joska wrote: Portage/emerge is a rather extreme example though, doesn't it actually compile the packages from source when installing?
That is the default behaviour, yes. But portage can create and install binary packages too. But, the problem is that portage is a python applicatioan a thus it is extremely slow even in its internal tasks like parse some package database and then print something on the screen.
Personally I find MiNT+XaAES to be an excellent way of running GEM-stuff under multitasking, and it's also a lot easier to develop software for MiNT than TOS as it offers a lot more functionality. But I'm not very fond of much of the ported unix stuff.
In ninetees I have had very polished MInt+N_AES setup on my Falcon. I used several fullscreen virtual consoles + desktop switchable via ALT+Fx keys. I used console programs for ftp, iCQ, telnet and of course many useful utilities like ping, traceroute, top, etc.. It ran smoothly on overclocked 14MB F030. Sometimes I compiled some smaller application and it was not that slow. I actaully learned lot of linux on that setup