Against my better judgement, I am still poking around with the 560e, but with not much more to report than a few botched attempts to install Puppy Linux, alongside a few botched attempts to boot Puppy Linux.
I can’t account for why Puppy wouldn’t boot at 166Mhz, and I’m fairly sure it wasn’t the size of the initrd this time. But after a blinking cursor that simply pulsed at me for about five minutes, I decided there wasn’t anything else to be learned.
I certainly don’t hold it against Puppy though — now that is a fine piece of ultralight software. In it’s vanilla form (which is anything but vanilla) it can run at a decent pace on machines as slow as 550Mhz or slower, and requires less than 256Mb to run completely from memory. It looks good, it sets itself up well, and it’s a healthy mix of speed and function.
Between Puppy Linux and Slitaz your low-end hardware needs — provided they can struggle to a graphical desktop — are probably covered. I know there are other options out there, but if you have only two blank CDs and don’t want to waste a lot of bandwidth on distros with vague aspirations and little to show for them, those are the two I’d suggest.
In the mean time I’m going to inspect a couple other low-end distributions, and see if they have any luck getting started, and then see if they have any luck bringing up a graphical environment. I know that even if X rears its ugly head at 166Mhz it will be a disappointment, but I have to keep chasing this one for some reason. Don’t ask me why.