FUZOMA Educational Software

FUZOMA is a collection of over 40 entertaining educational programs.
P1020731Pre-reading, English vocabulary, math, logic, science, music, computer literacy, and more. Only the most imaginative, most engaging, and most effective programs have been hand-picked from a rich history of educational software that goes back over twenty years.

FUZOMA is bootable from CD or USB.
You don’t have to install anything if you don’t want to.  Your computer doesn’t even need a working hard drive.

FUZOMA is accessible. 
The project was started at a primary school for the Deaf in Kenya.  It works for the neediest learners, and it works on the oldest computers (tested on a 486 with 8MB RAM!).

FUZOMA is unique.
No other bootable software distribution bundles this kind of variety into a kid-friendly package.

Oh, and it’s small enough to fit on a floppy.

And it’s free.

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To Make a Bootable Floppy:

  1. Download and run the FUZOMA 1.6 Floppy Tool.
  2. There is no step two. Enjoy your disk!

Note: USB floppy drives will not work for this.
FUZOMA users can copy disks by clicking the bottom-right icon from the menu’s second page.
Linux users can make disks from the FUZOMA 1.6 Floppy Image using superformat and dd.

To Install to the Hard Drive:

  1. Download and install D-Fend Reloaded.
  2. Download and run the FUZOMA 1.6 Installer.
  3. Start FUZOMA by double-clicking its D-Fend Reloaded list entry, which looks like this: 
    image

Windows 95, 98, and ME users can just extract the FUZOMA 1.6 Floppy Image using 7-Zip, and then run INSTALL.BAT.
OS X users can install Boxer and then run the FUZOMA 1.6 Gamebox.
Linux users can install DOSBox from their repository, then imgount the FUZOMA 1.6 Floppy Image to run A:\INSTALL.BAT.

To Make a Bootable “Live USB” Stick:

  1. Download the FUZOMA 1.6 Floppy Image.
  2. Download and run UNetBootIn.
  3. Tell UNetBootIn where the FUZOMA Floppy Image is, like so:  
    image  
  4. Specify which USB drive you want to use and click OK.

To Make a Bootable “Live CD”:

  1. Download and install ISO Recorder.
  2. Download and open the FUZOMA 1.6 CD Image, which will open in ISO Recorder.
  3. Insert a blank CD and click the “Next” button.

Windows 7 users can use the built-in Disc Image Burner instead of ISO Recorder.
OS X users can use the built-in Disk Utility or Disk Copy.
Linux users can use cdrecord.

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Take a look at everything you get!
(Or see what’s changed since the previous versions.)

THE MAIN MENU  
km_041

KIDSMENU
This is the home screen of FUZOMA, customized with colorful ASCII art. Activities can be launched using the mouse or the keyboard.  Very easy for kids, and useable for the pre-literate.  Programs are grouped by subject and labeled, which makes it easy for to guide kids to the appropriate activities.

Freeware (source code is commercial), David Dunfield
[Direct Download: FUZOMA-exclusive 2003 version or custom 2010 version]

   
EARLY READING
& EARLY MATH
 
j_000

John’s Animated Game
A fun “keyboard banger” for kids who have no idea how the keyboard or mouse work.  Every time a key is pressed, something happens on screen.  This particular program is vocab-centric, which makes it stand above other similar programs, and it does not simply rely on music to entertain.

Freeware, Flix Productions

l_000

Letter Fishing
Learn to control the mouse, to click, and reinforce some uppercase/lowercase letter matching along the way.

Freeware, Lou Duchez

bo_000

Bozzball
Shapes and colors are done well here, with three levels of difficulty.  In addition, there are some alphabet, vocab, and counting exercises.

Shareware: You can order twice the number of lessons from Bozz Software.
[Also see old web site with broken download link]
[
FUZOMA-exclusive direct download]

co_000

Counting with Apples
This game encourages children to count with integers, small numbers, then big numbers.  It then reviews the English spelling of the numbers, and finally, the Spanish spellings!

Public Domain, John Schnittker

an_000

Animal Math
Counting, number sequencing, addition, and subtraction, all with cute animal faces.  Great for kids who are still counting on their fingers.  Rewards are mostly musical but there are some basic animations that provide at least some visual feedback.

Open Source Freeware, Donald L. Pavia

m_001

Math Boat
Can you beat the raincloud to the island?  For each correct answer, you get closer.  For each incorrect answer, the cloud gets closer.  If you lose, the island get soaked before you arrive!  Simple arithmetic drills.

Public Domain, John Schnittker

   
ENGLISH VOCAB,
SPELLING, & USEAGE
 
v_000

Vocabumonkey
A picture/word matcher with a funny monkey as your host.  Unlike Word Gallery or Wunder Book which just go on and on, this game has a definitive “end” – a big bowl of ice cream!  Be prepared to reward the player accordingly :)

Freeware, John Schnittker.
[Also see the open source online version]

6_041

Animal Match
This matching game is similar to other memory games except that instead of flipping over cards, each key on the keyboard “hides” an animal that must be matched to another key.  A more difficult mode also requires that you match the keys at the same time that a large picture of the corresponding animal appears in the corner.

”Free with magazine”-turned-Freeware, COMPUTE!’s Gazette (December 1987)
[Also see the download for the game only (excludes other content from the original COMPUTE! disk) ]

wr_001

Word Rescue Episode One
A highly appealing side-scroller in which a young boy (or girl) must avoid bad guys and lava and such.  To beat each level, words and pictures need to be collected and matched up.  The initial challenge is the lava, not the vocab, but once the kids get the hang of it, they learn the words just so they can keep playing.

Shareware: Additional episodes can be ordered from Redwood Games.
[Older version 1.0 used for FUZOMA]

wg_007

Word Gallery
A great program for vocabulary exploration.  With the game in its most basic mode, kids can just click the pictures and the program colors them and shows the word.  It also features matching and spelling games.  The images are crisp and bright, and the navigation is simple.

Shareware: Additional words can be ordered via snail mail from KinderWare.
[Direct Download: Newest version 3.0]
[Older Version 2.0 used for FUZOMA]

wb_000

Wunder Book
A picture/word matcher with some of the same features as Word Gallery (but with different words), Wunder Book additionally has some simple “same/different” games, as well as Spanish, French, and German vocabulary options!

Shareware: An additional 200 colorful pictures can be ordered from Polysoft / Hung Le 

6_042

Dragon’s Keep
This colorful and graphical text adventure is a great introduction to simple, full-sentence reading.  Faced with simple prompts such as “You are in front of the barn,” you must choose, for example, “Go into the barn” or “Go back to the field.”  The multiple choice selection is easy, and the object of the game is straightforward: rescue animals from the evil dragon!

Commercial-turned-Freeware, Al Lowe (Sierra)
[Also see original, uncracked version partially used in FUZOMA]

bi_001

Billy
A chatbot gives the kids someone to chat with, even if it’s not a real human being! The artificial intelligence is silly, but amusing for the kids who can read and write well enough to converse with him.

Open Source Freeware, Gregory G. Leedberg
[Also see the newest DOS version -- 3.31]
{Direct Download: FUZOMA-exclusive version 2.11 Linkless]

   
MATH, ENGLISH,
TIME, MUSIC,  & ART
 
mt_000

MathTest
These drills alternate with “fun time,” which in this case consists of shooting rockets and lasers or throwing rocks.  MathTest’s drills are unusual because they offer so much guidance for the individual steps in long division, etc, making them better teaching tools than usual.  The timer keeps the drills exciting, and the “review mode” forces kids to redo missed problems, which makes sure learning really happens.  Highly configurable.

Freeware, Kenneth Perrine

swa_000

Super Worms Math Arena
This is a Snake-like game in which worms need to eat the correct answers to math problems.  Two players can play simultaneously.  Version 1.4 was previously the most recent, but the author was kind enough to make a couple custom changes for me, and now a newer version is available here.

Freeware, Mike Wiering
[Also see page with working download link for pre-FUZOMA version 1.4]
[Direct Download: FUZOMA-exclusive version 1.5]

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Super Worms 3D Racing
Like the worms from Math Arena? You can also race them or engage in battles!  Like Math Arena, two can play at the same time, so you keep two kids busy at each machine. This is a bonus game, and it will only launch after Math Arena if enough points were accumulated solving math problems.

Shareware: Extra tracks and powerups can be ordered from Wiering Software.
[Also see the oldest version available prior to FUZOMA: 2.2 (1999)]
[Direct Download: Even older version 2.0 (1996) --
FUZOMA-exclusive]

6_043

Math Attack
Math problems are falling from the sky!  Answer them correctly before they destroy the city!  Choose between addition, subtraction, and multiplication.  There are three levels of difficulty, and the game automatically gets harder as you play.

”Free with magazine”-turned-Freeware, COMPUTE!’s Gazette (October1986)
[Also see the download for the game only (excludes other content from the original COMPUTE! disk) ]

6_049

Math Mileage
Race your way through this clever pre-algebra exercise.  Each track has a number goal, and you must drive your car through various math operations to create an equation that will equal the goal number.  Use multi-player mode to see which student can reach the goal number with the shortest equation!

Commercial, but distributed here with special permission from the author: Marcia Burrows (K-Byte / CBS Software)
[Also see the freeware (but broken) “MathChase” Java applet version]

n_004

Number Munchers Tribute
The classic Number Munchers!  Prime numbers, multiples, inequality, etc.  This is good for the kids who have a mastery of basic arithmetic and need a bigger challenge.

Freeware, Nick Andren

bc_000 

Bali’s Calc
A scientific calculator that can be operated with the mouse or with the keyboard.  Works just like a good calculator should.

Shareware-turned-Freeware, Bálint Tóth

sm_004

School-Mom Plus
Kids can use this program to learn to tell time, compose music, and draw and color!  An array of Math and English games are also present, including a unique animated Frogger-like sentence strip game.  There’s even an exam module with sample tests.

Trialware: You may be able to use this program indefinitely and get technical support by registering it with Motes Educational Software / Dr. Andrew “Andy” Motes; however, the rights to the software were sold by Major Motes to an unknown party in 1999.
[Also see page with working download link]

   
SCIENCE &
COMPUTER SCIENCE
 
pp_004

Pixel Puzzler
Use the keyboard or mouse to rearrange puzzle pieces to create pictures, just like a real jigsaw puzzle!  Two puzzles are included: “Earth’s Continents and Oceans” and “Our Solar System.”

Freeware / ”Free with magazine,” George Leritte & John Romero (Softdisk).  Distributed here with special permission from the publisher: Flat Rock Software.[A Softdisk distributor, PC Disk Downunder, released this program as freeware on their BBS in Dec. 1989 (working download).  It was later released in Softdisk’s Feb. 1990 issue of “Big Blue Disk.”

a_001

Atomix
Learn the names of molecules and how to combine atoms to make them.  This may sound boring, but Atomix uses this premise in combination with a unique puzzle game to make the element (pun intended) of learning completely non-intrusive.

Commercial-turned-Freeware, Softtouch / Thalion Software GmbH
[Also see page with working download link and legal clone “Atomix 2004” for Windows]

tt_005

Tank Time
Up to ten people can take turns playing this artillery game.  In an attempt to blow up other tanks, each player must choose an angle and velocity of their tank’s attack.  It’s a good math-meets-physics lesson.  Tank Time keeps the controls and the interface relatively simple.  Weapon upgrades can be purchased, teaching basic financial math, but the game can be played without ever seeing that more complicated side of things.  The mouse and/or the keyboard can be used to play.

Shareware-turned-Freeware, Klaus Reimer

fe_002

XPL0
XPL0 is programming language that resembles C and Pascal.  It can also run using an interpreter, like Java or Python.  This means that programs can be launched directly from source code.  Because four of the Early Logic activities are written in XPL0, it’s possible to edit their code in FUZOMA Edit and run modified versions of them!  This is very much in the spirit of the Sugar Labs project.  Directions to get started are included in the code.

Open Source Freeware, Loren Blaney
Direct Download: FUZOMA-Exclusive Non-FPU Interpreter

   
EARLY LOGIC  
ft_000

Falling Tetrominoes
Tetris leads to increased brain efficiency and a thicker cortex, concludes this recent study.  How can you argue against that?

Open Source Freeware, Hugi Size Coding Competition Series
[Also see the specific Boreal entry used to make the FUZOMA version]
[Direct Download: FUZOMA-Exclusive arrow key version]

pc_000

PC-Man
This was the very first graphical version of Pac-Man for DOS, and it remains a lot of fun.  PC-Man is a great follow-up game for kids who no longer have any difficulty with the Help the Frog maze.

Commercial, but distributed here with special permission from the author: Greg Kuperberg / Orion Software
[Also see
page with working download link]

6_059

Simon 1K
This is a simple version of the Milton Bradley Simon game, in which you must observe the sequence of colors and sounds and then reproduce them as they get longer and longer (and harder to remember!).

Public Domain, Henrik Jansson

guess_000

Number Guess
The computer is thinking of a single digit number.  What is it?  This game is simple, easy to play, and a great “My First Program” when learning the XPL0 programming language.

Open Source Freeware, Loren Blaney
[Direct Download: FUZOMA-Exclusive simplified version]

memory_002

Memory (Concentration )
This game is played with a deck of 52 cards, face down, which can be flipped over by clicking on them with the mouse.  Good for number recognition, with the added bonus of few letters of course (A, K, Q, J)!

Open Source Freeware, Loren Blaney
[Direct Download: FUZOMA-Exclusive version with timer]

frog_000

Help the Frog
The frog needs to get to his lily pad to eat a delicious fly.  How many tries will it take for you to get him there?

Open Source Freeware, Loren Blaney
[Direct Download: FUZOMA-Exclusive]

truck_002

Load the Truck
Help the trucker match the shapes in the correct order.

Open Source Freeware, Loren Blaney
[Direct Download: FUZOMA-Exclusive]

   
COMPUTER USE &
ADVANCED LOGIC
 
mars_000

Mars
Kids are given the opportunity to explore the red planet by hovering along the terrain using the mouse.

Freeware, Tim Clarke
[Also see page with working download link]

th_003

Tater Head
Remember Mr. Potato head?  Well, this is basically him again, except you have six potatoes and lots of parts, including animated eyeballs.  On the surface this is a goofy make-a-face game, but underneath it’s a good exercise in mouse control, and specifically click-and-drag.

Freeware, Axelgraphics
[Direct Download]

babytype_000

BabyType
There are lots of typing games out there, but a few things make this one unique.  It automatically speeds up or slows down to give you just enough of a challenge.  It has an on-screen keyboard that shows you where all the keys are and where your fingers go.  (You can even set it to display a UK-style keyboard layout.)  It also has a variety of cute animations to entertain.

Freeware, Doka Studios
[Also see BabyType 2000 for WIndows]

fe_001

FUZOMA Edit
A mouse-driven text editor built just for this disk, with undo, word wrap, center/left/right formatting, a character map, viewable clipboard, built-in calendar and game, and resizable windows.  It’s a good introduction to modern user interfaces: blue/gray color scheme, task bar, clock in bottom right, etc.  I also included a starter document, a short “story” I wrote with some ASCII art taken from chris, as well as a typing practice document.

Open Source Freeware, Paul Blair
[Direct Download: FUZOMA exclusive]
[Made with the help of Bob Ferguson’s Pascal Routine Library ]

6_056

Donald Duck’s Playground
This was a big award-winner when it came out.  Children control Donald as he gets odd jobs around town in order to purchase an increasingly elaborate playground for his nephews.  (A depressing preview of adulthood?)  Kids enjoy the direct control of the character, and if they play the game long enough, the game requires that they pay for the toys by selecting different coins as needed in order to produce exact change… good math practice.

Commercial-turned-Freeware, Al Lowe (Sierra / Disney)
[Also see Commodore 64 version used in FUZOMA]

ma_000

Matey
A good-looking mouse-driven chess game.  Version 1.1 was previously the most recent, but the author was kind enough to make a couple changes for me, and now a newer version (which is much better for kids who want to be self-taught chess wizards) is available here and on his site.

Open Source Freeware, Loren Blaney
[Direct download: version 1.3 and custom FUZOMA version 1.3PB2]
[Also see Pre-FUZOMA version 1.1 and post-FUZOMA version 1.4]

Additionally, there are many programs that work behind the scenes to make FUZOMA possible.  Credit is due to the following:

There is no commercial software in FUZOMA.  Some programs are ex-commercial, but have since been made freely available by their authors, eg. Al Lowe’s games and IBM’s PC-DOS.  Due to limited space and a noble cause, however, I do allow myself some flexibility in choosing versions.  If Al Lowe is only technically giving away the Amiga version of his games, but the Atari files are smaller, I use them.  And even if, technically,  only the newest DOS 7.10 is free from IBM, I don’t flinch at using the older version 3.30.  You get the idea.  If I’m causing you or anyone you know to lose money, let me know and I’ll fix it.  Similarly, if you like any of the shareware software, try to buy it!

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FUZOMA Back Story: My school’s computers were sitting unused in the library.  They’re old, 1994-era, and no one knew what to do with them.  Trying to boot to Windows would bring up errors, which had convinced the other teachers that the computers were broken.  One has a USB port (but the old version of Windows didn’t support USB), and another has a busted CD-ROM drive, and none had more than 32MB or memory.  The only way to load software onto them was through floppy disks.  I started transferring files in order to fix all the specific Windows problems, but I quickly decided that it would be better to make a single boot disk that could benefit others in similar situations.

The idea of a bootable floppy disk with a compilation of useful programs isn’t new.  See:

Similarly, the idea of a ton of kids’ programs on a bootable disk isn’t unique:

Unfortunately, none of the USB or CD-based solutions worked at my school, for the following reasons:

  • The currently-available bootable CDs and USBs have relatively steep memory requirements.
  • Even if I buy more RAM, overcomplicated start-menu-style interfaces make it difficult for students to find the educational content.
  • The educational content itself is rather weak.

I believe I have addressed all these issues with FUZOMA.  It only needs 8MB of RAM, the menu is easy to use, and there’s plenty of good educational content.  Enjoy it… I know my kids do!

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6 Responses to “FUZOMA Educational Software”


  • You have done an incredible job with this software collection! I came here just looking for vocabumonkey for my son to play on an older computer, but I leave with not only even more games for my little child but a cool disk to give to other non-profits I sometimes deal with. THANK YOU!!!

  • I like to learn software!!
    But i’ll learn it better in future when i’ll hav bought my own laptop!

    As for now i’ll learn a lil bit! gimme more to learn.
    Thanks n bye! see you some other time!!

  • Great job!

  • FUZOMA is Great!

    No, I’m not and educator or a software engineer. I’m just an old DOS-head from way-back who came across FUZOMA while researching FreeDOS (my new DOS of choice), because I’ve recently started putting together an old DOSBox; loading it up with Games, Media, fave Utilities and the like. FUZOMA has a happy place in my menu next to the other few educational titles I have loaded (I use JoyEmu 4.1 and ACCESS 5 RC2, a wonderful freeware graphical front-end, to launch all my DOS software). I even made a multi-boot CD with all five versions so I could check ‘em out. The newest (1.4) is by far the best. ^_^

    I’m especially enjoying Fuzoma Edit 1.4… it’s now my default DOS text editor of choice! I had to write a little .BAT script to copy the .DSK file to the current directory when calling it and then delete it upon exiting, otherwise the desktop wouldn’t appear, but this allows FE 1.4 to be called from anywhere on my HardDrive. Thank you for this nice little utility.

    It’s great the way you’ve dedicated your time and resources to this gem of a BootDisk, and I really hope to see another update sometime in the future. Please keep up the good work PB… I’m a FUZOMA Fan!

    P.S. I read your version history from top to bottom. Quite a few changes since the initial versions. Interesting and educational stuff (I learned a few things). Hopefully you’ll update the version history page if you ever release FUZOMA 1.5 (or dare I say 2.0?).

  • the world is a small village.thanks to the heart of passing over what you have discovered for the benefit of the rest.IT is the way way to go and you have demonstrated that and willingness to share.Thanks

  • Such a great idea. Kudos to you!

    I had no idea such a project existed until I came across it from the FreeDOS wikipedia. When thousands of computers are being thrown away in the western world, and the kids in the third world can’t dream of even owning a computer, your project opens the possibility for every child to have a computer that would open their eyes to a new world. Too bad international logistics keeps this from happening right now. If there was only a way to solve that problem…

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