Geeking Out Part 2

In my last post, I wrote about my struggles against Windows Vista and provided an example in a clip from Akira. So, I’d like to start this post with this little gem:

That’s some funny stuff right there! Anyway, fighting with the multi-boot on the Toshiba laptop got me to thinking. There was smoke. I had to take a break before I overheated the old brain. But, I thought wouldn’t it be cool if you could set up a simultaneous multi-boot system? Like there could be several operating systems that you could boot into at the same time and toggle between them if you wanted to. With the hardware that’s out there now, there’s plenty of power to be had for such systems. And, as many boot managers as I’ve seen or heard of, and as many multi-boot anecdotes you can find on the interwebtron with a quick Google search, I’ve never heard of anybody doing this.

But, it wouldn’t be that hard. Initially I thought that maybe somebody could write up what would essentially be a very lean and rudimentary OS that would manage a set of hardware emulators with BIOSes if necessary. I was musing about who I might know that would be up to scripting something like that when it dawned on me. All the software components are already out there and really only need to be put together.

If one was so inclined, one could easily install Damn Small Linux on a machine and strip it down to bare essentials. I’d want to leave no unnecessary applications on it at all. I’d probably leave the Fluxbox window manager and make sure it had enough drivers to run the hardware and peripherals. Then, install VirtualBox, QEMU, and/or PearPC. DSL runs so lean that I bet you could get nearly full speed out of a virtually hosted operating system through a good set up on one or more of the above emulators. Then, I wonder how well the virtual machines would get along with each other and the rest of the network. The fact of the matter is that I’ve got a spare PC with decent resources that needs a hard drive – which are getting cheaper and cheaper to attain. I’ve also got a spare copy of XP, one of OSX 10.3, and Linux is free all over the place.

I’m kind of thinking that I have to give this a try. I don’t know how useful it will be, but for the sheer novelty of it if nothing else. I’m not going to do it right now, as I’ve got other things to focus my time and energy on at the moment. But still, could be cool.

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