Earlier, I was looking for an OpenWRT version that could run my Linksys WRT54G. This is where I found out that the hardware version of my router (“8”) isn’t supported. Aw. Apparently, Linksys switched to a propriety embedded OS, the [infamous] VxWorks. Aw2.
There are holy wars being fought about routers, particularly which one sucks and which one doesn’t. Personally, I haven’t had many issues with Linksys hardware and the WRT54 I bought this summer (no review!) was a piece of cake to set-up. I wished I had bought the one with that extra USB slot, though.
Talking about that infamous VxWorks: it’s a real-time operating system (Wikipedia) which is competing hard against Microsoft’s Mobile/CE platform. It’s apparently ported to many processors and it powers (and powered) most likely your favourite spacecraft, including the Mars Pathfinder mission. There’s an interesting anecdote about how the software almost threw a kink in the cable, detailed in this article at Microsoft Research (with an interesting follow-up from the JPL).