Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 8th May 2006 13:06 UTC, submitted by Hae-Yu
Hardware, Embedded Systems "Samsung Electronics and Microsoft will next month show off the ready-to-market version of a hybrid hard drive which can greatly reduce boot-up time of laptops and desktop PCs. The HHD is the convergence of a flash memory chip and a conventional platter-type magnetic disk drive. To save the time and energy spent spinning a metal disk drive it is designed to use static flash memory when starting a PC."
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Booting up is out of time
by Ford Prefect on Mon 8th May 2006 13:53 UTC
Ford Prefect
Member since:
2006-01-16

Hi,

booting a system is like installing a system. It doesn't really make sense to do it very often.

With today's hardware (esp. disks) it takes less time to save all the memory content to disk (on-the-fly-compressed), as to shutdown a decent "bloated" operating system.
Easy to tell it also takes much less time to read back the data on startup of the machine than to boot it.

And you can continue working where you stopped. No additional power consumption while the power is off. It is power consuming to copy back all the memory data, but it is also while you startup applications, etc.. Better productivity anyway!
What is needed? An operating system capable of this; hardware drivers capable of this.

What is not needed? An additional flash drive


I don't understand why people still talk about booting, esp. on laptop devices, other than OSes like Windows like to operate worse and worse after running too long.

Even on desktop machines it is more convenient to use suspend-to-disk, as hard drives are faster. Half of the startup time (with suspend to disk) on my 3 years old desktop machine is wasted by the BIOS...


I don't understand why I should buy hardware which assists in nothing else than booting. This flash memory is built into the drive, so I can't use it to take data with me. Anyway I can't efficiently use it in runtime as the "boot" data (operating system) will have to reside there, otherwise it needs to be copied back from disk, wich will make it silly (battery usage, time loss on shutdown instead of boot). The data used while operating will not be read from flash but from memory, as it is much faster...

A better idea would be to include flash memory into a notebook for a suspend-to-flash like feature. 1 Gig of RAM fits into 512 Megs if zipped. It could still be called silly.


Regards,
Ford Prefect

Edited 2006-05-08 13:56

Reply Score: 2

RE: Booting up is out of time
by cefarix on Mon 8th May 2006 14:04 in reply to "Booting up is out of time"
cefarix Member since:
2006-03-18

I perfectly agree with you about suspend to disk. The Shutdown option in all OSs should by default suspend to disk. I also think new BIOSes should be introduced which are tightly coupled with suspend-to-disk options, so that the time the BIOS takes in the boot process is only minimal hardware initialization, and it doesn't have to setup anything that a realmode/DOS-like OS would need.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

My girlfriend has a laptop (Nexoc Osiris S602) with a very fast BIOS POST. The BIOS takes about 1-2 seconds until the boot manager shows up. So it is really doable, even today, even with all hardware initialized.

I ask myself if EFI initializes much of the hardware, too. Perhaps it's just the way to go.

Reply Parent Score: 1

The real issue?
by KenJackson on Mon 8th May 2006 14:26 in reply to "Booting up is out of time"
KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

I don't understand why I should buy hardware which assists in nothing else than booting.

Me neither. But I don't even use suspend-to-disk, since I don't use a laptop. All my PCs just keep running all the time, that way I can access them from each other.

The obvious but unstated weakness to this is the extra hassle of UPGRADING. My suspicion is that they will use DRM or something like it to prevent use of the flash by Linux. I wonder if that's the real motive.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: The real issue?
by el3ktro on Mon 8th May 2006 14:40 in reply to "The real issue?"
el3ktro Member since:
2006-01-10

The obvious weakness of this is the incredible power consumption that you cause by letting all your computers on all the time. This is just a waste of energy!

Tom

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: The real issue?
by eMagius on Mon 8th May 2006 14:57 in reply to "The real issue?"
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

My suspicion is that they will use DRM or something like it to prevent use of the flash by Linux.


Let's take off the tin-foil hats for a minute, please. Just because Microsoft supported it first doesn't mean that there's a conspiracy to screw over your favorite OS.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Booting up is out of time
by Tom K on Mon 8th May 2006 15:21 in reply to "Booting up is out of time"
Tom K Member since:
2005-07-06

Static OS files in flash = lower battery consumption whenever.

There's why. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

Compression (OT)
by Phil on Mon 8th May 2006 20:38 in reply to "Booting up is out of time"
Phil Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't particularly like to post off topic, but I've seen something like this a couple of times recently:

"1 Gig of RAM fits into 512 Megs if zipped."

Compression of that type is not deterministic wrt data size. If that RAM was holding mpeg4 video in it, it would barely compress at best, if it was empty, well, then it would compress to a few bytes.

Low level engineers cannot count on things like compression always hitting a target. It either has to definitely always work or... well, that's the option. You have to be a software person to get away with putting up a failure dialog on the screen.

Reply Parent Score: 1