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Linux Rescues Battery Life On Vista Notebooks From Dell

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the wizard-behind-the-curtain dept.

Operating Systems 200

nerdyH writes "Dell is preparing to ship two enterprise-oriented Windows Vista notebooks with an interesting feature — a built-in TI OMAP (smartphone) processor that can power instantly into Linux. The 'Latitude ON' feature is said to offer 'multi-day' battery life, while letting users access email, the web, contacts, calendar, and so on, using the notebook's full-size screen and keyboard. I wonder if someday we'll just be able to plug our phones into our laptops, switching to the phone's processor when we need to save battery life? Or, maybe x86 will just get a lot more power-efficient. Speaking at MontaVista's Vision event today, OLPC spokesperson and longtime kernel hacker Deepak Saxena said the project is aiming for 10-20 hours of battery life during active use, on existing hardware (AMD Geode LX800 clocked at 500MHz, with 1GB of Flash and 256MB of RAM)."

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This the first post ? (-1, Redundant)

citizen_senior (1372475) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244043)

Had to happen !

First post ! (-1, Offtopic)

citizen_senior (1372475) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244063)

Had to happen ! But I thought I had done this already

eh (4, Insightful)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244065)

Well, I hope it's at least damn pretty, cause being the runner up to "the real os" isn't really something to be proud of. But if its flashy enough, then people will like it and will increase their opinion of linux. Then again... is it going to say its Linux?

Re:eh (2, Interesting)

I.M.O.G. (811163) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244091)

It doesn't need to be pretty - if I can turn a system on in near-zero boot time and do useful things like access email or open a document... Point me to the cash register, I'm ready to hand over my wallet.

Re:eh (2, Informative)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244133)

It doesn't need to be pretty - if I can turn a system on in near-zero boot time and do useful things like access email or open a document... Point me to the cash register, I'm ready to hand over my wallet.

Ok, *points to store.apple.com* My laptop takes about 2 seconds from "open lid" to "network interface is up and browsser is online" and "documents can be opened".

Now, granted, that's using sleep, not shutdown. But seriously, when sleep actually works as advertised..... Why the fuck would you ever want to shut down?

Re:eh (2, Informative)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244241)

A bit expensive... My Asus EEE 701 4G boots up incredibly fast. 5 seconds to the Xandros password screen.

That's cold boot because the sleep functionality sucks seriously on the EEE. ("sucks seriously" as in "sucks battery for breakfast")

Re:eh (5, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244641)

You guys need to slow down a bit. I don't know what kind of job requires you to access your email within 5 seconds, but I get a stomach ache just thinking about it.

Seriously, nobody wants to wait two minutes or even one minute. But I have to chuckle when I think of any apple laptop user that "needs" his laptop to boot in 5 seconds. By the time he stirs his soy latte, brings out his iPhone ostentatiously, and makes sure someone's noticed the logo on the lid, that's 15 seconds right there.

Re:eh (1)

SkunkPussy (85271) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244719)

do you enjoy waiting at traffic lights, waiting in queues, travelling on aeroplanes, staring at progress dialogues, etc? no?

Re:eh (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244883)

By the time he stirs his soy latte, brings out his iPhone ostentatiously, and makes sure someone's noticed the logo on the lid, that's 15 seconds right there.

Now now, let's be nice here. While I will admit, Apple DOES have a reputation as an Elitist's machine, Apple has been making inroads into other markets for some time.

When my father quit his old job and started his own company, he asked me what laptop he should buy. I unequivocally told him to buy a Mac. He bought himself a Powerbook Pro, and hasn't looked back since. He can do everything he used to be able to do on a Windows machine, and I almost never have to hand-hold him through it. He's almost 60 years old, and he loves his Mac. he loves it so much in fact, that he bought my mom one of her own. She's got a regular powerbook, and thinks it's great!

Now I just need to get Grandpa set up on an Ubuntu box, and I shall complete the geek trifecta!

*maniacal laughter*

 

Re:eh (1)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 4 years ago | (#25245047)

sory for being pedantic, but I just can't help it.

PowerBooks are relics of apple's legacy hardware, with PowerPC chips in them. They never had a Powerbook Pro. It's a MacBook and MacBook Pro now, ever since the switch to intel architecture (which was when Apple became relevant again)

Re:eh (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244977)

Who says I'm talking about work? At work, I boot the computer, go fetch a coffee, talk to the cute secretary and when I'm back I log in.

For me these things are issues at home: quick check for personal email before going to work. Check the train timetables for going to work, and if I'm too late anyway, I can reply to that personal email. Wife wants to go to the movies? Check the local movie theater website. It's at those moments that booting takes a long time relative to the task at hand. Now? We just have my wife PC running 24/7... Don't get me started about the electricity bill and our CO2 footprint....

Re:eh (3, Funny)

not already in use (972294) | more than 4 years ago | (#25245177)

I actually saw a guy in Starbucks time his MacBook on boot. Went something like this:

"Uno, Dos, Tres, Catorce!"

Re:eh (2, Informative)

I.M.O.G. (811163) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244347)

Good point, Apple's sleep mode actually works as advertised. Bit I and most others in business aren't in the market for an Apple laptop to do real work on (not counting marketing, etc... I said "real" work).

On a windows platform, sleep and hibernation have been sketchy, mainly due to questionable drivers. Add to this the fact that even if it does come out of sleep correctly, things feel a bit sluggish still and it altogether just doesn't feel snappy.

Give me web, email, and documents in a snap, with the opportunity to also boot a full OS... And I think thats adding something valuable to a Windows OS. In business environments where its gotta be Windows for whatever reason, I like this option.

Re:eh (2, Informative)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244453)

In only ten seconds more I can launch Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion and have a fuly integrated Windows XP environment that runs at full speed. That's 5 seconds to launch the host and 5 seconds to unsuspend the guest. You can shave the first 5 seconds off by never shutting down the Host application.

Re:eh (1)

I.M.O.G. (811163) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244815)

If your going apple, it sounds like you have the right idea to get everything you could want out of it.

Going back to what I said earlier, my point isn't that you can't do real work on an Apple so don't feel slighted - you've expressed how you it has the capabilities. I'm just saying in business theres a lot of situations where purchasing Apple hardware and paying the premium isn't an option, because Windows is the "de facto" platform and you can get a formidable business class system for $1000.

Keeping this relevant to the article at hand, this system on a chip in combination with a full windows system sounds like a win and thats really my point - if its got to be a windows platform, its great to have this option.

Re:eh (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244863)

Out of interest, have you tried using Windows on an Apple laptop? Apple does something quite neat with sleep mode, where they begin suspend-to-disk when the lid is closed but don't turn off the RAM until the battery is low, so you have suspend-to-RAM which changes to suspend-to-disk if the battery goes flat. I've never actually had my battery go flat while in sleep mode, however, so Windows' suspend-to-RAM ought to work. I believe the drivers for Apple hardware are fairly good (although I've not used them).

Re:eh (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 4 years ago | (#25245033)

Windows Vista also does the suspend-to-RAM that converts automatically to suspend-to-disk. It's simply called 'sleep', and it's the primary option on the shutdown menu (rather than shutdown, sleep or hibernate, which are off, suspend to ram, and suspend to disk, respectively).

Re:eh (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244551)

You know, sleep does a number on your pc. It sounds like a nice power saving feature, but it's not "off". Fans are still on, hard drives are sometimes on (depending on configuration), and other things too. I'm sure you know this.

For non sleep, why not just use hibernate? Even linux supports that.

Re:eh (1)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244565)

Yes, sleep fails miserably on many computers. That's why I specified "when it works as advertised" and pointed to apples store.

My MBP can sleep for over a week without running out of battery. (that's the longest I have ever been away from it)

Re:eh (1)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 4 years ago | (#25245121)

Uh, what?

I put my computer to sleep and my Kill-A-Watt says it's using about 4 watts. No fans are on. No hard drives are on. And it wakes up from this 4-watt sleep in about 4 seconds, compared to 15-20 for hibernate.

There are different sleep states. Sounds like you're only familiar with S1.

"Sleep" versus "PowerOff / Hibernate / etc." (2, Interesting)

DrYak (748999) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244831)

But seriously, when sleep actually works as advertised..... Why the fuck would you ever want to shut down?

Hum... increased battery life ?

Also while hibernating & powering off between usages spares more battery than maintaining the system on sleep, it doesn't solve the problem of battery usage *while* the system is up.

Whereas the Linux solution, besides being cool because it's Linux, is also really interesting because it runs on a separate low power TI OMAP hardware platform (like the recently featured Pandora gaming console, like the Beagle Board, or more mundane like the iPhone).
and *that* is something that is much less likely to drain your batteries than a full x86 platform running a full vista in all it's glory.

It brings a whole new level to dual boot : not only you switch OS and environment but even the CPU & GPU on which the OS is running.

Re:eh (2, Interesting)

mevets (322601) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244137)

Maybe dell will fork a design to leave out the x86 and assorted junk. A notebook sized iPhone-like device with huge battery life would be pretty cool....

Re:eh (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25244245)

A notebook sized iPhone-like device

Thats got to be awkward to try to hold to your ear while talking.

Re:eh (1)

chibiace (898665) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244411)

well nokia internet tablets run ti omap. they are fairly slow models though, there are some nice looking ones i saw on the wikipedia page though.

Re:eh (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244209)

Actually I have a demo laptop I take with me to convince people. It's my work laptop it dual boots into Ubuntu and Vista.

I show aunt millie Vista.. she oohs, ahhs, and clicks on a few things, I explain how the pop-ups are making sure that things she does are what she wants and tries t o keep her safe.

I then boot into ubuntu and she goes, "wow! why does it boost so much faster?" then she oohs nd aahs even louder playing with ubuntu until I show her the "add software" item in the programs menu and say "you cant buy software for Ubuntu. You get it all free right here on this list, and had her install the Gramps family history program that really excited her. aunt millie installed a complex program on Linux. she cant install most anything on windows.

needless to say, she wants me to install Ubuntu on her brand new computer and blow out the new Vista home install. I have done this to ALL my family that I support, except for my brother that must access a SCADA system for work they all use Ubuntu. And my brother had to downgrade to XP because the SCADA software is incompatable with Vista.

If users use linux and Vista side by side, linux wins hands down even with the non techie crowd. The problem is that almost NOBODY is doing this.

Re:eh (4, Interesting)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244319)

My own kids' computers are cheap arse dell dimensions that were leftovers from a project many moons ago. Kids are 5 and 8. I set both machines up dual booting Ubuntu and XP. Taught the kids how to switch from one OS to the other. Both choose Ubuntu for most tasks but will use XP happily enough for that rare game some odd family member bought them that only runs on windows.
 
For the most part, I consider my kids will grow up considerably more OS agnostic than the average user, and I am hoping that will turn out to be a major advantage for them. (Oh, ya, and they also get to use my macbook pro occasionally too, but usually only when we are on the road, they like OSX the most but I'm a cheap bastard and cant afford to get them their own macbooks)

Re:eh (2, Informative)

R3d Jack (1107235) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244681)

Have your brother run Ubuntu and run XP in a virtual machine. I do that at home with the family Mac and Napster (keeps my kid satisfied and legal).

Re:eh (4, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244707)

Which OS does your Aunt Millie use when she wants to play Crysis Warhead?

Re:eh (1)

Odiseo70 (1027626) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244871)

The game console's OS ?

Re:eh (0, Redundant)

Samah (729132) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244893)

I assume then, that none of your family plays Windows-only games? I would have been using Ubuntu 64 yonks ago if every single game I want to run would run flawlessly. By flawlessly, I mean "can't tell that I'm not in Windows". Wine may be good, but if it's not 100% compatibility, I'm not interested.

Linux is not an operating system (-1, Redundant)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244441)

``Well, I hope it's at least damn pretty, cause being the runner up to "the real os" isn't really something to be proud of. But if its flashy enough, then people will like it and will increase their opinion of linux. Then again... is it going to
say its Linux?''

It is worth bearing in mind that Linux is not an operating system. It is a kernel, and there is a plethora of operating systems built on top of that kernel. Colloquially, these operating systems are often referred to as "Linux", but the differences between them can be enormous. Ubuntu may be pretty, but I wouldn't really say the same about OpenWrt. Yet, they are both "Linux". Of course, they are different operating systems that serve different purposes, so one's opinion of one should not carry over to the other.

Re:Linux is not an operating system (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 4 years ago | (#25245159)

It is worth bearing in mind that Linux is not an operating system.

Context, my friend.

When I say, "bear with me a moment", do you run off because you think that a bear is following me?

Looks like we're going back to 1981... (4, Interesting)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244085)

... when IBM PCs had BASIC in ROM which you could start instantly and (in theory) do some sort of work with without booting DOS. No bad thing IMO.

Goatse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25244087)

Eat my goatse'd penis [twofo.co.uk] !

For some people this may be enough (2, Interesting)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244129)

A LOT of people by a PC just to access email or the web. If they can do all this with an OS that starts instantly too , why will they want Vista? Time for MS to sweat possibly?

Re:For some people this may be enough (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244387)

Have you seen the OMAP series? A 3530 would be enough for most people and the A9-based ones on the near-future roadmap are even more interesting. I'd be more than happy to give up binary compatibility for the performance per watt that they provide. Something like the OpenPandora system with HDMI out and 256MB or more of RAM would be close to my ideal portable.

Re:For some people this may be enough (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244493)

I'm waiting for an owner of one of these to be shown how to boot into Vista and saying "I don't recognise this?" - after they have had it for a year ....

Re:For some people this may be enough (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244507)

A LOT of people by a PC just to access email or the web. If they can do all this with an OS that starts instantly too , why will they want Vista? Time for MS to sweat possibly?

Because often 'access email' means Word and Powerpoint forwards. I lost one user from Kubuntu to XP Cracked Edition because she _needed_ to read those forwards that her friends with boring jobs send her. OOo 2.4 just did not display them reliably enough. She _notices_ that the system is slower, and she _knows_ that it probably had malware right from the install. But that doesn't bother her as much as not being able to open Powerpoint forwards properly.

Re:For some people this may be enough (3, Informative)

wiz_80 (15261) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244571)

Strange - my home machine runs OpenOffice instead of MS Office, and I can only remember one PPT that did not open right the first time in OOo. DOCs all come up fine, so much that when I need to do a lot of word processing I do it on the desktop with the nice keyboard and then transfer the file to the work lapdog. Never had any trouble, even with big multi-author documents with all sorts of highlighting and versioning.

Re:For some people this may be enough (1)

I'm not really here (1304615) | more than 4 years ago | (#25245175)

Try that with Dia/Visio. I can't reliably export as Visio from Dia - it always offsets the text horribly.

I don't think it's the Linux (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244145)

Going out on a limb here, but I suspect the use of a mobile phone processor contributed a teeny bit more to the improved battery life than the Linux. (FWIW, I don't see any statistically significant battery life difference between Xubuntu and Vista Business on my own machine, but that's another story.)

Re:I don't think it's the Linux (5, Insightful)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244153)

You ever try to get windows vista running on a AMD Geode LX800? You are correct in saying that its the processor saving the power, not the OS, but without the OS, the processor wouldn't be an option.

Re:I don't think it's the Linux (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244283)

There are plenty of other OSes than Linux which they could've run off that CPU. Linux is arguably the best option these days, but it's an OS choice driven by the hardware, rather than the other way around.

Re:I don't think it's the Linux (1)

Gollum (35049) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244179)

And which version of Windows would you run on that processor, then? Oh, right!

umm (2, Informative)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244255)

...you are aware that a good proportion of Windows Mobile devices run on OMAP processors, right? Like the venerable HTC Wizard etc?

Re:umm (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244335)

I'm sure he's aware of that, but Windows Mobile isn't the Windows as we know and love/hate. He says that "Windows Vista" isn't going to run well on a Geode (if it runs at all, I think it's Pentium I compatible which might be not suppored by Vista anymore).

Re:umm (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244379)

No, it's a *different* Windows we know and hate!

I get this, I'm just pointing out that "Linux FTW!" doesn't really cut it here. It's "energy-efficient processors and lightweight OS FTW!" instead.

FWIW, I thought this whole thing was what MS Sideshow was meant to be...

Re:umm (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244405)

Yes, it's a different Windows and it isn't even remotely as powerful as the fullblown Windows or as a well balanced GNU/Linux system.

But, you're right about two things: the reason is the chip not the OS, and it's exactly what MS Sideshow was supposed to be.

Re:I don't think it's the Linux (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244343)

I'd probably opt for something else entirely. You hardly need a general-purpose OS for the functions they suggest, although that would stifle your ability to update the applications.

Re:I don't think it's the Linux (2, Insightful)

akozakie (633875) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244993)

Not only that. Having a general purpose operating system gives you a choice you wouldn't otherwise have - using applications that the designers didn't consider. I know I'd like a laptop with 20+ hours on a normal battery, but it would have to have at least ssh (works on my phone, so obviously not a problem), and something to edit text (LaTeX, docs, sometimes simple programs - vi or something else that doesn't need much processor power). I could do 80% of my everyday work with this. And if after a few hours of work I could boot to full power to e.g. compile the text - even better. Now, what are the chances that these applications would be installed in an "email/web" mode? With Linux I can just install what I need and - as long as it doesn't need much to run - it'll work just fine.

Let's the options (2, Interesting)

DrYak (748999) | more than 4 years ago | (#25245117)

I'd probably opt for something else entirely.

Which operating system can run a complete desktop solution with web, mail, chat, word-processing and a few other task ? with support for complete support for LAN, Wifi, tons of USB pluggable peripherals and full screen with windowing ? On a low power *NON*-x86 chip ?
And is already used and deployed as such and will require minimal tuning (some branding at most ?)

Ok let's build a list :

  1. Linux (tons of OMAP support to pick from already)
  2. *BSD (you can basically copy-paste comment about linux)
  3. Symbian (has been used in netbooks including from Psion. But doesn't have such a large hardware support)

and, huh... that's it.

Mac OS X ? Sorry when they ported it to the iPhone they stipped aways huge portions of the user interface. And without it UI, OS/X is just a boring BSD. Beside, Apple will never allow anyone running OS X on anything but Mac sanctionned hardware (on the other hand, now that the OMAP/x86 hybrid have appear on PC, you can bet that Apple will be quick to improve their ARM verions of OSX for similar and much better integrated hybrids)

Windows CE ? Supports OMAP and some of the basic tasks. But lacks support for tons of USB and other hardware for which drivers will have to be written. In short you *could* use it for the Web/Mail tasks, but nothing else, unless you throw several programmers at the task of writing all the missing apps & drivers.

PalmOS ? Well.... Seriously there have been some not widely known netbook in the past, and there was the cancelled Voleo ultra light laptop. But that's it.

Windows XP/Vista ? Hahahaha.... what a joke ! Have you ever seen it able to run on the required CPU ? Sorry these are x86 only (with the exception of some Itanium support).

Vendor opted to Linux because it's already mature and proven for this kind of usage, with drivers and applications already ready for the task.
The only thing left to do are branding and tuning (making a monolithic kernel for better boot time).

Anything else would have required much more development.

I want one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25244169)

but without all that legacy x86 crap.

Re:I want one... (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244189)

Well, pop the case open, remove the x86 CPU from the socket and sell it on ebay. Voila! No legacy.

Re:I want one... (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244369)

I still dont get why an OEM hasnt just gone out an a limb and released a laptop without x86 support. oh noes no flash games...
Unless your tied to windows i just don't see why they cant release a 'workbook' which can run openoffice,firefox,evolution on some other architecture.

Re:I want one... (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244631)

The Pandora can run all of those just fine on Ubuntu.

The only problem is they completely sold out in hours, and won't have enough to meet demand until at least next year.

Re:I want one... (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244633)

There was one reviewed on the register a little while ago. Was a really cheap netbook with a decent battery life but "Oh Noes!" it ran linux on MIPS.

I'd be tempted. Debian would run fine on there.

Re:I want one... (1)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244899)

> There was one reviewed on the register a little while ago.

Maplin currently sell a MIPS netbook running Linux for 170UKP:

http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=225532&TabID=1&source=3&C=RSS [maplin.co.uk]

But the battery life is only 3 hours and it runs some form of ``locked-down'' OS; not entirely sure what that means:

http://labs.pcw.co.uk/2008/09/maplin-replies.html [pcw.co.uk]

Specs here:

http://194.150.201.35/cnmlifestyle/specification.htm [194.150.201.35]

10 to 20 hours is easy... (4, Insightful)

squoozer (730327) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244181)

... you just need a very very big battery. Rather than quoting run time on battery we should probably start reporting the average power draw of the system idle and under full load.

Re:10 to 20 hours is easy... (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244639)

Rather than quoting run time on battery we should probably start reporting the average power draw of the system idle and under full load.

Why? Apart from electrical engineers, users don't care what the power draw is - they do care about actual run time.
If you want to put that value into context, factor in the other variables that matter to users e.g. run time per kg, run time per cm^3, run time per $.

creators releasing rescue kode as needed (-1)

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http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/opinion/01dowd.html?em&ex=1212638400&en=744b7cebc86723e5&ei=5087%0A
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/05/senate.iraq/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/washington/17contractor.html?hp
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/world/middleeast/03kurdistan.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080708/cheney_climate.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080805/pl_politico/12308;_ylt=A0wNcxTPdJhILAYAVQms0NUE
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/09/18/voting.problems/index.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080903/ts_nm/environment_arctic_dc;_ylt=A0wNcwhhcb5It3EBoy2s0NUE
(talk about cowardlly race fixing/bad theater/fiction?) http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/19/news/economy/sec_short_selling/index.htm?cnn=yes

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

'The current rate of extinction is around 10 to 100 times the usual background level, and has been elevated above the background level since the Pleistocene. The current extinction rate is more rapid than in any other extinction event in earth history, and 50% of species could be extinct by the end of this century. While the role of humans is unclear in the longer-term extinction pattern, it is clear that factors such as deforestation, habitat destruction, hunting, the introduction of non-native species, pollution and climate change have reduced biodiversity profoundly.' (wiki)

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

Re:creators releasing rescue kode as needed (1)

boredandatwork (1339259) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244381)

Okay mister Anonymous Crackpot, you along with so many others realize that. What would you have us do about it? Oh, you haven't gotten that far yet? Ah, my apologies. Let me know when you figure that out. I would be very interested to find out myself.

Re:creators releasing rescue kode as needed (1)

CubicleView (910143) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244491)

Mod Parent +1 batshit crazy

Flamebait headline (2, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244203)

They're talking about using a system on a chip solution that is designed to draw about 2W compared to the 20W or so the laptop usually draws. Of course it's going to last longer.

Given the Geode is x86, this could quite easily run XP and would likely achieve a similar battery life. It just wouldn't be instant on.

It's also an incredibly expensive solution that'll add weight and bulk to the laptop. If this kind of thing is important to you, get a PDA or smartphone.

Re:Flamebait headline (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244363)

It sounds like it gives you access to your machine's own files, though. I suppose a more elegant alternative would be to design a CPU package with an ultra-low-voltage, ultra-low-performance mode and some sort of teeny onboard memory, rather than a whole other CPU for the stripped-back OS.

Useless for Linux itself... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25244221)

... unless there is a tux logo displayed somewhere, this will do zero, absolutely zero, to help Linux get anywhere in terms of recognition.

Re:Useless for Linux itself... (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244401)

Being more familiar with the operating system doesn't count for anything if theres no tux logo?

I disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25244605)

It won't take long for people to learn they are NOT running a Microsoft product. For the moment, it makes sense to keep the Linux name out of the picture. Too many people mistakenly believe they need Windows. Once they realize that almost everything they need is available via the quickie instant-boot OS, then they can start to think about what is really running behind the scenes.

This is a nightmare scenario for MS. The closest thing they have to an instant-on OS is Windows Mobile, which was ever known for its stability (or Windows compatibility for that matter).

While Linux does not have to be compatible with anything except the Internet, MS is expected to run any product released since Windows 98 while placing a security band-aid on every vulnerability of each product.

As I write this (on an XP machine), McAfee Anti-virus is consuming 115mb of memory, with 250k page faults and 486 million read I/O operations. The machine has been on for less than an hour. Outlook is using 179mb of memory. Those two apps have already eaten more than the 256mb mentioned in the article. MS has nothing to offer in the world of lightweight apps. Kind of silly when you consider how simple the underlying protocols really are.

Will it be possible to only use OMAP3 for work? (1)

JoSch1337 (1168265) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244231)

Does the OMAP3 just share the hardware like battery, display, keyboard, usb, wifi, harddrive with the rest? Will it have access to everything?
If yes, then it would be possible to only use the OMAP and not those powersucking intel chipset and processor anymore. This would be awesum as this would be the perfect combination of powersaving processor (the intel atom chipset draws way to much power) and big keyboard/display/battery!

Oh and why did't netbook manufactures use OMAP3 yet? The power is okay for email+browsing, it's cheaper and battery life is better compared to the intel atom+chipset. Only because it's not x86 and windows will not run on it???

Re:Will it be possible to only use OMAP3 for work? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244377)

Will it run flash?

I am not a huge fan, but a lot of great sites require flash for use.

Re:Will it be possible to only use OMAP3 for work? (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244439)

Oh and why did't netbook manufactures use OMAP3 yet?

No idea, but OpenPandora [openpandora.org] made a handheld with one. It was released on Tuesday, with an initial run of 3,000 units. They sold 2,000 of these in the first six hours. One of these with a bit more RAM and HDMI output would be my ideal portable. The next generation OMAPs are based on the ARM Cortex A9, which supports up to 4 cores on a single die, which makes them even more interesting - especially if you can shut all except one down when you're on battery.

Re:Will it be possible to only use OMAP3 for work? (1)

FourthAge (1377519) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244447)

Oh and why did't netbook manufactures use OMAP3 yet? ... Only because it's not x86 and windows will not run on it???

Yes.

There's no reason why Intel can't (eventually) make a low power x86 CPU that competes seriously with these ARM CPUs... Atom might not be it, but the next generation probably will be. And then, these Intel CPUs will have a major advantage over other CPUs for mobile devices. Their ability to run almost any program is what people actually want. x86 has won time and again, not because it is better than its competitors, but because it is so widely used, and compatibility is what counts.

Re:Will it be possible to only use OMAP3 for work? (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244555)

"Only because it's not x86 and windows will not run on it???"

That's usually a big problem. You would design a complete platform that could not be sold for the typical PC user. While a great many PC users use their computers for little more than checking e-mail and web browsing, a good many of them need a specific Windows program for something that has no free equivalent (or none they know of).

I think a small scale manufacturer could grow thin-clients into desktop workstations in an additional product line rather easily.

Again, I would love to see comp-sci students with non-x86, interesting, odd architectures to play with. Multi-core and transactional memory are going to be big soon and we need them to get familiar with this stuff.

Re:Will it be possible to only use OMAP3 for work? (1)

rwiggers (1206310) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244809)

Have you ever built a system with a non-x86 processor?
Many applications you use in the PC are built in a not portable way, and they are really hard to cross-compile. Many won't compile at all. Of course, not to mention the proprietary softwares that only deliver a x86 binary blob.
Ah, before you ask, yes, I work with linux on ARM machines. They are wonderful for a controlled environment, but would be a nightmare in an open environment where the user could install just about anything.

Re:Will it be possible to only use OMAP3 for work? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244959)

I run OpenBSD on a PowerPC Mac Mini, and have had no problems with software that I want to use not being supported. The only exception is Valgrind, but that doesn't run on OpenBSD on x86 yet either.

How about a solar cell notebook case? (3, Insightful)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244267)

How about putting a solar array on a notebook case/cover that could power your laptop and any other items such as cell phones and music players?

Seeing that batteries are a very limited resource, how about having the option to use the unlimited power of the sun?

It also has a dual benefit of forcing you to get out of your parent's basement every so often.

Re:How about a solar cell notebook case? (2, Insightful)

ErroneousBee (611028) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244321)

Because then you have to leave these things out in the sun, where they will get stolen, or suffer from heat stress issues, warping of plastics, water damage, etc.

Its also hard to charge an 18V battery from the 5V typical that you get from a laptop sized solar panel.

Power monkeys and similar are the way to go, especially if capacitor based batteries come around, then you can charge devices from the powermonkey in minutes.

Re:How about a solar cell notebook case? (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244903)

Okay. How about using a liquid fuel source like lighter fluid?

Re:How about a solar cell notebook case? (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244333)

Seeing that batteries are a very limited resource, how about having the option to use the unlimited power of the sun?

  • It's been raining for 3 days, now what do yo do?
  • You live above the Arctic Circle, and it's winter. Now what do you do?
  • Your laptop uses more than the 20 watts or so that such a small solar array would produce (on a good day). Now what do you do?

Solar power isn't really that unlimited, especially if you have to be mobile.

Re:How about a solar cell notebook case? (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244451)

Actually, it's a great idea.
You mentioned lots of boundary conditions and "What if" on the negative side. Look at the wins:

What if you manage to complete some work you otherwise wouldn't have been able to by using the last of the battery that was charged by solar.
What about the energy you'll save (across the whole user base of the machines). That's significant!
What if you're a casual user of the laptop (like my father; he brings it out now and then, and the battery has frequently lost charge from sitting around so long!). It could mean you have a full battery rather than an almost empty one.

Maybe not something to slap into full production from the word go, but certainly worth examining with a pilot project, and maybe a small line release.

Re:How about a solar cell notebook case? (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244573)

...what if it's cheaper, more convenient, and more effective to just upgrade your battery to the next size up? Solar probably only makes sense if you'll be mobile (so no car batteries) and far away from mains power (so you can't just plug in at night) for an extended length of time.

Re:How about a solar cell notebook case? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25244793)

Dude, what crawled up your ass and died? In one post you said "Solar power isn't really that unlimited, especially if you have to be mobile." and in the next "Solar probably only makes sense if you'll be mobile..."

It's not prefect for every application, but it doesn't have no uses which you seem to try to claim between your two posts. When there finally are netbooks that draw in the range of 10W then portable solar actually does become an option. Or what if you just want to power a computer off solar and reduce your dependence on the grid. It's not a crime man.

Re:How about a solar cell notebook case? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244909)

This is pure speculation, but I would think that the market for such a wizmo is small enough that an integrated solution would never break even. Selling a separate panel that was compatible with a line of laptops would probably be a better way to test the waters.

Re:How about a solar cell notebook case? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25244503)

  • It's been raining for 3 days, now what do yo do?
  • You live above the Arctic Circle, and it's winter. Now what do you do?
  • Your laptop uses more than the 20 watts or so that such a small solar array would produce (on a good day). Now what do you do?

Solar power isn't really that unlimited, especially if you have to be mobile.

Well if you're really in that harsh of conditions you buy extra solar capacity and a battery storage solution. What do you think mountaineering expeditions do? [ctsolar.com] And if there is no light in the arctic then solar is not your solution. That doesn't mean solar can't work where 99.9% of the population actually is.

But the poster you replied to didn't say anything about absurdly harsh conditions. Say your low power netbook or laptop draws 10W. Buy 10-20W or more of solar capacity and properly adjust the power say through an inverter and the ac adapter and you will either greatly extend the battery life or you can keep it going indefinitely during the day even when overcast if you got enough capacity. Overcast doesn't mean no light, just less.

Even better, figure out a setup where you don't have to have a wasteful inverter only to use a wasteful ac adapter. Just get the right voltages and charge the laptop directly.

Re:How about a solar cell notebook case? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#25244601)

I forgot to add a couple links:
*More portable panels [sierrasolar.com]
*Solar backpacks [voltaicsystems.com]

At 4W the backpack isn't going to do you any good for a laptop, but could help with a cell phone or PDA in good sunlight.

Re:How about a solar cell notebook case? (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 4 years ago | (#25245087)

  • It's been raining for 3 days, now what do yo do?
  • You live above the Arctic Circle, and it's winter. Now what do you do?
  • Your laptop uses more than the 20 watts or so that such a small solar array would produce (on a good day). Now what do you do?

I'm sure that vendors are dying to satisfy the weird needs of those 20 people. :D

Re:How about a solar cell notebook case? (1)

ja (14684) | more than 4 years ago | (#25245139)

How about instead putting a second battery in its own case with solar power. That way you can leave the charger out in the sun, while you yourself stay cool - poolside with a pina collada? - in the shade ...

silly... (3, Insightful)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244269)

I wonder if someday we'll just be able to plug our phones into our laptops, switching to the phone's processor when we need to save battery life?

That would be silly. Why not plug your foldable self-powered screen/keyboard thing into your "phone" when you need more pixels or want to type something long?

Re:silly... (2, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244649)

Why not plug your foldable self-powered screen/keyboard thing into your "phone" when you need more pixels or want to type something long?

I'd rather plug my phone module into my PDA when I want a smart phone, or leave it in the dumb phone jacket to save power the rest of the time.

The phone module for the Visor was going to be a step in that direction, but Handspring had corporate ADD.

Re:silly... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#25245007)

I use a combination similar to this. A Nokia 770, an old, cheap 3G phone, and a bluetooth keyboard. When I want to type, I can connect the keyboard to the 770, and it runs vim nicely (great for getting an article finished while waiting for people to arrive at the pub). When I want to access the Internet, and there's no hostspot, I can use the phone in the dial-up profile. When I want to make calls, the phone is a phone. Add a bit more RAM, a faster CPU (OMAP 3530 or similar) and HDMI out, and I probably wouldn't need a laptop.

Re:silly... (3, Interesting)

soupforare (542403) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244975)

I really wish IBM's metapad [ibm.com] got out of the prototype stage.

Re:silly... (1)

akozakie (633875) | more than 4 years ago | (#25245063)

Good solution, just throw in an external laptop-sized battery, giving the phone/keyboard/screen combo uptime measured in weeks. I'd buy it - light, functional, charge when you remember... perfect for most tasks.

Battery Life! (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244289)

Yeah! 10-20 hours. That's almost as good as my Radio Shack Model 100 - still going strong after 23 years.

Freedom from x86 (3, Interesting)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244433)

The interesting part, from my point of view, is that a free OS like Linux may foster the development of non-x86 binary architectures with different strengths.

I said this before: I would love to see a notebook chip with multiple ARM (or OMAP, or MIPS or whatever) cores that could be powered up and down depending on demand and desired power consumption.

The fact such machine would be completely Windows-proof would be a nice plus.

Re:Freedom from x86 (1)

domatic (1128127) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244579)

I very much like the idea but the FOSS community and/or corporates interested in pushing such a thing needs to get cracking on a GOOD non-Adobe version of Flash and (crap!) a GOOD non-MS Silverlight.

Re:Freedom from x86 (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#25245077)

ARM (or OMAP

OMAP is an implementation of ARM. The current generation is based on the Cortex A8 series, and comes with a nice DSP core as well (some also come with an OpenGL ES 2.0-capable PowerVR GPU) in a package that can have a 128MB RAM chip clipped on top, so you don't need any motherboard traces for RAM unless you want more than 64MB. If you want one to play with, there's quite a cheap development board [beagleboard.org] .

The next generation is to be based on the Cortex A9 MPcore architecture, which supports 1-4 cores on the same die, and they are rumoured to have 256MB RAM chips ready soon.

why not use sideshow? (1)

Deathlizard (115856) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244545)

If Dell wanted to save battery life on their Vista notebooks, why didn't they just integrate sideshow in their laptops? It comes with the OS and has a lot of plugins [microsoft.com] to choose from.

I know it's not a full blown OS, but outside of web surfing it does most of the functions of this system with even less power usage because of it's smaller screen.

Can you hear me now? (1)

stevedmc (1065590) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244577)

I can just see the commercials now. Dell is going to have to hire a guy to walk around with a laptop saying "Can you hear me now?"

Same processor in the pandora (1)

ZERO1ZERO (948669) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244637)

This TI processor is the same one used in the pandora box that was on slashdot the other day.

I'd like one (1)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244675)

I'd like one without the x86 and without Vista, please.

Pandoras Box ... Supersized? (1)

ja (14684) | more than 4 years ago | (#25244785)

This appears to be exactly the same concept as that BeautyBox from yesterday - with a gamepad molded into it - called Pandora, only much, much more expensive.

According to the TI manual, it will do 40bit fixpoint mul as well, apparently for the sole reason that this is what is needed for implementing a quality vocoder? .. Hey, that is what I would like to call /sound/ engineering! :-D

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