term "Open Source" has been misused and misunderstood so thoroughly by now that it really doesn't mean anything anymore. Specifically, it does not convey the essence of software freedom nor is it suitable for any of the other purposes it is used for. "Open Source" continues to miss the point even after 20 years!

Personalising your involvement with Free Software

What can you do over the next 3 months to deepen, extend and personalise the adoption of Free Software? Some things can be small and quick while some of them would involve working with others.

What do you do when things are going well?

We don't put in enough effort to build skills or acquire tools when things are going well... and when things are bad, we desperately crave for these same tools that we didn't spend time acquiring.

Self-Hosted Email Newsletters

How do you self-host and send out a newsletter? Here is at least one elegant way to do it that will not force you to use a hosted-service or proprietary software. Covers the software and practices you can use for subscriber management, building content, sending mails, ensuring deliverability and analysis.

Public DNS servers and Privacy

What are the privacy issues related to using public DNS servers? What steps can you take to have more privacy with regards to your Internet access?

Choosing Freedom & Privacy on your Android phone

What do one forsake when one chooses to use a proprietary mobile operating system? How can one claim one's privacy back? How does self-hosting impact the choice of software and network-services on your phone?

Swatantra 2017: Behind the Scenes

The Swatantra conference is a rather unique conference organised by ICFOSS in Trivandrum. Its unique because of the extremely rich discussion that it creates around the ideology of software freedom, rather than the technology. I was fortunate to be a part of this conference in multiple ways in December 2017. And this is a short account of the same.

The Tyranny of Convenience

An extremely deep and insightful essay on what convenience is doing to us and how "things" that are meant to liberate us via the convenience they provide also serve to enslave us with that convenience.

How do you purchase DRM-free music in India?

The SaReGaMA Music Store is a music store that sells DRM-free music in India. They have one of the largest music collection and if you care about high quality music available conveniently and without DRM, then that is the place to head to.

Why is it difficult to fight against DRM?

What is DRM? Why do publishers use DRM for their content? What are the problems and inherent fallacies with the use of DRM? Why must we reject DRM so that we can protect and preserve our freedom?

The India Electronics Week, 2017!

A small account of my visit to the India Electronics Week in 2017.

Billy Joel: The keyboard is a percussion instrument

Could you imagine the keyboard as a percussion instrument?

Make one prototype a week.

How did you arrive at that conclusion?

A conclusion, when doled out, is a recommendation, a best practice and a lesson learned, perhaps after many trials. It hides, in its finality, all the errors, failures and trials experienced in the process of arriving at it. And unless someone can really look behind the conclusion and appreciate the effort involved or the problem that the conclusion offers a solution for, they might actually not appreciate the solution as well.

Hackable Hardware Obsession

Unless we are able to choose our hardware carefully, we might run out of places to run free software on. Or even the freedom to choose or control what the hardware does for us. No wonder you have hardware products that spy on us!

© 2018, Abhas Abhinav.

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