ASRock has a ploy to sell more of its motherboards: Instant Boot. The BIOS update for select MoBos promises to boot XP or Vista systems 10 times faster than standard PCs -- in other words, about 3 to 4 seconds from a full shutdown. ASRock achieves this minor of miracles through manipulation of the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface that Microsoft manipulates for its sleep and hibernate modes. At the risk of oversimplification, ASRock appears to add the processing baggage to the backend of the shutdown process, essentially rebooting the OS and then dropping it into a suspended state ready to instantly pop on the next time you hit the power button. Pretty smart actually. Here's the catch: the system you're using must be limited to a single user account without any password protection -- a definite no-no for corporate environments. See what happens when Hugo and George steal Dad's camcorder after the break.

[Thanks, Daniel]