Well, I'm the one who was asking Marc the questions, and part of the frustration was that I'd helped him with an email problem, but got no response to my questions until I sent the 'stupid' email. Why did you -publish- this particular email Marc? As I subsequently told him, I've made significant progress since then. I'm starting from -no- embedded background after all (altho 6 years Linux experience).
Sure there's a place for commercial vendors, but I want to learn this stuff, and there's really no 'on-ramp' --or at least perspective-- in the wiki for n00bs.
I've realized that it's necessary to develop in an emulation environment, as opposed to directly on the target platform, and my choice is Scratchbox. I'm in the process now of setting up a target environment for the Via Nehemia (the old Cyrix 486), and the National Geode SC1100 x86 CPU. Into this, I want to install EmDebian.
The toolchain is already provided by Scratchbox, and I can also add a very basic Debian devkit if need be. But what's next? Where's EmDebian? The target flash can be as large as 64MB. I'd like to install an EmDebian environment with kernel 2.6.n, and support apps for the final functions. It would be nice as well to have QtEmbedded, a web server, and Radius client. Then I need to create an image which can be burned to CF flash for booting by the target platform. Are there instructions?