Monday, April 06, 2009

It makes you think

I took a picture of this after school in my third grade classroom because what was happening just blew me away.

This is obviously the Connect Four game. I was blue, and as you can see, I was about to lose...

Connect Two
There are several things noteworthy in this picture loaded with technology stuff:
  • Dell GX 270, with 1 GB RAM
  • Acer 19" monitor
  • Ethernet switch
  • wireless access point
Yet the thing that made this all possible is barely visible. It's a 1 GB USB flash drive, plugged in to the cpu right under the "1", on the right. That little stick was the entire operating system, apps, and docs for what I was doing with my keyboard and mouse on my honking big Dell.

The other computer I was playing against happened to be in my classroom, but it could just as well have been in Kathmandu. That other computer was an XO laptop (also running on a flash drive). Both computers were running Sugar, and they were connected to the same Jabber server on the Internet.

The XO was moving much more slowly, but I still lost. The record of that game is on the flash drives that were plugged in to those two computers. Those flash drives can be plugged in to other computers. Those flash drives can hold the apps and docs that their owners want on them. They call it Sugar on a Stick. There are some wrinkles to be ironed out, but....

this kind of leveling of the playing field really makes you think.

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