Frequently Asked Questions
Who is this for?
We are not personal computers' manufacturer. We do not sell, mass-produce or manufacture anything, except concepts, Open Source designs and fully functional prototypes for demonstration purposes and presentations.
Here are some use cases and personae to which Balthazar just might appeal:
1. An average basic internet user that requires some default security and develops a certain awareness on its data privacy and is friendly-forced upon using the security and encryption through the default usage of the device.
2. Advanced computer users, journalists, governmental and public institution's workers that need secure hardware and software features to prevent an intrusion and the theft of sensitive data.
They are skilled and aware enough, so they can quickly understand UI, UX, hardware features and will use additional AES encryption for the prevention of official and personal data protection through secure productivity suite of apps and tools.
3. Educational institutions that will teach online security, privacy, and safety. Also, such institutions can make wide and creative use of a device’s software, onboard connections, versatility, and connectivity.
Proposed AOE for children and schools mode windowing environment and its User Interface and User Experience is utilising age-adoptive Aperture Operating Environment.
For more advanced use, now just as an example, it will feature a fully functional, secure, online and off-line, in a WebKit or a Blink browser
Incorporated (a WARNING — not a secure page) Workbench that will have a range of fully customizable productivity apps, such as Text, WebDev, Paint and SVG editors amongst the other examples shown there.
This Workbench is to be based on a new WebShell environment still under the development.
Added to it all, the educational community should find the value in the overall physical sturdiness, software, and hardware sustainability of a BPCD.
Why yet another laptop?
It is very expensive to buy an “advanced” or a secure laptop, and it comes with usually “customized” and mostly proprietary software that bounds a user to a manufacturer. This is where BPCD comes in at the most possible lowest retail price that should be affordable to everyone — from an individual up to a big-budgeted large institution.
But we have already had inexpensive netbooks, picturebooks, tablets, Chromebooks, and alike.
Google, Samsung, Acer, Asus, Dell and the other respective manufacturers already make inexpensive and lightweight laptops, however, they are locked in a certain software and hardware ecosystems and offer not too many security features. Also, those devices do not work without the internet, so the reputation of such devices is often understood as “personal data collecting devices”, so that doesn't help to create a positive image towards such products.
It is the fact that such devices also appear less flexible towards full FOSS, GNU-GPL and EOMA guidelines that we want to use and set up as another standard for the new internet age.
Such ethical standard is altruistic and non-profit. Imperative here is protecting and educating users of all ages on how not to engage in voluntary dissemination of their private data all over the internet, that often being used as bait by large companies. Those do take advantage and make amazing profits because of such illiterate, involuntary, unconsciousness and irresponsible behaviour.
BPCD is aimed to inexpensively enable the end-user to control all the inputs via physical hardware switches and security dongles, preventing even a remote possibility to have the system invaded or spied on by any 3rd party.
What do you want?
We want to enable and support low-income individuals and communities all over the planet with a powerful, open, and secure computing experience, while carefully partnering with “humane” and ethical corporations along the way. Those will participate as co-creators and will get Balthazars to give away, rent or borrow BPCD to those who are unable to afford it. Alternatively, they can build their curriculum around the Balthazar ecosystem.
We loosely partner with LEGO® Education, Google Education, educational institutions, various charities, foundations, and EU' initiatives, so we can only hope they can deliver expected behaviour and practice.
So, Balthazar is NOT OLPC-alike, but it does follow some OLPC product design innovations and features. Those are adopted and improved for today’s performance requirements, strictly focusing on privacy, safety, and personal data protection and encrypted shared data or a retention of the same in its own so-called “cloud”.
But… A ” Cloud” is free, cool, useful and hype.
Remember — a “Cloud” is just other people’s or corporations’ computers that store your data when you do ” share” your data with them.
So, why should me or my children want one?
Education being a very important issue today all over the planet is yet another field where affordable BPCD could and should make an impact. New generations need to learn and understand the importance of being secure and how to care about their data.
It is also aimed at “the makers of the things” with 36 GPIO connectors on-board enabling students and users of all ages to control, test, and program sensors, actuators, and other electronic devices and gadgets from literally every manufacturer. Added to it, its value is increased with an optional add-on module with LEGO®-specific RJ-12 and Power Functions connectors.