I am new to linux and have been working with a contractor on an custom embedded platform. He was maintaining the OS and I was writing the applications.
He has since moved on(leaving us high and dry) and I am trying to figure out what to do next. I am using a Gumstix(PXA255) and I have two different images one based on a MMC(for production) and other CF(for debugging)

We do not have the source code for the OS but eventually he has to release it because it is based off of debian.
Couple of questions: What should I be doing to learn the necessary skills to be more knowledgable about the OS itself?
The CF has apache and solid network access and the MMC does not have apache and the network access is very unstable. They were designed that way per their applications above. I now need Apache and a robust network capability for the MMC. Is it possible for me to do this myself and what steps would I need to take? or should we just trying to get a linux professional in here?

Side Note: This is the contractor's custom linux distro. I know that he owns the trademark a la Redhat but can we get the source from him or do we just have to wait for him to release it then we can fork from there.


Thanks,
A noob