BSDCan2019 - 1.8

BSDCan 2019
The Technical BSD Conference

Stefan Sperling
Day Talks #1 - 17 May - 2019-05-17
Room DMS 1110
Start time 10:00
Duration 01:00
ID 1047
Event type Lecture
Track Hacking
Language used for presentation English

Building an accessible OpenBSD laptop

Enabling secure and functional computing for a person with severe disabilities.

This talk presents the results of a use case study I performed together with my friend Maurice throughout the first quarter of 2019.

Maurice is an actor who survived a brain hemorrhage in 1996 and has since lived with severe physical and cognitive disabilities. His ability to use computers is restricted in many ways. For example, while Maurice can read text just fine, he is unable to fluently spell words and he can only use the fingers on one of his hands.

Computers Maurice has at his disposal are a PC and a netbook running Windows in standard configuration. He depends on friends and caretakers to perform basic tasks such as writing email messages. Security of these systems is of course on the lower end of the spectrum. Fooling Maurice into clicking a wrong button and installing malware is not hard.

Maurice is certainly not a typical OpenBSD user, but we wanted to find out to which degree we could shape an OpenBSD system towards his needs. We had to find suitable hardware with good device support, configure the base system, a desktop environment, typical desktop programs, system backup and restore, and allow for secure remote system administration. We also looked into porting accessibility software, such as open source speech-to-text systems, to OpenBSD. Any resulting changes and enhancements to both the base system and the ports tree were submitted back to the OpenBSD project. Maurice runs -current!