Splashtop's Source Code Now Available - InformationWeek

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11/15/2007
03:18 PM
Serdar Yegulalp
Serdar Yegulalp
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Splashtop's Source Code Now Available

The source code for the Linux-based Splashtop system environment, a way to run applications on a PC without ever formally booting it (among many other things), has just been released to the public.

The source code for the Linux-based Splashtop system environment, a way to run applications on a PC without ever formally booting it (among many other things), has just been released to the public.

The whole package isn't that big -- 11.6 Mbytes or so, without the SDK itself, and is available under the GPL license.  The SDK will be coming later, and that's actually the part that intrigues me the most: what third parties will do once they get their hands on the development kit and begin writing stuff for it that the original manufacturers hadn't touched.

If you want to stay on top of what Splashtop is offering -- with both vendors and third parties -- subscribe to their blog's feed.  They talk a good deal about "social Splashtop" and the use of online apps such as Zoho (which I wrote about recently) in the Splashtop environment, although they do touch on some of the things planned for future iterations and updates of Splashtop.  The single most hotly requested features included -- no surprises here -- the ability to access a system's hard drive, either to use data or to perform recovery, and a media player of some kind.

I've actually seen the latter implemented in a slightly variant form on my own Sony notebook.  If the system is powered down and you press a special "media" button on the front panel, it boots into a Linux mini-environment from the hard drive which plays DVDs and CDs without requiring you to boot all the way into Windows.  It wouldn't be difficult to imagine a Splashtop variant that does the same thing, but without requiring hard drive access (and maybe being a whole lot more flexible than Sony's closed-end implementation of the idea!).

Next step: getting some hardware that runs Splashtop, if possible.  It's one of those things I want to see for myself when I can.

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