Low-cost software for schools turns one computer into 10


27 Sep 2010

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A new green software is giving schools in impoverished villages access to computers.

Userful MultiSeat Linux 2010 is a complete solution software bundle for schools that increases access to affordable educational computing in classrooms by allowing up to 10 students to connect to a single host PC at the same time, each with their own monitor, keyboard, mouse and applications.

Userful say that the software, which effectively turns one computer into 10, lowers desktop computing costs, improves manageability, and reduces both electricity consumption and e-waste.

Power saving

“Customers report saving 60pc in up-front costs, and 80pc in annual power savings as compared to their previous PC-per-station solutions,” according to Userful.

Userful said the Userful MultiSeat Linux 2010 has been in “overwhelming demand in Latin America and Asia”, despite not being commercially available until later this year.

“Regions such as Latin America and Asia have been shifting to Linux and open source software in their schools for a few years now to eliminate software costs, and make it feasible to deploy plug-and-play computers right in the classroom on small budgets,” said Beverley Gallagher, vice-president for strategic partnerships at Userful.

“Our education customers have been asking us to bundle Userful MultiSeat technology with their favourite Linux software so that they can install it all at once from a single DVD. That’s exactly what we’ve done.”

Since Userful MultiSeat Linux 2010 is Linux-based, the operating system and application software is all free and includes free, open source, end-user and education-specific applications, such as iTALC classroom computer management tool, ATutor teacher assignment tracking software, OpenOffice.org office suite, and Firefox web browser to name but a few.

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