Storage Informer
Storage Informer

and on getting heckled

by on Jul.24, 2009, under Storage

Moblin – the Web2.0 OS – and on getting heckled

I gave a chalk talk yesterday on Moblin at OSCON 2009, the Open Source Convention in San Jose. This was a no slides white-board chat about what&aposs cool in Moblin, where is the future going, and what are the ways people can collaborate and participate.

I touched on some of the high points of what makes Moblin great as an OS design *for* netbooks, rather than adapted to them as an afterthought. I had one heckler yell at me from a neighboring booth (more on this later) and shared my little epiphany about Web 2.0 and Moblin.

  • Fast boot – Moblin in its current form has a goal to boot in 8 seconds from when the BIOS finishes its work to the moment the CPU and Disk are truly idle and able to do useful work. I talked about some of the really hard work and some tricks we use to achieve this.
  • Fast shutdown – I commented on how quick Moblin is to shut down, just hit the power switch and it&aposs off within a few seconds. I mentioned that when you want to turn off your cell phone, TV, whatever, you hit the power switch, and it&aposs the same with netbooks on Moblin.
  • User Experience – I refered to the great work that the guys at Opened Hand have done to make an amazing user experience.
  • Web 2.0 – it&aposs built in, in fact it&aposs a fundamental part of the OS experience.
  • The heckling came when I mentioned fast shutdown. You see Moblin doesn&apost have a shutdown "button" or anything in the OS. We just use the power button from the netbook itself. I began kidding around and saying, "I remember one particular OS, which will remain nameless, in which you had to hit the &aposStart&apos button to &aposStop&apos the computer."

    From the next booth, I hear a call, "Hey! We&aposre listening here!". Yes, the booth next door was the Microsoft booth. Hey, I didn&apost mention the OS, did I? Guess they&aposre just sensitive.

    But the epiphany I shared on Web 2.0 was three or four years ago when I sent an email to one of my teen-age daughters, and then asked her a few days later if she had seen it.

    "No, Dad; I don&apost look at my email every day!"

    What? How can this be? A technologically plugged-in student who isn&apost addicted to mail? But then I realized that for the generation after mine that email is really dead as a communication tool. Blogs and IM have taken its place.

    Fast forward to today, and blogs are just about dead too – Twitter, Flickr and Facebook have taken their place of prominence because of their immediacy.

    And Moblin 2.0 is designed with social media as a core and foundational part of the experience of the OS. It&aposs been years since browsing alone was the core of the operating system. I&aposm amused to see that even today, there are OS&aposs announced which a little more than a browser on a simple OS, and this creates all kinds of excitement. In fact, having social media integrated at a fundamental level is what makes me so excited about Moblin.


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