So then this happened...
Please stop laughing.
I know, it's terrible, but I have no desire to spend the time to switch to something else, and try and figure out how to not lose literal decades of change history. So stop. Staaahhhp.
My CVS question is this:
Sometimes when I do "cvs update" on a directory tree that has like 150k files in it, it takes a minute or two, but sometimes it takes an hour and seems to be laboriously diffing each file or something. So there's a "go fast" mode and it's randomly going into a "go slow" mode. I don't understand why this happens, or how to get it to tell me that it is happening, or how to make it happen less often or at least more predictably. This is with the repo on a server that is not on my local network, ssh, -z9.
It doesn't even seem to be pegging my DSL. I think it's doing something stupid on the server side.