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Startup Offers Instant-Boot Windows Alternative

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the o-hai-dere dept.

Operating Systems 286

Lucas123 writes "A Silicon Valley startup named Device VM has a product that circumvents the boot-up process, according to a story in MIT's Technology Review. Device VM recently released a tiny piece of software that gives users the option to boot either Windows or a faster, less-complex operating system called Splashtop. The company is partnering with PC OEMs and consumer electronics companies to integrate its core technology into desktops, notebooks, ultra-mobile PCs, and other devices."

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Hey, anybody knows (4, Insightful)

microbee (682094) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072244)

How to get slashdot coverage if I have a startup?

Mod parent up (5, Funny)

Malevolent Tester (1201209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072410)

I think you just have to submit a press release as a story.

Re:Mod parent up (1, Informative)

Corwn of Amber (802933) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073400)

Yeah, but you get to re-invent "HIBERNATE" first.

HOW THE FUCK IS THAT NEWS?

yeah right... (0, Redundant)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072260)

1995 called they want their ramdrives back.

Re:yeah right... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22072290)

the 1800's called, they want their nigger back..

and of course, that would be you

Re:yeah right... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22072582)

The 1700's called, they want to know if we have Prince Albert in a can.

Re:yeah right... (1)

Doctor-Optimal (975263) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072902)

The 1700's called, they want to know if we have Prince Albert in a can.

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, 1819 to 1861?
Primitive man called, they want their inability to count back.

Splashtop? (2, Funny)

boristdog (133725) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072268)

You sure you heard that right?

Re:Splashtop? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22072508)

In Japan, they call it Bukkaketop.

Really old news? (1, Funny)

bushboy (112290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072274)

I'm sure this story was reported some months back?

Ahh, wait, I forgot - this is slashdot! ;)

Re:Really old news? (4, Informative)

CarAnalogy (1191053) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072396)

You're probably thinking of this article [slashdot.org] .

Apparently, Device VM hadn't officially announced their technology yet, but now they have. More than enough reason for a dupe :)

Taking all bets here! (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072276)

Taking all bets here, folks! How long before Microsoft tries to do something to try to get PC companies to not have this in their systems? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Re:Taking all bets here! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22072334)

They won't care since most people leave their PC turned on or suspended 24/7 nowadays anyhow.

Re:Taking all bets here! (2, Funny)

cuantar (897695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072744)

But people only developed this habit because rebooting Windows is so painful.

Re:Taking all bets here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22072788)

Yeah, it has absolutely nothing to do with always-on internet connections.

/blame Microsoft!!

Re:Taking all bets here! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22072408)

Um, this is from ASUS. The company that shipped Linux on 350000 mini-laptops in the last few months. Whatever Microsoft tried must not have been very convincing.

All I need do is replace my whole OS (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22072302)

And all I get in return is a quicker boot up? No thanks! It's not like windows boots are particularly bad. I go for weeks just hibernating which is even faster.

Re:All I need do is replace my whole OS (4, Insightful)

Dmala (752610) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072588)

It's kind of silly, people moan about their bootup time, meanwhile they have 800,000 apps that all launch at boot and run in the system tray. I've never understood why it's so important to have instantaneous access to Quicktime movies, Word docs, or PDF files that it's worth having something running and sucking up resources all the time. Even OpenOffice is guilty, although their app is easier to get rid of than most. Turn off all that shit except for stuff you genuinely need, make sure you have adequate RAM for the OS you're running, and Windows boots plenty fast.

Re:All I need do is replace my whole OS (4, Insightful)

msimm (580077) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072898)

Maybe you haven't stepped outside the university much, but most users have those apps boot at start-up because they don't know how to disable them (or worry they'll break something if they did).

Couple that with the persistence of certain vendors installing unnecessary applications into their taskbars (and as services) and of course there's a lot of cruft that could be cleaned up.

Re:All I need do is replace my whole OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22073408)

Not to mention it can be a pain booting up to something that is fast to boot up to, but you still have to load up the programs you need, such as antivirus+firewall/all kinds of needed driver programs (wireless control panels, mouse/keyboard applications/etc), IM applications. Ontop of that, I tend to have Deamon tools, Windowblinds, my itnernet usage meter, and a whole bunch of other needed stuff - it just tends to go on and on. I could disable these apps, but one less minute or so in boot time isn't worth starting these apps at the start everytime anyway.

There could proberly be a more smarter management with startup, such as the ability to define how long to wait, or the OS doing the mayjor OS stuff first, then only a few items instead of all at once.

It does annoy me the wait time, but there Isn't much I can do about it.

Re:All I need do is replace my whole OS (2, Informative)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072962)

meanwhile they have 800,000 apps that all launch at boot and run in the system tray.
I use winpatrol [winpatrol.com] and/or CCleaner. [ccleaner.com]

Re:All I need do is replace my whole OS (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073006)

Except that some of those startup apps just re-enable themselves when the main program loads. I know QuickTime does this.

Re:All I need do is replace my whole OS (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073250)

That's not boot time. That's login time. Slightly separate issue, since my computer boots very fast, but due to the number of servers and things I have to have running for work, it takes about 5 minutes of serious churning to get to a usable state after I type my password and hit enter.

Re:All I need do is replace my whole OS (2, Interesting)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072724)

What?

Intel's working on making software and hardware advances to cut the boot time. AMD will likely follow suit, as will other BIOS vendors/makers. That can't but HELP be good for Linux.

But, I suppose Linux can boot in under 14 seconds if it's an embedded device doing non-PC work.

Suspend and hibernate are nice, but maybe even this could be good for VirtualBox and other virtual machine environments.

and then what? (5, Insightful)

gambit3 (463693) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072316)

Umm... ok, so I booted instantly into this thing... now what?

Don't get me wrong, the long boot times of XP annoy me (except when it's freshly installed), but I don't see how this helps, unless it provides for an instant boot INTO XP, I don't see how you'd get regular people interested or how it will help them.

Re:and then what? (5, Funny)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072394)

No, no, you're looking at this all wrong! This is SPLASHTOP, man! It's instant, it's hip, it's cool, it's edgy! This isn't your father's bootup, man! This is the future! It's Web 2.0 on RUBY RAILS! Don't believe me? Here's our commercial - would FALLOUT FUCKING BOY be in our commercial if this wasn't the way of tomorrow? For shizzle.

Now, about that startup money we were mentioned earlier...

Re:and then what? (2, Funny)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072696)

Actually it's just a Linux distro.

Re:and then what? (2, Funny)

jddj (1085169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072960)

Highly futuristic - just like my Atari 400 and my Timex-Sinclair 1000. And my Palm T|X, for that matter.

Re:and then what? (1)

XHIIHIIHX (918333) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073448)

i was unable to annoy any spammers

Re:and then what? (4, Insightful)

merreborn (853723) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072464)

I don't see how you'd get regular people interested or how it will help them.
If your PC is off, and you want to check movie times on your way out the door, being able to rapidly boot into an environment with a web browser would be appealing.

For the type of user that leaves their PC off most of the time, the ability to accomplish a single task rapidly could be appealing.

Re:and then what? (5, Funny)

no1nose (993082) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072642)

If your PC is "off"? I don't understand.

Re:and then what? (4, Insightful)

misleb (129952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072782)

If your PC is off, and you want to check movie times on your way out the door, being able to rapidly boot into an environment with a web browser would be appealing.


Try using a (web enabled) phone and you can literally do it on your way out the door. Making a PC instantly available is an increasingly disminishing benefit.

For the type of user that leaves their PC off most of the time, the ability to accomplish a single task rapidly could be appealing.


Or they could just try hibernating their existing OS and get the same effect. Seriously, marketing a new OS based on boot time is just stupid.

-matthew

Re:and then what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22073336)

Is your argument that web-enabled phones will make everyone stop using laptops and desktops?

Re:and then what? (2, Informative)

justinlindh (1016121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073352)

Try using a (web enabled) phone and you can literally do it on your way out the door. Making a PC instantly available is an increasingly disminishing benefit.

To expand specifically on this example, you can even send a text message to GOOGL (46645) with the text "showtimes " and you'll get a response text message with movie listings for free. I use this a lot, as I loathe the web interface on my phone.

Re:and then what? (2, Informative)

justinlindh (1016121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073396)

Argh... butchered my example above (that'll learn me to use preview!). The text message body needs to contain "showtimes <zip_code>".

Re:and then what? (2, Insightful)

jdogalt (961241) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072852)

In other words, it's called dual booting into a non-bloated linux installation.

Re:and then what? (4, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073164)

how about using an OS that has decent hibernate and sleep functions? I know MSFT keeps breaking them so windows users rarely know that joy, but damn. I know Linux can do it, Windows can too.

My two Macs take 10 seconds to load up and are network ready and 5 seconds of that is me typing in my password. REboots should only be used when you need to update the system. If you have so many memory problems that you need to reboot more often than that , then i suggest you upgrade your OS to something that isn't a fisherprice toy.

I can pull out my laptop raise the cover log in, check movie times, and put it back faster than a fresh XP install or hell even a fresh OS X install can boot.

All MSFT has to do is stop screwing around with the ACPI specs and not care if Linux or anyone else can use them. that won't happen so windows users will always get shafted.

A bit of quick web surfing? (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072474)

If you just wanted to boot up to do some quick web surfing (check /., email, blogs etc) then having a quick boot + web browser etc is great. If you want to run full blown apps like Office etc then you do a full boot.

Re:A bit of quick web surfing? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072596)

What would stop them from adding open office?
A web browser is a pretty complex program (its the one which uses most memory on most machines) so why not other things?

Re:and then what? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22072530)

I don't see how this helps, unless it provides for an instant boot INTO XP
Something that would be quite interesting would be if the computer quickly booted into this Linux OS (5-20 seconds according to the article), but would then (optionally) start booting Windows in the background somehow. The user could thus do simple web-browsing and whatnot while waiting for Windows to boot. The Windows boot would probably take a bit longer than usual, but at least the user could be getting work done during that time period. And, of course, they could not bother with Windows at all if they just needed to do something simple and quick.

This would probably have to be implemented using virtual machines. This too, could offer interesting possibilities, like pausing and resuming your Windows session as needed, easily reverting the Windows disk image, and so on. Potentially this could indeed speed up the Windows boot time (by loading the VM image rather than going through the full Windows startup process).

Re:and then what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22072674)

yes i agree. i hate having the wait the 14 seconds or so it takes for me to fire up xp..

Warning to readers (5, Informative)

idontgno (624372) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072328)

TFA is infected with "Vibrant Media IntelliTxt" advertising hotlinks. Mouse carefully or browse with NoScript or something.

Re:Warning to readers (5, Funny)

AJWM (19027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072380)

"Vibrant Media IntelliTxt"

VoMIT, for short?

Re:Warning to readers (1)

k_187 (61692) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072992)

Where exactly does the "o" come from?

The Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22072808)

Direct link to Splashtop. [splashtop.com]

My desktop machine has been up 700hrs (3, Insightful)

gelfling (6534) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072330)

Since I turned off automatic Windows updates I rarely worry about shutting down and rebooting. Of course the 3 or 4 times a year I do have to patch Windows it sucks plutonic balls to have to restart over and over to finalize the patches.

Re:My desktop machine has been up 700hrs (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22072562)

OMG. Does anyone know how to recover a stolen account? I had a really low uid too.

Re:My desktop machine has been up 700hrs (4, Interesting)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073242)

Since I turned off automatic Windows updates I rarely worry about shutting down and rebooting.
I hope it has really good power management, because otherwise that's an extreme waste of energy.

It's funny how many slashdotters are posting to say that Windows sucks and boots slow, and of course the solution is to run Linux. I run Linux, but one of the things I'm least happy about is the horrible support for power management. None of the sleep, hibernate, etc., options work on my machine at all. I don't know the solution to the problem, either, because it sounds like the problem is basically that manufacturers refuse to openly document the registers that need to be saved when their devices go to sleep. If I had working power management, then I wouldn't need to shut down my computer so often, and I wouldn't care much what my boot times were. This is all much bigger issue on laptops, of course.

I believe one of the reasons Linux doesn't boot faster than it does is that there's a kernel feature that, for security, randomizes the addresses at which various code is loaded into memory each time you boot. This is supposed to protect against buffer overflows that jump to a fixed address in memory. The problem is that it means you can't speed up booting by simply caching an image of the initialized state of a lot of your memory in a freshly booted system.

I don't know about other people's Linux boxes, but on mine the time taken to start Gnome is comparable to the time it takes to boot into gdm. That's one of the reasons I run fluxbox rather then Gnome.

How is windows a problem with a notebook? (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072336)

I sleep/hibernate my notebook for months at a time.

I think the last time my e1405 was shut down and cold booted is when I installed a bluetooth module (about 4 months ago).

Re:How is windows a problem with a notebook? (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072518)

No kidding. My MacBook Pro would be up for months on end except for two things. The first is Apple updates that require restarts (come out once every month or two, it seems) and the times on weekends I boot into Windows to play Half-Life 2 or Team Fortress 2. My PowerBook G4 (which couldn't boot into windows) had a record of 3-4 months, with me hauling it between home and school every day. That was due to an Apple update too.

If you don't want to wait through boot times, just put the computer to sleep.

Which flavor of linux is splashtop based on? (2, Interesting)

bigredradio (631970) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072340)

Just wondering which flavor of linux is splashtop based on? (i.e. Distro, Window manager, etc.)

Re:Which flavor of linux is splashtop based on? (2, Interesting)

fatphil (181876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072576)

Sign up as a developer, download the source, and find out:
http://www.splashtop.com/developer.php

Question for GPL experts and amateur lawyers (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073156)

Sign up as a developer, download the source, and find out: http://www.splashtop.com/developer.php [splashtop.com]
Is requiring a signup in order to receive a download link fully compliant with GPL-2?

Re:Question for GPL experts and amateur lawyers (1)

RalphSleigh (899929) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073412)

So long as you have to also sign up to receive a binary its ok to have to sigh up to receive the source. Ofcourse you cant moan if someone signs up, downloads and then redistributes the source, so ultimately the cat will be let out of the bag.

Re:Which flavor of linux is splashtop based on? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22072776)

According to the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] :

It uses Bootsplash, SquashFS, Blackbox, SCIM and the Linux kernel 2.6.
and

A proprietary core engine starts at the BIOS boot and loads a specialized Linux distribution called a "Virtual Appliance Environment" (VAE).

Why? (1)

CarAnalogy (1191053) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072348)

IMHO, the time it takes for your OS to boot is a bit of a non-issue. As long as you've got working suspend to ram/disk, why bother with this? You lose all open apps/files with a (re)boot, whereas suspending maintains the state of your system.

Bootup speeds have always seemed like a bit of a pissing contest to me. Maybe I'm not part of the target audience...

Misnomer (5, Insightful)

kebes (861706) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072350)

Calling this "Instant-Boot" is a bit of a stretch. What they are describing is just a dual-boot bootloader that gives the option of booting into Windows or into Linux (Splashtop [wikipedia.org] is a trimmed-down Linux distribution). The 20 second boot time for Splashtop is decently fast, but hardly "instant", especially when you compare it to how fast some computers can recover from sleep or hibernate modes.

It seems moderately interesting, in the sense that some users might suddenly realize that all their computing needs are met by a lightweight (and Free) operating system. They might rarely boot into Windows. On the other hand, for many people this "fast boot" will just make using the computer more frustrating, since they will boot into Splashtop to get something done quickly, but then suddenly realize that they need another application (that they only have on their Windows partition), and then have to endure another, longer, boot (and re-open whatever webpage they were just looking at, etc.).

In short, the interesting thing here is the idea of pushing a dual-boot computer to the masses, and not an "instant on" computer.

Re:Misnomer (2, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072442)

No kidding. "Look, we invented booting from ROM, only slower".

Windows is slow to boot. OS X is pretty good, but it's no speed demon. But I just close the lid on my MacBook Pro and it goes to sleep. It actually seems to take 10-20 seconds to do this, but it's reliable so in reality I don't have to worry about it. Resuming is done as fast as the display can come up, if not faster. It is, for all practical purposes, instant.

Hibernating in Windows is much slower every time I've seen it, ranging from relatively fast to almost as bad as a cold boot for me.

If you want your computer up fast, just put it to sleep.

The only problem is when you must turn it off (say moving a desktop from one room to another, something that doesn't come up much, obviously). We'll never get to instant boots again, because hardware has to be initialized. Back when you were just loading an interpreter out of ROM it was that fast, but any time you touch a disk, it's going to be slow. SSDs speed things up, but when your OS starts taking up 1-5 gigs (as Windows and OS X do) you'll still pay a penalty. Again, that doesn't include warm up time that some card may need before it starts working (like the negotiation on a network card, but longer).

Re:Misnomer (2, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072522)

In short, the interesting thing here is the idea of pushing a dual-boot computer to the masses, and not an "instant on" computer

Most of the computers that would benefit from this - business computers networked to applications or security routines / login scripts / cruft cleaners - would be the ones most likely to have it disabled. I'm not sure I want another network-capable application running under the radar, even if it is Linux.

Besides, who wants to get started any faster in the morning.? Long coffee breaks because the computer is booting up can be considered a feature, not a bug.

Re:Misnomer (2, Interesting)

Bob-taro (996889) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072552)

In short, the interesting thing here is the idea of pushing a dual-boot computer to the masses, and not an "instant on" computer.

To me, the interesting thing was embedding the OS in the BIOS.

Re:Misnomer (3, Informative)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072650)

I know what instant boot is: I used to use a Compact Macintosh SE running System 6. I defy ANY modern opsys to go from power off to up and I can click an app as quickly as that system. Funny thing: A document created on that system, with gee whiz wow fonts and spiffy graphs on a 8.5 X 11 paper sheet, looks just like a modern machine creates. decades later I still get a sheet of paper

Re:Misnomer (1)

Trixter (9555) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073402)

I can beat your Mac. I have a Tandy TL/2, which came standard with MS-DOS in ROM. From power-on to DOS prompt is less than 2 seconds.

brb competing with "Firefox" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22072900)

gotta run, I'm inventing the "instant-on firefox" where users who just want to turn on their computer to browse a webpage can flip the switch and selecting, instead of Windows, instant-on firefox, blackjack, and hookers. In fact, forget the firefox!

brb competing with this startup using "Firefox" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22073112)

gotta run, I'm inventing the "instant-on firefox" where users who just want to turn on their computer to browse a webpage can flip the switch and select, instead of Windows, instant-on firefox, blackjack, or hookers. In fact, forget the firefox!

Re:Misnomer (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072996)

Calling this "Instant-Boot" is a bit of a stretch. The 20 second boot time for Splashtop is decently fast, but hardly "instant", especially when you compare it to how fast some computers can recover from sleep or hibernate modes.
Forget hibernate or sleep, my Windows install boots that fast. Of course, it's got a decent hard-disk and isn't loaded with a billion items of crap to launch at startup.

Re:Misnomer (2, Interesting)

Zantetsuken (935350) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073172)

Not only that, but this story was covered back in October [slashdot.org] . In fact, the old one was even better, since it was more descriptive and not misleading in the title or description...

At least the old article mentioned that it was Asus to be first making these boards (the dupe only has a screenshot of the bootloader having an Asus logo. Or that it would first be available on Asus's Intel X38 motherboards...

I think along with myself, a lot of people are getting tired of dupes on stories from months ago, with "articles" by "IT companies/magazines" that read old stories on /., but because all the PHB's out there that think these magazines are a good source of information on upcoming technology, one of 'em posts it to here, where we've known about it for months...

LinuxBIOS, etc? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22072374)

How is this different from using LinuxBIOS and/or a small, lean linux distribution, a la Puppy Linux, etc?

So where is the source code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22072400)


if its based on Linux/FOSS then the source should be available, yet i cant find it anywhere on the official site
http://www.splashtop.com/ [splashtop.com]

perhaps someone from FSF would like to remind them of the OSS obligations
seems too many companies thesedays are taking FOSS without giving anything back
treating it as fre money, thousands do the work and they just take it and sell it

Re:So where is the source code (3, Informative)

Jerry Coffin (824726) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072480)

if its based on Linux/FOSS then the source should be available, yet i cant find it anywhere on the official site http://www.splashtop.com/ [splashtop.com]

Use the source [splashtop.com] Luke!

Re:So where is the source code (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22072560)

thanks red leader, im going in

Re:So where is the source code (1)

theMAGE (51991) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073060)

There is no source code. Just a couple of small patches. I expect the GNU police to go after those guys any time now, since they released the binaries in November but no source for busybox, glibc & other GNU bits.

Re:So where is the source code (1)

pieleric (917714) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072616)

Apparently it's (well hidden) there http://www.splashtop.com/developer.php [splashtop.com] . You need to give your email address so I haven't tried but you probably can :-)

or on could always use... (3, Informative)

stubear (130454) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072434)

...Windows SideShow [wikipedia.org] and get true instant on to files, e-mails, appointments, etc. on their PC.

Re:or on could always use... (2, Informative)

markdavis (642305) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072746)

From what I see of that technology, it just drives external, autonymous display devices and such WHEN THE COMPUTER IS ON. It can transfer files to a smaller integrated computer, for example, to display appointment or somthing. It would not be useful for web browsing, live file access, etc.

Re:or on could always use... (1)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072978)

OMG did you just mention a Windows app....(not sure why that's "funny")

seriously though, if you just set up your power management and use sleep you could achieve the same boot times

Good for Windows users (3, Insightful)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072468)

This thing is quite the buzz. It was all-the-rage at CES in a few companies' product, memorably ASUS, which I believe calls it "Express Gate." I think that OEMs could clone this functionality quickly and package it up. It's just a very hardware-specific kernel running with just enough modules and libraries to run the applications. A quick build of the x86 version of Cross-LFS would yield a decent, small OS for a base. But, those Linux users who already tune their kernel generally don't have to wait the two minutes for Vista to start and think it's quick when the computer boots in 20 seconds. We tuners wait 30-40 seconds and we've got a full system. Splashtop users wait 20 seconds and have a reduced system.

real solution: interim "preOS" (5, Interesting)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072472)

Splashtop sounds good, but TFA portrays it as requiring the user to pick between OSes at boot. That sucks if the user wants a fast boot and eventual access to all their "real" applications. Instead, I see more need for a light weight interim OS (a preOS??) that boots and lets the user do a few things while the main OS continues to boot in the background. Something like Splashtop could boot first, launch a couple of key "first-thing" apps (e.g. web with some morning news or email) and then transfer the session data to the main OS once it's up and running. After a minute (or whatever) Splashtop would crossfade to the main OS and decommission itself.

Of course, the real solution is stable instant-on low power modes (and OSes) that make the morning boot wholly obsolete.

Re:real solution: interim "preOS" (1)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073066)

I'd hope to see the base OS support VM Player, which could boot (or restore) Windows in the background.

Re:real solution: interim "preOS" (1)

noamsml (868075) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073258)

Really? Kubuntu boots from your BIOS? (they didn't say that's what it does, but since it's bundled with motherboards, it's unlikely that it's anything else).

I have this installed (2, Funny)

pcgc1xn (922943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072516)

It works really well, much faster boot times.

Though mine has a different name, it is called Kubuntu.

And I am not sure about the cut down part.

Still, it is a great idea, "your OS is slow and crappy, here, install another!"

It will be interesting to see how well this plays, Windows has liked to break dual booting for quite a while.

So what? Nothing new here (2, Informative)

WaldorfSalad (670169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072534)

People with HP laptops incorporating the QuickPlay feature already have something similar, and have since at least 2006. A small partition on the HD holds a linux kernel and various drivers, as well as HP's QuickPlay software. Pop in a DVD, hit the QuickPlay button, and you're watching your media within 20 seconds or so. I fail to see what's new or revolutionary about TFA's product.

fast boot? (1)

jase001 (1171037) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072546)

Of course you're going to get a fast boot in a less complex operating system. Just try installing Windows 98 on current hardware and watch that boot, it's fast too. The less you load the faster it will be.

Brilliant! (4, Insightful)

Foddz (1181575) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072628)

Excellent! Now I have something to boot to and surf microsoft's tech support site with when my Vista install inevitably goes bad!

Re:Brilliant! (1)

numbware (691928) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073248)

You already do. [ubuntu.com]

slashdotcity (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22072634)

Ok, it's done, I'm fed up.

Vigilante style repercussions are not my usual style but the myminicity.com folks have managed to get me irritated once too many. Myminicity.com 'rewards' their users for spamming sites with links that point back to myminicity.com.

I'm a regular visitor to slashdot and since a couple of weeks a bunch of jerks have been placing cloaked links to 'myminicity.com' in just about every story.

Myminicity.com is complicit in this because they actively encourage users to send traffic to those links in order to boost their status in the system.

To give the myminicity.com jackasses a run for their money I've come up with a very simple plan.

Fight fire with fire.
Support the official Slashdot mymincity page:

Slashdotcity!/a [myminicity.com]

Post this link in your blogs, on slashdot articles, everywhere you can.

Together, people, we can beat them at their own game!

Technically this is probably illegal, but call me reckless. As I said, I'm pissed off.

Brilliant Idea! (0, Troll)

3278 (1011735) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072678)

I'm going to build something similar: a device which will allow you to load a smaller, faster operating system, or a larger, more full-featured one. Except mine will feature removable operating systems, on small devices known as "diskettes," [like "little disks," see?] so that you can swap different diskettes and boot different smaller operating systems! I have a beta of the first version operating system right here: I'm going to call it a "DOS boot disk."

No, seriously, how is this news, or new, or anything other than a dual-boot system just like you'd get installing a tiny version of Linux and Windows XP on the same box, or a Live CD Linux install? Ridiculous.

Dose this work with EFI / UEFI? (2, Informative)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072680)

EFI and UEFI system will likely start coming out after vista sp1 comes out apple has been useing efi for all of there x86 systems.

Splash in the pan (1)

sydbarrett74 (74307) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072834)

OpenLina sounds more interesting....

Why? (2, Insightful)

Elentari (1037226) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072842)

I can't find anything useful about this product. XP boots quickly on my PC, though it can't match OSX or Debian in my experience. Still, I don't have to go away and put on some tea whilst waiting for it to get to the "Login" screen, and can't imagine why anyone would be so desperate to browse the internet or connect to Skype that they'd find "Splashtop" an interesting prospect.

Doesn't Dell offer something similar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22072878)

On their Inspiron line of laptops? I think it's a media playback only solution, but I can't imagine adding a protocol stack and browser based on Linux would be that hard.

informative fucke8Fucker (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22072980)

That looks familiar... (1)

Petaris (771874) | more than 6 years ago | (#22072986)

Gee, that kind of looks like Linux with X doesn't it?

Also, isn't this basically what is being used on the Asus EeePC?

Re:That looks familiar... (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073252)

The Eee uses a distro based on Xandros and boots from the SSD. This boots from the ROM (and either can't be updated or must use a ROM update like most modern BIOSes), and is much more akin to LinuxBIOS than a full Linux installation.

Re:That looks familiar... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22073348)

The Eee uses a distro based on Xandros and boots from the SSD. This boots from the ROM (and either can't be updated or must use a ROM update like most modern BIOSes), and is much more akin to LinuxBIOS than a full Linux installation.
No, the Eee pretty much boots from SSD with tmpfs against the default 'restorable' Linux install.

I have a couple of products (0, Troll)

LM741N (258038) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073048)

Grub
Lilo

anyone remember hysperspace from pheonix? (1)

Kepper (307719) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073094)

Didn't I just read a month or 2 ago about the CMOS manufacturer Phoenix (bios programmers) that are developing their own "pre-OS" called hyperspace.
it is supposed to run at a level between the main OS and the cmos.. a quick boot , if you will, just like this splashtop.

their whole marketing angle was aimed at the user who doesn't want to wait for Vista's (not xp's) huge bloated startup time if they just want to pop a DVD into their laptop to watch, or check their email.

got the feeling that it would be a big help to business laptop people. I can totally see the benefit, sometimes I just want to check my email when I'm out on a jobsite, and if I could just start up a small OS layer to run a few applications, like outlook, I would jump on that in a second.

promo video (1)

xoundmind (932373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073198)

here [youtube.com]

Possible end to M$ OS's? (1)

DrPeper (249585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073324)

I wonder if this is the first signs of M$'s eventual demise. The minimal end user now says "I don't need Vista because Splashtop does everything I need". Vista is a dismal disappointment from just about any angle you look at it. The company I work for isn't migrating to it anytime in the next two years and we are not small. Silverlight though nice, was too late to put a damper in AJAX. MS Virtualization software was just too late to dent VMWare. Just about every cool new gadget comes with embedded Linux and NOT embedded Windows CE. All the Multifunction printers that my company buys have embedded Linux not CE. Signs point that the Google phone will have embedded Linux. The iPhone certainly doesn't use CE. So is this the first signs that Micro$oft has grown too big to be competitive and will collapse under its own inertia?

last years news (1)

jevring (618916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073354)

this is...

Great (1)

Atreide (16473) | more than 6 years ago | (#22073374)

Great ! Now I can boot Slashdot ?

Sure it is much less complexe than Windows.
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