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Author Topic: Splashtop browser?  (Read 12011 times)

Offline imatfaal

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Splashtop browser?
« on: 27/07/2011 17:27:55 »
Hi Guys

Anyone ever used splashtop browser?  My new laptop can use it with out booting windos, and first impressions are brlisteringly fast.  Any security concerns that you have heard of


 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #1 on: 27/07/2011 18:29:10 »
It might actually be more secure. It seems to be ROM based.

Because it preempts Windoze, it can hog the entire processor, so it should be pretty swift.
 

Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #2 on: 27/07/2011 18:52:14 »
Cool - will invetigate further.  Open laptop lid (from dead off) to gmail locked and loaded and back to full off again - 34 seconds.

I quite like that
 

Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #3 on: 27/07/2011 20:40:13 »
I thought Adobe had complained when Microsoft chose to prepackage Adobe code in Microsoft products without paying royalty fees.

I wonder how a ROM based browser deals with this issue.

What about the inevitable upgrades & extensions?
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #4 on: 27/07/2011 21:12:49 »
I thought Adobe had complained when Microsoft chose to prepackage Adobe code in Microsoft products without paying royalty fees.

I wonder how a ROM based browser deals with this issue.

What about the inevitable upgrades & extensions?

Microsoft is up a gum tree. If it comes in ROM with the PC, it's entirely up to the hardware vendor, and if MS tries to push their weight around with the H/W vendors, they might get into another antitrust fight.

Presumably the H/W vendors can supply revs that can be reflashed if required. Browser features are really fairly stable anyway. A lot of the "upgrades" bring little value-add to the end-users.

Personally, I like this because it tends to stand the existing paradigms on their heads! Why should you have to wait for minutes while your PC boots when all you want to do is visit TNS and sort out Don_1?
 

Offline RD

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« Reply #5 on: 27/07/2011 21:58:17 »
It might actually be more secure. It seems to be ROM based.

The splashtop thing is not exclusively hardware (ROM) based: there is a "splashtop OS" download

This seems the similar to having a dual boot with Windows OS and a Linux based OS.

The ROM chip version would be more secure than the download: its code cannot be changed and it doesn't touch the hard drive (where the Windows OS is).
« Last Edit: 27/07/2011 22:00:07 by RD »
 

Offline SeanB

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« Reply #6 on: 27/07/2011 22:03:46 »
Browser based on a version of the Linux kernel, with a pared down x on top of it, with a single application being a fixed version of Firefox. Can be quite secure, but of course you do not have any add-ons easily, or flash or such. Media playback though is easy, as you can use gstreamer to do it for many media types. Hard to update, and you have to reflash the entire BIOS, or a big part, to do updates ( so for most it will never be updated) to do improvements or bugfixes. No storage of state is nice - think private browser that has no memory past present session. Hard to attack as well, unless it can get access to the hard drive, and you can put the whole browser, all needed stuff, into 128M of ram and run entirely from there, and let the kernel ignore the disk or mount it as read only.
 

Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #7 on: 28/07/2011 10:41:13 »
thanks Guys - all really informative. 
 

Offline BenV

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« Reply #8 on: 28/07/2011 11:10:34 »
Very interesting.  I'm tempted to see if it will work on my old laptop, which now very kindly gives me enough time to go and make tea before it boots.
 

Offline SeanB

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« Reply #9 on: 28/07/2011 20:28:28 »
Just use a small memory stick and go install puppy linux on it. Gives you a complete system all in ram. Nice is that you use a sub 1G stick, boot from it, and use the computer without using the hard drive at all, whilst having a complete browser, office suite and media player, all in ram. You can choose if you want to save the data between sessions if you want to, or just lose it.

Try it for free at puppylinux.org

 

Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #10 on: 29/07/2011 10:10:59 »
So I am definitely gonna try puppylinux on my old laptop - which could rejuvenate my old laptop, which would obviate the need for the new laptop I just bought, which is what started this thread in the first place
 

Offline syhprum

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« Reply #11 on: 01/08/2011 11:38:32 »
I have visited the Linux kennels and acquired a puppy which I have installed in a 2 Mb doghouse, the first impression is that I would like some means to slow down my Logitek mouse but apart from that it seems good fun.
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #12 on: 01/08/2011 17:37:38 »
Matt,

Have you, perchance, noticed an unusual number of helicopters with logos like Dell, Acer, HP, etc circling your home and office? If so, you might want to take a longish vacation.

Of all the computers on the planet, how many of them would meet all their owner's needs with something this simple? I bet it's a whopping percentage. 
 

Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #13 on: 01/08/2011 21:47:37 »
Of all the computers on the planet, how many of them would meet all their owner's needs with something this simple? I bet it's a whopping percentage.

Perhaps.

There are a few reasons that computers are "upgraded".

Over time, people change their demands on the systems.  Things like real-time spell checking is nice.  I don't know about web searching that thinks faster than myself...  but...  it may have some advantages.  I like "tabbed browsing", but unfortunately I end up with a lot of tabs open.  Some things like YouTube seem to be a big drag on my system resources. 

The other thing is that the computers just wear out over time.

I don't think that I can get more than about 10 minutes with my laptop battery.
I've replaced the power cord a couple of times, and need to do it again.
The M&N are completely worn off of the keyboard.  For the most part it isn't a problem, but it is a bit of a pain whenever I look down.
One of the mouse buttons is no longer functional.

Anyway, nothing is that major, and I have many of the parts for the next major tune-up.  But...   eventually it may need an replacement.

One of the other "issues" that I'm having.  32 bit systems start having problems at around 2 to 3 GB of RAM usage.
64 bit systems are supposed to do better with the large amounts of memory, but in some cases there are still system support issues.  Anyway, memory management may eventually become a critical issue.  As it is, every once in a while I'll throw OpenCalc into a tizzy.

Anyway, it is not that 3 to 5 years ago you were satisfied with a slower computer... but more that there are many little improvements that have been incorporated, and perhaps software companies have a disincentive to make lean, mean, efficient software as people are most likely to upgrade the software at the same time they upgrade their entire computer systems.
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #14 on: 02/08/2011 08:58:49 »
I don't think I would equate a typical TNS computer user with a typical user.

During the last decade or so, both the market and the technology have matured significantly. In reality, the majority of people don't give a crap about all the upgrades. I think what they would really like is a fairly basic set of functions that work consistently and reliably without having to be their own personal IT department.

What I think they are saying is, "Why does this !@#$% not work?". Very few people are actually impressed by computers anymore, and, in reality, most people don't need much of a computer anyway. What they do need is some fairly basic functions that are highly reliable, and immune from the attacks of predators.

Is that too much to ask?
 

Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #15 on: 02/08/2011 09:52:03 »
I would agree with you Geezer - but the two men in black that have appeared in my office insist that I cannot. 

If I had to be ruthless - I could live with word processor, spreadsheet, database, email, instant messenger, browser, and itunes (or equiv); and I would sacrifice the opportunity to install anything else iff they ran as quickly and faultlessly as they should.

Wasn't this the idea of the thin client morphing into the netbook etc... perhaps we will see this as a reality when there is ubiquitous wireless broadband connection.  If your programmes are in ROM and you store nothing locally what future is there for viruses?
« Last Edit: 02/08/2011 10:04:48 by imatfaal »
 

Offline RD

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« Reply #16 on: 02/08/2011 10:24:57 »
Just occurred to me …
It’s going to be more difficult to block advertisements with the Splashtop (Chrome) browser,
 (e.g. No Ccleaner  or NoScript or Windows Firewall nor blocking via “hosts”).
So the time you save by a quick start up you’ll lose by having to wait for advert laden pages to load. Swings and roundabouts.

« Last Edit: 02/08/2011 10:36:41 by RD »
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #17 on: 02/08/2011 10:32:51 »
If your programmes are in ROM and you store nothing locally what future is there for viruses?

Precisely. There is none. As far as I know, nobody ever figured out how to install a virus in an ASR33, or its electronic equivalent.

The "need" to continually upgrade is because the software vendors need to continually make revenue, and they are desperately looking for ways convince users they need to upgrade. The hardware vendors love this because all this new "functionality" requires ever greater resources.

Unfortunately, most of the market is pretty much satisfied with what they have already. It's like cars. Sooner or later you get to a point where most people really could care less, as long as they are reliable and they don't cost too much to run.
 

Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #18 on: 02/08/2011 18:48:13 »
Your risk of viruses would depend on what access your splashtop browser has to the rest of your computer's resources.

Is your hard drive accessible?  Mounted?  Are there unencrypted boot sectors available?

Are you allowing the use of virtual memory?
 

Offline peppercorn

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« Reply #19 on: 04/08/2011 14:45:49 »
Unfortunately, most of the market is pretty much satisfied with what they have already. It's like cars. Sooner or later you get to a point where most people really could care less, as long as they are reliable and they don't cost too much to run.

I think the laptop manufacturers are learning the tricks of the auto-makers when advertising these days - The Dell ad I saw the other day seemed more about how you could change the covers than what it could do!
Image over content, etc...
 

Offline CliffordK

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« Reply #20 on: 04/08/2011 16:15:39 »
The Dell ad I saw the other day seemed more about how you could change the covers than what it could do!
Oh...  I need one of those.
Does it fold the clothes too...
Or just make the bed?
 

Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #21 on: 05/08/2011 10:16:40 »
Unfortunately, most of the market is pretty much satisfied with what they have already. It's like cars. Sooner or later you get to a point where most people really could care less, as long as they are reliable and they don't cost too much to run.

I think the laptop manufacturers are learning the tricks of the auto-makers when advertising these days - The Dell ad I saw the other day seemed more about how you could change the covers than what it could do!
Image over content, etc...

It's not just the advertising agencies - it's the industry press; in researching new laptop I found a review that praised to the heavens the components, implementation, , the low weight, and build quality - but claimed the laptop was "fatally let down" by the lack of aesthetic appeal!  It's black, boring and functional; but the so are most of my suits - so I bought the laptop, so far I haven't felt "fatally let down" by the styling. 
 

Offline peppercorn

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« Reply #22 on: 05/08/2011 12:55:08 »
The Dell ad I saw the other day seemed more about how you could change the covers than what it could do!
Oh...  I need one of those.
Does it fold the clothes too...
Or just make the bed?

LOL! - When I was a kid writing crappy BASIC programs for hours and excitedly showing my mum the results, her stock answer was "Yes, but will it help me with the washing up?" - So, if my research is correct we are almost there!


It's not just the advertising agencies - it's the industry press; in researching new laptop I found a review that praised to the heavens the components, implementation, , the low weight, and build quality - but claimed the laptop was "fatally let down" by the lack of aesthetic appeal!  It's black, boring and functional; but the so are most of my suits - so I bought the laptop, so far I haven't felt "fatally let down" by the styling.

Oh, a melodramatic journalist - who'd have imagined such a thing!  ;D
I like the sound of "black, boring and functional" as it may mean the difference between someone breaking your car window (etc) to steal it or walking by.
« Last Edit: 05/08/2011 15:56:24 by peppercorn »
 

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