OpenBSD Journal

Donation Request: Funds for an amd64 laptop

Contributed by jcr on from the missed-points dept.

Editor's Note: I wanted to thank everyone in the OpenBSD community who donated to the effort. Brad has received enough donations to cover his needs. Thanks Again!

In a message to misc@ (below) one of the OpenBSD developers, Brad Smith (brad@), asked for help with a getting an amd64 laptop.

I added an entry to want.html as I am looking for a laptop to replace the laptop I have at the moment which has some really bad heat related issues and I have been hobbling along with it for awhile now. I am in the Toronto area. I thought I would post to misc@ for some greater exposure. Is there anyone that would be able to help me out?

Like all of the project developers, Brad has contributed a lot of his own time and effort to OpenBSD over the years, and the result is some portion of the code you're running right now. If you've ever watched a video on OpenBSD, then you've benefited from the work Brad and others do. On the mailing list, Brad's request for help received some well-intended suggestions like fan cleaning tips to hopefully solve the thermal issues, but as Theo de Raadt (deraadt@) said, some people were, "Missing the point entirely."

If you can help out in some way, Brad's paypal account is (brad<at>comstyle<dot>com).

One of the main points some may have missed is listed on the want.html page:

General device requirements
  • Laptops. These die often enough that our developers need about 2-3 replacements a year.

The need for hardware is continuous, especially laptops. While writing this article requesting help to get a new laptop for one developer (brad@), another developer (stsp@) added a similar request for help to get a specific, older laptop (Thinkpad X60 or X60s) to debug graphics issues in inteldrm(4) on the Intel 945GM chipset. Putting needed hardware in the hands of developers makes their limited development time more efficient. When faster hardware enables developers to get more done, the result is more code and improvements are contributed to the OpenBSD project, and everyone benefits.

Another unstated point is the project developers already understand thermal issues very well. In Brad's case, his existing amd64 laptop suffers from design flaws. It's a Lenovo ThinkPad X100e so by current standards it's slow (AMD Athlon Neo X2 Single-Core MV-40 running at 1.60 GHz with 512KB cache). Since the cooling of this system is flawed, the best it can ever do is run at half speed since the thermal budget/limits in the BIOS will under-clock the CPU when it gets too hot. Save for running it in a vat of liquid nitrogen, this thermal design flaw can't be fixed.

Brad said he needed to get something new enough for him to be able to help out with adding support for new hardware. He also needs something new so he can work on updating our graphics/ffmpeg port and adding/testing our VP9 and HEVC/H.265 support.

If there is any way you can help out with a donation, Brad's paypal account is (brad<at>comstyle<dot>com).

(Comments are closed)

  1. By Sebastian Rother (srother) on

    Except of Paypal the OpenBSD Project and the Foundation might consider "Flattr" as well. It is a micro-payment/donation system:

    1. By Anonymous Coward ( on

      > Except of Paypal the OpenBSD Project and the Foundation might consider "Flattr" as well. It is a micro-payment/donation system:

      Can someone explains to me then what the point is?
      I thought their suggestions were good...


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