This might be hard to believe — it is for me — but the same Arch installation I put on my Thinkpad back in September is still in place, rolling right along through every update without stuttering or failing ever. I’m one of those people who installs and reinstalls as a matter of habit, sometimes because I need to, sometimes because I have to and sometimes just because I’m bored. It’s a good way to learn how things work. (Of course, some people think it makes me boring. That’s possibly true. )
I never tweaked it or modified it or installed anything but the standard, vanilla packages from Arch, and it’s never been anything but perfect. In one way it’s a testament to the stability of the distro; granted this isn’t a very cutting edge machine (seven years old and running Openbox at 550Mhz isn’t exactly the high point of the technological wave), but the premise still holds true. If you’re living under the misconception — as I did, for a long time — that an Arch machine is somehow less stable or more inclined to break than, say, Ubuntu … well it’s not just me that thinks otherwise.
All that being said I think it’s time for a change. For one thing this Thinkpad is the only machine in the house with a proper Japanese keyboard, and setting up SCIM in Arch was a breeze on it. In its role as music machine it was underemployed though, and I’d like to start using it as a distro guinea pig — the difference between this and my usual lab rat, a 450Mhz K6-2, is … well, not terribly great. It sounds like a step up to my ear, but that’s mainly the psychological importance I place on 500Mhz, as a round number.
The plan right now is to put Crux on it once — probably only once, then see how things go from there. After that, I want to use it for Hardy, and maybe elsewhere from there. This is why I have more than one computer, of course.
In the mean time my OLPC machine will manage streaming audio and playing music over the network, which it handles quite well and has perfect sound quality. Best of all, I can flip the screen around, lay it flat and with my nifty Joe Power USB minimouse, I can use it vaguely like a tablet PC. Space saved is always appreciated.
I’ll have to think of something clever and dramatic to say as a eulogy, in the last days of a 6-month-old installation that went all the way back to my old 0.7.2 installation CD. As I start up my DBAN CD, that is.