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It takes forever to load up on mine also. I've read in some places that it loads up faster/slower on different distros. Besides rberry88's fast time of 3-5 seconds, I hear it loads real fast on slackware, but since you have slackware, maybe the distro thing has nothing to do with it. My computer is old too: 500 MHz, 192 sdram, embedded video and sound. Perhaps that has something to do with it. Especially since I'm running KDE, which I'm sure takes up a lot of memory and stuff.
I wonder what's the thing then, because it still takes about a minute to load. And I have 1.1. I bet, mac_phil. it's because you are using IceWM windows manager. I'm using KDE which is a memory hog. I'll try later loading oo from IceWM.
AFAIK, one big factor in OO startup time is disk speed.
I'm reluctant to describe my sys (p2 400Mhz, 192M SDRAM) as 'old' (it's 6yo: that would mean I'm 'ancient'), I right now have 3 people working on gnome from old 486-586 xterms, I can run xine while browsing, etc. (you got the idea). OO itself works smoothly, once loaded. Stil it takes 40'' to load the first time! I suppose it reads a lot of small files, and my 10MB/s disk makes this a painful process.
Ah, but you see, the point you may be failing to see, is that it works! Try loading something like Office 2k3 or whatever the newest money grubbing incarnation it is on a fat slow old workhorse, and see if it even starts up! :-P
I don't usually close the program, but since I just installed linux, I've been playing around with it using different windowsmanagers and such. Unless I don't know something, I've had to reboot to do that. I usually keep OO open though in another panel. That works well. But it still is a bit sluggish. E.g., when I'm using the spreadsheet and tab or cursor over to the next cell, there's a bit of a lag.