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's 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.
- < b>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's 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's 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's built in, in fact it's a fundamental part of the OS experience.
- came when I mentioned fast shutdown. You see Moblin doesn't 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 'Start' button to 'Stop' the computer."
- From the next booth, I hear a call, "Hey! We're listening here!". Yes, the booth next door was the
- booth. Hey, I didn't mention the OS, did I? Guess they're 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't look at my email every day!"
- What? How can this be? A technologically plugged-in student who isn't 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's been years since browsing alone was the core of the operating system. I'm amused to see that even today, there are OS's 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.