Thursday, April 09, 2009

Sugar on a Stick

Currently enjoying Cincinnati's Koala Fires - follow them on twitter to download a copy of their debut ep.
Also enjoying Loney, Dear's Daytrotter Session
After all has been said and done about the successes and failures of the One Laptop Per Child organisation, it is still built on a very sound set of principles, one of which is that children's education works best when the child owns the technology. When Sugar Labs separated from OLPC, they took this premise with them. Sugar on a Stick is a project currently in beta at Sugar Labs, which allows you to leverage Fedora LiveUSB to store the complete running Sugar OS on a USB stick.

I encourage you to help out with this project if you have primary school aged children (even older - I have really enjoyed the TamTam music software available with Sugar). The Sugar OS has been designed with children in mind. People who criticize the OLPC project for not training children in the use of Microsoft products (because these are an industry standard), are missing the point, I believe. Microsoft operating systems and applications are an industry standard because they are ubiquitous. You use them at work, you have a pirated copy at home, etc... just as the Macintosh equivalents are similarly pervasive. I love my OLPC XO for a variety of reasons, but it is an island in my life, because I am surrounded by pervasive operating systems and applications, and I always have been. Unfortunately, the OLPC laptop doesn't change this.

Sugar on a Stick could.

Technology is ownership, portability, pervasiveness. With the Sugar on a Stick beta, Sugar Labs is driving toward these goals.