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Author Topic: Google OS  (Read 6916 times)

Offline curaga

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Google OS
« on: July 08, 2009, 11:22:16 AM »
So, Google has announced an OS to only load a browser (Chrome, incidentally). What are your thoughts about it?
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Offline tinypad

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Re: Google OS
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2009, 12:02:56 PM »
Back then, I was using lynx & pine on slackware with a thinkpad.  
Right now, I am using links & alpine on tcl with a thinkpad.  
Near future, will I be using chrome on chrome with a macbook . . . quite unlikely.

Old habits die hard - for the good or for the bad.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 12:12:25 PM by tinypad »

Offline roberts

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Re: Google OS
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2009, 12:56:00 PM »
Was this in response to gazelle?
 http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/news/features/gazelle-062909.aspx

Should be interesting to see what actually develops. For me, personally, I find web 2.0 apps still not that responsive. Perhaps if one lived where cheap high speed reliable internet access, or if you are rich enough to buy such access.

My access goes down each night, whether I am online or not. And prices for high speed are too much for me.

Just using gmail is a chore for me, especially when tyring their new stuff, drag and drop. But then again I don't have the luxury of high speed net access.
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Offline Jason W

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Re: Google OS
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2009, 09:28:40 PM »
For one thing I find it neat that Google is now embracing the very idea that Robert has had for so long - to use a minimal OS as a launchpad to run your one or handful of favorite apps with a minimal of installed bloat.

But on the other hand, the notion that the web browser should be your one stop shop for applications is enacting "Gates' Law" like never before.  Just a few years ago, a 400mhz 128mb ram machine was more than adequate for an average Linux users needs, even with KDE.  But now, I find that a 1.5Ghz 640MB ram machine is barely usable when using MySpace for just general email type tasks.  What a shame.  If you don't have super high speed internet and the latest hardware you are kind of left out in the cold in todays web world. 

I am gravitating towards using links2 for my daily needs on all but the web sites/services that require more.  It is really a good basic graphical browser and supports gmail and other such stuff.  I am building the custom firefox extension to try for some performance increase, but if I am to use my most common hardware (600-800mhz cpu, 256mb ram) I cannot expect to take advantage of the most current web content offerings.  I miss the day when your web browser rendered html pages, your audio player played audio, video player played video, and so on.

On  a related note, I found that Opera with Youtube videos uses 35% of my cpu on my 800mhz box, while Firefox plays the same videos using all of the cpu along with some skipping.  Seems that Opera uses ~30% of the cpu usage of Firefox in the same flash video setting.   Just a tidbit of info that may help.

Offline roberts

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Re: Google OS
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2009, 10:22:37 PM »
The more I think about it. The more I concerns I have. Everything from one vendor? Vendor lock in.
I still prefer the road that we have embarked upon. Freedom of choice, which apps, which libs, which GUI, which browser, etc, etc, and all by starting from a tiny/micro core.
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Offline jpeters

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Re: Google OS
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2009, 11:54:58 PM »

On  a related note, I found that Opera with Youtube videos uses 35% of my cpu on my 800mhz box, while Firefox plays the same videos using all of the cpu along with some skipping.  Seems that Opera uses ~30% of the cpu usage of Firefox in the same flash video setting.   Just a tidbit of info that may help.

Hm...don't know why that is.  I compared Opera with FF_3.5  on my Dell laptop, and both have about the same cpu usage. ... somewhere in the 50-70% range.  I also use links quite a bit...mainly because of the speed.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2009, 12:19:56 AM by jpeters »

Offline curaga

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Re: Google OS
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2009, 01:08:06 AM »
My own thoughts are that this might be enough for web-centric users, or to show the general public one doesn't need Windows to use the 'net.

For my own use it would be way too limited, not only having access merely to a browser, but also that I don't really trust Google. The fact it will have Chrome, which knowingly calls home...
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Offline alu

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Re: Google OS
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2009, 01:36:41 AM »
share your mind curaga, google looks suspect, and i don't need to be restricted to one provider even if it would be just in order to browse or check emails

Offline samedirection

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Re: Google OS
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2009, 02:49:24 AM »
I think that this announcement is great news for the Open Source movement. 

How exactly can vendor lock-in occur? or restriction to one provider?  The OS will be open source.  There will be forks of the project  within days, and totally new "based-on" distros and extensions within months.   These projects will do whatever their teams have the resources to pull off, and that will certainly include making a basic build platform on which to build existing code.  Quite interestingly for us, they'll all (apparently) be starting from a 'small / quick / light' base. (by some definitions of those words!).  If Google succeeds at getting OEMs to install it, you'll be able to buy a lot of of very cool (light but modern) hardware without any Windows tax, and---just like any of us would now if we bought a Linux netbook---you'll be able to upgrade the OS on that hardware to whatver distro of Google OS, or TinyCore 5.4rc3 you want. 

I could imagine that there will be some interesting work done in the process of building a Linux system up from such a minimal base that will help TinyCore.  In a similar way to how we now benefit from, say the Puppy Linux community's work to help Xvesa be usable on newer hardware.

The 'new windowing system' may even turn out to be of interest to TinyCore. 

Whatever the capabilities of the original release (which I suspect will be more than just a 'browser on a stick'), the impact of the OS will go far beyond that.  I'm suprised Richard Stallman hasn't come out with accolades.  I think this is the real beginning of what he's fought for all these years.  Finally we can have proper re$ources working together with us little guys, to make free (re-distributable, changable) software that anyone can use. 

Sure, there could be ways to lock users in, (burning the OS in as unchangable firmware is the only one I can think of), but nothing I've heard so far gives me any reason to think this is anything but a Very Good Thing for those who use and advocate Open Source / Free software.  Or?

Offline curaga

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Re: Google OS
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2009, 04:28:14 AM »
Vendor lock-in would start with the new windowing system - how would you run say Firefox on it? FF supports X, like all other standard unix apps for decades. Likely anything for X won't run on it, requiring porting per-app.

Of course the OS itself won't likely try to prevent hacking it, even those that do fail. But vendor lock-in is effective if only skilled people can make a change; if there is no way for a normal user to install another browser inside the OS itself, it is lock-in.

So, it will take more than a few days for forks with other GUI apps. Command-line stuff and kernel modifications might come sooner.

Re good for open source - I think so too that the net effect will be positive.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2009, 04:29:47 AM by curaga »
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Offline samedirection

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Re: Google OS
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2009, 05:07:29 AM »
It's true that if the new windowing system replaces X (as opposed to just acting as a Window Manager on top of X, which is how the speculation on Slashdot (1) seemed to be leaning), it will take some time before anyone ports x-based apps to it.  If it's got X, it should be much easier.

And you're also right that if only skilled users can break out, it will be effectively lock-in.  But my money is still on the proposition that there'll be pretty easy ways to 'upgrade' the official Google OS to modified versions of it that will do everything it does, plus run my desktop apps.   Google will rely on it's name to hold those who just don't need that kind of functionality to the original version.  And hopefully they can work synergistically with those who want to extend and hack on their new baby.  They certainly seem to have done so reasonably well so far.

An open source Google OS just sounds to me like the next big hacking project.  If it's really all open source,  it's hard to see how end users will be limited to just what Google delivers. Which anyway might be a more complete OS than we think. Of course, we'll just have to wait and see.  I suppose all one can say at this point is, 'it could be good.' 

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(1)http://tech.slashdot.org/story/09/07/08/0953238/Google-Announces-Chrome-OS-For-Release-Mid-2010

Offline samedirection

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Re: Google OS
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2009, 05:40:36 AM »
The Register reports this today:

"In a departure from Google's initial Android project, the company says it will open source the Google Chrome Operating System later this year, well before hardware systems ship. According to Google, consumers won't have access to devices until the second half of 2010." 

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/09/google_chrome_os/