Friday, August 13, 2010

Can you surf the internet without loading the OS on your computer?

Like the Singaporean would ask, "Can?". And like the Singaporean would answer in excitement, "Can Laaaa!".

All you need is the software called Winki. Winki can be run off a disc or from a USB drive after selecting the disc or the USB drive as your first boot device in your BIOS.

The program is offered by MSI when you buy one of their motherboards. Although I didn't give it much thought at the beginning I decided to try it anyway. I didn't realise what a pleasant surprise awaited me.

If your BIOS is set to boot from the optical drive (your CD/DVD drive) on your PC, you can invoke Winki from the CD. No need of running your OS. Cool isn't it? The only gripe was that you need to enter the IP addresses of your Network, Subnet Mast, Gateway and DNS Server each time you do this. However it is possible that using Winki via the USB drive may permit saving these fields so that it is not asked of you each time you use Winki. Also your computer needs to be hooked to the internet either via an external modem or via wi-fi. If you are using a dialer on your computer to connect the computer, obviously Winki is of no use.

The internet was blazingly fast. Besides surfing the net (Winki uses Firefox) you can also view photos on your flash drive (pen drive), use the built in Skype, use one of the many Messengers, edit documents (Word, Excel and Powerpoint) using Open Office, tweak volume, set monitor resolutions, set language etc.,

Once you are done you can simply power off and you don't have to touch the OS of your computer. Neat.

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