So I've got one person replying to me saying FSF is too "fundamentalist", and I've got you saying they're too lax and are letting too much slip through.
I'm not saying they are too lax - I know there are no open source hard drive firmwares (though there is some progress on Open SSD firmware). I'm saying that they are being unclear on what they are delivering, they are saying "No proprietary firmware" when they know that portions of the computer do have
The general theme is that some people will look for even the smallest error just to avoid acknowledging good work.
Why do I say "probably" in my previous post? Because you and I don't know what the firmware in our microwaves do. It's probably fine. There haven't been any big microwave firmware scandals that I'm aware of. (And if I didn't say "probably", you'd say "How can you know?!")
Why do you keep comparing hard drive firmware with microwave firmware? My microwave doesn't see every bit of data I store on my hard drive, nor does it have full access to the physical RAM of my computer.
You keep saying "probably" because you really don't know what the hard drive firmware is doing. Which is fine, but don't dismiss it with "Well no one knows what it's doing and besides you can't do anything about it, so just ignore it".
Regarding FSF's statement, they said "no proprietary firmware options". Options. Whatever firmware could be removed has been removed.
Ahh, so there's no proprietary firmware except for the parts that use proprietary firmware. Well that's crystal clear and not misleading at all.
Is the HDD firmware a problem? I don't know. I don't know personally, and I don't know what FSF's take on it is.
If you feel that proprietary software infringes on your rights, how could closed source HDD firmware not be a problem?
But even if you did find some flaw, the right thing to do is say "Well, FSF is definitely 95%, and well done to them for their effort, but I'd like some discussion on this other 5%".
I might be willing to give them more credit if it was clear why they are promoting a computer that has open source software and open source BIOS, but the CPU and peripherals have proprietary embedded software and no one really knows what it does. How could I even give them 95% credit when I don't even know what the goal is or how what they've done so far meets the goal - how would that 95% be measured? If the system can't function without a hard drive and the hard drive runs proprietary software, are they really 95% close to a free and open solution?
In reality, it doesn't matter since few people will want to purchase a 7 year old laptop just because it is "open" - but it doesn't really help the FSF much when they endorse an "open" product that's really not open.