This afternoon I converted a 4GB Verbatim compact flash card to serve as a memory-based hard drive for my Amiga 500. It took a few minutes of trial and error but I eventually got the thing installed and working properly. After that I was able to boot to a Workbench screen, pull up the new installation files, and then install AmigaOS v3.1.4 onto the newly formatted HD. Once that was complete, I had to go through the various preferences.
I was mostly concerned with getting the video output to match the display resolution. That wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. However, I eventually found the overscan settings and got it looking pretty decent. The overall image is a wee bit stretched, but the end result is a 27 inch monitor that no longer displays black bars on both sides. I can't say for sure if I'll leave it this was. I may or may not switch it back to 1:1 mode in the future.
You're probably wondering about how big of a difference the compact flash card made to the Amiga's overall system performance. Let's just say that I went from spending a few minutes manually booting the Amiga to booting it from a cold state to a useable desktop in around 15 seconds. Previously, I had to swap in and out multiple floppy disks in order to get Workbench booted properly. That was a pain to do and it always seemed like it took forever to get done.