Haven't you often wondered, why isn't my computer more like a lightswitch?
You turn the switch on, and the light goes on. Same with the TV. Pretty much instant gratification.
But the computer? Press "start," and you have enough time to do laundry, water the lawn, or read book seven in the "Harry Potter" series, before the thing actually boots up.
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From the "Why didn't I think of that" file, a Cupertino company called "Splashtop" just came up with a piece of software that lets you surf, faster than you can say "cowabunga." Turn it on, and you're on the browser in, by my calculations, eight seconds. Incredible.
Now, to be fair, the Splashtop browser is not the full 'net. You can personalize it to get right to Gmail, Yahoo!, Facebook, whatever, and you're on it, while the rest of the machine sets itself up. All you notice, though, is that you're working in seconds, where it used to take minutes.
The technology is fairly new, but Splashtop is already getting notice. A who's who of VCs have already lined up, flooding the company with 38 million dollars worth of funding. Add to that business (by the millions) from the likes of OEM heavyweights Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Asus, LG, and Lenovo, and you've got one of the hottest pieces of software around. And, in a climate of mass layoffs, Splashtop doubled its staff to 200 people this past year, and looks to double again soon.
Splashtop CEO Mark Lee calls the browser "the most critical piece of equipment" on the PC. He, and his quickly growing company, have flat-out solved a problem that has bugged computer users for years.
Now, booting up your computer can be as fast as flipping a switch.
Scott Budman is a Tech Reporter for NBC Bay Area.