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Moka5 – infinite computers in your pocket


I’ve been playing with the new Moka 5 virtualisation software and it’s pretty cool. They call it ‘freedom computing’, but what they really mean is that you can install a Moka 5 ‘virtual’ computer to your iPod or USB drive, PC or whatever and then download and install any of a growing number of computer environments (called LivePCs) which are like small operating systems in a box.

So for instance you can install the basic LivePC engine on a USB pen drive and then install Ubuntu or MSDOS 7.0 or even a LAMP web server on there too. The latest environment on offer in the library is the OLPC, which you can use to experience what little kids in Africa will use when the cheap laptop arrives in their school. There are dozens of different environments you can choose from in the library, including games and applications environments, most of which are user created. The downside? It’s kind of sluggish to install new environments, even over a fast connection, and the system is not open source, so expect to start paying money once the free beta is done with. Which begs the question, who is going to buy something like this?

The nearest product I can think of is Mojopac, which lets you carry around a virtual image of your Windows environment on a USB device, and that has a clear market for people who need to access their stuff in multiple locations (especially teleworkers). But this product looks to be much more of a solution looking for a problem. Will we all need to carry around a Linux distribution for emergencies? If so, why not just install a Live version directly? Hmm…maybe great for geek testers, though. Anyway, time will tell. Check it out for yourself and have a play, it’s entertaining.

 What is the moka5 Engine? The moka5 Engine is a software application for subscribing to, downloading, and running LivePCs. LivePC Publishers can also use it to create and publish LivePCs. Our technologies let you use your LivePCs easily. You can even start using a LivePC before it is completely downloaded. Download the engine to try out some LivePCs.


  • To be honest I think you are selling them short a bit. I currently carry around a Ubunutu desktop 7.04 Feisty install complete with a VPN client, Firefox, Open Office, and Evolution. So in short I have the ability to connect to the office securely, run all normal office applications, and have a very complete email and web solution all on a 4gb USB drive.
    I pull the drive and I take everything with me, securely and leave no trace on the host computer. Without even trying I could use a much smaller distro of Linux like Puppy or Damn Small Linux and then put a very complete secure, encrypted environment in place and have gigabytes of space left for files. If linked with Google applications this is an amazing solution and much easier and oh, just FYI, I’ve done this with Windows XP as well so I didn’t even need to teach my clients Linux to solve my client’s issues. That’s technology evangelism at it’s finest!

  • Are you doing that using Moka 5 Dan, or just through a straight live Linux install onto the USB drive? That’s really my point. If you can do it anyway, why do you want to pay for Moka 5 just to have the convenience of swapping LivePC distros around as you feel like it? Don’t most of us just want to carry around a single familiar environment which we use all the time? I might be missing the point here…

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