Open-source education software developed for the “$100 laptop” can now be loaded onto a $5 USB stick to extend the life of aging PCs and Macs. Run from the USB stick, the software can grant new life to the millions of decrepit PCs that would otherwise end up in trash heaps in developing countries.
Equipping PCs with a new interface and custom educational software, the USB stick project is a spinoff of the One Laptop per Child project. The software consists of the following:
The Sugar interface was custom-designed for children. The new Sugar on a Stick download features 40 software programs, including core applications called Read, Write, Paint, and Etoys. Many other applications are available for download, most of which emphasize creative collaboration among children. The USB software can boot up an aging computer, or a netbook, and save data from any of the programs.
This is a promising development because the developing world is already a dumping ground for ageing PC’s. Anything that could extend the lives of these PCs so they could serve a function educating the youth is promising news.