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3rd International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services — Abstract

Pp. 65–78 of the Proceedings

Awarded Best Paper!

Reincarnating PCs with Portable SoulPads

Ramón Cáceres, Casey Carter, Chandra Narayanaswami, and Mandayam Raghunath, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center


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 along 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.
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