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Thread: Asus "Express Gate" technology allows 5sec cold boot (linux)!

  1. #1
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    Asus "Express Gate" technology allows 5sec cold boot (linux)!

    Hi guys,

    Ok, so the title may have been slightly sensational. However I feel this is some pretty massive news for CarPc owners/users.

    This new Asus motherboard (P5E3) has 512MB of embedded harddrive in which it stores OS data. The technology is called "Express Gate" and uses Splashtop to load/store a refined linux kernel. This allows a 5 second boot up into a linux 'lite' version for Internet, VoIP and Email use. Windows can be installed normally onto this machine, but it can boot into either Splashtop or your other chosen OS. Other OS will just boot as per normal boot time - only Splash top is 5 seconds.

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...item=869&num=1

    Unfortunately you cannot (currently) load windows into that embedded storage, but I'm sure this technology is a sign of things to come. This certainly opens itself up to be hacked/modded by the talent that we have here at MP3CAR and around the world, to allow a windows boot to occur to use that onboard storage .

    300G HDD for media and a 512MB windows kernel that boots in about 5 seconds

  2. #2
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    if RR and GPS can be ported to linux, this board may be a motivational switcher!

    OS doesnt matter to me, just the functionality!
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    I think there are far too many resources (GPS, Media, Apps, etc) currently available for Win OS to use linux.. although Im not an expert.

    For me, windows just has a lot more to offer in total (and I know my way around it ). Hence I use it.

  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate FusionFanatic's Avatar
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    for carPC uses, the board would offer no benefit over any other board. the "instant-on/5-sec bootup" boots into a mini-linux that is only usable for internet browsing and VOIP. you cannot install your own software onto it.

    however, according to this article:
    "The Virtual Appliance Environment is the second Express Gate / SplashTop module. The VAE is described as a "highly optimized Linux core" to allow the system to boot fast while maintaining support for the needed hardware and software functionalities. The Virtual Appliance Environment is intended to be a platform for all VAs (Virtual Appliances) in the future. The Express Gate VAs are packaged where they can be easily added or removed from a system and this package managing can be done by the end-user. While they refer to their Core Engine as a proprietary environment, they plan to open up the capabilities of the Virtual Appliances to the end-user. Below is how it was described on a slide.

    We plan to enable users to personalize the VAE with their favorite instant-on virtual appliances in the future. Any of the existing thousands of Linux applications can be packaged into an instant-on VA, running on VAE"


    so unless somebody hacks it somehow, we'll have to wait until they release a future version with the "end user package managing" ability.

  5. #5
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    Its pretty much useless, the only reason linux loads in 5 seconds is because the OS is really small and also its linux! If you put a full featured Linux OS, it would take considerably longer and also might have issues fitting it under 512mb of space!

    The only time I have seen windows loading REALLY quickly is when using Gigabyte iRam. That has it's draw back, after 72 hours and the onboard battery dies, you loose all your data.......

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    Perhaps you guys didnt see this part in my post:

    This allows a 5 second boot up into a linux 'lite' version for Internet, VoIP and Email use... Unfortunately you cannot (currently) load windows into that embedded storage.... This certainly opens itself up to be hacked/modded by the talent that we have here at MP3CAR and around the world

    Basically, now that a motherboard has been designed to read an onboard flash storage natively within the bios, some of the hard work is done for us.

    The benefit was never that it had a basic version of linux, nor that it even ran linux at all. The bonus here is that the motherboard bios is designed to start loading data from a flashable disc immediately!

    If you could hack an nlited windows install to load from that space Im sure you could save yourself some boot time. Current good cold windows boot times are about 10-20 seconds (from power-on to desktop) if using a normal HDD. Some Flash/USB devices improve this time. The I-ram improves on this even further but is not really a viable option for CarPCs. A fast access flash disk would essentially offer similar performance to I-Ram - however contain none of the shortcomings of volatile memory - which is unacceptable in the CarPC environment.

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate galvitron's Avatar
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    You would need to somehow enable write access to whatever device is storing the linux image.

    Is it flash?
    Is it ROM?
    Is it other?

    Best way would be to find out what chip is used on the board and get the white paper for it. Then write some code that tests the ability to write to it...

    Someone do the research and I can write some code. But I won't buy that motherboard...
    2006 Lancer Evolution IX MR In-Dash PC Project - WIP

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    Low Bitrate jbraddoc's Avatar
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    I was reading some motherboard reviews and happen to have seen splashtop. I instantly thought of MP3Car... I know this is bringing up an old post but what I was thinking was this: If someone could find a way to access the files you would find everything that is specific to that motherboard. Yes there are only certain resolutions you can do, i think it was 1440x1050, but I doubt anything in a car needs that... Okay, so now you have a distro that is made for that board, no need for other drivers that aren't used, all you need to do is install the main programs you want to use and their dependencies. I am going to assume that even if splashtop wasn't used on the memory provided on the mobo, but used on a hdd, you would still have a fairly fast boot of a very light operating system whose programs are what is needed and nothing extra. I was reading on spalshtops website and saw that splashtop can be booted from a usb key... There seems to be a lot of possibilities here. http://www.splashtop.com/blog/index....ith-splashtop/ <-- Eee pc booted with splashtop usb key.

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