Saturday, May 10, 2008

Vault OS Update #20 : How To Make Old, Crappy, Junk Hardware Without A Hard Drive Run Off A Compact Flash or USB Device

If you've been paying attention, you will discover we have already shown you how to get a version of Win98SE running on old hardware devices out of less than 32 MB. Now, for the remaining mystery, how to boot a laptop or other vintage PC directly off a Flash memory device, see the link above in the header to actually get the software you will need.

It's common to be able to pick up a laptop or tablet which has had the clock battery die, hard drive pulled out and even the RAM removed for $1.00 or free. With a few tricks like we've steered you to on Vault-Co, you're going to be able to make these machines into way-cool intelligent networked terminals running our awesome Vault-OS this year. If you've gotten lucky like I have and you've scored a few of the high powered SBCs (Single Board Computers) in the Pentium range that are now becoming widely available for about $20.00 USD, you're going to be able to run file servers and dedicated archive points as well, all with the same program. Wait and see, it's going to be terrific.

If it seems like we've gone back to the dark side by including Windows in our OS foundation again, it's only because we got a lot of feedback to that effect recently. Almost everybody shuns the notion of networking under DOS and wants to have the default network capabilities that Windows provides users with, which most people also express a familiarity that gives them the confidence to hook terminals up with Ethernet cables.

The real sticking point was whether we were going to choose the convenience of .NET with all the installation headaches (40 MB run-time) that entails. We decided that a cross-platform native application that will initially run on Windows was a much better idea and our success in getting Compact Flash drives working have clinched it.

After Vault-OS is released with the source code, you are welcome to use Ultimate++ to compile it for whatever OS you want, including Linux, FreeBSD, Debian, WinCE, MacOS or even Solaris.

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