Wait a minute, you mean the linux KERNEL doesn't have to be re-written correct? I am fairly certain that unless you want to run just the kernel alone, you will have to make a customized distro which includes KDE, Gnome, fluxbox, or whatever WM customized to run on said netbook. Am I wrong?
Nope. You're quite correct!
If we don't live by bread alone, neither does a computer run by kernal alone. Virtually every system will need something more than the kernal to do anything.
Of course you don't need much more than that. The Splashtop
instant desktop is a great example of providing an instant-on capability by including a minimal Nix stack and small set of applications (browser, Skype, chat, etc.) on a motherboard-based chip.
Splashtop can give you a workable desktop in under ten seconds. If you do most of you work online - and you pair it with online backup and a web-based office application suite - Splashtop might even be all
Find out more about Splashtop here:http://www.splashtop...lashtop_overview.php
Splashtop can even be used independently
of your disk-based OS. You can run Splashtop for when you want quick connectivity to the web - and switch to you your regular disk bootup when you need the full power of your PC! It's a truly cool idea that's bound to attract a slew of imitators with improved offerings.
Shouldn't be too much of a stretch to take it a few steps further if desired. There are already many small or 'reworked' Linux distros that boot from USB flash drives that might be adapted fairly easily. One DIY example of creating a small bootable system using Puppy Linux can be found here:http://www.puppylinu....com/flash-puppy.htm
A quick web search, or a visit to www.pendrivelinux.com
will point you to dozens more. Re: Kernal Rewrites:
Not so much a case of rewriting the kernal as 'optimizing' it for a specific purpose, CPU architecture, or chipset. The general linux kernal includes support for a lot of things that may not be relevant on a certain hardware platform. When you "optimize" (a misnomer actually) you usually just get rid of whatever support in the kernal doesn't apply to what you're doing. Ubuntu calls it a 'remix' - which is actually a more accurate term for what they're doing.
Here's Ubuntu's take on the subject:http://www.canonical.../projects/ubuntu/nbr
What is Ubuntu Netbook Remix?
Ubuntu Netbook Remix is optimised to run on a new category of affordable Internet-centric devices called netbooks. It includes a new consumer-friendly interface that allows users to quickly and easily get on-line and use their favourite applications. This interface is optimised for a retail sales environment.
Canonical has collaborated with Intel and is working with a number of OEM's to deliver Ubuntu on netbooks in retail. In keeping with the philosophy of our best work being available to everyone, the core remix product is available to all through the Canonical repositories. This version is free to download and modify by any user.
What is a remix?
A remix is a 'respun' version of Ubuntu built for a specific purpose. Although Canonical has encouraged community projects to use this terminology for some time, this is the first time that Canonical has used it. We are using it to differentiate from an 'Edition' which we consider a complete version with daily builds suitable for the average user with no additional work beyond installing the CD. To use the Ubuntu Netbook Remix you need to install packages on top of an existing Ubuntu installation and you may have some compatibility issues depending on your hardware profile. For now we recommend it only for experienced Linux users or commercial OEMs and ODMs engage with Canonical for support and service offerings.
Of course there's absolutely no reason why Microsoft couldn't do something similar with Windows 7 unless the core code itself is monolithic and totally bloated.
Several years ago, I seem to remember seeing some small sub-notebooks about the size of the Asus Eee that booted almost instantly and ran Windows CE (Windows Mobile?). If I recall correctly, they did much the same things as today's netbooks. They had an OS, a simplified MS Office suite and some other goodies. The only thing they lacked was network capabilities and wireless.
So let's not count Microsoft out yet. They might not have to rewrite anything since they apparently had such a product years ago, only to let it wither on the vine.<<EDIT - made some minor edits to the paragraph that begins with "Shouldn't be too much of a stretch..." to include some stuff that I typed in originally, but forgot to post before I quit the editor. Sorry...long day >>