It took a considerable amount of time, mostly because a lot of the software I was using in Debian isn’t really available in ConnochaetOS, at this point in time.
Which means I have to build it on a surrogate system, and then transplant it into the Mebius. Much like this, to start with at least.
It probably sounds worse than it is: yaourt in Arch can grab PKGBUILDs, which I can build in a chrooted system on the core duo. After that, I just sync a package directory over my home network.
I suppose if I really wanted to measure the improvement in speed between Debian and something Arch-aligned, I would have done this in two or three steps.
I should have built one system again and compared it speed-wise, then changed machines and built the same system twice, and so forth.
Because the net result of moving to a slightly faster machine and more memory and a different distro and a framebuffer driver specific to the video card … has been a giant burst of speed.
“Giant” being relative of course, since we’re talking about 15-year-old computers here.
But yes, boot times are considerably faster. The framebuffer refresh rate is vastly improved. Applications snap between “windows” in screen. I get no artifacts.
And so on. It doesn’t really match my Crux systems for overall snappiness, but in terms of ease of setup and minimal maintenance, this is very pleasing.
But too many things changed at once, and I don’t dare suggest one distro or another has improved things for me.
In the mean time I’m fishing around for a new home for the 120Mhz machine, and the 133Mhz machine. I’m overstocked on outdated computers and I am anticipating newcomers. Time to make space.