Asus: Linux, Whether You Need it Or Not

It looks like Asus is going to be shipping all its motherboards from here on out with Linux built right in, as part of their “Express Gate” initiative. Express Gate is a custom Linux distribution (Splashtop Linux) installed to a Flash ROM that’s a part of the motherboard. With Express Gate, Asus users have an option of booting from that built-in ROM chip to a Linux-based desktop, with an average boot time of around 5 seconds or so.

The problem with Express Gate isn’t that it’s Linux nor that it’s there – it’s the rather more-mysterious question of why it’s there in the first place. If ASUS had thought to make use of this Linux distribution to provide data recovery & diagnostics services, offer advanced BIOS configuration and updating options, or one of the infinite other creative ideas that one can manage with a light and fully-configurable OS that ships embedded with the motherboard, perhaps then we could see a use for it.

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Is the Gigabyte P35-DQ6 Being Discontinued?

The Gigabyte P35-DQ6. Gigabyte’s most-popular motherboard in recent history and possibly the best-selling Intel [[INTC]] Core 2 Duo motherboard currently on the market. It overclocks well, it’s well within budget for a performance PC, it has tons of options, and it’s pretty damn stable. Is it also on the verge of a product recall?

In the past two weeks, the GA P35-DQ6 has been – quite literally – disappearing off shelves both online and offline. Popular online computer part retailers like Newegg, ZipZoomFly, TigerDirect, Fry’s, and Amazon — all of whom carried this highly-successful board a month ago — no longer have it in stock.

What’s even weirder (scarier, even) is that some stores like NewEgg and ZipZoomFly would keep some sort of record of out-of-stock items. The page would still be there, a backorder button would be present, and there would be some form of indication or the other that the product, at the very least, even existed at some point of time… but for some odd reason, they don’t.

We even had the DQ6 in a saved wishlist on NewEgg, and it just vanished from the wishlist without a warning or notification – only the 200-dollar less total alerted us to its absence – whereas an nVidia 8800 GTX model that was currently out of stock presented us with a colored warning in bold, red text at the top of the page.

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