The pioneers who initiated the personal computing revolution in the 1970s sought to reset the balance of power between individuals and institutions by democratizing access to thinking machines. This meant making computers smaller, cheaper and, most importantly, useful without arcane technical knowledge. Today, computers not only enhance, but are necessary to the work of artists, scientists, engineers, and activists and are central to the lives of nearly every individual in the developed world. Computers have become the most ubiquitous appliance, provided without instructions to infants and elderly alike. But as computing went mainstream, many of its loftier goals fell by the wayside. A tool intended magnify human creativity and capacity has become yet another conduit for advertisement, a facilitator of passive content consumption and addiction. Lacking knowledge and understanding of alternative software, users find themselves at the mercy of corporations like Apple, Google and Microsoft who can break workflows on a whim and generally make computing a frustrating, one-sided experience.
Shedbuilt GNU/Linux is a free, open-source operating system that fosters a participatory relationship with community-supported software - encouraging users to discover, create and share, deepening their understanding of computer fundamentals and supporting a healthy relationship with technology on which we all depend. It’s also a totally rad throwback to the free-wheeling open-source scene of the late 1990s.
You can build an entire operating system capable of communicating over the Internet, playing games, measuring atmospheric conditions and directing an army of lethal robots, from scratch on a computer that costs less than a well-optioned burrito. Here's an over-the-top and entertainment-focused video that demonstrates what Shedbuilt is caple of on sub-$10 devices, using software packaged by our community: