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Boot from internet

BIOS option to load system software from the network with a default operating system online
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Computers with a network connection, including a wireless one, should be able to signal to the internet that they need to boot and be provided with an immediately downloadable live operating system with internet or network access given the right option, and the internet should _somehow_ have code on it which does this. How to get round different instruction sets and hardware i have no idea, and i'm sure this has horrible security implications and a need to reinvent the networking wheel.

This would mean that anyone with an internet connection effectively has a free-ish operating system and can use their device even if its storage is knackered.

I envisage something very basic, text-based or maybe not even that, which needs minimal resources. Storage of data could be online. Perhaps there could be a Java-like virtual machine which could enable this.

nineteenthly, Dec 31 2011

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       You've just pretty much describe Google Chromium.   

       Ultra-thin-client systems are Baked.   

       Suggested for deletion, Widely Known To Exist.
8th of 7, Dec 31 2011
  

       Booting from at least a network drive is an option on my ca 2003 PC.
RayfordSteele, Jan 01 2012
  

       Network yes, but that's not what i'm suggesting here. I'm suggesting that there is a separate protocol which devices can use which enable them to load a rudimentary operating system from the internet, which they can do as if they're booting from a network drive, and that this is simple. Not just network booting. It's not something you have to opt into, it's always there as an option.
nineteenthly, Jan 01 2012
  

       Frankly, I'm sick and tired from being booted from the Internet. I thought we had it licked when we got rid of dial-up, but now us hicks have to deal with sattelite- internet, which boots us off whenever it's going to rain next Wednesday. Now you're proposing an option to voluntarily boot myself? As much as I like to be in control of things, I think I'll pass, thanks.
Alterother, Jan 01 2012
  

       Boot from walkie-talkie?
nineteenthly, Jan 01 2012
  

       Or from shortwave radio?
pocmloc, Jan 01 2012
  

       Maybe, yes. I was also thinking a Morse key might be useful. Sort of lost control of the creative process here.
nineteenthly, Jan 01 2012
  

       Ah well there you go: a Morse key and a transcription of the OS into Morse code.
FlyingToaster, Jan 01 2012
  

       But how is the morse boot to be on demand? Eager ham operators waiting patiently for the telltale machine enquiry?
pocmloc, Jan 01 2012
  

       It would be on a piece of paper tape which is springloaded. When you plug the thing into the internet, a signal is sent down the line to an electromagnet which releases a clamp holding it down and the tape speeds under a metal brush completing and interrupting a circuit connected to a transmitter.
nineteenthly, Jan 02 2012
  
      
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