Sugar Labs, the makers of the Sugar OS for the OLPC project, has released their OS bootable from a USB drive – or “Sugar on a Stick“. The real potential of this is the ability to load a fool-proof OS onto a system without having to create an alternative boot partition.

Trivial? Think of how many times you’ve had to fix your Windows desktop because a child decided that dragging around icons was like bumping cars around? What about the time your parents downloaded that screen saver of waterfalls and it ended up opening a backdoor larger than … well you get the idea.

Combine Sugar with a cheap netbook and you have yourself an inexpensive, and reasonably secure computer that just about anyone can use. This would make a great gift this year (which is really a gift to yourself for saving hours of maintenance).

“Sugar on a Stick (SoaS) enables children to reclaim computers. SoaS aims to make it easy for children, parents, or local deployers to provide each student with a small device (USB stick or thumbdrive) that can starts any computer with the student’s personalized Sugar environment. We would like to see Sugar’s presence, journal, and clarity principles usable on any machine — at school, at home, and anywhere there is a suitable computing device. Sugar on a Stick starts up (“boots”) the host computer directly, without touching the hard disk; however, it may be necessary to adjust the computer’s settings to look for a USB device before the hard disk. ”

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