I've been meaning to try a source-based Linux distribution for some time. For those of you who aren't sure what that is, it's a distribution where you build all of the software from the source (and thus it is all optimized for your hardware). Josiah is a big fan of Gentoo, which is one such distribution.
My problem with Gentoo and other previous source based distributions is that they leave all of the configuration work for you to do yourself. I never have that much time. I'll admit it — I like my operating system to do most of the work for me. I'll tweak things when and if I have time, thank-you very much. Thus, up until today, I never even bothered trying a source-based distribution.
Then I started reading about OneBase Linux. OneBase is a source-based distribution that autodetects most of your hardware for you. It allows you to choose between source and binary packages at any time. This sounds pretty nice, I think. So, I fired up my test box (the Shuttle XPC I mentioned last fall) and gave it a freshly burned OneBase 2004-R2 CD. I booted the system up just about three and a half hours ago. The initial installation and compilation process took about two and a half hours. A few minutes ago I told it to start the next set of compilations (insanely simple to do — I want GNOME, so I typed olm -s gnome, and it does the rest).
At any rate, I'm anxiously awaiting the finish of these compiling tasks to see how usable this system turns out to be.