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ASUS Motherboard Ships With Embedded Linux 216

Michael writes "ASUSTek has introduced the P5E3 Deluxe motherboard, which in addition to using Intel's new X38 Chipset also features a soon-to-be-announced technology by DeviceVM. SplashTop is an instant-on Linux desktop environment that is embedded onto this motherboard. Within seconds of turning on the P5E3 Deluxe motherboard, you can boot into this Linux environment that currently features a Mozilla-based web browser and the Skype VoIP client. Browser and VoIP settings can be saved and there are plans for the device to provide new features and support via updates. At Phoronix is a review of this $360 motherboard embedded with Linux and a web browser."
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ASUS Motherboard Ships With Embedded Linux

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  • by SpectreBlofeld ( 886224 ) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @02:26AM (#20885661)
    ...Whoa. That is wicked cool. Now, make a lower-end one with cheaper hardware.
  • Use? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kawahee ( 901497 ) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @02:27AM (#20885665) Homepage Journal
    What's the point? All it can do is surf the internet and make phone calls. You can't save anything from the internet and you can't mount external media, making it's backup/restore functionality near zip. The author also laments the lack of media playback.

    To me it would be much more logical for a user just to have Linux installed on their hard drive with full functionality. Where's the use in a crippled OS on a motherboard?
  • int 18h (Score:2, Insightful)

    by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @02:30AM (#20885691)
    This is similar to countless computers that had BASIC in ROM and has the same problems. Sure it's convenient, but what people want to do with computers changes every year while ROMs stay the same. Will this thing support IPV6? Browsing the web over corporate VPN? External network adapter/monitor/scroll mouse? Silverlight?

    Modern hard drives just take a second to read 4GB, a reasonable size for a quckstart Linux partition. And a PC builder can easily include an internal flash drive with hardware write protection switch. I wouldn't pay any more for this product than for a comparable motherboard without this feature.
  • by thatskinnyguy ( 1129515 ) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @02:32AM (#20885699)
    "SplashTop" It's in the summary. Discovery is opening your eyes to what is already there.
  • Re:int 18h (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdfl[ ]com ['at.' in gap]> on Sunday October 07, 2007 @02:34AM (#20885711) Journal
    Ideally, it is installed in flash rom, that can be updated under application control, and only requiring a reboot to complete.
  • Re:Use? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mlts ( 1038732 ) * on Sunday October 07, 2007 @02:56AM (#20885807)
    I'd like it to have xen, VMWare ESX Server (though would add to the cost) or some VM technology that works with Windows, and support the graphics drivers. Then, I could have an install of Windows just for gaming, one for web browsing, and Linux for general work, and if the web browsing instance gets hit by a new type of malware attack, it won't affect anything else.

  • How much? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @03:25AM (#20885927) Homepage
    $360? OUCH!!!!

    Because of the price, this mobo will be a total flop. Unless you're an overclocker, most PC builders want a simple board that still provides the latest in North/South bridge technologies. No WiFi, no super mega 7.1 audio, no dual nics, no on-board video. None of that crap matters in our market. If we really wanted all of those features, we would purchase a thin client PC from Dell which includes a nice warranty should any of those on-board features fail.
  • Re:How much? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FranTaylor ( 164577 ) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @03:57AM (#20886031)
    You really demonstrate your ignorance of the market. There are a lot of motherboards out there that cost this much and more. If they were flops they wouldn't keep selling them. The market is splintered all over the place, which is why we have cheeseball motherboards for duffers like you and fancy ones for people who want fancy features without using up all the internal slots. "our" market is really "your" market. And last I checked, motherboards come with warranties, too.
  • Re:Almost there (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mok000 ( 668612 ) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @04:42AM (#20886251)
    I agree... so close, but no cigar.

    I would like to see a bunch of Linux disk utilities like parted, fsck, dd, etc., hardware diagnosis programs like memtest86, benchmarking software, security auditing, etc. All the stuff we usually have on a Live-CD Linux system.

    I guess the webbrowser is useful, and so is Skype in case you need to make a call to a support hotline.

    And finally, why not LinuxBIOS instead of Megatrends?
  • Re:interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <> on Sunday October 07, 2007 @04:53AM (#20886285) Journal
    I got sick of seeing it and I'm not even the guy they were targeting.

    Judging by the downmods, you are now...

    But you're right. Microsoft marketing drones have been gaming tech site comment systems for a while now. Any discussion of Linux, GPL3, ODF or any other topic which threatens their monopoly will be swamped with red herring and troll posts.

    It's one of the more disgraceful features of the company. They're willing to undermine anything - ISO standards, US DOJ, open discussion, etc, etc - if there's an advantage to them.

  • Re:interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @06:14AM (#20886583) Journal
    You know, just because something is pro-Linux, doesn't mean it's not a troll. Twitter is a case in point; most of his posts were obvious trolls, while the better ones were non-obvious trolls.

    Some of us are just bored with this whole Linux fanboy idea that Linux is always the best tool for the job. It isn't. Free/Net/OpenBSD, eCos, OpenSolaris and even OS X are often a much better solution for any given problem. Linux has no grown large enough that there are a lot of people who try to fit it into every possible niche, including those for which it is completely unsuited and shouting down anyone who suggests a better option. We moderated down the MCSEs for this kind of attitude with Windows, and we'll mod down the Linux fanboys when they display it with Linux.

    Straying back on topic, this is a pretty neat idea. It's a shame Be Inc didn't last a bit longer, because this is exactly the kind of thing BeIA would have been ideal for. That said, it seems more of a gimmick than something useful. Considering how cheaply you can buy a 1GB CF card and CF to IDE adaptor, you could probably create a system like this yourself more cheaply. It's not like this is aimed at Joe Public, because he doesn't buy motherboards, just finished systems.

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @06:19AM (#20886597) Journal
    Maybe I've been in laptop-land for too long (last desktop I owned was three years ago), but do people really still regularly reboot? I close the lid on my laptop, it goes to sleep. I open the lid, it wakes up and I can start doing things with it as soon as I've entered my password. The only time I reboot is to install updates. Surely desktops can do this by now?
  • Re:How much? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CrosseyedPainless ( 27978 ) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @06:24AM (#20886621) Homepage
    Hey, I'm a 3-or-4 mobo a year kinda guy myself, and I like all-in-ones because when they get demoted from my primary system, they get stripped of all the cool gear. The more built-in crap they have, the closer they are to finding a new (albeit lesser) role in my computing world.

    There! Now you've learned a new idea! Chill the fuck out!!
  • Re:interesting (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dan100 ( 1003855 ) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @07:06AM (#20886763) Homepage

    It's interesting, actually. Pro-Linux posts get modded troll and flamebait with some regularity now. I haven't been a very Slashdotter for a long time, but the Microsoft fanboys (shills/astroturfers?) definitely have a much larger influence on moderation than they used to.

    Maybe the site is just getting more balanced, and fanboy trolls/shills/astroturfers of any "side" are getting modded down.

  • Re:FINALLY! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bralkein ( 685733 ) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @07:19AM (#20886825)
    Right, this is exactly the sort of thing I've been waiting to see. People often complain that pre-installed Windows has much better integration with the hardware than when you install a Linux OS yourself. I find this rather frustrating, because the openness and flexibility of Linux should in theory make it much easier to integrate. It was disappointing for me to read reviews of the Dell/Ubuntu machines, since the reviewers often lamented a lack of proper integration with the hardware, which seemed to suggest that Dell just hadn't put in the effort to deliver the quality experience you expect from a pre-installed machine (yes, even from Dell ;-).

    I hope that devices like this motherboard as well as the up-and-coming Linux smartphones will get companies thinking more positively and imaginitively about what they can do with Linux and Free Software in general.
  • Re:Use? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cabazorro ( 601004 ) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @08:02AM (#20886983) Journal
    Let me explain to you:
    Motherboard A: Out-of-the box -> A splash screen and a message saying: "No Boot Device Found"
    Motherboard B: Out-of-the box -> Browse the web for SPECS, pin-outs, etc or connect to your IS for support.
    Now you get it? It makes more functional. It is not replacing your OS.
  • Re:Use? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pimpimpim ( 811140 ) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @08:31AM (#20887105)
    Yeah I wonder if it comes with diagnostics tools. That would make it very useful indeed, not only for people seeking driver info to get linux working, also for the windows people (hard drive recovery!).
  • Re:interesting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Spazntwich ( 208070 ) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @10:49AM (#20887943)
    Idle speculation gets modded insightful now? For shame.

    Logical fallacies and other such non-arguments contain no insight by their very nature.
  • Re:How much? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by notthe9 ( 800486 ) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @11:57AM (#20888401)
    You don't frequently buy your other cool gear? Why do you need to replace your motherboard every three months? You are happy using last year's sound card and video card on your cutting-edge motherboard?

    As for chilling, I think we could all use a little bit.
  • Re:interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wytcld ( 179112 ) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @03:43PM (#20890165) Homepage
    [Have we gone off-topic, or meta? Is meta allowed here? We'll see:]

    Could it be part of a larger plan? As an old Linux hand, I've noticed the gatekeeping on the Bugzillas for a number of major OS projects has been lately taken over by kids who if they aren't being paid my MS, should be. These punks treat bug reports as if they were attacks on the date-ability of their sisters, marking them "bogus" or otherwise closing them before they've even taken the time to understand what's being reported. Often they're tossing "clever" insults at the reporters at the same time. This is what it now means to be running "peer reviewed" code: you review it, you find real flaws, and some teenager whose worked his way into being a Bugzilla gatekeeper rejects the report because, well, you're not his peer. Obviously.

    So how have we ended up with kids whose destiny would have used to be manning the complaint desks at Ma Bell in key positions to cripple the quality of OS projects - often projects which directly compete with MS products? </snark>

    My real point: MS doesn't have to hire shills. We're doing it to ourselves. Somehow the values that were so pervasive in OS even a few years ago haven't been passed on to the latest wave of newcomers. That's not just showing up on /., but at the fringe of major OS initiatives, where the newcomers take up beginner's posts sorting the mail, as it were - and delight in tearing up half of it and throwing it in the trash. What's wrong with kids these days?
  • Re:Oh the irony (Score:3, Insightful)

    by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Sunday October 07, 2007 @09:15PM (#20892557) Journal

    According to the GPL, they will have to release the source code and the tool set. That means a Linux updater, and a custom firmware fairly quickly.

    Well, you're half right.

    They need to release any modifications they made to the GPL'd free software, but they most certainly don't have to release an "updater" or anything of the sort. In fact they can easily pull a Tivo and use a signature to prevent you from upgrading the firmware at all.

Have you ever noticed that the people who are always trying to tell you `there's a time for work and a time for play' never find the time for play?