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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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?

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