Don’t look now, but if you have an i586 machine (particularly an old one), you might be able to make a little progress in returning your machine to the fray. proc on the Arch forums has taken the initiative to recast the Lowarch project, and described some success in creating current packages tuned to that architecture.
If we’re lucky (because I too am in the same boat), that could mean a proper revision of Arch for i586s, for the first time since around late 2006. And considering that some of these old machines are becoming hard to find, it might be an opportunity to put your antique back on the front line again.
Of course first, you’ll have to scrape that centimeter of dust off the case.