One thing you gotta say about open source platforms – the hackers LOVE them! Today ASUS move more in line with the intentions of the GPL for Linux and released the source code for the operating system on the ASUS Eee. The whole source code. Openly available to all and everyone. (as a side note, can you imagine the source code for Vista being made publicly available for free?) In addition, ASUS has stated that they will be releasing and SDK for developers.
By making the full source code for all parts of the customized Xandros Linux distribution available publicly, ASUS has really created a tempting platform for the software hacking community. For only $399 you can get a nice, compact, fully featured system that you can totally customize. How cool is that? It makes me want to get an Eee just so that I can customize my OS install and recompile my kernel for the features I want. I already have Linux distros running on a couple of old laptops at home, but this would provide a glimpse into how one company decided to optimize an efficient Linux install for a small system. This would have been fascinating to me when I was taking my Operating Systems class back in college. What a teaching tool!
Of course, the hacker community hasn’t been content with the hardware on the ASUS Eee any more than they’ve been satisfied with the software. Tnkgrl has been doing all sorts of fascinating things with hardware mods for the Eee. (Yes, I’m sure her warranty is void by now!) The best hack – adding an internal USB Bluetooth solution. How’s that for a tasty mod? Arstechnica also has a great review/mod tips that covers additional "tweaks" for this platform (see page 5).
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