You can get a remarkably similar effect today with tmpfs, in fact I'm writing this on a
root-on-tmpfs machine. I store my root fs as a tar file so it can be read and written without
much disk seeking. I have a paltry 8GB of RAM, but it's more than enough for the 2.7G rootfs,
which takes about a minute to load/dump. It's dumped every night, and I even have apcupsd
start a dump when the power goes out. I've been running this way since about November of 2005
with no problems, and it's FAST!