Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 6th Mar 2008 21:21 UTC
Linux "San Jose-based startup DeviceVM made waves last year when it unveiled Splashtop, a nearly instant-on Linux environment stored in the flash memory usually reserved for motherboard BIOS. The company previewed an upcoming revision to Splashtop at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in January, then gave us the chance to take a hands-on look at this intriguing system software."
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Actually worth using?
by WereCatf on Thu 6th Mar 2008 22:36 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

I don't really know, as I have said in all the other posts about SplashTop it could have been SO MUCH more useful than it is now.. They aim it for the casual home user who just wants to surf and all that? Well, casual users will just find out pretty soon that they can't install any apps of their own choice, they can't use Flash (can't f.ex. check YouTube), and they will just see SplashTop as a total failure. The more technically inclined people who want to have browser et al accessible within seconds will anyway put their computer to sleep at nights/while away, and when they come back they will have the whole full OS at their disposal within, again, just 1-5 seconds.

The thing that would have been a definite killer-feature would have been a complete system repair, configuration, management and diagnosis utility accessible from BIOS, including disk partitioning software, surface scan and such. That is what any and all system builders would love: to be able to test the full hardware without even having to install an OS, or to have access to readily available rescue system right from BIOS if something goes awry!

I really hoped much more from SplashTop than a fairly useless web-browsing-jpeg-viewing-completely-stripped down OS..

Reply Score: 11

RE: Actually worth using?
by snozzberry on Thu 6th Mar 2008 22:42 UTC in reply to "Actually worth using?"
snozzberry Member since:
2005-11-14

What he said. BIOS is for emergency utilities and diagnostic functions, not functionality already duplicated by basic OS applications.

Asus dropped the ball on what could have been a major breakthrough in platform stability.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Actually worth using?
by Phloptical on Fri 7th Mar 2008 00:43 UTC in reply to "Actually worth using?"
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

Kind of like iLo, or RiLO? That would be useful.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Actually worth using?
by hobgoblin on Fri 7th Mar 2008 03:01 UTC in reply to "Actually worth using?"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

i think all users would be better off is one of the net's growing key features where npt reliant on a proprietary solution. w3c chickened out...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Actually worth using?
by spinjax on Fri 7th Mar 2008 04:09 UTC in reply to "Actually worth using?"
spinjax Member since:
2006-12-12

According to the article, the system they tested DOES have Flash support, as well as a MPlayer plugin.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Actually worth using?
by WereCatf on Fri 7th Mar 2008 11:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Actually worth using?"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Oh, yeah, sorry. It was Java they couldn't see there, so my mistake ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Actually worth using?
by stestagg on Fri 7th Mar 2008 17:25 UTC in reply to "Actually worth using?"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

If you're a system builder and you can't run hardware tests without installing an OS, then I suggest you change career.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Actually worth using?
by WereCatf on Fri 7th Mar 2008 19:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Actually worth using?"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

It's not a career, it's a hobby. And heck, even had f.ex. a situation where you have no optical drive at hand so you could use your bootable CD? Or malfunctioning optical drive, yet you can't say if it is the drive or something else and still can't boot from the CD?

Oh, and I did mention the case that if you have an OS installed but something goes awry, that does also include hardware fault which prevents you from booting.

No matter how you spin it, a BIOS based system diagnostics, utilities and repair facility would be a boon to many hobbyists and professionals.

Reply Score: 2

Sounds pretty good to me
by mrcanady on Fri 7th Mar 2008 01:09 UTC
mrcanady
Member since:
2008-02-29

I actually like the idea of splashtop. I agree with the other posters that it should have better BIOS options in it for tweaking, etc. But at the same time, an instant-on DVD player, or instant on system for checking emails online sounds like a great idea, and is something that I'd appreciate out of a laptop. Also the fact that it would use less of the battery (due to no hard drive usage) when watching movies with your laptop on a flight or something sounds like a real plus. Just my 2 cents!

Reply Score: 6

RE: Sounds pretty good to me
by hobgoblin on Fri 7th Mar 2008 07:54 UTC in reply to "Sounds pretty good to me"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

my sisters hp laptop already come with such a feature ("instant" on media player), and i suspect it may be linux based.

however, i do believe it runs of a partition on the drive, not of a flash chip on the motherboard.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Sounds pretty good to me
by SilentStorm on Fri 7th Mar 2008 13:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Sounds pretty good to me"
SilentStorm Member since:
2006-09-22

HP's quickplay environment is not linux but Windows XP embedded and uses 1GB from hard disk space.

Also HP's "instant on" means 15seconds POST + 30 seconds boot.

Disclaimer: This comment was entered from an HP DV6187EU laptop w/Debian.

Reply Score: 2

neat idea, but
by stooovie on Fri 7th Mar 2008 05:57 UTC
stooovie
Member since:
2006-01-25

It's a reakky neat and useful idea, but I kind of expected much faster boot. On modern computers, Vista loads in around 30 seconds (heck, it loads in 60 seconds on my 2 years old laptop), so how can Splashtop take nearly 10 secs?

Reply Score: 2

Very usefull
by testadura on Fri 7th Mar 2008 08:17 UTC
testadura
Member since:
2006-04-14

This technologie is very usefull for company desktops. With the shifting of applications to the web, most employees can do most of their work with a webbrowser.

Imagine using these pc's with the google apps for plain office work. No more hassle of maintaining Windows machines with an Office suite.

Edited 2008-03-07 08:17 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Very usefull
by raver31 on Fri 7th Mar 2008 08:57 UTC in reply to "Very usefull"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06


Imagine using these pc's with the google apps for plain office work. No more hassle of maintaining Windows machines with an Office suite.


you blasphemer ! I expect the Windows crowd to mod you down to oblivion, starting any time soon

10
9
8
7

etc etc

Reply Score: 4

RE: Very usefull
by WereCatf on Fri 7th Mar 2008 10:58 UTC in reply to "Very usefull"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I actually seriously doubt these will be of any use for company desktops.Why? Because there is no Flash support in the browser, you can't install absolutely anything on the system and so on. How can you then run any Google Apps either? And besides, in corporate environments they usually do much more than just edit some occasional document.. Then there's the actual usability: even if you could use Google Apps to do some word-processing, where would you save the documents? In corporate environments all documents are usually stored on a separate server, but I didn't see any mention of even Samba support on SplashTop.

Seriously, I could come up with lots of reasons why these will not succeed in corporate environments.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Very usefull
by testadura on Fri 7th Mar 2008 12:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Very usefull"
testadura Member since:
2006-04-14


Seriously, I could come up with lots of reasons why these will not succeed in corporate environments.


Seems to me you don't have a clue what you are talking about.

Not every employee in a company needs a heavy workstation. For many of them, a mailclient, a wordprocessor and a spreadsheet app is sufficient.

...you can't install absolutely anything on the system and so on. How can you then run any Google Apps either?


Webapps, like google apps, don't need local storage. Documents are stored on a server, which brings in some nice benefits like simulataneous editing and better version tracking.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Very usefull
by BluenoseJake on Fri 7th Mar 2008 16:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Very usefull"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

With the US's data retention policies, I'd be damned if I'd let any of our corporate data sit on google's servers, regardless where the data center is. I think most corporate customers prefer to store their data in house, for security and political reasons. so I would think that in most corporate environments, Google apps wouldn't be sufficient (lets not even talk about features). Maybe OpenOffice with Samba/NFS support would be a better choice.

Edited 2008-03-07 16:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

What if it gets bigger?
by DigitalAxis on Fri 7th Mar 2008 23:58 UTC
DigitalAxis
Member since:
2005-08-28

My main problem with things like Splashtop is that its speed must in at least some sense rely upon its simplicity... and adding all these applications would make it slower, destroying the purpose for its existence.

Of course, if it's still only nine seconds by this stage, it's not in any immediate danger of loading slower than Windows XP/Vista or Linux...

Reply Score: 2