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Thread: Anyone looked into ReadyOn for XP boot?

  1. #81
    Maximum Bitrate gork's Avatar
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    OK There seems to be a lot of misconception surrounding ReadyOn, and I aim to clear some of this up. A lot of this was due to people speculating on how it worked when nobody actually knew.

    Please read this post before replying to this thread or contacting VCI about ReadyOn

    What ReadyOn does (really):

    ReadyOn is software that saves the system state at any single point yous specify into an optimized XP-compatible hibernate file (hiberfil.sys). The file it saves, although compatible with a standard windows hibernate file, is optimized so that it is as small as possible for quick re-loading.

    ReadyOn includes a Master Boot Record (MBR) to facilitate and guarantee the loading of this hibernate image. It also (very importantly) includes a IO layer driver that buffers writes to your HDD into RAM so that no data is ever written to your hard drive.

    ANY CHANGES you make to a system booted with ReadyOn will be lost when you power down. If you copy a file onto your HDD or something, the data will NOT EVEN BE WRITTEN TO DISK. This is VERY IMPORTANT because it means you can't just use ReadyOn to decrease your boot time and be done with it.

    One caveat about ReadyOn is that if you allocate a certain amount of ram (say 128MB) to a partition's write-cache and it fills up during the computer's use, you will have to reboot/revert to your saved state to clear it. Recreating images during the operation of a system is possible; however is not really a good idea.

    Installing a new applicaiton under readyon is done basically like this:

    1) Disable readyon and flush writes. You might have to reboot here.
    2) Install the application.
    3) Reboot and re-save the readyon image at the correct point.

    It can be done, but it's a process that requires some careful planning each time you do it.

    ReadyOn is meant to be a tool for use in systems such as Kiosks and other embedded devices where consistantly being able to revert a system to a predetermined state is beneficial. While a carpc might generally fit this bill, most people on these messageboards do not sue their carpc's in this manner. This is the reason they send out a SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT KIT when you inquire about the product instead of selling the thing shrinkwrapped on the shelf of Best Buy.

    As far as changes while your computer is operational... You can choose to have some partitions NOT protected from writes by readyon (for instance you could have a partition for your music/movie library, netstumbler log files, etc.) that does not revert itself each time your computer reboots. Control is by PARTITION ONLY. You cannot specify specific files or directories! In the current version of the SDK, you also have a database of sorts that your application can put stateful information into. A media-player application could, for instance, use this to store information about what you are currently doing (ie 45 seconds into track 12 of a CD and volume at 65%) so that when your system comes up it would take you back to where you left off. Note, though, that for an app to do this, it has to actually be integrated with ReadyOn.

    ReadyOn is not just some fast-boot miricle software. It does what it claims very well, but it requires a significant amount of integration to work with whatever other software you have on your machine. At this point, the only people that ought to be bugging VCI about getting an SDK for ReadyOn are people who are developing software for carpc's.. it won't do you much good otherwise, since nothing out there supports it very well yet. Whenever MMC or FrodoPlayer or whatever other software package begins to support ReadyOn, then we can worry about how you purchase a license.

    VCI is not a huge company. They probably do not have the resources to support 50 non-developers asking them questions about how to use their software. In fact, this is probably the worst thing that could happen to them and could easily result in VCI deciding NOT TO LICENSE SINGLE SEAT COPIES OF READYON! Please please don't contact them if you don't understand absolutely everything in this post.

    For the rest of you -- while you wait for someone to do something cool with ReadyOn, It'd be useful preparation for you to partition your carpc hard drives so that all your applications, etc. are on one small partition and all your media, etc. are on another larger one.

    Hope this clears up some of the confusion. I don't mean to sound discouraging to people waiting to hear more about this, but please just be patient!

    Follow-Up
    I should also mention that the SDK/evaluation is very hard to uninstall, so remember if you get a copy from them, install it on a TEST MACHINE, otherwise you're playing with fire and it will all over your install when you try to get it out of there!
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  2. #82
    Variable Bitrate Rireal's Avatar
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    Answered my questions, thanks.

  3. #83
    Maximum Bitrate fantomas's Avatar
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    thank you gork for clearing up a lot of things.

    i guess for now we just have to wait...
    rebuilding carpc... kinda..

  4. #84
    FLA gospeed.racer's Avatar
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    Yes, cleared up a lot for me too. I can see how this would be wonderful on a finished product front end, but since ours are always updating and never 100% perfect, probably wont help us any time soon. Thanks for clearing it all up!
    2005 Ford Focus ST

  5. #85
    Constant Bitrate Needstorage's Avatar
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    Well, I received my copy of the SDK through vci. We may be in need for this tool in our company for a future project, so I was quickly running throug it yesterday.

    I want to sort something out too, Gork... This tool is PERFECTLY usable for carPC's. However, the carPC software should be written with this tool in mind. As you self said above (Gork) some partitions can be non-ReadyOn protected, and you can use a partition like that to store state information of your software. (If you're writing it yourself :-) )
    Existing software should be modified too if it wants to be able to use this stuff. (I'm thinking 'bout ex. FRODOPLAYER, frodo will find this thread, believe me, I think his mousecursor is stuck over the search-button of the forum. lol Maybe he can say something 'bout his system and if he is open for this kind of support.) The software should have a system that checks if there was a state file saved. If so, it has to load it and get back to the state from before it was shutdown.

    This functionality is pretty easy to implement if you're doing the things all on your own. So I'm gonna get me a license copy and reduce my carPC's Embedded XP to even less startup time. :-)
    Needstorage
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    Who the hell is general failure?!?
    And what the f@#k is he doing reading my drive C:\?

  6. #86
    Raw Wave rando's Avatar
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    IIRC, FP stores its state in an INI file and to a lessor extent in its local database. I don't believe it uses the registry. If I'm correct, couldn't we just install FP on a nonprotected partition without any mods to the software?

  7. #87
    Constant Bitrate Needstorage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rando
    IIRC, FP stores its state in an INI file and to a lessor extent in its local database. I don't believe it uses the registry. If I'm correct, couldn't we just install FP on a nonprotected partition without any mods to the software?
    Well, I think not. Because when you use FP as your shell, the machine will be restored when powering it up again to a state that FP thinks it was still running.
    Needstorage
    --------------------------

    Who the hell is general failure?!?
    And what the f@#k is he doing reading my drive C:\?

  8. #88
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    Hi There,

    I'm the product manager for ReadyOn here @ VCI. I've been reading this thread with both excitement and trepedation.

    Excitement Part:

    It appears that ReadyOn has found some additional fans.
    ReadyOn's primary focus is to reduce boot times for both XP Pro and XPe. After reading GORK's analysis of the product (which is pretty accurate) I wanted to provide some additional information, which may not be apparent.

    As GORK stated with some careful planning and using a separate partition to hold the OS and required applications, and another partition for non-protected data (MP3s) your system can come up in a predefined configuration. Ie. with FrodoPlayer, GPS app, etc ready to go. This pre-defined configuration is completely configurable by the developer. Additionally, when implementing ReadyOn, the system is totally recoverable from viruses, intentional or unintentional misconfiguration or hacking, simply by turning the system off and back on. And yes Virginia, you can shut the system off instantly without having to worry about corruption.


    With the RO 1.1 version, which was released last week some of new features were introduced. Included in this release are:

    Dynamic write filter - less complex to configure and provides the capability to automatically attach to and remove temporary storage devices, such as disk on key devices. Can increase system security by configuring temporary storage devices as read-only. (we don't use Microsoft's static write filter (even though we wrote their first one) because it causes blue screens). Another fact - we invented Windows embedded and licensed it to Microsoft.

    RO SDK - the ReadyOn SDK provides a programmatic interface through a set of APIs. By using the ReadyOn SDK a developer can completely hide ReadyOn functionality from the end user. By using the ReadyOn APIs, the developer can control and limit customer changes to the system.

    Futures: within the next month: a customizable splash screen - you can emblazon your own graphics at boot time on your system. No more "resume from hibernate" message will be visible.

    Now for the trepedation part: I'm sure that I will be flooded with responses and questions. I'll try post answers to all questions :>) Please bear with me.


    Cheers

  9. #89
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    Peter,

    Could you please tell me how to purchase a single user licence? So I can order my copy. Thanks

  10. #90
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    Wouldn't one possibility to use ReadyPC with software that isn't compatible with Hibernation a scheduled event that is set up to go off a few seconds after wakeup from Hibernation? Couldn't the scheduled opening of software be added into the image, rather than the open state of the software itself?

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