Toasters, ovens, and dishwashers are a few of the appliances found in our everyday lives. Though we are quite familiar with their use, few of us stop to think about how an appliance works under the hood, or even what makes an appliance, well, an appliance. This book defines an appliance as a device designed to primarily perform a single function. If you think about the appliances just mentioned, you'll see that this definition holds true—toasters toast, ovens bake, and dishwashers wash dishes. Compared to a PC, which is capable of performing thousands of diverse functions depending on the hardware and software installed, traditional appliances are boring and simple.

What does this have to do with Linux? For starters, traditional appliances ...

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