They call it Sugar on a stick. It’s the collaborative open source software originally developed for One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), the hoped-for $100 XO laptop, which actually comes in a $199. And now it’s available for all PCs, and “a great new opportunity to breathe new life into these old machines," Walter Bender, founder of Sugar Labs, told the BBC.
It can be run from a USB drive, giving older PCs a new interface and access to collaborative educational software.
Bender formerly worked for OLPC, but left in April 2008 and founded Sugar Labs, which has developed the software. The emphasis is on collaborative learning, letting children share material between computers – and it automatically saves and backs up. It’s already been used by over a million children on the XO, and comes bundled with the Ubuntu and Fedora Linux systems.
Sugar on a stick comes on a 1GB USB stick and includes 40 programs, including word processing, and the stick makes it a very portable experience, Bender said:
"No matter what computer you have at home or at the library you’re going to have the same use experience because you have sugar on a stick."
The software can be downloaded free from the Sugar Labs site, although newer Macs and older Windows machines will need a special CD to be able to boot up from the USB stick.