What kind of horsepower would it take to run a simple, dedicated Mail/Safari/Address Book/iCal/iSync-only device?
Would an operating system be needed, or could it just be the programs themselves (no Finder to speak of). The device is either off or on, running one of the above programs. A modified, "lite" version of OS X, minus the eye-candy and deep level graphics, networking, calculating muscle? Just a basic shell to run the above stuff nicely?
If no USB and FireWire, does that simplify things greatly (clutter, power requirements, system needs, etc.). A "closed" box, with only AirPort and Bluetooth connectivity? Would help to push/spur more people to rigging up their homes via AirPort instead of running cables everywhere, right?
Could something the size of a 12" iBook screen and the depth of a 40GB iPod hold enough "guts" to properly run such a thing? One of those small Toshiba iPod hard drives or other small storage, a throttled-back G4, basic 32MB graphics(?), AirPort card, Bluetooth module, board, etc.? No Ethernet, FireWire, USB, speakers, optical drive, modem or video out ports.
Just a slim, consumer iWhite thing, with kick-ass handwriting capability? No ports, no holes. Sleek, thin, etc. Able to get online and manage contacts and Sync to/from your other Mac(s)?
I was just wondering how that kind of thing worked...I don't know what's required to "make a computer".