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Use a custom rom such as LineageOS. No preinstalled google apps at all. If you want/need some of the apps then you can install OpenGapps Pico. This will install just enough functionality to use the play store, from there you just install the apps you ACTUALLY want not what google wants you to have.
".45 ACP - because shooting twice is just silly" - JSOP, 2010 ----- You can never have too much ammo - unless you're swimming, or on fire. - JSOP, 2010 ----- When you pry the gun from my cold dead hands, be careful - the barrel will be very hot. - JSOP, 2013
You work for the gubmint, just charge $1000 for some toilet seat type item.
Government can give you nothing but what it takes from somebody else. A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you've got, including your freedom.-Ezra Taft Benson
You must accept 1 of 2 basic premises: Either we are alone in the universe or we are not alone. Either way, the implications are staggering!-Wernher von Braun
Over the last 30+ years, I've had a few HDDs fail on me, as well. One lasted less than six months.
SSDs may be proof against mechanical problems, but that doesn't mean that they are totally reliable; no technology developed by humans is. Anyone who doesn't keep multiple copies of important data is asking (begging) for trouble.
(Full disclosure: I work for Western Digital, which makes both types of disk)
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.
-- 6079 Smith W.