I received my WSP in the mail today, and my intentions are to use the WSP as a livingroom mp3 player. While it's been shipping, I've been going over alternate methods of doing this. (I'm still at work; my gf called to let me know it arrived.) There are several options for installation that I've been considering;
1. Install an IDE controller and hook up a hard drive with Windows 9x internally. The simplest solution, but may cause several issues. Heat inside the case and inside my stereo rack may be prohibitive. Also, there may not be physical room for the card(s) and a hard drive (I have a couple standard 3.5" HD's lying around).
2. Get the on-board IDE controller working. That only fixes the problem with space for an extra card, not the heat. It would also be impossible for me to do; I'd have to get a friend to do it.
3. Install an operating system on the DOC that can read a networked drive for mp3s, and possibly use it to boot off of as well.
Case 3 is what I've been hoping to do. This way, I only have to monkey with software on the DOC and then I'm home free.
I've been reading the threads and it seems that getting a working OS into 16 megs is a real problem.
QNX would be ideal because of its small footprint. Unfortunately, I don't think it's been officially released as free for home use yet (sometime in May the web site says?)
Windows 95 OSR2 or 98 don't trim down small enough.
Windows 95a supposedly works, but there's no file listing to support this, or a posted image.
Linux can remote boot, but I don't know enough about it and I don't want to set up a dedicated Linux box at home to handle it.
BeOS would be cool, but there's been no followup on that.
I can see a couple options here.
Buy a larger DOC. The manual and the website of the manufacturer say they support up to 144mb DOC. This would be the expensive option.
Or, the angle I've been thinking of is to try to boot Windows (or BeOS?) from the DOC over an SMB connection, off a server on your LAN.
Follow my thinking and tell me if I'm crazy.
Install an IDE controller card and hard drive with a NIC and the \win98 directory already on it. Boot to the hard drive and run Windows setup. Get Windows up and running. Test the NIC; see if you can browse to other SMB shares on your LAN. Configure your network for internet access.. whatever you want this machine to do once it's done. When you've made all the changes you want to make on your machine, copy your entire hard drive to a directory on your server.
Next, make your websurfer boot to DOS and not run Windows. Install Microsoft's LanMan on the websurfer. Configure it to mount the remote directory where you copied Windows. Once you can mount to that directory, make your DOC bootable to DOS. Copy all the files necessary to boot LanMan. Disable the hard drive and try to boot to DOS from the DOC, and see if you can access the windows share on your server. If you can, try to boot Windows.
If it works, awesome!! There may be registry/file changes you have to make to get Windows to boot off this new drive mapping. The LanMan thing might cause problems with Windows as well. You might be able to monkey with boot settings to get the drive letters to match up before and after.
I haven't tried this yet, but it sounds like it might work.