August 26, 2004 9:57 AM PDT

Mobile hard drive carries Linux

Peripheral maker LaCie released on Thursday a mobile hard drive loaded with MandrakeSoft's version of the Linux operating system.

The GlobeTrotter device, with Mandrakelinux 10.0, can be plugged into the USB port of any PC to turn it into a Linux desktop, without any modifications to the host PC. GlobeTrotter can store up to 40GB of data, including applications and personal settings. The software includes productivity suite OpenOffice.org and the integrated personal information management suites KDE Kontact and Novell Evolution.

The $219 device comes with 30 days of Web-based support and will begin shipping in late August.

"The existing (market) was lacking a device capable of carrying a full work environment but (that) is not a computer in itself," Francois Bancilhon, CEO of MandrakeSoft, said in a statement. "GlobeTrotter is just that device."

8 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Kinda Cool....
This does seem like a pretty slick device, but I assume it will come with a hardware compatibility list, since it cannot ship with every hardware driver known to man... I also thought that access to the USB ports required the loading of a software driver, suggesting that until the computer has loaded another OS, it would not be possible to read anything over USB. Is this still correct?
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Just Buy a USB Harddrive
<quote>
This does seem like a pretty slick device, but I assume it will come with a hardware compatibility list, since it cannot ship with every hardware driver known to man... I also thought that access to the USB ports required the loading of a software driver, suggesting that until the computer has loaded another OS, it would not be possible to read anything over USB. Is this still correct?
</quote>

The Linux Kernel itself should be able to handle all the hardware it can support if it's pre-compiled correctly - most distribution Kernels support a default set of hardware necessary simply to boot and run. It's up to the user to tweak the Kernel afterwards if he or she wishes.

Secondly, I would assume it makes use of the on-board BIOS ability to boot from a USB device or it boots a USB-capable Kernel from a floppy or similar device; provided that the BIOS supports this feature, of course - newer motherboards do that now.

Lastly, it would be exactly like having Linux on your harddrive inside the computer, except you are using USB bandwidth now instead of IDE or SCSI bus bandwidth. You could attempt to do this yourself just buy getting a USB harddrive and installing Linux onto it.

I swear, the innovations of Open Source simply allow the most complete flexibility in computing I've seen yet - affordable and easy-to-learn programming languages (Java's write-once-run-anywhere being a good example) were the beginning - now it's a combination of both hardware AND software ingenuity.
Posted by WarpKat (23 comments )
Link Flag
Kinda Cool....
This does seem like a pretty slick device, but I assume it will come with a hardware compatibility list, since it cannot ship with every hardware driver known to man... I also thought that access to the USB ports required the loading of a software driver, suggesting that until the computer has loaded another OS, it would not be possible to read anything over USB. Is this still correct?
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Just Buy a USB Harddrive
<quote>
This does seem like a pretty slick device, but I assume it will come with a hardware compatibility list, since it cannot ship with every hardware driver known to man... I also thought that access to the USB ports required the loading of a software driver, suggesting that until the computer has loaded another OS, it would not be possible to read anything over USB. Is this still correct?
</quote>

The Linux Kernel itself should be able to handle all the hardware it can support if it's pre-compiled correctly - most distribution Kernels support a default set of hardware necessary simply to boot and run. It's up to the user to tweak the Kernel afterwards if he or she wishes.

Secondly, I would assume it makes use of the on-board BIOS ability to boot from a USB device or it boots a USB-capable Kernel from a floppy or similar device; provided that the BIOS supports this feature, of course - newer motherboards do that now.

Lastly, it would be exactly like having Linux on your harddrive inside the computer, except you are using USB bandwidth now instead of IDE or SCSI bus bandwidth. You could attempt to do this yourself just buy getting a USB harddrive and installing Linux onto it.

I swear, the innovations of Open Source simply allow the most complete flexibility in computing I've seen yet - affordable and easy-to-learn programming languages (Java's write-once-run-anywhere being a good example) were the beginning - now it's a combination of both hardware AND software ingenuity.
Posted by WarpKat (23 comments )
Link Flag
Good move, Mandrake
While Lindows was the first to do this, it is a
critical step to getting Linux in front of people in
a fashion that requires nothing of them. Hopefully
they sell well. I applaud Mandrake for making this
happen. Im sure Microsoft is quite PO'd that this
is happening, Mandrake needs to widen this out to
EVERY HD manufacturer though to gain enough
market share. I have used Mandrake for years
now, along with every other distro out there. If
they can widen this out to even more HD
companies they really have a chance to shake
things up.
Tnt
Posted by ubergeekster (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Good move, Mandrake
While Lindows was the first to do this, it is a
critical step to getting Linux in front of people in
a fashion that requires nothing of them. Hopefully
they sell well. I applaud Mandrake for making this
happen. Im sure Microsoft is quite PO'd that this
is happening, Mandrake needs to widen this out to
EVERY HD manufacturer though to gain enough
market share. I have used Mandrake for years
now, along with every other distro out there. If
they can widen this out to even more HD
companies they really have a chance to shake
things up.
Tnt
Posted by ubergeekster (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
also Flonix USB Edition 1.0
The first USB 2.0 key drives equipped with the new Flonix USB Edition 1.0 system are now availables !

Flonix USB Edition 1.0 is a new, ultra-compact (117MB), complete Linux desktop operating system running from a USB 2.0 memory stick, including :
- OpenOffice
- Mozilla Firefox
- a media center/HTPC

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.flonix.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.flonix.com</a>

Your USB desktop !
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
also Flonix USB Edition 1.0
The first USB 2.0 key drives equipped with the new Flonix USB Edition 1.0 system are now availables !

Flonix USB Edition 1.0 is a new, ultra-compact (117MB), complete Linux desktop operating system running from a USB 2.0 memory stick, including :
- OpenOffice
- Mozilla Firefox
- a media center/HTPC

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.flonix.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.flonix.com</a>

Your USB desktop !
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.