Clonezilla makes things too easy for me, really. Being able to snap between installations in a matter of minutes takes all the challenge out of the two or three hours — or two or three days, depending on the distribution — of reinstalling a system.
In the days since that memory chip failed, I put Ubuntu back on the Inspiron. I don’t know why I was surprised, but the performance fell off considerably between now and when that chip was (semi-)working.
No shock there, really. With only half the memory available, Ubuntu suddenly began swapping for the least of program startups. Gnome Text Editor? Grind, grind, grind. Starting up Firefox? Grind, grind, grind. Showing icons in the drop-down menus? Grind, grind, grind.
Well, maybe not that last one. But the system monitor confirms it: Even after a cold power-up, memory usage sits at 160Mb, and anything beyond full idle suddenly drags in even more. I’m sure every system is different, but for me, that’s what I have to live with.
But I shouldn’t complain; Gnome is not my domain, and I am only a cursory visitor therein. Complaining because someone else decides to run their system differently from what I suggest is somewhat rude — like inviting yourself over for dinner, and then complaining that the food is too salty.
Still, it’s hard for me to compare that to my Thinkpad, which is running ten applications at the same time, one of them being a ripped DVD out of my collection, and using only 37Mb of memory.
Or against this new laptop, the Pentium, which is admittedly swapping out 21Mb of space, but consuming only another 6Mb on top of that. And that’s with Xorg 7.3 and four instances of bash all making it happen.
In the mean time, I’ll keep waiting for my new memory chip to arrive. And probably switching out this installation within the next few hours, to avoid the lag. Thank goodness for Clonezilla.