Privacy! It is more than just a word, but sadly there are still many people who just don't care! People who genuinely believe they have nothing to worry about...yeah, we've all heard that phrase:

"I have nothing to hide"

And that, in and of itself, is fine, If you are one of the many people who have nothing to hide than you probably went to the wrong website! But if you close the curtains in your house from time to time, or close the bathroom door when you shower you probably have more to 'hide; than you realize or will admit to yourself.

I have some friends who've started recently to delete their Facebook accounts, even though they will miss out on their friends and family. My argument has always been that if they are caring family and real friends then they can download Signal or Element (Matrix/Riot) and keep in touch that way. And seriously, those that share cat vids or pictures of their latest burger or how ripped they are after a workout, hey, who cares!

Now let me go back a bit...if you are one of those "I deleted my Facebook account and I feel good about it" types, you need to think about your next step! In the Privacy Cookbook I recommend replacing Windows with Linux, but this can be tough if you are not that tech savvy or worried about messing things up. So how about the next time you go for a new laptop you pick a laptop that has been designed specifically for Linux and so has it pre-installed!

Insist on Linux pre-installed on all your devices coz privacy matters!
We’ve maybe all seen the news that Lenovo now comes with Red Hat and Ubuntu pre-installed, right? And that is great news because Lenovo make some seriously good computers, but who else is out there doing the same and could be your next privacy focused vendor of choice? Let’s even go one step furthe…

Yup, we've covered some great companies in some of our recommendations, but today I really want to push you towards a product that just rocks! Not just because the hardware is top of the line but as much that the people behind it are just super cool and super passionate about Linux!

I am talking about Star Labs with whom I recently did an interview:

21 Questions with decentralize.today featuring Sean Rhodes Star Labs
In the seventh edition of 21 Questions with decentralize.today, ​we feature Sean Rhodes, Technical Project Lead at Star Labs...when asked to describe them, Sean responded with the following: > In short, we’re just a bunch of geeks. Back in 2016, Star Labs was formed in a pub. We all depended on usi…

But even as I learned about him and his team and their passion you might have missed the details of these guys having Blue October running in the background, a coffee AND a beer machine in the workplace and a Border Collie pup running round PLUS they do amazing laptops!

About Us - Company Information
Star Labs was created by a group of Linux users who sought the ultimate Linux laptop for their own use. Years later, we can now share this with you.

In fact, even though I've been a System76 fan for a long time, I ordered both machines from Star Labs and can't be more excited about it. The form factor of the smaller unit just makes me super excited as it could be that I'll no longer need a cellphone but will always be reachable when I want to be reachable - the form factor to bring everywhere!

I challenged myself when lockdown began to stay away from my cellphone and just be reachable on Signal and Element (Riot) for as long my computer is online! I even went so far as to say "have a good one" at 6PM, then lock my office, play with my kids and have a relaxed evening. And I tell you these evenings are so much more relaxing if you are not reachable!

To be fair, it is a new world, where most things are in the home office, and my wife and kids can just reach me in the real world, and everyone else can share their cat/burger pictures in the morning ;)

But coming back to Star Labs and the two options they're offering:

The Star Lite Mk III is just 11.6 inches (diagonal) across and cost just US$443 which is insanely inexpensive considered that this baby can be your 'going to the pub, having a coffee in Starbucks or sitting on your own balcony' (yes new freaking world) model. It can be your all day gadget replacement, but not only with a mobile phone OS but as a full blown Linux device, in hand, blog, chat, research all on a decent size! And trust me you won't play and just refresh to see if you have new messages...you do what is necessary and have more time in for you and yours in your life!

The Star LapTop Mk IV has a 13.3-inch (diagonal) screen and is a work horse, well at least for most people, it won't be your gaming laptop replacement, but for most people this is a computer that can totally become your daily drive!

What is also cool with Star Labs is that they are working (and I will believe it when they deliver) to carry coreboot on their laptops! It doesn't get much better than that, for speed and security, and, sure, some would say an AMD processor would have been the ultimate solution, but with coreboot I feel safe and happy enough about running Intel on my machines.

To round this up, you can chose Ubuntu, Elementary, Linux Mint, Majaro (with Xfce, KDE Plasma or GNOME), MX Linux or Zorin pre-installed! These are absolute thoroughbreds and purely 'designed for Linux' computers. Over and above this, if you have questions about any of the computers Star Labs helps you out and gets you sorted! Likewise, if you have any questions, I am more than happy to help and guide you as well.

I hope to bring more people to see the light that is Linux and lead them away from the monitoring and spying Microsoft and Apple does because, remember, you do close your curtains and you do close the bathroom door so why not close the door (or the Windows) on your online activities!

Privacy matters! And Star Labs is one of a few companies that deliver a product which can make your life easier and better and safer without having to install an OS by yourself.

Start this baby up and off you go, just as you would with a new Mac or Windows PC...well minus the spying bit!