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Portables Media Software Hardware Linux

Windows Laptops Ship With Linux Media Player 264

Posted by michael
from the foot-in-the-door dept.
hqm writes "Maybe this is the real way Windows will be made irrelevant, not by a Linux desktop, but by Linux embedded software. LinuxDevices has an article stating 'NEC is the latest vendor to announce a laptop with a built-in embedded Linux based media player option. The NEC Versa S3000 will use InterVideo's InstantOn technology to enable users to listen to music, watch DVDs, and more without having to wait for Windows to load. Another major laptop vendor, Toshiba, in July launched its Qosmio laptop, which also includes a Linux-based media player environment. NEC will market the S3000 in Hong Kong and China. The laptop also includes InterVideo's popular WinDVD DVD playing software, which is also available for Linux.'"
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Windows Laptops Ship With Linux Media Player

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  • Shift? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mfh (56) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:17PM (#10060439) Homepage Journal
    The NEC Versa S3000 will use InterVideo's InstantOn technology to enable users to listen to music, watch DVDs, and more without having to wait for Windows to load.

    Could this signal the end of traditional operating systems? My thoughts on the subject are that eventually programs will come with their own OSes and load from a kind of GUI BIOS. And why wouldn't they? Put all the conflicts on hold for a second and think about it. If programmers could select the OS that works best with their application, they would stand to profit. Subsystem patches could batch patch each application's common files intuitively, without the need of expensive Microsoft licenses. Sure right now, we're looking at all the space that would likley be required to do this, but if you gut Windows, for example, and only use the required systems, that would be a savings of about 99% of what 99% of us use regularly. Turn that power over to the applications designers and you get better (open source) components, custom built to suit each program. Yes I do see a small problem with this, in that you have to worry about identifying the end users' system specs to make sure the programs will function properly, but with the rise of web based updating systems, it would be possible to select only the necessary components to wrap with the software, reducing the overall waste on each system and making for a much more stable environment than traditional OSes.
    • Re:Shift? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Greger47 (516305) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:24PM (#10060536)
      Well. I don't think most application vendors are interested in becoming OS vendors as well.

      Besides, don't we reboot Windows enough as it is today?

      /greger

    • Re:Shift? (Score:2, Interesting)

      uhm..how bout multitasking?
    • Because Microsoft will never allow that to happen. They make entirely too much money on licenses for usage of their OS.

      They are already getting into bed with Phoenix to have a DRM BIOS to disable any third party software from running without their direct authorization.
    • Re:Shift? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Wudbaer (48473) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:27PM (#10060573) Homepage
      You mean as in DOS games or other DOS programs that brought their own DOS extenders, sound drivers, gfx drivers etc. ? Like in game consoles ? Like in programs for the good old home computers like the C-64, Apple II and the like that often brought their own OS-like routines delivering functionality the machine either did not have or (most cases) to do some kind of copy protection ? Everyone re-inventing the wheel every time in a incompatible way with a different look-and-feel ?

      Sounds like a great idea. NOT.
      • Decentralizing (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mfh (56) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:34PM (#10060662) Homepage Journal
        Sounds like a great idea. NOT.
        Sure, *your* idea sounds bad. But your idea lacks vision. I'm talking about decentralizing the classic OS, and decentralizing Microsoft's monopoly. Linus has been doing it for years, but by more or less following the classic design of an OS. I'm suggesting a shift into a more dynamic model. What's wrong with that?
        • Re:Decentralizing (Score:5, Insightful)

          by sean23007 (143364) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @05:01PM (#10060934) Homepage Journal
          I think the problem with your idea is that you don't seem to have thought it through completely, and you certainly haven't explained it thoroughly. What the other responders are saying is that what you describe is pretty much how things used to be. It's how things currently are in consoles. PCs are more versatile than consoles, and a large part of that (and one of the main advances in operating system technology over the years) is multi-tasking. As in, the ability to run multiple programs at once. Your idea seems to go back to the days when that is impossible. However, assuming that's not what you meant, and you want several programs running concurrently, each with their own operating system, you will soon discover that there are all of a sudden 5 or 6 or more operating systems running on your machine. And the running code ... well, there seem to be 5 or 6 or more identical copies. So why not roll that identical code into one process or set of processes, which would dramatically increase efficiency? Well, if we did that, we'd have something I like to call a general purpose "operating system." Basically, you're proposing a step backward that is unnecessary. If you still disagree, please explain.
        • This decentralizition (wow, what a nice buzz-word) you speak of sounds just like MSDOS, a point which you must have chose to ignore from the grandparent post. There's a little thing called multitasking that is quite useful. It's hard to do that when you have to boot into each program you use

          It is worth noting that Linus started writing the linux kernel as part of a bootable stand-alone text editor. I sure am glad that it does more than that these days.

          • Re:Decentralizing (Score:3, Interesting)

            by bogado (25959)
            This is true, and I agree 100% with you. But this could be a good thing for certain kind of applications. Movies, games, heck even music. All of those could have a os embeded in the boot sector that would boot directly into the application, movie or whatever.

            All those application have one thing in common they require full atention of the user, and usually they would benefit if they had full atention from the CPU and memory also. Since they usually are used by themselves no lost in booting directly into the
      • Re:Shift? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Trolling4Dollars (627073) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:36PM (#10060676) Journal
        Actually, it does sound like a great idea. On my Atari ST, if I booted up into Leander, I had all system resources dedicated to the game with absolutely no waste. It was efficient and ran extremely well. Sure, it makes life harder for the programmers, but then again that's our job. The end user should get rock solid stability and a totally pure experience without bloat when they are working. For example, an OS that provided basic user functionailty like Web, Mail, Office Suite and nothing else would likely be rock-solid stable and very fast compared to Windows XP, Mac OS or Linux. I'll bet if it was done right, the system would boot to a fully usable state in 5-10 seconds.
        • Of course this is great, if you want to do one thing at a time. Some people like to have a word processor, email client, mp3/music player, development environment, web pages, network files and thier favorite game running at the same time.

          I like single use devices, but the computer isn't one of them. That's its power. That's why we're here.
          • But how many things do you really want to do while playing a game? Admittedly I tend to leave a lot of stuff running in the background, most of that stuff will be almost entirely idle when it doesn't have focus anyway, and I have a gig of core.

            Your average user only does one major thing at a time. They read email, or they do "office stuff" maybe involving multiple office apps, or they do "graphics stuff" maybe involving multiple graphics programs, but they mostly do one thing at a time.

            Granted, I don

      • "Hardware-banging DOS all over again" was my first reaction, too, but the presence of a large library of free/open software changes things a bit this time around. Also, hardware is more standardized and auto-detection is more more advanced than it was 15 years ago.

        This means that the alternate boot environment can grow commonly-used multitasking features: webbrowser, IM, email (every program grows until it can read email), etc. In the DOS days you couldn't expect Ventura Publisher to add a spreadsheet fe

    • Re:Shift? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by merlin_jim (302773) <James...McCracken@@@stratapult...com> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:44PM (#10060771)
      One of the primary advantages of an OS (besides the GUI fluff) is that you have a unified centralized driver store. I'm not just talking about graphics cards and sound cards and ACPI, either, though that is certainly important.

      I'm talking about data access layers, common control libraries, runtime environments, and the like.

      Right now if there's a bug or vulnerability in my data access layer, Microsoft can update one file on each machine to fix that vulnerability in every application. In the system you describe, each one would have to be patched seperately. If you forget to patch one, it either continues to use the bad stuff, or just stops working.

      This applies to Linux too... that's the point of dynamically linked libraries.
    • Re:Shift? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by btwIANAL (763061)
      Unfortunately this would be highly waistful. The OS is what takes care of memory management and processor scheduling. If you have each app boot it's own os, then programmers are going to have to proverbially reinvent the wheel each and every time they write a program. And on top of that the wheel would have to be diferent each time, due to copywrites on many efficient algorithms. Then comes the worst part, your because of memory management and processor scheduling, you are enabled to run multiple processes
    • Re:Shift? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ShaggyBOFH (694048)
      What about multi-tasking? For example, some people may play "new-cool-guy-RPG" and also view a walk-through office document explaining how to win the game they just played $60 for. They may also want their IM client, music player, and web browser going.

      You have a good idea, but under further examination, I don't think it's really practical. I can already see my desk with a bunch of Knoppix Nintendo cartrages.

    • Re:Shift? (Score:3, Insightful)

      I am getting this deja vue feeling... anyone here remembers the Commodore plus 4?
  • Dual boot-like! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by justkarl (775856) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:18PM (#10060451) Homepage
    Great idea! Think of all the RAM you'd save...If only more hi-mem apps would do this, rather than run in RAM-hungry Windows.
    • by Otter (3800) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:30PM (#10060615) Journal
      Sure, with all that RAM freed up you could also run...sorry, what was your point?
    • Re:Dual boot-like! (Score:5, Informative)

      by stratjakt (596332) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:39PM (#10060717) Journal
      Do you, or any of the other slashbots get it?

      This is what the device does when you turn it on:

      - Checks for disc in drive
      - If disc is present, and is a DVD or CD Audio Disc, the device boots the "media player" burned into roms on the board
      - If not, it boots normally.

      This is really dual-booting, except one of the OS's lives in firmware.

      In other words, it doesn't "save RAM" when running windows, it doesn't have to do with Windows Update. It doesn't have anything to do with windows at all.

      It's as if you booted from a floppy that had a linux-based media player on it.
  • Gimme the juice! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ElForesto (763160) <elforestoNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:20PM (#10060472) Homepage
    I look forward to this in more laptops so I can squeeze more movie time out of my battery. Letting the OS drain a lot of power reduces me to 1.5 hours on a single charge.
    • by doofusclam (528746)
      Not necessarily. I doubt your BIOS can do all the power saving tricks that your full OS can do, regardless of whether that is Linux or Windows. This includes processor throttling, h/d power down etc etc.
      • Oh, but the alternate envronment can do more to save battery energy. Like run a non-x86 processor (all of which deliver more MIPS/watt). A simple $5 ARM is sufficient if MPEG decoding is done in hardware. Other things include shutting off USB, wireless networking, & sections of RAM. Configuring an OS to shut off that stuff is clumsy because it doesn't "know" that you don't want them (unless you go into configuration & tell it).
  • ok, but then what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chachob (746500) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:20PM (#10060475)
    the user will eventually turn the machine on, and then what? does this technology work after the machine has already booted into windows? people generally dont buy a computer to only listen to music or watch DVDs...And furthermore, this isnt really making windows obsolete, its just adding functionality to the system.
    • by Tony Hoyle (11698) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:25PM (#10060546) Homepage
      How many people have got 'media' PCs to play DVDs on? This kind of technology will do well at the AOL end of the market - insert DVD, switch on machine, watch DVD. No boot time - it's just there, just like every other gadget joe sixpack has in his house.

      The fact that it's Linux probably won't change anything.. they could have used any embedded OS.

      However, if they start building in hooks for games to use it could get interesting.... with a few million of these out there what game manufacturer wouldn't want to have an 'instant on' game with no installation/windows issues?
      • However, if they start building in hooks for games to use it could get interesting.... with a few million of these out there what game manufacturer wouldn't want to have an 'instant on' game with no installation/windows issues?
        You mean, like a playstation, or gamecube, or xBox or gameboy, or dreamcast, or saturn, or genesis, or SNES, or TurboGrafx 16, or NES, or master system?
        Rumor out on the street is that game manufacturers may be into these.....
      • Interesting; I think I see where your going:

        Why buy a PS3 when you can buy sony's new laptop, put a PS3/PS2/PS1 game in there, plug in the PS3 USB controller and have it play EXACTLY like the PS3; or keep the game out and use it as a normal sony laptop; for less then the combined price of a PS3 and a laptop (That will be an important factor; if it's cheaper for me to buy both; the frugal will buy both)

        Even better would be if SEVERAL laptop manufactuerers decided on some standards (read drivers in the
    • Desktop operating systems probably turn a nice profit for MS, but there's much bigger money that could have been made in the embedded market if they could get a foothold. I think that that's why they designed Windows CE and Windows Media Player. However, it looks like Linux is just going to devestate them in the embedded market. When it comes to licensing costs, "free" is tough to beat.

      That doesn't quite translate to success on the desktop, but it does get a lot more Linux devices out there. And the more p
  • Wooohooo! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BenjiPenguin (767955) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:20PM (#10060476)
    Bye bye Windows XP Media Center Edition!!! Honestly, are people going to wait for all that crap to load or get something much sooner, with Linux? Providing a good interface, this could very well be a big problem for Microsoft (not that Linux isn't already...)
    • Re:Wooohooo! (Score:2, Informative)

      by Ziak (807893)
      I doubt it i tried installing linux on some of my friend's computer because all they do is surf the Internet and talk on IM clienets they still wanted there windows back because they didn't like the look of linux ( i have no idea what that means ) But once someone gets used to something regardless if its beter they'll throw a fit if you change it on them.......
    • Re:Wooohooo! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Jason1729 (561790) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:30PM (#10060610)
      Um, have you ever heard of OS/2?

      OS/2 Warp came out over a year before windows 95, and it did everything MS promised win95 would do plus a lot more. People still waited the extra year, win95 failed on most of its promises; OS/2 was far superior, and yet people still bought win95.

      OS/2 warp could also run windows applications, and since OS/2 was far more stable and one app couldn't bring down the whole system, it was a long-standing joke that OS/2 was a far better windows than windows...Oh, OS/2 was also cheaper.

      I was using the windows version of borland C++ on both systems quite a bit back them. I caused windows to completely crash a lot. The same errors on OS/2 wouldn't even close the C++ compiler, it would pop up a message that my app did something wrong and would be closed. I would click OK and I was right back to the compiler screen.

      This will not be any problem for Microsoft.

      Jason
      ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]
      • OS/2 was also the OS choice of Photoshop professionals who had to work on i386 hardware. OS/2 actually made good use of large memory configurations, and had a GOOD virtual memory system, so running PS (2.5 I think?) with the Win32s extensions on OS/2 was far faster on the same hardware than running it on Wfwg/w32s or Win95.
      • Re:Wooohooo! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Deviate_X (578495)
        OS/2 Warp Required 8mb of ram minimum to run.

        Win95 Required 4mb.

        That extra 4mb cost $300 10 years ago.

        10 years ago spending $300 extra was alot more painful then than it is now.

        I know about this because it was one of the products i used to sell. It didn't. I did hear however that OS/2 was pretty popular in germany.

    • MCE does more than just watch content. It also records content. I'm sure that'll be in this eventually, but for the time being MCE is more fully featured. It's not a souped up Media Player; it's a souped up tivo...
  • Good idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by StevenHenderson (806391) <stevehenderson.gmail@com> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:21PM (#10060490)
    Cross-platform software is a great idea in my opinion. The release of iTunes for Windows, I must speculate, has surely won the hearts of many MS fans. Even the smallest sway can help - getting a small amount of added respect for Linux and its software will lead some to try dual-booting or even a total reformat.

    This can only help...unless of course the software sucks hardcore. Has anyone used it?
    • I'm not so sure. By taking away the reasons to switch from operating system (for most people this is the apps, not the os) you might end up with people putting up with Windows instead.

      I mean, I ran the Gimp on my operating system some time ago, and with cygwin a lot of unix utilities run fine. Even worse, there is a steady stream of Open Source packages coming out for Windows nowadays.

      For linux on the other hand, there are little or no commercial applications available in the entertainment sector of it. I
  • by Jason1729 (561790) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:21PM (#10060493)
    What a waste of money to have to buy all that extra crap when the notebook is easily able to do it in software. It's an even bigger waste in a notebook where space for internal peripherals is at a huge premium.

    All that so you can watch DVDs or listen to MP3s without waiting to boot? My Powerbook has a 74 day uptime now; I just put it in sleep mode and take it with. It takes it about 1 second to wake up and then it's ready to play movies or music.

    Even if a windows machine can't do that, You're still a lot better off buying a standalone portable mp3 player than having to pay to include it in your notebook. You can take an mp3 player a lot of places you can't take a notebook.

    Jason
    ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]
    • What a waste of money to have to buy all that extra crap when the notebook is easily able to do it in software. It's an even bigger waste in a notebook where space for internal peripherals is at a huge premium.

      What are you talking about? This is software, blockhead. It's just committing resources at startup to another os(Linux)so less resources can be used to play media. It's not hardware at all. Except that it's on a laptop.
    • Have you seen the number of portable MP3 players and portable DVD players in use on planes, in cars, and whereever?

      I have. It's astonishing. I just had a friend fly in from Cleveland. He could not believe that a good number of those around him (including himself) had a DVD player going. Even more had iPods (and their variants).

      Personally I take enough shit around with me when I fly (GPS, Camera, books, music, phone/PDA, and media) do I really want to carry around a DVD player too? What happens if I a
      • I agree with you. One of the reasons I bought my notebook in the first place was as portable DVD player. I really don't understand why people those stand-alone units that are half the price of a notebook.

        My point is that it's stupid to add another whole OS, especially an embedded OS to avoid waiting for the system to boot. Doesn't windows have a decent sleep mode? Isn't putting the machine to sleep a better solution than adding another whole OS?

        You still have to wait for the machine to boot to do an
        • My point is that it's stupid to add another whole OS, especially an embedded OS to avoid waiting for the system to boot. Doesn't windows have a decent sleep mode? Isn't putting the machine to sleep a better solution than adding another whole OS?

          What does it take? A single board, perhaps even a single chip, to run a DVD player/MP3 player? Most of the portables are large because of the screen/drive size. I think the embedded part would be a non-issue.

          You still have to wait for the machine to boot to do
          • Did you even read what you were reply to? I said waking up from sleep mode takes about 1 second - not a couple of minutes like booting, and I DO use my machine to play DVDs A LOT. Therefore if this were a good idea, it would be a great feature for me, but it's a stupid idea.

            I also have a 12" notebook since portability is my main criteria. There isn't even room for a PC card slot; it's a tiny machine, and it's packed solidly; there isn't room to add a single board or single chip.
        • Power usage.

          A hardwired DVD player is going to consume less CPU time than a DVD player on full OS. If it gets 10% more time out of the battery, it might be a wash, but if it gets 25% time that's a pretty decent feature for a couple extra bucks (extra firmware chip, pay for the license, probably $5 max extra cost).

          (And no, Windows really doesn't have a very good sleep mode - standby is fine, but the true low-power sleeps are not exactly stable, I've more than a few times had my Windows machine fail to com
      • Levelling out at 10,000ft eh? What airline is this? Does the FAA know?

        Perhaps you meant 30,000ft. :-)
    • First off, it's just a chip. Probably a small one. Maybe a daughterboard. It's not a ton of hardware in any case.

      My windows machine wakes up from hibernate in 30 seconds. Sleep in 10. That's not counting time to take it out of lock and load the app.

      The key here isn't that this is just another way to watch DVDs. It's a way to turn a complicated and error prone computing device into an appliance, with the stability that entails.

      Also, I'm sure that booting into this mode saves battery life on processing power and boot up time. All of a sudden the battery can last longer than the DVD! (certainly not the case with my Thinkpad T30)

      And finally, sure I could buy a portable mp3 player... and a portable DVD player... but they don't make portable DVD players with 14 inch screens. A low end 7 inch screen you can get for $200. I think the high quality 10 inch screens will run you upwards of $600. And as for the mp3 player... to get as much music on that as you can carry on a laptop, you'll have to shell out $200+ for a hard drive based player.

      And when I'm travelling on business... that's three devices to carry instead of one. That makes a huge difference, especially if flying (three devices means extra luggage means extra inconvenience)
  • which player? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:21PM (#10060494) Journal
    Is it M player? http://www.mplayerhq.hu/homepage/ [mplayerhq.hu]

    I use it on my main windows box and it's hassle free, plays 99% of files and I wouldn't change it for the world :)
  • No. (Score:3, Informative)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:23PM (#10060520) Homepage Journal
    ``"Maybe this is the real way Windows will be made irrelevant, not by a Linux desktop, but by Linux embedded software. LinuxDevices has an article stating 'NEC is the latest vendor to announce a laptop with a built-in embedded Linux based media player option. The NEC Versa S3000 will use InterVideo's InstantOn technology to enable users to listen to music, watch DVDs, and more without having to wait for Windows to load.'''

    I think this will merely prompt MS to "innovate" and provide a similar technology. It's good to see that FOSS is ahead of them in this area.
    • "innovate" (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Ucklak (755284)
      I wonder how XP embeded would compete.

      MS is always behind in technology and will continue to follow. They bang their drum louder to draw attention to themselves and "WOW", the public buys their rhetoric hook, line, and sinker.

      Whatever Long(wait)horn is, it will be behind graphically what Apple's Tiger will be and whatever Sun is doing on the desktop.
      • ``MS is always behind in technology and will continue to follow.''

        Yet they make the leading word processor, spread sheet, developer environment, desktop operating system, and media player, the open source world is trying hard to clone them, and ease of use is measured with respect to the standard they set.
  • by Donny Smith (567043) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:23PM (#10060523)
    >Maybe this is the real way Windows will be made irrelevant

    Phew! "Irrelevant"!

    And straight to the point - it's not about a nice (cost-effective, elegant, etc.) way to meet user requirement, it's about the demise of Windows, right in the first sentence.

    Give me a break and learn to write articles without trolling!

    The only thing that will be made irrelevant is Slashdot.org, thanks to highly insightful articles like this.
  • Others use this? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jerph (550853)
    Averatec's 6200 series [averatec.com] has a similar instant dvd/mp3 function. If this is the same chip, it seems to be cheap and in pretty widespread use - this company has a relatively small US sales base and is offering the system for $1250.
  • Legal DVD on Linux? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by chrispyman (710460) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:27PM (#10060574)
    So does this imply that that there is finally a legal way to play a DVD on Linux? Granted it's not open source, but isn't something better than nothing?
    • by merlin_jim (302773) <James...McCracken@@@stratapult...com> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:56PM (#10060878)
      InterVideo has for a while now offered licensed DVD player software for Linux.

      It's just not free, which is why you've never heard of it.

      I don't know why everything on Linux has to be free and open source. Whether you like it or not, it's proprietary technology. They have a right to keep it closed. They have a right to charge you whatever they want for it.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Actually InterVideo doesn't offer any Linux DVD software to the public yet. You have to be an embedded developer to get it. See here [intervideo.com]
      • by jsebrech (525647) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @05:53PM (#10061364)
        InterVideo has for a while now offered licensed DVD player software for Linux.

        No they haven't. Just surf to intervideo's site and try to buy the lindvd player. You can't, because it's not available for sale to end-users. Well, ok, so technically they've offered it to "selected partners", but frankly, that's not the meaning I associate with the word "offered".

        The license intervideo has for selling dvd players on linux has been used as an excuse by the media industry for years, and there's still not a single legal dvd player I can buy and install on my linux machines.
  • Power Consumption (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Morgahastu (522162) <bshel@WEEZERroRA ... ve my fave bands> on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @04:33PM (#10060650) Journal
    Since the OS booted to play DVDs and MP3s should be very light weight and minimal, will power consumption be noticably lower in this mode compared to watching DVDs in windows? I believe the media is decoded with hardware too, further optimizing the power usage. This would be great for watching movies on a plane, with wi-fi off of course!
    • There really shouldn't be a big difference in power consumption. If you're watching a DVD, the majority of the CPU time (and therefore power) is being used by the DVD player software, not the OS. In fact, it's conceivable that power consumption would be /worse/ if Linux weren't configured to take advantage of ACPI power management (frequency scaling, CPU idling, that sort of goodness).
    • Re:Power Consumption (Score:2, Informative)

      by stratjakt (596332)
      That's the idea. The CPU barely does anything, and can be throttled back.

      How well it works in RL, we'll see.

      There's more to power usage than just the CPU. Consider watching a DVD - you've got the dvd-rom spinning and its motors grinding away reading the disc, that sucks power (a device I normally don't use on a laptop).

      Chances are, if you're on a plane, you've got the backlight jacked all the way up, and the volume on full through the headphone jack.

      And all that dedicated hardware still sucks 'it down
  • This is a really good idea for certain functions that require a lot of RAM and processing power that might otherwise adversly affect the Windows XPerience(tm), but how will this make Windows irrelevant? It isn't replacing windows.

    At the risk of getting flamed, I'd say if anything, it sounds more like an admission that Windows can't be beat on the desktop. So, avoid the confrontation by "competing" with embedded tech where Windows is know to suck.

    • At the risk of getting flamed, I'd say if anything, it sounds more like an admission that Windows can't be beat on the desktop.

      To me it sounds like an admission that Windows is slow to boot, and Linux is fast.

      • That's another way of looking at it, for certain. But why, then, would you bolt the faster, embedded-Linux device to the notebook? Why the hell would anyone want to have to carry a laptop around to do the same thing they've been doing since the 80's with a Walkman. Or something they're presently doing today with an iPod/Rio/etc. that uses embedded technology to perform the same function but weighs ounces instead of pounds.

        People who already own MP3 players probably aren't the target market here, but wo

      • I'm sure that if Billy G. and the boys really wanted to make a Windows OS kernel that did nothing but play DVD's, they could make it shit-hot fast too.
  • as long as it doesn't try to force feed you updates everytime you start it on ala musicmatch, attempt to take over your system, like real, come bundled with the os, like you know who, and just plain works...i'll love it.

    now if you really want to have a media player...find one that'll cook french fries and keep beer cold.

  • OK, it is great for desktop too, but not for everybody... but the main place where Linux progresses the fastest is in the space with less user interaction ie. the embedded and server space where the user does not care what OS is in use.
  • Irrelevant? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GoatEnigma (586728) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @05:23PM (#10061133) Homepage
    "Maybe this is the real way Windows will be made irrelevant"

    Sorry to point this out, but Windows will never be made irrelevant. Fact is, its been running 90% of the world's desktop PC's for a decade, and brought computers to the home market in a way never seen before. Its already made its place in history, and will never be regarded as "irrelevant".

    Perhaps the word you really meant to use was "obsolete", but ... well, the comment I was going to make has been made many, many time before so I'll leave it at that.

  • by Cylix (55374) on Tuesday August 24, 2004 @06:41PM (#10061783) Homepage Journal
    If you check out Toms Hardware [tomshardware.com] you can see a small chunk of cube pc's which already feature this.

    Not a bad option if you are like me and looking for a portable everything box with an alternate plan of being a PVR in its spare time.

    However, after looking over the prices I decided I would rather have a mini-itx solution.

    A nice C3 board with tv out and a PCI slot for capture ended up being my pick. Thankfully, I alraady have most of the components to slap into this little beast. The final product should measure about 7 x 2 x 10 (w x h x l).

    Yeah, it won't have instant on dvd support, but I'm not going to nit pick when my savings was in the 300+ range.

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