Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 22:27 UTC, submitted by twitterfire
Hardware, Embedded Systems We already introduced Dell's new laptop wonder, the Z600, to you earlier this week. What makes this laptop special is that it contains a small ARM motherboard which runs a special version of openSUSE Linux, allowing for instant access to basic functionality like checking email, browsing the web, and playing multimedia files. What's news, at least for OSNews, is that research from Dell has shown that people spent 70% of their time in the Linux environment.
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Suspending is like cheating
by soulrebel123 on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 22:44 UTC
soulrebel123
Member since:
2009-05-13

The OS has to boot fast, not relying on a battery.
I shutdown and boot up. I want an optimized boot process, but a complete OS every time.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Suspending is like cheating
by DOSguy on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 22:52 UTC in reply to "Suspending is like cheating"
DOSguy Member since:
2009-07-27

You might want to try Haiku ;)

Personally, for quick mail sending/reading and visiting websites I prefer to use a mobile phone.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Suspending is like cheating
by jello on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 23:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Suspending is like cheating"
jello Member since:
2006-08-08

Tried the HAIKU alpha on 2 different computers (2 and 5 years old computers) and none boots through the desktop.
The older computer stays dark while the younger one at least shows the HAIKU text and some small pictures.

This said HAIKU has still a long way to go until it's usable for every day usage...

Reply Score: 1

Earl Colby pottinger Member since:
2005-07-06

What model of laptops are you using?

Haiku works on my old Dells and Compaq computers, and I have taken a flash drive into the stores to test out the netbooks for sale. So far it boots on all of them to a working desktop. Problems with sound, no wireless but always a working desktop.

Reply Score: 2

BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

Interesting.

I hope you keep track of which system has been booted successfully into Haiku from your flash drive and feed-back the information into the Haiku Project!?

There was once a list of desktop and portable systems on which BeOS could be successfully booted-up. This list also included hints for common problems and remedies for missing drivers (especially portables with their LCD panels). I admit I benefited from the existence of this list quite a number of times.

The more information about getting Haiku up and running on various systems, the more likely it will crystallize the dream of a media centric OS into reality (again!).

Reply Score: 2

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Tried the HAIKU alpha on 2 different computers (2 and 5 years old computers) and none boots through the desktop.
The older computer stays dark while the younger one at least shows the HAIKU text and some small pictures.

This said HAIKU has still a long way to go until it's usable for every day usage...

I tried the Haiku Alpha on a 2001-era Gateway with a 1.7GHz P4 and 256 megs of RAM, and a 2007 Dell machine with an AMD dual-core ~2GHz processor and a gig of RAM. Ran great in both.

I have an ancient (as in, my very first PC, and freakin' old) Gateway, from around 1997-1998. Pentium II 266MHz, 64 megs of RAM (upgraded from 32 if I remember right), and originally came with Windows 95. It'd be interesting to try Haiku on that, but I thought I remembered reading that it requires 128MB of memory to run well. Just checked, and the official Haiku site does, in fact, say that. I honestly will probably end up gutting the parts and keeping anything good, recycling the metal, and throwing the rest in the trash; that machine literally can't run anything decent these days.

Reply Score: 2

The next step
by kenji on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 23:05 UTC
kenji
Member since:
2009-04-08

..would be to ditch the intel processor and motherboard altogether. A pure, quick booting ARM netbook would be much more awesome (and smaller, lighter, have longer battery life, et cetera).

I do think that there is a market for small ARM powered portables considering that a large chunk of netbook users are only looking for email, internet and media use. No need for a full blown OS and x86 processor.

Reply Score: 1

RE: The next step
by Praxis on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 23:57 UTC in reply to "The next step"
Praxis Member since:
2009-09-17

well this laptop is in a whole other ballpark compared to a netbook. Its an expensive business laptop with all the bells and whistles. I don't think there would be much of a market for a business machine that can't run windows software, the linux is just an extra gadget in the end. Its an interesting idea, but I don't really see it as related to the ARM netbook trend that people are predicting

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: The next step
by kenji on Mon 5th Oct 2009 15:14 UTC in reply to "RE: The next step"
kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

I was making a general statement, it wasn't pertaining to this model specifically.

I understand that business machines need x86.

Reply Score: 1

RE: The next step
by dagw on Mon 5th Oct 2009 10:32 UTC in reply to "The next step"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

Even though a large chunk of netbook users spend a large chunk of their time doing only email and web stuff, the fact that they can run Office or matlab or whatever they need if they have to is a huge selling point.

So even they only run powerpoint 1% of time that they're using their netbook, removing the ability to run powerpoint lowers the usefulness of the netbook by a lot more than 1%.

Reply Score: 2

RE: The next step
by jabjoe on Mon 5th Oct 2009 15:03 UTC in reply to "The next step"
jabjoe Member since:
2009-05-06

Good idea.

You use the x86 to run Wine clients. The Wine server can run natively on the ARM.

When no Wine client applications are running, power down the x86.

The big win here is not the fast boot times, it's the ARM battery life. I'm sure Windows boot times can be brought up to speed.

Also there is the slimness you can get from a Linux, meaning you don't have to touch disc so much, stick a SSD and you won't have to touch disc at all. Again saving battery. ARM and Linux is great for a long battery lifed mobile computer.

The only question is, do you really need Wine and Windows apps? I don't, so the x86 is just dead weight to me.

Reply Score: 1

Mark Williamson
Member since:
2005-07-06

Doing a suspend to RAM will help you get back to your desktop quicker - moreover it'll also keep your current state.

But even if you only occasionally unsuspend and use it briefly, I suspect it's still going to drain much more battery than doing the same work on the ARM-based computer. Even if the OS tries to save power really aggressively I doubt it's going to get the x86-based laptop hardware down to the power draw of the embedded ARM board. The software can only do so much to make your beefy x86 laptop into a frugal electron sipper.

Arguably then, the fast boot of the ARM-based board is only useful insofar as it makes it possible to boot without it being slower than using suspend / resume of the primary OS and hardware. But the power savings are going to be useful regardless and I think they are the really interesting part of this feature. If they just wanted an instant on mode, they'd have run something like Splashtop on the x86 itself.

A neat trick would be if you could boot the ARM board *whilst the primary OS and hardware are suspended*. Thus allowing you to keep your working state but not have to take the larger power drain if you just want a temporary environment to surf the web or play MP3s. You'd need to be a bit careful about doing this (you couldn't modify the suspended OS's disk, for instance).

It'll be interesting to see whether this feature takes off. I'm not sure anybody has yet predicted the Year Of Tiny Linux Computers In Your Laptop That You Usually Use Instead Of Windows.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Stratoukos
by Stratoukos on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 23:14 UTC
Stratoukos
Member since:
2009-02-11

Having a lightweight OS boot up for easy stuff (mail, web) is a really good idea and the machine itself is really good looking, but what's with that thing sticking between the screen and the keyboard when it's flipped open? Is it supposed to be for aesthetic reasons? usability reasons (carrying it around, extra port)? technical reasons? The Adamo had it too in a way more obvious way. I don't know if it needs to be there, but in my opinion it is dragging down the design of two otherwise beautiful laptops

Reply Score: 1

ARM can wake up periodicly and check mails
by kragil on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 23:18 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

I think it was every 6 or 30 minutes. So this thing is intended to be an email powerhouse.

Maybe that is why they chose Novell over Canonical.(Exchange support)

I wasn't aware there was a good ARM SUSE distro, I thought Canonical was ahead in that game...

Reply Score: 3

This is great!
by obsidian on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 23:38 UTC
obsidian
Member since:
2007-05-12

Dell didn't have to do this (include the ARM chip with Linux on it), so big kudos to them for doing so.

Really interesting to see that users spent 70% of their time in Linux too. Ok, we don't know the demographics of the buyers (whether they're geeky types who would tend to use Linux more anyway), but it's still promising.

Well done, Dell!

Reply Score: 7

RE: This is great!
by vivainio on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 06:34 UTC in reply to "This is great!"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26


Really interesting to see that users spent 70% of their time in Linux too. Ok, we don't know the demographics of the buyers (whether they're geeky types who would tend to use Linux more anyway), but it's still promising.


This laptop is aimed at executives with purchasing power.

They can usually get by with email and browser.

Reply Score: 4

Mark Williamson
Member since:
2005-07-06

It would be interesting if something similar could be done with Atom in future - with that you'd even potentially have the option of booting your standard OS with it (perhaps in a lightweight mode) if you knew you wouldn't be doing hard work.

Also, if there were something like an Atom and a performance CPU in there, a suitably advanced OS could migrate itself between the two and shut off the unneeded one. That really *would* feel like a bandaid for the fact that performance CPUs consume too much power when full performance is not required.

Reply Score: 2

BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

The potential advantage of an ARM CPU + "Non-Windows" OS over Atom + "Lightweight Windows" is one of effective use of resources. No matter how much bloat could be trimmed from Windows, it will still require a few 100 Mbs of RAM and roughly 1 Gb on the HD.

I highlighted "Non-Windows" OS because this could be on of three possibilities:

#1) RiscOS - based on either existing close/open source variants or on a merger of the open source variants into an unified source trunk. Hopefully, the hatchet will be buried soon between the current RiscOS projects to enable this possibility.

#2) Linux - as a core.

Linux has over the years been tightly optimized for the X86 platform. It will likely require some efforts to optimize it to the same level for ARM.

Furthermore, which distribution to start from? Too many of them to choose from. Also, many distributions are attempting to look familiar to Windows so that long-time users of Windows don't gain frustrations nor have to expand much re-learning efforts to become fluent about their use.

#3) Haiku - recompiled for ARM. Its ancestor (BeOS) could support PPC and X86. Assuming that a cross-platform philosophy has been maintained in the development of Haiku, this will be possible with little efforts.

In many ways, for the "lightweight applications", it will not matter which CPU and OS are underlying them as long as they work smoothly and look great too. For example, the user interface used by Sony for their offerings over the last few years (X-Bar?) as merit for navigation through a small number of applications - certainly more intuitive than static icons or dynamic textual menus.

This is not the case for the collaborative office applications (data base, engineering design, spreadsheet, word processing) where format portability accross users and accross time (always forward though) is most important. "MS Office" has been the dominant player here for so long that it will be difficult to change that; the WINE project may become a savior in this case by allowing the "work stuff" on a CPU + OS designed for the "fun stuff".

Reply Score: 1

Mark Williamson Member since:
2005-07-06

The potential advantage of an ARM CPU + "Non-Windows" OS over Atom + "Lightweight Windows" is one of effective use of resources. No matter how much bloat could be trimmed from Windows, it will still require a few 100 Mbs of RAM and roughly 1 Gb on the HD.


In the configuration I was thinking about this wouldn't actually matter since I think the best plan would be to boot *the same OS instance* on the Atom that you'd boot on the primary CPU. You might pass it some switches to turn off graphical effects, minimize IO, etc. But the CPU would be using the same disk space that the existing install takes up anyhow and - if the motherboard supported this - could use the same "primary" RAM that was in the machine already. So if done "right" it wouldn't have to be a case of duplicating resources.

But that's still probably just a bandaid compared to making the primary processor able to scale back its power needs efficiently!

Reply Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Linux has over the years been tightly optimized for the X86 platform. It will likely require some efforts to optimize it to the same level for ARM.


Linux has been optimised to run on numerous ARM systems from supercomputer clusters to netbooks and smartphones to embedded devices which the users aren't even aware there is an operating system.

So I don't think there's going to be much of a problem there.

Furthermore, which distribution to start from? Too many of them to choose from.

Maybe. Or maybe they just choose to build their on distro based on the Linux kernel and some GNU user space tools.
It would make for a more efficient system - which, after all, is what this exercise is all about.


Also, many distributions are attempting to look familiar to Windows so that long-time users of Windows don't gain frustrations nor have to expand much re-learning efforts to become fluent about their use.

Most desktop distro's these days run GNOME as their default desktop environment and GNOME (by default) really isn't a Windows look-a-like.

Reply Score: 2

Wonky Lateral Thinking
by linker3000 on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 01:27 UTC
linker3000
Member since:
2009-10-03

What this configuration is really saying is that for a significant number of people, a full, Wintel-based laptop is not essential, but that ditching Windows completely would be unthinkable at the moment - mainly because mass-market PC culture pretty much expects Windows (and, to a lesser extent, an x86 architecture) to be part of the equation.

For many people, Windows *IS* the PC and it would require a significant mindset change to accept that 'something else' would do just as well (says me, typing this in on an Atom-based netbook running Fedora 11!).

The Dell Z600's ARM-based, Linux-running side-shoot provides the functionality that many people need, yet Windows is close at hand as a 'comforter' - perhaps for Dell's sales figures, for the end-user's peace of mind, or maybe for the corporate IT guy or Purchasing Manager that fears the wrath of the Board lest they should do the unthinkable and take the radical step of equipping staff with a 'funny' laptop that's 'missing Windows'.

The ARM implant isn't a clever way to solve a technical or functional deficiency, it's a smart move to maintain sales by selling tin that will do the job for most without giving them a 'where's Windows?' brainfart.

Edited 2009-10-03 01:30 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Linux visibiliity
by brewmastre on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 01:30 UTC
brewmastre
Member since:
2006-08-01

I think this is a great victory for Linux. I also use Windows frequently (on it right now). However the idea of having people power on their machines to an alternative environment and realizing that it works really well for most (70%?) of what they need is really encouraging to me. Maybe I root for the underdog too often ( I was a big Apple fan in the 90's ;) ) but I have also been using Linux for about 10 years and have seen it improve by leaps and bounds over that span. It's great so see it really getting some decent action with the big OEM's.

Reply Score: 5

v RE: Linux visibiliity
by strcpy on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 07:36 UTC in reply to "Linux visibiliity"
RE[2]: Linux visibiliity
by brewmastre on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 11:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Linux visibiliity"
brewmastre Member since:
2006-08-01

Contrary to your statement it is possible for a person or a group of people to achieve victory in their own endeavors in life, not just in a war. As I've stated, I'm not anti-Windows/Microsoft, I use their products as well. Why is it that some people think you can only support one OS at a time?

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Linux visibiliity
by sbenitezb on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 20:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Linux visibiliity"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

Maybe because people don't support an OS, but an ideology. The ideology behind Windows is consumism and is very oriented to capitalism. Many see Windows and Microsoft as stones in the path to progress.

Au contraire, Linux is seen as community project, more close to people, more open. Even if it's rooted by large corporations, the GPL somehow has granted many of these corporations now have to collaborate. Like it or not, it is convenient for most companies and individuals. The only ones who are not favored are those that only care about all things Microsoft. Again, why should we care?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Linux visibiliity
by nt_jerkface on Sun 4th Oct 2009 00:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Linux visibiliity"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

People don't use Windows for ideological reasons. They use it because it works and allows them to run their programs.

If you want to look for people choosing software for ideological reasons try the FSF. They openly believe that software should not be chosen based upon technical merit but on whether or not it follows their carefully defined verison of "freedom" (which amounts to being gpl compatible).

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Linux visibiliity
by Rahul on Sun 4th Oct 2009 16:09 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Linux visibiliity"
Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

FSF's definition does not include being GPL compatible. Sorry but that is just utter nonsense. They happily acknowledge several licenses as Free but GPL incompatible.

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/license-list.html#GPLIncompatibleLice...

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Linux visibiliity
by DrillSgt on Sun 4th Oct 2009 16:19 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Linux visibiliity"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

FSF's definition does not include being GPL compatible. Sorry but that is just utter nonsense. They happily acknowledge several licenses as Free but GPL incompatible.

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/license-list.html#GPLIncompatibleLice...


True enough, although they get quite mad if you do not use the GPL ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Linux visibiliity
by Rahul on Sun 4th Oct 2009 16:34 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Linux visibiliity"
Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

Sorry, that's not the case either. It is just a repeated myth. They have several FSF/GNU software licensed under LGPL or more permissive licenses. RMS himself recommended using MIT license for the Ogg codecs reference implementation. Look it up.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Linux visibiliity
by Karitku on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 19:16 UTC in reply to "Linux visibiliity"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

I rather think Dell survey was taken part by highly technical people who used machine as secondary, this would explain rather weird result. I mean this isn't anything new in technology point (quick boot bios linuxes have been around for few years). There was survey made by Nokia that showed 20% of people used DVB-H(this is digital video broadcasting aimed for cellphones) every day, yet in reality under 2% would use.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Beachchairs
by Beachchairs on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 01:47 UTC
Beachchairs
Member since:
2009-04-10

However, one does have to wonder - how often are laptops actually turned off completely? Don't most people just put them to sleep, allowing for instant wake up and access to a full environment? All the major operating systems provide reliable instant wake up, so what exactly the role of an add-in ARM board is remains to be seen.
Because sleep still uses power... you still have to turn it off anyways...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Beachchairs
by StephenBeDoper on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 05:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by Beachchairs"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

"However, one does have to wonder - how often are laptops actually turned off completely? Don't most people just put them to sleep, allowing for instant wake up and access to a full environment? All the major operating systems provide reliable instant wake up, so what exactly the role of an add-in ARM board is remains to be seen.


Because sleep still uses power... you still have to turn it off anyways...
"

There is also "hibernate"/suspend-to-disk, which doesn't draw any power. That said, most of the non-technical laptop owners I've talked to aren't even aware that sleep or hibernate exists.

Reply Score: 2

v RE[2]: Comment by Beachchairs
by strcpy on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 07:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Beachchairs"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

This is complete BS.


No, that was anecdotal observation based on having spent the better part of a decade doing support and training for computer users.

Again witness the great hallucination when nerds speak about this mythical average Joe.


Err, what? When did say anything about "average Joe"? If nothing else, I have enough sense not to use the word "average" to describe something that isn't a numerical quantity.

It would seem that you're making some wild assumptions about the intent of my post, then railing against those figments of your imagination.

When I talk with non-technical people about computers (something I always try to avoid), almost all of them are well aware that a computer can suspend and resume.


Bully for them - perhaps the several hundred computers users I've talked with are all anomalies...

EndUsersJustUseFacebook(tm)
EndUsersDontKnowWhatABrowserIs(tm)
YouCanOfferLinuxToEndUsersBecauseTheyAreDumbf--ks(tm)


You know, that shtick was mildly-amusing the first dozen or so times you used it - but after the 30th or 40th repetition, it's starting to get a little tiresome. Especially since those "points" have no relevance or applicability to the post you're replying to.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Beachchairs
by clei on Sun 4th Oct 2009 14:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Beachchairs"
clei Member since:
2008-10-04

"[q]However, one does have to wonder - how often are laptops actually turned off completely? Don't most people just put them to sleep, allowing for instant wake up and access to a full environment? All the major operating systems provide reliable instant wake up, so what exactly the role of an add-in ARM board is remains to be seen.


Because sleep still uses power... you still have to turn it off anyways...
"

There is also "hibernate"/suspend-to-disk, which doesn't draw any power. That said, most of the non-technical laptop owners I've talked to aren't even aware that sleep or hibernate exists. [/q]

Because their both basically useless features. Why bother with using them.

Just save your work to the fracking hard/usb drive and be done with it.

Reply Score: 1

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

There is also "hibernate"/suspend-to-disk, which doesn't draw any power. That said, most of the non-technical laptop owners I've talked to aren't even aware that sleep or hibernate exists.


Because their both basically useless features. Why bother with using them.

Just save your work to the fracking hard/usb drive and be done with it. [/q]

Both sleep and hibernate can be quite useful, especially if there are a large number of applications/documents open.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Beachchairs
by clei on Sun 4th Oct 2009 14:31 UTC in reply to "Comment by Beachchairs"
clei Member since:
2008-10-04

However, one does have to wonder - how often are laptops actually turned off completely? Don't most people just put them to sleep, allowing for instant wake up and access to a full environment? All the major operating systems provide reliable instant wake up, so what exactly the role of an add-in ARM board is remains to be seen.
Because sleep still uses power... you still have to turn it off anyways...


The only thing sleep is go for is basically not-so-quick trips to the bathroom. Anything else is a waste of (battery) power.

Reply Score: 1

Meh
by Finchwizard on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 03:24 UTC
Finchwizard
Member since:
2006-02-01

First off, I love Linux, I love Unix, so long as they're on my servers. They work brilliantly, flawlessly and without problems. I wouldn't use anything else.

Now for my Desktop, and to be very blunt, it's not easy, it's not fast and lacks a whole lot of programs that are in the Pro features section. I'm sure it's great for basic web browsing and emails, and chat.

But lets face it, computers are being used for more than that these days, people want easy access for digital libraries and music, DVD's, Video editing for their family, Linux just doesn't provide that easily. (People still don't give a crap about compiling things or having package managers deal with dependency issues, which still fail from time to time.)

That said, it's not a win for Linux, with Phoenix Instant Boot BIOS, has anyone seen how long it takes to get into Windows 7? Very very very small amount of time. So yea, Linux is the instant on environment, with Phoenix BIOS, we can have a full fledged and proper OS with pro tools on, and ready from a cold boot so quick there's really no point in a small in-built OS.

And unless Linux on the desktop magically get to look and perform as well and easily as OS X, it will continue to struggle as a contender for anyone but the hardcore geeks or the other Righteous people who think they're better than the rest because they're using Free Opensource software, instead of the best tool for the job.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Meh
by tweakedenigma on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 06:05 UTC in reply to "Meh"
tweakedenigma Member since:
2006-12-27

I do see your point to a degree, But I will respectfully disagree with you. Not on the Right Tool for the Job part as I am an advocate of that myself. But that Linux is not a suitable desktop OS or that most people user there computer for more then just web browsing and email.

I user Windows, OSX and Linux everyday (At home and at work) and as a Desktop they all do an excellent Job all have strengths and weaknesses, and all get the Job done.

Also a big part of what I do is dealing with end users and almost all of them say the same thing, I use my computer for Facebook, banking and Email.

That being said if you want an Application for one that is not available on the others then by all means. For me I need an Office suite, Web Browser, Email Client, Some kind of remote desktop client and Skype to get my work done. All three cover me pretty well and I think you will find that is the case with most people.

Edited 2009-10-03 06:06 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Meh
by Finchwizard on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 07:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Meh"
Finchwizard Member since:
2006-02-01

And that's fine, you do a set base of basic things.

Check your email, Office suite covered by Open Office or KOffice or whatever else you use. IM, Remote desktop.

Pretty basic stuff.

But now comes to the point where people need to install programs for work, teachers need resources, certain printer drivers for photocopiers, people like to make movies with how prevalent Video is in little video cameras.

I'm not going to deny for some things Linux can do things well, but for every day stuff, people buy things that need Windows. And Windows is still improving with every release.

It's just a little different in everyones situation, what works for you doesn't work for me, and the set of people I know, but it's always in the back of my mind to let them know about it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Meh
by tweakedenigma on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 15:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Meh"
tweakedenigma Member since:
2006-12-27


But now comes to the point where people need to install programs for work, teachers need resources, certain printer drivers for photocopiers, people like to make movies with how prevalent Video is in little video cameras.


True but for the most part any program needed is available or an equivalent can be found (however I will not make the outlandish claim that all programs have an equivalent). I find most printers/photo copiers have Linux drivers in fact it it works on OSX it will like work on Linux. I Make movies using Linux granted I don't use adobe products to do so but a lot of people just use iMovie and Windows Movie maker and there a pretty close analogs for Movie Maker (Maybe not iMovie but good enough)



I'm not going to deny for some things Linux can do things well, but for every day stuff, people buy things that need Windows. And Windows is still improving with every release.


I disagree with the people need Windows, I have moved a great number of people off Windows to Linux or Mac and the Vast Majority are Very Happy, Also Linux and OSX are improving with every release too so I consider this somewhat of the moot point.


It's just a little different in everyones situation, what works for you doesn't work for me, and the set of people I know, but it's always in the back of my mind to let them know about it.


I agree 100% here and maybe we deal with very different people in the run of a day (actually I'm sure we do). But people should use what works for them and I will never argue with that, However for the vast majority of uses I find the 3 Majors overlap each other pretty well.

Edited 2009-10-03 15:00 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Meh
by nt_jerkface on Sun 4th Oct 2009 01:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Meh"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

I switched someone to Linux but she got angry over her cell phone not working and killed her children, and then ate them. The police suggested I never recommend Linux again.

True story.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Meh
by cb88 on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 20:29 UTC in reply to "Meh"
cb88 Member since:
2009-04-23

And you trust phoenix? I don't doesn't mean we have much choice at the moment.

The fact is current BIOS and firmware run untrusted code on your computer meaning you don't really have full control.

Your only option at the moment is coreboot which is open source too bad it doesn't support every chipset yet although you can rip parts out of your current bios to make it work that is pretty naughty

/rant against phoenix

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Meh
by sbenitezb on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 21:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Meh"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

Do you trust Intel/AMD's processor microcode?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Meh
by jabjoe on Mon 5th Oct 2009 16:30 UTC in reply to "Meh"
jabjoe Member since:
2009-05-06

A) Linux really is fine for the home now. Normal users just have to learn not to panic when it's not Windows, and they only do that because they don't want to learn anything new. Christ, normal users only need a browser anyway. Technical users, well they often use or at least know Linux anyway. ;-)


B) This isn't about startup times. It's about battery life. They could have done the instance on Linux on the x86, the ARM only make sense if you care about battery life.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by ddc_
by ddc_ on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 06:05 UTC
ddc_
Member since:
2006-12-05

It is a good idea, because You don't really use as much performance as You are spending battery on most time You're using Your laptop. But when You have to use some CPU-hungry task, You may just reboot to Your main OS and get the needed performance.

But I think, that this idea could be implemented much better: instead of Windows Dell could put some lightweight Linux system on the hard drive, so You could still have all common processes on ARM, but launching something CPU-hungry would start a stripped-down headless x86 system and feed an x86 X client to ARM X server. So when x86 application is closed, the x86 system is stopped and you go on with ARM.

Edited 2009-10-03 06:09 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Misleading
by TheBashar on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 06:11 UTC
TheBashar
Member since:
2005-06-30

"some people spent 70% of their time in the Linux enviornment" absolutely does not mean that "research from Dell has shown that people spent 70% of their time in the Linux environment"

Reply Score: 2

RE: Misleading
by steogede2 on Tue 6th Oct 2009 18:33 UTC in reply to "Misleading"
steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17

"some people spent 70% of their time in the Linux enviornment" absolutely does not mean that "research from Dell has shown that people spent 70% of their time in the Linux environment"


It is more than misleading - it is an out and out lie.

Then again, they didn't say "those who most used the Linux environment spent 70% of their time using it". It could be that some that 10% of people used it 70% of the time and 90% used it 99% of the time.

The statement that 'some people spent 70%...' is completely meaningless, it doesn't surprise me that Thom misread it as a statement that actually meant something. It is a fairly natural mistake, our brains expect meaning and tend to see meaning even when it isn't present.

Reply Score: 1

RISCOS
by Gone fishing on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 06:45 UTC
Gone fishing
Member since:
2006-02-22

I'm hot surprised - I wish I'd had instant on this week. I forgot to bring my laptop to work and borrowed a student’s to play an mp3 to the class. The machine was a low powered Vista laptop and it literally took 5 to 10 minutes to boot, logon, mount my flash drive and open the mp3 file. I was forcibly reminded that in 1994 a RISCOS machine could boot and be useful in about 10 seconds. If Linux can boot quickly, open a functional desktop well people will use it - though I wonder if a modern RISCOS wouldn't have been great.

The more people how use Linux, the more people will use it and the better it will get (positive feedback) so let me say YEAR OF THE LINUX DESKTOP!

Reply Score: 2

v RE: RISCOS
by strcpy on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 08:36 UTC in reply to "RISCOS"
RE[2]: RISCOS
by sbenitezb on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 21:12 UTC in reply to "RE: RISCOS"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

StupidIrrelevantCommentsFromAnIdiotSeemToBeWayMoreInterestingAndRichIn Content(tm)

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: RISCOS
by nt_jerkface on Sun 4th Oct 2009 01:04 UTC in reply to "RE: RISCOS"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Don't be so doubtful about spreading Linux evangelism in technical forums.

There were posts like that daily in forums before 2000 and now look at the results.

I went to Best Buy the other day and asked for a Windows desktop. He laughed and said you should look online because they only carry Ubuntu.

True story.

Reply Score: 2

I do understand
by spinnekopje on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 06:46 UTC
spinnekopje
Member since:
2008-11-29

Almost nobody I know uses suspend or sleep. Most always shut down completely. Just like I do.

I know a lot of people complaining about the time it takes to boot up the computer just to check their mail or the weather. 70% is higher than I expected, but I really don't care (hope others follow).

I even guess some users will almost never boot up the 'full' os, just because the other one is a lot faster and might also be easier to use.

Reply Score: 2

Dell & Asus
by OSGuy on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 06:55 UTC
OSGuy
Member since:
2006-01-01

1. That is nice but Asus has been doing this for years - Splashtop.

2. Video: Phoenix Instant Boot BIOS starts loading Windows in under a second. (No not from Stand-by but from 0). See for yourselves: http://www.engadget.com/2009/09/24/video-phoenix-instant-boot-bios-...

Edited 2009-10-03 06:55 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Dell & Asus
by sbenitezb on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 21:19 UTC in reply to "Dell & Asus"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

http://www.gazotube.com/yTUweJKAUfk.html

I want a computer that can do that.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Dell & Asus
by Ed W. Cogburn on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 23:37 UTC in reply to "Dell & Asus"
Ed W. Cogburn Member since:
2009-07-24

1. That is nice but Asus has been doing this for years - Splashtop.


That's just Linux loaded from firmware on the same architecture, e.g., unlike this story, there aren't 2 different CPU architectures under the same hood. The difference is that an ARM architecture is a lot less power-hungry, so its not just about boot speed.

2. Video: Phoenix Instant Boot BIOS starts loading Windows in under a second. (No not from Stand-by but from 0).


Did you actually read that link?

It *STARTS* loading, it still takes 20 seconds or so for Win to finish. Thats better, of course, but not exactly miraculous either.

Since a LinuxBios can get you to a CLI prompt in under 5 seconds, getting to an Xorg GUI would probably be about the same speed or less, depending on your DE. From startx to ready-to-go, my KDE takes about 8-10 secs - so 20 secs isn't really impressive.

Get rid of the legacy BIOS (something Phoenix obviously won't do) and under 20 sec boots would be easy for both Win and Linux - the problem has always been the BIOS. And no, the (U)EFI boot firmware "standard" (used by Phoenix in that example) isn't really an improvement over the old-style BIOS either, the LinuxBios project (which effectively replaced the BIOS with the Linux kernel image itself) has proven that 95% of whats in today's BIOS or boot firmwares is actually UNNECESSARY for a modern OS to bootstrap. Phoenix, of course, doesn't want you to know that.

Reply Score: 2

Environmental friendly
by Boldie on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 07:19 UTC
Boldie
Member since:
2007-03-26

I've wanted this for a long time but for other reasons than pointed out here. This is a more environmental friendly way to run your computer. There is often no need to have that power hungry dual/quad core drawing power when it's not needed.
I want this in every computer!

Reply Score: 2

solution worse than problem
by tobyv on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 07:29 UTC
tobyv
Member since:
2008-08-25

Is it possible for it to receive security and software updates? Firefox 3 will look pretty crufty in 4 years time. And for what? A few seconds off the boot time?

Perhaps Dell should have spent that R&D effort improving suspend and resume, instead of tacking on what amounts to a computer inside a computer.

Reply Score: 1

RE: solution worse than problem
by kragil on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 07:50 UTC in reply to "solution worse than problem"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

It will always be secure, because nobody runs it compared to X86 IE (or X86 Firefox).

Same reason why Mac is secure. It just isn't viable for a hacker to spend his time for such a small "market" (Mac only hacks .. cross platform flash hacks or something similar might happen in the future. )

Reply Score: 1

SplashTop is actually great
by blaamann on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 07:45 UTC
blaamann
Member since:
2009-10-03

My computer came with SplashTop. I thought it was crap as I am one of those 'I don't need a crippled OS' guys, but I slowly started to boot into it more and more often, and now it is my preferred environment for casual browsing when traveling, and for reading in bed just before going to sleep.

Reply Score: 2

RE: SplashTop is actually great
by wowtip on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 19:07 UTC in reply to "SplashTop is actually great"
wowtip Member since:
2005-07-14

Yes, and it is great for sending a quick email, or checking your bank account before going out.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by talaf
by talaf on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 09:49 UTC
talaf
Member since:
2008-11-19

Honestly when I move around, I could see myself using only the ARM OS. This way you have the best of everything : crazy battery life for mobility, and heavy processing power if you need it when battery life or fast boot or lightweightness (if that's a word) isn't an issue. Now, you just have to make them play nice with each other (access files from any OS at least) and you're pretty golden.

I think it's a smart move by Dell.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by talaf
by WereCatf on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 12:22 UTC in reply to "Comment by talaf"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

lightweightness (if that's a word)

You almost got it correct; it's spelled "lightweightedness" ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by talaf
by steogede2 on Tue 6th Oct 2009 18:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by talaf"
steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17

lightweightness (if that's a word)

You almost got it correct; it's spelled "lightweightedness" ;)


I think the word you are looking for is spelt 'lightness'.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Lazarus
by Lazarus on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 16:14 UTC
Lazarus
Member since:
2005-08-10

For now, I'm just going to have to go with "it's cool.'

Reply Score: 2

Computers start up too damn slow
by mrAmiga500 on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 16:40 UTC
mrAmiga500
Member since:
2009-03-20

I can completely boot my Amiga, connect to the internet and get my mail while the PC is still on the BIOS splash screen!

I can't believe "instant on" isn't standard on every computer by this time.

Reply Score: 1

nicolas.det Member since:
2009-10-03

I can completely boot my Amiga, connect to the internet and get my mail while the PC is still on the BIOS splash screen!

I can't believe "instant on" isn't standard on every computer by this time.


Because people are, our days, used to very bad Software. AmigaOS and other "dead" operating system feature stuff such like lightweight, real multi-tasking, multimedia capabilities, simplicity that current leading OS (Linux, Windows, MacOS X) does not even come close to.

It is slower and harder for my father to use its spreadsheet application at it was for 15 years on Amiga...

Regards,

Edited 2009-10-03 17:42 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Ed W. Cogburn Member since:
2009-07-24



"I can completely boot my Amiga ... I can't believe "instant on" isn't standard on every computer by this time.


Because people are, our days, used to very bad Software.
"

No, the problem for PCs is the legacy BIOS, a problem that non-PC's, like an Amiga, don't have.

If you completely remove the BIOS from the picture, then an OS like Linux could boot to a CLI in under 5 seconds, which the LinuxBios/CoreBios project has been able to accomplish (but only on a limited number of platforms/mobos).

Reply Score: 1

clei Member since:
2008-10-04

"I can completely boot my Amiga, connect to the internet and get my mail while the PC is still on the BIOS splash screen!

I can't believe "instant on" isn't standard on every computer by this time.


Because people are, our days, used to very bad Software. AmigaOS and other "dead" operating system feature stuff such like lightweight, real multi-tasking, multimedia capabilities, simplicity that current leading OS (Linux, Windows, MacOS X) does not even come close to.

It is slower and harder for my father to use its spreadsheet application at it was for 15 years on Amiga...

Regards,
"

Easy to tell you never owned an Amiga. The Amiga had some of the crappiest software around, mainly because the Amiga userbase were mainly composed of the same bunch of losers who are making up "linux is too hard for my stupid Grandparents/Pet Rock/Teletubbie to use", and pushing "Software-Ease-Of-Use stupidity

I still curse the Amiga GUI version of PKZip to this day, and the sad thing is after all these years this is exactly the kind of crap the "Usability" crowd considers to be usable software,never mind the fact it was unusable garbage,that was really pretty to look at.

Reply Score: 0

mrAmiga500 Member since:
2009-03-20

Easy to tell you never owned an Amiga. The Amiga had some of the crappiest software around, mainly because the Amiga userbase were mainly composed of the same bunch of losers who are making up "linux is too hard for my stupid Grandparents/Pet Rock/Teletubbie to use", and pushing "Software-Ease-Of-Use stupidity

I still curse the Amiga GUI version of PKZip to this day, and the sad thing is after all these years this is exactly the kind of crap the "Usability" crowd considers to be usable software,never mind the fact it was unusable garbage,that was really pretty to look at.


Easy to tell you don't know what you're talking about. You're probably one of the same bunch of losers who based his whole opinion of Amiga software on some badly done PC port from 1988 using WB 1.3.

There are many excellent pieces of software for Amiga, some of which I still consider to be better than anything I've seen on GNU/Linux - mainly because they were designed to be simple, fast and user-friendly.

The Amiga was easy to program, so there is also plenty of crap software - like in Linux. Unlike Linux, it is easy to wade through the crap, because most Amiga software is found on one site, installs are small and installation is extremely simple without the nightmare of Linux dependency crap.

But this is a bit off topic, so I won't bother arguing any more. You believe what you want.

Edited 2009-10-04 21:27 UTC

Reply Score: 1

clei Member since:
2008-10-04

[q]Easy to tell you never owned an Amiga. The Amiga had some of the crappiest software around, mainly because the Amiga userbase were mainly composed of the same bunch of losers who are making up "linux is too hard for my stupid Grandparents/Pet Rock/Teletubbie to use", and pushing "Software-Ease-Of-Use stupidity

I still curse the Amiga GUI version of PKZip to this day, and the sad thing is after all these years this is exactly the kind of crap the "Usability" crowd considers to be usable software,never mind the fact it was unusable garbage,that was really pretty to look at.


Easy to tell you don't know what you're talking about. You're probably one of the same bunch of losers who based his whole opinion of Amiga software on some badly done PC port from 1988 using WB 1.3.

You don't know what you're talking about. The Amiga GUI version was no PC Port. It was designed *FOR* the Amiga.

If it had been a port of the PC version, it would actuallly have been usable.

The Amiga GUI PKZip port was the Usability Crowds Wet Dream.

Totally unusable from the cli, needed the mouse to actually accomplish anything and other such crap.

Reply Score: 1

v Ignore Dell
by jyoungxxxx on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 18:32 UTC
RE: Ignore Dell
by DrillSgt on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 18:49 UTC in reply to "Ignore Dell"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

Dell is just pretending to be on the side of Linux! If you try to go build you a netbook you will find that you don't even have the option to select linux. They are clearly receiving bribes from Microsoft!


I'll feed this troll...

You really need to look again at the offerings for the mini-9..they default to Ubuntu...

Reply Score: 2

I like the concept
by BlueofRainbow on Sat 3rd Oct 2009 21:01 UTC
BlueofRainbow
Member since:
2009-01-06

I like the concept very much.

For work, I have to contend with Windows and the applications which have been blessed by the IT and Legal departments.

For the family, I also have to contend with Windows (file exchange with school computers, friends and extended family) although there is some flexibility:

-The various internet e-mail applications (even though with adverstisements) perform well for what we have to do.

-Opera has been our dominant web browser for most of the last decade. Not the best looking interface yet quite practical - especially the "speed-dial panel". It has had built-in bit-torrent support for a while rather than requiring a plug-in.

However, I wished that there was a fast way to get to the desired application (from power-on) for the following:

0) Read what's the latest on OsNews

1) Receive/Sent a few e-mails

2) Search the web for information about possible causes of a symptom suddenly seen with an appliance or the vehicle before seeking advices and cost estimates from the expert (and expensive) repair-person

3) Safeguard the grooves from our collection of records (analog)

4) Safeguard the videos from our collection of 8 mm tapes (analog)

3) Safeguard pictures from the digital camera

4) Safeguard videos from the digital camera

5) Get those highly convoted tickets just in time before they are sold-out

5) Put that last-second (and hopefully winning) bid on a highly convoted item being auctioned on the web

The Z600 is the first generation. At ~$2,000 it is more than the budget for gadgets and toys currently allows.

We'll have to wait for the second generation (which could be at ~$1,500) or even the third generation (which could be at ~1,000 and hopefully based on solely ARM + Haiku).

Cheers!

Reply Score: 1

It is useful...
by rklrkl on Sun 4th Oct 2009 11:15 UTC
rklrkl
Member since:
2005-07-06

I haven't seen the Dell in action, but it surely is a useful feature. I *never* suspend my laptop because it causes a small power drain whilst suspended, with the risk that if you don't leave it plugged into the mains, it'll eventually "crash" without a proper shutdown.

We definitely need much faster booting OS'es - many Linux distros are now admirably aiming for the "10 second boot", but they aren't quite there yet. This still leaves a gap for the secondary CPUs like we're seeing on the Dell laptops.

What I'm not sure about with the ARM/OpenSUSE set up is how customisable/useful it is. Will it mount the partitions on the hard disk (including NTFS and ext4 potentially) and let you read and write them? Can you permanently customise the ARM OpenSUSE distro, including updating packages that may be in NVRAM (or in a dedicated partition)? Indeed, if you don't like OpenSUSE, can you replace it with another ARM Linux distro? One "obvious" thing the ARM OpenSUSE distro should have is OS/disk recovery tools (gparted etc. etc.) so that if you do mess up the main Intel OS, you can use the ARM one to fix it - does this ARM OpenSUSE have those?

Reply Score: 2

Dude !
by Googol on Mon 5th Oct 2009 14:33 UTC in reply to "It is useful..."
Googol Member since:
2006-11-24

it is what it is, ok? Now then, what is it?

"allowing for instant access to basic functionality like checking email, browsing the web, and playing multimedia files"

People who want a quick start software for this purpose exactly DO NOT want any of the things you want, and most certailny they do not want to replace Suse all together for starters. It is not meaningful to ask whether you can install Xubuntu pre-Alpha on your new Linux-powered Panasonic toaster either only because it happens to be powered by Linux. It is also not meaningful to further ask whether you could then move on and do a backup of your Linux-cluster with it because it is not made for this. Get on with it ;) There had to be at least that one comment again that had to make known that you are not happy with Suse. I guess "you will not buy it" if you cannot do any of these things, right?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Dude !
by jabjoe on Mon 5th Oct 2009 16:52 UTC in reply to "Dude !"
jabjoe Member since:
2009-05-06

If it is to allow playing of multimedia files, it follows it can mount the NTFS disc. So if you want to run ClamAV over the NTFS disc, I would be very surprised if you couldn't.

My bet is a Linux geek can get what ever they want out of the ARM Linux.

Some times it is worth replacing the Linux on a device, maybe even a toaster, exactly so you can take it beyond what it was designed for. Guess you don't see the point of OpenWRT either. Often Linux devices come locked down only to do the thing they where built for, swap out the Linux and it becomes another computer for whatever you see fit. In OpenWRT case, maybe hosting your own website and downing torrents to a NAS, or just waking your PC when your remote connecting. It's a "real" computer now, it's limit is its RAM/CPU, what's worth doing, and you.

Reply Score: 1

f2racer
Member since:
2006-10-28

Hate to date myself, but way back in the day I drooled over the Amiga Bridgeboard (available in 8088, 80286, and 80386SX) which would allow you to run MS-DOS and later Windows concurrently with AmigaOS. Never did buy one for myself, wound up upgrading my Amiga 2000 with an 68040 and 8MB of RAM which was faster than any x86 until Pentium PCs started showing up... Now those were the days.

Reply Score: 1

Waste of time
by reez on Mon 5th Oct 2009 11:55 UTC
reez
Member since:
2006-06-28

Well, even if it is a waste of time (I have no clear opinion about it), I would say that there are thousand other things which I would consider as even bigger waste of time when it comes to (mobile) computing.

These things are really in the eye of the beholder or Dells customers. There was even a time when most people considered multi processing and operating systems as a big waste of time, computing resources, manpower, ...

There was a time when people considered C as a slow high-level language and today you don't get to a lower level at many schools.

It's a bit to early to talk about the usefulness of technology which isn't known to potential costumers yet. Maybe this technology could be used to do something completely different.

I think it's nice that companies try something new and no I'm not a Dell customer or employee. I'm just a bit bored, because there are so few new ideas when it comes to hardware. And when there is something new everyone starts with "Why is this good for _me_ at _this time". (Computer) Science relies on trying something new. Maybe it's stupid. Maybe it's stupid, but makes a lot of sense when used differently, maybe someone comes up with a better idea of how things can be done or maybe it gets a huge success from the beginning and soon every computer has it, because it can be implemented easy and doesn't harm.

Reply Score: 1