Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 17th Jan 2008 15:19 UTC
Linux "Many office workers have the same morning routine: turn on the computer, then grab coffee, catch up with coworkers, or look at paperwork while Windows boots up. Others save time, but waste energy, by keeping their machines on all the time. Now Device VM, a startup based in Silicon Valley, has a product that circumvents the everlasting boot-up. The company has recently released a tiny piece of software that, when integrated with common computer hardware, gives users the option to boot either Windows or a faster, less-complex operating system called Splashtop."
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Nephelim
Member since:
2006-07-26

Till now, and from my Amstrad CPC times (which booted in seconds with its ROM OS and Locomotive Basic based), computers boot time has always come to worse. May be things like this help where OS complexity or lack of good design fails.

Reply Score: 4

Office users...
by WereCatf on Thu 17th Jan 2008 16:02 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

Many office workers have the same morning routine: turn on the computer, then grab coffee, catch up with coworkers, or look at paperwork while Windows boots up. Others save time, but waste energy, by keeping their machines on all the time. Now Device VM, a startup based in Silicon Valley, has a product that circumvents the everlasting boot-up.

Why talk about office workers when this will NOT benefit them in any way? SplashTop is not meant to replace a corporate workstation as it will never have all the needed software included.. Office workers are forced to boot to Windows (or Linux, if they use that. But usually it's Windows cos most of the corporate desktop software is for Windows) and will still have to wait for it to boot up.

And well, when I heard of SplashTop I was hoping it would be a replacement for BIOS setup, also including disk utilities, hardware diagnostics tools et al, not an OS replacement..

Reply Score: 11

RE: Office users...
by snozzberry on Thu 17th Jan 2008 17:19 UTC in reply to "Office users..."
snozzberry Member since:
2005-11-14

And well, when I heard of SplashTop I was hoping it would be a replacement for BIOS setup, also including disk utilities, hardware diagnostics tools et al, not an OS replacement..

I can't agree more. A partition editor, a S.M.A.R.T. checker, a backup/restore utility, a battery discharge/check utility, a network-aware BIOS flash utility, hardware log saver... all these would be actually useful.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Office users...
by apoclypse on Thu 17th Jan 2008 18:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Office users..."
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

Those were my thoughts exactly. At this point its basically useless to me.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Office users...
by silix on Thu 17th Jan 2008 18:48 UTC in reply to "Office users..."
silix Member since:
2006-03-01

having a full featured kernel in the MB's flash rom means that such auxiliary tools like memtest, parted, etc can reside on a dedicated disk partition (much like EFI tools, according to the specification) or loaded from, say, a usb pendrive
all that would be needed is a boot menu allowing to access tools on such storage device, in addition to the normal EFI boot and maybe, a special bootup mode that would start a complete desktop environment retaining the kernel, core libaries and primary services (ipc, networking, window manager) already loaded from the mainboard's flash ROM, and activating memory paging (paging file/partition location specified by a setting specified either by some NVRAM bits, or by a command line or...)

yes maybe Splashtop and Hyperspace in their current form will fail, but them being linux, imho there are hopes to see a way to firmware customization, or to the definition of a flash-resident fast loading base system that can be used by itself rather than as a quick replacement for other os's...


Why talk about office workers when this will NOT benefit them in any way? SplashTop is not meant to replace a corporate workstation as it will never have all the needed software included..

but the day it makes use of available system storage, nothing will prohibit the use of compatible external applications and their installation on any device in the system, will it?

Edited 2008-01-17 19:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

What would be really cool...
by zlynx on Thu 17th Jan 2008 22:37 UTC in reply to "Office users..."
zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

The thing to do would be to boot this SplashTop thing as a VM hypervisor and *boot Windows in the background*!

Then, after you have finished surfing the web and whatnot, you flick over to Windows with the Boss Key to work on spreadsheets.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by BluenoseJake
by BluenoseJake on Thu 17th Jan 2008 16:07 UTC
BluenoseJake
Member since:
2005-08-11

How does this help? Will it allow me to run Openoffice? any of my critical business apps? Java? Does it also work with Linux, which is also huge and has bootup times no better than Windows? Seems like a crippled solution to a non problem, if you ask me.

Debian and Windows take virtually the same amount of time to boot on my desktop, about 45-60 seconds, and I have access to the full range of software. This is just silly.

If you can't find something constructive to do for a couple of minutes, maybe getting yourself a coffee or flirting with the receptionist isn't so bad. I'd prefer that to a crippled environment.

Edited 2008-01-17 16:09 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by BluenoseJake
by WereCatf on Thu 17th Jan 2008 16:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by BluenoseJake"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

How does this help? Will it allow me to run Openoffice? any of my critical business apps? Java? Does it also work with Linux, which is also huge and has bootup times no better than Windows?

According to their website it will not include OpenOffice. There is no mention of Java or Flash, but I would imagine those are not included either. But well, SplashTop could be a god-sent feature for system admins and builders, but no, they are aiming it for common home users...I think that will fail miserably: it really is not such a big problem to wait 30-60 seconds for OS to boot considering you have the ability to download stuff, install anything you wish etc.

Seems like a crippled solution to a non problem, if you ask me.

Have to agree with you there. As I said in my previous post, this would be a LOT more useful if it included software needed by system administrators.

Reply Score: 2

Great idea!
by Crono on Thu 17th Jan 2008 16:39 UTC
Crono
Member since:
2006-11-08

turn on the computer, then grab coffee, catch up with coworkers, or look at paperwork while Windows boots up.


OR you could just arrive 5 freaking minutes earlier to do all those things (at least to boot Windows and make coffee - the parts that are not related to the actual work).

But hey, it's a new way to unnecessarily spend money, yay!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Great idea!
by Erunno on Thu 17th Jan 2008 22:29 UTC in reply to "Great idea!"
Erunno Member since:
2007-06-22

Well, I disagree that a worker should compensate with his free time because his employer provided him with an old machine which can't handle the standard software which got installed on it. This already happened to me once when I got an ancient notebook with XP and a half a dozen Eclipse-based applications which were started right after logon. Every morning I sat there with a cup of tea and stared out of the window while waiting up to 15 minutes until the machine was responsive enough to start working (more or less). Since the company was actually quite profitable and could have aquired new notebooks easily I had zero sympathy for them and regarded each minute of me waiting as work-time.

Plus, chatting with your colleagues over a cup of coffee is a great way build social networks (and even talking about work-related problems) and therefore improve atmosphere in a company. Ultimately this increases productivity in the end.

Edited 2008-01-17 22:29 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Kinda useless
by Xaero_Vincent on Thu 17th Jan 2008 16:42 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

OSes don't take that long to start up.

Windows and Linux boot up reasonably quick.

I don't think people are so impatient to wait 30 seconds for their systems to cold boot and load the OS. I think once a system is running, users tend to leave the system on and utilize ACPI functions to put the system and it's components into a low-power standby state.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Kinda useless
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 17th Jan 2008 17:35 UTC in reply to "Kinda useless"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I don't think people are so impatient to wait 30 seconds for their systems to cold boot and load the OS


Instant-on is one my internal goals when it comes to computing. When we can achieve instant-on from a powered-down state (sleep still requires power so it's not a proper substitute), I'll do a little victory dance and claim we have reached computing nirvana.

Won't happen, but hey.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Kinda useless
by Arno on Thu 17th Jan 2008 17:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Kinda useless"
Arno Member since:
2006-01-10

Will happen, the solution is called "Magnetoresistive Random Access Memory". Because it uses magnetism instead of electricity to store data you could power off you're computer without losing the data stored in the memory.

I hope they will release it soon .. until then I'll just go get coffee :p

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Kinda useless
by Alwin on Thu 17th Jan 2008 22:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Kinda useless"
Alwin Member since:
2005-07-17

You don't need upcoming technology or vapor-tech to do this, current technology is fine:

For a working system, you need 1) hardware properly initialized, and 2) software/memory setup into a workable state.

As for 1: screen, keyboard & mouse is enough to start working IMO. Video hardware should/does initialize in well under a second (from the time supply voltage is okay), think eg. changing screen resolutions. Mouse/keyboard goes equally fast (as soon as USB connection is established), and all of this can be done in parallel.

That leaves 2: filling your memory with the right data/code. Using current tech: copy data from Flash to RAM. In your 1st second after power-up, an ordinary Flash card can deliver 10 MB or more. More than enough code/data to initialize other hardware in the system. Then, to get all the stuff for a full-featured desktop: a couple of seconds more? In case you HAVE to use a HD: my laptop drive takes around 5 seconds to spin up, after that you can pull +/- 50 MB/sec. from it. That means: put startup data in one continuous block on the disk, and (in theory) you could have 100 MB loaded at the 7-second mark, 250 MB at the 10-second mark, and so on.

So in theory, current technology could get a full-featured desktop up & running in, say, 3 to 5 seconds after hitting the power switch. Faster flash memory could bring that down further.

That ordinary systems take a minute or more doesn't mean they're not capable of instant-on, it just means the software on it (BIOS + OS) isn't designed to provide instant-on. For instance by initializing hardware 1-by-1 instead of doing as many things as possible in parallel. Or because data loaded during startup is spread out on a disk in 100 different (physical) locations.

Current tech is fast enough, optimal use of it is the limitation here.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Kinda useless
by leech on Thu 17th Jan 2008 19:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Kinda useless"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

Ah, the good ol' days of the Atari ST with the OS in ROM. It's kind of strange that I'm the only one so far that thinks this is bad ass. Well besides of course the one who made the comment about being able to safely search porn.

Think of it this way, when you have to troubleshoot windows and it simply won't boot up. As long as the splashtop has ntfs-3g support, you'll be able to boot into the browser, download the fixes to your hard drive and hopefully be able to fix it. Or in those cases where Grub fails. Though I'm only hoping they'll at least include a terminal.

Then again, let's also hope they implement some sort of security measure, since this could be used as a HUGE security risk (not that having direct access to a computer hasn't always been one, but this would even eliminate the need for a LiveCD.)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Kinda useless
by WereCatf on Thu 17th Jan 2008 20:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Kinda useless"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

As long as the splashtop has ntfs-3g support

But the problem is that it's pretty much certain they will not include that... They only think of it as an OS replacement, not a solution to fix problems... >_>

And well, I dunno, but I've been unable to find anywhere what filesystems will it support.

Reply Score: 2

cart? horse?
by robinh on Thu 17th Jan 2008 17:05 UTC
robinh
Member since:
2006-12-19

So, instead of fixing the buggy software which causes startup times to be massive, they're engineering around the problem? Is it only me that thinks this is a really dumb idea??!?

Reply Score: 3

RE: cart? horse?
by stestagg on Thu 17th Jan 2008 17:38 UTC in reply to "cart? horse?"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

No. Microsoft refuse to fix startup times. Microsoft also squash every commercial alternative OS out there that can run on typical x86 hardware. Therefore, the ONLY solution is to write a basically hardware-only solution that MS will not be able to prevent from being shipped.

Reply Score: 6

Or.... WOL!
by Haematobium on Thu 17th Jan 2008 17:10 UTC
Haematobium
Member since:
2005-08-10

Or you can use a Wake-on-LAN script that runs on a server.

Reply Score: 1

PORN
by Gone fishing on Thu 17th Jan 2008 17:10 UTC
Gone fishing
Member since:
2006-02-22

But it will solve the problem of browsing porn without infecting Windows or leaving a trace on your PC

Reply Score: 9

Start up times?
by Laurence on Thu 17th Jan 2008 17:44 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

You mean some people still shutdown their computers each night? ;-)

Reply Score: 5

RE: Start up times?
by porcel on Fri 18th Jan 2008 01:54 UTC in reply to "Start up times?"
porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

Well, if they care about the environment, that would be a very sensible thing to do, yes.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Start up times?
by Laurence on Fri 18th Jan 2008 10:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Start up times?"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Well, if they care about the environment, that would be a very sensible thing to do, yes.


Hibernation is eco friendly.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Start up times?
by WereCatf on Fri 18th Jan 2008 15:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Start up times?"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Hibernation is eco friendly.

True. Suspend-to-disk is pretty much the same thing as turning your computer off except that it's back in a useable state faster than it would otherwise be. Suspend-to-ram does consume some energy but even that doesn't actually consume much. For example my laptop has really sucky battery as the laptop running on battery stays on for only about 15 minutes! But well, if I suspend-to-ram and remove the AC adapter the battery lasts for about 2 days. One good thing about suspend-to-ram is that it's almost an instant-on ;) I use it constantly: I just suspend my PCs when I am going to bed and then when I get out of bed they are useable again the instant I press the power button. No need for SplashTop in that sense :3

Reply Score: 2

Is this a joke?
by alias on Thu 17th Jan 2008 18:14 UTC
alias
Member since:
2007-02-11

I've been using STR/STD (suspend to ram or disk) since years now. If you exclude the time taken by bios, the boot time is usually around one or two seconds. Since you can freeze your system at any point, I consider the actual solution much more advanced than this crap.

Reply Score: 4

skype cheat
by balihb on Thu 17th Jan 2008 22:02 UTC
balihb
Member since:
2006-06-15

the video on the site does a little cheat.
it shows the windows version of skype.

Reply Score: 1

There is more to this than it seems.
by b34r on Fri 18th Jan 2008 00:51 UTC
b34r
Member since:
2006-06-01

This could very well be the future of computing for the masses. I think this is just a step in the grand scheme of things of companies like Google. And ASUS is putting itself in a very nice position of leader by acting now.

Combine that with Prism, GMail and the myriad of online applications coming out lately and you can now get more than most ordinary people ever use their computer for directly in the browser.

Listen to MP3 - Deezer
Mail - GMail
Web - Firefox
Chat - Skype

This probably covers 90% of what a typical home PC user does nowadays. The last 10% will be watching movies and there are many online solutions for this. Even if you fancy screeners of unreleased movies.

I can very well imagine in a few years time a device with nothing else than this lightweight OS in it, not having enough HD for even installing a full OS on it.
Of course all those free ad sponsored services will slowly start to cost money, and they'll bring in a lot of cash. Let's not even mention how much of a dream it is that all of the users data be ready for inspection on a private company server.

We are not the audience being targeted here. These guys are all working together in building the next television. Now the question is: what will be the point of junction between this, the mobile phones, umpcs, etc...

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Chat - Skype


Since when does Skype run in the browser?

Reply Score: 2

b34r Member since:
2006-06-01

How smart... You obviously got straight to the point of my post.

Chat - eBuddy

Pleased?

Reply Score: 1

The third group
by Soulbender on Fri 18th Jan 2008 03:23 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

"Many office workers have the same morning routine: turn on the computer, then grab coffee, catch up with coworkers, or look at paperwork while Windows boots up. Others save time, but waste energy, by keeping their machines on all the time."


Then there are yet others who use the power management that every computer made in this millenium has.

Reply Score: 3

What Desktop?
by sledgehammer89 on Fri 18th Jan 2008 08:46 UTC
sledgehammer89
Member since:
2006-02-02

XFCE? KDE? GTK libs or Qt libs?

Thank you!

Reply Score: 1