Have You Heard of AUSTRUMI Linux?
I haven't thought of AUSTRUMI in quite a while. My memories of it are tiny, tiny, fast, fast, yet up-to-date able work on modern hardware (modern at the time). Then it fell off my radar around version 1.5.0 released in 2007. But 2.3.3 was just released a few days ago, so it was time to see its latest incarnation.
AUSTRUMI is Slackware-based distribution that hails from Latvia. Yes, that's a country; in the general vicinity of Lithuania, Sweden, and the western Russian border. It ships as an installable live CD (to HDD or USB) with support for several languages. It was once about a 30 MB download, but these days it is 199 MB. It comes with Linux 18.104.22.168, Xorg X Server 1.10.0, GIMP 2.6.11, Opera 11.10, LibreOffice 3.3.2, and lots (relatively speaking) of other handy applications. It includes several server applications as well as system tools and utilities. AUSTRUMI also ships with NVIDIA and ATI/AMD proprietary drivers, although the choice of using Open Source drivers is available to boot. Another boot time option is whether to run it completely in RAM or not as well as your preferred language and several other options.
It comes with a very attractive FVWM desktop with transparency and a nice titlebar, clock, and quicklauncher on the side as well as a pretty theme and wallpaper. They've also used Conky to display some machine statistics across the top of the screen.
I tested this release on an older laptop with only 512 MB of RAM. I loaded Austrumi into RAM at boot, so as one might hope it is still fast despite the low RAM. The X Server was configured automagically, but I had to configure the Internet connection manually.
The project has a fairly useful Website. They feature support for several languages, a FAQ, a list of the included software, and a user support forum. It even has a gallery of screenshots.
I still think AUSTRUMI is a pretty cool little ole distro. It's fun to use and a little off the beaten path. Give it a try this weekend.