Friday, March 18, 2011

Making It Easy, Making It Work

As I've written before, the Android OS is beautiful, yet really not particularly useful for older computers; between its Linux kernel that requires Pentium series processors, to the lack of device drivers for older equipment, as it comes out of the box it still has a long way to go. There is also a lack of real applications that can store information locally on the device itself.
While I haven't tried it, it seems that the Chrome OS seems to have the same short comings.
Yet, they both have real potential. They have low RAM overhead, they can run on somewhat older equipment, and both have real easy to understand interfaces.
Definitely a step in the right direction.
What is desperately needed is that sort of thinking applied to more mainstream Linux. Imagine a lightweight interface similar to Android or Chrome running on trim, yet somewhat complete, kernel that supports older equipment. An entire generation of machines could be made useful once more.
Now imagine going one step further and taking this thinking to the other primary processor of that period, the PowerPC. Imagine an old iBook clamshell running a modern operating system effectively and smoothly.
Imagine if this interface could support lightweight Linux applications that normally require X Windows and would be capable of real work.
That is the direction we need to go.
Certainly sounds easy enough...

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