The Kestrel project is all about freedom of computing and self-education using all-homebrew design, right down to having openly documented hardware and software at all levels, from register-transfer logic all the way up to OS API and user tutorials.
With each passing day, technically capable consumers of computing technology increasingly lose their rights with computer hardware. The successful deployment of UEFI in the market, with Microsoft controlling which operating systems receive a key that permits it to be booted, poses a potential threat to system- and application-software and hardware development freedom. While some look to prominent Linux suppliers as an escape from the Intel/Microsoft/Hollywood oligarchy, I have taken a different route -- I decided to build my own computer completely from scratch. My computer architecture is fully open; anyone can review the source, learn from, and hack it to suit their needs.
When a company which has been outed again and again over the last 30 years as being expressly anti-consumerist in the construction of its products (despite their public rhetoric; that's right -- thirty years -- that is not a typo) fails to make suitable changes to improve their relationship with their customers, it really makes me angry. I'm angered that my relatives have to endure an unnecessary "ignorance tax" for their lack of detailed knowledge of what goes on under the hood of their computer, and especially for how Windows works inside; and, I'm especially angry that Microsoft goes scott-free both legally and in the ostensibly free market. When you lack repurcussions for your actions, you can't help but develop a sense of sheer contempt for your own customers.
The list below summarizes some of the most interesting ideas from each market or specific computer. Over time, as the Kestrel hardware and software evolves, you might see one or two of the ideas listed below shine through. Or, you might see something else all-together. This list cannot be considered exhaustive. Read more...