- Upgrade from Ubuntu 12.04 LTS to 14.04 LTS. Yeah, I know, I'm not exactly a fast follower here, but I like my machines to work. Waiting a while to update to the next long term support release feels smart. I let others work out the kinks for a while before moving up.
- Changed from 32 bit version to 64 bit version. I tried 64 bit a while back - probably in the 10.04 era - and had no end of trouble with software not being available in 64 bit, or not working properly. It appears those issues are now resolved.
- Changed the boot disk from a standard hard disk to a solid state disk. Just a small one (128 MB) from Crucial but plenty big for the OS and swap space.
Boot time is substantially improved, though the POST on this motherboard still takes forever.
Apps load faster. Much faster. All that I/O wait while Chrome loaded for the first time is gone. Or rather, it's not gone, but I don't note it happening anymore.
Even simple things like working with email and playing YouTube videos are faster and smoother. I'm not sure why that is, but it seems to be.
This system has a new lease on life, which is a good thing. I hate buying new computers and this one should go another two years easy now. Maybe more than that.