Edit: Okay, this topic I see has been merged with another topic. For posterity and clarity, here is the title of the topic I created, which has now been merged into this topic:
An Idea - Bootable USB Synth/Seq/etc - Turn an old laptop into an otherwise OS’less synth machine
I have a dream… Well okay, it’s more just an idea that I’ve had for a while. The world is full of old laptops and some of these can be (and obviously are) used for making music, but the traditional OS+DAW set-up just seems so unappealing when compared to the immediacy of a standalone box synth/sequencer (say from someone like Elektron for example).
I like the idea of a USB bootable drive that has a synth/sampler/sequencer app-OS installed on it (with some persistent section on the stick to save your work). No internet, no other crap, simplified graphics and some basic settings to tweak.
You stick your USB stick into whatever husk of a laptop/pc you have and into a music fiddling/noisemaking app, no other messing about with an OS at all.
I understand that this would mean that this bootable app-OS would need to have a vast array of different drivers to accommodate most of the different machines out there. I also understand that there is a vast difference in what you’ll be able to do on a modern machine compared to an ancient netbook or something. So there would be a number of obstacles to overcome. It’s not going to suit all computers and yes, some computers will require some some bios fiddling.
I often use old pocket/portable computers with Sunvox, which I love and it allows me to remap the numeric and letter keys as notes on a traditional keyboard, so that in a crude way I can play a qwerty keyboard as a piano keyboard. It would be good to be able to do something similar with a bootable app-OS. I’m not sure I’d want to recreate Sunvox, but it’s a way to look at what this app-OS could be like.
I also like this idea from the point of view of having a really affordable and easy to get hold of music making device for everyone and anyone. So yeah, it’s just a laptop, but with the stick booted, it’s not doing anything other than being a relatively immediate synth/sampler/sequencer (or however it evolves). Also, I guess this could be an installable thing. No need to leave it in the realm of purely a USB bootable thing.
I’m also not exactly a developer… but I think I’d like explore this idea and see how far I can get.