friend to all oses



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Josh Baker discovers the universe
Blog URL: http://supremeedible.blogspot.com/
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Blog Summary: Details of my adventures through the universe; including posts on things such as science and mathematics, music, and (shock!) life on Earth. Enjoy, or, if you prefer, don't.
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Post: friend to all oses / Jan, 2007

friend to all oses


To be good at Scrabble, it's necessary to know all legal two-letter words, because as anyone who has played Scrabble will know, they can work wonders for getting your word in exactly the right place. One obscure such is "os", which is a medical term for "bone". I have seen a list of all of them, and it includes names of letters (like "ar"), and this makes me feel sort of cheated. Those aren't words! No one ever spells them!

This article, however, is not meant to be about amicability towards bones, but rather towards operating systems. I can now claim to have all three major OSes installed: OS X on my MacBook, Windows XP through Boot Camp on my MacBook, and Linux on my .

Yes, we have all heard stories about how Linux can be ported to anything (I am told it has even been installed on a digital watch), and most of them are true. There's the GameCube, the DS and the Wii (for some reason Nintendo is particularly susceptible?), the XBox and, er... an electronic stethoscope. But most importantly, a version of the uClinux kernel has been available for the iPod for a few years now. Behold iPod Linux.

For some reason the second time I came across the website it struck me as the most brilliant idea ever, so I immediately installed it. It's actually a lot easier than it sounds, it doesn't void any warranties, and if your iPod is Mac formatted it does not even involve any partitioning or loss of data already on the iPod, so if you're curious you might as well give it a go. The Linux side as of yet has no stable release of a music player that can decode in real time (!), but for the novelty value it's a must. There is the terminal we all know and love, along with a bunch of silly little games (including Othello and Hunt The Wumpus, mind) and a simple writing program. Text entry in cumbersome, but there are about 20 text input methods to choose from, my favourite of which is tapping morse code on the centre button.

I've cranked out the C book in the hopes that I might be able to write modules for podzilla, the default GUI, but that's probably a dream. I have at least got Hello World working in the terminal. If I do figure it out though, I think I will finally start to feel like a programmer.

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