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top - 19:08:54 up 1:23, 2 users, load average: 1.26, 0.84, 0.55
Tasks: 107 total, 1 running, 106 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie
Cpu(s): 34.8%us, 6.8%sy, 0.0%ni, 57.0%id, 0.8%wa, 0.4%hi, 0.2%si, 0.0%st
Mem: 250728k total, 221084k used, 29644k free, 13736k buffers
Swap: 731128k total, 4452k used, 726676k free, 93016k cached
PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND
2073 wayne 20 0 2552 1044 792 R 7.1 0.4 0:00.12 top
692 root 20 0 2076 768 488 S 1.8 0.3 0:00.27 acpid
1797 root 20 0 41836 23m 6396 S 1.8 9.6 0:44.90 Xorg
1925 wayne 20 0 19524 8972 7452 S 1.8 3.6 0:01.84 xfwm4
1934 wayne 20 0 33396 11m 8980 S 1.8 4.6 0:05.81 xfce4-panel
1985 wayne 20 0 32880 10m 8528 S 1.8 4.4 0:01.51 notify-osd
1 root 20 0 2792 1440 1080 S 0.0 0.6 0:01.69 init
2 root 20 0 0 0 0 S 0.0 0.0 0:00.01 kthreadd
I forgot that I had the system monitor application running in the top tool bar. I shut it down and rescaned. It does run alittle quicker now without that running. So that atleast puts it in the almost functional range.
The major differences with Parallaxis' top output are that the load average is lower, and that the percentage in the Cpu(s) column under "id" is higher -- on mine it is 91.4%, whereas on Parallaxis' it is 57%, or less in another of his/her postings. Interestingly, pixellany's reading from his top posting is also in the nineties (specifically, 94.9%id in one posting).
I'm not sure what this figure means, but it may point to some issue.
I just installed LXDE from the instructions above.
I can't say it's any faster, atleast according to my human eyeball.
I tried to right click and open a terminal to post some more results but LXDE seems to function just like Windows.
Anyway... Google Chrome still grinds to a hault. Midori is actually functional (not any more or any less than Xfce as far as I can tell from 30secs of use). I wouldn't want to surf all day with it this slow, but it does seem to work.
I don't know about trying Arch. I mean this will be a guest computer after all. So it has to remain as simple as possible.