At least some of yesterday and today have been spent beginning an installation of Gentoo Linux. Gentoo Linux is a build from source distribution which (in theory) allows you to fully customise not only the sofware you wish to install, but to optimise it for your particular hardware through the use of compiler switches and flags.
Its initially a fairly small download for a broadband connection, but don’t let that fool you – it takes a loooong time to install. For example, after leaving the machine running most of the night on Sunday, and a couple of hours work tonight, I now have a basic command line Linux installed (which unfortunately won’t boot properly from Grub – although if I enter the grub command line and set options manually, it will).
I’m now building X – which I suspect will take ages given that the compressed source code is 25Mb! Ah well.
UPDATE: X built, and after some tweaking appears to work. So I decided to build KDE. When I shut down the machine this morning, it had been building for about 6 hours and was roughly half-way through the list of packages,although hopefully some of the chunkier ones – the libraries for example – were in those 6 hours. All I can say is it had better work.