I currently have a Pentium IV PC but I plan on buying a new computer; it will of course be x86_64 PC. I intend to use the same harddrive I'm using now, so I wonder how could I perform a transition from my current i686 system to an x86_64 one, or if Arch automatically detects it and auto updates everything (well, that last would be simply magnificent ).
I think the first issue you will run in to is that the interface for an old P4 hdd will probably not be the same as a new computer. Besides that, it will probably be vastly slower than what comes with a new computer. I think that is not the best idea.
The only wat to really "trasition" between two archtectures that I know of is to copy configuration files over and have pacman dump a list of explicitly installed packages from the main repos. Then use that information to reinstall all those packages.
Hey, I[ve never seen that page before. Neato! (Though i haven't read it yet)
By the way, most Pentium IV processors are 64bits capable. Are you sure yours is not? Maybe you are already capable of running x86_64 and you are just not aware of it.
I have x86_64 on my old p4, and it works great.
"open source is about choice"
Open source is about opening the source code complying with this conditions, period. The ability to choose among several packages is just a nice side effect.
If you are sure or want check if you hard is 64bit capable, bot the arch-CD using the 64bit kernel and see if you reach the zsh/root login
Well, I suppose that this is somekind of signature, no?