The Ferale computer is an attempt at documenting a way to make a computer from simple logic gates, free from any corporate locks on hardware.
It happens that building a computer nowadays requires pieces of hardware which are protected by industrial secrets and “intellectual” property. Factories don’t even know what they’re making. Opening an electronic chip and taking a photograph of its internals is actually forbidden.
I consider that computers, and the knowledge to build them, should be public and common knowledge shared by all. Computers made society worst in a lot of ways, that’s for sure, but letting private companies control how the infrastructure was built took a big part in going the wrong direction.
I believe that with public knowledge and possession of the means of producing and repairing computers, we could live in a better society.
That’s why I started this project, which aims at writing a complete description of how a simple computer works, from the ground up, how to build it and program it, and publicly share this knowledge with the world.
It’s not going to be the best computer ever. It’s not going to compete with existing hardware. But it’s there to proove a point: if one person can invent and build a computer free from any private property, then a group of people can do much, much better, cease the means of production, and free society from the chains of corporate mischief.
Anatomy of Ferale
The Ferale computer is composed of 4 components, named after animals.
- Louve is the processor
- Alosa is the graphics unit
- Bourdon is the assembler
- Mésange is the operating system
The physical description of the computer (including electronic schematics) can be found in the Luciole manual.
To try the virtual emulator of Ferale, go to Ferale on Sourcehut.
To learn how to program it, see the Louve page.