Sadly, an entire era and domain of human creativity is coming to a close.
It began with tinkerers in garages and basements in the 1970s building computers on their own time and dime, transitioned to to the rise of BBSes in the 1980s and survived into the era of the web.
The bullet that killed any hope of an individual having so much unrestricted ability to modify and to know his or her own devices was the DMCA in 1998. Everything was a fait accompli after that law was passed. If it hadn’t been the DMCA, it would’ve been something else, though — the general purpose computer combined with the internet handed the average person simply too much power to be tolerated for long.
I miss the days of being able to modify my computer and my software to make it do what I want it to do, not what some suit-clad shithead thinks I should be able to do with it.
But such power just couldn’t be allowed to last. Surprised it stuck around for as long as it did — and it only did so because of the connection of the hippies and the countercultural movement to the early history of computers and the internet.