At this month's OLPC Learning Club DC, we will demonstrate a very early (alpha) version of "Sugar on a Stick" running from a USB flash drive on the new Intel Classmate 3 laptop (sold as the CTL 2go Convertible Classmate PC).
Sugar on a Stick, or SoaS, is Sugar Labs' strategy for making it possible to run the Sugar learning environment on any computer from an inserted USB flash drive without needing to alter the native system. SoaS also provides extra space for storing user's files. The vision is that teachers can easily try out Sugar without alarming their tech administrators and children can carry Sugar and their working files with them wherever they go.
With the OLPC Association's recent pushing of all development of Sugar to the community and Sugar Labs, work on SoaS is gaining some momentum. The current version of SoaS is really just a proof of concept with a select few Activities installed, some of which are not working. SoaS, which now runs on top of a version of Fedora 10, also doesn't have network capability and is missing other hardware support such as the ability to use the built-in webcam. Sugar Labs is looking for interested parties to join the development effort, and the Learning Club hopes to help with testing, if not more, in the coming months.
The Classmate 3, pictured at above left next to the OLPC XO-1, just came on the market a few weeks ago, and the unit we're demonstrating is a production unit purchased from the CTL web site. We'll do a side-by-side hardware comparison of the Classmate 3 with the XO-1. The Classmate 3, which takes inspiration from the XO's form factor, is the latest in the line of Intel's children's laptops that has essentially been in direct competition with OLPC in the developing world. The arrival of Sugar on the Classmate 3 perhaps symbolizes for today how market forces have assimilated and evolved the early ideas of Nicholas Negroponte and the original OLPC team.
OLPC Learn Club DC's February meeting details:
Family XO Mesh Meetup.
Saturday, February 21st, 2009, 10 am to 1pm
Gallaudet University [map],
Student Union Building, Lower Level