Personal Computer Liberation

posted on: March 09, 2009

I now have a technology goal for the year, to move my personal computing needs to platforms/programs that are easy to import/export my data from. For the most part this will be open source products but I will not ignore closed source products that provide me with easy non locked access to my data.

The catalyst for this change happened on Feb 5th of this year. My iMac at home stopped working, I feared the thing was dead (it is just a little over 4 years old now). I opened the thing up and found that the hard drive had failed, luckily I have good backups and it only cost me the price of a new drive and my time.

I got lucky this time but it got me thinking, what if the computer did die on me, what then? Buying a Mac just so I could access all MY data and programs seems wrong (will cover what programs I "need" below), a quick check at the Apple Store shows that the cheapest replacement I can get is a Mac Mini for $599 and if I wanted a comprable machine $1,199 for the iMac. I don't want to pay that much for a computer anymore, and I don't want to be locked into a single ecosystem.

To sum up, my goals are the following:

So far I have taken the following steps:

What I plan on doing:


So my biggest problems are: pictures, music and videos. I'll update with any progress throughout the year.

tags: liberation | linux | mac