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Reincarnating PCs with Portable SoulPads

The ability to walk up to any computer, personalize it, and use it as one’s own has long been a goal of mobile computing research. We present SoulPad, a new approach based on carrying an auto-configuring operating system nalong with a suspended virtual machine on a small portable device. With this approach, the computer boots from the device and resumes the virtual machine, thus giving the user access to his personal environment, including previously running computations. SoulPad has minimal infrastructure requirements and is therefore applicable to a wide range of conditions, particularly in developing countries. We report our experience implementing SoulPad and using it on a variety of hardware configurations. We address challenges common to systems similar to SoulPad, and show that the SoulPad model has significant potential as a mobility solution.

By: Mandayam Raghunath; Chandra Narayanaswami; Casey Carter; Ramón Cáceres

Published in: RC23418 in 2004

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