Re: I was once called in to the bosses PC
"OK I know some one will come up with a version of linux you can self compile to do the same trick, so I expect a few downvotes."
No downvote, but an upvote instead, coz in general I agree.
Aboriginal Linux might be a start for that sort of thing. http://landley.net/aboriginal/about.html Development for it finished last year, but it's still usable. I've used it to build an OS for an embedded device.