[sf-lug] Splashtop

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu Aug 14 14:27:38 PDT 2008

Quoting John F. Strazzarino (jstrazza at yahoo.com):

> Has anyone heard of Splashtop? It is a version of Linux that claims to
> boot in about 5 seconds. It comes with the latest versions of the ASUS
> motherboards. It is called Express Gate on the ASUS M/B. It appears
> that it is a BIOS resident distro and will dual boot with Windows.

Proprietary embedded distro from ASUS, eventually to be shipped on all
ASUS motherboards, and sometimes called "Express Gate".  The upper
layer, which provides an operating environment for things like the
(proprietary) Skype app, is what ASUS calls the "Virtual Appliance
Environment" = VAE.  (Skype is thus an example of a VA.)  ASUS claim
that they intend to open-source the VAE at some point, but the lower
levels (the "Core Engine") will remain proprietary.

Works from a 512MB flash chip on the motherboard.  


Given the degree of lockdown they've apparently enforced from the BIOS
on up, ASUS _could_ pitch this to the copyright barons as a way of 
packing A/V delivery without those pesky customers acting as if they 
_owned_ what they paid for -- akin to what Apple achieved with the iPhone
(see my notes at the top of http://linuxmafia.com/ssh/iphone.html).

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