[AI] Now your PC can boot-up faster

Viraj vkafle at gmail.com
Sun Jan 27 04:01:38 EST 2008

The Sunday ET-ET Features-The Economic Times

Now your PC can boot-up faster

27 Jan, 2008, 0033 hrs IST,Shelly Singh , TNN  

Lengthy boot-up times on your PC could be a thing of past with some nifty new software 

In an era of instant communication, instant photo and instant coffee you still have to cope with a computer that takes its own sweet time to boot-up. You
could actually take a tea break between the time you switch on the machine and before its ready to use. Others who leave their computers on overnight to
save boot up time, end up wasting energy. 

Why can't the personal computer (PC) boot up faster, in an instant? For the record, the boot-up time is the time from initial power on to the time we can
finally interact with the desktop and it can go up to a few minutes. 

Blame it all on the bloated software that you got loaded on the machine, often more that what you need. 

Long boot-ups on Windows machines occur for several other reasons as well. For starters Windows is heavy. It has megabytes of instructions to follow -
from opening up applications to checking what's in memory. Often Windows PC comes with add-on software you don't need. 

Starting all of the programs takes a lot of time and hence the lengthy boot-ups. 

Also, over time, you might notice your computer taking longer to boot up or restart. Sometimes, it's not unexpected - for example, if you've installed
anti-virus software, your PC might be taking longer because the security settings are starting up. 

There are times, though, when an unusually long boot time can be an indication of a problem - with a driver or a registry. But very often just about any
machine does take some time before you can start working. But times are changing now. 

Apple's just launched thin laptop, Air, has quick boot-up time as it comes with an optional Solid State Drive (SSD) for data storage. Unlike hard drives,
SSDs work on flash memory and require no moving parts to operate. This consumes less power and boots-up faster. 

World's largest chipmaker Intel is developing both hardware and software that will shorten boot times. Before that hits the market you could try some other
tricks. For instance, Device VM, a Silicon Valley startup has a product that helps speed up things. 

The company recently released software that, when integrated with computer hardware, gives users the option to boot either Windows or another operating
system called Splashtop. Depending on the hardware and Splash top settings, a person using the software can start surfing the World Wide Web or watching
a DVD in less than 20 seconds! 

Switching on the computer loads software called the basic input-output system, or BIOS, which is often stored in flash memory. The BIOS checks for hardware
drivers and sets up the operating system. Splashtop, which is Linux based, is embedded in the BIOS, so it starts before the operating system is up and
running. The user sees a screen with a simple interface offering a handful of options, including launching the Firefox, a media player, or an instant-messaging
program. The applications are stored in a flash-memory chip on the motherboard, so they can be quickly accessed. 

Another company Phoenix Technologies, recently announced a product called HyperSpace, a lightweight operating system that launches at the same time Windows
does. HyperSpace is expected to be available in laptops later in 2008. Snappy boot-up would be great time saver, if only you don't mind missing on the
tea break. 


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