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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Perhaps this really is the future and we are finally starting to see why an OSS OS like Linux can make a difference to the future of technology for much more than just Cell Phones, TVs and BD players as it does today.

Seeing that my LG cell phone is like a dog with a crooked hind leg, a dirt slow boot with Symbian, it takes about 30-40 seconds to even start looking for towers. Embedded Linux might just be the best option to date.

A one second boot of a QT based gui is something rather special. Yes it is highly optimized but that is what devs do and is why Linux is so great... you can optimize the core to your own needs, without having to spend gobs of money to let you do it. I suspect that Android is only the beginning of the revolution.

My dream is of a custom music notation capable tablet that just switches on and takes my composition on the screen as I tap in the notes to a music stave. Then be able switch to a larger interface to save the phrase to my score and edit in a lyric or polyphonic voice(s).

As things stand today the best way to compose from your head is with paper.

<!-- non obligatory content to follow so you can skip this rant if you wish
<rant>

Music notation software is hopelessly slow, and using a piano keyboard like on a iPad with midi is best left to the plethora of musically illiterate composers already out there. Not that there are no real composers left that actually read music and write that with a computer and midi but trust me it is slow and hopelessly inaccurate!... also having to put-out 500-1000 dollars for a temporary software license (that only lasts as long as a Windows or Mac release) to put real music notation software on a single computer really sucks.
</rant> -->

In the future perhaps dedicated purpose specialized tablet OSes could easily do more and more things that only really complicated expensive software does for the user today. This is what I hope happens but only if some companies start taking their head out of the sand.

I just wish software company like Finale or Sibelius had the foresight to see this possibility. Because Linux is an open Os they could actually produce real physical products that use their closed binaries instead of just sitting on their cans and pulling in software revenues ala Microsoft's vision.

They do not seem to realize that if they put their binary on a chip there is no reason for them to release the source, they are only obligated to release any modifications that they make to the actual libraries that they link to not the core software that they actually write!

I would very seriously consider buying single purposed tablets or tablet roms from them. Considering the portability, ease of use and capability of tablet computers.

If I need a work or social media computer I could just have different version of the same OS on the same device.

Or have just have another different less expensive single OS device at my disposal for spread sheets and other less processor intensive activities like e-mail and social media.

I know Windows and Mac users do not understand what dual booting is by and large, but they would love it on a tablet if it could do things really fast for different purposes!

So having more than one boot rom or interchangeable external chip to choose from on a single device would sure make sense.

The article was also talking in turns of chip access times which are currently starting to make external chip boot times more and more attractive.

Just my way of seeing the future but it sure would be great for the arts, and the future of high-tech for real applications.
 

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That video was really an ad/commercial. :rolleyes: Embedded Linux is all over the place already, such as in a variety of HDTVs that power on rapidly.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That video was really an ad/commercial. :rolleyes: Embedded Linux is all over the place already, such as in a variety of HDTVs that power on rapidly.
Yes my Samsung DLNA runs busy-box and even the Sony my Daugter has is a linux box.

Though her Sony tv will do AVCHD through DLNA but the Samsung guys are too cheap to buy a license from Sony! So I guess the current video format wars are going to hold some companies back in high end features.

What I was trying to get across is the idea of purposed tablets and how quick boot roms could really change the way software is distributed.

For instance just imagine being able to buy a single purpose software external boot chip that can do whatever because the OS is on the chip and not just on the device. The company that sells the chip is not charging for the OS it is charging for their own software to run on the device!

No question it can easily be done and could revolutionize the way software is distributed. I could go to music store to buy my notation software chip and to an office supply or Future Shop to buy my device with or without an OS.

This could stand Microsoft on its head trying to figure out why their business plans have just become redundant and totally out of date!
 

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All you need, Linux or other OS, is to load a ram image from storage, and when needed, a full boot (and refresh of RAM image).
 

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That's not needed either. The O/S just needs to be in ROM and be started. The only thing that needs to be in RAM are tables and other data that are initialized at boot time and modified in operation. I guess you guys have never worked with a PC that has MS-Basic in ROM, like early IBM PCs. They had about a one second boot time, and that was with a 5MHz processor not GHz like today's systems. Most modern embedded systems should work the same way, that is if they don't already. The big difference is in the size of the O/S in memory, which is measured in MB these days instead of KB.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
not what I was trying to get accross

That's not needed either. The O/S just needs to be in ROM and be started. The only thing that needs to be in RAM are tables and other data that are initialized at boot time and modified in operation.
And yes I have run punch cards into a system before we graduated to a vax. Then got my first IBM/msdos data inventory work in the early 80s..though I will say I much preferred the speed and ease of vax and thought the warehouse inventory system sucked without it!

In fact it is what made me quit and go drive truck and teach music. Which though not as lucrative was definitely the right decision at the time.

Booting a live distro kernel from usb has become almost bearable. With the advances in memory access times to external devices and the reliability of removable media improving, there is no reason why in the future we could not see a simple bios rom booting an external device at a speed that would be acceptable to the user.

This way custom tuned kernels could do much more complicated things like pass instructions from music notation software effectively and at lightning speed.

The days of having to install an os other than a bios access enabling core are numbered. Thank God. Think of it this way the kernel can be partly in the bios and part of the specialized software. Remember the Asus short excursion into a bios that had an internet capable interface? You can bet some major software company put pressure on Asus so Asus put the kibosh on that venture real quick ...did anyone ever buy the device or was it really just vapor?

Tablets fortunately are not vapor and I think Google getting involved in the market might speed the adoption of a more sensible and innovative approach to computing. if Microsoft does not decide to do something really vicious like assert patent right on NTFS and FAT32.

They have in past threatened Linux embedded distributors with this. Heck my Samsung tv which is embedded Linux Busy-Box does NTFS through usb..so I am not too worried about that happening......But you never know if Microsoft's stock starts to tank and Ballmer goes completely nuts all bets are off;)

Eric
 

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There are lots of embedded Linux systems that are optimized already. The size of Linux has ballooned and boot times slowed to a crawl in order to please Windows users who want tons of hardware support and features built in. Having thousands of people contributing code hasn't helped either.

One of the things that slows Linux, or any PC OS, boot times down is hardware enumeration. That can be skipped with embedded systems since there is a known, very small set of hardware. That doesn't help, of course, if the hardware itself takes too long to initialize. Drivers can be built into the kernel, like earlier, faster Linux distros. Another thing that slows down Linux is sheer size. That's part of the cause for slow USB flash boot times. Leave out all the unnecessary drivers, services and features then that alone speeds boot times.

I agree that embedded systems, like phones, should boot quickly and most do. OTOH, when users demand hundreds of features and thousands of apps on a pocket device, that is going to impact performance. It's like any software designed and built by committee. It's going to be slow, bloated and overpriced. In this case, the "committee" consists of thousands or millions of end users. As an analogy, an ordinary cell phone is like a small, fast text editor while a modern PDA is like MS Office.
 

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classicsat said:
All you need, Linux or other OS, is to load a ram image from storage, and when needed, a full boot
The best embedded systems make use of direct EEPROM-based static binaries and assembler programming in Real Time with very little need for RAM use. There are flavours of Linux that do all that very well. :)
 
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